DOI-BLM-UT-C010-2010-0042-EA

From Open Energy Information


NEPA Document Collection for: DOI-BLM-UT-C010-2010-0042-EA
EA at Cove Fort Geothermal Area for Geothermal/Power Plant

EA of Cove Fort/Sulphurdale Geothermal Utilization Plan for Geothermal/Power Plant

Proposed Action

ENEL has submitted a Geothermal Utilization Plan to BLM that proposes to:

  • Construct a 20 MW net (approximate) Organic Rankine, binary cycle power plant on private land.
  • Install a four-acre (approximate) electrical substation to connect to an existing 138-kV power transmission line.
  • Install 1600 feet of 138-kV power line from the power plant to the substation Utilize nine existing wells and up to twelve additional contingency wells for production and injection of geothermal fluids.
  • Construct a well field motor control center (MCC).
  • Construct up to 6.6 miles of 8 to 36-inch surface conveyance pipelines to connect individual well heads to the geothermal plant on private land.
  • Decommission five existing steam wells that supported the previous power plant as required and rehabilitate the well pads and use one existing steam well as a monitoring well


The proposed power plant would be an air cooled facility thus the 20 MW output is a yearly average output. Use of ten or more wells may be necessary at any given time for operation of the power plant (See Figure 2.1, Project Map). If ten wells are used, six would be operated as production wells and four as injection wells. To date, six production and three injection wells have been drilled in the project area.


Data Completion Notes

Data entry complete. Only the Draft EA seems to be available. No Final EA has been found.









 

<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.

 

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Air quality standards as established by the Utah Division of Air Quality would be adhered to.

On exposed soils, including roads with dirt or graveled surfaces, vehicle speeds would be minimized to 10 to 30 miles per hour (mph) to reduce fugitive dust generation from vehicle travel.

Vehicles would not travel off designated access roads, well pads or out of approved rights-of-way or easements.
 
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.

 

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Identification, Avoidance and Mitigation

Intensive Class III or existing Class III cultural resource inventories will be used to identify cultural resources within the project area. Cultural resources determined to be eligible (also known as historic properties), by the BLM in consultation with the SHPO, to the National Register of Historic Places will be avoided by project design and construction.

To protect eligible sites, a 30- meter buffer would be placed around historic properties. In some cases archaeological monitoring may be used to protect historic properties and to identify potential subsurface features. Vehicles and workers would stay within the clearly delineated and flagged project areas during all project operations. Allowable travel areas would be clearly flagged and staff would be informed (before project commencement) to stay within the identified areas and that any effects on, defacement of, or removal and/or disturbance of archaeological, historical, or sacred material is prohibited and subject to disciplinary action.

If it is determined that certain historic properties cannot be avoided, then a Historic Properties Treatment Plan would be developed to mitigate the potential adverse effects by the undertaking to those eligible cultural resources. This plan would be developed in consultation with interested parties, American Indian Tribes and the State Historic Preservation Officer. If needed, mitigation may include but would not be limited to excavation, artifact collection, interpretation, and monitoring. This mitigation would take place prior to the BLM issuing a notice-to-proceed for construction of the proposed action.

Unanticipated Discoveries

If cultural resources such as buried artifacts or hearths were discovered during project construction or maintenance, work would stop in the vicinity of the discovery and a buffer of 30-meters would be established by the archaeological/environmental monitor or ENEL employees. At this point the BLM will be contacted to determine the nature of the discovery. If the discovery is determined to be not eligible work may resume. If it determined to have potential to be eligible, the BLM in consultation with American Indian Tribes and the State Historic Preservation Office will determine the proper actions needed to protect the find or appropriate mitigation methods to be used. All costs associated with mitigation and unanticipated discoveries will be paid for by ENEL.
 
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.

 

   
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.

 

   
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.

 

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ENEL would fund the BLM to conduct vegetation manipulation designed to offset potential impacts to mule deer and elk winter range.

