Jan. 30, 2015 — The Bureau of Land Management announced today it has issued a Finding of No New Significant Impact and a Decision Record after completing the first of two site-specific Environmental Assessments covering Phase I of the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project.
The first Environmental Assessment (EA1) analyzed the CCSM Project's three primary infrastructure components: the Phase I Haul Road and Facilities, West Sinclair Rail Facility and Road Rock Quarry. The BLM has determined that Power Company of Wyoming LLC's site-specific plans of development for these components are approved and will have "no significant effects beyond those already analyzed and disclosed" in the BLM's 2012 Final Environmental Impact Statement, which resulted from more than four years of environmental data-gathering, analysis, public input and collaboration among federal, state and local cooperating agencies. The site-specific EA is tiered to the project-wide EIS.
The second Environmental Assessment (EA2) remains underway. Also tiered to the project-wide EIS, it analyzes the site-specific plan of development for 500 wind turbines, a road network and associated facilities necessary for PCW's Phase I Wind Turbine Development. According to the BLM, if the BLM issues a decision approving Phase I Wind Turbine Development, "BLM will at that time issue a single wind energy development right-of-way (ROW) authorizing the infrastructure components and the wind turbines for Phase I."
BLM opened public scoping for the infrastructure component EA on Sept. 9, 2013, and two public scoping meetings were held Sept. 23 and 24, 2013. The EA document was published on Aug. 11, 2014, and two public comment meetings were held Aug. 25 and 26, 2014. The Finding of No New Significant Impact was signed Dec. 3, 2014, by Rawlins Field Office Manager Dennis Carpenter. The Decision Record was signed Dec. 23, 2014, by Janice Schneider, Assistant Secretary, Land and Minerals Management, U.S. Department of the Interior.
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