EA for Well Field Development at Patua Geothermal Area - DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2011-00016-EA

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NEPA Document Collection for: EA for Well Field Development at Patua Geothermal Area - DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2011-00016-EA
EA at Patua Geothermal Area for Geothermal/Exploration, Geothermal/Well Field,

EA for Phase II of Patua Geothermal Project for Geothermal/Exploration, Geothermal/Well Field

Proposed Action

GRI is proposing to design, construct, and operate geothermal well pads and wells, geothermal fluid pipelines, and their associated access roads. These facilities would be connected to the previously proposed geothermal power plant for the Patua Phase I project or to a new nominal 60MW net geothermal power generation facility, to be located on one of two privately owned sections of land within the Unit. The power plant could be located adjacent to the existing Patua Phase I power plant, or in Section 29, T20N R26E. The elements of the proposed action include:

Reclamation‐managed lands
  • Drill 3 new temperature gradient holes (TGHs) (no vegetation removalrequired)
  • Construct 14 new well pads and drill multiple wells (57 acres disturbance)
  • Construct approximately 10.5 miles of geothermal fluid pipeline and access roads (159 acres of temporary disturbance and 159 acres of permanent disturbance)
  • Construction of 1.51 miles of new transmission line if a power plant is built south of Alt 50 (18.3 acres disturbance, assuming a 100‐foot corridor)
BLM‐managed lands
  • Drill 1 new TGH (no vegetation removal required)
  • Construct five new well pads and drill multiple wells (22 acres disturbance)
  • Construct approximately 2.2 miles of geothermal fluid pipeline and new access road (40 acres of temporary disturbance and 40 acres of permanent disturbance)
Private land
  • Construct approximately 1.1 miles of new access road and geothermal fluid pipeline (33 acres of temporary disturbance and 33 acres of permanent disturbance)
  • Construct nominal 60 MW net geothermal power generation facility and generation substation (29 acres permanent disturbance)
  • Construction of 0.8 miles of new transmission line if a power plant is built south of Alt 50 (9.7 acres permanent disturbance, assuming a 100‐foot corridor plus 32 acres of temporary disturbance for staging)

The project area is shown in Figure 1.1‐2 (see NEPA document). The total area of disturbance for the project would not exceed approximately 620 acres. Table 2.1‐1 and 2.1‐2 (see NEPA document) list the estimated total disturbance areas by component and land management/ownership. This amount of estimated disturbance in Table 2.1‐1 and 2.1‐2 (see NEPA document) is much greater than what will likely occur, as generous disturbance corridors for roads and pipelines have been assumed. A 300 foot wide corridor has been assumed for the pipeline and roadways across the entire project area. This corridor has been assumed in order to accommodate some expansion joints and turnouts, which could have a maximum width of 300 feet (assuming 150 feet would be temporary disturbance and 150 feet of permanent disturbance). In most locations, the width of permanent disturbance of pipeline and roads would only be an estimated 30 feet and temporary disturbance would be considerably less than 300 feet. Therefore, the total project disturbance will likely be significantly less than 620 acres.

Upon completion of the analysis and decision, GRI would begin development of the proposed project components. Development would begin with well field development, including access roads, well pads, and wells. The second stage of development would include construction of the power plant and transmission line (if necessary), and associated piping. Once construction is finalized, utilization, and power generation would begin. This EA also addresses decommissioning of the project.


Data Completion Notes

5/13/2014 Consolidated duplicate page: Corrected broken link to tiered doc; added POO, POU; added Revised Application Date (estimated); Added Final EA/EIS Date/Public Comment Period (same as estimated Revised Application Date); consolidated NEPA schedule comments to reflect estimates reported; added Exploratory Well to techniques; added Panorama Environmental, Inc as consultant; deleted duplicate page for DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2011-0016-EA. MB
Data entry complete on 8/29.
This document is a duplicate of DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2010-0016-EA and should be consolidated.









