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US White House Federal Register: getdoc

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38648
Federal Register
/Vol. 66, No. 143/Wednesday, July 25, 2001/Notices
supplemental EIS or a new EIS would be needed.Under the proposed transportationaction compared to that analyzed for theWM PEIS, there would be a reducedtotal number of curies being shippedfrom the Mound Site to SRS, a lowerexternal exposure rate, and the same orlower number of shipments. Under evensevere accident scenarios, the releases of plutonium would be similar to thosepreviously analyzed. The transportationrisk analysis DOE prepared to supportthe DOT exemption for the proposedtransportation action is summarized inand attached to the SupplementAnalysis. DOE has concluded that theproposed action would not, either underincident-free or accident conditions,present a substantial change relevant toenvironmental concerns or significantnew circumstances or informationrelevant to environmental concerns and bearing on the proposed action or itsimpacts. Therefore, DOE concluded thata supplemental EIS or a new EIS is notrequired under 40 CFR 1502.9(c) or 10CFR 1021.314(c) to implement thisproposal.
Issued in Washington, D.C., this 13 day of  July, 2001.
Carolyn L. Huntoon,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management.
[FR Doc. 01
18539 Filed 7
24
01; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450
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01
 –
P
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGYNational Nuclear SecurityAdministration; Notice of Intent ToPrepare an Environmental ImpactStatement for the Proposed Wind Farmat the Nevada Test Site
AGENCY
:
Department of Energy, NationalNuclear Security Administration.
ACTION
:
Notice of intent.
SUMMARY
:
The Department of Energy,National Nuclear SecurityAdministration (DOE/NNSA),announces its intention to prepare anenvironmental impact statement (EIS)for a proposal to allow the Nevada TestSite (NTS) Development Corporation(the designated community reuseorganization for the NTS) and M&NWind Power, Inc. and Siemens (MNS) toconstruct, operate and maintain a windfarm at the Nevada Test Site. Thisproposal, if fully implemented, wouldconsist of up to 545 wind turbinesgenerating up to approximately 600megawatts of electricity. The wind farmwould encompass approximately 432hectares (1069 acres) of land on theNTS. The EIS will address potentialenvironmental impacts of theconstruction, operation andmaintenance of the wind farm.
DATES
:
Comments on the proposedscope of the Wind Farm EIS are invitedfrom the public. To ensureconsideration in the preparation of theEIS, comments must be postmarked byAugust 24, 2001. Late comments will beconsidered to the extent practicable.Two public scoping meetings to discussissues and receive oral comments on thescope of the EIS will be held in southernNevada. The scoping meetings willprovide the public with an opportunityto present comments, ask questions, anddiscuss concerns with DOE/NNSAofficials regarding the EIS. The location,date, and time for these public scopingmeetings are as follows:Las Vegas, Nevada
August 16, 2001 5p.m.
8 p.m., Department of Energy,National Nuclear SecurityAdministration, Nevada OperationsOffice, 232 Energy Way, North LasVegas, Nevada.Pahrump, Nevada
August 17, 2001 6p.m.
9 p.m. Bob Rudd CommunityCenter, 150 No. Highway 160,Pahrump, Nevada.
ADDRESSES
:
General questionsconcerning the Wind Farm project may be directed to Kevin Thornton at (702)295
1541 or in writing to: Mr. KevinThornton, Department of Energy,National Nuclear SecurityAdministration, Nevada OperationsOffice, P.O. Box 98518, Las Vegas, NV89193
8518.Comments may also be submitted toMr. Thornton at the address above; orfaxed to 1
702
295
2261; or e-mailed to
nepa@nv.doe.gov.
Please markenvelopes, faxes, and E-mail:
‘‘
WindFarm EIS Comments.
