Geothermal/Wastes Hazardous or Solid
Geothermal Wastes Hazardous or Solid
Wastes Hazardous or Solid
Present, Potentially Affected
- BLM-NV-WN-ES-08-01-1310, NV-020-08-01 (Blue Mountain Geothermal Well Field and Power Plant EA)
- Big Eddy-Knight (Big Eddy-Knight Transmission Project Environmental Impact Statement)
- Cameron to Milford-138kV Transmission Line (Cameron to Milford - 138kV Transmission Line Project)
- DOE-EA-1733 (Calpine Enhanced Geothermal Systems Project EA at Geysers Geothermal Area for Geothermal/Well Field)
- DOE-EA-1849 (EA for Northern Nevada Geothermal Power Plant Project at McGuinness Hills Geothermal Area)
- DOI-BLM-CA-C050-2009-0005-EA (Engineered Geothermal Enhancement System Demonstration Project EA at Geysers Geothermal Area for Geothermal/Well Field)
- DOI-BLM-CA-ES-2007-017-3200 (Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Truckhaven Geothermal Leasing Area)
- DOI-BLM-CA-ES-2013-002+1793-EIS (Casa Diablo IV Geothermal Development Project EIS at Long Valley Caldera Geothermal Area for Geothermal/Power Plant)
- DOI-BLM-ID-220-2009-EA-3709 (Raft River Geothermal Drilling Project EA for Geothermal/Exploration)
- DOI-BLM-NV-063-EA08-091 (Jersey Valley and Buffalo Valley Geothermal Development Projects EA for Geothermal/Power Plant)
- DOI-BLM-NV-B020-2011-0026-EA (Clayton Valley Geothermal Exploration Project EA for Drilling and Well Testing)
- DOI-BLM-NV-B020-2012-0214-EA (Silver Peak Area Geothermal Exploration Project EA for Drilling and Well Testing for Geothermal/Exploration)
- DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2010-0006-EA (Gabbs Valley and Dead Horse Wells Geothermal Exploration Projects EA for Geothermal/Exploration)
- 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-CO10-2011-0501-EA (EA for Phase II Production Wells and Thermal Gradient Holes at Patua Geothermal Project for Geothermal/Well Field)
- 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-OR-P000-2010-0003-EA (EA for Drilling, Testing and Monitoring of up to 12 Temperature Gradient / Passive Seismic Geothermal Exploratory Wells at Newberry Caldera Geothermal Area for Geothermal/Exploration)
- DOI-BLM-OR-P040-0021-EA (EA for Exploratory Wells at Midnight Point and Mahogany Geothermal Exploration Projects, Glass Buttes, Oregon for Geothermal/Exploration)
- EA for Well Field Development at Patua Geothermal Area - DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2011-00016-EA (EA for Phase II of Patua Geothermal Project for Geothermal/Exploration, Geothermal/Well Field)
- EA-NV-030-07-006 (EA for Exploration Drilling at Carson Lake Corral Geothermal Area for Geothermal/Well Field)
- Eldorado Ivanpah Transmission Project (EIS/EIR for the Eldorado-Ivanapah Transmission Project)
- Energy Gateway South (Environmental Impact Statement and Land Use Plan Amendments for the Energy Gateway South 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)
- NV-020-07-EA-01 (EA for Observation Wells at Jersey Valley Geothermal Exploration Project for Geothermal/Well Field, Geothermal/Exploration)
- NV-063-EA06-098 (Reese River Valley Geothermal Exploration Project Environmental Assessment)
- North Steens 230kV Transmission (North Steens 230-kV Transmission Project EIS)
- San Juan Basin EC (San Juan Basin Energy Connect Project Environmental Impact Statement)
- 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)
Hazardous and solid wastes have high toxic ramifications to humans, plants and animals when metabolized, inhaled or touched. Federal, state and local regulations mandate the use, concentrations, transportation, and disposal of these materials. Ample staff training to handle waste decreases the amount of accidents at a work site and decreases the response rate to a site when emergency assistance is needed. Specific emergency protocols such as accident, fire, injury, spill or discharge, and hydrogen sulfide contingency plans are typically included in the overall Operations Plan. These plans treat each emergency with appropriate mitigation measures to decrease risks and damage onsite.
