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New Geothermal Project Approved for Mammoth Lakes

9/24/2013 10:13:00 AM

Tags: casa diablo IV, geothermal, Bureau of Land Managament, renewable energy, California

The Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service Inyo National Forest signed on Aug. 13, 2013 the Record of Decision approving a new 40-megawatt geothermal project near Mammoth Lakes in Mono County, Calif.

BLM has approved new geothermal project. Photo by Fotolia.com/ PiLensPhoto

Under the terms of the Record of Decision for the Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report, the Casa Diablo IV Geothermal Development Project will be built on lands administered by the Inyo National Forest and on private lands within four existing federal geothermal leases. The project will include construction of a new geothermal power plant, up to 16 new production and injection wells, multiple pipelines and an electric transmission line.

Ormat Nevada Inc. will develop the project on public and private land, and the project will generate more than 180 construction jobs.  When completed, the project would produce enough energy to power 36,000 homes.

BLM's review of the project began with scoping meetings in 2011, and no changes were made to the final EIS/EIR released in July 2013. The document was jointly prepared by the BLM, Inyo National Forest, and Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District, in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The cooperating agencies identified Alternative 3, the Modified Pipeline Alternative, as the "Agency Preferred" alternative in the final environmental document because of its reduced environmental impacts relative to the applicant's original proposed action.

The agencies will issue separate decisions, as described in the Final EIS/EIR. The Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District is expected to adopt a resolution certifying the Final EIR later this summer.

"In approving the Casa Diablo geothermal project, BLM is helping advance California’s goal of the state generating one-third of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, and to bring desirable jobs to the Eastern Sierra region," said BLM Bishop Field Office Manager Steve Nelson.

Inyo National Forest Supervisor Ed Armenta said, "Release of the Record of Decision for the Casa Diablo project is the culmination of an outstanding cooperative interagency effort that involved extensive public involvement and participation." 

Electronic copies of the BLM and Inyo National Forest decisions for the CD-IV Project are available on the internet at US Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Managament and US Forest Service. CD-ROM versions or hard copies may be obtained by visiting or contacting the BLM Bishop Field Office or the Inyo National Forest at 351 Pacu Lane, Bishop, CA 93514. Copies will also be available at the Mono County Library at 400 Sierra Park Road, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546.

For more information or to get a copy of the BLM document, contact Collin Reinhardt at (760) 872-5024 or email creinhardt@blm.gov. For more information or to get a copy of the Inyo Nation Forest document, contact Sarah Tomsky at (760) 647-3033 or email sarahtomsky@fs.fed.us.



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