’’
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
:
Forgeneral information on the NNSA NEPAprocess, please contact: Mr. HenryGarson, NEPA Compliance Officer forDefense Programs, U.S. Department of Energy/NNSA, 1000 IndependenceAvenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585; ortelephone 1
800
832
0885, ext. 30470.For general information on the DOENEPA process, please contact: Ms. CarolM. Borgstrom, Director, Office of NEPAPolicy and Compliance (EH
42), U.S.Department of Energy, 1000Independence Avenue, SW.,Washington, DC 20585, telephone 202
586
4600, or leave a message at 1
800
472
2756.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION
:
Background:
The current powershortage in California has focusednational attention on the need foradditional generation facilities in thewestern United States. Additionally,several states have adopted renewableenergy portfolio standards requiringutilities to purchase power fromrenewable energy sources. The proposedfacilities would support both the needfor additional generation and provideutilities the opportunity to meet theirrequirements to purchase renewableenergy.As the Federal agency charged withoperating and managing the NTS, DOE,in October 1996, prepared a site-wideEIS for the site,
‘‘
Final EnvironmentalImpact Statement for the Nevada TestSite and Off Site Locations in the Stateof Nevada
’’
(DOE/EIS 0243). The Recordof Decision (ROD) for that site-wide EISstated:
‘‘
This decision will result in thecontinuation of the multipurpose, multi-program use of the Nevada Test Site,under which DOE will pursue a furtherdiversification of interagency, privateindustry, and public-education useswhile meeting its Defense Program,Waste Management, and EnvironmentalRestoration mission requirements.
’’
Section 3161 of the National DefenseAuthorization Act for fiscal year 1993encouraged DOE to minimize the socialand economic impacts on workers andcommunities affected by downsizing of defense-related facilities. One of themethods DOE uses to implement thisCongressional direction was to establishlocal Community Reuse Organizations(CROs) to assist economic developmentefforts. The CRO for the NTS is the NTSDevelopment Corporation (NTSDC).Among other things, section 3161authorized DOE to encourage privatesector economic development at DOEsites and facilities. The NTS site-wideEIS ROD indicates that as part of itsdecision, DOE would continue tosupport ongoing program operationsand pursue diversification of use toinclude non-defense and private use.The proposed wind farm would be aprivate sector enterprise located on theNTS. The development of the facilitieswould be authorized pursuant to aneasement issued by NNSA, NevadaOperations Office (NV) to NTSDC, anda subsequent sub-easement from NTSDCto MNS, subject to NNSA/NV approval.DOE has received a proposal fromMNS to develop, operate, and maintaina wind farm at the NTS to help fulfilla national need for additional electricalenergy generation. The purpose of theproposed facilities would be to providea viable renewable energy source. DOE believes that the wind farm would becompatible with other NTS missionsand programs.In November 2000, NNSA/NV beganpreparation of an environmentalassessment (EA) for the proposedproject. A public scoping meeting for
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38649
Federal Register
/Vol. 66, No. 143/Wednesday, July 25, 2001/Notices
the EA was held in Pahrump, Nevada,at that time. The Draft EA was providedfor review and comment to Nevada Stateagencies, other Federal agencies,affiliated American Indian tribes, andother interested parties in March 2001.Several issues were raised by thecommentors including the surroundingNTS land use, inadequacy of currentpower distribution systems, and thepotential impacts on cultural and biological resources at the proposedsites and the need to gather additionalinformation on these concerns. Basedupon its analysis, NNSA/NV hasdetermined that an EA would notsupport a Finding of No SignificantImpact and, therefore, pursuant to theNational Environmental Policy Act(NEPA) of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C.4321
et seq.
), and DOE RegulationsImplementing NEPA (10 CFR part 1021),DOE/NNSA has decided to prepare anEIS for the Proposed Wind Farm at theNTS. The Wind Farm EIS will evaluatethe environmental impacts associatedwith the proposed construction andoperation of a wind turbine farm at thefollowing alternative locations: (1)Pahute Mesa and the ShoshoneMountain area (the MNS preferredalternative) on the NTS; (2) SkullMountain on the NTS; and (3) RainierMesa on the NTS. It is possible that thislist of reasonable alternatives maychange during the scoping process. TheEIS will also evaluate the no-actionalternative of not establishing a windfarm at the NTS.In association with the preparation of an EIS, NNSA/NV will enter intoconsultation with the 17 AmericanIndian tribes with established culturalaffiliation to the NTS.
Purpose and Need for Agency Action:
The NTS Development Corporation, on behalf of MNS, has requestedauthorization from NNSA (pursuant toan NNSA issued easement and NTSDCsub-easement to MNS), to proceed withthe installation and operation of up to600 megawatts (MW) of wind turbinegenerated power using as many as 545wind turbine generators at the NTS.This project is consistent with DOE/NNSA
s Congressionally mandatedpurpose to further diversify andencourage private sector economicdevelopment at the NTS. The DOE/NNSA is pursuing alternative uses forthe NTS, which has a mandate tosupport alternative and renewableenergy sources. As steward of the NTS,DOE/NNSA must decide if the proposedaction is consistent with current andfuture planned uses of the NTS andwhat the impacts will be to theenvironment.