Wastes Hazardous or Solid Impacts & Mitigation
Contaminants and accidental spills are possible with geothermal development; however knowing the impacts associated with these situations aids in appropriate mitigation techniques. Typical impact and mitigation measures are:
- Develop a Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures Plan that includes employee training for spill prevention and cleanup methods.
- Avoid harmful additives such as chromate or other heavy metals.
- Clean up chemicals, fuels, oils, lubricants, or noxious fluids spills immediately with a spill contaminant absorbent. The spilled fluid will be moved off-site to an approved disposal facility.
- To mitigate fuel spills, designate fueling and and routine equipment maintenance areas.
- Place absorbent pads or sheets under potential spill sources. To decrease the emergency response rate of leaks, or chemicals and petroleum spills, spill kits will be present for the entire duration of the project.
- Store hazardous materials in separate containers to prevent accidental mixing, drainage or spillage.
- Avoid draining hazardous materials in streams, drainage areas or on the ground.
- Additional chemical and petroleum/oil storage areas will be constructed during drilling operations.
- Transport solid waste such as paper, plastic and other garbage offsite to an authorized landfill facility.
- It is not permissible to bury or burn solid waste.
- Portable toilets will be removed and disposed of off-site.
- State-permitted septic systems will treat sewage from the power plant on-site.
- All plans fall into the category of accident prevention, emergency response, or public right-to-know.
- Plans are comprehensive and guide employees through preventative, anticipatory and response actions specific to potential field emergencies. These topics include, on and off-site hazards (i.e. gas, fire, chemical burns and spills), mitigation measures, emergency procedures, heavy equipment and general employee training, chemical limitations, operation and testing procedures (including well blowouts), local emergency response team parameters, and compliance with federal, state and local regulations.
- After emergencies, employees will write an incident report for site record.
- Pentane, one of the working fluids in the generation cycle, is highly flammable. Since it is used in large quantities, permits may be required.
- Unsafe hydrogen sulfide levels are possible during well testing. Use appropriate metering to test the air saturation levels and wear protective gear such as mouth protection.
- Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons are to be stored in fuel reserve tanks and closely managed to mitigate spills or leaks. This chemical also has the potential to exist in mud during well testing and drilling. Dispose of large quantities off-site at an approved facility.
- Construct containment berms around hazardous material storage.
- Develop drainage systems to divert storm water away from well pads to mitigate water contamination from chemical leaks or accidental spills.
Drilling and Testing:
- Store drilling mud and fluid in reserve pits.
- To cool drill bits and remove drill cuttings, a non-hazardous bentonite clay-water-based or polymer-water-based mud lubricator will be used.
- Case and cement the wells to preserve and separate the well bore from ground water aquifers.
- To prevent corrosion, adjust mud weight, or control lost circulation, use non-hazardous mud additives.
- Use directional drilling techniques to decrease the amount of impacted water and waste onsite.
- Evaporate liquid contaminants at the end of the drilling or testing cycle to then pump the existing materials back into the well or remove and dispose at an approved off-site facility.
- Plug and abandon wells after testing and drilling as been completed to discourage unauthorized access in or near the well pads.
- Sample the reserve pit waste for hazardous contaminants. Typical tests may include the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure, total petroleum hydrocarbons or diesel, oil and grease, pH and heavy metal tests. If found, dispose of contaminants at an approved off-site facility.
- All remaining materials from evaporation ponds, usually nontoxic drilling mud and cuttings, undergo water quality testing. On Bureau of Land Management (BLM) managed lands, reclamation requires these materials, if nontoxic, to be dried, mixed, spread and buried in the reserve pit.
- All herbicides will follow Final Vegetation procedures including application, selection and disposal.
Dirt and soils:
- To mitigate asbestos fibers and airborne heavy metals during excavation, wear dust abatement protective gear such as eye, mouth and skin protection.
- When serpentine or mercury based materials are present in excavation, further assessment for other heavy metals will occur. All solid heavy metals will be removed and disposed of off-site. Comply with state and federal regulations and require employee protective gear to decrease potential health impacts