Gateway West Transmission Line

From Open Energy Information


NEPA Document Collection for: Gateway West Transmission Line
EIS

Environmental Impact Statement for the Gateway West Transmission Line Project

Proposed Action

Idaho Power Company and PacifiCorp (doing business as Rocky Mountain Power), collectively known as the Proponents, applied to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for a right-of-way (ROW) grant to use the National System of Public Lands for portions of the Gateway West Transmission Line Project (Gateway West or Project) on May 7, 2007. The original application was revised in October 2007, August 2008, May 2009, and January 2010 to reflect changes and refinements in their proposed Project. This application was assigned the case file numbers of IDI-35849 for Idaho, NVN-089270 for Nevada, and WYW-174598 for Wyoming.

The Proponents propose to construct and operate approximately 1,103 miles of new 230-kilovolt (kV) and 500-kV electric transmission system consisting of 10 segments between the Windstar Substation at Glenrock, Wyoming, and the Hemingway Substation approximately 30 miles southwest of Boise, Idaho. The proposed transmission line would supplement existing transmission lines and relieve operating limitations, increase capacity, and improve reliability in the existing electric transmission grid. This would allow for the delivery of up to 3,000 megawatts (MW) of additional energy for the Proponents’ larger service areas, principally in Utah and Idaho, and to other interconnected systems. The Project includes three proposed substations, an expansion at one planned substation to be constructed for other purposes, and expansions at eight existing substations. Other associated facilities include communication systems, optical fiber regeneration stations, and substation distribution supply lines.

Conditions of Approval

Although the BLM is issued a ROW grant for Gateway West, there are a number of details concerning project design, construction, and mitigation actions that are not finalized. These include 1) the POD covering project-wide practices and requirements, 2) the PODs for specific construction spreads, and 3) final mitigation plans associated with sage-grouse, migratory birds, wetlands, and cultural resources. Issuance of the ROW grant establishes in time the Proponents’ right to use the authorized public lands to construct, operate, maintain, and eventually decommission a high-voltage electric transmission line and associated facilities. The ROW grant holders will pay rent in accordance with 43 CFR 2806 from the date the grant is issued. However, they are not permitted to use the granted areas for the proposed project until the actions listed in Section 1.7 of the ROD are completed. The BLM controls delayed project starts through the NTP process contained in 43 CFR 2807.10 and the associated BLM Manual.

Data Completion Notes

BLM Wyoming has issued a ROD for Project Segments 1-7 and 10. A Supplemental EIS is being prepared for segments 8 and 9 by BLM Idaho. SEIS released March 2016. View it here: https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/planAndProjectSite.do?methodName=dispatchToPatternPage&currentPageId=53810

More information about this process is available at: http://www.blm.gov/id/st/en/prog/nepa_register/gateway-west/Documents.html

Public comment for the Final EIS is open until June 9th, 2016.

NEPA document library for project: http://www.wy.blm.gov/nepa/cfodocs/gateway_west/documents.html

Documents

EA/EIS Report:



 

Resource Analysis

Resource Not
Present
Present,
Not
Affected
Present,
Potentially
Affected
Not
Indicated
Comment Applicant
Proposed
Mitigation
Agency
Imposed
Mitigation
Access and Transportation
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

CloseEnvironmental Protection Measures for Access/Transportation:
  • TRANS-1: A Traffic and Transportation Management Plan will be developed and implemented to provide site-specific details showing how the Project will comply with the EPMs listed in this attachment. This plan will be submitted to and approved by the appropriate federal, state, and local agencies with authority to regulate use of public roads, and approved, prior to the issuance of a Notice to Proceed with construction.
  • TRANS-2: If a construction method requires the closure of a state-or county-maintained road for more than 1 hour, a plan will be developed to accommodate traffic as required by a county or state permit.
  • TRANS-3: On county-and state-maintained roads, caution signs will be posted on roads, where appropriate, to alert motorists of construction and warn them of slow traffic. Traffic control measures such as traffic control personnel, warning signs, lights, and barriers will be used during construction to ensure safety and to minimize traffic congestion.
  • TRANS-4: To reduce traffic congestion and roadside parking hazards, an equipment yard will be provided for primary parking for employee personal vehicles.
  • TRANS-5: Unauthorized vehicles will not be allowed within the construction ROW or along roadsides near the ROW.
  • TRANS-6: Construction vehicles will follow a 25 mph speed limit on unposted project roads.
  • TRANS-7: Landowners will be notified at least 48 hours prior to the start of construction within 0.25 mile of a residence
  • TRANS-8: Emergency vehicle access to private property will be maintained.
  • TRANS-9: Roads in residential areas will be restored as soon as possible, and construction areas near residences will be fenced off at the end of the construction day.
  • TRANS-10: Roads negatively affected by construction and as identified by the agencies will be returned to pre-construction condition.
  • TRANS-11: Roads developed specifically for this project that are identified by the Proponents as no longer necessary will be reclaimed as specified in the Final Reclamation Plan. Culverts will be removed.
  • TRANS-12: The Proponents will attempt to identify existing two-track trails as preferred access roads for construction.
  • TRANS-13: Roads will be designed so proper drainage is not impaired and roads will be built to minimize soil erosion. Consult with appropriate Agencies during design stage. Access roads built for the Project on federal lands shall be closed to the public unless otherwise agreed upon with the land management agency. Signs shall indicate the restriction or regulation, location, penalty for violation, and appropriate contact information for reporting violations.

Signage and road closure measures shall be evaluated during routine visits and maintained or replaced as necessary as part of routine maintenance.

  • TRANS-14: Access roads constructed solely for use by the Proponents will be maintained by the Proponents as needed for Proponents use in accordance with the ROW grant/special use permits.
  • TRANS-15: Roads to be abandoned may be left intact through mutual agreement of the land management agency, landowner, the tenant, and the Proponents, unless located in flood areas or drainage hazard areas or otherwise restricted by federal, state, or local regulations.
  • OM-1: The Proponents will comply with the road maintenance standards of the federal or state agency controlling the land.
  • OM-2: Roads will be maintained to have crossroad drainage in order to minimize the amount of channeling or ditches needed. Water bars will be installed at all alignment changes (curves), significant grade changes, and as requested by the federal or state agency.
  • OM-3: All access road drainage structures, constructed and installed for Proponent use only, will be maintained or repaired by the Proponents during operations and maintenance (O&M) activities or emergency response.
  • OM-4: Although routine and corrective O&M is of limited duration and impact, the Proponents will attempt to adhere to specific closure periods and areas and are proposing not to conduct any routine and corrective O&M activities during the timeframes and at the locations identified in Table R-1 in Appendix R of the Plan of Development to the greatest extent practical. The appropriate federal or state agency will notify the Proponents of any spatial or temporal restrictions that are in effect for the Project area (e.g., fire restrictions).
  • OM-5: Existing improvements (fences, gates, etc.) will be repaired or replaced if they are

damaged by O&M activities, as agreed to by the parties involved.

  • OM-6: The Agencies may restrict general public access to closed federal or state roads and access roads that the Proponents maintain (Proponents will maintain access roads constructed for Proponent use only). In cases of restricted access, the Proponents will physically close the road with a gate. Gates will be locked with both a lock supplied by the Proponents and with a federal agency lock. This access management plan will be updated as necessary to reflect current road closures and gate locations.
  • OM-10: Any control method may be used for vegetation maintenance on access roads; this is typically scheduled at the same time as vegetation maintenance within the ROW. However, in cases where vegetation grows quickly, removal may occur annually. Vegetation that will not interfere with the safe operation of vehicles and equipment will be left in place.
 
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.

