​Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), as joint lead agencies, prepared the Upper Great Plains Wind Energy Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS)(DOE/EIS-0408).  The PEIS was prepared in response to an increase in wind energy development and interconnection requests.  WAPA and the Service streamlined the procedures for conducting environmental reviews of these wind energy applications by implementing standardized evaluation procedures and identifying common measures to avoid or minimize environmental impacts associated with these projects.  The scope of the PEIS covers wind energy projects in the footprint of WAPA’s Upper Great Plains (UGP) Region.  The UGP Region encompasses all or parts of the States of Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.




WAPA and the Service also jointly prepared a Programmatic Biological Assessment (PBA) evaluate the potential impacts on federally listed, proposed, or candidate species from wind energy projects within the UGP Region and which are requesting to interconnect to WAPA’s electrical transmission system.  The PBA identifies avoidance and minimization measures that should be implemented to address potential adverse impacts on listed species.  Under the PBA process, projects would need to commit to implementing the appropriate avoidance and minimization measures in order to expedite their Section 7 review under the Endangered Species Act.  WAPA received conc​urrence on the PBA on July 7, 2015.  In the event that an applicant is not willing or is unable to implement the measures, the project would need to initiate a Section 7 review separate from the PBA process.

The applicable avoidance and minimization measures for each species within the UGP Region can be found below.  WAPA has also prepared guidance for completing the required forms:


​Vegetation ​Mammals Invertebrates
Eastern prairie fringed orchid Black-footed ferret Scaleshell mussel
Mead’s milkweed Canada lynx Dakota skipper
Prairie bush clover Grey wolf Higgins eye
Ute ladies’-tresses Grizzly bear Poweshiek skipperling
Western prairie fringed orchid Northern long-eared bat Salt creek tiger beetle
Whitebark pine American burying beetle
​Reptiles Bull trout ​Birds
Eastern Massasauga Pallid sturgeon Interior least tern
Topeka shiner Piping plover
  Rufa red knot
  Who​oping crane

Project applicants are also required to submit the Project Consistency Evaluation Form.


John Russell

Western Area Power Administration

Environmental Manager

2900 4th Avenue North

Billings, MT 59101

Phone:  (406) 255-2810

Email:  JRussell@wapa.gov

For information on the Service’s participation in the PEIS, contact:

Kelly Hogan

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Mountain Prairie Region

134 Union Boulevard

Lakewood, CO 80228

Phone:  (303) 236-4792

Email:  Kelly_Hogan@fws.gov


Last modified on August 8th, 2023