In February 2014, the Arizona Republic's Ryan Randazzo wrote about a plan drafted by a political consulting group commissioned by the state's largest utility "to help APS change or alter the Arizona Corporation Commission".
Solar PEIS Exclusion Analysis
The following is a list of exclusions for BLM Land identified as appropriate in the Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (Solar PEIS) for Solar Energy Development in Six Southwestern States in July 2012. Courtesy of Bob Sullivan of Argonne National Laboratory.
See solareis.anl.gov for additional information about the Solar PEIS.
- Lands with slopes greater than 5% determined through geographical information system (GIS) analysis using digital elevation models.
- Lands with solar insolation levels less than 6.5 kWh/m2/day determined through National Renewable Energy Laboratory solar radiation GIS data (http://www.nrel.gov/rredc/solar_data.html).
- All Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACECs) identified in applicable land use plans (including Desert Wildlife Manage Areas (DWMAs) in the California Desert District planning area).
- All designated and proposed critical habitat areas for species protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973 (as amended) as identified in respective recovery plans (http://ecos.fws.gov/tess_public/TESSWebpageRecovery?sort=1).
- All areas for which an applicable land use plan establishes protection for lands with wilderness characteristics.
- Developed recreational facilities, special-use permit recreation sites (e.g., ski resorts and camps), and all Special Recreation Management Areas (SRMAs) identified in applicable land use plans, except for those in the State of Nevada and a portion of the Yuma East SRMA in Arizona.
- All areas where the BLM has made a commitment to state agency partners and other entities to manage sensitive species habitat, including but not limited to sage grouse core areas, nesting habitat, and winter habitat; Mohave ground squirrel habitat; flat-tailed horned lizard habitat; and fringe-toed lizard habitat.
- Greater sage-grouse habitat (currently occupied, brooding, and winter habitat) as identified by the BLM in California, Nevada, and Utah, and Gunnison's sage-grouse habitat (currently occupied, brooding, and winter habitat) as identified by the BLM in Utah.
- All areas designated as no surface occupancy (NSO) in applicable land use plans
- All right-of-way (ROW) exclusion areas identified in applicable land use plans.
- All ROW avoidance areas identified in applicable land use plans.
- In California, lands classified as Class C in the California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) planning area.
- In California and Nevada, lands in the Ivanpah Valley.
- In Nevada, lands in Coal Valley and Garden Valley.
- All Desert Tortoise translocation sites identified in applicable land use plans, project-level mitigation plans or Biological Opinions.
- All Big Game Migratory Corridors identified in applicable land use plans.
- All Big Game Winter Ranges identified in applicable land use plans.
- Research Natural Areas identified in applicable land use plans.
- Lands classified as Visual Resource Management (VRM) Class I or II (and, in Utah, Class IIId) in applicable land use plans
- Secretarially designated National Recreation, Water, or Side and Connecting Trails and National Back Country Byways (BLM State Director approved) identified in applicable BLM and local land use plans (available at http://www.americantrails.org/NRTDatabase), including any associated corridor or lands identified for protection through an applicable land use plan.
- All units of the BLM National Landscape Conservation System, congressionally designated National Scenic and Historic Trails (National Trails System Act [NTSA], P.L. 90-543, as amended), and trails recommended as suitable for designation through a congressionally authorized National Trail Feasibility Study, or such qualifying trails identified as additional routes in law (e.g., West Fork of the Old Spanish National Historic Trail), including any trail management corridors identified for protection through an applicable land use plan. Trails undergoing a congressionally authorized National Trail Feasibility Study will also be excluded pending the outcome of the study.
- National Historic and Natural Landmarks identified in applicable land use plans, including any associated lands identified for protection through an applicable land use plan.
- Lands within the boundaries of properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) and any additional lands outside the designated boundaries identified for protection through an applicable land use plan.
- Traditional cultural properties and Native American sacred sites as identified through consultation with tribes and recognized by the BLM.
- Wild, Scenic, and Recreational Rivers designated by Congress, including any associated corridor or lands identified for protection through an applicable river corridor plan.
- Segments of rivers determined to be eligible or suitable for Wild or Scenic River status identified in applicable land use plans, including any associated corridor or lands identified for protection through an applicable land use plan.
- Old Growth Forest identified in applicable land use plans.
- Lands within a solar energy development application area found to be inappropriate for solar energy development through an environmental review process that occurred prior to finalization of the Draft Solar PEIS.
- Lands previously proposed for inclusion in SEZs that were determined to be inappropriate for development through the NEPA process for the Solar PEIS (limited to parts of the Brenda SEZ in Arizona; the previously proposed Iron Mountain SEZ area and parts of the Pisgah and Riverside East SEZs in California; parts of the De Tilla Gulch, Fourmile East, and Los Mogotes East SEZs in Colorado; and parts of the Amargosa Valley SEZ in Nevada.
- In California, all lands within the proposed Mojave Trails National Monumentg and all conservation lands acquired outside of the proposed Monument through donations or use of Land and Water Conservation Funds.
- In California, BLM-administered lands proposed for transfer to the National Park Service with the concurrence of the BLM.
- Specific areas identified since the publication of the Supplement to the Draft Solar PEIS by the BLM based on continued consultation with cooperating agencies and tribes to protect sensitive natural, visual, and cultural resources (total of 1,066,497 acres [4,316 km2]; see Figure ES.2-1. Note there are some overlapping exclusions). Data and finer scale maps will be made available through the Solar PEIS project Web site (http://solareis.anl.gov). Note that in some cases, the description of these areas will be withheld from the public to ensure protection of the resource.