Transwest Express

From Open Energy Information


NEPA Document Collection for: Transwest Express
EIS

Transwest Express Transmission Project Environmental Impact Statement

Proposed Action

The TransWest Express Transmission Project (Project) is proposed as an extra high voltage, direct current (DC) transmission system extending from south-central Wyoming to southern Nevada. The proposed transmission line (and alternatives) cross four states (Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada) encompassing lands owned or administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), United States (U.S.) Forest Service (USFS), National Park Service (NPS), Bureau of Reclamation, Utah Reclamation Mitigation and Conservation Commission, various state agencies, Native American tribes, municipalities, and private parties. The Project would provide the transmission infrastructure and capacity necessary to deliver approximately 3,000 megawatts (MW) of electric power from renewable and/or other non-renewable energy resources in south-central Wyoming to southern Nevada. One MW (or 1 million watts) of power can deliver approximately 6.5 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity in 1 year. An average U.S. household consumes about 10,655 kWh of electricity in a year. Therefore, 1 MW of power provides electricity for 610 households’ annual use (American Wind Energy Association 2008). The Project would transmit power for over 1,800,000 households annually. In April 2010, TransWest Express LLC (TransWest/Applicant) and Western Area Power Administration (Western), an agency of the U.S. Department of Energy, entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in which Western agreed to act as joint lead agency with the BLM in the preparation of the EIS in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA).

Conditions of Approval

View the Final EIS (FEIS) here: http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/NEPA/documents/hdd/transwest/FEIS.html

Data Completion Notes

Updated May 2016.

Link to document library: http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/NEPA/documents/hdd/transwest/docs.html

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
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.

 

CloseRoutine vegetation maintenance, repairs and line maintenance during operation of the terminals would result in negligible air emissions.

Equipment tailpipe emissions, and fugitive dust emissions predicted during the construction of the Northern Terminal, substations, and ground electrode facilities would not cause state or federal air quality standards to be exceeded, based on a screening level air quality analysis.

Based upon the use of conservative emissions estimates, the emissions from the construction and operation of the Project in the Las Vegas nonattainment area would be below the conformity thresholds; therefore, the Project is exempt from performing a comprehensive conformity analysis.

Equipment tailpipe emissions, and fugitive dust emissions predicted during the construction of the southern terminal would not cause state or federal air quality standards to be exceeded, based on a screening level air quality analysis.

Decommissioning of the terminals would require removal of buildings and other infrastructure and would take place over a brief period of time. Air emissions during decommissioning would be less than construction emissions, and are not expected to cause state or federal air quality standards to be exceeded.
 
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.

 

CloseIn areas with geologic hazards (e.g., ground shaking, liquefaction, landslides, subsidence from karst, groundwater withdrawal, underground mining, and historic mining) and active mining; placement of Project structures and other Project related disturbance would be avoided to the extent practical. Where avoidance is not possible a site-specific geotechnical investigation and engineering design would be implemented during construction and operation of the Project. Depending on the type of potential geologic hazards, the designs may vary and should address specific needs for enhanced structural supports. Site-specific assessment of geologic hazards shall include review of available information concerning areas of mapped hazards and consultation with appropriate governmental agency (USFS, BLM, UGS, USGS) personnel who are knowledgeable about the hazards. Assessment also shall include, if necessary, field surveys and gathering of geotechnical information to determine what engineering design methods would mitigate or lessen potential risks. If active mines cannot be avoided, applicant will conduct similar due diligence in regard to hazards from underground and historic mining to ensure that Project facilities will not hinder access to mineral resources or create dangers to mining activities.
 
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.

These sites occur between 25-100 miles from the proposed action's pathway.

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

 

Close
  • SOIL-1 requires the salvage, safeguarding, and reapplication of topsoil from all excavations and construction activities.
  • SOIL-2 requires site-specific and specialized construction techniques for areas of steep slopes, biological soil crusts, erodible soil, and stream channel crossings.
  • SOIL-3 requires the applicant to backfill foundations and trenches with originally excavated material as much as possible. Excess excavation materials should be disposed of by the applicant only in approved areas.
  • S-4: During decommissioning, where a soil sterilizer has been applied, sterile soils would be removed prior to the replacement of topsoil and seeding.
  • S-5: Surface activities would be prohibited when soils or road surfaces become saturated to a depth of 3 inches or less if mixing of the topsoil and subsoil would occur or the soil surface becomes unsafe for vehicular travel.
  • S-6: During construction, erosion control measures would be inspected after every storm event and maintained.
  • S-7: Permanent access roads would not be constructed on slopes over 25 percent.
  • S-8: Temporary and permanent access roads would be gated to restrict motorized use by the public. In some instances, other methods may need to be employed to prevent public access. After construction is complete, permanent access roads would remain gated at the land management agency or landowner’s discretion. If the road is no longer needed for operations, it would be obliterated with the following procedures or in accordance with the land-managing agencies direction:

1. Remove all stream crossings and restore stream banks to natural contours; 2. Reestablish natural drainage patterns; 3. Decompact the road surface by subsoiling along the entire disturbed length; 4. Recontour the road prism to the original land contours; 5. Seed with an agency or landowner approved seed mixture; and 6. Gates and closure signage should be left in place until adequate regeneration/rehabilitation occurs.

