North Steens 230kV Transmission

From Open Energy Information


NEPA Document Collection for: North Steens 230kV Transmission
EIS

North Steens 230-kV Transmission Project EIS

Proposed Action

The North Steens 230-kV Transmission Line Project would transmit electrical power from the proposed Echanis Project (a 104-megawatt wind energy facility near Diamond, Oregon) to an existing 115-kV transmission line near Diamond Junction, Oregon operated by Harney Electric Cooperative (HEC). The North Steens Transmission Line would cross approximately 18.70 miles of private land, 8.85 miles of land administered by the BLM (Burns District Office), and 1.32 miles of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (MNWR) managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The new transmission line would be constructed on double-circuit steel-pole towers placed within a new 150-foot wide right-of-way (ROW).

Full build out of the Project would occur in phases. During Phase I, a single circuit (three conductors) would be installed on one side of each pole and operated at 115-kV. During Phase II, a second circuit (three conductors) would be installed on the other side of each pole and operated at 230-kV. During Phase III, the operational voltage of the Phase I transmission line would be increased to 230-kV. All of the Project components installed with the first circuit, including poles, conductors, insulators, ROW width, pole spacing, and so forth would meet 230-kV design standards. The second circuit would be added in the future, if needed, to serve other wind energy projects developed in the area.

Renewable energy generated at the Echanis Project would be transmitted and distributed to the regional power market via the North Steens Transmission Line and the regional electrical transmission grid. The Applicant anticipates that the new transmission line and ancillary facilities could be used to transmit electric power from other potential wind energy projects developed in the Harney County area.

Current Status

On March 16, 2012, the BLM issued a Right-of-Way (under Title V of the Federal Land Policy Management Act) to Echanis, LLC (the project proponent) for the North Steens Transmission Line Project. The BLM and Echanis, LLC then worked together to ensure the 10 plans necessary for the next step in the process - a Notice to Proceed authority given by the BLM - met the intent of the project's Record of Decision. On May 21, 2012 the BLM issued a limited Notice to Proceed that allows the project proponent to move forward with non-ground breaking activities in preparation for construction. On February 22, 2013, the BLM revoked the limited Notice to Proceed and refunded the bond to the project proponent. Due to litigation, the project has been on hold for nearly 2 years. As a result, the BLM will have to recalculate the bond and issue a new Notice to Proceed prior to construction. District Court Judge Mosman found for BLM on all counts in the District Court Decision issued September 11, 2013. The appellants appealed the decision to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Conditions of Approval

The decision is conditioned on implementation of best management practices (BMP)s and Project Design Features (PDF)s as provided in the applicant’s Plan of Development (POD) and mitigation measures applicable to the Transmission Project as described under Alternative C – North Route, as well as incorporation of applicable elements of the Echanis Wind Power Project: Principles and Standards for Development of a Habitat Mitigation Plan (HMP) (Mitigation Principles and Standards for MPS), Echanis’ HMP and Echanis’ Eagle Conservation Plan and Bird and Bat Conservation Strategies for the Echanis Wind Energy Facility and the North Transmission Route Alternative (more commonly referred to as an Avian and Bat Protection Plan/Eagle Conservation Plan or ABPP/ECP). These applicable measures have been developed into specific, enforceable terms, conditions, and stipulations will be incorporated into the authorized right-of-way ROW grants.

The grants will include a stipulation that Echanis implement a construction compliance and monitoring plan to ensure construction activities on BLM-administered lands satisfy the requirements of the ROW grants, PDFs, BMPs, as well as any conditions required through any of the Transmission Project’s Federal, state, or local permits for actions related to the Transmission Project. The grants will also require Echanis to retain copies of all applicable construction permits onsite and to educate construction personnel on avoidance of sensitive areas, compliance and monitoring requirements. Upon identification of a non-compliance issue on public land, or discovery of archaeological resources, Echanis will notify the BLM immediately and work with the responsible contractors or workers to correct the problem. Echanis will provide monthly written reports to the BLM documenting compliance reporting any environmental problems as well as corrective actions taken to resolve these problems. Several of the mitigation plans and agreements referenced in the FEIS have specific monitoring requirements and protocols which specify both construction and long-term monitoring. Plan provisions applicable to the Transmission Project including applicable monitoring requirements are being made a condition of the ROW grants. Mitigation plans and agreements which contain specific monitoring requirements include:

  • ABPP/ECP for the Echanis Wind Energy Facility and the Selected Alternative
  • Habitat Mitigation Plan
  • Weed Management and Control Plan
  • Revegetation Plan
  • Programmatic Agreement relative to Section 106 of the NHPA

BMPs, PDFs, applicable mitigation measures, monitoring provisions, and stipulations are included in the FEIS, ROD, and ROW grants.

