NV-020-07-EA-01

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NEPA Document Collection for: NV-020-07-EA-01
EA at Jersey Valley Geothermal Area for Geothermal/Well Field, Geothermal/Exploration,

EA for Observation Wells at Jersey Valley Geothermal Exploration Project for Geothermal/Well Field, Geothermal/Exploration

General NEPA Document Info
Energy Sector Geothermal energy

Environmental
Analysis Type

EA

Applicant

Ormat Technologies Inc
Consultant Environmental Management Associates

Geothermal Area

Jersey Valley Geothermal Area

Project Location

Nevada

Project Phase

Geothermal/Well Field, Geothermal/Exploration

Techniques

Drilling Techniques, Observation Wells
Time Frame (days)
Participating Agencies

Lead Agency

BLM

Funding Agency

none provided

Managing District Office

Winnemucca

Managing Field Office

none provided

Funding Agencies

none provided

Surface Manager

BLM

Mineral Manager

BLM
Selected Dates
Application
Document Type
GPD, POO, ROW
Final EA-EIS Date
/Public Comment Period
2007/05/18
Decision Document Date 2007/05/30
NEPA Schedule Comments
Final EA date is an estimate. Only the month is known. No scoping conducted.
Relevant Numbers
Lead Agency
Doc Number
NV-020-07-EA-01
Lease Numbers

Proposed Action

Allow Ormat Nevada, Inc. (Ormat) to proceed with the operation plan and drilling plan for the Jersey Valley Geothermal Exploration Project. This decision includes allowing Ormat to construct up to five well pads for the purpose of drilling three to five geothermal observation wells and three to five geothermal production wells. Ormat has selected five sites for exploration drilling. Observation drill pads would also be constructed at up to three of these same five sites. In addition a FLPMA Right-of-Way will be authorized through a ROW Grant.

Conditions of Approval


  1. This approval is contingent upon the lessee/operator being in receipt of and in compliance with all appropriate federal, state, and local permits.
  2. The operator must abide by the Lease Terms, Lease Stipulations, Conditions of Approval, and all environmental protection measures and mitigation measures included in the Geothermal Drilling Permits and Operations Plan.
  3. When cultural or paleontological resources, including but not limited to historic ruins, prehistoric artifacts and fossils, are discovered in the performance of the permit, the resources shall be left intact and immediately brought to the attention of the BLM authorized officer.
  4. Pursuant to 43 CFR 10.4(g) the holder of this authorization must notify the authorized officer, by telephone, with written confirmation, immediately upon discovery of human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony (as defined at 43 CFR 10.20). Further, pursuant to 43 CFR 10.4 (c) and (d) the lessee/operator shall immediately stop all activities in the vicinity of the discovery and protect it for 30 days or until notified to proceed by the BLM officer.
  5. No hazardous materials shall be used during any phase of the operations unless prior approval has been obtained from the BLM authorized officer. All onsite drilling materials and chemicals shall be properly stored to ensure the prevention of spills. No chromate or other heavy metals or environmentally harmful additives will be used.
  6. No chemicals, fuels, oils, lubricants, or noxious fluids shall be disposed of at the drill sites, in the reserve or flow pits or down the wells.
  7. If any chemicals, fuels, oils, lubricants, and/or noxious fluids are spilled during drilling operations, they shall be cleaned up immediately. The lessee/operator shall have absorbent on site for spill containment. After clean up, the chemicals, fuels, oil, lubricants, and/or noxious fluids and any contaminated material shall be removed from the drill site and disposed of at an approved disposal facility.
  8. The lessee/operator shall be responsible for all cost associated with any releases of chemicals and/or subsurface fluids resulting from their operations and practices.
  9. Material Safety Data Sheets for all drilling mud components are to be provided to the Hazmat coordinator at the Winnemucca Field Office.
  10. Portable chemical toilets shall be used for human waste. The human waste shall not be buried on sire.
  11. All equipment and machinery shall be equipped with spark arresters and mufflers.
  12. The lessee/operator shall be responsible for all suppression costs for any fire resulting from their operations and practices.
  13. Trash and other debris shall be contained onsite and then hauled to an approved landfill. Burial and/or burning onsite shall not be permitted.
  14. Except where otherwise noted, all test equipment, both surface and subsurface, shall be removed at the completion of this drilling and testing, as well as all other debris associated with exploration.
  15. For a period of three years following the commencement of construction, project sites shall be inventoried by the lessee for the presences of invasive, nonnative species. Inventory data shall be reported to the BLM Winnemucca Field Office (WFO) project lead within one week of receipt by the lessee. The area shall be treated with BLM certified pesticide following BLM approval of a pesticide use proposal is species are present. Following the three year period, periodic inventory for the presence of invasive nonnative species would be performed at project sies, with treatment occurring as necessary. The periodic inventory and treatment would occur until the BLM determines that final reclamation of the project site is complete and acceptable.
  16. Roads to be constructed, improved or reclaimed as part of the Project would be reviewed by the BLM and required to conform to the requirements of BLM Manual 9113 and the “Gold Book” (“Oils and Gas Surface Operating Standards and Guidelines for Oil and Gas Exploration and Development”), as applicable to the intended project use.
  17. The reserve pit shall maintain a minimum of two feet of freeboard at all times.
  18. A minimum of 12 inches of topsoil would be salvaged during construction and stockpiled for used during subsequent reclamation of the disturbed areas.
  19. Lessee shall monitor and collect the following hydrologic data from each of the two springs known as the Jersey Valley Hot Springs, which are located in the SW1/4 SW1/4 of Section 28 and the SE1/4SE1/4 of Section 29, respectively:
    1. Representative temperature, flow or stage, and basic thermal water chemistry- once immediately prior to the commencement of drilling and once immediately following the completion of drilling;
    2. During the drilling or flow testing of slim of full-size well 86-29 or when extracting water from the groundwater well- Representative temperature and grow or stage- once each week until drilling, flow testing or water extracting is completed;
    3. Each year following the drilling of the first well until all wells have been abandoned- Representative temperature, flow or stage, and basic thermal water chemistry, once per year.
  20. If the wells are successfully completed, all surface equipment and facilities shall be painted a color that blends with the natural surroundings. The authorized officer shall be contacted and BLM Winnemucca Office staff consulted prior to the selection of the color.
  21. Wellhead equipment left on the drill site following the completion of drilling would be painted a color, subject to approval by the authorized officer, which would blend with the landscape. Prior to paint selection, Ormat would contact the WFO project lead. All drill rig and will testing facility lights would be limited to those required to safely conduct operations, and would be shielded and/or directed in a manner which focuses direct light to the immediate work area.
  22. If any well will be sitting idle for longer than one year, the well pad shall be scarified and seeded with the recommended seed mix.
  23. Upon abandonment of the wells, the following shall be done:
    1. The wells shall be plugged to comply with all Federal and State of Nevada regulations.
    2. All reclamation of disturbed areas shall be completed within one year from the date of proper plugging and abandonment of the well. Any constructed roads, drill pads, and reserve pits shall be recontoured to original grade, salvaged topsoil spread on the disturbed area and the site scarified. The disturbed area shall be seeded by hand broadcasting or drilling with the BLM recommended seed mixture. The area shall be raked or dragged to cover the seed if broadcast seeding is used. The BLM Winnemucca Field Office shall be notified in writing when reclamation operations commence and are completed.
    3. Seeding of disturbed areas will be completed using the following native seed mixture and application rate. Any variance in the mix would be coordinated with the BLM Winnemucca Field Office. The BLM recommended seed mixture is: (see attachment for table) Sandberg bluegrass, Fourwing saltbush, Shadscale, and Indian ricegrass.