 

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•A SAD Air Quality Operating Permit would be obtained for the project and a plan for fugitive dust control would be implemented. The Fugitive Dust Control Plan would include dust suppression processes (e.g., watering access roads and well pads) to minimize localized increases in particulate matter concentrations. The plan would include the following measures.

Fugitive Dust Source Controls: •During grading use water, as necessary, on disturbed areas in construction sites to control visible plumes

•Vehicle speeds would be minimized on exposed soils to 10 to 30 mph to reduce fugitive dust generation from vehicle traffic.

•Use effective measures to prevent run‐off to roadways in construction areas adjacent to paved roadways. Ensure consistency with the project’s SWPPP.

•Use wind erosion control techniques (such as windbreaks, water, and/or vegetation) where soils are disturbed in construction, access and maintenance routes, and materials stock pile areas Mobile and Stationary Source Controls

•Best available emissions control technologies would be used where available and practical.

•Plan construction scheduling to minimize vehicle trips

•Dust emissions from venting steam would be reduced by injecting water into the blooie line.

•Diesel generators over 37 kW (50 horse power) would be diesel‐fired units that are certified to meet the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Tier II Emission Standards and are equipped with an exhaust particulate filter system.

•H2S emissions would be minimized through the use of properly weighted drilling mud which is expected to keep the well from flowing during drilling. Data collection devices would be installed and operated during all phases of drilling and testing. An H2S abatement plan would be developed and implemented during long‐term flow‐testing if it becomes apparent during drilling operations that H2S abatementis necessary to minimize potential nuisance odors. Measures to reduce H2S, if necessary, could include but are not limited to: – Reducing the number of wells venting simultaneously, as applicable – Implementing additional wellhead abatement measures, such as caustic injection between the flash tank and the portable silencer

– All drill rigs would be equipped with alarms to detect unsafe levels of non‐condensable gases (NCGs).
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•GRI would avoid cultural resource sites that are known to be eligible or potentially eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places through design, construction, and operation of the project, to the greatest extent feasible.

•An approximately 100‐foot buffer zone would be established from the boundary of cultural sites and will be identified by placing flagging around eligible and potentially eligible cultural resource sites to help provide protection to the sites. Project equipment and facilities would not encroach into the established 100‐foot buffer zone to the greatest extent feasible. Fencing would not be required where construction would need to occur within the 100 foot buffer; however, the following measure would be implemented to ensure protection of cultural resources: – Where the installation of project facilities could impact eligible or potentially eligible cultural sites(s), or must occur within the 100 foot buffer, GRI would retain a qualified archaeologist to serve as a cultural monitor during construction of the facility in order to avoid potential effects to the cultural site(s). The BLM would decide when cultural monitors would be necessary.

•The project facilities would be operated in a manner consistent with the engineered design to prevent problems associated with the run‐off that could affect adjacent cultural sites. This includes the use of BMPs to minimize off‐site erosion and sedimentation.

•GRI would limit vehicle and equipment travel to existing and proposed access roads, well pads, construction areas, and gravel source areas and allowable travel areas would be clearly flagged and staff would be informed (before project commencement) to stay within the identified areas.

•Any unplanned discovery of cultural resources, items of cultural patrimony, sacred objects, or funerary items would require that all activity in the vicinity of the find ceases, and the Field Manager, Stillwater Field Office, 5665 Morgan Mill Road, Carson City, 952 Nevada 89701, be notified immediately by phone (775‐885‐6000) with written confirmation to follow. The location of the find would not be publicly disclosed, and any human remains must be secured and preserved in the place until a Notice to Proceed is issued by the authorized officer.
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.

 

   
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.

 

   
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•The potential to increase the spread of invasive, non‐native, and noxious species would be minimized through the implementation of the Noxious Weed Abatement Plan, included in Appendix G to this EA for project construction, operation, and decommissioning.
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.

 

 
Close•Anti‐perch spikes would be installed on the top of cross‐arms of the proposed transmission line alignment, if the option is exercised.

•Transmission structures would be designed with sufficient phase spacing to make it improbable that the wing span of the typical raptor can contact two phases, thus avoiding electrocution.

