Presentation on theme: "1 | US DOE Geothermal Programeere.energy.gov Public Service of Colorado Ponnequin Wind Farm Geothermal Technologies Office Geothermal Regulatory Roadmap."— Presentation transcript:
1 | US DOE Geothermal Programeere.energy.gov Public Service of Colorado Ponnequin Wind Farm Geothermal Technologies Office Geothermal Regulatory Roadmap NEPA Database Overview Jay Nathwani Geothermal Technologies Office Kate Young NREL Principal Investigator October 1, 2013
2 | US DOE Geothermal Programeere.energy.gov Permitting Analyses: NEPA Data NEPA Data Populating a catalog of more than 150 recent geothermal NEPA documents Accommodates NEPA documents from all agencies, including: BLM, USFS, BOR, DOE Includes all phases of development: Information can be sorted, analyzed and compared by different criteria, such as by type of planned activity, by state or field office, by type of NEPA document Land Use Planning Exploration Well Field Power Plant Transmission
3 | US DOE Geothermal Programeere.energy.gov NEPA: List of Suggested Data to Collect Administrative Data Agency (State, Office, Document Number/Serial Number, leases) Project Data Applicant, Project Name, Project Type (Exploration, Drilling/Field Development, Utilization) Scope (brief narrative) Type of Analysis Casual Use Determination of NEPA Adequacy Categorical Exclusion Environmental Assessment Environmental Analysis Consultation, Special Interest and Concerns Wildlife: Critical Habitat, Special Status Species Cultural Resources Visual Resources Mitigation measures Timelines/Action Dates Application date Public Notice Decision Processing Time
4 | US DOE Geothermal Programeere.energy.gov 1. Provide data for future NEPA Analyses User Story BLM field office receives application for a reflective seismic survey. Agency personnel, including geothermal permit processing agent, specialists (biologist, cultural specialist, etc.) are unfamiliar with reflective seismic surveys or their potential impacts. Database Input Users search for “reflective seismic survey.” Basic information is provided about the survey, including how it is conducted, timeframes, output information, etc., Links are provided for further information and potential “training” (videos, presentations, papers, etc.) Lists of previous NEPA analyses conducted for reflective seismic surveys are listed, including dates, timeframes, locations, impacted species and stipulationsImpact The collection of this information helps to: Reduce misunderstanding about potential activity impacts Provide consistency among NEPA analyses conducted for similar activities Potentially reduce time required to determine impacts and stipulations
5 | US DOE Geothermal Programeere.energy.gov 2. Aid in Development of Categorical Exclusions Definition Categorical exclusion means a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment... and... for which, therefore, neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required. 40 CFR Note that a categorical exclusion can significantly reduce NEPA time requirements Typical CE3 months Typical EA10 months Categorical exclusions (CEs) are actions which meet the definition contained in 40 CFR , and, based on past experience with similar actions, do not involve significant environmental impacts. They are actions which: do not induce significant impacts to planned growth or land use for the area, do not require the relocation of significant numbers of people; do not have a significant impact on any natural, cultural, recreational, historic or other resource; do not involve significant air, noise, or water quality impacts; do not have significant impacts on travel patterns; and do not otherwise, either individually or cumulatively, have any significant environmental impacts. 23 CFR (a)
6 | US DOE Geothermal Programeere.energy.gov 2. Aid in Development of Categorical Exclusions Categorical exclusions (CX) are developed based on previous experience, so collecting information from existing geothermal NEPA documents for similar actions (e.g. specific exploration or drilling activities) can be the basis for development of categorical exclusions for geothermal. CXs can be: Implemented by administrative policies Mandated by congress (Sec. 390 EPAct of 2005 for O&G) or through agency regulations. Developed during land use planning process and within NEPA documents for multiple well and development projects, that provides for the use of individual CXs or determination of NEPA adequacy (DNA). Providing the upfront data collection and analysis can provide the federal agencies the data needed for development of categorical exclusions.
7 | US DOE Geothermal Programeere.energy.gov Sources of NEPA Information SourceDescription of Available DataType of Data Internet SearchSome EAs and EISs were available via web search, largely because they were temporarily being made available for public comment EA and EIS reports NEPA Register https://www.blm.gov/epl-front- office/eplanning/nepa/nepa_registe r.do BLM NEPA data base, records date from 2011, links to CX, DNA, EA, and EIS documents, not complete for all offices Selected NEPA documents LR2000 BLM serial register pages, case records for transaction records of leases, ROWs, NOIs for exploration, dates from 1970’s BLM Serial register pages with dates; no NEPA documents Individual field office websitesNEPA documents, some offices from 2008, not complete for all offices, must know documents, no detailed list BLM EAs and EISs open for public comment Field office filesGeothermal project files, dates from 1980’s, most complete, must know documents for request BLM reports, Applications, FONSIs, decisions DOE NEPA Database documents documents This database is reported to have a complete set of data for DOE-led NEPA analyses from 2008 to the present Reports, FONSIs, decisions, for DOE projects
8 | US DOE Geothermal Programeere.energy.gov Summary of Information Collected Type of Document # of Database Entries Applications (many are proprietary) ReportsFONSIsDecisions Casual Use261819NA20 Determinations of NEPA Adequacy 271 NA27 Categorical Exclusions (not common) NA53 Environmental Assessments Environmental Impact Statements 5 5NA4 TOTAL
9 | US DOE Geothermal Programeere.energy.gov NEPA Database Queries QueryPotential Uses Technique Users can look at the type of analysis typically needed for a given activity, and review previous timeframes and mitigation measures typically imposed. Development Phase Like the technique query, but on a broader scale, users can look at the type of analysis typically needed for a given development phase, and review previous timeframes and mitigation measures typically imposed. Field Office Users can review the analysis conducted at a field office and get a sense of the potential impacts and mitigation proscribed. NEPA Analysis Type Users can look at timeframes, techniques and other circumstances of NEPA analyses of a given type. This can help to target areas where efficiencies could be increased. Document Lists Users can see and access, at a glance, all NEPA-related documents available on OpenEIs Geothermal Area Users can see all NEPA analyses that have been conducted at a specific location, understanding mitigation measures and potential application of future tiered NEPA analyses such as DNAs. Resource Users can look at mitigation measures proposed and imposed on previous projects for a particular resource. This may lead to greater consistency in mitigating impacts, as well as reduce time frames by not needing to re-invent mitigation measures for each project.
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