top of page

An update from the Utility-scale Solar Energy Development Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement

BLM’s Western Solar Plan: Upcoming Meetings, How to Engage, and More


The Utility-scale Solar Energy Development Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (draft Solar Programmatic EIS) is a comprehensive document that evaluates the potential environmental impacts of utility-scale solar energy development on public lands in the western United States. The draft Solar Programmatic EIS was prepared by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in response to the increasing demand for renewable energy sources and the need to balance energy development with environmental conservation.


The draft Solar Programmatic EIS assesses the potential impacts of utility-scale solar energy development on a variety of resources, including wildlife, water, air quality, cultural resources, and visual resources. The document also considers alternative approaches to solar energy development and identifies mitigation measures that could be implemented to reduce or eliminate adverse impacts.


One of the key findings of the draft Solar Programmatic EIS is that utility-scale solar energy development has the potential to have significant impacts on wildlife and their habitats. Large solar facilities can disrupt wildlife migration patterns, fragment habitat, and increase mortality rates for birds and other species. In order to address these concerns, the BLM has proposed siting guidelines and best management practices for solar projects that would minimize impacts on wildlife.


In addition to wildlife concerns, the draft Solar Programmatic EIS also addresses potential impacts on water resources. Large-scale solar facilities require significant amounts of water for construction and operation, which could strain local water supplies in arid regions. The document recommends implementing water conservation measures and using alternative water sources to reduce these impacts.


Overall, the draft Solar Programmatic EIS provides a thorough analysis of the potential environmental impacts of utility-scale solar energy development on public lands in the western United States. By identifying potential issues and proposing mitigation measures, this document will help guide future decision-making regarding solar energy development in a way that balances renewable energy goals with environmental protection.



There are several ways for your organization to engage with this process: 

  • Cedar City, Utah: Feb. 12, 5:00 MT

  • Las Vegas, Nevada: Feb. 13, 5 p.m. PT

  • Yuma, Arizona: Feb. 15, 5 p.m. MT

  • Grand Junction, Colorado: Feb. 20, 5 p.m. MT

  • Albuquerque, New Mexico: Feb. 22, 5 p.m. MT

  • Virtual Meeting: March 6, 11:00 a.m. MT (pre-registration is required 2. Write and submit comments by April 18. 

  • Review BLM’s maps for the proposed solar application areas. Let us know if there is any overlap with sensitive or priority landscapes. We can elevate the conflict in our comments. For example, are there any future units of the National Conservation Lands that the Bureau should exclude from solar development? 

  • Sign on to CLF’s comments. We will send ours to you as soon as they are finalized.

75 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page