The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published a draft of its first ever Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for solar development on public lands. The BLM is at a critical juncture. The agency currently doesn’t have a solar program and they own lands with some of the worlds’ best solar resources.
Identifying areas with low natural resource values, high solar potential, and needed infrastructure like transmission that are suitable for development and guiding development to them and by guiding projects to zones, the BLM can ensure that solar projects are built faster, cheaper and better for the environment, developers and consumers. This approach will help us build an environmentally responsible solar industry and meet our renewable energy goals as we address the challenge of climate change in a timely manner.
The Interior Department announced a schedule for 13 public meetings to discuss the draft PEIS plan to accelerate the development of solar power on public lands in the West
The Draft Solar Energy PEIS document and related maps and information are available online at the project website: http://solareis.anl.gov. Related maps are also available at http://blm.gov/td5c. Comments on the PEIS can be submitted through the project website (preferred method of submission), or written comments can be mailed to: Solar Energy Draft Programmatic EIS, Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 S. Cass Avenue – EVS/240, Argonne, Illinois 60439. All comments related to the draft must be postmarked or delivered by March 17, 2011.