Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
The BLM evaluated the potential wind energy development on a broad level to determine appropriate areas and restrictions for the Power Company of Wyoming, LLC (PCW) to develop a wind energy facility on public lands in the Application Area administered by the BLM in compliance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, BLM right-of-way (ROW) regulations, and other applicable Federal laws. This decision does not authorize development of the wind energy project; rather, it sets the parameters for which future ROW applications may be submitted by PCW. The ROW applications will be screened against the analysis conducted in this environmental impact statement (EIS), and then the appropriate level of subsequent, tiered National Environmental Policy Act analysis will be conducted prior to the BLM issuing a decision on ROW applications. The BLM selected this manner of analyzing the project based on its size and complexity of resources. Accordingly, through this decision the BLM is (1) determining whether the area identified in PCW's proposal is appropriate for wind energy development; (2) Identifying the requirements for future wind development in the area; and (3) Amending the VRM class decision portions of the 2008 Rawlins RMP for the designated Decision Area. Two resulting decisions are as follows: (1) The BLM has determined that portions of the Application Area are suitable for wind energy development and associated facilities on public lands subject to the requirements for all future wind development in the area as described under the Preferred Alternative in the CCSM project Final EIS, herein referred to as the Selected Alternative. The Selected Alternative analyzed a wind energy development proposal by PCW in the 219,707-acre alternative boundary to accommodate development of a 2,000- to 3,000-megawatt (MW) project consisting of up to 1,000 turbines and ancillary facilities in the two sites—the 109,086-acre Chokecherry site and the 110,161-acre Sierra Madre site—and off-site access on 460 acres. Power generated by the project would be routed to one or more of up to five potential transmission lines analyzed in detail in separate EISs or an existing transmission line on the northern edge of the Project Site, all of which were considered in the cumulative impact analysis for this project. (2) The BLM is requiring that certain project design features and mitigation measures be incorporated into any future CCSM wind energy development authorizations. These design features and mitigation measures include the identified BLM environmental constraints, applicant-committed measures and best management practices, and mitigation measures identified through the EIS process. The CCSM project also would
The Proposed Plan Amendment/Final EIS and CCSM Project Final EIS were released for a 30-day public review and protest period commencing on June 29, 2012. At the close of the 30-day protest period on July 30, 2012, thirteen timely and complete written protests were received and resolved. Their resolution is summarized in the Director's Protest Summary Report attached to the ROD. The proposed amendment to the Rawlins RMP was not modified as a result of the protest resolution. Simultaneously with the protest period, the Governor of Wyoming conducted a 60-day consistency review of the proposed Rawlins RMP Amendment to identify any inconsistencies with State or local plans, policies or programs; no inconsistencies were identified.
Because this decision is approved by the Secretary of the Interior, it is not subject to administrative appeal (43 CFR 4.410(a)(3)).
40 CFR 1506.6.