[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 222 (Friday, November 16, 2012)]
[Pages 68813-68814]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-27768]



Bureau of Land Management

[LLCAC07000 L13100000 EI0000 LXSIGEOT0000]

Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact 
Statement and Environmental Impact Report for the Casa Diablo IV 
Geothermal Development Project, CA

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969, as amended (NEPA); the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 
1976, as amended; and the California Environmental Quality Act of 1970 
(CEQA); the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Bishop Field Office, 
Bishop, California; the United States Forest Service (USFS) Inyo 
National Forest; and the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control 
District (GBUAPCD) (a California state agency) have prepared a Draft 
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)/Environmental Impact Report (EIR) 
for the proposed Casa Diablo IV Geothermal Development Project near the 
Town of Mammoth Lakes in Mono County, California. This notice announces 
the opening of the public comment period.

DATES: To ensure comments will be considered, comments on the Draft 
EIS/EIR must be received within 60 days following the date the 
Environmental Protection Agency publishes this Notice of Availability 
in the Federal Register. The BLM and cooperating agencies will announce 
future meetings or hearings and any other public involvement activities 
at least 15 days in advance

[[Page 68814]]

through public notices, media releases, and/or mailings.

ADDRESSES: Written comments on the Draft EIS/EIR for the Casa Diablo IV 
Geothermal Development Project may be submitted by any of the following 
     Web site: http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/bishop.html.
     Email: [email protected]; Subject: Casa Diablo IV 
Geothermal Development Project Draft EIS/EIR.
     Fax: 760-872-5050.
     Mail: BLM, Bishop Field Office, 351 Pacu Lane, Suite 100, 
Bishop, CA 93514; Attn: Casa Diablo IV Geothermal Development Project 
Draft EIS/EIR, c/o Collin Reinhardt, Project Manager.
    Oral comments may be submitted to Margie DeRose via telephone at 
760-873-2424 or in person at the Inyo National Forest, Supervisor's 
Office, 351 Pacu Lane, Suite 200, Bishop, CA 93514. Oral comments may 
also be submitted at any public meeting that is designed to elicit 
public comments.
    Copies of the Draft EIS/EIR for the Casa Diablo IV Geothermal 
Development Project are available at the Bishop Field Office at the 
above address and at the Mono County Library at 400 Sierra Park Road, 
Mammoth Lakes, California.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Collin Reinhardt, Project Manager, 
telephone 760-872-5024; address 351 Pacu Lane, Suite 100, Bishop, CA 
93514; email [email protected]. Persons who use a telecommunications 
device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay 
Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above individual during 
normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a 
week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You 
will receive a reply during normal business hours.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Draft EIS/EIR analyzes the potential 
impacts of authorizing the proposed Casa Diablo IV Geothermal 
Development Project near the Town of Mammoth Lakes in Mono County, 
California. In accordance with the Geothermal Steam Act of 1970, as 
amended (30 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.), the BLM Bishop Field Office is the 
lead Federal agency responsible for permitting the proposed project and 
for completing the required environmental analysis under NEPA. The USFS 
Inyo National Forest is a cooperating Federal agency. The GBUAPCD is 
the lead State agency responsible for permitting the proposed project 
and for completing the required environmental analysis under the CEQA.
    The purpose and need for action is to respond to an application to 
construct and operate the proposed Casa Diablo IV Geothermal 
Development Project on Federal geothermal leases administered by the 
BLM Bishop Field Office. The proposed project would be located on Inyo 
National Forest lands and adjacent private lands within portions of 
Federal geothermal leases CACA-11667, CACA-14407, CACA-14408, and CACA-
11672. The leases proposed for development are part of an existing 
geothermal unit, which is currently providing energy sufficient to 
power three operating geothermal plants.
    The applicant's proposed action includes the construction of a new 
33-MW binary geothermal power plant, which would be the fourth 
geothermal plant in the vicinity; up to 16 wells for production and 
reinjection, drilled to an approximate 1,600- to 2,500-ft depth; and 
associated pipelines. A 650-ft long transmission line is proposed to 
interconnect the new power plant to the existing Southern California 
Edison (SCE) substation at Substation Road. The proposed Casa Diablo IV 
plant, access roads, well pads, pipelines and transmission line would 
occupy approximately 80 acres. Of the 16 proposed production/injection 
well locations, 14 were previously analyzed and approved by the BLM as 
exploration wells in EA-170-02-15 (2001) and EA-170-05-04 (2005). Three 
of these exploration wells have already been drilled as of the time of 
the publication of this notice. The proposed well field contains two 
existing production wells and associated pipelines that currently serve 
the three existing power plants in the area. The BLM published a Notice 
of Intent (NOI) to prepare a joint EIS/EIR on March 25, 2011, in the 
Federal Register (76 FR 16806). Publication of the NOI initiated a 
public scoping period, which included two public scoping meetings. 
Comments received through the scoping process and consultations carried 
out pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act 
and other Federal mandates identified the following issues and concerns 
that have been incorporated into the Draft EIS/EIR: Potential effects 
on air quality, biological resources including vegetation and wildlife, 
cultural resources and Native American concerns, public health and 
safety, recreation resources, and surface and groundwater resources.
    Alternatives identified and evaluated in the Draft EIS/EIR include: 
Alternative 1, the applicant's proposed action which is outlined above; 
Alternative 2, which considers an alternative location for the proposed 
power plant; Alternative 3, which considers alternative pipeline 
alignments in Basalt Canyon and slightly alters the location of one 
proposed well; and Alternative 4, the no action alternative which would 
limit geothermal development activities on the affected leases to those 
previously authorized by the BLM. In accordance with NEPA (40 CFR 
1502.14(e)), the BLM and USFS have identified Alternative 3 as the 
preferred alternative. The GBUAPCD has also identified Alternative 3 as 
the ``environmentally superior alternative'' pursuant to the CEQA (14 
C.C.R. 15126.6(e)(2)).
    Public comments and information submitted, including names, street 
addresses, and email addresses of persons who submit comments, will be 
available for public review at the above address during regular 
business hours (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.), Monday through Friday, except 
    Before including your address, phone number, email 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 1506.6, 40 CFR 1506.10.

Bernadette Lovato,
Bishop Field Manager.
[FR Doc. 2012-27768 Filed 11-15-12; 8:45 am]