Data Completion Notes

BLM Project Website: http://www.blm.gov/or/districts/burns/plans/steen_trans/ Applicant Website: http://columbiaenergypartners.com/about/press/north-steens-transmission-line-eis-key-facts/

Documents

EA/EIS Report:



 

<metadesc> : NEPA document related to geothermal resource areas </metadesc>

Resource Analysis

Resource Not
Present
Present,
Not
Affected
Present,
Potentially
Affected
Not
Indicated
Comment Applicant
Proposed
Mitigation
Agency
Imposed
Mitigation
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.

 

CloseApplicant Proposed Mitigation Measures:
  • In areas where recontouring is not required, disturbance will be limited to overland driving where feasible to minimize changes in the original contours. Large rocks and vegetation may be moved within these areas to allow vehicle access.
  • In areas where soils are particularly sensitive to disturbance, existing access roads will be repaired only to where they are passable with an overland vehicle.
  • Work will be temporarily halted where wet conditions cause excessive rutting (>3 inches deep) of roads and/or work areas.
  • When overland routes in the ROW are chosen, contractors will avoid destruction of sagebrush and slickspots when alternative routes within the ROW are available (e.g., existing spurs to old poles).
  • To limit new or improved accessibility into the area, all new access roads that were neither desired nor required for maintenance will be closed using the most effective and least environmentally damaging methods appropriate to that area, with concurrence of the Authorized Officer.
  • All existing roads will be left as close to an undeveloped nature (i.e., two-track road) as possible without creating environmental degradation (e.g., erosion or rutting from poor water drainage) or unsafe conditions.
  • Where appropriate, 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 Authorized Officer.
  • All existing road drainage structures will be maintained or repaired by the Applicant during construction and future O&M activities.
  • Access roads and other areas of ground disturbance, within the construction limits will be watered, as needed, to remain compact and to avoid the creation of dust. This may also require the limitation of types of equipment, vehicle speeds, and routes utilized during construction. Water, weed-free straw, wood chips, dust reducer, gravel, or a combination of these or similar control measures may be used.
  • Access roads will be inspected annually. Maintenance requirements will vary depending on the type of road, level of use, and condition of the road. Typically, maintenance will be conducted when road conditions threaten resource values or public safety or impede access for transmission-line maintenance personnel. In the event of a conflict between owner/operator’s maintenance requirements and the maintenance requirements of the BLM or USFWS, the requirements of BLM or the USFWS will take precedence.
 
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.

 

CloseApplicant Proposed Mitigation Measures:
  • Prior to construction, all supervisory personnel will be instructed on the protection of cultural resources. The construction contract will address (a) federal and state laws; (b) the importance of these resources; (c) the purpose and necessity of protecting them; and (d) methods for protecting sensitive resources.
  • For sites to be avoided, the boundaries of identified cultural resources and buffer zones will be staked in the field and flagged as no-disturbance areas to avoid inadvertent disturbance during construction. These site markings will be removed following construction.
  • Construction crews and vehicles will be constrained to designated access roads and not allowed to travel cross-country near known sites. Where an access road intersects a site, the road sides will be posted to indicate that no off-road activity may occur. Marking will be coordinated with the BLM and/or USFWS and installed by personnel appointed by the Applicant. After construction or the O&M activity is complete or no longer poses a threat to the cultural resources, the stakes will promptly be removed to protect the site’s significance and location from unwanted attention.
  • Contractors will be provided with maps showing avoidance areas; these will include established work zones as well as ROW areas where overland travel should be avoided.
  • The Applicant will avoid, where possible, potential NRHP eligible archaeological resources and historic cultural features within the Project APE by relocating or reconfiguring project-related facilities on the Echanis site, or along the alignment of the main access road to the Echanis site.
  • The Applicant will avoid, where possible, potential NRHP eligible archaeological resources and historic cultural features with the Project APE by relocating the transmission line, changing pole placement, shifting the alignment of access roads, or narrowing the construction corridor.
  • If avoidance is not possible, further testing and formal evaluations for eligibility for listing in the NRHP will be conducted for each resource.
  • Formal evaluations will include further documentation and inventory and boundary delineation through testing.
 
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.

