About the EIS
The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), as lead agency, is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that will evaluate the development of the Chuckwalla Solar Projects (Projects) on Moapa River Indian Reservation (Reservation) tribal lands. The proposed Federal action, taken under 25 U.S.C. § 415, is BIA’s approval of the solar energy ground lease and related agreements entered into by the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians (Moapa Band) with EDF Renewables Development, Inc. (EDFR or Applicant). The agreements provide for construction, operation and maintenance (O&M), and decommissioning of up to 700 megawatts (MWs) from up to four solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity generation facilities located entirely on the Reservation and specifically on lands held in trust by BIA for the Moapa Band.
In addition, two transmission generation interconnection (gen-tie) lines would be constructed to interconnect the Projects to the regional electrical grid. Portions of these lines would cross lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) both within a designated utility corridor on the Reservation and on federal lands off the Reservation. The BIA and BLM would approve rights-of-way (ROWs) authorizing the construction and operation of the transmission lines.
Because most of the Projects would be located on tribal trust lands, the BIA is the lead federal agency. BIA will prepare the EIS in cooperation with the Moapa Band, BLM, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and possibly the National Park Service (NPS) and Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW). The resulting EIS will aim to (1) provide agency decision makers, the Moapa Band, and the general public with a comprehensive understanding of the impacts of the proposed development of the solar field on the Reservation; (2) describe the cumulative impacts of increased development on the Reservation; and (3) identify and propose mitigation measures that would minimize or prevent significant adverse impacts.