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Frequently Asked Questions

Wind Energy EIS Comment Submittal Instructions and Help

This page is intended to provide assistance to persons wishing to submit a comment on the Wind Energy EIS via the Public Comment Form. If you need more help, please contact the Wind Energy Webmaster at windeiswebmaster@anl.gov or call (630)252-6182.

Form Instructions

1. Select a privacy preference

As noted in the form, BLM publishes all comments received, including the name and address of commenters, and will do so unless you specify withholding of your name and/or address from the public record by selecting one of those options in Section 1 of the form. Simply click the circle (radio button) that corresponds to your choice. Note that the default selection is to include your personal information in the public record, so if you want to exclude that information, you must select a different option.

2. Enter your personal information

You need to supply some information about yourself, so we know who submitted the comment. Some items are required, most are optional. You must enter your first and last name: BLM will not consider anonymous comments; however, you may request that BLM not include your name and/or address in the public record when you select a privacy preference in Section 1 of the form. Note: If you provide an e-mail address, you will receive an e-mail receipt for your comment, and we'll have a way to contact you if we have questions about your comment. We will not use your e-mail address for any other purpose.

3. Enter your comment(s)

Brief comments can be entered directly into the text box in the form. The text box will scroll to allow you to submit more text than will fit in the box, but for longer comments, you may wish to create a comment document in your favorite word-processing software (e.g. Word or WordPerfect), and submit that file as an attachment to your comment. Submitting comments in an attachment will allow you to submit much longer documents (up to 5 megabytes in size), and/or to include diagrams and other graphics in your comment, if desired. If you wish, you may enter text into the text box in the form and also submit an attachment - both will be included with your comment.

To attach a document to your comment, click on the "Browse" button, and select a file from your computer by double-clicking the file name, or selecting the file name then clicking "Open" in the dialogue box. The process is very similar to the process you normally use to open a file on your computer. One attachment is allowed for each comment. The following file types are permitted: Microsoft Word (.doc), Microsoft Works (.wks), Corel WordPerfect (.wpd), Adobe Acrobat (.pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf) and Text Format (.txt). Hint: If you do not have Word, Works, WordPerfect, or Acrobat, your word processing software may be able to save in one of those formats, OR you may be able to save the file in RTF or TXT formats, as these formats are generic to many word processing software packages. Be sure to limit your attachment to no more than 5 MB in size.

4. Submit your Comment(s)

When you have entered your comment in the comment text box and/or attached a file to your comment form, you must finish the submittal process by clicking the "Submit Comment" button at the bottom of the form. When you do this, you should immediately get a "Comment Receipt" thanking you for your comment, and giving you a tracking number and other information about your comment, as well as contact information for the Wind Energy Webmaster. It is strongly recommended that you print this page out, so that you have it for future reference should there be questions or issues regarding your comment. If you included an e-mail address in Section 2 (personal information) of the form, you will also get a similar receipt via e-mail. If you need to discuss your comment with the Wind Energy Webmaster, please have your receipt handy - the comment tracking number and other information on the receipt will be very useful for resolving any issues concerning your comment.

Problems Submitting a Comment

When you submit an EIS comment via the Web, you are transferring information from your PC to our Web server and a database system that manages the comments received from the public. Normally the process is straightforward and reliable, but because this process involves many variables, you may encounter a variety of problems when submitting your comment. You may be unable to see the Comment Form, you may get errors when you try to submit the form, an error message may appear when uploading an attachment, an attachment may upload very slowly or stop uploading in the middle of transfer, your attachment may be refused. Use the following troubleshooting guidelines to eliminate your problem.

Types of Errors You May Encounter

Comment Form Not Visible
Some problems occur because our Web server or related systems are not functioning properly. These problems should be rare, and typically when they occur, the comment submittal form will not be visible; there will be a message stating that you cannot submit a comment, and you should try again later. The Webmaster is automatically notified when these errors occur, and typically the problem will be fixed within a few hours or overnight. If the form is unavailable, please try again later, and the form will likely be working.

Error Immediately after Clicking Submit Button
Some problems occur because the comment form is missing required fields (e.g. name), or the attachment is the wrong type. These errors are detected when you click the "Submit" button to transfer theĀ form data to our Web server. Errors that occur because form fields are missing or because the attachment is the wrong type can usually be fixed by you. These problems cause error messages to be displayed that will help you determine the problem; the specific messages are described below.

Error after Form Is Submitted
Another type of error can occur when there is a problem inserting your comment or the attachment into the comment management system database. Errors that arise from problems inserting your comment generally can't be fixed by you. You can try resubmitting the comment, but you may need to try again later. Most of these problems cause error messages to be displayed that will help you determine the problem; the specific messages are described below.