 

CloseApplicant Proposed Mitigation Measures:
  • Construction and O&M activities will follow industrial fire precaution levels and regulations. Fire regulations are generally effective between April 1 and October 31 and at other times with unusual weather conditions.
  • The Applicant will be responsible for inspecting the transmission line for fire hazards. When working on or around transmission lines on BLM and/or USFWS lands during fire season, the Applicant’s employees and contractors will have approved suppression tools and equipment. All power-driven equipment, except portable fire pumps, will be equipped with one fire extinguisher and one long handled round point shovel. In addition, each truck and passenger-carrying vehicle will be equipped with a double-bit axe or Pulaski. In some conditions each internal combustion engine will be equipped with a spark arrester.
  • If the Applicant becomes aware of an emergency situation that is caused by a fire on, or threatening, BLM or USFWS administered lands and that could damage transmission lines or their operation, it will notify the appropriate BLM or USFWS contact. Likewise, if the BLM or USFWS become aware of an emergency situation that is caused by a fire on, or threatening, BLM or USFWS lands and that could damage transmission lines or their operation, BLM and/or USFWS will notify the appropriate Applicant contact.
  • O&M activities will follow industrial fire precaution levels and regulations. Fire regulations are generally effective between April 1 and October 31 and at other times with unusual weather conditions. The Applicant will clear trees and tall objects to provide adequate distance from objects over and under the transmission line for the life of the Project.
  • The Applicant is responsible for inspecting the transmission line for fire hazards. When working on or around transmission lines on BLM or USFWS administered lands during fire season, the Applicant’s employees and contractors will have approved suppression tools and equipment. All power-driven equipment, except portable fire pumps, will be equipped with one fire extinguisher and one long handled round point shovel. In addition, each truck and passenger-carrying vehicle will be equipped with a double-bit axe (i.e. Pulaski). In some conditions each internal combustion engine will be equipped with a spark arrester.
  • If the Applicant becomes aware of an emergency situation that is caused by a fire on, or threatening, BLM or USFWS administered lands that could damage transmission lines or their operation, it will notify the appropriate BLM or USFWS contact. Likewise, if the BLM or USFWS becomes aware of an emergency situation that is caused by a fire on, or threatening, BLM or USFWS administered lands that could damage transmission lines or their operation, BLM or USFWS will notify the appropriate Applicant contact.
  • As part of routine maintenance, the Applicant will visually and physically inspect the transmission line route to check for structural and conductor defects, as well as for conductor clearance problems.
  • Reduction of fuel loads around poles in fire-prone areas will occur by removing vegetation within a 10-foot radius and treating the area with an herbicide and applying a fire retardant to the base of all poles incompliance with corresponding regulations on Agency lands.
  • Conduct pre-construction survey and engineering activities in late spring prior to the presence of fire danger. Roads construction will occur in the fall after the fire danger declines. Additionally, for any construction activities required during times when a fire danger exists, a fire fighting apparatus will be deployed in conjunction with construction activities.
  • When working on or around transmission lines on BLM or USFWS lands during fire season, the Applicant’s employees and contractors will have approved suppression tools and equipment. All power-driven equipment, except portable fire pumps, will be equipped with one fire extinguisher and one long handled round point shovel. In addition, each truck and passenger-carrying vehicle will be equipped with a double-bit axe. In some conditions each internal combustion engine will be equipped with a spark arrester.
  • Construction activities will follow industrial fire precaution levels and regulations. Fire regulations are generally effective between April 1 and October 31 and at other times with unusual weather conditions. The Applicant will construct the towers and transmission lines to comply with minimum ground clearances set forth by state and federal regulators and will clear trees and tall objects to provide adequate distance from objects over and under the transmission line.
  • Personal vehicles, sanitary facilities, and work areas will be confined to areas specified in the POD. For construction and prolonged O&M Projects, maintenance equipment, materials, and vehicles will be stored at the sites where activities will occur or at specified maintenance yards
 
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.

 

CloseApplicant Proposed Mitigation Measures:
  • Personal vehicles, sanitary facilities, and work areas will be confined to areas specified in the POD. For construction and prolonged O&M projects, maintenance equipment, materials, and vehicles will be stored at the sites where activities will occur or at specified maintenance yards.
  • The responsible party will clean all equipment that may operate off-road or disturb the ground before beginning construction and O&M activities within the Project Area. This process will clean tracks and other parts of the equipment that could trap soil and debris and will reduce the potential for introduction or spread of undesirable exotic vegetation. Preferably, the cleaning will occur at an Applicant operation center, commercial car wash, or similar facility. Vehicles traveling only on established roads are not required to be cleaned.
  • The Applicant will prepare a revegetation plan in consultation with the BLM and USFWS when necessary.

The plan will specify appropriate revegetation timing, techniques, and seed mix(es). Adherence to this plan will also help limit the spread and establishment of noxious weeds. Certified “noxious weed-free” seed must be used on all areas to be restored. Other construction material, such as fill, shall also be free of noxious weed seed.