 

CloseEnvironmental Protection Measures for Air Quality:
  • AIR-1: Minimize idling time for diesel equipment whenever possible.
  • AIR-2: Ensure that diesel-powered construction equipment is properly tuned and maintained, and shut off when not in direct use.
  • AIR-3: Prohibit engine tampering to increase horsepower.
  • AIR-4: Reduce construction-related trips as feasible for workers and equipment, including trucks.
  • AIR-5: Dust suppression techniques will be applied, such as watering construction areas or removing dirt tracked onto a paved road as necessary to prevent safety hazards or nuisances on access roads and in construction zones near residential and commercial areas and along major highways and interstates.
 
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.

 

CloseEnvironmental Protection Measures for Cultural Resources:
  • CR-1: All work conducted in accordance with the Historic Properties Treatment Plan (HPTP) will be performed by qualified archeologists with trained assistants.
  • CR-2: An Unanticipated Discovery Plan will be included as part of the HPTP. This plan will specify what steps will be taken if a subsurface cultural resource is discovered during construction, including stopping construction in the vicinity of the find, notification of the appropriate land management agency, identification of a qualified archaeologist to conduct an evaluation of the find, and the development of an approved data recovery program or other mitigation measures.
  • CR-3: The Cultural Resource Monitoring and Mitigation Plan will include provisions for the preparation and curation of any collections from federal lands and for the preparation of a final report based on the data recovered for activities on federal lands.
  • CR-4: Literature reviews and Class III surveys will be completed for cultural resources. A literature review will be conducted on public and private lands and will cover a study area of one-half mile on either side of the proposed and alternate transmission line alignments as well as areas identified for use as staging areas and access roads. Class III surveys covering the Area of Potential Effect (APE) as specified in the Programmatic Agreement will be completed. A Class II Sample Survey was conducted that consists of an intensive pedestrian survey of 15 percent of the length of all alternatives. One-mile-long by 500-foot-wide transect strips were surveyed along the proposed and alternative routes on federal lands only, for use in detailed analysis in the EIS. This also included a detailed preliminary assessment of effects on historic trails on all lands within the APE, including existing trail condition and a visual effects assessment.
  • CR-5: If construction will adversely affect any properties listed on, or eligible for listing on, the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), mitigation will be required. Mitigation will be in accordance with the HPTP and may include, but not be limited to, one or more of the following measures: a) avoidance through the use of relocation of structures through the design process, realignment of the route, relocation of temporary workspace, or changes in the construction and/or operational design; b) the use of landscaping or other techniques that will minimize or eliminate effects on the historic setting or ambience of standing structures; and c) data recovery, which may include the systematic professional excavation of an archaeological site or the preparation of photographic and/or measured

drawings documenting standing structures.

  • CR-6: Avoidance areas will be flagged or otherwise marked prior to construction activities. Flagging or other marking will be removed once construction is completed in an area.
  • CR-7: To minimize unauthorized collecting of archaeological material or vandalism to known archaeological sites, all workers will attend mandatory training on the significance of cultural resources and the relevant federal regulations intended to protect them.
  • CR-8: If human remains are discovered, construction will be halted and the coroner will be notified and measures specified in the HPTP will be followed.
  • CR-9: On NFS lands, a management plan should be developed for each historic property nominated to the NRHP. The plan should be drafted during the nomination process. The National Heritage Strategy should be used to guide decisions on issues related to the Heritage Program.
 
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.

 

CloseEnvironmental Protection Measures for Fire Resources:
  • FIRE-1: Train all personnel about the measures to take in the event of a fire including fire dangers, locations of extinguishers and equipment, and individual responsibilities for fire prevention and suppression.
  • FIRE-2: Equip all construction equipment operating with internal combustion engines with spark arresters.
  • FIRE-3: Restrict motorized equipment, including worker transportation vehicles, to the designated and approved work limits.
  • FIRE-4: Require all motor vehicles and equipment to carry, and individuals using handheld power equipment to have, specified fire prevention equipment.
  • FIRE-5: Provide a list of equipment capable of being adapted to fighting fires to local fire protection agencies.
  • FIRE-6: Notify the appropriate fire suppression agencies of scheduled road closures.
  • FIRE-7: Prohibit burning of slash, brush, stumps, trash, explosives storage boxes, or other Project-generated debris unless authorized by the applicable land management agency.
  • FIRE-8: Designate a Fire Guard on each construction crew prior to the start of construction activities each day and provide a communications system for maintaining contact with fire control agencies.
  • FIRE-9: The Proponents shall comply with fire restrictions and/or waivers as applicable.
 
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.

 

CloseEnvironmental Protection Measures for Fisheries Resources:
  • FISH-1: On BLM-administered land, all culverts, whether temporary or permanent, must be designed to meet BLM Gold Book standards (Surface Operating Standards and Guidelines for Oil and Gas Exploration Development). On NFS lands, Forest Plan standards and guidelines shall apply.
  • FISH-2: When taking water from TES fish-bearing streams for road and facility construction and maintenance activities, intake hoses shall be screened with the most appropriate mesh size (generally 3/32 of an inch), or as determined through coordination with NMFS and/or USFWS.
  • FISH-3: All wetlands and waters in the project area are assumed to contain aquatic invasive species and all equipment contacting water will be properly disinfected. After work is complete in a waterbody, any equipment involved in construction in that waterbody must be washed to remove any propagules of aquatic invasive species and to prevent the spread of those species to other waterbodies.
  • OM-16: Routine and corrective O&M activities in streams with sensitive fish species will occur from July 1 to September 1 in an effort to minimize impact to spawning and migration activities. These activities include, but are not limited to, culvert installation and or replacement, stream bank stabilization. Fording streams at existing crossings on existing roads (e.g., dip, culvert, bridge) will occur as necessary throughout the year.
 
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.

 

CloseEnvironmental Protection Measures for Geologic Resources:
  • GEO-1: Review the final location of the preferred alternative with affected mine operators and lessees to ensure all measures are taken to protect against subsidence.
  • GEO-2: A site-specific soil analysis shall be conducted prior to construction to verify any areas identified as unstable or marginally unstable on federal lands. A site-specific geotechnical analysis shall be conducted of federal lands prior to construction to locate areas where there is landslide risk. If such areas are identified, the Proponents will develop mitigation and submit a report to the appropriate land management agency.
 
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.

 

CloseEnvironmental Protection Measures for Invasive/Nonnative Species:
  • REC-1: Proponent personnel and their contractors will be trained on noxious and invasive weed

identification to facilitate avoidance of infestations where possible or identification of new infestations.

  • REC-2: Pre-construction weed treatment would be conducted prior to the start of ground disturbing activities and at the time most appropriate for the target species.
  • REC-3: Pre-construction weed treatment would be limited to the areas that are expected to have surface disturbing

activities. The final Reclamation Plan will include a schedule showing the phased in service dates for different segments. Pre-construction weed treatment will be scheduled accordingly.

