DOI-BLM-NV-W010–2012–0005–EA

From Open Energy Information


NEPA Document Collection for: DOI-BLM-NV-W010–2012–0005–EA
EA at New York Canyon Geothermal Area for Geothermal/Power Plant, Geothermal/Transmission, Geothermal/Well Field

EA for Development Drilling at New York Canyon Geothermal Utilization and Interconnect Project for Geothermal/Power Plant, Geothermal/Transmission, Geothermal/Well Field

Proposed Action

The Proposed Action is composed of a geothermal component and an electrical interconnection component located in Pershing county, Nevada. The Proposed Action also includes an air-access flight path that extends into Churchill County.

The geothermal component of the proposed project includes the drilling of geothermal fluid production and injection wells on well pads previously permitted under the New York Canyon Geothermal Exploration EA (Exploration EA), the construction and operation of a power generation facility, access roads, geothermal pipelines, an airfield, and a groundwater production well and is proposed to be located in the Buena Vista Valley on the western slope of the Stillwater Range approximately 25 miles east-southeast of Lovelock, Nevada, in Pershing and Churchill Counties, Nevada. The electrical interconnection component of the proposed project includes the construction and operation of a 26-mile electrical transmission line, substation expansion, and would extend from the Oreana substation, approximately 5 miles northeast of Lovelock, to the proposed geothermal power plant in Buena Vista Valley, approximately 25 miles east of Lovelock.

Link in BLM NEPA Register: https://www.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/planAndProjectSite.do?methodName=dispatchToPatternPage&currentPageId=34853


Data Completion Notes

Data entry is complete.

Documents

FONSI:


 

<metadesc> : NEPA document related to geothermal resource areas </metadesc>

Resource Analysis

Resource Not
Present
Present,
Not
Affected
Present,
Potentially
Affected
Not
Indicated
Comment Applicant
Proposed
Mitigation
Agency
Imposed
Mitigation
Air Quality
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

Close
  • TGP will surface access roads with aggregate materials, wherever appropriate.
  • Speed limits will be posted and enforced to reduce fugitive dust (speed limit of 25 miles per hour, as necessary).
  • Dust abatement techniques will be applied to earthmoving, excavating, trenching, and grading activities (such as watering, requiring loader buckets to be emptied slowly, minimizing drop heights, etc.).
  • Workers will minimize equipment and vehicle idling times during construction activities.
  • Van-pooling of employees between the Lovelock area and the plant site will be encouraged.
 
Areas of Critical Environmental Concern
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

   
Cultural Resources
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

Close
  • TGP will avoid any disturbance within 30 feet of cairns (rock piles) within the Lease Area. TGP would stake-and-flag a 30-foot radius around the cairns and provide avoidance instructions to all on-site personnel and contractors.
  • TGP will avoid ground disturbance of all NRHP eligible archaeological sites.
Close
  • TGP shall install fencing at a 30-foot radius around all cairns identified by the BLM. TGP shall coordinate with the BLM range specialist to determine the appropriate type of fencing.
  • TGP shall provide training to all onsite employees on the importance of protecting cultural resources and the consequences of any violations. This training shall be presented every two years to continuing employees.
  • Signage shall be implemented to indicate that access roads through the plant area and well pads are “no through traffic.”
  • The traditional roads identified as CrNV-02-9535 and CrNV-02-9577 shall not be utilized by TGP for drilling, plant construction and/or access to the plant.
  • TGP shall provide a 50 meter avoidance buffer on each of the traditional roads identified as CrNV-02-9535 and CrNV-02-9577. All disturbance and development shall be at least 50 meters (164 feet) away from these traditional routes.
  • No construction, drilling or geothermal production shall occur within a ¼ mile of a boundary of a known NRHP eligible TCP.
  • Since the proponent has agreed to avoid all NRHP eligible archaeological sites, no access roads would be permitted through NRHP eligible archaeological sites. Should access roads have to pass through contributing elements of any NRHP eligible archaeological site, a data recovery/mitigation plan should be developed before construction. This is to insure compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.
Environmental Justice
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

   
Floodplains
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

   
Invasive, Nonnative Species
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