  • S-9: Excess subsoil that is excavated for foundations would not be spread on the soil surface (on top of topsoil) or on access roads. Excess subsoil would be disposed of in accordance with federal, state, and local requirements.
  • S-10: Prime farmland would be avoided to the extent possible for permanent Project facilities and structure foundations.
  • S-11: Permanent erosion control measures would be installed on all project access roads used for operations and maintenance. Erosion control measures would be inspected and maintained bi-annually.
  • S-13: Follow-up seeding using native seed or corrective erosion control measures would be required on areas of surface disturbance that experience reclamation failure.
  • BMP REST-1: topsoil removed during decommissioning activities shall be salvaged and reapplied during final reclamation; all areas of disturbed soil shall be reclaimed using weed-free native shrubs, grasses, and forbs or other plant species approved by the land management agency; grades would be returned to pre-development contours to the greatest extent feasible.
  • BMP MIT-3: the decommissioning plan would include a site reclamation plan and a monitoring program.
  • BMP GEN-14: Gravel work pads would be removed and disposed.
  • GEN-16: equipment, components, and aboveground structures must be cleaned and removed from the site for reclamation, salvage, or disposal; all belowground components would be removed to a minimum depth of 3 feet to establish a root zone free of obstacles.
 
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.

 

CloseTWE-61: A Hazardous Materials Management Plan would be developed. Hazardous materials would not be drained onto the ground or drainage areas. Totally enclosed containment would be provided for all trash. All construction waste including trash and litter, garbage, other solid waste, petroleum products, and other potentially hazardous materials would be removed to a disposal facility authorized to accept such materials.

TWE-58: A Pesticide Use Plan would be developed. The Plan would address compliance with all applicable federal, state and local regulations.

TWE-59: A Clean-up Work Management Plan would be developed. The plan would address on- site excavation of contaminated soils and debris and would include: identification of contaminants, methods of excavation, personnel training, safety and health procedures, sampling requirements, management of excavated soils and debris, and disposal methods.

PHS-11: would require secondary containment for all on-site hazardous materials and waste storage areas.

PHS-12: would ensure that wastes are properly containerized and removed periodically for disposal at appropriate off-site permitted disposal facilities.

PHS-13: would require the applicant to initiate spill cleanup procedures and document the event, including a cause analysis; appropriate corrective actions taken; and a characterization of the resulting environmental or health and safety impacts. Documentation of the event should be provided to the land management agency’s authorized officer and other federal and state agencies, as required.

TWE-57: A Spill Prevention Notification and Clean-up Plan would be developed. The Plan would address compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local regulations, and would include: spill prevention measures, notification procedures in the event of a spill, employee awareness training, and commitment of manpower, equipment, and materials to respond to spills, if they occur.
 
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.

 

CloseWR-1: Existing stream crossings would be utilized wherever requested by agencies. This would be developed on a site-specific basis during POD development. Stream crossings would be maintained as appropriate.

WR-2: When existing crossings were not used, drive through (Arizona) crossings would not be utilized when unprotected (bare soil) streambeds are wet or when the stream is flowing water.

WR-3: As part of the ROW grant and prior to the final agency authorization for construction, TransWest would consult with federal agencies having land jurisdiction regarding location and design of access roads and temporary work areas near impaired streams to avoid erosion and sedimentation effects. The proposed design and location of new and upgraded access roads and temporary work areas within watersheds (HUC10) containing sediment- or ion-impaired waters (according to 303(d) lists) would be provided by TransWest to the agencies upon completion of conceptual design of these facilities. The agencies would coordinate and provide input (as deemed applicable by the agencies) to TransWest for modification of locations and designs within TransWest’s final engineering schedule to prevent the Project from contributing additional sediment to impaired waters.

WR-4: As part of the Erosion Control Plan, TransWest would include monitoring of erosion and sedimentation effects that would be recorded as part of the construction stormwater permits. In the event that the agencies deem erosion control measures ineffective, the agencies and TransWest would coordinate to develop additional measures for TransWest to implement for erosion control.
 
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.

 

CloseVG-1: Native seed mixes to be used for reclamation would be developed in consultation with the land managers for the various regions crossed by the Project. Seed mixes would meet the requirements of the individual agency FOs crossed by the Project. Site-specific seed mixes for soils with LRP would be developed. The LRP seed mixes would be specifically designed for alkaline, saline, or sodic soils and would be used in areas where reclamation would potentially be difficult based on soil conditions. Additional soil amendments may be required in these areas and would be implemented at the direction of the land manager. Reclaimed areas would be monitored annually by the Applicant to ensure successful reclamation is occurring. The length of time for the annual monitoring and the definition of successful reclamation would be determined by the appropriate land management agency. Subsequent actions in areas without successful reclamation would be determined in consultation with the appropriate land management agency.