  • REC-4: Pre-construction treatment may use mechanical control, hand spraying, grazing, or herbicides. The final Reclamation Plan will discuss those options, as applicable.
  • REC-5: All herbicide applications would comply with label restrictions, federal, state and/or county regulation, the Proponents’ specifications and landowner agreements. No spraying would occur prior to notification of the applicable land management agency. On federal or state controlled lands, a herbicide use plan will be submitted prior to any herbicide application as recommended in the BLM herbicide EIS (http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/more/veg_eis.html). The herbicide use plan will include the dates and locations of application, target species, herbicide, adjuvants, and application rates and methods (e.g., spot spray vs. boom spray). No herbicide would be applied to any private property without written approval of the landowner. The final Reclamation Plan will contain a list of herbicides that may be used, target species, best time for application, application rates, and if they are approved for use on BLM-managed and NFS lands.
  • REC-6: Herbicides may be applied using a broadcast applicator mounted on a truck or all-terrain vehicle (ATV), backpack sprayers, or with hand sprayers as conditions dictate. Herbicide applications would be conducted only by licensed operators or under the supervision of a licensed operator. Where allowed, a broadcast applicator would likely be used. In areas where noxious weeds are more isolated and interspersed with desirable vegetation, noxious and invasive weeds would be targeted, thereby avoiding other plants. Preconstruction herbicide applications would not occur adjacent to known special status species or near water bodies.
  • REC-7: All areas treated would be documented using GPS technologies and included in the annual report.
  • REC-8: Areas of existing noxious weeds and invasive species will be avoided where possible.
  • REC-9: Project vehicles will arrive at the job site clean of all soil and herbaceous material.
  • REC-10: When the contractors demobilize from the job site where identified infestations of noxious weeds are present, they will use appropriate decontamination measures as defined in the final Reclamation Plan.
  • REC-11: Soil stockpiles from areas that did not have noxious weeds or invasive species present, will not be placed adjacent to populations of noxious weeds or invasive species, where practicable.
  • REC-12: Areas disturbed by Project activities are susceptible to the establishment and spread of noxious weeds. Erosion control measures identified in the SWPPP(s) would also assist in preventing the establishment of weeds on exposed soils.
  • REC-13: Project-related storage and staging yards, fly yards, and other areas that are subject to regular long-term disturbance will be kept weed-free through regular site inspections and herbicide applications, subject to the consent of the land owner.
  • REC-14: Where pre-construction surveys have identified noxious or invasive weed species infestations, topsoil and other soils will be placed next to the infested area and clearly identified as coming from an infested area. Topsoil would be returned to the area it was taken from and will not be spread in adjacent areas. If the topsoil is not suitable for backfill, then it will be spread in another previously disturbed area and clearly identified for future weed treatments as applicable.
  • REC-15: Straw or hay that may be used as a BMP to control erosion and sedimentation must be certified weed free. If certified weed-free materials are not available, then alternative BMPs will be used. The use of alternative BMPs will be coordinated with the construction storm water inspector.
  • REC-16: The topsoil layer will be removed, taking care not to mix it with the underlying sub-soil. Where topsoil separation is employed, topsoil will be stored in a separate stockpile.
  • REC-17: Certified weed-free straw, mulch, gravel, and other BMPs as appropriate, will be used as described in the SWPPP to stabilize the stockpile and limit erosion and standing water, control dust, and control the establishment of noxious or invasive weeds in stockpiled soils.
  • WEED-1: The Proponents shall consult with each appropriate local land management agency (Forest Service and BLM) office to determine appropriate seed mix and commercial seed source for revegetation. The Reclamation, Revegetation, and Weed Management Plan shall specify the approved seed mixes for federal lands. Disturbed soil will not be allowed to support the growth of noxious weeds or invasive weedy species. Prevention of noxious weeds will apply to all phases of the Project.
  • WEED-2: Weed control and prevention measures shall adhere to all agency standards and guidelines. These measures shall be developed in consultation with local, state, and federal weed agencies; all implemented measures would follow the principle of integrated weed management.
  • WEED-3: Soil stockpiles in areas containing noxious weeds and invasive plant species shall be kept separate from soil removed from areas that are free of noxious weed and invasive plant species, and the soil will be replaced in or near the original excavation. If requested by the applicable land-management agency, soil stockpiles shall be covered with plastic if the soil stockpile will be in place for two weeks or more and is not being actively used. On lands managed by the Forest Service or per private landowner request, stockpiles will not be covered with plastic.
  • OM-14: Before beginning an O&M project on federal or state land, the Proponents or their subcontractors will clean all equipment that will operate off-road or disturb the ground. Tracks, skid plates, and other parts that can trap soil and debris will be removed for cleaning when feasible, and the entire vehicle and equipment will be cleaned at an off-site location.
  • OM-15: To help limit the spread and establishment of noxious weed species in disturbed areas, desired vegetation needs to be established promptly after disturbance. The Proponents will rehabilitate significantly disturbed areas as soon as possible after ground-disturbing activities and during the optimal period. Seed and mulch will be certified “noxious weed free” and seed mix will be agreed to in advance by the landowner or land managing agency.
CloseWEED-4: Gravel and other materials used for road construction on federally managed lands shall come from certified weed-free sources.
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.

 

CloseEnvironmental Protection Measures for Land Use:
  • LU-1: Signs shall be posted at access points to access roads where public access is restricted by a land use plan, and on private, state, and Tribal lands at the request of the landowner, agency, or Tribal government. Signs shall indicate the restriction or regulation, location, penalty for violation, and appropriate contact information for reporting violations. Signage shall be maintained and replaced as part of the routine maintenance.
 
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.

 

CloseEnvironmental Protection Measures for Migratory Birds:
  • WILD-8: Flight diverters will be installed and maintained where the transmission line crosses rivers at the locations identified in Table 3.10-4. Additional locations may be identified by the Agencies or the Project Proponents. The flight diverters will be installed as directed in the Proponents’ approved Avian Protection Plans and in conformance with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) and Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (Eagle Act) as recommended in the current collision manual of APLIC.

resources, including sensitive plant and wildlife species and habitats. If a contractor is used, the construction contract will address (a) the sensitive plant species that may be present in a particular area based on previous surveys and literature review; (b) the federal and state laws regarding protection of plants and wildlife; (c) the importance of these resources; (d) the purpose and necessity of protecting them; and (e) methods for protecting sensitive resources (e.g., Endangered Species Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and BLM wildlife policy).

  • OM-21: Prior to the start of O&M activities, all supervisory personnel will be instructed on the protection of natural resources, including sensitive plant and wildlife species and habitats. If a contractor is used, the construction contract will address (a) the sensitive plant species that may be present in a particular area based on previous surveys and literature review; (b) the federal and state laws regarding protection of plants and wildlife; (c) the importance of these resources; (d) the purpose and necessity of protecting them; and (e) methods for protecting sensitive resources (e.g., Endangered Species Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and BLM wildlife policy).
 
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.

 

CloseEnvironmental Protection Measures for Noise:
  • NOISE-1: Identify and provide a public liaison person before and during construction to respond to concerns of neighboring receptors, including residents, about noise construction disturbance.
  • NOISE-2: Establish a toll-free telephone number for receiving questions or complaints during construction and develop procedures for responding to callers.
  • NOISE-3: Implement and maintain a noise complaint review process to deal with residents’ or other potential queries and complaints as they arise. Such complaints would be logged and investigated on an individual basis to facilitate resolution of the issue of concern.
  • EE-1: During final design, limit the conductor surface gradient in order to meet the IEEE Radio Noise Guideline.
 
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.

 

CloseEnvironmental Protection Measures for Paleontological Resources:
  • PALEO-1: If significant fossil materials are discovered during Project construction, all surface-disturbing activities in the vicinity of the find will cease until notification to proceed is given by the authorized officer. The site will be protected to reduce the risk of damage to fossils and context. Appropriate measures to mitigate adverse effects to significant paleontological resources will be determined by the authorized officer.
  • PALEO-2: Paleontological resources (as defined by omnibus Public Land Management Act – Paleontological Resources Preservation Section) on federally managed land shall be managed and protected using scientific principles and expertise. Appropriate plans for inventory, monitoring, and the scientific and educational use of these resources shall be developed in accordance with applicable agency laws, regulations and policies.
  • PALEO-3: Where fossil-bearing sediments are exposed by construction, the sediments must be covered with a 4-inch layer of soil where feasible to reduce unauthorized removal or disturbance of resources.
CloseEnvironmental Protection Measures for Paleontological Resources:
  • PALEO-4: To ensure compliance with the Paleontological Resources Preservation Section of the Public Land Management Act, the Proponents’ Paleontological Mitigation Plan for the Project (see PALEO-2) shall specify that:
    • Monitoring of excavation and grading in sensitive sediments, especially access roads and tower sites, must occur when construction is near or in those geologic formations.
    • Monitoring of excavations in sensitive sediments, screening the excavated spoils, and processing of bulk sediment samples for microinvertebrate fossils must occur where there is a significant potential for data recovery from those spoils.
    • Monitoring must be performed by a qualified paleontologist and in consultation with a designated paleontologist in each state, NF, or BLM district. The Authorized Officer will designate the appropriate paleontologist depending on project location.
  • PALEO-5: Field surveys will be completed prior to surface disturbance in areas with potential fossil yields of Class 3, 4, or 5, in accordance with criteria stated in the Paleontological Protection Plan and as required by the land-management agency.
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.