Close
  • Prior to construction, TGP will submit to BLM an invasive plant management plan to monitor and control noxious weeds. At a minimum, the plan would incorporate the following measures:
  • Existing weed infestations would be treated prior to disturbance. The location of the weeds would be communicated to the Humboldt River Field Office weed coordinator, and treatment methods and herbicides used would be discussed prior to treatment.”
  • Herbicides would be applied per label instructions.
  • BLM or other personnel applying herbicides would use personal protective equipment while spraying or handling herbicides.
  • Herbicide application operations would be suspended when wind speed exceeds 6 miles per hour or when precipitation is imminent.
  • Some treatment areas could be signed, if needed, indicating the herbicide used and the date of treatment. Areas which that are isolated and/or receive very little use by human beings would not be signed.
  • During herbicide treatments, a pre-application sweep of the area would be completed (i.e., looking for nesting birds). Any areas that become infested with weeds during construction would be mapped and treated.
CloseTGP shall revise the Invasive Plant Management Plan in place for the exploration phase to include all portions of the Project Area, including the Geothermal Development Area and the selected gen-tie route, and to address ongoing operations and maintenance activities. This plan would be submitted to the BLM and would need to receive BLM approval prior to issuance of any Notice to Proceed and/or right-of-way grant. The plan should include, at a minimum, a proposed inventory schedule, including season of inventory, reporting schedule, methods of treatment and success criteria. Methods of treatment shall follow standard BLM Standard Operating Procedures and Best Management Practices.
Migratory Birds
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

CloseMigratory bird protection measures are listed under Section 2.1.11.6, Raptors, which discusses the Bird and Bat Conservation Strategy/Eagle Conservation Plan.
CloseAll preconstruction surveys shall follow standard Winnemucca District protocol. Where a protocol does not exist, proposed survey protocols must be approved by Winnemucca District prior to implementation.
Native American Concerns
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

Close
  • To minimize the visibility of project features, the power plant, pipelines, and well heads will be painted a color that blends with the surrounding area, as approved by the BLM.
  • To avoid light pollution onto adjacent areas as viewed from a distance, TGP will utilize lighting directed downward on to the site only and away from adjacent areas. TGP will utilize lighting that is hooded and shielded for all lighting associated with the project so as not to allow the bulb to shine up or out with the exception of vehicle headlamps and lighting required by the Federal Aviation Administration.
  • To minimize the visibility of pipelines in the southern two thirds of the southern polygon, TGP proposes to paint any pipelines installed in this area in a camouflaging color pattern to reduce any potential visibility from Cornish Canyon. For pipelines aligned perpendicular to Cornish Canyon, only the side of the pipeline facing the TCP would be camouflaged. For other angles, painting would be done so as to camouflage all visible portions of the visible segments. A painting plan would be developed in coordination with BLM. TGP would employ an adaptive management approach to addressing any other visible portions of pipeline across the Project Area that were not anticipated to be visible in the Line of Sight analysis and in the visual simulations. This adaptive management approach would consist of the following steps:
  1. If any BLM-verified complaints regarding the visibility of the pipelines are received from Tribal members, TGP would work with the BLM to identify the visible portions and would paint them in a camouflage color pattern.
  2. For any sections of pipeline that remain visible from the TCPs after camouflaging with paint, TGP would then coordinate with BLM and incorporate vegetative screening along the eastern side of the affected sections. Plants preliminarily identified by the BLM as being suitable for such use include Sage brush, Basin wildrye (Leymus cinereus) and Sandberg bluegrass (Poa secunda).
Close
  • TGP would not block access for the Native Americans to CrNV-02-9535 and CrNV-02-9577, nor put any impediments along these two routes which would prohibit travel along these routes by the Native Americans. Allow Native Americans access to TCPs and sacred sites. TGP would not block access to the road running along the ridge of the Stillwater Range.
  • TGP would not conduct any off-road or cross-country travel. All vehicular travel must be on roads built and maintained by TGP.
  • Well pads including sump perimeters in the southern leases (N-86890, N-76300, and N-76299) would be successfully re-vegetated within six months after drilling and flow testing. Re-seeding would be done using weed free and BLM approved seed mixtures. If used for production, the remaining unvegetated area must be less than 15 feet x 15 feet.
  • All non-emergency construction, drilling and maintenance would be prohibited in the southern leases (N-86890, N-76300, and N-76299) during September and October. If the pine-nut season extends into November, the above-listed activities would be prohibited during that month. Each year, through consultation with the tribes and TCP users, the BLM would determine if the pine nut season extends into November.
  • All exploratory drilling would be done within 3 years.
  • To reduce visual impacts to the settings of the TCPs, unless used for production, all well pads outside of the leases mentioned in #3 will be reclaimed and revegetated within 6 months of exploratory/production drilling. For the wells used in production, the remaining unvegetated area must be less than 15 feet x 15 feet. All other areas of the production well pad must be re-vegetated within 6 months of construction.
  • No pinyon trees marked as “Seed Trees” will be cut down for any of the construction. The proponent and BLM recommended mitigations (listed above) are sufficient to mitigate the adverse effects to the NRHP eligible TCPs in the vicinity of the Project Area. A consultation meeting was held with the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe to discuss the tribe's issue with the preliminary EA on May 17th, 2013. The tribal representatives felt that if the mitigation measures proposed by TGP and the BLM were adopted, they had no objections to the project.
Prime or Unique Farmlands
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

