BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT AND DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY ANNOUNCE AVAILABILITY OF SOLAR STUDY AREAS

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On June 30, 2009, the Bureau of Land Management ("BLM") and the Department of Energy ("DOE") published a Notice of Availability in the Federal Register announcing the availability of maps that identify 24 tracts of BLM-administered land for in-depth study for solar development. These areas will become the focus of a Programmatic Solar Environmental Impact Statement ("Solar PEIS") for large-scale solar development on public lands. For those interested in participating in the Solar PEIS, BLM and DOE are accepting public comment on the Solar Energy Study Areas through July 30, 2009. The comment period will be followed by publication of a draft Solar PEIS and another opportunity to comment on the proposed program. The BLM and DOE will then prepare a final EIS and decide on the scope and details of the program. The BLM and DOE optimistically project that the entire process will be completed by the end of 2010. More information on the timeline and process for preparing the Solar PEIS can be found here.

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