BLM Initiates Environmental Analysis Of The Vulcan Solar Energy Project
Public invited to participate in upcoming virtual scoping meeting
July 1, 2023
PHOENIX — The Bureau of Land Management is announcing the beginning of a 30-day public scoping period to inform the environmental analysis of the proposed Vulcan Solar Project, which would produce up to 1,050 megawatts of utility-scale renewable energy from solar photovoltaic modules on 7,374 acres of public land in western Maricopa County.
A Notice of Intent will post in the Federal Register tomorrow, announcing the BLM's intent to amend the Lower Sonoran Field Office Resource Management Plan and prepare an associated environmental impact statement for the Vulcan project. The notice also removes public lands within the project area from location and entry under the Mining Law of 1872, subject to valid existing rights, for a period of two years.
"Public input during the scoping period will help us develop alternatives and planning criteria for the environmental impact statement," said Phoenix District Manager Leon Thomas. "Members of the public, Tribes, partners, agencies and stakeholders can all provide information that will be important to consider in the planning process."
The analysis will evaluate potential impacts from the proposed project, including Tribal concerns; threatened, endangered, and sensitive species; socioeconomic effects; environmental justice; and other issues. The environmental impact statement will also analyze mitigation measures to lessen environmental impacts and ensure the action alternatives would not result in unnecessary or undue degradation of public lands.
The BLM will hold a virtual scoping meeting to gather input and provide information about the proposed project. The meeting will be held on Microsoft Teams on Thursday, July 27 at 4 p.m. Other project information, including maps and information on how to submit comment are also available at the National NEPA Register.
The BLM manages vast stretches of public lands that have the potential to make significant contributions to the nation's renewable energy portfolio. To promote our clean energy goals, the BLM provides sites for environmentally sound development of renewable energy on public lands and new transmission routes to connect into the grid. These efforts to deploy renewable energy from our nation's public lands support the Biden-Harris administration's goal of a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035, as well as Congress' direction in the Energy Act of 2020 to permit 25 gigawatts of solar, wind, and geothermal production on public lands no later than 2025.
For more information contact project manager Matthew Drahnak at firstname.lastname@example.org or (602) 919-1702.
Chris Wonderly, public affairs specialist