See "Soils"

   
Threatened and Endangered Species
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

   
Wastes Hazardous or Solid
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

Close
  • Small quantities of solid wastes (paper, plastic, and other garbage) generated by the Proposed Action will be transported offsite to an appropriate landfill facility.
  • Portable chemical toilet wastes will be removed by a local contractor.
  • Sewage generated at the power plant will be treated in an on-site, state-permitted septic system.
  • The Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure plan will be submitted to and approved by the BLM and made readily available on site before operations begin.
  • Secondary containment structures will be provided for all chemical and petroleum/oil storage areas during drilling operations. Additionally, absorbent pads or sheets will be placed under likely spill sources, and spill kits will be maintained on site during construction and drilling activities to provide prompt response to accidental leaks or spills of chemicals and petroleum products.
  • Handling, storage, and disposal of hazardous materials, hazardous wastes, and solid wastes will be conducted in conformance with federal and state regulations to prevent soil, groundwater, or surface water contamination and associated adverse effects on the environment or worker health and safety.
Close
  • Reserve pit waste shall be sampled for hazardous contaminants. Typical tests may include the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) (EPA Method 1311), tested for heavy metals; pH (EPA Method 9045D); Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons/Diesel (EPA Method 8015B); and Oil and Grease (EPA Method 413.1). Contaminated materials, if any, shall be disposed of at an approved facility.
Wetlands and Riparian Zones
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

   
Wild and Scenic Rivers
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

   
Wilderness
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

   
Fire Resources
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

Close
  • All construction and operating equipment will be equipped with applicable exhaust spark arresters.
  • Personnel will be trained in fire prevention and initial response, and fire extinguishers will be available at each drill site.
  • Water that is used for construction and operations will be available for plant fire suppression.
  • Personnel will be allowed to smoke only in designated areas and will be required to follow applicable BLM regulations regarding smoking.
 
Geology and Minerals
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

   
Lands and Realty
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

Close
  • Applicant shall contact ROW holder for location on underground utilities.
  • TGP would coordinate with the owner of any fences intersected by project components and would arrange for the temporary removal of sections of fences for construction access, and for the reinstallation of fences and gates, as needed, to provide access for maintenance activities. Any modifications to existing fences would be done only with prior agreement from the affected fence owner and would be paid for by TGP.
 
Range Resources
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

 
Close
  • TGP shall place escape ramps every 200 linear feet around the perimeter of the sump, that are covered with geo-mesh, that are sloped 3:1 (horizontal:vertical) or flatter and that are at least 8 feet wide each.
  • Fencing shall be installed 6-feet from the edges of the berms. Fences shall be 4-strand or chain-link of at least 4 feet high with the bottom 2 feet made of a mesh with holes no greater than two inches.
Social Values
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

   
Soils
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

Close
  • BMPs, including development of a Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure plan, would be implemented to prevent the release of hazardous materials to the environment

which could affect soil resources.

  • The operator will construct sumps and pits adequate, but not larger than proposed use. Operator would also comply with NDEP requirements to minimize sump slopes, which may

result in a larger sump area. Topsoil would be salvaged and reused whenever possible and in a timely manner.

  • Temporarily disturbed areas will be reseeded where previously vegetated using a BLM approved seed mixture.
  • Erosion control measures, including but not limited to silt fencing, diversion ditches, water bars, temporary mulching and seeding, and application of gravel or rip rap, will be installed, where necessary, at the beginning of construction activities to avoid erosion and runoff.
  • Access roads will follow existing contours to the maximum extent possible. In areas where new access roads must be constructed across slopes, erosion control measures will be installed as necessary, in accordance with Gold Book standards (BLM 2007).
  • An average of six inches of gravel will be used as road surface because roads would be used during all seasons. Up to 3 feet of gravel may be used on some sections of road and no gravel would be used on road sections where the natural surface is adequate.
  • Additional gravel will be laid down when ground conditions are wet enough to cause rutting or other noticeable surface deformation and severe compaction. As a general rule, if

vehicles or other project equipment create ruts in excess of four inches deep when traveling cross-country over wet soils, the soil shall be deemed too wet for vehicle use, without the application of a gravel surface.

  • If construction occurs in areas of very soft soils, up to three feet of aggregate will be used.
  • An NDEP-BAPC Surface Area Disturbance permit documenting the best practical management practices to be used will be required for the project because the surface disturbed by the project will be greater than five acres.
 
