News and Events
Wind Energy Development Programmatic EIS news, events, and announcements.
November 10, 2016
Competitive Leasing Rule for Wind and Solar Leasing is Finalized, Providing a Foundation for the Future of BLM's Renewable Energy Program
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has finalized its rule governing solar and wind energy development on public lands, as described in a Press Release issued November 10th. The rule strengthens existing policies and creates a new leasing program that will support renewable energy development through, among other things, competitive leasing processes and incentives to encourage development in suitable areas.
The rule complements the Department's landscape-scale planning efforts, including the Western Solar Plan, California's Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, and Arizona's Restoration Design Energy Project, which were designed to streamline development in areas with high generation potential, while protecting important environmental, cultural, and recreational resources.
The rule will support a full range of development activities anticipated by the BLM across the lands it manages. Its competitive leasing provisions will help development flourish on the 700,000 acres of public lands that have been identified as designated leasing areas (DLAs) in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah. Similar provisions in effect in the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone in Nevada enabled the BLM to approve projects in half the time of the current process.
The rule also ensures that the BLM will continue to make progress in permitting outside of DLAs. There, the rule refines the application review process and increases financial certainty by giving developers the option of scheduled rate adjustments and providing for MW capacity fee phase-ins. The rule also allows the BLM to offer lands outside of DLAs competitively; however, the BLM anticipates that most projects in these areas will continue to use the application-by-application process.
Copies of the rule and a fact sheet explaining the key changes between the proposed and final rules are available on BLM's website. The regulations will become effective 30 days after they are published in the Federal Register.
November 26, 2014
BLM Extends Public Comment Period for Solar/Wind Competitive Leasing Proposed Rule and Announces Webinar
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has extended the comment period for the proposed rule that would promote the use of “designated leasing areas” for solar and wind energy development. The proposed rule would establish competitive processes, terms, and conditions (including rental and bonding requirements) for solar and wind energy development right-of-ways both inside and outside the designated leasing areas and provide incentives for leases in designated leasing areas.
The proposed rule was initially published on September 30, 2014, with a 60-day comment period closing on December 1, 2014. The BLM is extending the comment period for 15 days beyond the end of the initial comment period. As a result of this extension, the comment period will close on December 16, 2014.
The BLM will host a webinar for interested parties on Wednesday, December 3rd, from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss the competitive leasing proposed rule and answer any questions. The dial-in number for the webinar is: 1-888-324-4391; Passcode 7595414. The URL for the webinar is: http://anl.adobeconnect.com/blmleasing/. Please include your name and organization name (if applicable) in the name field when logging in to the webinar. For more information regarding the webinar, please contact Jayme Lopez by telephone at 202-912-7547, or by email at email@example.com.
September 30, 2014
BLM's Draft Competitive Leasing Rule for Wind and Solar Leasing Released for Comment
On September 30, 2014, the BLM issued its Draft Competitive Leasing rule for Wind and Solar Leasing in a Federal Register notice. Publication kicks off a 60-day comment period that closes on December 1, 2014. The proposed regulations would promote the use of "designated leasing areas." The rule would establish competitive processes, terms and conditions (including rental and bonding requirements) for solar and wind energy development rights-of-way (ROWs) both inside and outside the designated leasing areas, and provide incentives for leases in designated leasing areas. A Draft Environmental Assessment and an Economic Analysis supporting the draft rule are available.
January 7, 2009
Revised BLM Wind Energy Policy Instruction Memorandum Available
The full text of the revised BLM Wind Energy Policy Instruction Memorandum is now available for viewing and downloading via this web site.
January 30, 2006
Biological Opinion Available
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Opinion on the Likely Effects of the Proposed Wind Energy Development Program is now available for viewing and downloading via this web site.
January 11, 2006
NOA for Record of Decision Available
The Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision for the Wind Energy Development Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) and Associated Land Use Plan Amendments (52 KB) published in Federal Register.
December 16, 2005
Notice of Availability of Record of Decision Available
The Record of Decision to implement a Wind Energy Development Program and amend land use plans is now available for viewing and downloading via this web site.
