Transmission Paleontological Resources
Present, Potentially Affected
- Barren Ridge Renewable Transmission (Barren Ridge Renewable Transmission Project Environmental Impact Statement)
- Boardman to Hemingway (Environmental Impact Statement and Land Use Plan Amendments for the Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line Project)
- DOI-BLM-CA-ES-2007-017-3200 (Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Truckhaven Geothermal Leasing Area)
- DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2010-0010-EA (EA at Coyote Canyon and Dixie Meadows for Geothermal/Exploration Drilling and Well Testing)
- DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2011-0001-EA (Coyote Canyon Utilization Project EA for TGP for Geothermal/Power Plant)
- DOI-BLM-NV-CC-ES-11-10-1793 (Salt Wells Geothermal Energy Projects EIS for Geothermal/Power Plant Development Drilling)
- DOI-BLM-NV-W010-2010-0004-EA (New York Canyon Geothermal Exploration Project EA for Exploration Drilling and Well Testing)
- DOI-BLM-NV-W010-2011-0001-EA (EA of the Leach Hot Springs Geothermal Exploration Project at Grass Valley Geothermal Area for Geothermal/Exploration, Geothermal/Well Field Drilling and Well Testing)
- DOI-BLM-NV-W010–2012–0005–EA (EA for Development Drilling at New York Canyon Geothermal Utilization and Interconnect Project for Geothermal/Power Plant, Geothermal/Transmission, Geothermal/Well Field)
- DOI-BLM-NV-W030-2010-0006-EA (EA for Drilling and Flow Testing at San Emidio Geothermal Exploration Project for Geothermal/Exploration)
- Devers Palo Verde No 2 (EIS/EIR Devers-Palo Verde No. 2 500kV Transmission Line Project)
- Eldorado Ivanpah Transmission Project (EIS/EIR for the Eldorado-Ivanapah Transmission Project)
- Gateway West Transmission Line (Environmental Impact Statement for the Gateway West Transmission Line Project)
- LLNV-WO1000-2009-0002-EA (EA for Observation Wells at Jersey Valley II Geothermal Exploration Project)
- Mona to Oquirrh Transmission (Mona to Oquirrh Transmission Corridor Project and Proposed Pony Express Resource Management Plan Amendment)
- NV-020-03-26 (Desert Peak 2 Geothermal Project Environmental Assessment for Geothermal/Power Plant)
- One Nevada (Final Environmental Impact Statement for the One Nevada Transmission Line Project (ON Line Project))
- San Juan Basin EC (San Juan Basin Energy Connect Project Environmental Impact Statement)
- Sigurd Red Butte No2 (Sigurd to Red Butte No. 2 345kV Transmission Project)
- Southline Transmission Line (Environmental Impact Statement for the Southline Transmission Line Project)
- Sun Valley to Morgan Transmission Line (Environmental Impact Statement for the Sun Valley to Morgan Transmission Line Project)
- Sunzia Southwest (SunZia Southwest Transmission Project)
- Tehachapi Renewable Transmission (Environmental Impact Statement for the Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project)
- Transwest Express (Transwest Express Transmission Project Environmental Impact Statement)
- West-wide Energy Corridors (West-wide Energy Corridor Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement)
The Omnibus Public Land Management Act, Paleontological Resources Preservation (16 U.S.C. 470aaa et seq. P.L 111-011, Title IV, Subtitle D) prohibits “inexpert collecting”, inaccurate identification and improper storage of paleontological resources at the federal level. A paleontological resource is, “any fossilized remains, traces, or imprints of organisms, preserved in or on the earth's crust, that are of paleontological interest and that provide information about the history of life on earth.” Examples include: prehistoric artifacts and fossils; and historic ruins. Paleontological resources do not include, “archaeological resources (as defined in section 3(1) of the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 (16 U.S.C. 470bb(1) or any cultural item (as defined in section 2 of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (25 U.S.C. 3001)).” http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/more/CRM/paleontology/paleontological_regulations.print.html Paleontological resources are considered “trust resources” on tribal lands, meaning it is up to the landowner whether or not they decide to sell the resources. If the landowner intends to protect the resources, mitigation measures are necessary.
Paleontological Resources Impacts & Mitigation
Prior to transmission line development, surveys are conducted to assess impacts to paleontological resources and if they exist at the proposed site. While site assessments and surveys are comprehensive, it is still possible to discover paleontological resources underneath vegetation or buried in the soil during development phases. Construction activities have a high impact on paleontological resources if no action is taken to preserve these resources.
To ensure paleontological resource protection, typical mitigation measures include the following:
- If paleontological resources are discovered during site construction, all activity must halt.
- The object(s) are to remain in place until a professional paleontologist has completed an evaluation.
- If necessary, cover the object(s) to reduce human, wildlife and air contaminant impacts.
- The evaluation will point to whether management plans, corridor relocation, or alternative materials are needed.
- To prevent paleontological resource damage, especially in an area where resources are expected, educate all personnel on land surface disruption techniques including soil excavation, topsoil removal and storage, and water diversion.
- Travel on existing access roads. Prohibit off-road vehicle use and paths to avoid unexpected damages to chance paleontological discoveries and natural habitats.