BLM NEPA history and environmental analysis for the CCSM Project
The Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project is partially located on checkerboard federal land that is managed for multiple use by the Bureau of Land Management, which is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior. In January 2008, Power Company of Wyoming LLC applied to the BLM for a right-of-way grant for wind energy development. This began the federal environmental analysis process as required under the National Environmental Policy Act.
Since 2008, the BLM has prepared and published extensive environmental analysis about the CCSM Project that is available on the agency's ePlanning website. Here is a brief summary of the analysis and where to find it on ePlanning. Four of the five main NEPA components are complete, with the fifth underway.
Project-wide Environmental Impact Statement
The overall Environmental Impact Statement was prepared 2008-2012. A Record of Decision approving the wind project site was signed on October 9, 2012. The ROD identified the project area suitable to accommodate a 3,000 megawatt wind farm consisting of up to 1,000 wind turbines, and it described a NEPA framework for further site-specific analysis to follow.
Based on the project-wide EIS analysis, subsequent site-specific environmental analysis documents tiered to the EIS were prepared prior to issuing the rights-of-way. The site-specific analysis was divided into two phases.
Phase I Site-Specific Analysis
CCSM Project Phase I elements were analyzed in two site-specific Environmental Assessments that were prepared 2013-2017.
- Environmental Assessment 1 (EA1) Infrastructure Components analyzed the Phase I haul road and facilities, the road rock quarry and the West Sinclair rail facility. The Decision Record was signed by the Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary of Lands and Minerals on December 23, 2014. BLM issued the ROW for EA1 on August 25, 2016.
ePlanning documents for BLM EA1
- Environmental Assessment 2 (EA2) Phase I Wind Turbine Development analyzed the 500 wind turbines located in the western portion of the Chokecherry Wind Development Area and the western portion of the Sierra Madre Wind Development Area, along with associated facilities. The Decision Record was signed by the Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary of Lands and Minerals on January 17, 2017. BLM issued the ROW for EA2 on August 1, 2017.
ePlanning documents for BLM EA2
Phase II Site-Specific Analysis
CCSM Project Phase II elements also are analyzed in site-specific environmental analysis documents tiered to the overall EIS, prior to issuing the rights-of-way.
- Environmental analysis of the Phase II haul road and facilities was completed by BLM in a Determination of NEPA Adequacy. The Decision Record was signed by the BLM Rawlins Field Manager on March 9, 2018. BLM issued the ROW for these facilities on June 18, 2018.
ePlanning documents for BLM DNA
- Preparation of Environmental Assessment 3 (EA3) for Phase II Wind Turbine Development is underway. It analyzes the wind turbines located in the eastern portion of the Chokecherry Wind Development Area and the eastern portion of the Sierra Madre Wind Development Area, along with associated facilities.
A link will be added when BLM documents related to EA3 are available on the BLM ePlanning website.
Join our email list to receive periodic updates and meeting notifications.
Follow us on Twitter for updates.
Members of the media with inquiries about the PCW wind energy project should contact , Director of Communications, 303.299.1395.
- PCW brochure (PDF, 2.2 MB)
- BLM site: Chokecherry/Sierra Madre project
- USFWS CCSM Project environmental analysis
- American Wind Energy Association news and resources
BLM Phase I Environmental Analysis
From 2013-2016, BLM prepared two site-specific Environmental Assessments, both tiered to the project-wide Environmental Impact Statement completed in 2012. Review our archives of the BLM's documents: