August 16, 2011

BLM reschedules public meeting for West Chocolate Mountains


The Bureau of Land Management has rescheduled a public meeting on the draft environmental impact statement for the West Chocolate Mountains Renewable Energy Evaluation Area and proposed amendment to the California Desert Conservation Area Plan.

The meeting will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 1 at the Fairfield Inn & Suites, 503 E. Danenberg Road, El Centro.

A “Notice of Availability” of the DEIS and proposed amendment to the CDCA Plan was posted July 1. Public comments received will be used to develop the final environmental impact statement in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act. BLM must receive written comments on the DEIS by Sept. 29.

The planning amendment considers about 20,762 acres of BLM-managed surface lands (acquired lands included) for testing and developing solar and wind energy facilities and for leasing about 19,162 acres of federal mineral estate (not including acquired lands) for geothermal energy testing and development. The DEIS analyzes the potential environmental, social and economic effects of six alternatives and issues raised during the public scoping process. The study may also lead to the designation of a Solar Energy Zone in the REEA. The DEIS also analyzes the impacts of a 640-acre geothermal lease application within the REEA.

Copies of the West Chocolate Mountains Renewable Energy Evaluation Area DEIS are available at the California Desert District Office, 22835 Calle San Juan De Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, CA 92553; the El Centro field office, 1661 S. Fourth St., El Centro, CA 92243; and the Palm Springs-South Coast field office, 1201 Bird Center Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262.

Written comments should be submitted to the BLM’s California Desert District Office, address listed above, attn: Peter Godfrey. For more information, contact Joseph Vieira at 719-852-6213 or e-mail, or Daniel Steward at 760-337-4424 or e-mail

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