ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEWS (NEPA)
Welcome to the Upper Great Plains (UGP) Region’s Environmental Review page. This page provides an overview of UGP’s environmental resources and links to more information about past and current environmental reviews.
ABOUT UGP ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES
UGP is the largest of WAPA’s four regions and encompasses all or parts of 6 states: Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The UGP is also the most environmentally and culturally diverse area managed by WAPA. Environmental staff consult with over 20 Federally-recognized Indian Tribes on various WAPA actions, ensure protection of roughly 25 Federally-listed species which call UGP home, and ensure environmental compliance at over 100 substations and across nearly 7,800 miles of power lines.
ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEWS (NEPA)
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was enacted in 1969 and established a National policy for protection of the environment, as well as created the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to oversee and advance the goals of NEPA.
NEPA’s objective is to improve Federal decision-making by providing opportunities for early involvement of the public, Federal, state, tribal, and local entities in the planning process and by disclosing potential impacts associated with proposed actions. To assist Federal agencies achieve this objective, the CEQ developed regulations and guidance for implementing NEPA that outline the processes for preparing environmental impact statements (EIS), environmental assessments, and categorically-excluded actions (CX).
In an effort to promote transparency and encourage public involvement, WAPA has provided the following list of current and past environmental reviews within UGP.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENTS (EIS)
An EIS is a comprehensive document that analyzes impacts of Federal actions which may have a significant effect on the human environment. Currently, UGP is not participating in any EIS reviews.
UGP has completed the following EIS reviews:
- Antelope Valley Station to Neset Transmission (AVS) Project
- Deer Creek Station Energy Facility Project
- Fort Peck Test Release
- Grande Prairie Wind Farm Project
- Groton Generation Station
- UGP Wind Energy Programmatic EIS
- U.S. Highway 85: I-94 to Watford City Bypass
- Keystone XL Pipeline
ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENTS (EA)
When it is unclear whether a Federal action will have significant effects on the human environment, UGP prepares an EA. If the EA shows that a Federal action will not have significant effects, a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) is prepared. If the EA shows that a Federal action may have significant effects, an EIS is prepared. Currently, UGP is participating the following EA reviews:
- Campbell County Wind Farm 2 (DOE/EA-2062)
- Moose Creek Wind Project (DOE/EA-2239)
- Philip Wind (DOE/EA-2094)
- Silver Queen Wind Farm (DOE/EA-2211)
- Wibaux Wind Farm
UGP has completed the following EA reviews:
Campbell County Wind Farm (DOE/EA-1955)
- Charlie Creek to Garrison Transmission Line Rebuild (DOE/EA-2093)
- Lookout Solar Park (DOE/EA-2075)
- Miles City MDU Project (DOE/EA-2109)
- North Bend Wind (DOE/EA-2161)
- Palmer’s Creek Wind (DOE/EA-2053)
- Prevailing Wind Park (DOE/EA-2061)
- Sleeping Giant Hydropower Project (DOE/EA-2022)
- South Dakota Highway 100/East Side Corridor Project (DOE/EA-2067)
- Sunflower Wind Farm (DOE/EA-1966)
- Summit Wind Farm (DOE/EA-1979)
- Sweetland Wind (DOE/EA-2095)
- Thunderhead Wind Energy Center (DOE/EA-2174)
- Wild Springs Solar (DOE/EA-2068)
- Willow Creek Wind Energy Facility
- Williston to Stateline Transmission Line Project (DOE/EA-1896)
- Williston to Tioga Transmission Line Project EA for Pre-approval Review
CATEGORICAL EXCLUSIONS (CX)
CXs are prepared to document Federal actions which fall into a category of actions (see Appendices A and B to Subpart D) which DOE has determined do not have a significant effect on the human environment, and neither an EA nor an EIS is required.
OTHER USEFUL DOCUMENTS
Last modified on December 1st, 2023