Two SEZs were identified in Arizona through the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Solar PEIS: Brenda SEZ and Gillespie SEZ.
Arizona has conducted a statewide planning effort for facilitating renewable energy development (the Restoration Design Energy Project or RDEP) that builds off of the Solar PEIS, for which a ROD was signed in January 2013.
The ROD for the RDEP identified an additional SEZ: the Agua Caliente SEZ in western Arizona.
In the Solar PEIS, the BLM committed to preparing solar regional mitigation strategies (SRMSs) for the SEZs. These regional mitigation strategies were intended to simplify and improve the mitigation process for future solar projects in SEZs.
Based on IM-2019-018, the BLM no longer may require compensatory mitigation as a condition for project approvals. However, the SEZ characterization data and discussion of potential impacts of development in the SRMS documents may still prove useful for consideration during project permitting activities. Additionally, the BLM conducted outreach to support the SRMS projects with a broad representation of stakeholders, including industry, state and local governments, tribes, and local communities, and this stakeholder input to the SRMS documents also remains valuable.