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EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry Sierra Madre Phase I Project

About the Project

On June 16, 2015, the Power Company of Wyoming LLC (PCW) requested a standard Eagle Take Permit (ETP) for construction of wind turbines and infrastructure components, and a programmatic ETP for operation of the EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project (CCSM).

The CCSM Phase I project consists of the construction, maintenance, and decommissioning of 500 wind turbines on 53,710 acres in Carbon County, Wyoming, south of the city of Rawlins. If the project meets all the necessary approvals, it could become the largest wind facility in the United States.

Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is obligated to review the potential impacts on the natural and human environment associated with issuing an ETP. For this project, the USFWS has determined an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is warranted because the action may significantly impact the environment.

What is Reviewed in the USFWS EIS?

USFWS will analyze the environmental impacts associated with a decision on whether to issue eagle take permits for the construction, operation, maintenance and decommissioning of the project. The EIS will evaluate all reasonable action alternatives and a no action alternative. The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) earlier and current analysis will be incorporated by reference.

Impacts to the following resources will be analyzed in detail:

1. Wildlife including bats, eagle prey, sage grouse, migratory birds and raptors
2. Habitat for eagles and other wildlife
3. Eagles at local and regional population levels
4. Cultural resources

Contact Us

Public Information Manager
Louise Galiher: (303) 236-8677
or louise galiher@fws.gov

Email

ccsm eis@fws.gov

Mail

Chokecherry-Sierra Madre EIS
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Mountain-Prairie Region
ATTN: Louise Galiher
P.O. Box 25486 DFC
Denver, Colorado 80225

Project Acronyms

BGEPA: Bald and Golden
Eagle Protection Act

BLM: Bureau of Land Management

CCSM: Chokecherry Sierra Madre

EIS: Environmental Impact Statement

ETP: Eagle Take Permit

NEPA: National Environmental Policy Act

PCW: Power Company of Wyoming, LLC

USFWS: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

EIS Documents

Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS)

For ease of access the FEIS has been split into 34 separate files. All files are PDF. Need a PDF reader? Get a FREE one here

EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-1 Front Matter ExecSummary and TOC
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-2 Chapter 1 PurposeNeed
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-3 Chapter 2 Description of Alts
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-4 Chapter 3 AE and EC
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-5 Chapter 4 Cumulative
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-6 Chapter 5 ConsultationandCoordination
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-7 Chapter 6 ListOfPreparers
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-8 Chapter 7 Glossary
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-9 Chapter 8 References
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-10 Attachment A ETP Apps and ECP Part1 ETP Apps
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-11 Attachment A ETP Apps and ECP Part2 ECP Cover-Sec6
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-12 Attachment A ETP Apps and ECP Part3 ECP Sec6-Sec11
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-13 Attachment A ETP Apps and ECP Part4 ECP AppA-C
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-14 Attachment A ETP Apps and ECP Part5 ECP AppD-E
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-15 Attachment A ETP Apps and ECP Part6 ECP AppF-G
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-16 Attachment A ETP Apps and ECP Part7 ECP AppH part1
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-17 Attachment A ETP Apps and ECP Part8 ECP AppH part2
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-18 Attachment A ETP Apps and ECP Part9 ECP AppH part3
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-19 Attachment A ETP Apps and ECP Part10 ECP AppH part4
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-20 Attachment A ETP Apps and ECP Part11 ECP AppH part5
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-21 Attachment A ETP Apps and ECP Part12 ECP AppH part6
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-22 Attachment A ETP Apps and ECP Part13 ECP AppI-K
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-23 Attachment B BBCS 2016 Part1 BBCS letter-sec3
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-24 Attachment B BBCS 2016 Part2 BBCS sec4p1-47
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-25 Attachment B BBCS 2016 Part3 BBCS sec4p48-86
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-26 Attachment B BBCS 2016 Part4 BBCS sec5-end
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-27 Attachment B BBCS 2016 Part5 AppA-D
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-28 Attachment B BBCS 2016 Part6 AppE
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-29 Attachment B BBCS 2016 Part7 AppF
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-30 Attachment B BBCS 2016 Part8 AppG
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-31 Attachment B BBCS 2016 Part9 AppH-J
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-32 Attachment C USFWS Eagle Fatality Modeling
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-33 Attachment D CCSM Bird List FEIS
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-34 Attachment E LAP Analysis FEIS

Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS)

For ease of access the DEIS has been split into 28 separate files. All files are PDF. Need a PDF reader? Get a FREE one here

EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-1 - Cover
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-2 - Chapter 1: Purpose
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-3 - Chapter 2: Description
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-4 - Chapter 3: AE and EC
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-5 - Chapter 4: Cumulative
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-6 - Chapter 5: Consultation & Coordination
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-7 - Chapter 6: List of Preparers
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-8 - Chapter 7: Glossary
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-9 - Chapter 8: References
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-10 - Attachment A ETP Apps and ECP Part 1
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-11 - Attachment A ETP Apps and ECP Part 2
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-12 - Attachment A ETP Apps and ECP Part 3
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-13 - Attachment A ETP Apps and ECP Part 4
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-14 - Attachment A ETP Apps and ECP Part 5
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-15 - Attachment A ETP Apps and ECP Part 6
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-16 - Attachment A ETP Apps and ECP Part 7
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-17 - Attachment A ETP Apps and ECP Part 8
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-18 - Attachment A ETP Apps and ECP Part 9
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-19 - Attachment A ETP Apps and ECP Part 10
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-20 - Attachment A ETP Apps and ECP Part 11
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-21 - Attachment A ETP Apps and ECP Part 12
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-22 - Attachment A ETP Apps and ECP Part 13
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-23 - Attachment B BBCS Part 1
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-24 - Attachment B BBCS Part 2
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-25 - Attachment B BBCS Part 3
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-26 - Attachment B BBCS Part 4
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-27 - Attachment C USFWS Eagle Fatality Modeling
EIS for Eagle Take Permits for the Chokecherry and Sierra Made Phase I Wind Energy Project-28 - Attachment D CCSM Bird List

 

Public Outreach and Coordination

July 2016

  • Press Release: Comment Period Reopened on Eagle Impacts Environmental Analysis from Proposed Wind Energy Project

April 2016

April 2014

December 2013

 

What is the Difference Between the BLM EIS and the USFWS EIS?

As a permitting agency with jurisdiction over the ETP, the USFWS has an independent obligation to comply with NEPA to review the ETP application submitted by PCW. While the BLM NEPA documents provide a foundation for the review, the USFWS EIS will focus primarily on eagles and related resources (habitat and prey), as well as migratory birds and other wildlife that might be affected by the issuance of an ETP.

The BLM performed a NEPA review because about half of the CCSM project would be located on federal land and require the issuance of a Right-of-way (ROW) grant from the BLM. As the agency with jurisdiction to issue the grant, the BLM undertook a tiered NEPA review of the CCSM Phase I project area.

The BLM issued two Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) documents relating to the CCSM Project, which led to the issuance of a Record of Decision in October 2012. BLM’s NEPA review determined that portions of the area are suitable for wind development and identified mitigation measures and design features to reduce impacts to the environment. The BLM is now conducting a review of PCW’s site-specific development plans for the infrastructure components of the project and Phase I of the wind development. Once NEPA review of these development plans is completed, the BLM will determine whether to issue the ROW grant needed by the applicant to begin construction on the project.

The BLM’s NEPA Review documents can be found at the following link:
http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/NEPA/documents/rfo/Chokecherry.html

What is an Eagle Take Permit?

Under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA), eagle take is defined as “to pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, destroy, molest or disturb an eagle.” An ETP is a permit issued by the USFWS which authorizes the take of eagles. The USFWS will issue eagle take permits only after the applicant has committed to undertake all practical measures to avoid and minimize impacts to eagles.

What are the Take Regulations and Types of Permits?

Regulations established in 2009 allow for incidental and nest take. Take permit applications must do the following:

Be ‘consistent with goal of stable or increasing eagle breeding populations’ (no net loss).
Be part of an otherwise lawful activity.
Comply with all avoidance, minimization, or other mitigation measures determined as reasonable and specified in the terms by the permit.
Monitor eagle use of important eagle-use areas for up to three years or implement an Eagle Conservation Plan as set forth by the permit.
Submit an annual report on monitoring activities and eagle mortality. The service will make eagle mortality information from annual reports of programmatic permits available to the public.

BGEPA regulations allow for two non-purposeful take permit types; one for standard permits allowing individual instances of take that cannot be practicably avoided, and a second for programmatic permits that provides for recurring take that is unavoidable. The CCSM project proponent has applied for both types of ETPs.

Standard ETP: The CCSM Phase I standard take permit would last for the duration of construction activities and cover the possibility of golden eagle and bald eagle nest disturbance take.

Programmatic ETP: The CCSM Phase I programmatic take permit would take effect when the first turbine begins operating. The permit would authorize lethal take of bald and golden eagles resulting from collision with turbine blades and be valid for a maximum of five years. It is anticipated that PCW would reapply for a programmatic ETP after each five year permit cycle, for the anticipated operational duration of the CCSM Phase I Project (30 years). All predicted golden eagle take would be offset through compensatory mitigation by the proponent.

Timeline

Timeline

 

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with Others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American People.
Last modified: December 08, 2016
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
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