•If vegetation must be removed during the migratory bird nesting season (May 1 through September 15) surveys for nesting birds would be conducted by a qualified wildlife biologist within three weeks of the vegetation removal for any nesting habitat within 300 feet of the area of disturbance. If active nests are located within the area, GRI would consult with BLM/Reclamation to develop appropriate protection measures for the nests. Such measures may include the establishment of buffers around the nest until the young have fledged or the nest has failed.

•To minimize impacts to migratory birds and other wildlife through habitat alteration well pads and roads would be recontoured and reseeded following completion of construction.Reseeding would not be undertaken in areas where soil conditions are inappropriate or where the adjacent undisturbed land surface has little or no vegetation, as determined in coordination with a qualified biologist.

•Topsoil would be salvaged and reused whenever possible and in a timely manner.

•During drilling, if the reserve pit contains oil‐based contaminants (such as from runoff or drilling muds) the pits would be fitted with exclusion devises such as netting or floating balls, in accordance with lease stipulations.
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•If human remains are identified during construction of any of the components of the proposed project, work within 300 feet of the discovery would be stopped and the remains would be protected from further exposure or damage. The coroner and Reclamation, NDOW, or SHPO (depending on land ownership) would be contacted.If the remains are determined to be Native American, the agencies would follow the procedures set forth in 43 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 10, Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Regulations. Procedures for handling the discovery of human remains would follow Reclamation Manual Directives and Standards LND 07‐01 (Inadvertent Discovery of Human Remains on Reclamation Lands) if remains are located on Reclamation‐managed lands. If remains are found on private land, NRS 383 would be implemented with SHPO as the lead agency
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•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.

•GRI 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.

•GRI 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 Nevada would be transported and disposed of according to applicable federal, state, and local regulations.

•GRI 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 non‐toxic drilling mud and cuttings, would be tested as required by the Nevada BWPC. If non‐toxic and as authorized by the BWPC, these materials would be spread and dried on the well site, mixed with soil and buried in the on‐site reserve pit in conformance with the applicable requirements of the BWPC,Reclamation, and the BLM. Testing results and location of buried waste would be provided to Reclamation and BLM.

•A blow‐out prevention plan and BOPE 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 and therefore 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.

 

   
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.

 

   
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•The power plant and pipeline would be painted a muted color to blend in with the existing landscape to the greatest extent feasible.
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.

 

   
BLM Sensitive 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.

 

   
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•Pipeline segments would be constructed under unpaved roads to ensure access along existing roadways.

•A Traffic Management Plan would be prepared, approved by Lyon and/or Churchill Counties, as appropriate, and would be submitted to BLM and Reclamation prior to construction. The plan would then be implemented to minimize construction and operational impacts on other land uses such as mining activities and maintenance of the various irrigation facilities in the project area.

•The location of the well pads in Section 30 have been sited in coordination with Reclamation. GRI may also undertake a gravel exploration program that would be discussed with Reclamation if GRI were to need to move the pads and pipelines. Pads and roads would be sited within areas surveyed for cultural and biological resources.

•GRI would coordinate with NDOT and Union Pacific Railroad to obtain the appropriate approvals to construct the pipeline crossing under Alt 50 and under the railroad as well as the transmission line crossing over the highway and over the railroad, if a power plant is built in Section 29.

•GRI would coordinate with Kinder Morgan prior to any ground disturbance in Section 28 to ensure that the gas pipeline is properly marked and avoided.

•GRI would coordinate with LADWP prior to constructing pipeline crossings across the corridor of the high‐voltage DC transmission line in Sections 30 and 32.

•GRI would coordinate with Reclamation and TCID for all Newlands Project feature crossings and would have a Reclamation Inspector onsite during Truckee Canal crossing construction. Crossing methods and procedures would be approved by Reclamation.
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.

 

 
Close•Fill materials would be obtained from the permitted mine located east of Black Butte, in Section 24, T20N,R26E (assigned serial number N‐86320) or purchased from commercial sources.

