Final Environmental Impact Statement: Kenetech/Pacificorp Windpower Project, Carbon County, Wyoming

Report

Title: Final Environmental Impact Statement: Kenetech/Pacificorp Windpower Project, Carbon County, Wyoming
Publication Date:
August 01, 1995
Pages: 281
Sponsoring Organization:
Receptor:

Document Access

Website: External Link
Attachment: Access File
(18 MB)

Citation

Mariah Associates (1995). Final Environmental Impact Statement: Kenetech/Pacificorp Windpower Project, Carbon County, Wyoming. pp 281.
Abstract: 

The Draft and Final Environmental Impact Statements were prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended, to consider potential environmental consequences (both positive and negative) of a proposed 500-megawatt (MW) Windplant in the Foote Creek Rim - Simpson Ridge area between the towns of Hanna and Arlington in southeastern Wyoming. The proposed KENETECH windpower, Inc. (KENETECH)/PacifiCorp, Inc. (PacifiCorp) project area (KPPA) is defined as the Foote Creek Rim and Simpson Ridge project areas plus three alternate transmission line routes. Under the Proposed Action, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) would issue a 30-year renewable right-of-way (ROW) grant to KENETECH for construction of the full 500-MW Windplant and a ROW grant to PacifiCorp to construct a 230-kilovolt (kV) transmission line along one of the three alternate routes. The Proposed Action is the BLM preferred alternative for the project. Alternative transmission line Route No. 3 is the BLM preferred alternate. The BLM is the lead agency for Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) preparation; the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), which would buy a portion of the electric power, is a cooperating agency. Two alternatives (Alternative A and a No Action Alternative) were analyzed. Alternative A would involve construction of a 300-MW Windplant plus the 230-kV transmission line. Under the No Action Alternative, BLM would deny the ROW grant and BPA would not execute a power purchase agreement with PacifiCorp. The No Action Alternative is not expected to result in direct development of another energy source within the KPPA, the Great Divide Resource Area, or the area serviced by Bonneville Power Administration, PacifiCorp, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Company, Public Service Company of Colorado, or Eugene Water and Electric Board. A scoping statement was mailed to potentially interested parties and the media in January 1994. Issues and concerns identified by the public, BLM, and other governmental organizations regarding the Proposed Action and analyzed in this EIS are as follows:

 

Key issues

 

  • wind turbine effects on birds,
  • direct and indirect wildlife habitat loss,
  • big game winter range and migrations,
  • threatened, endangered, candidate, and state sensitive (TEC&S) and priority plants and animals and their habitats,
  • cultural resources and Native American spiritual values, and
  • reasonable access to public land.

 

Other issues and concerns raised during public scoping

 

  • visual resources and aesthetics,
  • benefits/disadvantages of wind energy vs. other energy sources,
  • noxious weed control,
  • highly erodible and unstable soils,
  • wetlands and riparian areas,
  • paleontological resources,
  • reclamation potential,
  • surface and groundwater,
  • conformance with current and future land uses,
  • compatibility with management plans and objectives,
  • noise impacts on residents and wildlife,
  • displacement and reduced habitat effectiveness to wildlife from turbine noise and motion effects,
  • impacts to recreation (e.g., hunting and access),
  • social and economic effects on local communities,
  • revenue generation and job availability,
  • areawide transmission capabilities,
  • impacts to existing pipelines,
  • impacts to other potential wind developers,
  • compatibility with other energy industries,
  • increased traffic on roads and increased human activity, and
  • public safety, law enforcement, and travel management.
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