VG-3: A vegetation reclamation and monitoring plan would be developed as part of the COM Plan. The reclamation monitoring plan would define reclamation success for each vegetation type and management agency, list reclamation seed mixes, and detail reclamation monitoring for both interim and final reclamation. Interim and final reclamation success would be monitored quarterly for the first year and then annually for at least 3 years, or until reclamation success, as defined by each land management agency crossed by the Project, is achieved. Reporting of construction, reclamation progress and monitoring results would be submitted to each land management agency per each office’s reporting requirements.

VG-4: During vegetation clearing, if chipping and spreading woody material in the ROW, wood chips would not exceed 3 inches in depth. Chips would be distributed in discontinuous patches that would not result in a continuous chip mat (less than 40 percent of surface covered by 3 inches of chips).


VG-5: Masticated material spread in the ROW will not exceed a depth of 3 to 6 inches. Material would be distributed in discontinuous patches that would not result in a continuous chip mat (less than 40 percent of surface covered 3 to 6 inches thick).
 
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.

Areas with rehabilitation constraints (e.g., highly erodible or droughty soils, low precipitation amounts, etc.) can have little to no reclamation success, unless additional mitigation measures are implemented.

CloseIntegrated weed control, are often required for successful establishment of native vegetation. Some plant communities may not return to pre-construction conditions due to alteration of soils, noxious weed invasions, and loss of biological soil crust.

Extensive networks of roads and utility corridors can lead to fragmentation of native landscapes, which can decrease species diversity, lead to decreases in the number and populations of native and special status species, and provide corridors for invasion of non-native species.

NX-1: The noxious weed management plan to be developed as part of the COM Plan would include the following: 1. Pre-construction surveys for noxious weeds in the footprints of the ROW, access roads, and ancillary facilities; 2. Pre-construction weed control; 3. Education of construction and operation personnel in each Project region; 4. Washing of vehicles and equipment before entering and leaving the ROW; 5. Herbicide spraying; and 6. Annual monitoring and reporting.

NX-4: The cut-stumps of mature salt cedar stands that are cut as part of vegetation clearing would be immediately painted with herbicides. The specific control methods and herbicide to be used would be determined in consultation with the appropriate state or federal land-managing agencies. Additional control measures could include the planting of native or desired plant species following treatment to provide erosion control and the use of biocontrols.
CloseNX-2: Herbicide spraying would be conducted following all applicable state and federal laws regarding chemical use, adverse weather, chemical storage, and chemical drift. Further guidelines and protocols for herbicide spraying on BLM land are provided in the Final BLM Vegetation Treatment Using Herbicides Programmatic EIS (BLM Vegetation EIS) (BLM 2007). Standard operating procedures for herbicide spraying include buffers for sensitive areas such as riparian and wetland areas and threatened and endangered species habitat, timing restrictions, and safety protocols. No aerial spraying of herbicides would be permitted within 500 feet of known sensitive species with hand-only application methods allowed. NX-3: On lands managed by the BLM, an approved Pesticide Use Proposal (PUP) would be obtained from each BLM FO prior to herbicide spraying. PUPs would have site-specific information about the herbicides to be used. The PUPs and associated reporting requirements would be submitted in accordance with the schedule required for each BLM FO. Herbicide spraying in desert tortoise habitat in Nevada would require consultation with the BLM and USFWS.
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.

 

CloseSS-2: (Avoidance of Ute Ladies’-tresses Orchid Species and Habitat) – Known individuals and populations and areas identified as suitable habitat through consultation with the USFWS would be spanned by the transmission line. Surface disturbance associated with facilities, access roads, and other Project related construction activities would not occur within the areas identified as suitable habitat or as having known occurrences. A minimum 300-foot buffer distance would be incorporated between known occurrences and surface disturbance. Presence of species in modeled habitat would be assumed for ESA Section 7 consultation purposes. If potential habitat cannot be avoided, 2 years of surveys in potential habitat would be required and formal consultation may be necessary.

SS-3: Construction would occur downslope of special status plants and populations where feasible. If surface disturbance must be sited upslope, erosion controls would be implemented at the direction of the BLM, USFS, or USFWS, as appropriate, to prevent sedimentation and erosion from upslope surface disturbance. Additional buffer distances greater than the minimum 300-foot buffer distance described in measure SS-4 may be required.

SS-4: A minimum 300-foot buffer distance would be established between federally listed individuals, field verified suitable habitat, populations and surface disturbance. Avoidance areas would be visible during construction through fencing, signing, rebar, etc. Construction and operation traffic would stay on designated routes and other cleared or approved areas.