June 24, 2005
Notice of Availability for Final PEIS Published in Federal Register
Notice of Availability of Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (FPEIS) on Wind Energy Development on BLM-Administered Lands in the Western United States (59 KB) published in Federal Register.
June 21, 2005
Wind Energy Final Programmatic EIS Documents Available
The Wind Energy Development Final Programmatic EIS is available for downloading or online browsing in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.
The Final PEIS includes proposed amendments to 52 BLM land use plans in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming, as described in Appendix C of the Final Programmatic EIS. BLM land use planning regulations (43 CFR 1610.5-2) state that any person who participated in the planning process, and has an interest that may be adversely affected, may protest. The protest must be filed within 30 days of the date that the Environmental Protection Agency publishes the Notice of Availability in the Federal Register. Instructions for filing of protests are described in the “Dear Reader” letter in the front of Volume 1 of the Final PEIS.
January 19, 2005
Wind Energy Draft Programmatic EIS Comments Available
Please note that the Draft Programmatic EIS comments have been incorporated into Volume 3 of the Final Programmatic EIS, and the comment documents are no longer available on this Web site. This news item is retained for archival purposes.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has completed the public comment phase for the Draft Wind Energy Development Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Public comments were accepted from September 10, 2004 through December 10, 2004. More than 690 comments were received.
Comment documents received during the draft phase are available for review on this Web site.
September 10, 2004
Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (DPEIS) Available
Please note that the Draft Programmatic EIS has been replaced with the Final Programmatic EIS. The Draft Programmatic EIS is no longer available on this Web site, and the comment period has closed. This news item is retained for archival purposes.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announces the availability of the Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (DPEIS) on Wind Energy Development on BLM-Administered Lands in the Western United States. The BLM has prepared this DPEIS to (1) assess the environmental, social, and economic impacts associated with wind energy development on public lands in 11 western states (excluding Alaska) and (2) evaluate a number of alternatives to determine the best management approach to mitigating potential impacts and facilitating wind energy development.
The DPEIS is available for review on this Web site in a searchable and downloadable format. The DPEIS also is available for review during normal business hours at BLM State Offices located in Arizona (222 N. Central Ave., Phoenix); California (2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-1834, Sacramento); Colorado (2850 Youngfield St., Lakewood); Idaho (1387 S. Vinnell Way, Boise); Montana (5001 Southgate Dr., Billings); Nevada (1340 Financial Blvd., Reno); New Mexico (1474 Rodeo Rd., Santa Fe); Oregon (333 SW 1st Ave., Portland); Utah (324 South State St., Salt Lake City); and Wyoming (5353 Yellowstone Rd., Cheyenne).
The public has 90 days to review and comment on the DPEIS following publication of the required EPA Notice of Availability.
Comments can be submitted electronically via a comment form available on this web site or by mail to:
BLM Wind Energy Programmatic EIS
Argonne National Laboratory, EAD/900
9700 S. Cass Avenue
Argonne, IL 60439
February 2, 2004
Wind Energy Development EIS Scoping Phase Completed; Summary and Comments Available Online
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has completed the scoping phase for the Wind Energy Development Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS). Public scoping comments were accepted from October 17 through December 19, 2003. Over 800 comments were received during five public meetings, by mail and facsimile, and via this Web site.
The Summary of Public Scoping Comments reflects all comments received during the scoping phase and will be used to assist the BLM in developing the scope of analysis to be conducted in the PEIS. Specific comments are not provided in the report; however, written documents received during the scoping phase are available for review on this Web site.
October 24, 2003
Wind Energy Development EIS Public Scoping Meetings in November
The BLM will hold public scoping meetings to obtain comments for the Programmatic EIS at the following locations on the dates specified below.
- Sacramento, California
Monday, November 3, 2003
- Salt Lake City, Utah
Wednesday, November 5, 2003
- Cheyenne, Wyoming
Wednesday, November 12, 2003
- Las Vegas, Nevada
Tuesday, November 18, 2003
- Boise, Idaho
Thursday, November 20, 2003
See Getting Involved for information on public participation in the EIS process.
October 17, 2003
Notice of Intent Published in Federal Register
Notice of Intent to Prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to Evaluate Wind Energy Development on Western Public Lands Administered by the Bureau of Land Management (39 KB)
published in Federal Register