Errors with Specific Error Messages

Most types of errors generate specific error messages that help you determine the problem and possibly fix it. These error messages are described below.

Error Messages: "Please provide first name," "Please provide last name," or "Form entries incomplete or invalid - please enter a comment"
If you see these error messages, it means you tried to submit a form missing a required field - either your first name, your last name, or a comment in the Comments text box. To fix these problems, simply complete the missing information and resubmit the form. Your comment form will not be accepted unless you provide your first and last name, and a comment.

Error Message: "Only the following file formats are accepted: Microsoft Word (.doc), Microsoft Works (.wks), Corel Word Perfect (.wpd), Adobe Acrobat (.pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and plain text (.txt)."
If you see this message, it means you tried to submit an attachment that is the wrong file type: only the file formats listed above can be accepted. You'll need to convert your attachment into one of these formats for it to be accepted, and then resubmit the form with the converted attachment. If you don't have Microsoft Word, Microsoft Works, Corel Word Perfect, or Adobe Acrobat, you may still be able to save your attachment document as a plain text file (.txt) or a Rich Text Format (.rtf) file format - many software packages can save text files to one of these two file formats, in addition to their regular format. Saving in .txt or .rtf formats may alter or remove formatting, however.

Error Messages: "Sorry! We are unable to accept your comment at this time. There is currently a problem with the comment database..." or "A problem occurred while trying to submit your comment."
If you see one of these error messages, it means there was a problem inserting your comment into the comment management system, either because the comment management system is malfunctioning or because something went wrong when your comment was submitted. You may try resubmitting your comment, but more likely you will need to try again later, after the problem has been diagnosed and repaired by us. When these errors occur, the Wind Energy Webmaster is automatically notified, so the problem is usually fixed in a few hours or overnight.

Error Message: "Sorry! We are unable to accept your comment at this time. There was a problem submitting your comment that may be related to the attachment you tried to send with the comment."
If you see this error message, it usually has one of two causes:

  1. You may have selected a file for an attachment, then renamed or moved the file on your PC prior to submitting the form. If this happens, the attachment can't be located properly when the form is submitted. You'll need to resubmit the form, reselect the attachment, and be sure not to move or rename it prior to clicking the "Submit" button.
  2. You may have tried to submit an attachment that exceeds the five megabyte file size limit for attachments. Make sure that your attachment is less than five megabytes in size. You may need to break it into separate parts and submit them separately on separate comment forms, or otherwise reduce the size of your attachment by eliminating unnecessary text and/or graphics. You'll then need to reselect the attachment and resubmit the form.

These errors are reported to the Wind Energy Webmaster, so there will be a record of the problem you experienced.

Error Message: "Sorry! The file attached to your comment is exceeds the size limit of 5 Megabytes (5 MB)."
If you see this error message, it means you tried to submit an attachment greater than 5 MB in file size, exceeding the limit for file attachments. Make sure that your attachment is less than five megabytes in size. You may need to break it into separate parts and submit them separately on separate comment forms, or otherwise reduce the size of your attachment by eliminating unnecessary text and/or graphics. You'll then need to reselect the attachment and resubmit the form.

These errors are reported to the Wind Energy Webmaster, so there will be a record of the problem you experienced.


Other Errors

Attachment Uploads Very Slowly or Stops Uploading in the Middle of Transfer
This problem usually does not have an error message associated with it, but you may see a "Page Not Found" error after a long period of time uploading. This problem usually has one of two causes:

  1. Heavy Internet or Web server traffic. If there is unusually heavy Internet traffic, or an unusually large number of people submitting comments or using the Wind Energy Development site at the time you submit an attachment, it may take several minutes for your attachment to be uploaded. This problem can't be fixed, but it can be avoided by submitting comments at "off-peak" hours, i.e., late at night, on weekends, etc. Avoid weekday mornings, especially Monday morning and the close of the business day. Also, minimize the size of your attachment whenever possible. Submit only the information necessary for your comment, and especially avoid the use of graphics, such as maps, photos, or logos, unless absolutely necessary.
  2. You tried to submit an attachment greater than 5 Mb in file size, exceeding the limit for file attachments. Make sure that your attachment is less than five megabytes in size. You may need to break it into separate parts and submit them separately on separate comment forms, or otherwise reduce the size of your attachment by eliminating unnecessary text and/or graphics. You'll then need to reselect the attachment and resubmit the form.

Other Errors Not Described Above
If you encounter an error not described above that is not resolved by simply resubmitting the form, please contact the Wind Energy Webmaster at windeiswebmaster@anl.gov or call (630)252-6182. We may be able to assist you, and want to hear about any problems you encounter trying to submit a comment.

Remember, there are several other ways to submit a comment. These commenting options are described on the Getting Involved page.