•GRI would coordinate with NDOT to obtain approval to construct the pipeline through the mine area in Section 32 in orderto minimize effects to the existing operations.

•During the life of the geothermalfacilities, all disturbed areas not needed for active support of production operations would undergo “interim” reclamation to minimize the environmental impacts of development on otherresources and uses
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•Any suitable topsoil would be stockpiled onsite for later use during restoration. Access roads would follow existing routes to the extent possible. In areas where new access roads must be constructed across slopes, erosion control measures would be installed as necessary, in accordance with Gold Book standards (BLM and USFS 2007).

•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.

•Additional gravel would be laid down when ground conditions are wet enough to cause rutting or other noticeable surface deformation and severe compaction.

•An NDEP Bureau of Air Pollution Control SAD permit would be obtained and the BMPs identified in the permit would be implemented.

•Vehicle travel on unpaved roads would be limited to 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.

•All new access roads would comply with the site drainage and runoff management plan to minimize erosion and off‐site sedimentation.
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•Reclamation of well pads and access roads would occur when itis determined that they would no longer be used for exploration, utilization, or any other purposes. During operations, interim reclamation would be conducted forthe well pad areas no longer needed for operation or maintenance. Allreclamation would be performed in accordance with the Gold Book (BLM and USFS 2007).

•Reclamation would be performed in accordance with lease stipulations. Reclamation would include re‐contouring of disturbed areas to blend in with the surrounding topography and use of appropriate methods to seed with a diverse perennial seed mix. The seed mix used to reclaim disturbed areas would be certified weed free. The seed mix would be developed by an experienced botanist in coordination with the BLM, Reclamation, and/or NDOW and would be based on seed availability and quality. Reseeding would not be undertaken in areas where soil conditions are inappropriate or where the adjacent undisturbed land surface has little or no vegetation, as determined in coordination with a qualified biologist and BLM and Reclamation. Native soil material and organic matter(topsoil) salvaged from the site preparation operations

would be reused as a top‐dressing on berms and other areas requiring revegetation to the extent practical.
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•Willows and roosting habitat would be avoided to the greatest extent feasible. If willows or rock outcrops have to be removed, the vegetation would be inspected by a qualified biologist for bats just prior to removal.If a bat is found, the habitat would not be removed until the bat has left the area. •Reserve pits would be appropriately fenced on three sides during active drilling and on all four sides when not in use to restrict access by people, wildlife and livestock.
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.

 

   
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•Reserve pits would be constructed to prevent seepage of testing fluids into the

underlying groundwater.

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

•BOPE would be maintained at the wellhead during drilling or work over operations to allow well shutdown if an uncontrolled flow of fluid or gas occurs.

•A cement and casing program for construction of any 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 cementing activities provide an effective seal, isolating the geothermal aquifer from shallow alluvial aquifers.

•GRI would obtain necessary permits for work in waters and/or groundwater discharge permits and would provide a Notice of Intent to NDEP prior to well pad construction.

•A hydrologic evaluation program will be implemented, which would be site specific and its intensity would be commensurate with the level of development drilling.

•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

•Site‐specific designs for use of jack and bore or horizontal directional drilling methods (e.g., entry and exit sites, subsurface profiles) would be developed based on geotechnical surveys of local soils conditions at the proposed canal crossing. These designs would be prepared to identify how entry and exit points would be sited, depths of drilling, and how inadvertent releases of drilling fluids would be contained. Jack and bore or horizontal directional drilling progress would be continuously monitored by trained personnel.

•If trenching is used to cross the laterals, the trenching would be performed when there is no water is in the laterals. BMPs would be implemented to minimize any potential for runoff or contamination of the laterals and all debris would be cleaned from the lateral after construction, before water flows in the laterals. The area of trenching would be stabilized, as appropriate, to prevent sedimentation once water begins to flow within the lateral.

•BMPs to prevent release of fuels or other construction materials would be implemented, including GRI’s Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) and Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan, which would be prepared and submitted to

the BLM and Reclamation for approval prior to construction.