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 and 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 and 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 order 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 will have a significant effect on the human environment. Currently, UGP is participating in the following EIS reviews:
- NPPD R-Project
- Fargo-Moorehead Diversion
- Lower Yellowstone Intake Diversion Dam
- Missouri River Recovery Management Plan
- U.S. Highway 85: I-94 to Watford City Bypass
UGP has completed the following EIS reviews:
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 will have significant effects, an EIS is prepared. Currently, UGP is participating the following EA reviews:
- Northern Wind Farm (DOE/EA-1902)
- Wibaux Wind Farm (DOE/EA-2029)
- Prevailing Winds (DOE/EA-2061)
- Sand Creek Wind (DOE/EA-1978)
- Palmer's Creek Wind (DOE/EA-2053)
- Campbell County II (DOE/EA-2062)
- Day County II Net Zero (DOE/EA-)
- Roosevelt County/Culbertson Net Zero (DOE/EA-2069)
- Wild Springs Solar (DOE/EA-2068)
- Lookout Solar Park (DOE/EA-2075)
UGP has completed the following EA reviews:
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