DOI-BLM-UT-W020-2010-0042-EA

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NEPA Document Collection for: DOI-BLM-UT-W020-2010-0042-EA
EA for Geothermal/Exploration, Geothermal/Well Field

EA for Thermal Gradient Holes at Drum Mountains and Whirlwind Valley Geothermal Exploration Projects for Geothermal/Exploration, Geothermal/Well Field

General NEPA Document Info
Energy Sector Geothermal energy

Environmental
Analysis Type

EA

Applicant

Ormat Technologies Inc

Geothermal Area

Project Location

Project Phase

Geothermal/Exploration, Geothermal/Well Field

Techniques

Thermal Gradient Holes
Time Frame (days)
Application Time 250
NEPA Process Time 126
Participating Agencies

Lead Agency

Bureau of Land Management

Funding Agency

none provided

Managing District Office

BLM West Desert District Office

Managing Field Office

Funding Agencies

none provided

Surface Manager

Bureau of Land Management

Mineral Manager

Bureau of Land Management
Selected Dates
Application Date 8/5/2010
Application
Document Type
NOI, POO
Scoping Initiated Date 2010/12/07
Final EA-EIS Date
/Public Comment Period
2011/04/12
Decision Document Date 4/12/2011
Relevant Numbers
Lead Agency
Doc Number
DOI-BLM-UT-W020-2010-0042-EA
Serial Number UTU-088138, UTU-088139
Lease Numbers

Proposed Action


Ormat proposes to evaluate the geothermal resources that potentially exist within the Drum Mountains and Whirlwind Valley lease areas (Figure 2) by constructing well pads at each proposed location, and drilling up to one temperature gradient well, one observation well, and one production well on each site. The primary objective for the geothermal exploration projects is to gain an understanding of the characteristics of geothermal resources within the two lease areas.

  • constructing up to 11 geothermal exploration well pads at the Drum Mountain lease area and as many as 16 geothermal exploration pads at the Whirlwind Valley lease area;
  • constructing access roads and with occasional vehicle turnout spaces;
  • constructing aggregate (gravel) source areas for gravel surfacing of well pads and roads;
  • drilling and completing geothermal exploration wells;
  • flow testing select observation and productions wells as applicable;
  • drilling non-potable water wells on the well pads or gravel source areas within the Drum Mountains and Whirlwind Valley lease areas; and,
  • constructing temporary personnel camps during drilling activities at either or both lease areas.


The above list is representative of the major components of the proposed action and is not necessarily inclusive of all activities and operational procedures that would occur if the proposed action were implemented. Similarly, the above list includes several activities and/or components that may not necessarily be performed or constructed, depending on data collected during operations. The following subsections detail the specific construction and operational procedures that comprise the proposed action and are the subject of the analysis of this EA.


Data Completion Notes

8/7/2013 - Add Drum Mountains, Whirlwind Valley to geothermal areas KW

Data entry complete 8/14

Documents

Serial Register Page:
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
FONSI: 
Decision: 
 
 
 

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.

Ground disturbing activities have the potential to create fugitive dust in the area, which is open and generally undeveloped.

  imposed
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.

There are no ACEC’s located within the project area.

   
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.

Historic Properties are not present at the drill pad locations. Inventories consisted of 10 acres polygons at the pad locations and access routes.

  imposed
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.

There are no minority or low income populations that would be disproportionately impacted by the proposed action.

   
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.

A review of maps of prime and unique farmlands in the Fillmore Field Office Area showed that there are no prime or unique farmlands in the project area

   
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.

No fish habitat occurs within or near the proposed action.

   
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.

Floodplains at Fish Springs Wash and Swasey Wash would not be impacted by the proposed action, which includes surfacing new access routes with gravel when drilling observation and production wells.

   
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.

Mitigation measures outlined in the project proposal should provide adequate protection or notification.

  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.

Mineral activity is common in the area, however the drilling of the wells will enhance knowledge of the mineral potential of the area and would only be a temporary inconvenience if any problem at all for mineral activities.

   
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.

here are known infestations of Squarrose knapweed in and around the proposed project area.

  imposed
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.

There are known infestations of Squarrose knapweed in and around the proposed project area

  imposed
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.

Exploration drill activity would occur in three sheep and cattle allotments. There would be direct but minor losses of forage in the allotments due to exploration development

   
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.

Migratory birds are known to occur within and near the proposed action. Well, access road, and gravel pit development will alter habitat values and may cause nests to be destroyed or abandoned.

  imposed
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.

 

   
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.

 

   
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.

Some casual recreation use occurs in the vicinity of the project area; there would be no effect to recreation use of the project area.

   
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.

With ongoing drilling activities and staff purchasing some supplies in the area during the exploration project, there would be minor socio-economic positive effects for the communities near the project area.

   
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.

With ongoing drilling activities and staff purchasing some supplies in the area during the exploration project, there would be minor socio-economic positive effects for the communities near the project area.

   
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.

Soils would be disturbed for exploration access and drill pad construction.

  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.

There are no known federally-listed plant species within the proposed geothermal exploration area.

   
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.

Special status species such as burrowing owls and shorteared owls are known or have a high probability to occur within or near the proposed action.

   
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
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.

A review of riparian maps showed that there are no wetlands or riparian zones present in the project 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.

There are no Wild & Scenic rivers listed in Public Law 111.11 for the Fillmore Field Office 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 Utah Wilderness Inventory of 1999 identified one WSA in the vicinity of the project area, the Swasey Mountains WSA to the west of, but not directly adjacent to the project area.

   
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.

Crucial year-long habitat for pronghorn antelope is known to occur within and near the proposed action.

  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.

Shrub/grass vegetation in the project area would be impacted for access road construction, materials extraction, and drill pad construction.

  imposed
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 project area is within a VRM Management Class IV (RMP Map 5) and meets the requirements of the Land Use Plan.

  imposed
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.

The Swasey Wild Horse HMA is located west of the proposed well sites.

   
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.

The 1979 wilderness inventory for the Whirlwind Valley, Swasey Bottom, and Little Drum Mountain areas were recommended as not qualifying for further inventory and should be dropped from the wilderness review process.

   
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.

 

  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.

Surface water quality could be impacted by exploration activity in or near channel bottoms. Groundwater quality could be impacted inadvertently during drilling or as a result of fluid storage in mud pits.

  imposed