NEPA Document Collection for: One Nevada
Final Environmental Impact Statement for the One Nevada Transmission Line Project (ON Line Project)
(From Section 2.1 of ROD) The Proposed Action includes a 235-mile transmission line with telecommunication and appurtenant facilities in White Pine, Nye, Lincoln, and Clark Counties, a substation near Robinson Summit in White Pine County, a loop-in of the existing Falcon-Gonder 345 kV transmission line at the new Robinson Summit Substation, expansion of the existing Falcon Substation in Eureka County, addition of new equipment inside the existing Harry Allen Substation in Clark County, and access roads to all facilities collectively referred to as the ON Line Project. The Proposed Action transmission line includes Segments 6C, 8, 9B, 9A, 9D, and 11.
Conditions of Approval
(From Section 3.1 of ROD) Terms and conditions required for implementation of the Agency Preferred Alternative will consist of several sets of stipulations that are an integral part of the Project. The ROWs will be subject to the Lands and Realty Standard Stipulations, BMPs from the Ely District Resource Management Plan (RMP), the standard operating procedures (SOPs) typically associated with the construction, operation, and maintenance of utility corridors and related facilities in this region of the western United States, the BMPs from the ON Line Project FEIS (FEIS - Appendix 2A), the Cultural Resources Programmatic Agreement (FEIS - Appendix 3E), the Applicant Committed Environmental Protection Measures (ROD - Section 3.2), the terms of the Avian Protection Plan (APP) approved by the USFWS in February 2011, and the BLM-Identified Mitigation Measures (ROD - Section 3.3).
- One Nevada ROD.pdf
- One Nevada Final EIS.pdf
- FEIS On Line Appendicies Volume.pdf
- FEIS On Line Figures Volume Complete.pdf
- Final EIS
- Record of Decision
- [%20Mar_1_2011.pdf ]
CloseWL-4: Mitigate all discretionary permitted activities that result in the loss of aquatic and priority wildlife habitats by improving 2 acres of comparable habitat for every 1 acre of lost habitat as determined on a project-by-project basis.
WL-6: Where appropriate, restrict permitted activities in big game calving/fawning/ kidding/lambing grounds and crucial summer range from April 15 through June 30.
WL-7: Where appropriate, restrict permitted activities in crucial winter range from November 1 through March 31.
WL-13: Where appropriate, restrict permitted activities within occupied desert bighorn sheep habitat from March 1 through May 31 and from July 1 through August 31.
Live Gila monsters found in harm’s way on the construction site will be captured and then detained in a cool, shaded environment (<85°F) by the project biologist or equivalent personnel until a NDOW biologist can arrive for documentation, marking, and obtaining biological measurements and samples prior to releasing. Despite the fact that a Gila monster is venomous and can deliver a serious bite, its relatively slow gate allows for it to be easily coaxed or lifted into an open bucket or box carefully using a long handled instrument such as a shovel or snake hook (Note: it is not the intent of NDOW to request unreasonable action to facilitate captures; additional coordination with NDOW will clarify logistical points). A clean 5-gallon plastic bucket with a secure, vented lid; an 18"x 18"x 4" plastic sweater box with a secure, vented lid; or, a tape-sealed cardboard box of similar dimension may be used for safe containment. Additionally, written information identifying the mapped capture location, Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates in Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) using the North American Datum (NAD) 83 Zone 11, date, time, and circumstances (e.g., biological survey or construction) and habitat description (vegetation, slope, aspect, substrate) will be provided to NDOW.
Injuries to Gila monsters may occur during excavation, blasting, road grading, or other construction activities. In the event a Gila monster is injured, it should be transferred to a veterinarian proficient in reptile medicine for evaluation of appropriate treatment. Rehabilitation or euthanasia expenses will not be covered by NDOW. However, NDOW will be immediately notified of any injury to a Gila monster and which veterinarian is providing care for the animal. If an animal is killed or found dead, the carcass will be immediately frozen and transferred to NDOW with a complete written description of the discovery and circumstances, date, time, habitat, and mapped location (GPS coordinates in UTM using NAD 83 Z 11). Should NDOW’s assistance be delayed, biological or equivalent acting personnel on site should detain the Gila monster out of harm’s way until NDOW personnel can respond. Should NDOW not be immediately available to respond for photo-documentation, a digital (5 megapixle or higher) or 35mm camera will be used to take good quality images of the Gila monster in situ at the location of live encounter or dead salvage. The pictures will be provided to NDOW along with specific location information including GPS coordinates in UTM using NAD 83 Z 11, date, time, and habitat description. Pictures will show the following information: (1) Encounter location (landscape with Gila monster in clear view); (2) a clear overhead shot of the entire body with a ruler next to it for scale (Gila monster should fill camera's field of view and be in sharp focus); and (3) a clear, overhead close-up of the head (head should fill camera's field of view and be in sharp focus).
3. Pygmy Rabbit If pygmy rabbit areas are discovered during pre-construction surveys or natal burrows are found, surface disturbance will not occur within 200 feet of the areas, when feasible. If not feasible, disturbance of burrows will be avoided unless the burrow can be determined to be inactive. This determination will be made by a BLM biologist.
