DOI-BLM-NV-W030-2010-0006-EA

From Open Energy Information


NEPA Document Collection for: DOI-BLM-NV-W030-2010-0006-EA
EA at San Emidio Desert Geothermal Area for Geothermal/Exploration

EA for Drilling and Flow Testing at San Emidio Geothermal Exploration Project for Geothermal/Exploration

Proposed Action

USGN proposes to drill and test six (6) production diameter geothermal resource exploration wells to be located on BLM administered public lands within the San Emidio Geothermal lease unit and leased to USGN in Washoe County, Nevada. The Site is generally located 12 miles south of Empire Nevada and 3.5 air miles west of State Highway 447, along the east side of the San Emidio Desert.

The proposed wells are located within Township 29 & 30 North, Range 23 East, sections 4, 9, 16 and 33, Mount Diablo Baseline and Meridian (MDM), on federal geothermal leases N­042707, N-074106, N-074196, & N-075233 (Site)(See Figure2) in two general areas of the Site (See Figures 3 and 4). DOE may provide funding for two(2) of the six (6) proposed production diameter wells or two (2) of the nine (9) private geothermal wells (covered in the cumulative impacts section of this EA) that would be drilled into San Emidio Geothermal resource area covered by the geophysical exploration project.

The proposed well sites were selected to explore a specific geophysical or geologic target. As USGN gains a better understanding of the geothermal resource, they may request to reposition drill site and their associated access within the project area, to meet data gathering needs. The Proposed Action includes:

  • Constructing, improving and/or maintaining 4,565 feet of access roads and 22,161 feet of temporary water pipelines as necessary to access and provide water to the well sites and testing of the wells;
  • Constructing six geothermal well drilling pads approximately 300 feet by 350 feet;
  • Drilling and completing a geothermal wells to a true vertical depth (TVD) of about 3,500 feet from each of the constructed drill pads;
  • Flow testing each completed well to obtain samples of the geothermal fluid and production information from the geothermal reservoir.

Conditions of Approval

Newly established fences associated with project should be flagged to minimize wildlife collisions.

Data Completion Notes

Data entry complete 8/12

Documents

FONSI: Decision:


 

<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
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.

The Proposed Action has the potential to increase the spread of invasive, non-native species.

 
CloseThe potential for the Proposed Action to increase the spread of invasive, non-native species would be minimized through USGN maintenance of a noxious weed program consisting of monitoring and eradication for species on the Nevada Designated Noxious Weed List (NRS 555.010) as required in the lease stipulations.

For a period of three years following the commencement of construction, project sites shall be inventoried by the lessee for the presences of invasive, nonnative species. Inventory data shall be reported to the BLM BRFO project lead within one week of receipt by the lessee. The area shall be treated with BLM certified pesticides following BLM approval of a pesticide use proposal if species are present.

Following the three year period, periodic inventory for the presence of invasive nonnative species would be performed at project sites, with treatment occurring as necessary. The periodic inventory and treatment would occur until the BLM determines that final reclamation of the project site is complete and acceptable.
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.

Project construction would result in the loss of up to 21 acres of potential migratory bird habitat.

   
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.

The only historic property affected by the San Emidio Geothermal Exploration Project is CrNV-22-4181. The overland pipeline and the access road pass through this site.

 
CloseBecause there is a chance that the location of one or more of the proposed drill pads may change during the course of the project as a result of on-going seismic studies, a Programmatic

Agreement between BLM and the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) has been drafted to lay out procedures that will be followed to assure that significant cultural resources not already identified are protected. The Programmatic Agreement is consistent with the provisions of the Nevada State Protocol between BLM and SHPO.

When cultural or paleontological resources, including but not limited to historic ruins, prehistoric artifacts and fossils, are discovered in the performance of the permit, the resources shall be left intact and immediately brought to the attention of the BLM authorized officer.

Pursuant 43 CFR 10.4(g) the holder of this authorization must notify the authorized officer, by telephone, with written confirmation, immediately upon the discovery of human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony (as defined at 43 CFR 10.20). Further, pursuant to 43 CFR 10.4(c) and (d), the lessee/operator shall immediately stop all activities in the vicinity of the discovery and protect it for 30 days or until notified to proceed by the BLM authorized officer.
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.

The proposed project is not located in or near any prime or unique farmlands

   
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.

No threatened or endangered species or suitable habitat is located on the project area.

   
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.

No hazardous wastes or hazardous materials are known to occur in Site Area. The operation would not utilize or generate hazardous or solid wastes.

 
CloseAn emergency response plan will be developed prior to commencing exploration.

• No hazardous materials shall be used during any phase of the operations unless prior approval has been obtained from the BLM authorized officer. All on-site drilling materials and chemicals shall be properly stored to ensure the prevention of spills. No chromate or other heavy metals or environmentally harmful additives will be used. • No chemicals, fuels, oils, lubricants, or noxious fluids shall be disposed of at the drill sites, in the reserve or flow pits or down the wells. • If any chemicals, fuels, oils, lubricants, and/or noxious fluids are spilled during drilling operations, they shall be cleaned up immediately. The lessee/operator shall have absorbent on site for spill containment. After clean up, the chemicals, fuels, oil, lubricants and/or noxious fluids and any contaminated material shall be removed from the drill site and disposed of at an approved disposal facility. • The lessee/operator shall be responsible for all cost associated with any releases of chemicals and/or subsurface fluids resulting from their operations and practices.

