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EIS-0403-S1: Supplement to the Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement

Solar Energy Development in Six Southwestern States

The full document number is DOE/EIS-0403D-S1.

As described in DOE’s proposed action in the Draft Solar PEIS, DOE would develop and adopt programmatic environmental guidance which would be used by DOE to further integrate environmental considerations into its analysis and selection of proposed solar projects. DOE has used the information about environmental impacts provided in the Draft Solar PEIS and other information to develop draft programmatic guidance. DOE has included the draft programmatic guidance in this Supplement for public comment.

Through this Supplement, the BLM has modified its preferred alternative to emphasize its commitment to the concept of solar energy zones (SEZs). Efforts have been made to ensure that SEZs are not located in high conflict areas; a protocol for identifying new SEZs has been provided; and incentives for projects within SEZs have been outlined. In addition, the BLM has revisited ongoing state-based planning efforts to ensure that such efforts could result in the identification of new SEZs. While the BLM’s preferred alternative emphasizes the use and creation of SEZs for utility-scale solar energy development, it also includes a proposed process that will accommodate responsible development outside of SEZs.