4. Kangaroo Mouse For areas of proposed surface disturbance, within identified, potentially suitable habitat, and where evidence (i.e., burrows) of small mammals is present for the kangaroo mouse, site-specific trapping to determine the presence/absence of the kangaroo mouse, and potential relocation of individual kangaroo mice will be conducted in consultation with the BLM biologist.
5. Big Game Mitigation Measures Within the BLM Southern Nevada District, construction activities will not be allowed within occupied desert bighorn sheep habitat from March 1 through May 31 and from July 1 through August 31, unless authorized by the BLM biologist.
Biological Resources 1. The ON Line Project would adhere to an integrated pest management plan prepared for the project and submitted as part of the overall Construction, Operations, and Maintenance Plan (COM Plan).
2. Current guidelines and methodologies (Avian Power Line Interaction Committee 2006) would be used in the design of the proposed transmission facilities to minimize raptor and other bird electrocution and collision potential.3. Facility design would avoid line-of-sight views between the transmission line structures and greater sage-grouse leks, whenever feasible.
|Special Status Species||
CloseSS-4: Where appropriate, restrict permitted activities from May 1 through July 15 within 0.5 mile of raptor nest sites unless the nest site has been determined to be inactive for at least the previous 5 years.
SS-33: Implement the following management actions for desert tortoise habitat. Within desert tortoise ACECs: If fence construction occurs during the tortoise active season, a qualified tortoise biologist will be onsite during construction of the tortoise-proof fence to ensure that no tortoises are harmed. If the fence is constructed during the tortoise inactive season, a qualified tortoise biologist will thoroughly examine the proposed fence line and burrows for the presence of tortoises no more than three days before construction. Any desert tortoises or eggs found in the fence line will be relocated offsite by the biologist in accordance with approved Desert Tortoise Council protocols. Tortoise burrows that occur immediately outside of the fence alignment that can be avoided by fence construction activities will be clearly marked to prevent crushing.
Within desert tortoise ACECs: Projects will require fencing, unless determined by the BLM authorized officer and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) that the project should not be fenced. In accordance with current specifications, fencing will consist of 1-inch horizontal by 2-inch vertical mesh. The mesh will extend at least 18 inches aboveground and, where feasible, 6 to 12 inches belowground. In situations where it is not feasible to bury the fence, the lower 6 to 12 inches of the fence will be bent at a 90 degree angle towards potentially approaching tortoises and covered with cobble or other suitable material to ensure that tortoise or other animals cannot dig underneath.
Within desert tortoise ACECs: Tortoise fencing will be inspected on a regular basis sufficient to maintain an effective barrier, and any repairs completed within 72 hours from March 1 through October 31, and within 7 days from November 1 through February 28/29. The operator will inspect the fencing at least on a quarterly basis and after major precipitation events to ensure zero ground clearance. Monitoring and maintenance will include regular removal of trash and sediment accumulation and restoration of zero ground clearance between the ground and the bottom of the fence, including re-covering the bent portion of the fence if not buried. The operator will perform maintenance when needed including removing trash, sediment accumulation, and other debris. Fencing will be removed upon termination and reclamation of the project, or when it is determined by the BLM authorized officer and USFWS that the fence is no longer necessary.
Within desert tortoise ACECs: During surface-disturbing activities, tortoise burrows will be avoided whenever possible. If a tortoise is found onsite during project activities, which may result in take of the tortoise (i.e., in harm’s way), such activities will cease until the tortoise moves, or is moved, out of harm’s way. The tortoise will be moved by a qualified tortoise biologist. All workers also will be instructed to check underneath all vehicles before moving such vehicles and within stockpiled materials. Tortoises often take cover under vehicles and construct burrows in stockpiled material.
Within desert tortoise ACECs: The BLM authorized officer will approve the selected consulting firm/biologist to be used by the project holder of the right-of-way grant to implement the terms and conditions of the ROW issued by the BLM. Any biologist and/or firm not previously approved will submit a curriculum vitae and be approved by the BLM authorized officer. Other personnel may assist with implementing terms and conditions that involve tortoise handling, monitoring, or surveys only under direct field supervision of the approved, qualified biologist.
Within desert tortoise ACECs: Tortoises and nests that are found will be handled and relocated by a qualified tortoise biologist in accordance with USFWS-approved protocol. Burrows containing tortoises or nests will be excavated by hand, with hand tools, to allow removal of the tortoise or eggs. Desert tortoises moved during the tortoise inactive season or those in hibernation, regardless of date, will be placed into an adequate burrow; if one is not available, one will be constructed in accordance with Desert Tortoise Council protocol. Natural burrows will be checked prior to placing a tortoise in the burrow to ensure it is not occupied by another species. During mild temperature periods in the spring and early fall, tortoises removed from the site will not necessarily be placed in a burrow. Tortoises and burrows will only be relocated to federally managed lands. If the responsible federal agency is not the BLM, verbal permission, followed by written concurrence, will be obtained before relocating the tortoise or eggs to lands not managed by the BLM.
Desert tortoises moved in the winter (i.e., November 1 through February 28/29), or those in hibernation, regardless of date, will be placed into an adequate burrow; if one is not available, one will be constructed utilizing approved protocols for burrows in Section B.5.f. of the USFWS-approved guidelines.
All projects in desert tortoise habitat will be reviewed by the BLM’s wildlife staff to ensure that appropriate measures have been incorporated into the BLM authorization (e.g., material site, land sale, or off-highway vehicle event) to minimize the potential take of desert tortoise or loss of habitat.