Four acres of vegetation treatment would be done for each acre of new disturbance on federally owned winter range. The total number of acres ultimately required for mitigation would depend on the actual area of new disturbance. The treated areas would be within the Project Area on two designated BLM-managed tracts (one 218 acres, and the other 80 acres) as shown on Figure 2.1 that are covered with mature pinyon and juniper trees that are crowding out understory plants. The most expedient, mechanized methods such as bull-hog brush and tree cutters and roller choppers (Figure 2.11) would be used for treatment.

The vegetation treatment would be done after the limits of disturbance for ENEL’s project are known. Assuming that all identified wells with access roads and pipelines would be utilized during the life of the project; 298 acres of treatment could be done. Treatments could be successful if done anytime between September 15 and April 15 but because seeding is most successful in the project area when seeding occurs in the fall and disturbance of wintering big game animals and nesting birds would be avoided, the treatment efforts would be scheduled to allow for fall seeding, right after completion of tree cutting and surface disturbance. The following certified weed free seed mix provided for recent BLM geothermal well authorizations associated with this project would be used (Table 2.4).

New roads would not be created. Islands of trees would be left within the treated areas to provide wildlife cover.

Since the availability of seed can change from year to year, and because different seed mixes may be needed for stabilization or interim reclamation of well pads than the preferred mix for the habitat treatment, the final seed mix may be different from the mix in Table 2.4 and would be approved by the BLM Authorized Officer at the time of implementation. Additionally, the design (including the seed mix) and implementation of the mitigation vegetation treatment would be coordinated with UDWR’s habitat and wildlife biologists.

The treatment would comply with all existing soil, water and air compliance regulations Equipment would be washed before entering the project area to avoid the introduction or spread of non-native or invasive species.

BLM would periodically maintain the treated areas. Maintenance would be done with hand thinning, mechanical, and chemical treatment methods. Only chemicals approved in the ROD for BLM’s National Vegetation Treatments Final Programmatic EIS (PEIS, BLM 2007) would be used. The standard operating procedures that must be used with all applications of herbicides, identified in Appendix B of the ROD, would be followed to ensure that risks to human health and the environment from herbicide treatment actions are kept to a minimum.

To protect wintering deer and elk, construction and decommissioning activities and the vegetation treatment would not occur between December 1 and April 30 within the project area unless specifically approved by the Authorized Officer.

ENEL would fund a qualified wildlife biologist of their choosing to survey the pipelines once each year for the first three years following completion of construction for any signs that a pipeline is impeding wildlife movement and report problems to the USFS Ranger and BLM authorized officer. If evidence of impeded movement of small animals is found, ENEL would clear the points where movement is impeded to ensure that there is at least 16 inches of clearance or sufficient distance to allow animals to pass under the pipeline. If large animals are impeded, ENEL would build elevated earthen ramps over the pipeline as necessary to allow passage of larger animals.

To minimize impacts to wildlife (including special status species and migratory birds) through habitat alteration well pads and other project sites interim and final reclamation would be conducted for disturbed areas no longer needed for construction, operation or maintenance.

Prior to initiating any ground disturbing activities, such as well drilling, construction, maintenance, or restoration, the operator will coordinate in advance with BLM (who will, in turn, consult with the Forest Service when Forest lands are involved) to determine if the existing wildlife and special status species information is still valid, determine if new information is available, and determine the need for any new survey work. This could lead to the implementation of additional conservation measures to conserve wildlife.

During the construction phase of the project, the applicant will survey the project area yearly for nesting raptors, and monitor known nest locations.

If ground disturbing activities, such as well drilling, construction, maintenance, or restoration, are initiated during the raptor nesting season (December 1 to September 30), the operator will coordinate in advance with BLM to determine the appropriate conservation measures. Conservation measures may include nest surveys, avoidance, construction constraints, or the establishment of spatial or seasonal buffers.

The proposed power line would be designed to meet current technology and specifications for preventing electrocution of raptors as designed by the Avian Power Line Interaction Committee (APLIC, 2006) or Utah Field Office Guidelines for Raptor Protection from Human and Land Use Disturbances

At the direction of the surface management agency, well field access roads may be gated and closed to public access between December 1 and April 30.

