WAPA is evaluating a request from ConnectGen Albany County LLC to interconnect their proposed Rail Tie Wind Project into WAPA's existing Ault-Craig 345-kilovolt transmission line in Albany County, Wyoming. WAPA will prepare an environmental impact statement on the proposed interconnection in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 and other applicable regulations.
DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT (EIS) - PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD
The publication of the notice of availability
in the Federal Register
initiated the draft EIS public comment period, which is normally 45 days. During the public comment period, the public, interested parties and other agencies were invited to provide comments and ask questions about the draft EIS. All comments will be fully considered as the draft EIS is revised and will be preserved in the administrative record.
To ensure the public had an opportunity to provide input, WAPA accepted public comments until May 17, 2021, including in writing (online/email preferred) or verbally during virtual public hearings. Time for speaking at the hearings was limited and written comments were encouraged. (WAPA held two virtual public hearings in April 2021.)
Written comment submission
- Online (preferred): Questions and comments form
- Email (preferred): RailTieWind@wapa.gov
- Postal Mail: Mark Wieringa, Western Area Power Administration, Headquarters Office A9402, P.O. Box 281213, Lakewood, CO 80228-8213. Note: Building access is limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so written comments mailed to the WAPA Headquarters Office may be delayed in reaching the project team. Written comments submitted electronically via the online form or email are preferred.
Virtual public hearing details
- Meeting 1: Wednesday, April 28, 1 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time
- Meeting 2: Thursday, April 29, 5 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time
For security and to gauge public interest, registration was required to attend each virtual public hearing.
VIRTUAL PUBLIC HEARING information
Baseline technical reports were prepared for ConnectGen by their environmental contractor. This information was reviewed and independently verified by WAPA and their third-party NEPA contractor and any data gaps identified. While this information was relied upon to develop the EIS, numbers, text, and findings or conclusions may vary because of new or updated information, differences in professional judgement, or because of adjustments in analysis areas or changes to disturbance areas as Project design progressed.
- Shadow Flicker Assessment Technical Report, 04/02/2021
- Visual Impact Assessment, 04/02/2021
- Acoustical Assessment Technical Report, 04/02/2021
- Air Quality Analysis Technical Report, 04/02/2021
- Biological Resources Evaluation, 04/02/2021
- Endangered Species Act - Listed Species and Critical Habitat Review, 04/08/2021
- Swift Fox Presence/Absence Remote Camera Surveys, 04/02/2021
- Golden Eagle and Raptor Nest Survey Report, 04/02/2021
- Avian Use Study, 04/02/2021
- Burrowing Owl Presence/Absence Surveys, 04/02/2021
- Bat Activity Surveys, 04/02/2021
- Cultural Resources Evaluation Technical Report, 04/02/2021
- Historic Properties Visual Impact Assessment: Addendum to Cultural Resources Evaluation, 04/02/2021
- Geology and Soils Technical Report, 04/02/2021
- Land Use, Agriculture, and Recreation Technical Report, 04/02/2021
- Paleontological Resources Assessment Technical Report, 04/02/2021
- Hazardous Materials Technical Report, 04/02/2021
- Health and Safety Technical Report, 04/02/2021
- Social and Economic Analysis Technical Report, 04/02/2021
- Transportation Analysis Technical Report, 04/02/2021
- Surface Water and Groundwater Technical Report, 04/02/2021
system impact studies
The publication of the notice of intent in the Federal Register (see Documents section) initiates the EIS scoping process, which is normally 30 days. The scoping process shares project information with the public, interested parties and agencies, and gathers input on which issues and resources are important and deserve greater analysis in the EIS and which are of lesser importance. WAPA held two informational and scoping meetings for the public in January 2020. WAPA accepted comments related to the EIS scope through Jan. 31, 2020.
Scoping meeting details
- Date: Jan. 14, 2020
- Meeting 1: 9 a.m.-noon
- Meeting 2: 5-8 p.m.
- Location: Hilton Garden Inn Laramie
2229 Grand Ave.
Laramie, WY 82070
Project presentations were delivered at 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Submit comments and contact us
Comments on scoping the EIS effort may be made verbally to project representatives at the scoping meetings, but WAPA suggests providing comments in writing so that they are fully understood and become part of the project administrative record. Written comments on scoping the EIS can be provided at the public scoping meetings or emailed or mailed before Jan. 31, 2020, to:
NEPA Document Manager
Western Area Power Administration, Headquarters
PO Box 281213
Lakewood, CO, 80228-8213
WAPA will consider comments on the proposed project received at any time during the EIS process, but scoping comments received after Jan. 31, 2020 may be too late to help shape the scoping process.