From Open Energy Information

NEPA Document Collection for: DOI-BLM-NV-WO10-2014-0002-CX
CX at Baltazor Hot Springs Geothermal Area for Geothermal/Exploration,

CX for Thermal Gradient Holes at Baltazor Hot Springs Geothermal Area

Proposed Action

Ormat Nevada, Inc. (Ormat) is proposing up to five exploratory temperature gradient (TG) well locations to assess the geothermal resource of the Baltazor Hot Springs area. Only two wells would be drilled. Each TG well would be drilled to a maximum depth of 1,000 feet below ground surface. Surface disturbance associated with the two drill sites would be approximately 150 feet by 150 feet, or 0.52-acre per drill site (1.03 acres total). State Highway 140 bisects the project area. Existing roads and up to 4,569 feet of cross-country travel would be used to access the two proposed drill sites. The width of the cross-country travel routes would be approximately 12 feet. Total surface disturbance associated with the cross-country-travel would be up to approximately 1.26 acres. The total surface disturbance associated with the project, including the two drill sites and 4,569 feet of cross-country travel, would be up to approximately 2.29 acres. No new access roads would be constructed. The proposed TG wells would be drilled using a track-mounted rotary drill rig. A track-mounted off-road crawler equipped with water and fuel tanks would also track out to each drill site to supply the drill rig. Water needed for drilling operations will be trucked to the site from a private source, and is expected to amount to approximately 2,000 gallons per TG well. All-terrain vehicles would be used to transport the drill crew from their vehicles to each drill site. The exploration program would utilize sumpless drilling techniques. All drilling mud and cuttings would be contained in a series of troughs, with no discharge to the ground surface or bodies of water. All waste materials generated during the project would be disposed off-site. The proposed exploration operations would be conducted within a 15 to 45-day period between May 1, 2014 and May 1, 2015. Drilling would be conducted 24 hours per day, seven days per week by a crew of up to three workers. Each of the two well-heads would be secured with a locking valve. A sign would be posted at each well location which identifies the well number, operator/lease holder, lease number, well location information, and emergency contact information. Project dimensions (length, width, height, depth): Approximately 150 feet x 150 feet per drill site. A total of two sites equal approximately 45,000 square feet, or 1.03 acres. Total proposed cross-country travel is approximately 4,569 linear feet with an average width of 12 feet totaling approximately 54,828 square feet, or 1.26 acres. Total Acres: 2.29 acres BLM Acres: 2.29 acres

Conditions of Approval

Conditions of Approval Ormat Nevada, Inc. Baltazor Geothermal Exploration Case File No. N92450 CX No. DOI-BLM-NV-W010-2014-0002-CX • Drilling at site 57-13 will be authorized from 10/01 – 07/31. No activity will be authorized at site 57-13 from 08/1 to 09/30 which is the known flight season for the Bleached Sandhill Skipper. • Pre and post drilling photos of all sites selected for drilling must be taken and submitted to BLM and the Reno Office of USFWS. • Prior to any surface disturbing activities, a special status plant survey is required for site 57-13 for Pueblo Valley Peppercress. Surveys must be conducted in May or June for Pueblo Valley Peppercress If a special status plant is located, a protective buffer will be delineated in consultation with the authorized officer. • In order to avoid potential impacts to breeding migratory birds, a nest survey shall be conducted by a qualified biologist within potential breeding habitat prior to any surface disturbance proposed during the avian breeding season (March 1st through August 31st). Surveys must be conducted no more than 10 days and no less than 3 days prior to initiation of disturbance. Surveys must follow established BLM standards and protocols. If active nests are located, the BLM biologist must be notified immediately and appropriate protection measures which may include avoidance or restriction of activities will be established. If no active nests are present in the area surveyed, implementation of the project should commence within 10 days of survey completion. Standard Terms and Conditions Ormat Nevada, Inc. Baltazor Geothermal Exploration Case File No. N92450 CX No. DOI-BLM-NV-W010-2014-0002-CX • The operator will obtain permission from right-of-way holders prior to entry within authorized limits of the rights-of-way. • Existing routes and trails will be used to the maximum extent possible. Attempts to traverse irregular, soft, or steep slopes and terrain by vehicles and equipment shall be kept to a minimum to avoid excessive rutting, soil erosion, excessive crushing of vegetation, and excessive visual impacts. • Vehicular travel shall be suspended when ground conditions are wet enough to cause rutting or other noticeable surface deformation and severe compaction. As a general rule, if vehicles or other project equipment create ruts in excess of four inches deep when traveling cross-country over wet soils, the soil shall be deemed too wet for vehicular use. • The staging area(s) shall be kept clean and free of litter. Appropriate human waste facilities will be provided and properly maintained. Such waste facilities shall be removed from the site upon completion of the project. • Roads will not be constructed for geophysical projects authorized under a categorical exclusion. • Operators of vehicles and equipment shall be responsible for not damaging fences and keeping gates as found. As a last resort, should a fence be cut for access, that fence must be repaired to former or better condition, after equipment has passed through. Any and all tire tracks within two hundred feet (200') from an established asphalt, dirt, or two track road situated on public lands will be hand raked to blend into the surrounding soil surface. • If soil is disturbed to the extent that erosion is likely or visual impacts are readily apparent, the disturbed areas will be rehabilitated utilizing the following techniques: Ruts and vehicle tracks will be filled with soil and/or obliterated by either hand raking or similar method. When completing this work, care will be taken to minimize disturbance to surrounding lands that have not been disturbed. All areas where rehabilitation work is accomplished will be reseeded with the seed mixtures specified below:


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