How will the project proceed?
Power Company of Wyoming LLC has and continues to collect wind data to make the best use of the project area’s high-quality wind resources. Using meteorological towers, PCW has gathered wind data since June 2007.
PCW has obtained the main necessary state and county authorizations for the CCSM Project. Since, however, the project is partially located on federal land administered by the Bureau of Land Management, PCW applied for rights-of-way for wind energy development. BLM prepared a project-wide Environmental Impact Statement to meet the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act, in coordination with other state and local government agencies. (To learn more about the NEPA process, check out A Citizen's Guide to the NEPA (PDF).) Subsequent federal environmental analysis of the specific elements of Phase I development and Phase II development, tiered to the EIS, is ongoing. PCW must obtain the BLM right-of-way grant(s) and notice(s) to proceed on specific project elements before construction may begin on those elements.
In total, construction of the CCSM Project will occur over an approximately 8-year period.
Here are the milestones achieved since development began in 2006.
Permitting/Development Timeline Summary
|Nov. 16, 2006||Rights-of-way applications filed with BLM for wind energy site testing and monitoring in the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre areas.|
|June 14-15, 2007||BLM issued rights-of-way grants, and the initial meteorological towers were erected.|
|Jan. 30, 2008||PCW filed rights-of-way application with BLM for wind energy development. BLM and PCW agreed that analyzing the proposed wind energy project in an Environmental Impact Statement was appropriate.|
|July 25, 2008||BLM published a Federal Register Notice of Intent to prepare the Environmental Impact Statement.|
|August 2008||BLM conducted public scoping.|
|2008-2011||BLM conducting studies and surveys; reviewing and developing alternatives; preparing Draft EIS.|
|July 22, 2011||BLM published a Federal Register Notice of Availability to announce the Draft EIS.|
|July 3, 2012||BLM published a Federal Register Notice of Availability to announce the Final EIS|
|Oct. 2, 2012||Carbon County Commission unanimously approved a conditional use permit.|
|Oct. 9, 2012||U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar signed the Record of Decision, authorizing the BLM to proceed with site-specific environmental analysis. BLM published a Federal Register Notice of Availability on Oct. 16.|
|Dec. 6, 2012||Wyoming State Board of Land Commissioners, Office of State Lands and Investments, unanimously approved a wind energy lease with PCW for up to 25 turbines.|
|September 2013||BLM conducted public scoping for Site-Specific Environmental Assessment 1, addressing the Phase 1 Haul Road and Facilities, West Sinclair Rail Facility and Road Rock Quarry.|
|December 2013||BLM conducted public scoping for Site-Specific Environmental Assessment 2, addressing the Phase 1 Wind Turbine Development of 500 turbines.|
|Dec. 4, 2013||U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS for the Phase I eagle permit application and conducted public scoping.|
|July 15, 2014||Carbon County Commission unanimously approved a conditional use permit extension.|
|Aug. 6, 2014||State of Wyoming Industrial Siting Council unanimously approved a permit to construct and operate the wind project. The permit was signed and granted Sept. 12.|
|Aug. 11, 2014||BLM published the draft Site-Specific EA1 for infrastructure components.|
|Dec. 23, 2014||BLM completed Site-Specific EA1 and issued a Finding of No New Significant Impact. U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary Janice Schneider signed the Decision Record approving the infrastructure component plans of development.|
|Sept. 15, 2015||Carbon County Commission unanimously approved a conditional use permit extension.|
|March 9, 2016||BLM published the draft Site-Specific EA2 for Phase I wind turbines.|
|April 29, 2016||U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a Federal Register Notice of Availability to announce the Draft EIS for Phase I Eagle Take Permits.|
|Aug. 25, 2016||BLM issued a right-of-way grant and notice to proceed for infrastructure components.|
|Sept. 9, 2016||PCW commenced construction on road infrastructure that will provide access to wind turbine facilities and will be critical to operating and maintaining the CCSM Project.|
|Dec. 9, 2016||U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a Federal Register Notice of Availability to announce the Final EIS for Phase I Eagle Take Permits|
|Jan. 18, 2017||BLM completed Site-Specific EA2 and issued a Finding of No New Significant Impacts. U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary Janice Schneider signed the Decision Record approving Phase I Wind Turbine Development.|
|Jan. 18, 2017||U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published its Record of Decision approving Phase I Eagle Take Permits. USFWS published a Notice of Availability on Jan. 23.|
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Public comment and review opportunities
Since 2008, PCW has shared information during at least 50 publicly noticed public open houses and meetings, including presentations before the Carbon County Commission, Carbon County Planning & Zoning Commission, Carbon County Council of Governments, Rawlins City Council, Saratoga Town Council, Sinclair Town Council, Dixon Town Council, Baggs Town Council, SER Conservation District open houses and board meetings, Carbon County Economic Development Corporation, Sweetwater County Commission.
Specific examples include:
- BLM Public Scoping period and 4 open houses, July-September 2008
- PCW 2 public open houses, March 2010
- BLM Draft EIS comment period and 2 open houses, July-October 2011
- PCW archive of Draft EIS information resources
- BLM Final EIS review period, July-August 2012
- PCW 7 public open houses, September 2012
- Carbon County comment period and 2 public hearings, August-October 2012
- BLM public scoping for Site-Specific Environmental Assessment 1, including 2 open houses, September 2013
- BLM public scoping for Site-Specific Environmental Assessment 2, including 2 open houses, December 2013
- USFWS public scoping for an eagle permit EIS, including 2 open houses, December 2013