The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is holding an open-house meeting in Yuma, Ariz. on Feb. 15 to provide information on the Department of the Interior’s efforts to support the updated Western Solar Plan.
The public meeting will preview the BLM’s proposed revisions to the agency’s plan, which would streamline the BLM’s framework for siting solar energy projects and expand the bureau’s program to cover five additional states across the West.
“The BLM is committed to ensuring public lands do their part to meet our nation’s clean energy goals,” says BLM’s director, Tracy Stone-Manning. “We can and must do so responsibly, and we look forward to hearing from the public on how to achieve that balance.”
The updated Western Solar Plan evaluates six alternatives, each proposing to make different amounts of public land available to solar development applications under different criteria such as proximity to transmission infrastructure and designated critical habitat. Public input will inform a Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision.
The Draft Solar Programmatic EIS public comment period extends until April 18. In addition to this public meeting, BLM plans to hold two virtual and five other in-person public meetings during the comment period.