SS-5: The Dust Control and Air Quality Plan would include dust abatement measures to minimize impacts to special status plant species, including use of slower speed limits on unpaved roads, gravel on roads in occupied habitat and avoidance areas, and the application of water for dust abatement.
CloseSS-6: Prior to vegetation management activities, including vegetation removal, herbicide use, and ORV access, within federally listed occupied habitat, the applicant will coordinate with the USFWS and BLM to minimize impacts to federally listed and candidate species.
BLM Sensitive Species
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

 
CloseTo avoid and minimize impacts to the desert milkvetch, TransWest would coordinate with the BLM and USFWS to implement appropriate mitigation measures during construction, including but not limited to:

1. If the Project can avoid all suitable habitat (as modeled) and occupied habitat (as documented) with a 300-foot buffer, no surveys are necessary. If avoidance of suitable habitat is not possible, surveys will be performed within 300 feet of the Project area to determine occupancy prior to construction or 400 feet if upslope of suitable or occupied habitat. 2. If surveys are necessary, they must be performed by qualified individual(s) and according to USFWS accepted survey protocols. Surveys will be conducted during the flowering and/or fruiting period when the plant can be detected and correctly identified. Surveys will be valid for one calendar year. 3. No new development or permanent ground disturbance, including but not limited to poles, pads, towers, etc., will occur within a 300-foot buffer of suitable or occupied Deseret milkvetch habitat. If construction activities occur upslope of suitable or occupied habitat, the buffer may be increased to 400 feet to prevent additional erosion within the habitat. 4. Wire will be strung between towers aerially with no ground disturbance in suitable or occupied Deseret milkvetch habitat. 5. No new roads will be established within a 300-foot buffer of suitable or occupied Deseret milkvetch habitat. If construction activities occur upslope of suitable or occupied habitat, the buffer may be increased to 400 feet to prevent additional erosion within the habitat. 6. Existing access roads will be utilized to the extent practicable to limit additional fragmentation within the species’ habitat from new road development. 7. The existing access road to the north of Birdseye that connects to Blind Canyon Road contains plants alongside the road and within 300 feet of the road edge. If this road will be used, formal consultation that incorporates the following conservation measures is recommended: a. Existing road sections where the plants occur will not be bladed or widened. b. A 300-foot buffer will be maintained between the edge of disturbance from blading or widening activities and individual plants. Widening of existing roads will not occur if occupied habitat is immediately upslope or downslope of the existing road. c. This road will not be used during the flowering period of Deseret milkvetch, between May 1 and June 30 to minimize the impact of dust on pollination and reproduction. d. This road may be used during the active growing season, outside the flowering period: March 1 - April 30 and July 1 - August 31. During these time periods, dust abatement will be employed during all phases of construction, maintenance, and operation. 8. For the existing road to the south of Birdseye, if plants are found within 300 feet of the road edge, formal consultation that incorporates the conservation measures identified in #7 is recommended. 9. Occupied Deseret milkvetch habitats within 300 feet of the edge of newly installed roads, poles, pads, towers, etc. shall be monitored for a period of 3 years after ground disturbing activities. Monitoring will include annual plant surveys to determine plant and habitat impacts relative to project facilities. Annual reports shall be provided to the USFWS and the UNHP. 10. All Project employees, including contractors, brought onsite for the duration of the construction project and ongoing maintenance activities will be informed of the occurrence of Deseret milkvetch in the project area and of the threatened status of the species. Maps with areas of avoidance, including buffers, will be provided to all employees accessing the project area. A qualified biologist or botanist is required to perform this instruction and update maps as necessary. 11. A qualified biologist or botanist must be on-site pre-construction to clearly mark or flag avoidance areas so they are visible during construction. The same qualified personnel will be present during construction to monitor avoidance of these areas. A post-construction report documenting compliance and non-compliance with these measures will be prepared by the qualified personnel and submitted to USFWS no later than 1 month post-construction. 12. All equipment will be cleaned and inspected for presence of invasive, non-native plants and seeds before being brought in suitable habitat. 13. Post-construction, the project will provide a GIS-shapefile or documentation of new and upgraded access routes to the appropriate emergency fire operations personnel with the State of Utah, the BLM, the USFS, and USFWS, as well as notification statement that there is a Federally listed plant species within the area of Birdseye, Utah. This information will be provided no later than 1 year post-construction of this specific transmission line segment. 14. No vegetation treatments will be performed in suitable or occupied Deseret milkvetch habitat. In addition, the following buffers will be applied—300 feet buffer for mechanical vegetation treatments, 2,500 feet for herbicide treatments, and no aerial herbicide treatments. 15. Project disturbance within suitable habitat will not exceed 10 percent cumulatively. Compensatory mitigation measures will be necessary for any disturbance in Deseret milkvetch suitable or occupied habitat.

In addition, if any construction activity, development, or ground disturbance (even temporarily) occurs in Deseret milkvetch modeled suitable or occupied habitat then the following compensatory mitigation measures shall be considered: 1. Acquire conservation easements in perpetuity or fee title purchases of occupied habitat on private lands at a 3:1 ratio. 2. Additional site-specific measures also may be employed to avoid or minimize effects to the species. These additional measures will be developed and implemented in consultation with the USFWS to ensure continued compliance with the ESA.