  • Personal vehicles, sanitary facilities, and work areas will be confined to areas specified in the POD. For construction and prolonged operations and maintenance (O&M) projects, maintenance equipment, materials, and vehicles will be stored at the sites where activities will occur or at specified maintenance yards.
  • The responsible party will clean all equipment that may operate off-road or disturb the ground before beginning construction and O&M activities within the Project Area. This process will clean tracks and other parts of the equipment that could trap soil and debris and will reduce the potential for introduction or spread of undesirable exotic vegetation. Preferably, the cleaning will occur at an Applicant operation center, commercial car wash, or similar facility. Vehicles traveling only on established roads are not required to be cleaned.
  • The transmission line and wind farm would be monitored and treated for noxious weeds annually. The Applicant will minimize the use of herbicides to control plants, to the extent consistent with the required control.
  • The Applicant will prepare a revegetation plan in consultation with the BLM and/or USFWS when necessary. The plan will specify appropriate revegetation timing, techniques, and seed mixes. Adherence to this plan will also help limit the spread and establishment of noxious weeds. Certified “noxious weed-free” seed will be used on all areas to be restored. Other construction material, such as fill, shall also be free of noxious weed seed.
 
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.

 

CloseApplicant Proposed Mitigation Measures:
  • Construction noise will be limited to daytime, weekday hours (e.g., 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.).
  • Noise reduction features (e.g. mufflers and engine shrouds) will be used on all pieces of construction equipment and will be no less effective than those originally installed by the manufacturer.
  • Where feasible construction traffic will be routed away from residences.
  • Unnecessary construction vehicle use and idling time will be minimized. The ability to limit construction vehicle idling time is dependent upon the sequence of construction activities and when and where vehicles are needed or staged. A “common sense” approach to vehicle use will be applied; if a vehicle is not required for use immediately or continuously for construction activities, its engine will be shut off. (Note: certain equipment, such as large diesel-powered vehicles require extended idling for warm-up and repetitive construction tasks.)
  • To the extent possible, construction crews will not conduct pile driving or blasting within 100 feet of fragile structures or areas with sensitive uses.
  • To the extent possible, construction equipment will not be operated within 25 feet of fragile structures or areas with sensitive uses.
 
Soils
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

CloseApplicant Proposed Mitigation Measures:
  • An Erosion and Sediment Control Plan will be developed and implemented for the Project as required by the ODEQ National Pollutant Discharge and Elimination System Stormwater Discharge Permit (ODEQ 2005) and pursuant to Oregon Revised Statutes 468B.050 and Section 402 of the Federal Clean Water Act.
  • Turbine, tower and other structure locations will be surveyed for active faults and landslide hazards prior to finalizing site locations. In addition, structures will be built to seismic specifications and landslide hazard precautions (Smith 2008).
  • Areas to be cleared will be clearly marked and sensitive areas to be avoided will be flagged. Any areas that will not be cleared will retain vegetation in place.
  • Sediment control structures and application will be used to minimize erosion. Measures include stabilization of site entrances and access roads prior to earthwork and perimeter sediment control, e.g. sediment basins, traps and barriers.
  • Construction vehicles will be restricted to access roads, public roads and the ROW. Roads will be cleared of mud and debris and tracking of sediment onto roads will be minimized. Work will temporarily stop if conditions are wet enough to cause ruts greater than three inches deep.
  • Disturbed surfaces will be returned to original contours where possible and revegetation using salvaged native vegetation or BLM/USFWS (or property owner) approved seed mixes will be performed following construction activities.
  • Good housekeeping measures will be implemented during construction and after completion. All refuse will be kept out of the ROW and disposed of properly. Hazardous materials will be contained and disposed of in an authorized facility.
  • A Hazardous Substance Control and Emergency Response Plan will be put into place and workers will be trained in its implementation.
  • An Erosion and Sediment Control Plan will be developed and implemented for the Project as required by the ODEQ National Pollutant Discharge and Elimination System Stormwater Discharge Permit (ODEQ 2005) and pursuant to Oregon Revised Statutes 468B.050 and Section 402 of the Federal Clean Water Act.
  • All development will be constructed under guidelines presented in Chapter 7 of the Harney County Comprehensive Plan (Harney County 2009) and Section 4.070 of the Harney County Zoning Ordinance (Harney County 2002).
 
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.