 

CloseEnvironmental Protection Measures for Prime or Unique Farmlands:
  • ARGI-1: Consult with the Farm Service Agency and landowners to determine how construction may affect the CRP status of the land currently enrolled in CRP.
 
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.

 

CloseEnvironmental Protection Measures for Public Health and Safety:
  • EE-2: During construction, identify objects such as fences, metal buildings, pipelines, and other metal objects within or near the proposed ROW that have the possibility for induced potentials and currents and implement electrical grounding of these objects according to the utility’s and National Electric Code standards.
  • EE-3: During final design and construction, identify areas where large equipment is anticipated and provide sufficient conductor clearance to ground to meet the NESC 5 mA rule or limit size or access of large equipment.
  • BLA-1: The Blasting Plan will identify blasting procedures including safety, use, storage, and transportation of explosives that will be employed where blasting is needed, and will specify the locations of needed blasting.
  • BLA-2: All blasting will be performed by registered licensed blasters who will be required to secure all necessary permits and comply with regulatory requirements in connection with the transportation, storage, and use of explosives, and blast vibration limits for nearby structures, utilities, wildlife, and fish (where blasting is conducted in waterbodies).
  • BLA-3: Appropriate flags, barricades, and warning signals will be used to ensure safety during blasting operations. Blast mats will be used when needed to prevent damage and injury from fly rock.
  • BLA-4: Blasting in the vicinity of pipelines will be coordinated with the pipeline operator, and will follow operator-specific procedures, as necessary.
  • BLA-5: Damages that result from blasting will be repaired or the owner fairly compensated.
  • CON-1: All construction staff will be trained on the types of contamination that could be encountered and how to respond if contamination is encountered.
 
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.

 

CloseEnvironmental Protection Measures for Soils:
  • SOIL-1: soil stabilizing emulsions) on a case-by-case basis and with landowner or land management agency approval. Specific soil amendments will be identified in the final Reclamation Plan and be consistent with the SWPPP. The Wyoming BLM State Reclamation Policy and applicable Agency management plan requirements for soil management will be followed on federal lands in the state of Wyoming.
  • SOIL-2: The Proponents will submit a Compaction Monitoring Plan for review and Agency approval prior to construction that specifies the conditions under which construction will either not start or will be shut down due to excessively wet soils. Conditions will be measurable in the field and easy to demonstrate to construction workers.
  • SOIL-3: During decommissioning, some obviously compacted areas, such as established newly constructed access roads, will require loosening prior to revegetation. If necessary to re-establish vegetation, the Proponents will use a ripper blade, till, or similar instrument to loosen the surface soil layer.
  • SOIL-4: Detrimental soil disturbance such as compaction, erosion, puddling, and displacement will be minimized through implementing measures identified in the SWPPP. Measures may include road ripping, frequent waterbars, cross-ditching (e.g., rolling dips) or other methods to reduce compaction while preventing gully formation. Ripping pattern should be altered to a crossing, diagonal, or undulating pattern of tine paths to avoid concentrated runoff patterns that can lead to gullies.
  • SOIL-5: The Proponents are responsible for monitoring to ensure soil protection is achieved, and providing a monitoring report on reseeding success and/or other methods to stabilize soils to the Forest Service by the end of each growing season for areas on NFS lands for 3 years or until requirements are met for the applicable permit.
  • SOIL-6: Reclamation of all temporary disturbances on NFS lands (such as road cuts) should include replacement of material to original contours and re-compaction to pre-disturbance compaction percentage (which should be identified during reclamation at adjacent locations to the disturbance). Guidelines for streambank re-compaction to maximize vegetative regrowth and mechanical stability are covered in USACE publication ERDC TN-EMRRP-SR-26 (Goldsmith et al. 2001).
  • SOIL-7: In order to meet Forest Plan Soil Standards on NFS lands, the Reclamation and Revegetation Plan (approved by the Forest Service) will describe on-site restoration using topsoil salvaging.
  • REC-18: Topsoil and sub-surface soils will be replaced in the proper order during reclamation.
  • REC-19: Where it is necessary to spread soils (subsurface soils or waste rock resulting from excavations or foundation drilling), it will be done where practicable and in proximity to where the disturbance occurred (within the ROW). Material will be spread uniformly to match existing contours and covered with topsoil when available and reseeded.
  • REC-20: Temporarily disturbed lands within the ROW will be re-contoured to blend with the surrounding landscape. Re-contouring will emphasize restoration of the existing drainage patterns and landform to pre-construction conditions, to the extent practicable. (Tower pads would not be recontoured.)
  • REC-21: De-compaction: Areas within the ROW, laydown or staging yards, and other areas of extensive vehicle travel will typically contain compacted soils. These soils will be decompacted on a case-by-case basis through negotiation with the landowner or land management agency.
  • REC-23: The Companies will utilize soil amendments (e.g., fertilizer, wood or straw mulches, tackifying agents, or soil stabilizing emulsions) on a case-by-case basis and with landowner or land management agency approval. Specific soil amendments will be identified in the Final Reclamation Plan and be consistent with the SWPPPS.
 
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.

Plant Species

CloseEnvironmental Protection Measures for Threatened and Endangered Plant Species:
  • TESPL-1: Blowout Penstemon – Surface disturbance will be allowed in suitable habitat where species-specific surveys have determined that no populations are present. The species specific surveys will be conducted the year prior to construction, and the proposed disturbance areas will be redesigned to avoid direct impact to populations.
  • TESPL-2: Colorado Butterfly Plant – Surface disturbance will be allowed in suitable habitat where species specific

surveys have determined that no populations are present. The species-specific surveys will be conducted the year prior to construction, and the proposed disturbance areas will be redesigned to avoid direct impact to populations.

  • TESPL-3: Qualified botanists shall conduct preconstruction surveys during a season when target species

are readily identifiable for special status or globally rare species. Where feasible, micrositing of project facilities shall avoid direct impacts to identified populations. Survey reports documenting the surveys, their results, and recommendations must be provided to land management agency for approval prior to construction. Agency botanists may evaluate individual sites based on site specific conditions. Documentation of the evaluation of avoidance of impacts to sensitive and globally rare plants must be provided to the Agencies prior to construction.

  • TESPL-4: Slickspot Peppergrass – Environmental monitors will survey for and mark slickspots and aboveground populations of slickspot peppergrass within 50 feet of the construction area prior to ground disturbance (including roads) in potential or occupied slickspot peppergrass habitat. No construction shall occur within 50 feet of any slickspot peppergrass plants or slickspots found by the environmental monitor. Also, construction shall not occur within 50 feet of previously known occupied slickspot peppergrass areas, based on Idaho CDC data, even if aboveground plants are not observed by the environmental monitor. Within proposed critical habitat, impacts to

Primary Constituent Elements, such as native sagebrush/forb vegetation, will be avoided to the extent practicable. Seeding during reclamation in areas of suitable habitat will use methods that minimize soil disturbance such as no-till drills or rangeland drills with depth bands. Reclamation will use certified weed-free native seed. Excess soils will not be stored or spread on slickspots.