SS-8: (Avoidance of Clay Phacelia and Minimization of Indirect Impacts) 1. 100 percent clearance surveys (within 650 feet of the centerline through all modeled suitable habitat) would establish the extent of occupied habitat that occurs in the area and any Project constraints. These surveys should occur between late May-early July. 2. Avoid placement of the 250-foot-wide transmission line ROW (including structures, facilities, and new roads) within 650 feet of known occupied (i.e., existing locations and USFS transplant sites) clay phacelia habitat. 3. All occupied sites would be avoided by development within the 250-foot-wide transmission line ROW (including structures, facilities, and new roads) by at least 650 feet. The distance could be adjusted in coordination with the authorizing agency and the USFWS in order to properly protect the plants from all disturbances. (Example: May be a larger distance if there is a higher risk of erosion or shorter distance if there is a lower risk chance of erosion.) 4. Appropriate erosion (i.e., silt fence, straw waddles) control measures would be constructed if disturbance is allowed within 650 feet of occupied habitat or if such measures are needed to prevent sedimentation or dust deposition. 5. A qualified botanist would be on-site to monitor surface-disturbing activities when clay phacelia is within 650 feet of those surface disturbing activities. 6. Only water (no chemicals, reclaimed production water or other) would be used for dust abatement measures within occupied clay phacelia habitat. 7. Dust abatement would be employed during maintenance activities in modeled suitable clay phacelia habitat over the life of the project during the time of the year when the plant is most vulnerable to dust-related impacts (March through August). 8. No herbicide treatments within 2,500 feet of occupied clay phacelia habitat and no aerial herbicide treatments within modeled suitable habitat. 9. Limit upgrades to existing access roads within 650 feet of occupied clay phacelia habitat to those that eliminate the need to construct a new road, or are necessary for safety. Upgrades also would be designed to limit impacts to clay phacelia.

SS-9: (Avoidance of High Quality Habitats) – In instances where complete habitat avoidance is not possible due to topographical, biological, or engineering constraints, all “high quality” habitats as determined during site- and species-specific surveys would be avoided by all direct disturbances during construction and operational activities. High quality habitats are defined as areas that are within the geographic range of the species and have been field-verified as having the majority of required habitat characteristics, and/or the species has been observed in the immediate vicinity, resulting in high occurrence potential for the identified species.
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.

 

CloseWLF-6: To minimize fragmentation impacts to forested habitats, TransWest would employ vegetation management Level 3, as described in the Project Vegetation Management Plan, in aspen forest and woodland, conifer forest, deciduous forest, and pinyon-juniper woodland habitat types crossed by the 250-foot-wide transmission line ROW on public lands. To offset the impact of removal of wooded debris and snags within the construction ROW, TransWest would be required to leave downed wooded debris in place to the extent possible. WLF-9: To minimize collision potential for avian species, TransWest would be required to install avian flight diverters on all guy wires in all areas of priority migratory bird habitats which include IBAs, BHCAs, riparian crossings, and other sensitive habitats identified in coordination with land management, USFWS, and applicable state wildlife agencies. TransWest also would be required to install flight diverters on guyed structures at tower locations identified by post construction monitoring as having high collision potential.
 
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.

 

CloseCUL-1: On-site and off-site mitigation to compensate specifically for cumulative impacts, as well as direct and indirect adverse effects to the Old Spanish National Historic Trail in Nevada, as directed in the National Trails System Act (NTSA). Mitigation may include development of interpretive material; signage and protection for the trail; and development of education materials that may include support for the Project Archaeology: Investigating Migration curriculum context and a Old Spanish NHT module for Nevada. Future discussion with consulting parties will provide further mitigation guidance.

CUL-2: On-site and off-site mitigation to compensate specifically for cumulative impacts, as well as unavoidable direct and indirect adverse effects to Gypsum Cave Traditional Cultural Property in Nevada. Mitigation may include clean-up and graffiti removal; post and cable fencing to further prevent vehicles from approaching the cave; road closures and mitigation of road scars within the TCP; bat gates for the inner chambers of the cave; support for tribal involvement in mitigation efforts; interpretation of the archaeological site; and development of educational materials regarding the archaeological site. Future discussion with consulting parties will provide further mitigation guidance.

CUL-3: On-site and off-site mitigation to compensate for adverse cumulative impacts under NTSA, as well as direct and indirect adverse effects under NHPA to the Old Spanish NHT Trail, the California Wagon Road and other historic trails in Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah. Mitigation may include, and is not limited to, development of interpretive material; signage and protection for the trails; and development of educational materials to include support for the Project Archaeology: Investigating Migration curriculum context and modules for each affected resource. Future discussion with consulting parties as part of the Historic Properties Treatment Plan will provide further mitigation guidance.

CUL-4: On-site and off-site mitigation to compensate for direct and indirect adverse effects to historic properties in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. Future discussion with consulting parties as part of the Historic Properties Treatment Plan will provide further mitigation guidance.
 
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.

 

   
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.

 

CloseREC-1: Where practicable, operation phase vegetation maintenance activities within dispersed RAs or key hunting locales would not occur during big game hunting seasons.