 

CloseApplicant Proposed Mitigation Measures:
  • Prior to construction, all supervisory personnel will be instructed on the protection of natural resources, including sensitive plant species and habitats. The construction contract will address (a) federal and state laws regarding plants; (b) the importance of these resources; (c) the purpose and necessity of protecting them; and (d) methods for protecting sensitive resources.
  • Special-status plant populations that occur within the ROW and work areas will be marked on the ground, where practical, to ensure that the species are avoided. If species are discovered during the work, Applicant will establish a spatial buffer zone and immediately contact the BLM and/or USFWS. The Authorized Officer may evaluate the adequacy of the buffer on a case-by-case basis. Until the BLM and/or USFWS authorizes the Applicant to proceed, either orally or in writing, all activities will cease within the buffer zone. After the Project is complete, or no longer poses a threat to the plant population, the marking (stakes) will promptly be removed to protect the site’s significance and location from unwanted attention.
  • Special-status plant populations near the ROW, but not within work areas, will be protected by marking the edges of the ROW and access roads in the general vicinity to ensure that workers do not leave those areas. If the plants are within work areas that have, or will have, ground disturbance, the Applicant will establish a species appropriate buffer zone around the population. Marking will be immediately removed at the end of construction activities within that area. As needed, marking will be reinstated during the land rehabilitation period.
  • For special-status plant issues where marking is not appropriate, work in designated areas will be modified or curtailed during critical periods. The Authorized Officer, in advance of construction or maintenance, will approve sensitive areas and time frames. Emergency repair situations are excluded from this restriction.
  • Contractors will be provided with maps showing avoidance areas; these will include established work zones as well as ROW areas where overland travel should be avoided.
  • In the event any special-status plants require relocation, permission will be obtained from BLM and/or USFWS. If avoidance or relocation is not practical, the topsoil surrounding the plants will be salvaged, stored separately from subsoil and re-spread during the restoration process.
 
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.

 

CloseApplicant Proposed Mitigation Measures:
  • Prior to construction, all supervisory personnel will be instructed on the protection of natural resources, including sensitive plant species and habitats. The construction contract will address (a) federal and state laws regarding plants; (b) the importance of these resources; (c) the purpose and necessity of protecting them; and (d) methods for protecting sensitive resources.
  • Sensitive plant populations that occur within the ROW and work areas will be marked on the ground, where practical, to ensure that the species are avoided. If species are discovered during the work, the Applicant will establish a spatial buffer zone and immediately contact the BLM and/or USFWS. The Authorized Officer may evaluate the adequacy of the buffer on a case-by-case basis. Until the BLM and/or USFWS authorizes the Applicant to proceed, either orally or in writing, all activities will cease within the buffer zone. After the Project is complete, or no longer poses a threat to the plant population, the marking (stakes) will promptly be removed to protect the site’s significance and location from unwanted attention.
  • Sensitive plant populations near the ROW, but not within work areas, will be protected by marking the edges of the ROW and access roads in the general vicinity to ensure that workers do not leave those areas. If the plants are within work areas that have, or will have, ground disturbance, the Applicant will establish a species appropriate buffer zone around the population. Marking will be immediately removed at the end of construction activities within that area. As needed, marking will be reinstated during the land rehabilitation period.
  • For sensitive resource issues where marking is not appropriate, work in designated areas will be modified or curtailed during critical periods. The Authorized Officer, in advance of construction or maintenance, will approve sensitive areas and time frames. Emergency repair situations are excluded from this restriction.
  • Contractors will be provided with maps showing avoidance areas; these will include established work zones as well as ROW areas where overland travel should be avoided.
  • In the event any sensitive plants require relocation, permission will be obtained from BLM and/or USFWS. 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.
  • Non-road shrubland areas will be reseeded with a mixture of grass and sagebrush seeds.
  • Access roads and non-road grassland areas will not have the sagebrush seeds.
  • The Applicant will provide all seed. Seed will meet the requirements of the Federal Seed Act and applicable Oregon State laws about seeds and noxious weeds. Only seed certified as “noxious weed free” will be used. If requested, the Applicant will provide the BLM and/or USFWS with evidence of seed certification.
  • The Applicant, or its designated contractor, is to seed an area after construction or after ground disturbing O&M activities are completed. The best time to seed is in the fall (September to November). If fall seeding cannot be done, spring seeding should take place in February or March, as conditions dictate. Ground maintenance patrols will review the line periodically. Routine maintenance will include replacing damaged insulators as needed and tightening nuts and bolts. The Applicant will follow its safety protocols with respect to line operation and maintenance. Maintenance activities require minimal and infrequent access. Such activities will typically be performed overland. Winter access if required can be performed overland except in the cases of heavy snowfall in which case over-snow vehicles will be utilized.
 
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.

 

CloseApplicant Proposed Mitigation Measures:
  • No paint or permanent discoloring agents will be applied to rocks or vegetation to indicate limits of survey or construction activity.
  • Weathered steel poles, which have a rusted appearance, will be used for the 230 kV transmission line to reduce visual contrasts.
  • Nonspecular conductors will be used to reduce visual impacts.
  • All stakes and flagging will be removed from the construction area and disposed of in a State approved landfill.
 
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.