Any liquids contaminated by substances which may be harmful to wildlife due to toxicity, or fouling of the fur or feathers (detergents, oils), will be excluded from wildlife access by fencing, netting or covering at all times when not in active use. Liquids at excessive temperature should likewise be excluded. If exclusion is not feasible, such as a large pond, a hazing program based on radar or visual detection, in conjunction with formal monitoring, should be implemented. All pits, ponds and tanks would have escape ramps functional at any reasonably anticipated water level, down to almost empty. Escape ramps can take various forms depending on the configuration of the impoundment. Earthen pits may be constructed with one side sloped 3:1 or greater. Lined ponds can use textured material. Straight-sided tanks can be fitted with expanded metal escape ladders. The type and design of exclusion methods shall be approved by the Authorizing Officer prior to use.

If any birds or other wildlife are observed in pits or other water catchments, then the operator will notify BLM immediately. As needed, coordination would occur between the operator, BLM, FS, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine the appropriate conservation measures.

Fencing may be needed throughout the project life span for various reasons, such as to keep wildlife out of areas such as reserve pits, or to exclude livestock from restoration areas. All proposed fences will be reviewed by the BLM wildlife biologist and the design approved by the Authorized Officer. Several existing fences within the project area are hazardous to wildlife. When these fences are in areas proposed for facilities or other disturbance, the applicant will consult with BLM, including the wildlife biologist and rangeland management specialist, to determine if the fence may be removed, or should be rebuilt to BLM fence standards.

Bald and/or golden eagles may now or hereafter be found to utilize the project area. The BLM will not issue a notice to proceed for any project that is likely to result in take of bald eagles and/or golden eagles until the applicant completes its obligation under applicable requirements of the Eagle Act, including completion of any required procedure for coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) or any required permit. The BLM hereby notifies the applicant that compliance with the Eagle Act is a dynamic and adaptable process which may require the applicant to conduct further analysis and mitigation following assessment of operational impacts. Any additional analysis or mitigation required to comply with the Eagle Act will be developed with the FWS and coordinated with the BLM.
 
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.

 

   
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.

 

   
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.

 

   
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.

 

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All equipment used to construct the power plant, pipelines, wells and associated facilities would be power washed at a commercial automotive or equipment wash, prior to arrival in the project area to remove any invasive, non-native weed seeds that may be attached to the equipment and to reduce the potential of introducing and spreading new weed species.

All seed mixes used for restoration and reclamation would be certified weed free and approved in advance by the Authorizing Officer.

During the life of the project, until the site is released from liability for reclamation, the project sites would be inspected for invasive or noxious weeds. If invasive weeds that are not common to the project area are found, they would be treated to eliminate further reproduction (spread), and treatment would continue until the weeds have been eradicated. If at any point in the project, noxious weeds are found, the Authorized Officer would be notified of their occurrence. Early detection and rapid response would be used to hand dig or pull small, start-up populations of noxious weeds and without any additional authorization required. For larger populations, a noxious weed treatment plan would be prepared by the proponent and approved in advance by the Authorizing Officer. Any chemical use on BLM lands would require an approved Pesticide Use Proposal (PUP). The BLM expects to have pre-approved PUPs on hand, which it uses for ongoing weed work in Beaver County, which would allow the use of certain herbicides under exacting conditions. If other herbicides are desired, the appropriate PUPs and NEPA would need to be completed.
 
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.

 

   
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.

 

   
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.

 

CloseIf ground disturbing activities, such as well drilling, construction, maintenance, or restoration, are proposed for initiation during the migratory bird nesting season (March 15 to July 31), the operator will coordinate in advance with BLM to determine the appropriate conservation measures to minimize impacts to migratory birds. Conservation measures may include migratory bird nest surveys, avoidance, construction constraints, or the establishment of buffers.
 
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.

 

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No Native American Religious Concerns were identified during consultation with the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah. The BLM will provide updates of the project to the Tribe to continue Tribal Consultation.

