Geothermal/Paleontological Resources

From Open Energy Information

Geothermal Paleontological Resources

Paleontological Resources
Present, Potentially Affected

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)).” Bureau of Land Management-Laws and Policy

Paleontological resources are considered “trust resources” on tribal lands, meaning it is up to the landowner whether or not to sell the resources. If the landowner intends to protect the resources, mitigation measures will begin.

Paleontological Resources Impacts & Mitigation

To ensure the protection of paleontological resources, typical mitigation measures include the following:

Resource discovery: 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 or not a management plan, well abandonment or limited drilling actions are needed.

Education: To prevent paleontological resource damage, especially in an area where resources are expected, educate all personnel on land surface disruption techniques.