REC-2: Within designated recreation management areas, access shall be limited to existing roads whenever practicable. If new and improved access cannot be avoided within these areas, access roads shall be closed or rehabilitated through methods and monitoring developed through consultation with the landowner or land management agency. Methods for closure could include gates, obstructions such as berms or boulders, or partial or full restoration to natural contour or vegetation.

REC-3: If designated corridors exist within the RA, new roads and ancillary construction areas shall only be located within designated utility corridors.

REC-4: Where practicable, construction activities within key hunting locales such as WHMAs/WMAs/ SWAs would not occur during big game hunting seasons.

REC-5: No construction shall be allowed after 5:00 p.m. on weeknights, and no construction shall be allowed on weekends, holidays, or the opening of big game hunting seasons in areas that are within 1 mile of developed recreation sites.

REC-6: Construction zones will be sited such that access to high use recreational areas and trails is not impeded. If public safety concerns are such that current access or use cannot be maintained, the applicant will work with the appropriate land manager to develop alternative access points or redirect users to alternative existing points of access.

REC-7: Ancillary construction areas would not be located within 1 mile of developed RAs (trails, trailheads, campgrounds, etc.).

REC-8: Temporary roads and ancillary construction areas would not be located within the view of boaters on the Yampa River.
 
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.

 

CloseRANGE-2: Prior to construction of transmission line segments, access road, or ancillary facilities, active range improvement locations shall be inventoried. Based on the results of these inventories, no roads, or ancillary facilities would be placed within 200 meters of range improvements, including livestock and wildlife water sources/systems. If avoidance is not feasible, features would be relocated to an alternate location in coordination with the permittee and applicable land management agency.

RANGE-3: Damage to livestock and livestock facilities shall be reported as quickly as possible to BLM, USFS, and affected livestock operators. If damage is caused by the construction, operation, or maintenance of this project, TransWest will be financially responsible for the replacement of the livestock and/or livestock facilities. RANGE-4: The Flagging, Fencing, and Signage Plan would include: • Prevention measures to avoid damaging fences, gates, and cattleguards during construction and operation activities. • Mitigation to prevent livestock from passing through breaks in fences as a result of construction and operation activities. Measures would include the installation of temporary gates, or cattleguards, and coordination with landowners and grazing permittees. • Limit the placement of guy wires where livestock water or where they would fall in stock driveways. Shield guards would be used as appropriate. • Upgrading cattleguard gate widths and load-bearing requirements as appropriate for construction and operation vehicles on access roads. • Require heavy equipment to use by-pass gates to avoid damage to cattleguards. • If a by-pass gate is not already in place, install a by-pass gate adjacent to existing cattleguards to prevent damage by heavy equipment. • Existing cattle guards would be cleaned as determined necessary by the appropriate land management agency post-construction activities. • Following construction activities any Range Improvement Projects that are damaged from construction and maintenance activities would be repaired at a minimum to pre-construction conditions. • Mitigation for loss of livestock due to damaged fences and gates that were result of construction and operation activities. • Mitigation for loss of livestock as a result of construction and operation vehicle collisions. RANGE-5: If construction or operation activities disrupt the transport of water to water locations for livestock or wildlife, an alternative water source will be provided until the transport of water is resumed. Alternative water sources could include the hauling of water to watering locations, an alternate pipeline, or the establishment of a temporary watering facility for the livestock and wildlife. RANGE-6: Prior to construction and placement of permanent facilities and access roads, TransWest shall coordinate with the associated BLM FO and USFS national forest to identify areas where the placement of tower structures, facilities, and access roads would prevent access to either a portion or all of a livestock grazing allotment resulting in the livestock grazing allotment becoming unusable or decreasing the AUMs available to a point that requires the grazing permit to be modified. In these areas, corrective actions would then be identified including rearranging of grazing allotment fences, additional access roads to the grazing allotment, re-arrangement of project facilities and access roads as feasible, etc. In addition to project design features, post construction reclamation, and BMPs, mitigation measures would further reduce impacts to rangelands, grazing operations, range improvements, livestock, and livestock facilities.

LU-2: On private lands, access shall be limited to existing roads whenever practicable or as desired by the landowner. If new and improved access cannot be avoided on private lands, access roads shall be closed or rehabilitated at the direction of the landowner and through methods and monitoring developed in consultation with the landowner. Methods for closure could include gates, obstructions such as berms or boulders, or partial or full restoration to natural contour and/or vegetation.

RANGE-7: Speed limits would be followed and signs would be erected in lambing/calving areas, shipping pastures, or adjacent to working corrals to warn vehicle operators of the agricultural operations.
 
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.

 

CloseAGRI-1: Coordinate with farm and ranch operators to identify problems with structure placement and determine structure locations to ensure implementation of design feature TWE-40. Locate structures along fence lines, field lines, or adjacent to roads. Use longer spans between structures to clear fields. Consider use of non-guyed free-standing transmission structures in agricultural areas.