Vegetation
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

Close
  • The BLM-approved seed mixtures as shown in Table 2.11, Proposed Seed Mix, would be used.
  • TGP would consult with BLM regarding the timing of reseeding, specific seed mixtures, and application rates to be used to improve the success of reseeding.
  • Disturbed areas would be re-contoured to blend with the surrounding topography. Topsoil would be salvaged whenever possible and reused in a timely manner.
  • Impacts on vegetation would be minimized by reseeding all areas of access roads and well pads not required for subsequent energy production using weed-free and BLM-approved seed mixtures.
CloseAny graveled areas not identified for development within two years shall be topsoiled and seeded as described in Section 2.1.1.12 Restoration and Reclamation.
Visual Resources
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

Close
  • To minimize the visibility of project features, the power plant, pipelines, and well heads will be painted a color that blends with the surrounding area, as approved by the BLM.
  • To avoid light pollution onto adjacent areas as viewed from a distance, TGP will utilize lighting directed downward on to the site only and away from adjacent areas. TGP will utilize lighting that is hooded and shielded for all lighting associated with the project so as not to allow the bulb to shine up or out with the exception of vehicle headlamps and lighting required by Federal Aviation Association.
  • TGP would install aerial marker balls on portions of any installed transmission line identified by Naval Air Station Fallon as an area of frequent low altitude overflights. Aerial marker balls would allow the power lines to be visible to aircraft pilots and minimize collision risk.
CloseConstruction of all facilities would utilize screening on proposed stationary lights and light plants. Lighting would be directed onto the pertinent site only and away from adjacent areas not in use with safety and proper lighting of the active work areas being the primary goal. Lighting fixtures would be hooded and shielded as appropriate.
Wildlife Resources
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

 
Close
  • TGP shall place escape ramps every 200 linear feet around the perimeter of the sump, that are covered with geo-mesh, that are sloped 3:1 (horizontal:vertical) or flatter and that are at least 8 feet wide each.
  • Fencing shall be installed 6-feet from the edges of the berms. Fences shall be 4-strand or chain-link of at least 4 feet high with the bottom 2 feet made of a mesh with holes no greater than two inches.
Fisheries Resources
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

   
Access and Transportation
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

   
Noise
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

   
Paleontological Resources
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

Close
  • Subsurface disturbance would not occur in stock pile areas or as a result of overland travel routes.
 
Wild Horse and Burro Management
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

Close
  • TGP would underground segments of the pipeline in areas to facilitate wild horse passage. TGP would locate these undergrounded segments wherever a wild horse trail is identified up to every mile. Each buried segment would be at least 20 feet in length. Particular focus would

be placed on maintaining access to Kitten Springs and Logan Spring. Locations would be developed in coordination with the BLM.

  • TGP would ensure that its employees and all contractors are aware that it is illegal to chase or harass wild horses per the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971.
 
Lands with Wilderness Characteristics
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

   
Water Quantity
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

 
Close
  • Development of a construction Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan and Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures plan.
  • Erosion-control measures would be implemented.
  • When permanent new access roads must cross ephemeral washes, rolling dips would be installed. The rolling dips would be designed to accommodate flows from at least a 25-year storm event. Culverts may be used wherever rolling dips are not feasible.
  • Settled bentonite clay from drilling mud would accumulate on the bottom of the drill pad reserve pits and central sump to act as an unconsolidated clay liner, reducing the potential for drilling fluid to percolate to groundwater.
  • A BLM-approved grouting and casing program for construction of observation wells would be implemented to prevent water quality effects on groundwater during or after well installation.
  • Borehole geophysics analyses (cement bond logs) would be conducted to document that well casing grouting activities provide an effective seal isolating the geothermal aquifer from shallow alluvial aquifers, therefore minimizing potential impacts on surface springs or streams.
  • The project would use BMPs to ensure that any geothermal fluid encountered during the drilling does not flow uncontrolled to the surface. These include the use of “blow-out” prevention equipment during drilling and the installation of well casing cemented into the ground.
  • TGP would obtain necessary permits from NDEP for working in ephemeral streambeds and for groundwater discharge and provide a Notice of Intent to NDEP prior to well pad construction.
  • TGP would submit a Geothermal Drilling Permit application, including detailed drilling and casing procedures, to BLM for approval prior to initiating geothermal drilling.
  • In order to prevent a release of geothermal fluids to surface water features, drilling muds and geothermal fluids would be contained in the well pad reserve pit; or piped or trucked to the large central sump when quantities dictate.
  • To avoid communication between the geothermal aquifer and the shallow groundwater aquifer, BMPs for well installation and testing would be implemented.
  • A monitoring plan would be put in place to assess whether impacts on quality, quantity, or temperature of surface water occurred as a result of observation well installation and testing.