 

CloseApplicant Proposed Mitigation Measures:
  • Hazardous materials will not be drained onto the ground or into streams or drainage areas. Totally enclosed containment will be provided for all trash.
  • Secondary containment will be provided for all hazardous materials and waste, including fuel. Fuel stored on site for construction vehicles and equipment would be temporary and would only occur to support construction activities.
  • Totally enclosed containment will be provided for all hazardous materials (if needed) and trash. All construction waste including trash, litter, garbage, other solid waste, petroleum products, and other potentially hazardous materials will be removed to a disposal facility authorized to accept such materials.
  • Construction sites, material storage yards, and access roads will be kept in an orderly condition throughout the construction period. Refuse and trash, including stakes and flags, will be removed from the sites and disposed of in an approved manner. No construction equipment oil or fuel will be drained on the ground. Oils or chemicals will be hauled to an approved site for disposal. No open burning of construction debris will occur on BLM or USFWS administered lands.
  • The Applicant will also minimize the use of herbicides to control plants, but will undertake a plan to control noxious weeds resulting from the construction and operation of the facilities.
  • In the event any pesticides or herbicides will be used on the site, the facility operator will comply with all State of Oregon and federal laws and regulations regulating the handling, storage, use, and disposal of those pesticides or herbicides. Pesticides or herbicides will be applied only by the landowner or, upon consultation with the landowner, by a professional charged with observance of all regulations governing use and selection of herbicides.
  • The Applicant will provide for solid waste disposal at a regulated and licensed landfill.
  • The Applicant will provide BLM and USFWS with a comprehensive list of hazardous materials that will be used, stored, transported, or disposed of during activities associated with site construction, operation, and maintenance. The Applicant will develop a hazardous materials management plan which establishes inspection procedures for storage, quantity limits, inventory control, use, non-hazardous product substitutions, transportation, and disposal of each hazardous material expected to be used on site. The plan will also include an emergency response plan and identify requirements for notices to federal and local emergency response authorities.
  • The Applicant will develop a waste management plan for both solid and liquid waste that identifies wastes that are expected to be generated at the site. This plan will address hazardous waste determination procedures, waste storage locations, waste-specific management and disposal requirements, inspection procedures, and waste minimization procedures.
  • The Applicant will develop a spill prevention and response plan. The plan will identify the location of stored hazardous wastes and materials, spill prevention measures, training requirements, the appropriate spill response actions for each hazardous material or waste, and the locations of spill response kits. The plan will also include a requirement to ensure that spill response kits will be adequately stocked at all times and procedures for making timely notification to local, state, and federal authorities.
  • An integrated pest management plan will be developed if pesticides will be used. The plan will ensure that pesticides applications will be within the framework of BLM or USFWS and DOI policies. Only non-persistent, immobile, EPA-registered pesticides will be applied. Pesticides will be applied in accordance with terrestrial and aquatic application permits and labels directions.
 
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.

 

