DOI-BLM-OR-P040-0021-EA

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NEPA Document Collection for: DOI-BLM-OR-P040-0021-EA
EA at Glass Buttes Geothermal Area for Geothermal/Exploration

EA for Exploratory Wells at Midnight Point and Mahogany Geothermal Exploration Projects, Glass Buttes, Oregon for Geothermal/Exploration

General NEPA Document Info
Energy Sector Geothermal energy

Environmental
Analysis Type

EA

Applicant

Ormat Technologies Inc
Consultant Cardno ENTRIX

Geothermal Area

Glass Buttes Geothermal Area

Project Location

Oregon

Project Phase

Geothermal/Exploration

Techniques

Drilling Techniques
Time Frame (days)
Application Time 1018
NEPA Process Time 853
Participating Agencies

Lead Agency

Bureau of Land Management

Funding Agency

United States Department of Energy

Managing District Office

BLM Prineville District Office, BLM Burns District Office

Managing Field Office

none provided

Funding Agencies

none provided

Surface Manager

Bureau of Land Management,

Mineral Manager

Bureau of Land Management
Selected Dates
Application Date 9/27/2010
Application
Document Type
GPD
Scoping Initiated Date 2011/03/11
Final EA-EIS Date
/Public Comment Period
2013/04/17
Decision Document Date 2013/07/11
Relevant Numbers
Lead Agency
Doc Number
DOI-BLM-OR-P040-2011-0021-EA
Funding Agency
Doc Number
DOE/EA-1925
Lease Numbers

Proposed Action

The proposed Projects are located approximately 70 miles southeast of Bend, Oregon, and 50 miles northwest of Burns, Oregon, north and south of U.S. Highway 20 (Figure 1-1). Each exploratory well would be drilled within a well pad ranging in size from approximately 2.07 to 4.13 acres, depending on well type. Each well pad would accommodate a drill rig and other structures and facilities related to the drilling operation. Access to each well pad would be provided by existing or new aggregate access roads with an all-weather surface accessible from U.S. Highway 20.

The activities described in the Geothermal Drilling Permit Applications for both the Mahogany and Midnight Point projects are described and analyzed in this EA. Up to three “slim” wells would be drilled on lands managed by the BLM Prineville District (Mahogany project) and up to ten production-sized wells would be drilled on lands managed by the BLM Burns District (Midnight Point project).3 To support drilling operations, the improvements to existing access roads and the installation of some new access roads would be required. Aggregate for access road work would be extracted and transported from an off-site quarry(s) (i.e. the Community Pit, G.I. Ranch Pit, and/or Harney Rock Pit). Cumulatively, the Mahogany and Midnight Point projects would disturb 47.52 acres for well pad development, 4.09 acres for new access roads, 1.32 acres for access road pullouts and truck turnarounds, 0.57 acres for widening of existing roads, and 5 acres of disturbance for aggregate extraction. An additional proposed activity, the drilling of three non-potable water wells to provide water supply for drilling operations, would be drilled within the proposed geothermal well pad sites, resulting in no new surface area disturbance associated with these wells.

In addition to the Public Lands projects, the Applicant proposes to conduct the drilling, testing, and monitoring of up to three wells on private land located adjacent to the federal geothermal leases west of Glass Butte (Private Lands project). The Applicant also proposes to develop a quarry (G.I. Ranch Pit) within the Private Lands project area that would supply aggregate to both the Private Lands project and the Mahogany project. The approximate surface disturbance for the Private Lands project would be 6.21 acres for well pad development, 1.11 acres for new access roads, 1.04 acres for widening of existing roads, and 5 acres for mineral materials extraction.

If the required permits and approvals are obtained, the Applicant proposes to initiate geothermal exploration activities as soon as possible and conduct exploration 24-hours per day and 7-days per week from August 16th to February 28th. The proposed Projects would be implemented over a period of one to three years. The well pads and access roads would be left in place and subject to quarterly or monthly inspection and maintenance by the Applicant, until such time as the well is deemed to be commercially unviable or the geothermal lease is relinquished to BLM. Final reclamation activities for those sites would then be engaged.

Conditions of Approval

Reclamation of the disturbed areas, as described earlier in this document, would be completed in order to return these areas to the condition required in the drilling permit Conditions of Approval.

Data Completion Notes

If add RMPs, add Brothers/LaPine RMP (BLM 1989), Three Rivers RMP (BLM 1992

Data entry complete 8/13

Documents

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
FONSI: 
Decision: 
 
 
 

Resource Analysis

Resource Not
Present
Present,
Not
Affected
Present,
Potentially
Affected
Not
Indicated
Comment Applicant
Proposed
Mitigation
Agency
Imposed
Mitigation
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.

 

  imposed
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.

 

  imposed
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.

Construction of the Public Lands project would result in surface disturbance to mule deer and/or elk winter range habitat.

  imposed
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 Applicant would be required to submit and obtain BLM approval for a weed plan prior to implementation of any ground disturbance on site.

  imposed
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.

Effects from the Project to greater sage-grouse would be limited to disturbance of habitat outside of lekking and nesting season.

  imposed
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.

 

  imposed
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.

 

  imposed
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.

 

  imposed
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.

 

proposed  
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 Brothers/LaPine RMP and Three Rivers RMP have classified the majority of the Public Lands project area as high value, or Class II.

  imposed
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.

From July 6 to August 19, 2010, and July 25-28, 2012, Cardno ENTRIX conducted cultural resources investigations for the Projects within and adjacent to the proposed locations of the project features for the Public Lands and Private Lands Projects.

  imposed
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.

 

  imposed
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.

 

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

Public access to the well pads would be restricted to authorized project personnel for site safety. This precaution would result in a temporary disruption (i.e. six and a half months per year) to rock-hounding at the proposed well pad locations.

   
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.

Livestock may access unintended pastures as a result of project activities.

proposed  
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.

Raptors could potentially be affected by increased noise levels associated with construction of the Projects. However, operational noise levels from the Projects would not be loud enough to disrupt raptors, so no effects from exploration operations (i.e. drilling) are anticipated.

   
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.

 

   
Public Health and Safety
"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 area is located in a remote and rural area of south central Oregon. There are no residential population centers with schools, hospitals, parks, and other meeting places within the project area.

  imposed
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.

According to the NWI, there are 57.01 acres wetlands in the project area; NHD data shows 9.44 acres of wetlands in the project area. There are 6.1 acres of wetlands that both databases characterize as wetlands for a total of 60.36 acres of potential wetlands in the project area

  imposed
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.

 

  imposed