A BLM representative(s) will be designated and will be responsible for overseeing compliance with terms and conditions of all permitted activities and reporting requirements. The designated representative will provide coordination among the holder of the right-of-way grant, the BLM, and the USFWS.
SS-40: Outside of designated corridors, above-ground facilities will not be constructed within 0.25 mile of greater sage-grouse leks. No new roads will be constructed within 0.25 mile of greater sage-grouse leks. Exceptions may be granted by the authorized officer, in consultation with Nevada Department of Wildlife, if the project can be designed so that it will not affect breeding activity or degrade the integrity of the habitat associated with the lek, or if the lek has been inactive for at least 5 consecutive years or the habitat has changed such that there is no likelihood that the lek will become active.
SS-41: Where appropriate (i.e., visible from an actual lek), restrict permitted activities from March 1 through May 15 within 2 miles of an active greater sage-grouse lek.
SS-42: Where appropriate, restrict permitted activities from November 1 through March 31 within greater sage-grouse winter range. (Within identified winter habitat, site specific surveys may be conducted to confirm winter use and habitat.)SS-43: Survey all proposed ground disturbing activities in suitable pygmy rabbit habitat utilizing the appropriate protocol. Surveys will be completed by a qualified biologist approved by the Ely District Office.
CloseIf paleontological resources are discovered during construction, the BLM would be notified immediately and measures taken to protect the resource. An appropriately sized buffer zone would be demarcated around any discovery and construction would not resume within this buffer zone until authorization is given by an authorized officer. The significance of the resource would be evaluated and whether or not avoidance was possible. Stabilization and measures to mitigate construction damage might also be required even if avoidance was possible. Should avoidance prove infeasible, further procedures to protect the resource would be determined by the BLM.
1. Paleontologists may make a determination, based on inspection and evaluation of spoil piles and previous grading within areas of high sensitivity, that areas formerly determined to have high potential for paleontological resources are actually low or undetermined and monitoring may be reduced.
2. Upon encountering scientifically significant paleontological resources, salvage of bone will be conducted with additional field staff and in accordance with modern paleontological techniques.
3. Fossils collected during the project will be prepared to a reasonable point of identification.
4. A report documenting the results of the monitoring and salvage activities and the significance of the fossils will be prepared.5. Fossils collected during this work, along with the itemized inventory of these specimens, will be deposited in a museum repository for permanent curation and storage.
Close1. Ensure that soils are salvaged and there is placement of growth medium on sites ready for immediate reclamation to minimize the need for stockpiling the material. The underlying subsoil material will remain in place or be used elsewhere.
2. Design access roads to fit the terrain by avoiding unstable slopes and highly erodible conditions to the extent practicable to protect soils and prevent excessive sedimentation. These protective measures include, but are not limited to, mulch, matting, or slope length shortening.
3. Where soils are wet (i.e., when heavy equipment creates ruts in excess of 4 inches deep over a distance of 100 feet or more), construction, operation, and maintenance activities will be conducted in a manner so as to properly support construction or maintenance equipment. This standard will not apply in areas with silty soils, which easily form depressions even in dry weather. Where the soil is deemed too wet by the BLM authorized officer or his/or her agent (identified in the Notice to Proceed), one or more of the following measures will apply:
4. Vegetation will be cleared and the construction ROW will be graded only to the extent necessary. Vegetation within the ROW will be cut or scraped at or near the ground level. Except for the area to be excavated, the vegetative root system and subsurface soils will be left intact to the greatest extent practicable. This will help stabilize the soils within the ROW during construction. ROW boundaries will be clearly staked or flagged and no disturbances are allowed beyond the limits.
The right-of-way holder will avoid construction related surface disturbance (e.g., temporary stage areas, wire-pulling sites, etc.) in areas of Geta soils to minimize disturbance within these highly productive soils for range forage.
Erosion and Sediment Control 1. Planting of native grasses, forbs, trees, or shrubs beneficial to wildlife, or placing of riprap and other materials as appropriate, would be used to prevent and minimize the potential for erosion and siltation during construction of project facilities and during the period needed to reestablish permanent vegetative cover on disturbed sites. Sediment fences would be used where appropriate to limit wind and water erosion, and application of water or chemical suppressants, as approved by BLM, would be used in disturbed areas during construction to limit wind erosion.
2. Final erosion control and site restoration measures would be initiated as soon as practical after a particular area is no longer needed for construction, stockpiling, or access. Clearing schedules would be arranged to minimize exposure of soils.
3. Cuts and fills for access roads and work areas would be sloped to prevent erosion and to facilitate revegetation.
4. Where appropriate (i.e., adjacent to sensitive areas or resources), signs would be placed along access roads to discourage off-road vehicle use and project personnel from driving into unauthorized adjacent areas.
5. Borrow areas would be contoured and shaped during rehabilitation to carry the natural contour of adjacent undisturbed terrain into the borrow area.
6. Soil or rock stockpiles, excavated materials, or excess soil materials would not be placed near sensitive habitats, including perennial, intermittent, and ephemeral drainage channels, where they may erode into these habitats or be washed away by high water or storm runoff. Long-term soil stockpiles would be revegetated to prevent wind and water erosion.