Documents

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
FONSI: 
Decision: 
 
 
 

Resource Analysis

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

Fugitive dust would be generated from earth-moving activities and travel on unpaved roads during drill pad and road construction and drilling activities.

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

The proposed project is not located in or near any ACECs

   
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.

Four isolated artifacts (two prehistoric, two historic) and four historic archaeological sites were identified during the field surveys.

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

There are no environmental justice issues associated with the project area

   
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.

There are no FEMA-designated 100-year floodplains in the project area

   
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.

Project activities could contribute to the spread of invasive, nonnative species within the project area through the proposed surface disturbing activities and the number of construction and drilling vehicles involved.

  imposed
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.

Project construction (regardless of the season constructed) could result in the direct loss of up to 9.61 acres of potential migratory bird habitat.

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

As all project activities are located at least 1,000 feet away from the springs; the project would not affect either the quality or quantity of the springs; and the project is short-term and temporary, it is anticipated that the project would not affect the cultural significance of the springs

   
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.

The proposed project is not located in or near any prime or unique farmlands

   
Threatened and Endangered Species
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

There will be no impacts to threatened and endangered species as none are known to exist within the project area.

   
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.

Diesel fuel, lubricants, hydraulic fluids and drilling chemicals (drilling mud, caustic soda, barite, etc.), would be transported to, stored on and used by the project at the proposed drill sites

   
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.

The Proposed Action is not expected to affect any riparian or wetland areas because it would not affect the quality or quantity of any ground or surface waters within the project area and because all proposed project activities are located at least 1,000 feet away from any known spring or pond which may support riparian or wetland habitat.

   
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.

The proposed project is not located in or near any wild and scenic rivers

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

The proposed project is located over one mile from the Augusta Mountain wilderness study area and is not in or adjacent to any wilderness area

   
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.

There is the potential for simultaneous use of the project area by both Ormat and the locatable mineral claimants. There would be no residual impacts.

   
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.

The project could disturb up to 9.61 acres. The potential for water and wind erosion on the disturbed soils in the project area is slight.

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

All surface-disturbing activities from the project would result in the loss of up to 9.61 acres of this common plant community.

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

The project would result in the loss of up to 9.61 acres of wildlife habitat

   
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.

 

   
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.

This project could disturb up to 9.61 acres, or less than one percent of the 379,172 acres within the allotment, and reduce the 16,218 AUMs within the allotment by less than 1 AUM.

   
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.

Project operations should not adversely affect the ability of recreational users to either access or utilize the hot springs as there would be no affect on the quality or quantity of the surface or ground waters in the area or the surrounding environment

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

The total estimated area of new surface disturbance required for construction of the drilling pads and access roads would be 9.61 acres.

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

 

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

The construction/drilling workforce is expected to consist of up to 6 workers for the exploration slim well drilling and up to 18 workers for the exploration well drilling and testing.

   
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.

The federal geothermal leases to be explored as part of the Proposed Action include a general stipulation which prohibits “drilling, including exploration or development activities, within linear rights-of-way”

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

The Proposed Action is unlikely to effect the pallid bat or Townsend’s big eared bat due to the short-term, temporary nature of the project; the absence of any drilling materials or produced waters on-site which could harm the bats; and the distance from the areas of surface disturbance to the maternity colony and hibernaculum

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

The project would have little potential for adversely affecting the quality of either surface waters or ground waters in the project area.

  imposed