The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is initiating a programmatic environmental impact statement (EIS) for solar energy development in western states and resource management plan amendments (RMPA) as appropriate. This effort will update and build upon the BLM’s 2012 Western Solar Plan. The programmatic EIS effort will be launched in late 2022 and early 2023 to evaluate the environmental effects of potential land use plan amendments regarding utility-scale solar energy development on the public lands to improve and expand its capacity to meet these goals.
The BLM has published a Notice of Intent (NOI) in the Federal Register to inform the public about the proposed actions; announce plans to conduct a series of public scoping meetings; and solicit public input for consideration in establishing the scope and content of the PEIS, alternatives, and environmental issues and impacts. The aim is to then incorporate this public feedback into a draft PEIS and draft plan amendments for public comment in summer 2023, with a final PEIS and proposed plan amendments targeted to be complete by June 2024.
The Solar Programmatic EIS will not interrupt the processing of existing or new solar energy development applications. BLM decisions to authorize solar energy development projects will continue to conform to the BLM’s approved resource management plans, including as those plans might be amended following the completion of the Solar Programmatic EIS.
If you represent an agency that is interested in being a cooperating agency for this planning effort, please contact the BLM at [email protected].
For the most up-to-date information on the dates, times, and locations of public scoping meetings, please see the Western Solar PEIS/RMP page on the BLM National NEPA Register.