CloseApplicant Proposed Mitigation Measures:
  • The Applicant will exercise care to ensure protection of all aquatic, riparian, and wetland habitat on BLM and USFWS administered land. To minimize the amount of disturbance, structures locations will be chosen to avoid features such as riparian areas and watercourses and/or to allow conductors to clearly span the features, within limits of standard pole design. During future O&M activities, if woody vegetation within 100 feet of streams needs to be managed, it will be cut with a chainsaw. Herbaceous plants and low-growing shrubs will be left in place.
  • All ESC measures will be in place and functioning before any construction activities occur. Sediment barriers will include sediment fences, berms, straw wattles. Run-on and run-off control measures include slope drains, check dams, surface roughening, and bank stabilization.
  • Long-term slope stabilization measures will include the establishment of permanent vegetative cover via seeding with approved mixes and application rates. Slopes to receive temporary or permanent seeding will be roughened by means of track-walking or other approved implements. Surface roughening improves seed bedding and reduces run-off velocity.
  • The ESC measures will be maintained until construction is complete and all vegetation is established.
  • Long term slope stabilization measures including matting will be in place over all exposed soils by October 1.
  • Temporary slope stabilization measures may include covering exposed soil with plastic sheeting, straw mulching, or other approved measures.
  • Each site will have constructed entrances, exits and parking areas with exit tire wash to reduce the tracking of sediment onto roads. These areas will be kept clean.
  • Stockpiled soil or strippings will be placed in a stable location and configuration. Soil stockpiles will have temporary stabilization or covering at the end of each workday. Sediment fences will be installed around stockpiles.
  • Areas to be cleared will be clearly marked and sensitive areas to be avoided will be flagged.
  • Any areas that will not be cleared will retain vegetation in place.
  • Sediment controls will be installed and maintained along the site perimeter on all down-gradient sides of the construction.
  • Temporary and/or permanent soil stabilization measures will be applied immediately on all disturbed areas as grading progresses and on all roadways.
  • Sediment will be removed from behind a sediment fence when it reaches a height of 1/3 the height of the fence and also before fence removal. Sediment will be removed from behind other barriers when it reaches a height of two inches and before removal. Trapped sediment in a sediment basin will be removed when the sediment retention capacity has been reduced by fifty percent and at the end of the Project.
  • If construction activities cease for thirty days or more, the entire site will be temporarily stabilized using vegetation, a heavy mulch layer, temporary seeding, or other method. If construction ceases for 15 days or more temporary stabilization will occur with straw, compost, or other tackified covering.
  • All pumping of sediment laden water will be discharged over an undisturbed, preferably vegetated area, and through a sediment control BMP such as a filter bag.
  • BMPS will be inspected before, during, and after major storm events. Daily inspections will occur during rainfall and runoff events.
  • Construction activities will avoid or minimize excavation and creation of bare ground on slopes greater than five percent from October 1 through May 31.
  • All exposed soils will be covered during the wet weather period.
  • Temporary stabilization of the site will be installed at the end of the workday if rainfall is forecast in the next 24 hours.
  • Large amounts of sediment leaving the site will be cleaned up within 24 hours and placed back on the site and stabilized or properly disposed. Preventative measures for recurrence will be in place within the same 24 hours.
  • In areas subject to wind erosion, appropriate BMPs will be used, such as the application of fine water spray, plastic sheeting, mulch or other approved measures.
  • No non-sediment pollutants will be allowed to enter stormwater, such as from of concrete truck wash water, vehicle and equipment cleaning, vehicle and equipment fueling, maintenance, and storage, other cleaning and maintenance activities.
  • Any toxic or other hazardous materials will be properly stored, applied and disposed.
  • The application rate of fertilizers used to reestablish vegetation will follow manufacturer's recommendations to minimize nutrient releases to surface waters.
  • To reduce the potential for erosion, riprap, boulders and vegetation will be used to stabilize slopes outside of the streams. Slash and boulders will be placed at the side or downslope of the roads to act as a sediment filter. Disturbed surfaces will be revegetated using salvaged native vegetation or BLM/USFWS (or property owner) approved seed mixes and will be performed following construction activities.
  • Areas to be cleared will be clearly marked and sensitive areas to be avoided will be flagged.
  • Any areas that will not be cleared will retain vegetation in place.
  • Construction vehicles will be restricted to access roads, public roads and the ROW. All construction equipment and vehicles will cross the water bodies over bridges and existing access routes. Roads will be cleared of mud and debris and tracking of sediment onto roads will be minimized.
  • Heavy construction equipment will work from the banks rather than the water body as much as practicable.
  • A water truck will be used to minimize dust. The water source will be local surface water. Dust control may also use straw, wood chips, dust reducing agents, and gravel. The temporary pipe and storage tanks or any other water facilities will be returned to the pre-construction condition.16
  • Erosion and sediment controls will be installed within 100 feet of riparian areas or water bodies during construction. Measures include stabilization of site entrances and access roads prior to earthwork and perimeter sediment control, e.g. sediment basins, traps and barriers.
  • Good housekeeping measures will be implemented during construction and after completion. All refuse will be kept out of the ROW and disposed of properly. Hazardous materials will be contained and disposed of in an authorized facility.
  • The use of herbicides will be minimized as much as possible, but noxious weed control will be required.
  • Equipment used near or in waterbodies will be checked for leaks of oil or other fluids on a daily basis.
  • Any potential spills of hazardous material will be addressed through standard construction BMPs. See

Section 3.17.2 Public Health and Safety: Hazardous Materials for further details.

  • Dewatering locations will be sited in areas of adequate vegetation or dry drainages.
  • Should dewatering locations be sited in dry drainages, there will be a minimum of 0.25 mile within the drainage between the dewatering location and any water.
  • Dewatering locations will not be located within 100 feet of any drainage that contains water, wetlands, or specific cultural sites. Discharge water will be directed to prevent flow from moving to these areas.
  • The duration of dewatering discharges will be minimized by scheduling dewatering operations immediately prior to backfilling.
  • Trench disturbance (i.e., additional excavation) will be minimized to the extent practicable while dewatering is in progress.
  • The hose intake will be suspended above the bottom of the trench to minimize sediment taken in during the pumping operation.
  • Burial of the distribution line will occur during the dry season to minimize the effects of trenching through intermittent water ways.
 
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.

