[Federal Register: January 4, 2011 (Volume 76, Number 2)]
[Page 381-382]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Bureau of Land Management

[CACA 49698, CACA 51204, LLCAD07000, L51010000.FX0000, LVRWB10B3810, 

Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact 
Statement/Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Iberdrola 
Renewable/Pacific Wind Development Tule Wind Project and San Diego Gas 
and Electric's East County Substation Project, San Diego County, CA

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Availability.


SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969, as amended (NEPA), and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act 
of 1976, as amended (FLPMA), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and 
the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) have prepared a Draft 
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), and Draft Environmental Impact 
Report (EIR) as a joint environmental analysis document for the 
Iberdrola Renewable/Pacific Wind Development Tule Wind Project (Tule 
Project) and the San Diego Gas and Electric's (SDG&E) East County 
Substation Project (ECO Project) and by this notice are announcing the 
opening of the comment period on the Draft EIS/EIR.

DATES: To ensure that your comments will be considered, the BLM must 
receive written comments on the Draft EIS/EIR by close of business on 
February 16, 2011. The comment period began on December 23, 2010, with 
publication of the Notice of Availability in the Federal Register by 
the Environmental Protection Agency. Recognizing that the public review 
period began during the holidays, the BLM has decided to extend the 45-
day comment period cited in the EPA notice until close of business on 
February 16, 2011 (55 days total). The BLM and CPUC will hold two joint 
public informational workshop meetings on the projects; the first in 
Jacumba, at 7 p.m., on January 26, 2011, at the Jacumba Highland Center 
on 44681 Old Highway 80, Jacumba, California 91934, and the second in 
Boulevard, at 7 p.m., on February 2, 2011, at the Boulevard Volunteer 
Fire Department at 39223 Highway 94, Boulevard, California 91905. The 
public will be notified in advance of any updates or changes to these 
public meetings through local media, newspapers and the BLM Web site 
at: http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/elcentro.html.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments related to the Tule Wind Project and 
East County Substation Project by any of the following methods:
     Web site: http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/cdd.html.
     E-mail: catulewind@blm.gov.
     Fax: (951) 697-5299.
     Mail: ATTN: Greg Thomsen, BLM California Desert District 
Office (CDDO), 22835 Calle San Juan de Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, 
California 92553-9046.
    Copies of the EIS/EIR are available on the BLM Web site at: http://
www.ca.blm.gov/elcentro and also from the CPUC and the CDDO at the 
above addresses and in the BLM El Centro

[[Page 382]]

Field Office, 1661 S. 4th Street, El Centro, California 92243.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information and/or to have 
your name added to our mailing list, contact Greg Thomsen, telephone: 
(951) 697-5237; address: BLM California Desert District Office, 22835 
Calle San Juan de Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, California 92553-9046; or 
via e-mail to catulewind@blm.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The BLM has received applications for 
rights-of-way (ROW) for two separate, but related, proposed projects in 
eastern San Diego County. Pacific Wind Development (Iberdrola) has 
submitted an application to construct, operate, maintain and 
decommission a 200 megawatt (MW) wind energy generation facility known 
as the Tule Wind Project. The proposed project site is located on 
approximately 15,390 acres of land under multiple jurisdictions 
summarized as follows: Private land--1,040 acres, California State 
Lands Commission land--619 acres, BLM land--12,133 acres and Tribal 
land belonging to the Campo/Cuyapaipe/Manzanita Tribes--1,598 acres. 
The project site is located in the In-Ko-Pah Mountains near the McCain 
Valley in San Diego County, north of the unincorporated community of 
Boulevard. The project will consist of approximately 134 wind turbines 
(1.5 to 3.0 MW each), an overhead and underground 34.5 kilovolt (kV) 
collector system leading to a collector substation, an operations and 
maintenance facility, and a 138 kV transmission line as the generation 
tie-in to the existing Boulevard Substation.
    The SDG&E has submitted an application to construct the ECO 
Project, including a 138 kV transmission line that would traverse 
approximately 1.5 miles of public land managed by the BLM. The ECO 
Project includes the construction of a 500/230/138 kV substation on 
private land near the community of Jacumba, a short loop-in to the 
Southwest Power Link, the 138 kV transmission line mentioned above, a 
rebuild of the existing Boulevard Substation, and a rebuild of the 
existing White Star Communication Facility.
    The BLM's purpose and need for the Tule and ECO Projects is to 
respond to Iberdrola Renewable/Pacific Wind Development and SDG&E 
applications for a ROW grant to construct, operate, and decommission an 
energy generation project and a 138 kV transmission line on public 
lands in compliance with Title V of FLPMA (43 U.S.C. 1761), BLM ROW 
regulations, and other applicable Federal laws and regulations. The BLM 
will decide whether to approve, approve with modification, or deny 
issuance of a ROW grant to Iberdrola Renewable/Pacific Wind Development 
and SDG&E for the proposed Tule and ECO Projects, respectively. The BLM 
will take into consideration the provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 
2005 and Secretarial Orders 3283 Enhancing Renewable Energy Development 
on the Public Lands and 3285 Renewable Energy Development by the 
Department of the Interior in responding to the Iberdrola and SDG&E 
    The BLM's proposed action in the EIS/EIR is to authorize the Tule 
Project and the ECO Project in response to the applications received 
from Iberdrola Renewable/Pacific Wind Development and SDG&E, 
respectively. The BLM will analyze the following alternatives: for the 
ECO project; the Proposed Action and No Action alternatives; for the 
Tule Wind Project; the Proposed Action, authorization of the proposed 
project with a relocation of the 138 kV generation tie-in line, 
authorization of the proposed project with a reduction in the number of 
wind turbines, authorization of the 113 wind turbines, but moving them 
away from critical habitat and areas having wilderness characteristics, 
and a No Action alternative.
    The BLM will use the NEPA process to satisfy the public involvement 
requirement for Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act 
(16 U.S.C. 470f) as provided in 36 CFR 800.2(d)(3). Native American 
Tribal consultations are being conducted in accordance with BLM and 
Department of the Interior policy, and Tribal concerns will be given 
due consideration, including impacts on Indian trust assets.
    The BLM has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with 
the CPUC to conduct a joint environmental review of the Tule/ECO 
Projects on Federal land managed by the BLM. The CPUC is the CEQA lead 
agency preparing the EIR and the BLM is the lead agency preparing the 
EIS. The BLM and CPUC have agreed through the MOU to conduct joint 
environmental review of the project in a single combined NEPA/CEQA 
process and document. The Draft EIS/EIR evaluates the potential impacts 
of the proposed Tule and ECO Projects' impacts on air quality, 
biological resources, cultural resources, water resources, geological 
resources and hazards, land use, noise, paleontological resources, 
public health, socioeconomics, soils, traffic and transportation, 
visual resources, wilderness characteristics, and other resources. A 
Notice of Intent to Prepare an EIS/EIR for the Tule and ECO Projects in 
San Diego County, California was published in the Federal Register on 
December 29, 2009 (74 FR 68860). The BLM held two public scoping 
meetings in Jacumba and Boulevard, California, on January 27 and 28, 
2010, respectively. The formal scoping period ended on February 15, 
2010. Please note that public comments will be available for public 
review and disclosure at the above address during regular business 
hours (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.), Monday through Friday, except holidays.
    Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.

    Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6 and 1506.10 and 43 CFR 1610.2.

Thomas Pogacnik,
Deputy State Director, Natural Resources.
[FR Doc. 2010-33181 Filed 1-3-11; 8:45 am]