[Federal Register: April 2, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 63)]
[Page 16827-16828]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Bureau of Land Management

[CACA 48254, LLCAD08000L5101 FX0000LVRWB09B2410]

Notice of Availability of the Draft Granite Mountain Wind, LLC 
Wind Energy Generation Project Environmental Impact Statement/
Environmental Impact Report, California, and the Draft California 
Desert Conservation Area Plan Amendment

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Availability.


SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969, as amended, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 
1976 (FLPMA), as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), in 
cooperation with the County of San Bernardino, has prepared a Draft 
California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) Plan Amendment and a Draft 
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)/Environmental Impact Report (EIR) 
for the proposed Granite Mountain Wind Energy Generation Project and by 
this notice is announcing the opening of the comment period.

DATES: To ensure that comments will be considered, the BLM must receive 
written comments on the CDCA Plan Amendment and Draft EIS/EIR within 90 
days following the date the Environmental Protection Agency publishes 
its Notice of Availability in the Federal Register. The BLM will 
announce future meetings or hearings and any other public involvement 
activities at least 15 days in advance through public notices, media 
releases, or mailings.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments related to the proposed Granite 
Mountain Wind Energy Generation Project by any of the following 
     Web site: http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/barstow.html.
     E-mail: GraniteWindProject@blm.gov.
     Fax: (760) 252-6099.
     Mail: Edythe Seehafer, BLM Barstow Field Office, 2601 
Barstow Road, Barstow, California 92311.

Copies of the Draft CDCA Plan Amendment and Draft EIS/EIR for the 
proposed Granite Mountain Wind Energy Generation Project are available 
in the Barstow Field Office at the above address; copies are also 
available at the following Web site: http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/
barstow.html; the BLM California State Office, 2800 Cottage Way, 
Sacramento, California 95825; County of San Bernardino Land Use 
Services Department, 385 N. Arrowhead Avenue, San Bernardino, 
California 92415 and County of San Bernardino Land Use Services 
Department, 15456 West Sage Street, Victorville, California 92392. 
Electronic (CD-ROM) or paper copies may also be obtained by contacting 
Edythe Seehafer at (760) 252-6021 or by e-mailing your request to 
GraniteWindProject@blm.gov and including your name and mailing address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Edythe Seehafer, telephone (760) 252-
6021; address BLM Barstow Field Office, 2601 Barstow Road, California 
92311; e-mail GraniteWindProject@blm.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Granite Wind LLC has applied to the BLM 
under Title V of the FLPMA (43 U.S.C. 1761) for authorization of a 
right-of-way (ROW) on BLM managed lands to construct, operate, and 
decommission a wind energy facility and associated infrastructure in 
compliance with FLPMA, BLM ROW regulations, and other applicable 
Federal laws. The BLM will decide whether to approve, approve with 
modification, or deny issuance of a ROW authorization to Granite Wind 
LLC for the proposed Granite Mountain Wind Energy Project. Pursuant to 
the BLM's CDCA Plan (1980, as amended), sites associated with power 
generation or transmission not identified in the CDCA Plan will be 
considered through the plan amendment process; the BLM will also decide 
whether the project site itself is suitable or unsuitable for wind 
energy generation.
    The Project is proposed on approximately 2,086 acres of public 
lands administered by the BLM's Barstow Field Office and 670 acres of 
private lands under the jurisdiction of the County of San Bernardino. 
Total disturbance for the project and ancillary facilities would be 
approximately 200 acres, of which approximately 90 acres would be long-
term disturbance (for the life of operations). The Project would 
include the installation of up to twenty-eight 2.3-megawatt (MW) 
Siemens wind turbines (or a similar model of wind turbine with a 2.1 to 
3 MW capacity). At full capacity, the proposed project is anticipated 
to produce approximately 185,000 MW-hours per year.
    Alternatives include:
     A no action (no project) alternative with a plan amendment 
making the project area unavailable to wind energy projects;
     A no action (no project) alternative with a plan amendment 
making the project area available to other wind energy projects;
     The proposed action, including a plan amendment making the 
project area available for wind energy generation and providing for a 
portion of a new 230-kilovolt (kV) transmission line to occur outside 
of a utility corridor;
     A modified proposed action to access the site from the 
east instead of the west to minimize visual impacts from the project 
and to mitigate biological impacts to Bendire's Thrasher, a BLM 
sensitive bird species; and
     A modified proposed action that would interconnect to the 
transmission grid at an alternative location further east that would 
minimize impacts to an active golden eagle nest.
    The proposed towers would be up to 262 feet tall. The turbine 
blades would extend an additional 166 feet for a total height of up to 
428 feet above the ground. Twenty of the wind turbines would be located 
on Federal lands administered by the BLM, and eight would be on 
adjacent private land within unincorporated San Bernardino County. The 
proposed project would require the construction of a new access road; 
an on-site electrical switchyard; an overhead transmission line; a 
small operations and maintenance building; a temporary construction 
office; temporary facilities including a cement mixing facility, 
asphalt batch plant, and construction staging areas; and an electrical 
substation for interconnection to the Southern California Edison 230 kV 
transmission system. Each wind turbine would have a pad-mounted 
transformer located beside the wind turbine tower, a maintenance road, 
and underground electrical and communication lines. Two permanent 
meteorological towers would be installed to measure wind speed and 
direction across the site and control the turbines. The proposed 
project is expected to have an operating lifetime of 25-30 years.
    A Notice of Intent for this project was published in the Federal 
Register on December 6, 2007 (72 FR 68894). This was followed by a 30-
day public scoping period, which was extended upon the request of San 
Bernardino County. This extension ended on May 5,

[[Page 16828]]

2008. Public workshops and scoping meetings were held in Apple Valley, 
California in March and April 2008. Predominant issues identified 
during scoping included visual, biological, noise, recreation, 
transportation, economic, and cumulative impacts.
    The issues and concerns identified during scoping are addressed in 
the Draft EIS/EIR. Please note that public comments and information 
submitted including names, street addresses, and e-mail addresses of 
persons who submit comments will be available for public review and 
disclosure at the above address during regular business hours (8 a.m. 
to 4 p.m.), Monday through Friday, except holidays.
    Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.

    Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6, 1506.10 and 43 CFR 1610.2.

Thomas Pogacnik,
Deputy State Director.
[FR Doc. 2010-7474 Filed 4-1-10; 8:45 am]