  • TESPL-5: Sand dune and cushion plant communities should be avoided, where feasible.
  • TESPL-6: Goose Creek Milkvetch – Surface disturbance will be allowed in suitable habitat for Goose Creek milkvetch where species-specific surveys have determined that no populations are present. The species-specific surveys will be conducted the year prior to construction, and the proposed disturbance areas will be redesigned to avoid direct impacts to populations.
  • TESPLE-7: Ute Ladies’-tresses – Qualified botanists shall conduct preconstruction surveys during a season when target species are readily identifiable for special status or globally rare species. Where feasible, micrositing of project facilities shall avoid direct impacts to identified populations. Survey reports documenting the surveys, their results, and recommendations must be provided to land management agency for approval prior to construction. Agency botanists may evaluate individual sites based on site-specific conditions. Documentation of the evaluation of avoidance of impacts to sensitive and globally rare plants must be provided to the Agencies prior to construction.
  • OM-21: Prior to the start of O&M activities, all supervisory personnel will be instructed on the protection of natural resources, including sensitive plant and wildlife species and habitats. If a contractor is used, the construction contract will address (a) the sensitive plant species that may be present in a particular area based on previous surveys and literature review; (b) the federal and state laws regarding protection of plants and wildlife; (c) the importance of these resources; (d) the purpose and necessity of protecting them; and (e) methods for protecting sensitive resources (e.g., Endangered Species Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and BLM wildlife policy).
 
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.

Wildlife Species

CloseEnvironmental Protection Measures for Threatened and Endangered Wildlife Species:
  • TESWL-1: H-frame structures will be equipped with anti-perch devices to reduce raven and raptor use, and limit predation opportunities on special status prey species on federally managed lands.
  • TESWL-2: In the event that an ESA listed species not covered by the Biological Opinion (BO) is discovered during surveys, construction will cease, the USFWS will be notified, and Section 7 consultation will be initiated. In addition, the transmission line or structures will be relocated to minimize direct impacts to newly discovered ESA species, to the extent practical.
  • TESWL-3: Black-footed Ferret – Pre-construction surveys will be conducted for the black-tailed prairie dog (in addition to those already proposed for the white-tailed prairie dog) in Segment 1W.
  • TESWL-4: The Environmental Construction Inspection Contractor (CIC), an agency biologist, or agency designee will accompany the Construction Contractor site engineers during the final engineering design or prior to ground-disturbing activities to verify and flag the location of any known occupied structures (e.g., nests, burrows, colonies) utilized by sensitive species. This will include, but not be limited to, artificial burrows that have been constructed as part of research/restoration efforts, prairie dog colonies, and raptor nests, which could be impacted by the Project based on the indicative engineering design. The final engineering design will be “microsited” (routed) to avoid direct impact to these occupied structures to the extent practical within engineering standards and constraints
  • TESWL-5: Grouse Species – Proponents will provide the Agencies a list of the protocols that the Proponents will use during greater sage-grouse and sharp-tailed grouse pre-construction surveys. The Agencies will either approve these protocols, or suggest alternative protocols to be used.
  • TESWL-6: Sharp-tailed Grouse – In areas where sharp-tailed grouse leks occur in proximity to greater sage-grouse

leks, surface disturbance will be avoided within 4 miles of occupied or undetermined greater sage-grouse leks from March 1 to July 15. In areas where sharp-tailed grouse leks occur in isolation from greater sage-grouse leks, surface disturbance will be avoided within 1.2 miles of occupied or undetermined sharp-tailed grouse leks from March 15 to July 15.

  • TESWL-7: Yellow-billed cuckoo - A pre-construction survey for the yellow-billed cuckoo will be conducted at any proposed crossing of suitable habitat. If these birds are detected within 1 mile of the centerline (within existing habitat), construction will not occur until the young have fledged or the nest is abandoned. The crossing-specific plan will contain proposed monitoring measures to assure compliance with this measure.
  • TESWL-8: Sage-Grouse – On federal lands, there will be no surface occupancy (NSO) within 0.6 mile of the perimeter (or centroid if the perimeter has not been mapped) of occupied greater sage-grouse leks located within Core areas in Wyoming, and NSO within 0.25 mile in non-Core areas (as required by BLM IM WY-2012-19 and BLM land management plans).“No surface occupancy,” as used here, means no new surface facilities, including roads, will be placed within the NSO area. Other activities (i.e., non-surface occupancy) may be authorized, with the application of appropriate seasonal stipulations, provided the resource’s protected area is not adversely affected.
  • TESWL-9: Sage-Grouse – On federal lands, surface disturbance will be avoided within 4 miles of occupied or undetermined greater sage-grouse leks from March 1 to July 15. This distance (i.e., 4 miles) may be reduced on a case-by-case basis by the applicable agency, if site-specific conditions would allow the Project to be located closer to the lek than 4 miles (e.g., topography prevents the Project from being visible from the lek, or a major disturbance such as a freeway or existing transmission line is located between the Project and the lek).
  • TESWL-10: Sage-Grouse – If Winter Concentration Areas for the greater sage-grouse are designated, there will be no surface disturbances within the designated areas from November 1 through March 15.
  • TESWL-11: Sage-Grouse – No structures that require guy wires will be used in occupied sagebrush obligate habitats within the area managed under the Kemmerer RMP.
  • TESWL-12: Colorado River T&E Fishes – A payment of a one-time fee, based on a fee schedule provided by the USFWS, will be made based on the amount of water used during construction of any segments that cross the Colorado River system.
  • TESWL-13: Midget faded rattlesnake – Preconstruction surveys for occupied or potential midget faded rattlesnake hibernacula (i.e., rock outcrops with south to east aspect) will be conducted. The Proponents shall prepare a plan identifying measures to reduce impacts to midget faded rattlesnake if they are discovered. This plan shall require approval by BLM and the WGFD prior to its implementation.
  • TESWL-14: For the protection of aquatic and riparian/wetland dependent species, surface disturbing and disruptive activities will be avoided in the following areas: 1) identified 100-year floodplains; 2) areas within 500 feet of perennial waters, springs, wells, and wetlands; and 3) areas within 100 feet of the inner gorge of ephemeral channels on federally managed lands. Where it is not possible to avoid wetland and riparian habitat, crossing-specific plans will be developed. These plans will: 1) demonstrate that vegetation removal is minimized; 2) show how sediment would be controlled during construction and operation within wetland and riparian areas; 3) attempt to intersect the wetland or riparian habitat at its edge; and 4) provide measures to restore habitat and ensure conservation of riparian microclimates. This plan will be submitted to the appropriate land management agency and approved prior to construction of any portion of the Project within sensitive riparian habitat.
  • TESWL-15: Anti-perch devices will be required on power poles located within one-quarter mile of prairie dog towns within the BLM’s Rawlins Field Office.
  • TESWL-16: Sage-Grouse – If the Kemmerer RMP is amended to allow Proposed Route 4 or Alternatives 4C or 4E to be selected, existing fences within 1 mile of the portion of the Gateway West Project located on lands managed by the Kemmerer RMP will be modified with FireFly Grouse Flight diverters (or a similar product) in order to prevent greater sage-grouse mortalities. Additional site-specific reclamation, such as transplanting sagebrush seedlings within previous disturbed habitats, will also be required to off-set the net loss of sagebrush habitats within the Rock Creek/Tunp management area.
 
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.

 