 

CloseApplicant Proposed Mitigation Measures:
  • The Applicant will exercise care to ensure protection of all aquatic, riparian, and wetland habitat on BLM and USFWS administered land. To minimize the amount of disturbance, structures locations will be chosen to avoid features such as riparian areas and watercourses and/or to allow conductors to clearly span the features, within limits of standard pole design. During future O&M activities, if woody vegetation within 100 feet of streams needs to be managed, it will be cut with a chainsaw. Herbaceous plants and low-growing shrubs will be left in place.
  • Clearly mark wetland boundaries and buffers in the field until construction is complete;
  • Conduct construction in wetland areas during the dry season, to minimize water flow through exposed soils;
  • Use sediment barriers to prevent sediment flow into wetland and riparian areas;
  • Prohibit the storage of hazardous materials and equipment refueling within 100 feet of any wetland, riparian areas, or waterbody (500 feet on BLM and/or USFWS land);
  • Restore disturbed areas to preconstruction contours, restore or replace damaged vegetation, and implement any required vegetation monitoring plans; and
  • Develop and adhere to the Erosion and Sediment Control Plan.
  • Riparian vegetation will be avoided to the extent compatible with construction objectives.
  • If riparian vegetation has been trampled or otherwise disturbed, revegetation planting will include riparian meadow species.
  • “End haul” construction methods will be considered for portions of the main access road to Echanis where the road parallels riparian and wetland areas. End haul construction refers to situations where a cut is made in a side slope and the spoils are hauled to a disposal site or used for fill in less critical areas. This method helps to avoid placing fill above water features and ensures downslope vegetation remains intact between the road and water feature to act as a buffer and sediment filter.
 
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.

 

CloseApplicant Proposed Mitigation Measures:
  • Prior to construction, all supervisory personnel will be instructed on the protection of natural resources. To assist in this effort, the construction contract will address: (a) Federal and state laws regarding plants and wildlife; (b) the importance of these resources and the purpose and necessity of protecting them; and (c) methods for protecting sensitive resources (e.g., Endangered Species Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and BLM wildlife policy).
  • If sensitive wildlife species are discovered during construction and 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 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 Applicant will establish a species and temporal appropriate buffer zone and then will contact BLM and/or USFWS immediately.
  • For sensitive resource issues where marking is not appropriate, work in designated areas will be modified or curtailed during critical periods. The Authorized Officer, in advance of construction or maintenance, will approve sensitive areas and time frames. Emergency repair situations are excluded from this restriction.
  • If sensitive wildlife species are killed or injured due to construction or O&M activities, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), the USFWS, and the Authorized Officer will be notified.
  • If construction activities affect wintering deer from December 1 to March 15, the Authorized Officer may restrict activities if impacts are deemed to be excessive.
  • The Construction Manager will ensure all construction workers are knowledgeable of the legal harvest seasons, methods of take, and bag limits for deer, elk, pronghorn, upland game birds, and cottontail rabbits. All on-site personnel will be made aware that all birds of prey are protected by Federal and State laws.
  • To facilitate identification of potential conflicts with sensitive wildlife species, the Applicant will maintain a spatial database of known locations near access road and transmission-line rights-of-way. This database will be updated following construction of the new line to protect sensitive wildlife during future O&M activities.
  • With the exception of emergency repair situations, major O&M activities in designated areas with sensitive wildlife species will be modified or curtailed during sensitive periods (e.g., nesting and breeding periods). BLM and USFWS will be notified in advance of major activities therefore, sensitive periods and areas of concern can be approved in advance of maintenance by the Authorized Officer.
  • Contractors will be provided with maps showing avoidance areas; these will include established work zones as well as ROW areas where overland travel should be avoided.
  • The Applicant will conduct pre-construction surveys to identify raptor and migratory bird nests. Empty nests will be removed. If occupied nests are found, the Applicant, in consultation with the BLM and or USFWS, will establish a suitable buffer around the nest and avoid the area or relocate the nest.
  • New structures will be built in accordance with raptor-safe standards specified in APLIC (2006).
  • Small migratory bird nests in both grassland and sagebrush are difficult to locate and are only occupied for a few weeks in late spring. However, if an occupied nest is found within an active, or soon to be active, work zone it could be flagged and avoided, or possibly moved. The Authorized Officer will decide on a case by case basis.
  • Echanis, LLC would implement a Habitat Mitigation Plan, under which it would mitigate the habitat impacts from the Project through the use of conservation easements and other offset mechanisms, consistent with guidelines issued by the ODFW.
  • Echanis, LLC would implement a Wildlife Monitoring and Mitigation Plan, under which it, together with the recommendations of a Technical Advisory Group comprised of representatives from state and federal agencies and environmental organizations, would monitor wildlife impacts (through post-construction mortality monitoring) and implement additional mitigation measures if impacts exceeded threshold levels identified in the plan.
  • Echanis, LLC would implement a Habitat Mitigation Plan, under which it would mitigate the habitat impacts from the transmission line through the use of conservation easements and other offset mechanisms, consistent with guidelines issued by the ODFW.