One solar energy zone (SEZ) was identified in New Mexico through the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Solar PEIS: the Afton SEZ.
Additional SEZ information and maps for the Afton SEZ are available on the SEZ-specific Web page for Afton.
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.
The BLM began development of a solar regional mitigation strategy for the Afton SEZ in New Mexico in 2016. Information on the draft Afton Solar Regional Mitigation Strategy is available on the project website, linked below.
With IM-2019-018, the BLM established policy that compensatory mitigation could not be required as a condition for project approvals. However, with the issuance of IM 2021-038 on July 14, 2021, the BLM rescinded the previous IM-2019-018. The BLM expects to establish policies which are aligned with EO 13990, SO 3398, and the priorities of the Department. During this interim period offices should consider and implement compensatory mitigation on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with state office and national office program specialists and the Office of the Solicitor as needed.