7. Treading on areas not immediately involved in project construction activities would be avoided to reduce potential wind erosion and fugitive dust generated during construction.8. When excessive soil moisture conditions are present in a construction area, construction activities would be relocated or diverted to drier areas to avoid excessive surface rutting in those areas. If wet areas cannot be avoided weight dispersing systems (i.e., wide-track or balloon tires) or materials to minimize damage (i.e., geotextile cushions, pre-fabricated pads, etc.) to the substrate would be utilized.
Close1. Construction staging areas will not be placed within 500 feet of residences.
2. Cover all trucks hauling soil, sand, and other loose materials or require all trucks to maintain at least 2 feet of freeboard, which is the distance from the top of the truck bed and the material being hauled.
3. Sweep streets of visible soil material carried onto adjacent paved public streets. Mobile and Stationary Source Controls:
1. Project activities would be in compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations concerning prevention and control of air pollution during construction and operation.
2. NV Energy and/or the construction contractor would obtain necessary air quality (i.e., fugitive dust control) permits before starting construction or operating equipment that would result in regulated atmospheric or fugitive dust emissions.
3. Project personnel would be required to implement measures to minimize fugitive dust emissions from construction activities. To accomplish this, the following measures would be implemented:
Close1. Safely store salvageable cacti and yucca in temporary plant storage sites; plant salvage from areas of permanent disturbance will be moved once, and replanted during revegetation/reclamation activities.
2. Site-specific and targeted special status plant surveys will be conducted during the appropriately timed survey window, prior to final siting of electric transmission line structures and temporary use areas. If communities of special status plant species are present at a given structure location or temporary use area, all efforts to relocate that structure or temporary use area will be made to avoid such plants to the extent practicable. If relocating a specific structure or temporary use area is not feasible due to operational constraints and requirements, the individuals and/or community of special status plants to be impacted will be transplanted to an approved location through appropriate and close coordination with the BLM.
3. Locate temporary use areas at least 0.5 mile away from winterfat dominated sites whenever reasonable. Where reasonable, strive to locate temporary access roads outside winterfat dominated sites.
4. In portions of the Project Area adjacent to populations of Las Vegas buckwheat, new long-term disturbance will consist only of the centerline access road and ground-level structure foundation and anchor areas. All other disturbance (e.g., wire stringing sites and other staging and temporary use areas) will be limited to within the existing SWIP Utility Corridor.
5. NV Energy will close off and reclaim an existing two-track road that currently is situated within a large winterfat vegetation community to the north of the proposed new access road for the RSS-Site B location. This mitigation will help reduce future impacts to this winterfat vegetation community and allow this area to naturally restore itself.
Landscape Preservation and Impact Avoidance 1. To the maximum extent practical, all trees, native shrubs, and other vegetation would be avoided or protected during construction activities except where safety clearances are required for structures and equipment, approved construction and permanent roads, construction yards and staging areas, and excavation operations.
2. All areas around transmission line structures would be backfilled, recontoured, and returned as close as possible to the original condition and grade.
3. Wherever possible stream channels, steep slopes, or sensitive environmental areas would not be used for equipment or materials storage or stockpiling; construction staging or maintenance, field offices, hazardous material or fuel storage, solid waste, handling, or temporary access roads.
4. Excavated or graded materials would not be stockpiled or deposited on or within 100 feet of any steep slopes, where defined, or seasonally active ephemeral drainages. 5. The width of construction and new temporary access roads would be kept to the absolute minimum needed for operation, avoiding sensitive areas and trees where possible, and limiting disturbance to vegetation.
6. When and where applicable, landscaping standards, including clearing of native vegetation, would be followed as prescribed by local land use and management agencies when work is within their jurisdictions. The BLM Authorized Officer would specify required special handling and recovery techniques for yucca and some cactus in the southern part of the project on a site-specific basis.
7. ON Line Project facilities within the authorized rights-of-way would be managed for safe and reliable operation while maintaining vegetation and wildlife habitat to the maximum extent feasible.
1. Reclamation would normally be accomplished with native species, if available. These would be representative of the indigenous species present in the adjacent habitat. Rationale for potential planting with selected non-natives would be documented. Possible exceptions could include use of non-natives for a temporary cover crop to out-compete weeds.
2. Seeding would occur during October 15 through March 15 to ensure a greater chance of success.
3. Reclamation release criteria are as follows:
• Achieve 100 percent in the Great Basin and 70 percent in the Mojave Desert of the baseline perennial plant cover of selected comparison areas, normally like adjacent habitat. If the adjacent habitat is severely disturbed, a range site description may be used as a cover standard. Cover is normally crown cover as estimated by the point intercept method. Selected cover can be determined using a method as described in Sampling Vegetation Attributes, Interagency Technical Reference (1996, BLM/RS/ST-96/002+1730). The reclamation plan for the project area would identify the site-specific release criteria and associated statistical methods in the reclamation plan or permit.
• No noxious and non-native, invasive weeds would be allowed on the sites for reclamation release. Control of noxious and non-native, invasive weeds would follow an integrated pest management plan approved by the authorizing officer. A list of Nevada noxious weeds would be provided by the authorized officer.
