Present, Potentially Affected
- BLM-NV-WN-ES-08-01-1310, NV-020-08-01 (Blue Mountain Geothermal Well Field and Power Plant EA)
- Barren Ridge Renewable Transmission (Barren Ridge Renewable Transmission Project Environmental Impact Statement)
- 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-1621 (Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) Deep Geothermal Well and Power Plant Project EA at Klamath Falls Geothermal Area for Geothermal/Power Plant)
- DOE-EA-1759 (EA for Geothermal/Exploration at Southwest Alaska Regional Geothermal Energy Project Naknek, Alaska)
- DOE-EA-1849 (EA for Northern Nevada Geothermal Power Plant Project at McGuinness Hills Geothermal Area)
- DOI-BLM-CA-017-05-051 (Basalt Canyon Geothermal Pipeline Project Environmental Assessment and Draft Environmental Impact Report for Geothermal/Well Field)
- DOI-BLM-CA-EA-2002-??? (Glass Mountain Exploration Environmental Assessment/Initial Study for Geothermal/Well Field)
- 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-C010-2010-0006-EA (Gabbs Valley and Dead Horse Wells Geothermal Exploration Projects EA for Geothermal/Exploration)
- DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2010-0008-EA (EA at Soda Lake Geothermal Area for Geothermal/Exploration Drilling and Well Testing)
- DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2010-0010-EA (EA at Coyote Canyon and Dixie Meadows for Geothermal/Exploration Drilling and Well Testing)
- DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2010-0016-EA (EA for Airborne Electromagnetic Survey at Patua Geothermal Project for Geothermal/Well Field, Geothermal/Power Plant)
- DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2011-0001-EA (Coyote Canyon Utilization Project EA for TGP for Geothermal/Power Plant)
- DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2011-0516-EA (EA for Thermal Gradient Holes at Dixie Meadows Geothermal Exploration Project for Geothermal/Exploration, Geothermal/Well Field)
- DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2012-0029-EA (Tungsten Mountain Geothermal Exploration Project EA for Geothermal/Well Field Drilling and Well Testing)
- DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2012-0051-EA (Coyote Canyon South Geothermal Exploration Project EA for Geothermal/Exploration)
- DOI-BLM-NV-CC-ES-11-10-1793 (Salt Wells Geothermal Energy Projects EIS for Geothermal/Power Plant Development Drilling)
- 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-NV-W030-2010-0006-EA (EA for Drilling and Flow Testing at San Emidio Geothermal Exploration Project for Geothermal/Exploration)
- 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)
- DOI-BLM-OR-V040-2009-0059-EA (Department of Energy Loan Guarantee for U.S. Geothermal's Neal Hot Springs Geothermal Facility in Vale, Oregon for Geothermal/Power Plant)
- DOI-BLM-OR-V040-2011-0008-EA (EA for Neal Hot Springs Geothermal Well Construction Right of Way, Phase 2 for Geothermal/Well Field)
- DOI-BLM-UT-C010-2010-0042-EA (EA of Cove Fort/Sulphurdale Geothermal Utilization Plan for Geothermal/Power Plant)
- DOI-BLM-UT-W020-2009-0028-EA (EA for Thermal Gradient Holes at Drum Mountain Exploration Project for Geothermal/Exploration)
- DOI-BLM-UT-W020-2010-0042-EA (EA for Thermal Gradient Holes at Drum Mountains and Whirlwind Valley Geothermal Exploration Projects for Geothermal/Exploration, Geothermal/Well Field)
- DOI-BLM-UT-W020-2010-042-EA (EA for Exploration and Development Drilling at Drum Mountain Geothermal Area 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)
- 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)
- NV-EA-030-07-05 (EA for Thermal Gradient Holes at Salt Wells for Geothermal/Exploration)
- North Steens 230kV Transmission (North Steens 230-kV Transmission Project EIS)
- One Nevada (Final Environmental Impact Statement for the One Nevada Transmission Line Project (ON Line Project))
- Sigurd Red Butte No2 (Sigurd to Red Butte No. 2 345kV Transmission Project)
- Sun Valley to Morgan Transmission Line (Environmental Impact Statement for the Sun Valley to Morgan Transmission Line Project)
- Transwest Express (Transwest Express Transmission Project Environmental Impact Statement)
- ... further results
The Soil and Water Resources Conservation Act (SWRCA) (16 U.S.C. 2001 et seq.) allows for these three actions to occur:
- “Appraises the status and trends of soil, water, and related resources on non-Federal land and assesses their capability to meet present and future demands;
- Evaluates current and needed programs, policies, and authorities; and
- Develops a national soil and water conservation program to give direction to USDA soil and water conservation activities.”