CloseEnvironmental Protection Measures for Vegetation:
  • VEG-1: During construction, blading of native plant communities should be minimized, consistent with safe construction practices. Where feasible, shrubs should be cut at or near ground level to facilitate re-growth after construction. The footprint of construction and operations facilities should be kept to the minimum necessary.
  • VEG-2: Where feasible, locate new access roads to minimize the number of trees removed during construction. However, new access roads will not be relocated if the change would result in an increase in the overall disturbance (acres); require additional cut and fill activities, or impact other sensitive resources (e.g., sagebrush plant community, sensitive species habitat, and/or cultural resources or viewshed).
  • VEG-3: In areas where revegetation would be completed, topsoil salvage and replacement should be used for all areas of cut or fill areas and for areas larger than 1 acre where soils would be disturbed during construction.
  • VEG-4: Prior to the start of construction and maintenance activities, all contractor vehicles and equipment (including personal protective equipment) will be cleaned of soil and debris capable of transporting invasive plant seeds or other propagules. All vehicles and equipment will be inspected by Agency-approved inspectors and certified as weed free by agency approved personnel, in order to ensure they have been cleaned properly. The final Reclamation and Noxious Weed Plans will include the location of all cleaning stations, how materials cleaned from vehicles at these stations will be either captured or treated so that cleaning station locations would not also become infected, and who would confirm/certify that vehicles leaving cleaning stations and/or entering construction sites are free of invasive plant materials.
  • VEG-5: The Agency-approved Environmental CIC will approve weed-free straw or other erosion control materials on federally managed lands prior to application.
  • VEG-6: The Proponents will consult with the appropriate land management agency to determine tree seedlings to be planted in decommissioned roadbeds and other temporarily disturbed areas on federally managed lands (where trees were removed) to assure seedlings are matched to site conditions.
  • VEG-7: The Proponents will notify the Forest Service when topsoil salvage operations are scheduled and seek assistance with field identification of top soil material.
  • VEG-8: Annual post-construction monitoring and treatment of invasive plants on closed roads (access roads dedicated for use by Proponents only), temporary roads, fly yards, and other disturbed areas in the ROW shall continue for 3 years in areas where infestations or populations of noxious weeds have been identified. If after 3 years post-construction conditions are not equivalent to or better than pre-construction conditions (in accordance with applicable permit), monitoring and treatment will continue until these conditions are met. If adjacent land uses are contributing to the introduction and/or persistence of invasive plant species within areas disturbed by the project, then Proponents will not be required to treat noxious weeds for more than three years.
  • VEG-9: The Proponents will meet the terms and stipulations within the timber sale contracts for timber removal operations on the Medicine Bow-Routt, Caribou-Targhee, and Sawtooth NFs.
  • G-2: Forest Plan Standards and Guidelines (as amended) will apply on National Forest System (NFS) lands.
  • REC-24: Broadcast seeding will apply the seed directly on the ground surface. The type of broadcast spreader will depend on the size of the area to be seeded, and the terrain. Seed will be placed in direct contact with the soil, ideally at a depth of approximately 0.5 to 1-inch deep. It will then be covered by raking or dragging a chain or harrow over the seed bed; to remove air pockets.
  • REC-25: Drill seeding would be used on areas of sufficient size with moderate or favorable terrain to accommodate mechanical equipment. Drill seeding provides the advantage of planting the seed at a uniform depth.
  • REC-26: Hydroseeding, which is the spraying of seeds and water onto the ground surface, or hydroseeding/hydromulching, which is the spraying of seeds, mulch and water, may be implemented on steeper slopes. Tackifier may be added to facilitate adherence of hydromulch to slopes greater than 25 percent.
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  • VEG-10: All timber and other vegetative resources to be sold or removed from federal lands will be appraised and sold at the appraised value.
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.

Operation and Maintenance Environmental Protection Measures

CloseEnvironmental Protection Measures for Vegetation:
  • OM-9: Ground-disturbing and vegetation management activities will comply with all Agency-wide, regional, and state BMPs. Where possible, low-growing vegetation and small tree species within the ROW that will not grow into the minimum required clearance distance will be left in place; trees may be removed on a subsequent maintenance cycle as they increase in size. Hazard trees are typically those trees or snags within or adjacent to the ROW that are likely to interfere with or fall into transmission lines or associated facilities. Hazard trees and other “hot spots” (high priority areas requiring vegetation management actions) are identified during routine line inspections and removed annually. In addition to hazard trees, other critical conditions that may require immediate attention include trees that interfere with transmission conductors and trees whose growth will not allow safe clearance until the next scheduled maintenance cycle.
  • OM-11: Slash will be lopped and scattered throughout the surrounding land. Stumps resulting from vegetation treatments will not be over 1 foot tall (unless the tree is not able to be safely cut at or below one foot from the ground surface), and lopped slash will be left as close to the ground as possible. Lopped slash will be a maximum of 18 inches in length for small trees and limb wood. If the federal land managing agency determines that fuel levels are unacceptable, they shall notify the Proponents and develop a mutually agreed upon method to reduce fuels. This may include, but is not limited to, chipping.
  • OM-12: Hazard trees will be felled in a direction away from the ROW. Slash and limbs that fall within the ROW will be treated as described above; boles of trees greater than 8 inches will be left in place.
  • OM-13: Any chemical control will be done in accordance with any applicable local, state, and federal rules and regulations. Herbicides or other chemical control will be selected from the BLM and Forest Service’s list of previously approved herbicides and in accordance with any herbicide plans. If the federal land managing agency determines that a previously approved herbicide and/or plan is unacceptable, they shall notify the Proponents.
  • OM-17: Woody vegetation management within 50 feet of streams will be conducted by hand crews.
  • OM-18: Herbaceous plants and low-growing shrubs will be left in place if they do not interfere with the safe O&M of *OM-22: Project lines and equipment as described in Table R-2 in Appendix R of the Plan of Development. Sensitive plant populations that occur within or near the ROW and work areas will be marked on the ground, where practical, to ensure that they are avoided. If species are discovered during the work, the Proponents will establish a spatial buffer zone, will contact the appropriate Agency within 24 hours, and will continue with the O&M activities outside of the established buffer unless otherwise directed. The Agency may evaluate the adequacy of the buffer on a case-by-case basis. Unless the Proponents are informed otherwise, work outside of the buffer area will continue. If the Proponents need to work within the buffer area, the Agencies and Proponents will work together to develop a solution that is acceptable to both parties and will allow for the Proponents to complete the work in a timely manner or within the scheduled outage window, if applicable. After the project is complete or no longer poses a threat to the plant population, the marking (stakes), if used, will be promptly removed to protect the site’s significance and location

from unwanted attention. As needed, marking will be reinstated during the land rehabilitation period.

  • OM-24: The Proponents will provide crews and contractors with maps showing avoidance areas; these maps will include work zones as well as ROW areas where overland travel will be avoided.
  • OM-25: In the event any sensitive plants require relocation, permission will be obtained from the federal agency. If avoidance or relocation is not practical, the topsoil surrounding the plants will be salvaged, stored separately from subsoil, and respread during the restoration process.
 
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.

 

CloseEnvironmental Protection Measures for Visual Resources:
  • VIS-1: The 500-kV transmission line lattice steel towers will be specified to have a dull galvanized finish. The proposed surface finish is a galvanized finish, treated after the initial galvanizing process to produce a dulled finish to reduce surface reflectivity. This process results in an installed tower with more visual absorption and thus allows the

towers to blend in better with the landscape.

