Meeting will be happening on February 15 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) said it will be hosting an open-house meeting in Yuma to provide information on efforts to support appropriate renewable energy development on public lands through an updated Western Solar Plan.
The meeting will be at the Yuma Main Library in rooms A, B, and C at 2951 S. 21st Drive.
BLM said the meeting will preview their proposed revisions to the agency's Utility-Scale Solar Energy Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, which is known as the Western Solar Plan.
This plan would streamline the BLM's framework for building solar energy projects and expand its solar energy program to cover five additional states across the West, said BLM.
“The BLM is committed to ensuring public lands do their part to meet our nation’s clean energy goals,” said BLM 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.”
BLM said it can permit clean energy more efficiently while maintaining public and Tribal engagement.
This can be done by directing development to areas that have fewer sensitive resources, less conflict with other uses of public lands, and close proximity to transmission lines.
According to BLM, the updated Western Solar Plan evaluates six alternatives with each one proposing to make different amounts of public land available to allow solar development applications under different criteria.
Such criteria include proximity to transmission infrastructure, designated critical habitat, or other important ecological and cultural resources.
BLM is seeking public input that will inform a Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision.
To learn more about the updated Western Solar Plan, go to BLM’s Solar Program website.
BLM said the Draft Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement was published in the Federal Register on January 1, 2024, which opened a public comment period that goes on until April 18, 2024.
Additionally, BLM will also host two virtual and five other in-person public meetings.
It will begin with the first virtual meeting on February 5 and end with the last virtual meeting on March 6.
To view the Draft Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement and learn how to provide comments, go to https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2022371/510.