U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Sacramento Fish & Wildlife OfficeServing the people, conserving the fish, wildlife, and plants of California

A Unit Of The Pacific Southwest Region

News Release

Service Seeks Public Comment for New Solar Complex

December 22, 2011

Media Contact:

Robert Moler, Public Affairs Specialist
(916) 414-6606, robert_moler@fws.gov

Sarah Swenty, Public Affairs Specialist
(916) 414-6571, sarah_swenty@fws.gov

The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) will study the environmental impacts for Maricopa Sun's proposed solar energy facility in Kern County. Maricopa Sun, LLC is requesting an incidental take permit for five federally listed endangered species and 14 California special status species. In order to receive an incidental take permit, Maricopa Sun, LLC must develop a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). The Service will then evaluate the impacts of both the project and a no-action alternative. The Service is seeking public input on the project with a comment period closing on February 23, 2012.

The permit requested by Maricopa Sun, LLC would cover impacts to at-risk species associated with construction, operation, and decommissioning of a 700 megawatt solar facility. The permit would also cover the HCP conservation actions for the project site that covers 6,766 acres in southwest Kern County, California. The project is made up of multiple parcels and located approximately six to 20 miles east of Taft along South Lake Road and along Copus Road.

The Service is seeking public comments to help identify significant environmental issues related to the proposed project. A public meeting will be held on January 23, 2012 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., at the Kern County Public Services Building, Conference Room 1-A, 2700 M Street, Bakersfield, California.

An HCP describes a project's anticipated impacts on at-risk species; how those impacts will be minimized or mitigated; and how the HCP is to be funded. HCPs can apply to both listed and non-listed species including those that are candidates or have been proposed for listing.

The Service anticipates that five federally listed endangered species will be covered in the applicant's proposed HCP: The Blunt-nosed leopard lizard, the Tipton kangaroo rat, the San Joaquin kit fox, the giant kangaroo rat, and the Buena Vista Lake shrew. The Service also expects Maricopa Sun, LLC to request that 14 California special status species (one amphibian species, three reptile species, six avian species, and four mammal species) be covered by the HCP for a 50 year term.

More information about this project is available to the right in the sidebar.

To request further information or submit written comments, please use one of the following methods, and note that your information request or comment is in reference to the Maricopa Sun Solar Complex Habitat Conservation Plan.

• U.S. Mail: 2800 Cottage Way, Room W-2605, Sacramento, California 95825-1846.

• In-Person Drop-off, Viewing, or Pickup: Call (916) 414-6600 to make an appointment during regular business hours to drop off comments or view received comments at the above location.

• Fax: Justin Sloan or Mike Thomas, (916) 414-6713, Attn.: Maricopa Sun Solar Complex Habitat Conservation Plan.

Last updated: December 4, 2017