  • VIS-2: The three subconductor (500-kV) and two subconductor (230-kV) that make up the conductor bundles would be specified to have a non–specular finish. Similar to the dulled finish of the transmission structures, the conductors reduce surface reflectivity. This process results in eliminating the shiny ribbon effect often seen in older untreated transmission lines and thus allows the conductors to blend in better with the landscape.
  • VIS-3: The proposed 230-kV transmission lines between Windstar and Aeolus would use a steel H-frame structure configuration similar to the existing 230-kV in the same general location. The steel pole H-frame would utilize self-weathering steel. Self-weathering steel is manufactured from a group of steel alloys that were developed to eliminate the need for painting. This type of steel alloy forms a stable rust-like appearance if exposed to the weather for several years. In areas where the 230-kV structures are skylined, dull galvanized steel will be considered to minimize visual impacts. Dulled galvanized steel has a galvanized finish, treated after the initial galvanizing process to produce a dulled finish to reduce surface reflectivity. This process results in an installed tower with more visual absorption and thus allows the towers to blend in better with the terrain, while at the same time preserving the corrosion resistant properties of the galvanized coating on the steel.
  • VIS-4: No paint or permanent discoloring agents would be applied to rocks or vegetation to indicate limits of survey or construction activity except as required under the timber sale contracts.
  • VIS-5: To minimize ground disturbance and/or reduce scarring (visual contrast) of the landscape, the alignment of any new access roads or cross-country routes will follow the landform contours where practicable, providing that such alignment does not impact resource values additionally or result in new impacts to resources that were previously avoided.
  • VIS-6: To minimize sensitive feature disturbance and/or visual contrast in designated areas on federal lands, structures will be placed so as to avoid sensitive features such as, but not limited to, riparian areas, water courses and cultural sites and/or to allow conductors to clearly span the features, within the limits of standard tower design. Where conflicts arise between resources, the applicable land manager will be consulted.
  • VIS-7: To reduce visual impacts on federal land, including potential impacts on recreation values and safety, towers will be placed at the maximum feasible distance from the highway, canyon and trail crossings within limits of standard design and to the extent practical.
  • VIS-8: Crossings of rivers shall be at approximately right angles where practical. Strategic placement of structures will be done both as a means to screen views of the transmission line and rights-of-way and to minimize the need for vegetative clearing.
  • VIS-9: Insulators will be made of materials that have reduced potential to reflect and refract light. Glass insulators that are highly reflective will not be permitted in scenic areas on federally managed lands.
  • VIS-10: For segments of the line 1) within the 0- to 0.5-mile zone of Interstate highways where existing lines of the same voltage are paralleled and 2) within the 0- to 0.5-mile zone of residences where existing lines of the same voltage are paralleled, new towers will be located adjacent to existing towers, within the limits of standard transmission line design and considering the ruling span length of adjacent proposed and existing lines.
  • VIS-11: Site-specific “micrositing,” within the limits of standard engineering design, will be required near certain sensitive areas, as identified by the agencies, where proposed transmission facilities would impact visual quality; these situations include:
    • Crossings over major highways;
    • Crossings of high quality historic trails;
    • Crossings over the North Platte and Snake Rivers;
    • Sensitive travel ways, use areas, residential areas, recreational facilities as identified by the agencies (including national recreation and scenic trails, campgrounds, recreation areas, and trailheads), and other areas identified by management plans; and
    • To avoid bisecting forest patches within the Sawtooth NF
  • VIS-12: The Proponents will consult with the applicable local land management agency during transmission line design. The lighting specified for the marshaling yards will be the minimum required to meet safety and security standards. All light fixtures within 1,000 feet of a residence will be hooded to eliminate any potential for glare and to prevent light from spilling off the site or up into the sky. Additionally, the fixtures will have sensors and switches to permit the lighting to be turned off at times when it is not required.
  • VIS-13: To reduce visual contrast in areas where overstory vegetation is removed for access, tower pads, or conductor clearance, specific sections of the right-of-way on federal land will have uneven edges (trees will be removed from the edge of the right-of-way out or away from the right-of-way boundary) to give a natural appearance, where not in conflict with regulatory requirements (e.g., NERC, WECC, and Occupational Safety and Health

Administration requirements). This will be a onetime application and conducted with agency approval.

  • VIS-14: To mitigate potential visual impacts on federal land, the construction and maintenance plan to be developed by the Proponents will include measures to reduce ROW scarring and enhance restoration. The plan will be approved by the land management agency prior to ground clearing and construction.
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  • VIS-15: If Alternative 7K is selected, Natina stain (or an equivalent product) will be applied to towers (including lattice towers) placed on NFS lands within the Sawtooth NF to reduce visual effects at the middleground level.
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.

 

CloseEnvironmental Protection Measures for Wastes Hazardous or Solid:
  • REC-22: Final Cleanup: Final cleanup will ensure that all construction areas are free of any construction debris including but not limited to: assembly scrap metals, oil or other petroleum-based liquids, construction wood debris, and worker-generated litter. Permanent erosion control devices will be left in place.
 
Water 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.

 

CloseEnvironmental Protection Measures for Water Quality:
  • WQA-1: The appropriate NPDES permits for construction activities that disturb one acre or more of land will be obtained from the Department of Environmental Quality and USEPA or their designees.
  • WQA-2: NPDES permit requirements will be met. This includes implementing and maintaining appropriate BMPs for minimizing impacts to surface water. One or more responsible persons will be designated to manage stormwater issues, conduct the required stormwater inspections, and maintain the appropriate records to document compliance with the terms of the NPDES permit.
  • WQA-3: One or more responsible persons will be designated to manage stormwater issues, conduct the required stormwater inspections, and maintain the appropriate records to document compliance with the terms of the NPDES permit.
  • WQA-4: The SWPPPs will be modified as necessary to account for changing construction conditions.
  • WQA-5: The SWPPPs will identify areas with critical erosion conditions that may require special construction activities or additional BMPs to minimize soil erosion.
  • WQA-6: Stormwater BMPs will be maintained on all disturbed lands during construction activities, as described in the SWPPP.
  • WQA-7: Approved sediment and erosion control BMPs will be installed and maintained until disturbed areas meet final stabilization criteria.
  • WQA-8: Temporary BMPs will be used to control erosion and sediment at staging areas (equipment storage yards, fly yards, lay down areas) and substations.
  • WQA-9: The construction schedule may be modified to minimize construction activities in rain-soaked or muddy conditions.
  • WQA-10: Damaged temporary erosion and sediment control structures will be repaired in accordance with the SWPPP.
  • WQA-11: Upon completion of construction, permanent erosion and sediment BMPs will be installed along the transmission line within the ROW, at substations, and at related facilities in accordance with the SWPPPs.
  • WQA-12: In areas of droughty soils, the soil surfaces will be mulched and stabilized to minimize wind erosion and to conserve soil moisture in accordance with the SWPPPs.
  • WQA-13: Construction industry standard practices and BMPs will be used for spill prevention and containment.
  • WQA-14: Construction spills will be promptly cleaned up and contaminated materials hauled to a disposal site that meets local jurisdictional requirements.
  • WQA-15: All staging areas will contain fueling areas with containment. Where fueling must be conducted along the ROW, the plan will specify BMPs.
  • WQA-16: If an upland spill occurs during construction, berms will be constructed with available equipment to physically contain the spill. Absorbent materials will be applied to the spill area. Contaminated materials will be excavated and temporarily placed on and covered by plastic sheeting in a containment area a minimum of 100 feet away from any wetland or waterbody, until proper disposal is arranged.
  • WQA-17: If a spill occurs which is beyond the capability of on-site equipment and personnel, an Emergency Response Contractor will be identified and available to further contain and clean up the spill.
  • WQA-18: For spills in standing water, floating booms, skimmer pumps, and holding tanks will be used as appropriate by the contractor to recover and contain released materials on the surface of the water.
  • WQA-19: If pre-existing contamination is encountered during operations, work will be suspended in the area of the suspected contamination until the type and extent of the contamination is determined. The type and extent of contamination; the responsible party; and local, state, and federal regulations will determine the appropriate cleanup method(s) for these areas.
  • WQA-20: The SPCC Plan will include details on the types and quantities of absorbent and protective materials (e.g., visqueen, booms) that must be readily available to construction personnel and requirements for the restocking of materials.
  • WQA-21: Materials such as fuels, other petroleum products, chemicals, and hazardous materials including wastes will be located in upland areas at least 500 feet away from streams, 400 feet for public wells, and 200 feet from private wells.
  • WQA-22: Pumps and temporary fuel tanks for the pumps will be stored in secondary containment. Containment will provide a minimum volume equal to 110 percent of the volume of the largest storage vessel located in the yard.
  • WQA-23: Avoid placement of road bed material in channels (perennial, intermittent or ephemeral). Road bed material contains considerable fines that would create sedimentation in coarse cobble dominated stream channels. Even in seasonally dry reaches those fines could be transported during flow periods and negatively impact fish spawning reaches below.
  • WQA-24: On federal lands, consult with appropriate land management agency staff prior to siting and design for stream crossings (location, alignment, and approach for culvert, drive-through, and ford crossings). This may include a hydrologist, engineer and, for perennial and many intermittent streams, an aquatic biologist.
  • WQA-25: All culverts on NFS lands, both permanent and temporary, shall be designed and installed to meet desired conditions for riparian and aquatic species as identified in the applicable Forest Plan. Culverts should not be hydraulically controlled. Hydraulically controlled culverts create passage problems for aquatic organisms. Culvert slope should not exceed stream gradient and should be designed and implemented (typically by partial burial in the streambed) to maintain streambed material in the culvert.
  • WQA-26: Culvert sizing on NFS lands should also comply with Guidance for Aquatic Species Passage Design, Forest Service Northern Region & Intermountain Region (Forest Service 2003f).
  • WQA-27: On non-federal lands, culvert placement should comply with state BMPs.
  • WQA-28: Migration of construction-related sediment to all adjacent surface waterbodies will be prevented.
  • WQA-29: If the Project proposes to obtain water from wells or surface water sources to suppress dust, written approval from the landowner or regulatory agency will be obtained prior to appropriation.
  • OM-19: The Proponents will use existing stream crossings or new, permanent crossings that were approved as part of the Project, and will not create additional crossings without prior agency permitting and approval.
  • OM-20: Only herbicides approved by the land managing agency as safe to use in aquatic environments and reviewed by the Proponents for effectiveness will be used within 100 feet of sensitive aquatic resources.
 