Proposed Action:
MNS proposes todevelop, operate, and maintain a windfarm at the NTS. These activities wouldproceed in accordance with an easementto the NTS Development Corporationand sub-easement between the NTSDevelopment Corporation and MNS.The wind farm would consist of asmany as 545 wind turbine generatorsthat would generate up to 600 MW of energy. Two general areas of the NTS
the Shoshone Mountain area and thePahute Mesa area
have been suggestedas suitable for wind power development because they are located at highelevations near steep-sided ridges andhave winds of sufficient velocity andduration to make wind powereconomically feasible.The Shoshone Mountains are locatedon the NTS in Areas 29 and 30. Theproposed Shoshone Mountain windfarm area includes the ShoshoneMountain, Dome Mountain, local northand south ridges in Areas 29 and 30,and Tippipah Ridge in Area 16.The proposed Pahute Mesa wind farmarea is located primarily on the NTS inArea 19 with a few wind turbines to belocated in the northwest portion of Area12.As currently envisioned, TheShoshone Mountain wind farm wouldprimarily use the wind turbinegenerators with a three-bladed, upwind,stall-regulated, horizontal axis design.The rotors would have blades that are25.5 meters (83.6 feet) long. Theturbine
s nacelles would be mounted onself-supporting tubular steel towers, 55meters (180 feet) tall, with a bottomdiameter of 3.5 meters (11 feet). Theconcrete foundations for the heavy-duty,tapered, monopole towers would beapproximately 5 meters (15 feet) indiameter and 9 meters (30 feet) deep,although final design would depend onsite-specific soil conditions. Dependingon the final measured winds and sitingconsiderations, MNS may use somelarger turbines such as those turbinesdiscussed below, substituting for someor all of the smaller turbines.The Pahute Mesa wind farm wouldprimarily use turbines with rotor bladesas large as 36.5 meters (119 feet),mounted on towers up to 66 meters (217feet) tall with a bottom flange of 4meters (13 feet) in diameter. Theconcrete foundation required for theselarger turbines would be approximately6 meters (19 feet) in diameter and 9meters (30 feet) deep. Depending on thefinal measured winds and sitingconsiderations, MNS may use thesmaller turbine generators on PahuteMesa as substitutes for some or all of thelarger turbines.Electrical power from the wind farmswould be collected by cable systems andfed to one or two proposed substationson the NTS. Because the existing 138-kilovolt (kV) NTS power loop canhandle approximately 85 MW, a limitednumber of turbines could beinterconnected to it at any given time.A new transmission line is proposed to be constructed along the existing FortyMile Canyon power corridor and brought off site to connect with a newsubstation proposed to be built.
Alternatives:
The alternatives for thisproject consist of locations on the NTSand a no-action alternative. Thealternative sites include: (1) PahuteMesa and/or the Shoshone Mountainarea (the preferred alternative); (2) SkullMountain; and (3) Rainier Mesa. Off-sitelocations will not be evaluated becausethey would not fall within the DOE/NNSA need for considering the requestfrom the NTS development corporation(on behalf of MNS) to site the WindFarm at the NTS.
Identification of Environmental and Other Issues:
The NNSA has identifiedthe following issues for analysis in theEIS. Additional issues may be identifiedas a result of the scoping process.1. Impacts to cultural resources witharcheological significance on ShoshoneMountain and Pahute Mesa.2. Impacts to resources/sitesimportant to the 17 native AmericanIndian tribes with cultural affiliation tothe NTS.3. Impacts to plants, animals, andhabitats, including threatened orendangered species and their habitats,associated with clearing, grading andconstructing roads and operating windturbines in previously undisturbedareas.4. The consumption of naturalresources and energy associated withconstructing and operating a windturbine farm.5. Socioeconomic impacts to affectedcommunities from construction andoperation associated with locating awind farm on NTS.6. A potential need to upgrade ordevelop new power substations off of the NTS capable of accepting the powergenerated on the NTS by the wind farm.7. Cumulative impacts from theproposed action and other past, present,and reasonably foreseeable actions atthe alternative sites.8. Potential irreversible andirretrievable commitments of resourcesassociated with locating, constructing,and operating a wind farm on the NTS.9. Status of compliance with allapplicable Federal, state, and localstatutes and regulations; requiredFederal, state, and tribe environmental
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