4. Where local conditions allow, up to the first 12 to 18 inches of growth medium would be salvaged, were soil and terrain conditions allow, and stockpiled prior to disturbance for all areas to be reclaimed after construction. All disturbance areas to be reclaimed would be recontoured to blend as nearly as possible with the natural topography prior to revegetation. All compacted portions of the disturbance would be ripped to a depth of 12 inches unless solid rock is encountered. Adequate, fine-grain seedbed would be established to provide good seed to soil contact. Large blocks and clumps of soil with deep pockets would be avoided. This normally requires some type of tillage procedure after ripping.
5. All portions of access roads not needed for other uses as determined by the authorized officer would be reclaimed.
6. Mulching of the seedbed following seeding may be required under certain conditions, such as severe erosion.
7. Respread weed-free vegetation removed from the right-of-way to provide protection, nutrient recycling, and seed source.
8. The success of the vegetative growth on a reclaimed site may be evaluated for release no sooner than during the third growing season after earthwork and planting have been completed. Where it has been determined that revegetation success criteria have not been met, the agencies and the operator would meet to decide on the best course of actions necessary to meet the reclamation goal.
9. Where applicable, the following agencies would be consulted to determine the recommended plant species composition, seeding rates, and planting dates: • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service • U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service • U.S. Bureau of Land Management • Nevada Department of Wildlife
10. Grasses, forbs, shrubs, and trees appropriate for site conditions and surrounding vegetation would be included on the BLM-approved plant and seed mix list. Species chosen for a site would be matched for site drainage, climate, shading, resistance to erosion, soil type, slope, aspect, and vegetation management goals. Upland revegetation shall match the plant list to the site’s soil type, topographic position, elevation, and surrounding natural communities.
11. Construction areas, including storage yards, would be free of waste material and trash accumulations, unless stored in appropriate containers.
12. All unused materials and solid waste would be removed from construction and storage sites during the final phase of work. Unused material may be sold or relocated to other work sites other than the ON Line Project. Solid waste would be placed in existing permitted solid waste management facilities.
13. Upon completion of construction, any land disturbed would be graded to provide proper drainage and blend with the natural contour of the land. Following grading and where appropriate, it would be revegetated using plants native to the area, suitable for the site conditions, and beneficial to wildlife.
14. Following completion of construction, all temporary construction yards, offices, and related buildings, including temporary concrete footings and slabs, would be removed from the site.15. All construction roads not needed for ongoing operations and maintenance activities would be restored to the original contour, and made to discourage vehicular traffic when no longer needed for construction. Culverts would be removed as appropriate, road escarpments would be contoured and vegetated, and all road surfaces would be scarified to establish conditions appropriate for reseeding, drainage, and erosion prevention.
Close2. Avian Wildlife Mitigation Measures
For a complete list of protected birds see 50 CFR 10.13. A. Greater Sage-Grouse In order to minimize the possibility of disruption of mating strategies of greater sage-grouse, the holder of the right-of-way grant will employ the following: No construction activities will occur during the period from March 1 through May 15 within two miles of active greater sage-grouse leks. However, construction traffic can proceed through the area during this period, outside the 0.25 mile no surface occupancy area around leks, except from 2 hours before sunrise until 10:00 am. Modified tower design, including H-frame structures and perch deterrents, will be used in locations within two miles of known active leks and in areas of combined nesting, wintering, and summer brooding habitat. The final placement of modified structures will be determined based on current data and identified in the COM Plan. Within identified winter habitat, site specific surveys may be conducted to confirm winter use and habitat.
B. Migratory Birds Land disturbing construction and vegetation clearing activities will be scheduled outside of the breeding season (March 15 through July 30 - in upland desert habitats and ephemeral washes containing upland species and March 1 through August 30 - in riparian and higher elevation areas). Where construction is required during the breeding season, the area impacted will be surveyed for nests prior to construction. If no nests are found, construction could proceed. Project area surveys will be done to ensure 100 percent coverage. Methods will be selected based on the plant community and/or topography. Field notes and reports will thoroughly describe methodology and rationale for use and be archived. If active migratory bird nests (i.e., containing eggs or young, or a mated pair is observed exhibiting territorial defense, carrying nesting material, and/or transporting food) are encountered during the surveys, land disturbing construction activities will be avoided while the birds are allowed to fledge. An appropriate construction avoidance buffer area, to be determined for the species and in conjunction with the USFWS and BLM, will apply to all active nests for migratory bird species. Gaps or narrow open hollow spaces in the proposed facilities or structures capable of trapping cavity-nesting birds will be inspected and closed, if necessary to prevent unintentional take of migratory birds. In addition, open-ended posts will also be inspected and capped, and any holes towards the top of a hollow post will be filled, as necessary.
C. Western Burrowing Owls and Ground Nesting Species Surveys will include burrowing owls and other ground nesting species. Surveys will be conducted following the California Burrowing Owl Consortium’s survey protocol. If active nests containing eggs and/or young were to be found, then an appropriately-sized buffer area will be established (minimum of 250 feet), marked and avoided during construction so that egg laying, incubation, and the rearing of young continues until such time as the young fledge.
For construction activities from October 1 to March 14, the wildlife biologist will collapse all burrows, holes, crevices, or other cavities on the construction site only after thoroughly inspecting them for inhabitants, in accordance with agency protocols. This will discourage burrowing owls from potentially occupying the burrows, holes, and crevices before and during construction activities. Any burrowing owl burrows collapsed as a result of pre-construction activities will be reconstructed after construction activities are complete.