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.

 

CloseEnvironmental Protection Measures for Wetlands and Riparian Zones:
  • WET-1: Impacts on wetland and riparian areas will be avoided unless physically or economically infeasible or where activities are permitted. Land management agencies’ plans (RMPs, MFPs, and Forest Plans) that have standards, guidelines, stipulations, or avoidance buffers will be adhered to. Where these do not exist, Inland Fish Strategy (INFISH) buffers will be followed,
  • WET-2: Wetland delineations will be performed prior to construction to support CWA Section 404 permitting and to minimize Project impacts. The delineation will identify both wetland and non-wetland waters of the United States that would be affected by the Project.
  • WET-3: Where impacts on wetlands are not avoidable, site-specific crossing plans and measures to mitigate impacts will be submitted to the appropriate regulatory agency, as well as the land managing agency. The Proponents will obtain all necessary permits prior to discharging dredged or fill material to waters of the U.S. and state.
  • WET-4: To meet USACE requirements for CWA 404 permitting, the Proponents will submit a mitigation plan that is accepted by the USACE. The framework for this plan is included in the Final EIS.
 
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.

 

CloseEnvironmental Protection Measures for Wildlife Resources:
  • WILD-1: Requests for exceptions from closure periods and areas will be submitted by the Proponents to the appropriate BLM Field Office in which the exception is requested through the Environmental CIC. Established exception processes on BLM-managed lands will be followed. The agency, the CIC, or a contractor chosen by the Proponents and approved by the agency will conduct any surveys and coordinate with any other agencies as necessary. Factors considered in granting the exception include animal conditions, climate and weather conditions, habitat conditions and availability, spatial considerations (e.g., travel routes and landscape connectivity), breeding activity levels, incubation or nestling stage, and timing, intensity, and duration of the Proposed action. Requests will be submitted in writing no more than 2 weeks prior to the proposed commencement of the construction period, to ensure that conditions during construction are consistent with those evaluated. The authorized officer, on a case-by-case basis, may grant exceptions to seasonal stipulations, and has the authority to cancel this exception at any time. A good faith effort will be made to act on exceptions within 5 business days of receiving a request to allow for orderly` construction mobilization. The CIC will conduct any required site visit and report the status to BLM for consideration of the decision to accept or deny the request. There is no exception process for NFS lands; all closure periods will be adhered to. Any proposed modifications to closure periods will be discussed on a case-by-case basis with the Forest Service.
  • WILD-2: See TRANS-6 for vehicular speeds on all lands. Crew and vehicle travel will be restricted to designated routes while on federally designated big game winter range (except for areas within the ROW).
  • WILD-3: The Project will be designed and constructed in compliance with Avian Power Line Interaction Committee (APLIC) standards (APLIC 2006, 2012) in order to reduce impacts to avian species. Any changes to the Project’s design, as requested by federal, state, or local jurisdictions, as well as any changes considered by the Proponents, will also be in compliance with APLIC guidance.
  • WILD-4: Pre-construction pedestrian or aerial nest surveys will be conducted in suitable habitat during the appropriate nesting time periods needed to identify new raptor nest locations, and to establish the status of previously identified raptor nests. Appropriate buffers will be applied to active nests during construction. All encounters of nesting raptors in the Analysis Area will be reported to the biological monitor and to appropriate agencies.
  • WILD-5: Surveys will be conducted along the route across the Caribou-Targhee NF prior to construction for caves, abandoned mines, and adits. If suitable bat roosts are identified, the Proponents will consult with the Forest Service to determine appropriate protective measures.
  • WILD-6: Guy wires will be marked with bird deterrent devices on federal lands to avoid avian collisions with structures, as directed by local land manager.
  • WILD-8: Pre-construction pedestrian or aerial surveys will be completed during appropriate nesting time periods, needed to identify each raptor species. The Proponents will provide survey results to the authorized officer for approval. (See WILD-1)
  • WILD-9: To the extent feasible, all vegetation clearing will be conducted to avoid the avian

breeding season (generally April 15 through July 31, depending on local conditions and federal land management plan requirements) in order to minimize impacts to migratory birds. Where this is not feasible, pre-construction surveys within the disturbance footprint shall be conducted within seven days prior to clearing. If an active nest (containing eggs or young) of a bird species protected under the MBTA is found during either preconstruction surveys or construction activities, the nest will be identified to species, inconspicuously marked, and left in place until any young have fledged before the vegetation is removed.

  • WILD-10: Snags will be maintained to the extent practical and where it does not conflict with the

Proponents vegetation management specifications along the outer portions of the Project’s ROW in order to reduce the impacts to habitat for cavity nesters.

  • WILD-11: Any areas that may require blasting will be identified and a blasting plan will be submitted

to the appropriate agency for approval. Blasting within 0.25 mile of a known sensitive wildlife resource will require review and approval by the appropriate agency.

  • G-4: All wildlife and plant surveys/pre-construction surveys will be considered as “casual use” activities and will not be restricted or prevented to occur due to overlapping season and temporal restrictions.
  • OM-21: Prior to the start of O&M activities, all supervisory personnel will be instructed on the protection of natural resources, including sensitive plant and wildlife species and habitats. If a contractor is used, the construction contract will address (a) the sensitive plant species that may be present in a particular area based on previous surveys and literature review; (b) the federal and state laws regarding protection of plants and wildlife; (c) the importance of these resources; (d) the purpose and necessity of protecting them; and (e) methods for protecting sensitive resources (e.g., Endangered Species Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and BLM wildlife policy).
  • OM-23: If sensitive wildlife species are discovered during O&M activities, and the animals are not directly within ground disturbance areas, they will be protected by marking the edges of the ROW and new access roads in the general vicinity to ensure that workers do not leave those areas. If the animals are within work areas that have, or will have, ground disturbance, the Proponents will establish an appropriate buffer zone and will contact the federal or state land manager immediately. The federal or state agency may evaluate the adequacy of the buffer on a case by case basis. Unless the Proponents are informed otherwise, work outside of the buffer area will continue. If the Proponents need to work within the buffer area, the Agencies and Proponents will work together to develop a solution that is acceptable to both parties and will allow for the Proponents to complete the work in a timely manner or within the scheduled outage window, if applicable. After the O&M activities are completed, or no longer pose a threat to the species, the marking (stakes) will promptly be removed to protect the site’s significance and location from unwanted attention. As needed, marking will be reinstated during the land rehabilitation period.
  • OM-26: If sensitive wildlife species are killed or injured due to O&M activities, the appropriate federal agency will be notified.
  • OM-27: All on-site personnel will be made aware that all birds of prey are protected by federal and state laws.
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  • WILD-12: The Proponents will annually document the presence and location of large stick nests on any towers constructed as a result of this Project. Nests will be categorized to species or species group (raptors or ravens), to the extent possible. This would begin following the first year of construction through year 10 of operations. Results would be provided annually to the applicable land-management agency and to the USFWS.