BLM seeks public input on final Environmental Assessment for McGinness Hills Geothermal Project

BATTLE MOUNTAIN — The Bureau of Land Management, Mount Lewis Field Office, has prepared and made available for public comment an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Phase III McGinness Hills Geothermal Expansion Project (Project). The first McGinness Hills geothermal plant was established in July, 2012 and has been producing renewable power since. In an Addendum to the McGinness Hills Geothermal Development Project, Ormat Inc. is proposing the addition of new Phase III facilities that will total approximately 42 acres. The Project is located approximately 71 miles south of Battle Mountain, Nevada in Grass Valley.

The EA identifies, describes, and evaluates direct, indirect, residual and cumulative impacts from the Proposed Action including resource protection measures for mitigating the possible impacts from the Project in Lander County, Nevada.

The proposed expansion is being referred to as Phase III and consists of access roads (1.8 acres), a pipeline (5.1 acres), a power plant (15 acres), wells (up to 18.9 acres), and a transmission line tie-in (1.1 acres); totaling approximately 42 acres (or less) of new disturbance. The BLM has identified the following preliminary issues and resource concerns: air quality; cultural resources; environmental justice; migratory birds; Native American religious concerns; noxious weeds and invasive and non-native species; threatened and endangered species; minerals; noise; paleontological resources; grazing management; access and land use; social and economic values; soils; special status species; vegetation; visual resources; and loss of habitat for wildlife, including greater sage-grouse.

The EA, along with other relevant documents, can be found online at Written comments on the EA must be postmarked or otherwise hand delivered to the MLFO Office, 50 Bastian Rd, Battle Mountain, NV 89820, by 4:30 PM on or before December 15, 2017. Comments can also be faxed to (775) 635-4034 ATTN: Kevin Hurrell, Project Manager McGinness Hills Phase III Project; or e-mailed to

Comments and documents pertinent to this proposal may be viewed at the MLFO, 50 Bastian Rd, Battle Mountain, NV 89820, during regular business hours (7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday). Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, be advised 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 from public review your personal identifying information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. All submissions from organizations and businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, will be available for public inspection in their entirety.