WAPA » Regions » UGP » Environmental review--NEPA

Upper Great Plains Wind Energy Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (DOE/EIS-0408)

​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. 

FINAL Programmatic EIS

The Final PEIS is split into two volumes.  Volume 1 includes the main body of the PEIS.  Volume 2 includes the appendices.  
Final Record of Decision
WAPA signed a Record of Decision in July of 2015.

Final Programmatic BA

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:

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
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

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
Page Last Updated: 12/28/2022 3:34 PM