If human remains are identified during construction of any of the components of the proposed project, work within 100-meters of the discovery would be stopped and the remains would be protected from further exposure or damage. The coroner, BLM and Utah Division of Antiquites would be contacted. If the remains are determined to be Native American, the agencies would follow the procedures set forth in 43 CFR Part 10, Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Regulations. If remains are found on private land the applicable state laws would be followed in consultation with the Utah Division of Antiquities and American Indian Tribes
 
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.

 

   
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.

 

   
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.

 

   
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.

 

   
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.

 

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Any suitable topsoil would be stockpiled onsite for later use during restoration. With the exception of short spur roads for pipeline construction, access would be on existing roads. In areas where access roads must be upgraded across slopes, erosion control measures would be installed as necessary, in accordance with BMPs from Appendix B of the National Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Geothermal Leasing (USDI, BLM and USDA, FS 2008). 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, would be installed where necessary immediately after completion of construction activities to avoid erosion and runoff. Only certified weed-free seeds would be used.

Additional gravel would be laid down on access roads and well pads when ground conditions are wet enough to cause rutting or other noticeable surface deformation and severe compaction. Vehicle travel on unpaved roads would be limited to a maximum of 30 mph.

Any topsoil stockpiles would be located on previously disturbed areas, such as portions of well pads, and would be situated so that wind and water erosion of the piles are minimized and the reclamation potential of the soil is maintained. Other erosion control measures may include surface seeding and moisture conditioning.
 
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.

 

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Containment berms would be constructed around all hazardous material or potentially hazardous material storage. Off-pad stormwater would be directed away from the well pads.

An emergency response plan would be implemented that includes contingencies for hazardous materials spills and disposals. ENEL would adhere to general geothermal lease stipulations for geothermal developers to address the potential impacts involved with transport, use, and disposal of hazardous materials, including the development and implementation of an emergency response plan.

ENEL would comply with all local, state, and federal regulations regarding the use, transport, storage, and disposal of hazardous materials and wastes. Wastes considered hazardous by the State of Utah would be transported and disposed of according to applicable federal, state, and local regulations.

ENEL would prepare and implement a hazardous material spill prevention plan to minimize impacts to the environment from hazardous materials.

Fueling and routine maintenance of equipment and vehicles would be performed off site or within designated areas with appropriate spill controls to minimize effects.

Drilling mud and fluid would be directed to reserve pits. At the conclusion of drilling and testing, the liquid portions of the containment basin contents would be evaporated, pumped back down the well, or removed and disposed of off-site in a facility authorized to receive such wastes. The remaining contents, typically consisting of nontoxic drilling mud and cuttings, would be tested as required by the Utah Division of Water Quality and BLM and disposed of in an appropriate manner.

A blow-out prevention plan would be implemented.

Operation of the geothermal facilities would comply with all local, state, and federal regulations regarding the use, transport, storage, and disposal of hazardous materials and wastes to minimize impacts to the environment.
 
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.

 

   
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.

 

 
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Reclamation of project sites would occur when it is determined that they would no longer be used for exploration, utilization, maintenance or any other purposes. Interim reclamation would be conducted for the well pad areas no longer needed for operation or maintenance. The proposed vegetation treatment would be conducted in a way that is compatible with the mitigating measures applicable to ENEL’s geothermal project activities.

Sensitive plant inventories will be conducted in the future and could lead to the implementation of conservation measures to conserve Welsh’s milkvetch.
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.

 

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Plant facilities, pipelines, tanks, well heads etc. will be painted with color designs to minimize contrasts with surroundings utilizing the BLM Standard Environmental Color Chart and FS guide. Colors will be selected in consultation with BLM and FS.
 
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.

 

   
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.

 

   
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.

 

CloseTo reduce noise, all equipment used for construction and drilling would be fitted with mufflers. During plant start up a noise survey would be conducted to determine decibel levels throughout the plant to establish the impact to employees and public. Equipment would be muffled or enclosed to reduce noise to acceptable levels.
 
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.

 

ClosePrior to construction, a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan would be submitted to the Utah Division of Water Resources for review and approval. This plan would be implemented prior to construction of the project. ENEL would develop a groundwater monitoring program and work with the Utah Division of Water resources, FS and BLM to develop the program and correct any problems identified through monitoring.