AGRI-2: Schedule construction activities to avoid planting and harvesting activities. AGRI-3: Minimize locating access roads within the analysis area in areas with croplands. For croplands that cannot be avoided by access roads, establish procedures for determining temporary and permanent access road locations with landowners and operators, and establish protection methods for roads over croplands that cannot be avoided by construction activities. Restore locations of temporary access roads to pre-construction conditions and leave permanent access roads intact through mutual agreement with the landowner and operator.

AGRI-4: Minimize the use of guy wires in crops and hay lands to the extent possible. If guy wires have to be used in crop and hay lands, highly visible shield guards will cover the wires.
 
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.

 

Close• TWE-7: The alignment of any new access roads will follow the designated area's landform contours where practical, providing that such alignment does not additionally impact resource values. This will minimize ground disturbance and reduce scarring (visual contrast).

• TWE-12: Except for repairs necessary to make roads passable, no widening or upgrading of existing access roads will be undertaken in the area of construction and operation, where soils or vegetation are sensitive to disturbance. In designated areas, structures will be placed to avoid sensitive features such as, but not limited to, riparian areas, water courses and cultural sites, or to allow conductors to clearly span the features within limits of standard structure design. This will minimize the amount of disturbance to the sensitive feature or reduce visual contrast. • TWE-13: In construction areas (e.g., marshalling yards, structure sites, spur roads from existing access roads) where ground disturbance is significant or where re-contouring is required, surface restoration will occur as required by the landowner or land management agency. The method of restoration will normally consist of returning disturbed areas back to their natural contour, reseeding (if required), installing cross drains for erosion control, placing water bars in the road, and filling ditches. • S-8: Access road reclamation or controls to restrict public use (see Section 3.3, Soils). • REC-2: Limitation of new roads in RMAs (see Section 3.13, Recreation Resources). • REC-6: Consideration of public access to high use recreational areas and trails (see Section 3.13, Recreation Resources).

• REC-12: Consideration of specially permitted event areas or times (see Section 3.13, Recreation Resources).
 
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.

 

 
Close1. Identification of the presence of minority and low-income populations and Indian Tribes in areas that may be affected by the action under consideration.

2. Determination of whether the action under consideration would have human health, environmental, or other effects on any population. 3. Determination of whether such environmental, human health or other effects would be disproportionately high and adverse on minority or low-income populations or Indian Tribes. 4. Provision of opportunities for effective community participation in the NEPA process, including identifying potential effects and mitigation measures in consultation with affected communities and improving the accessibility of public meetings, crucial documents, and notices (CEQ 1997).

SOCIO-4: If not required by existing regulations or included in the various operations plans to be developed (see Section 2.4), TransWest should develop and implement a plan for on-going communications with local county and municipal governments to inform them of construction schedules and progress, specifically as they relate to the anticipated timing of activity across each spread, or other about other aspects of the Project that could affect local communities and service providers.
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.

 

ClosePH-1: Develop, implement, and maintain a noise complaint reporting and review process to deal with potential queries and issues as they arise. This would include a toll-free telephone number for receiving question or complaints during Project construction and a public liaison person before and during Project construction to respond to concerns over noise.
 
Wild Horse and Burro Management
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

Application of WH-1 would reduce impacts to wild horse management during construction, but would not mitigate for the impacts to gathers during operation of the line. The refined transmission corridors would cross the Piceance-East Douglas Creek HMA and North Piceance HA near their western borders, leaving the majority of the HMA and HA unaffected. The 250-foot-wide transmission line ROW would bisect the western portion of the West Douglas HA. Presence of a transmission line in this area would affect the use of helicopters for the gather of wild horses.

CloseWH-1: Construction activities would be suspended as needed during wild horse gathers, as determined through consultation with the BLM. WH-2: Series compensation stations shall not be sited in any HA or HMA.
 
Lands with Wilderness Characteristics
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

 
CloseLWC-1 would minimize, but not avoid altogether. Compensatory mitigation for impacts to inventoried lands with wilderness characteristics may include funding to maintain or enhance wilderness characteristics through resource restoration and other related activities, funding of related interpretation and educational programs, or other appropriate projects at the discretion of the field manager.
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.

 

CloseFR-1: The fire protection plan to be developed as part of the COM Plan in addition to the items outlined in TWE-64 would include the following:

TransWest would implement line patrols to inspect the ROW for hazard trees, damage to any component of the Project, and other potentially unsafe conditions that could increase wildland fire ignition risk. • TransWest would develop a wildland fire traffic control plan which would stipulate mechanisms through which narrow roads shall be kept passable for emergency service providers in a wildland fire emergency situation; designate the point of contact to administer the wildland fire traffic control plan and facilitate emergency service providers access; identify vehicle parking for construction and maintenance vehicles during wildland fire emergencies; and identify alternative routes for large equipment and vehicle evacuation during wildland fire emergencies. • TransWest would outline communication methods to ensure that immediate reporting of fires during construction activities and maintenance activities is feasible. Each crew member would carry a laminated card listing pertinent telephone numbers for reporting fires and defining immediate steps to take if a fire starts. The cards would be updated as needed, and redistributed to crew members. • In consultation with land management agencies, TransWest would identify when and where construction and maintenance work would cease in response to Red Flag Warning events as issued daily by the National Weather Service. Overland drive-and-crush travel would be prohibited or limited (at land management agencies’ discretion) during times of high fire risk. • TransWest would develop a fire protection plan in consultation with the appropriate land management agencies. FR-2: No open trash burning would occur, unless specifically permitted by the appropriate authorities. FR-3: Activities that could generate a spark such as refueling, smoking, blasting, and welding would only occur on areas that have been cleared. A spotter would be used for welding and other similar activities. The spotter would be equipped with water and tools to quickly extinguish any sparks.

