The Salmon-Challis National Forest will prepare an environmental impact statement to analyze the potential effects of geothermal development on approximately 5,600 acres in Idaho, said the U.S Forest Service in a notice to be published in the Sept. 24 Federal Register.
The decision will be whether to proceed with geothermal leasing and, if so, under what stipulations. Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received within 30 days from date of publication in the Federal Register. The draft environmental impact statement is expected in May 2016 and the final environmental impact statement is expected in September 2016.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) received applications for leasing approximately 5,600 acres of Salmon-Challis National Forest (SCNF) lands for exploration and development for geothermal energy production. The SCNF must decide whether these lands are available for leasing by the BLM and, if so, under what stipulations for protection of surface resources.
The entire area plus an additional approximately 100 acres for power transmission will be considered in the analysis in the event of future similar interest. Possible stipulations proposed include: no surface occupancy; controlled surface use; and timing limitations. The Salmon-Challis National Forest is the lead agency in this analysis.