RAPID/BulkTransmission/Nevada/Aesthetic & Recreational

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Nevada Bulk Transmission Aesthetic & Recreational Resource Assessment(17-NV)

Developers should be aware that the potential effects of transmission projects on visual resources has been a challenge in siting transmission facilities. Transmission line projects may cause visual contrast within the landscapes they cross due to their length, size and the regular geometric forms of the transmission towers. These projects may affect sensitive viewers (i.e., residents, recreationist, etc.) located along the right-of-way.

Analysis of impacts to visual resources as a result of a transmission line project may be required as part of a federal, state or local permitting process. For example, at the federal level, a project required to go through the NEPA process must evaluate impacts to visual resources. In addition, some public agencies have requirements or provide guidelines for evaluating and assessing impacts to visual resources for projects that cross their jurisdiction. For example, the BLM and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) have developed methodologies for inventorying visual resources and assessing visual impacts on lands under their respective jurisdictions.

In Nevada, projects subject to the Utility Environmental Protection Act (UEPA), an applicant is required to submit a summary of any studies which have been made of the environmental impact of the facility as part of the UEPA permit application (NRS704.870). In addition, a copy or copies of the environmental studies conducted must be file with the Commission and be available for public inspection (NRS 704.870). Environmental studies required for inclusion in the UEPA permit application may include visual resources.

If projects fall under the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) and requires federal environmental analysis, then potential impacts to visual resources will need to be evaluated. NEPA review is conducted by a "lead agency.” A “lead agency" is the federal agency responsible for producing the NEPA document(s) and coordinating with any other federal, state, or tribal agencies. For most projects, the lead agency will be the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the United States Forest Service (USFS), the Department of Energy (DOE), or the United States Department of Defense (DOD). As noted above the BLM and USFS has methodologies for inventorying and assessing impacts to visual resources.

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Determine Which State and Federal Permits Apply

Use this overview flowchart and following steps to learn which federal and state permits apply to your projects.

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