[Federal Register: November 23, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 224)]
[Page 61168-61169]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Bureau of Land Management

[CACA-049016, LLCAD05000, L51010000, ER0000, LVRWB09B2990]

Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for 
the Proposed Solar Millennium Ridgecrest Solar Power Project, Kern 
County, CA and Possible Land Use Plan Amendment and Staff Assessment

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent.


SUMMARY: In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969 (NEPA), as amended, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 
1976, as amended, and the California Environmental Quality Act, the 
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Ridgecrest Field Office, together with 
the California Energy Commission (CEC), intend to prepare an 
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)/Staff Assessment (SA), which may 
include an amendment to the California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) 
Plan of 1980, as amended, and by this notice are announcing the 
beginning of the scoping process to solicit public comments and 
identify issues.

DATES: This notice initiates the public scoping process for the Draft 
EIS/SA and possible plan amendment. Comments on issues may be submitted 
in writing until December 23, 2009. The dates and locations of scoping 
meetings, information hearings, and site visits will be announced at 
least 15 days in advance through local media, the BLM Web site at 
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/ridgecrest.html, and the CEC's Web site 
at http://www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/solar_millennium_ridgecrest/
index.html. In order to be considered in the Draft EIS/SA, all comments 
must be received prior to the close of the scoping period or 15 days 
after the last public meeting, whichever is later. We will provide 
additional opportunities for public participation upon publication of 
the Draft EIS and SA.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on issues and planning criteria 
related to the Solar Millennium Ridgecrest Draft EIS and SA by any of 
the following methods:
     Web site: http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/ridgecrest.html 
or http://www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/solar_millennium_ridgecrest/
     E-mail: CARSPP@blm.gov or esolorio@energy.state.ca.us.
     Fax: BLM (951) 697-5299 or CEC (916) 654-3882.
     Mail: BLM California Desert District, 22835 Calle San Juan 
de los Lagos, Moreno Valley, California 92553, Attn: Janet Eubanks; or 
California Energy Commission, 1516 Ninth Street, MS-15, Sacramento, 
California, 95814, Attn: Eric Solorio.
    Documents pertinent to this proposal may be examined at the 
Ridgecrest Field Office.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information or to have 
your name added to our mailing list, contact Janet Eubanks, Project 
Manager, at (951) 697-5376; or 22835 Calle San Juan de los Lagos, 
Moreno Valley, California 92553; or e-mail Janet_Eubanks@ca.blm.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Solar Millennium, LLC, has applied for a 
right-of-way (ROW) authorization to construct and operate a parabolic 
trough, solar thermal, generating facility with a capacity of 250 
megawatts. The project would connect to the existing Southern 
California Edison 230-kilovolt (kV) Inyokern/Kramer Junction 
transmission line. About a mile long portion of this 230 kV 
transmission line and about a mile long portion of a 115 kV line would 
be realigned to avoid the project area. The approximately 3,920-acre 
proposed ROW would contain two solar fields, a power block, 
construction areas, a dry-cooling tower, steel transmission towers with 
associated transmission lines, access roads, three covered water tanks, 
an underground water pipeline, a water treatment facility, an 
electrical switchyard, a land treatment unit for bioremediation of any 
soil that may be contaminated by heat transfer fluid, an office, a 
warehouse, a parking lot, and facility perimeter fencing. The project 
would be located approximately five miles southwest of

[[Page 61169]]

the city of Ridgecrest in Kern County, California.
    The purpose of the public scoping process is to determine relevant 
issues that will influence the scope of the environmental analysis, 
including alternatives, and guide the process for developing the EIS. 
At present, the BLM has identified the following preliminary issues: 
special area designations; social and economic impacts, including 
impacts to the public from traffic; ground and surface water quantity 
and quality; special status species management; cultural resources; and 
visual resources.
    Authorization of this proposal may require amendment of the CDCA 
Plan (1980, as amended). By this notice, the BLM is complying with 
requirements in 43 CFR 1610.2(c) to notify the public of potential 
amendments to land use plans, predicated on the findings of the EIS. If 
a land use plan amendment is necessary, the BLM will integrate the land 
use planning process with the NEPA process for this project.
    The BLM will use the NEPA commenting process to satisfy the public 
involvement process for Section 106 of the National Historic 
Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470f) as provided for in 36 CFR 
800.2(d)(3). Native American Tribal consultations will be conducted in 
accordance with BLM policy, and Tribal concerns will be given due 
consideration, including impacts on Indian trust assets. Federal, 
State, and local agencies, tribes, and stakeholders that may be 
interested or affected by the BLM's decision on this project are 
invited to participate in the scoping process and, if eligible, may 
request or be requested by the BLM to participate as a cooperating 
    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 1501.7 and 43 CFR 1610.2.

Thomas Pogacnik,
Deputy State Director, Natural Resources, California State Office.
[FR Doc. E9-27981 Filed 11-20-09; 8:45 am]