• Material Safety Data Sheets for all drilling mud components are to be provided to the Hazmat coordinator at the Winnemucca District Office. 

• Portable chemical toilets shall be used for human waste. The human waste shall not be buried on site. • Trash and other debris shall be contained on site and then hauled to an approved landfill. Burial and/or burning on site shall not be permitted. • A copy of the Spill or Discharge Contingency Plan must be maintained at the drill site

during active operations.
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.

There is no riparian habitat within the proposed project area.

   
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.

The proposed project is not in or adjacent to any wilderness area.

   
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.

The proposed project is not located in or near any wild and scenic rivers.

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

The potential for induced seismicity is not known. Induced seismicity would not be expected to occur related to exploration activities.

   
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.

Proposed Action would impact less than 1 AUM

   
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.

 

   
Economic 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.

Activities related to the Proposed Action would Socio- of short duration. The potential for short term Values employment for a small number of workers would be possible

   
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.

 

 
CloseIf any vertebrate fossils are uncovered during construction activities, work around the find will

halt until BLM is contacted, the area is examined, and permission is granted to proceed with construction in that location.

When cultural or paleontological resources, including but not limited to historic ruins, prehistoric artifacts and fossils, are discovered in the performance of the permit, the resources shall be left intact and immediately brought to the attention of the BLM authorized officer
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.

The project would disturb up to 20 acres. Construction activities would result in direct affects to soils such as such as displacement, loss of moisture holding capacity, and loss of microbiotic processes.

CloseThe Proposed Action and design features will prevent excessive erosion, control runoff and stabilize disturbed soils.
CloseWhere excavation is required, topsoil will be salvaged during construction and stockpiled for use during subsequent reclamation of the disturbed areas
Special Status 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.

The project would result in the temporary loss of approximately 21 acres of low quality wildlife habitat.

 
CloseWildlife use would increase over time as reclamation and plant re-colonization occurs. As a result wildlife impacts are expected to low but long term.

A No Surface Occupancy within 2 miles of known leks at all times has been instituted to protect sage grouse leks.

• An avoidance stipulation with a range of between 0.6 and 2 miles has been established for known nesting, brood–rearing, and winter habitat
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.

The site is in a VRM Class 3 designated area. The Proposed Action is within the permissible limits of landscape alteration for this VRM classification.

 
Close• Wellhead equipment left on the drill site following the completion of drilling would be painted a color, subject to approval by the authorized officer, which would blend with the landscape. Prior to paint selection, USG would contact the BLM/BRFO project lead.

• All drill rig and well testing facility lights would be limited to those required to safely conduct the operations, and would be shielded and

• If any well will be sitting idle for longer than one year, the well pad shall be scarified and seeded with the recommended seed mix
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.

Surface disturbing activities from the project would result in the loss of approximately 21 acres of the regional, common plant community.

 
CloseWeed management and concurrent reclamation would minimize the spread of invasive, nonnative species and would prevent residual impacts to vegetation.

All areas of exploration disturbance will be reclaimed including recontouring disturbed areas and reseeding the areas with a diverse perennial weed-free seed mix.

Roads to be constructed, improved or reclaimed as part of the project would be reviewed by the BLM and required to conform to the requirements of BLM Manual 9 1 13 and the "Gold Book" ("Oil and Gas Surface Operating Standards and Guidelines for Oil and Gas Exploration and Development"), as applicable to the intended project use.

If any well will be sitting idle for longer than one year, the well pad shall be scarified and seeded with the recommended seed mix

Upon abandonment of the wells, the following shall be done: o The wells shall be plugged to comply with all Federal and State of Nevada regulations. All reclamation of disturbed areas shall be completed within one year from the date of proper plugging and abandonment of the well. Any constructed roads, drill pads and reserve pits shall be recontoured to original grade, salvaged topsoil spread on the disturbed area and the site scarified. The disturbed area shall be seeded by hand broadcasting or drilling with the BLM recommended seed mixture. The area shall be raked or dragged to cover the seed if broadcast seeding is used. The BLM Winnemucca Field Office shall be notified in writing when reclamation operations commence and are completed.

o Seeding of disturbed areas will be completed between October 1 and December 31 using a BLM approved seed mixture and application rate
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.

Burros are not present. No surface water would be affected so no anticipated affect on horses in the Fox and Lake HMA

   
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.

 

   
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.

Four tribal groups, the Summit Lake Paiute Tribe, the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, the Susanville Indian Rancheria, and the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony were consulted about the San Emidio Project and a site visit with all four groups was conducted.After the field visit, conversations and phone calls indicated that none of the groups had serious issues with the project but they wanted to be able to review the Environmental Assessment and comment on any issues they felt affected their concerns.

   
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• All equipment and machinery shall be equipped with spark arresters and mufflers. • The lessee/operator shall be responsible for all suppression costs for any fire resulting from their operations and practices.
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.

There are no perennial streams, surface geothermal fluids or other naturally occurring spring waters located in the project area. No adverse impacts to geothermal water sources have been identified and the potential for any impacts from or to ground water or geothermal water are minimal.

CloseThe ground water and geothermal aquifers would be protected through implementation of standard industry practices and monitoring.