NOI for Restoration Design Energy Project - Arizona

Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Restoration Design Energy Project and Possible Land Use Plan Amendment in Arizona

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.
SUMMARY: In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Arizona State Office intends to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to support possible amendments to several BLM-Arizona Resource Management Plans (RMP) to identify sites and/or areas managed by the BLM that may be suitable for the development of renewable energy and to establish appropriate design criteria for such projects. By this notice, BLM-Arizona State Office is announcing the beginning of the scoping process to solicit public comments and identify issues.

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BLM Announces Routes for Proposed Transmission Line Project

(Jan 3, 2010) - The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced today the proposed and alternate routes which will be analyzed in the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Gateway West Transmission Line Project. The BLM identified these routes using information from the scoping period in the summer 2008, comments received, cooperating agency input, and by applying evaluation criteria which examined opportunities and constraints of various routes.   Cooperating agencies participated in an additional alternative formulation period this past July and August.

The next opportunity for formal public comment will be the 90-day public comment period following the release of the draft EIS in the summer of 2010. The BLM will hold public meetings during the draft EIS comment period across Idaho and Wyoming.

The BLM Wyoming is preparing the draft EIS. The BLM is the lead federal agency in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process for this project, and is working with cooperating agencies including the U.S. Forest Service (USFS); National Park Service; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, State of Wyoming; State of Idaho; Cassia, Twin Falls and Power Counties, Idaho; the City of Kuna, Idaho; Carbon, Lincoln and Sweetwater Counties, Wyoming; and the Saratoga-Encampment-Rawlins Conservation District and Medicine Bow Conservation District in Wyoming. In addition, tribal consultation is ongoing.

“The BLM listened to public comments and cooperating agencies to ensure that communities and groups shared their ideas to help us make better decisions,” said Don Simpson, Wyoming State Director and the BLM’s decision maker for the project. “This effort is consistent with BLM’s responsibility under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act to coordinate with state and local governments.”

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BLM Concentrating on Renewable Energy Projects That Could Meet Stimulus Funding Deadline

Fast-Track Approach Picks Up the Pace on Renewable Energy without Cutting Corners

Washington, DC (Dec 29, 2009) - With the December 2010 deadline for obtaining incentive funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act only a year off, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Bob Abbey today reaffirmed the agency's commitment to helping the nation reach its "green energy future" by guaranteeing full environmental analysis and public review for the 31 renewable energy projects that have met the required milestones to remain on the fast-track list for expedited processing.

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Assessment Estimates Carbon Storage Potential of U.S. Lands

Nation’s Forests and Soils Store Equivalent of 50 Years of U.S. CO2 Emissions

(Dec 10, 2009) - The first phase of a groundbreaking national assessment estimates that U.S. forests and soils could remove additional quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere as a means to mitigate climate change.

The lower 48 states in the U.S. hypothetically have the potential to store an additional 3-7 billion metric tons of carbon in forests, if agricultural lands were to be used for planting forests. This potential is equivalent to 2 to 4 years of America’s current CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels.

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Federal Court Rules Wind Energy Project in Violation of ESA

Judge Prevents Project That Will Kill Hundreds of Thousands of Bats From Proceeding Without Federal Permit

WASHINGTON, Dec. 9, 2009 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Federal district court Judge Roger Titus of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland has issued a comprehensive ruling that an industrial wind energy facility in Greenbrier County, West Virginia will kill and injure endangered Indiana bats, in violation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The court concluded that "the development of wind energy can and should be encouraged, but wind turbines must be good neighbors." This is the first federal court ruling in the country finding a wind power project in violation of federal environmental law, and it highlights the critical importance of balancing the creation of renewable energy and protection of endangered wildlife species under the ESA.

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