Sand, silt and clay are the 3 common types of soil. Most often, the soil type is a hybrid of 2 or 3 categories. Sand has the largest particles, while clay has the smallest. These 3 categories are consequently broken up into 12 different soil types that are classified by their physical, chemical or biological properties. Soil types are measured by how much water they can hold. Soil identification at the geothermal site can predict soil erosion, sedimentation and reclamation procedures.
Soils Impacts & Mitigation
Geothermal construction and land maintenance activities have significant impacts to soils. Typical impacts and mitigation measures include the following:
- To mitigate erosion after construction, add silt fencing, diversion ditches, and water bars.
- Speed limit will be 30 mph on unpaved access roads and will be watered down.
- In wet conditions, add extra gravel to mitigate rutting, compaction and road deformations. To ensure proper care and safety of vehicles, if ruts are deeper than 4 inches in wet conditions, close the road until conditions improve.
- Along transmission lines, use existing roads to mitigate unnecessary soil erosion. If access roads need to be constructed, follow the existing contour and slopes. Site drainage and runoff management plan compliance reduces erosion and off‐site sedimentation.
- To mitigate soil compaction, use existing compacted sites such as landings, skid-trails, truck turn-arounds, or road surfaces for drilling sites.
- Avoid unstable, steep, cut-and-fill excavation and site leveling slopes and sensitive soils.
High Erodible Soils:
- To stabilize road slopes, minimize the surface area and keep cut slopes as steep as possible. Do not lay the slopes back and use aggregate, asphalt concrete, penetration oil treatment to mitigate erosion.
- For increased mechanical stabilization, use geotechnical materials such as jute netting and punched straw. Clear any debris at the base of the fill slopes and on the perimeter, use a sheeps-foot type roller to mitigate erosion. Use these methods for roads that require stream crossings adjacent to streams, exceed 6% grades and areas with 30% or more side slope. Do not use fills with 55% or more side slope grade.
- Use up to three feet of aggregate to terrace compact fill slopes between 40% and 55% grade. This reduces land slides and soil erosion
- To protect wetlands and drainages, install silt fences where the road passes through poorly drained areas and where sediment drains into a wetland.
- Dispose of sediment offsite
- Prepare a storm water pollution prevention plan
- Use culverts, ditches, and water bars to divert storm water from well pads and power plant. Ditch slopes and spacing depend on soil types.
- Before constructing rigs, install a berm to capture rainwater and spilled geothermal fluids. This decreases excess liquids on site.
- Save and store topsoils on an approved site in stockpiles for reclamation use. In moist, clay soils, removing topsoils and vegetation decreases soil compaction during construction.
- Stockpiles are not to exceed two feet in height to promote healthy ecosystems for organisms living in the soil. Cover the piles to mitigate wind erosion. Contour the stockpiles when placed atop filled areas during reclamation to allow restoration to occur.
- Reclaim disturbed areas soon after completing project work.
- Storm water management actions for pre-interim reclamation can occur before the final wells are built. These actions happen early in the process to stabilize surface water flow and to mitigate disturbed and adjacent areas from erosion and siltation. All equipment and personnel vehicles will be parked on site to decrease widespread degradation. If restored and reclaimed areas need to be inspected or accessed for operation, adverse restoration affects will occur. Begin the restoration process after the area has become dormant.
- To reclaim reserve pits, the pits must be at least 50% underground to mitigate dike failures and all fill dikes are to be compacted in the lifts.
- On Bureau of Land Management (BLM) managed lands, use weed-free seed mix to meet reclamation standards and fence these areas to discourage livestock until final reclamation occurs.
- Cultivate seedbed areas four to six inches 24 hours before seeding will occur. Loosen the soil with dozer tracking to make seed germination micro-sites.
- Temporary mulching controls erosion, creates vegetation micro-sites, and retains soil moisture. It is contrived of hay, small-grain straw, wood fiber, live mulch, cotton, jute, or synthetic netting. To mitigate diseases and invasive organisms, mulch will be free from mold, fungi, noxious or invasive weed seeds.
- If straw mulch is used, the fibers will be long enough to provide crimping and best coverage.