If burrowing owls are observed during surveys after March 15, the wildlife biologist will be notified. The wildlife biologist will rely on behavioral observations to determine their breeding status. Should breeding behavior be observed, the wildlife biologist will assume that an active nest is present and the area will be avoided until the young fledge. This ensures that any eggs or young are not abandoned due to Project activities. The owl’s total nesting cycle takes a minimum of 74 days, during which time construction activity needs to cease within the buffer area on the site. Generally, owl eggs may be laid between mid-March to the end of May, and young may be present from mid-April through August. (Adapted from USFWS recommendations)
D. RaptorsRaptor nests within the Project Area will be identified during pre-construction surveys for migratory and ground-nesting birds. All active raptor nests will be avoided. Known raptor nest sites need to be checked two to five days prior to construction activities in a given area. If an active raptor nest site is discovered, construction activities will not occur within 0.5 miles of the active nest site from May 1 through July 15, unless authorized by the BLM biologist. NV Energy will implement the ON Line Avian Protection Plan (APP) approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on February 1, 2011. This plan addresses permit compliance (USFWS and NDOW), construction and modification design standards, and avian mortality reporting and protocols. All actions to be taken to implement the APP are to be addressed in the COM Plan.
CloseConstruction staging areas will be placed no closer than 500 feet from residences. The schedule for all Project construction activity will preclude the use of heavy equipment, including those with the largest construction noise producing capability, between 10 PM and 7 AM within 2 miles of sensitive receptors.
Noise Prevention 1. The Robinson Summit Substation (or RSS-Site B) facility would be designed to operate in compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations related to noise.2. Personnel would be required to comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations concerning prevention and control of noise during project construction and operation.
|Access and Transportation||
CloseNV Energy will coordinate with NDOT and utilize proper signage and traffic controls to avoid potential impacts to roadway conditions due to construction of the ON Line Project.
CloseA detailed Stream Crossing and Wetlands Protection Plan would be developed as a component of the project’s overall COM Plan.
CloseWater Pollution Prevention and Monitoring
1. Water needs for soil stabilization during facility construction would be transported by truck or other methods from local water sources.
2. All federal and state laws related to control and abatement of water pollution would be complied with. All waste material and sewage from construction activities or project-related features would be disposed of according to federal and state pollution control regulations.
3. All disturbed drainage channels would be reclaimed as soon as practical, to a standard for aesthetic value comparable to what existed prior to disturbance. Where appropriate, native species capable of bank stabilization would be used to revegetate all disturbed stream banks.
4. Diversion structures would be used to re-direct flows from any drainages potentially impacted by facility features and would be designed to minimize potential destabilization and erosion of adjacent and downgradient drainages.
5. Stormwater management plans would be implemented for project construction and facility operation to minimize and control erosion from stormwater runoff. During project construction, stormwater would be managed in compliance with applicable state and federal regulations, including compliance with requirements of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater general permits, which would be obtained for the project. Stormwater management elements would include:
• Application of best management practices for erosion, sedimentation, and stabilization control during construction activities, and management of oils and other substances during operation to minimize contact with stormwater;
• Structural controls during operation that could include stabilized stormwater conveyance systems (swales); and
• Monitoring and maintenance to ensure long-term effectiveness of the management system.
6. Construction specifications would require construction methods that prevent pollutants from accidentally entering or spilling into flowing or dry watercourses, and ground water sources. Potential pollutants and wastes include refuse, garbage, cement, concrete, sewage effluent, industrial waste, oil and other petroleum products, aggregate processing tailings, mineral salts, drilling mud, and thermal pollution.7. Any construction wastewater from aggregate processing, concrete batching, or other construction operations would be directed to on-site temporary retention basins designed for zero discharge. The water may be reclaimed for construction purposes or evaporated. The residual as a result of evaporation would be removed.
|Lands and Realty||
CloseTransmission Line ROW
1. Where existing soil and terrain conditions allow, the upper 12 to 18 inches of soil would be removed from structure foundation excavation areas and stockpiled for later use in site restoration.
2. Surface elevations would be returned to approximate pre-project conditions as practicable.
3. Where roads that service transmission facilities cross fences, a wire gate would be installed to standard BLM specifications. The gates would be built prior to the construction activities and would be kept closed except during active construction at the fence site.
4. If construction activities cause damage to existing range improvements (such as pipelines, fences, troughs, etc.), they would be fixed using material that meets or exceeds the quality of the existing improvement. If damage occurs, the BLM and livestock operator would be notified immediately. If damage occurs during active livestock grazing, repairs would be made within 24 hours.5. To promote public safety in proximity to transmission line facilities within areas of frequent visitation by the public, fence panels would be installed at the base of guy wires on transmission line structures, and the first 10 feet of guy wires would be marked with safety reflectors, high-visibility tape or plastic, or a similar material to make them highly visible to the public.
Close1. In avoiding or mitigating effects for other types of properties, the BLM Ely District Office, in consultation with SHPO and in coordination with identified interested persons, shall determine the nature of effects to historic properties identified in the APE if the ON Line Project is approved by the BLM. All treatment shall be done in a manner consistent with the Nevada BLM/SHPO Protocol.
2. The BLM Ely District Office, to the extent practicable, and in consultation with the SHPO, shall ensure that NV Energy avoids effects to historic properties through project design, or redesign, relocation of facilities, or by other means.
