EA-1996: Finding of No Significant Impact and Mitigation Action Plan

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Glass Butte Communication Site Right-of-Way and RMP Amendment; Oregon

Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) announces its environmental findings for its proposal to install a communications facility on Glass Butte, an area managed by Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Prineville District Office. The Glass Butte communications facility will join BPA's existing Harney Substation to Pine Mountain Analog Radio Communications Spur Line, which requires the replacement of aging and obsolete analog communications equipment. BPA filed an application with the Bureau of Land Management BLM Prineville District Office requesting a right-of-way for the facility, which required the BLM to amend its 1989 Brothers-La Pine Resource Management Plan (RMP).

The BLM, in cooperation with BPA developed an environmental assessment (EA) evaluating the Proposed Action and the No Action Alternative. The EA was released for a 30-day public comment period in August 2017. One comment letter was received; it was from Oregon Wild requesting additional mitigation to improve sage grouse habitat, to ensure road design that would lessen possible erosion, to minimize conflicts with birds and bats, and to reduce potential construction material transport impacts. BLM responded to the comments in their 2019 Decision Record for the proposal (Glass Butte Communication Site Right-of-Way and RMP Amendment Decision Record for the Implementation Level Actions) and determined that the concerns Oregon Wild had expressed were addressed in the EA, mitigation measures, or project design and that no modifications to the EA were required.

BPA hereby adopts the EA, and based on its analysis and public comments received, BPA has determined that the Proposed Action is not a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment, within the meaning of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 (42 United States Code [USC] 4321 et seq.). Therefore, the preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) is not required and BPA is issuing this Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Proposed Action. The Proposed Action is not the type of action that normally requires preparation of an EIS and is not without precedent. BLM issued its own agency-specific decision document and has granted the right-of-way to BPA for the radio station facility.

For more information, see Glass Butte Communication Site Right-of-Way and RMP Amendment.