FR-4: All engines used in the ROW would have an approved spark arrestor.
 
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.

 

CloseWLF-1: To minimize disturbance to migratory birds during the breeding and nesting season, no vegetation clearing or trimming, blasting, or other new surface-disturbing activities would occur during the avian breeding season as defined by Project Region and illustrated in Figures 3.22-5, 3.22-8, and 3.22-13. If avoidance of vegetation clearing during the nesting season is not possible, then a qualified biologist would conduct nest searches no more than 7 days prior to clearing and trimming activities. Active nests would be identified and protected in accordance with the following procedure.

On lands administered by the BLM and USFS, spatial avoidance buffers and seasonal restrictions would be applied as required by applicable land and resource management plan stipulations (Appendix C). On federal lands for which there are no stipulations applicable to non-raptorial migratory birds, the habitat- or species-specific nest buffers recommended by the BLM Ely District (BLM 2012) would apply. Seasonal and spatial nest buffers that are more restrictive than the applicable required BLM and USFS plan stipulations and BLM Ely District recommendations would be applied at the discretion of local federal and state wildlife management agency biologists. Additionally, the BLM Ely District-recommended nest buffers would be applied to all other land jurisdictions in coordination with TransWest and respective landowners whose lands would be crossed by the Project.

WLF-2: To minimize disturbance to nesting raptors, no vegetation clearing or trimming, blasting, or other new surface-disturbing activities would occur within the appropriate spatial buffer for an occupied nest during the breeding season of the species using it. Raptor breeding seasons vary widely based on species, weather conditions, prey availability, latitude, elevation, and other factors. Figures 3.22-5, 3.22-8, and 3.22-13 present approximate raptor breeding seasons by species and Project region. If surface-disturbing activities within the appropriate spatial buffer cannot be avoided during the associated raptor nesting season, preconstruction raptor nest surveys and monitoring using agency-approved protocols would be performed to identify and protect occupied nests. Spatial avoidance buffers and seasonal restrictions would be applied as required by applicable BLM and USFS land and resource management plan stipulations (Appendix C) on lands administered by these agencies. Seasonal and spatial raptor nest buffers recommended by the USFWS and the appropriate state wildlife agency that are more restrictive than the applicable, required BLM and USFS plan stipulations would be applied at the discretion of these land management agencies (Table 3.22-4). Additionally, raptor seasonal and spatial buffers recommended by USFWS and the appropriate state wildlife agency would be applied to all other land jurisdictions in coordination with TransWest and respective landowners whose lands would be crossed by the Project.

WLF- 3: To ensure wildlife access to existing wildlife water developments (e.g., “guzzlers”), TransWest would avoid impacts to these developments to the extent possible during final project siting and development. TransWest would be required to offset the loss of any permanently impacted wildlife water developments by installing new developments of equal capacity, in coordination with the appropriate state wildlife agency.


− WLF-4: For the protection of migratory birds, TransWest would be required to install dark- sky lighting at all terminals, sub-stations, and series compensation facilities that is fully shielded to keep light from extending above the horizontal plane and is designed to provide the minimum amount of illumination necessary for safety and security purposes.

WLF-5: In Audubon Important Bird Areas crossed by the 250-foot-wide transmission line ROW, TransWest would employ line marking as recommended in Reducing Avian Collisions with Power Lines: The State of the Art in 2012 (APLIC 2012). In addition, vegetation management Level 3, as described in the Project Vegetation Management Plan, would be employed in IBAs crossed by the 250-foot-wide transmission line ROW.

WLF-7: In BHCAs, TransWest would employ line marking as recommended in Reducing Avian Collisions with Power Lines: The State of the Art in 2012 (APLIC 2012). In addition, vegetation management Level 3, as described in the Project Vegetation Management Plan, would be employed in BHCAs crossed by the 250-foot-wide transmission line ROW on public lands.

SSWS-13: To prevent impacts to bald eagles, TransWest would be required to avoid disturbance within 0.25 mile of an active winter roost site (0.5 mile if there is a direct line of sight to disturbance) from November 15 to March 15 and avoid disturbance within 0.5 mile of communal winter roosts from November 1 to April 1. Construction of aboveground structures would be restricted within 0.5-mile of bald eagle nests and communal winter roost sites. Below ground structures (e.g., pipelines, buried power lines, fiber optic lines) may be sited closer as long as construction occurs outside of the active nesting or roosting season and would not result in the loss of alternate nest sites or roost trees.