3. When avoidance is not feasible, the BLM Ely District Office, in consultation with SHPO and in coordination with NV Energy and interested persons, shall develop, or ensure that NV Energy develops, an appropriate treatment plan designed to lessen or mitigate project-related effects to historic properties. For properties eligible under criteria (a) through (c) (36 CFR 60.4), mitigation, other than data recovery may be considered in the treatment plan (e.g., HABS/HAER recordation, oral history, historic markers, exhibits, interpretive brochures or publications, etc.). Where appropriate, treatment plans shall include provisions (content and number of copies) for a publication for the general public.
4. When data recovery is required as a condition of approval, the BLM Ely District Office, in consultation with SHPO, shall develop, or ensure that NV Energy develops treatment plans that are consistent with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines for Archaeology and Historic Preservation (48 FR 447 16-37) and Treatment of Historic Properties: A Handbook (Advisory Council 1980).
5. The BLM Ely District Office shall ensure that all records and materials resulting from identification and treatment efforts are curated in accordance with 36 CFR 79 in BLM-approved facilities. All materials slated for curation will be maintained in accordance with 36 CFR 79 until the relevant final treatment report is complete and collections are curated or returned to their owners. The BLM and NV Energy shall encourage private owners to donate collections obtained from their lands to an appropriate curation facility.
6. The BLM Ely District Office shall consult with appropriate tribes per BLM Manual 8120-1 and SHPO to develop treatment options for Traditional Cultural Properties or properties considered to be of traditional religious and cultural importance in areas that would be directly or indirectly affected by the ON Line Project.7. The BLM Ely District Office shall ensure that all final reports resulting from treatment will be provided to the SHPO, and made available to Indian Tribes, and other interested persons, as appropriate. All such reports shall be consistent with contemporary professional standards and the Department of Interior's Formal Standards for Final Reports of Data Recovery Programs (42 FR 5 3 77-79).
|Invasive, Nonnative Species||
CloseNoxious and Non-native, Invasive Weed Management
1. A noxious and non-native, invasive weed survey would be completed prior to any earth disturbing activity including cross-country travel. Noxious or non-native, invasive weeds that may be located on the site would be managed according to methods tiered to the BLM’s Ely and Southern Nevada District Offices’ Weed Management Plans. Should chemical methods be approved, the lessee must submit a Pesticide Use Proposal to the Authorized Officer 60 days prior to the planned application date. A Pesticide Application Report must be submitted to the Authorized Officer by the end of each fiscal year following chemical application.
2. To eliminate the introduction of noxious and non-native, invasive weed seeds, roots, or rhizomes; all straw, hay, straw/hay, or other organic products used for reclamation or stabilization activities would be certified free of plant species listed on the Nevada noxious weed list or specifically identified by the BLM Ely District Office.
3. To eliminate the introduction of noxious and non-native, invasive weed seeds, roots, or rhizomes; all source sites such as borrow pits, fill sources, or gravel pits used to supply inorganic materials used for construction, maintenance, or reclamation would be inspected and found to be free of plant species listed on the Nevada noxious weed list or specifically identified by the BLM Ely District Office. Inspections would be conducted by a BLM-approved weed scientist or qualified biologist.
4. To eliminate the transport of vehicle-borne noxious and non-native, invasive weed seeds, roots, or rhizomes, all vehicles and heavy equipment used for the completion, maintenance, inspection, or monitoring of ground disturbing activities would be cleaned of soil and debris capable of transporting weed propagules prior to entering or leaving the work site or project area in a manner acceptable to the BLM Ely District Office Weed Coordinator or designated contact person.
5. Prior to entry of vehicles and equipment to a project area, areas of concern would be identified, flagged, and recorded in the field by a weed scientist or qualified biologist in a manner acceptable to the BLM Ely District Office Weed Coordinator or designated contact person.
6. Prior to construction commencement, NV Energy would ensure that all contractors, operators, or permit holders would receive information and training regarding noxious and non-native, invasive weed management and identification to all personnel who would be affiliated with the implementation and maintenance phases of the project. The importance of preventing the spread of weeds to uninfested areas and the importance of controlling existing populations of weeds would be explained.
7. To eliminate the transport of soil-borne noxious and non-native, invasive weed seeds, roots, or rhizomes, infested soils or materials would not be moved and redistributed on weed-free or relatively weed-free areas. In areas where infestations are identified or noted and infested soils, rock, or overburden must be moved, these materials would be salvaged and stockpiled adjacent to the area from which they were stripped. Appropriate measures would be taken to minimize wind and water erosion of these stockpiles. During reclamation, the materials would be returned to the area from which they were stripped.
8. Prior to project approval, a site-specific noxious and non-native, invasive weed survey would occur and a weed risk assessment would be completed and included as part of the COM Plan. Monitoring would be conducted for a period no shorter than the life of the permit or until bond release and monitoring reports would be provided to the BLM. If the spread of noxious and non-native, invasive weeds is noted on project areas, appropriated weed control procedures would be determined in consultation with BLM personnel and would be in compliance with the appropriate BLM Handbook sections and applicable laws and regulations. All weed control efforts on BLM-administered lands would be in compliance with BLM Handbook H-9011, H-9011-1 Chemical Pest Control, H-9014 Use of Biological Control Agents of Pests on Public Lands, and H-9015 Integrated Pest Management. A pesticide Application Report must be submitted to the Authorized Officer by the end of the fiscal year following any chemical application.
9. Removal and disturbance of vegetation would be kept to a minimum through construction site management (e.g. using previously disturbed areas and existing easements, limiting equipment/materials storage and staging area sites, etc.).
10. Mixing of herbicides and rinsing of herbicide containers and spray equipment would be conducted only in areas that are safe distance from environmentally sensitive areas and points of entry to bodies of water (storm drains, irrigation ditches, streams, lakes, or wells).
11. Methods used to accomplish weed and insect control objectives would consider seasonal distribution of large wildlife species.12. When managing weeds in areas of special status species, impacts of the treatment on such species would be carefully considered. Wherever possible, hand spraying of herbicides would be the preferred method in compliance with an approved Integrated Weed Management Plan and associated environmental impact analyses.
1. All outside surfaces of structures at the Robinson Summit Substation (or RSS-Site B) would be constructed of materials that would minimize glare, and would be finished with flat tones intended to blend with the surrounding rural environment. The standard environmental colors chart, CC-001 June 2008 (Standard Environmental Colors), would be used, especially for remote facilities.
2. All fencing would be constructed of non-reflective materials. No white top fence posts would be used.
3. Signs at the Robinson Summit Substation (or RSS-Site B) would be constructed of materials that are non-glare, and would be painted using unobtrusive colors. This requirement shall not apply to safety signs (e.g., brightly colored signs indicating the presence of a hazard).
4. Permanent outdoor lighting at Robinson Summit Substation (or RSS-Site B) would be limited to areas required for operations, maintenance, safety and security, and would be anti-glare, shielded, and directed downward to the extent possible. Based upon FAA requirements, if the proposed microwave tower exceeds a height of 200 feet, lighting would be required on that structure. Highly directional, high-pressure sodium vapor fixtures (or other fixtures that meet the criteria specified) would be used where practical. Switches or photocells would be used as appropriate on outdoor lighting to allow use of lighting only when needed. Lighting techniques would include using directional lights that do not allow lights to shine into the sky, screening lights, using timers and motion detectors so that lights are only on when necessary, and systems that minimize lighting to only meet functional requirements.
5. The transmission structures would be finished with flat, neutral colors that would blend with the surrounding environment and that would relate to the colors of the other structures in the existing utility corridors.
6. Unless required for worker safety, non-specular conductors and non-reflective and non-refractive insulators would be used to reduce conductor and insulator visibility.
7. In areas of frequent visitation by the public, the base of guy-wires on transmission structures would have fence panels, and the first 10 feet of guy wires would be marked with safety reflectors, high-visibility tape or plastic, or a similar material to make them highly visible to the public.8. During the implementation of vegetation treatments, irregular margins would be created around treatment areas to better maintain the existing scenic character of the landscape.
|Public Health and Safety||
CloseHazardous Material Storage, Handling, and Disposal and Safety Measures
1. Personnel, contractors, and transporters involved with hazardous materials management would be required to comply with federal and state regulations established for the transportation, storage, handling and disposal of hazardous substances, materials and wastes. “Hazardous material” means any substance, pollutant, or contaminant that is listed as hazardous under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, as amended, 42 USC 9601 et seq., and its regulations (CERCLA). The definition of hazardous substances under CERCLA includes any “hazardous waste” as defined in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA), as amended 42 USC 6901 et seq., and its regulations.
2. The potential for adverse impacts from oil and fuel spills would be reduced through careful handling and designation of specific equipment repair and fuel storage areas. In the event that hazardous or regulated materials such as diesel fuel or gasoline are spilled, measures would be taken to control the spill and the National Response Center and/or Nevada Department of Environmental Protection would be notified immediately.
3. The permittee is responsible for clean-up and assumes liability for any and all releases of hazardous substances disposed on public land in accordance with State, Federal and Local laws and regulations. The permittee would immediately notify the BLM Authorized Officer of any and all releases of hazardous substances on public land.
4. Outdoor oil storage and use areas would be bermed with a capacity sufficient to contain the oil inventory contained in the single largest tank or equipment unit plus sufficient freeboard to prevent overflow. Outlets from these containment areas would be equipped with a normally closed valve. Regular inspections would determine if there had been a leak requiring special attention.
5. Waste materials known or found to be hazardous would be disposed of in approved off-site, permitted treatment or disposal facilities in accordance with federal, state, and local regulations, standards, codes, and laws.
6. Generation of wastes during construction would be minimized through detailed estimating of materials needed and through efficient construction practices. Wastes generated during construction would be recycled to the extent feasible. Concrete waste would be removed to a local licensed landfill. Non-recyclable wastes would be collected and transported to a local licensed landfill.
7. Fuels, lubricant chemicals, and welding gases used during construction would be in controlled storage until used. Any empty containers or waste material would be segregated in storage and properly recycled or disposed of by licensed handlers.
8. Concrete trucks would be washed only at designated sites along the authorized ROW where wastes would be contained.9. Portable toilets or a packaged treatment system would be provided for onsite sewage handling during construction at Robinson Summit Substation (or RSS-Site B). Portable toilets would be provided at construction locations along the ROW. Sewage from the portable toilets would be removed regularly and disposed of in accordance with applicable federal and state pollution control regulations. There shall be no dumping of black water, sewage or litter.