News

BLM schedules geothermal lease sale for Mount Princeton, Colorado

Nathrop post office, Mt Princeton in the back, Colorado (source: stevegarufi.com)
Alexander Richter 14 Sep 2010

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) schedules geothermal lease sale for parcel near Mount Princeton Hot Springs in Colorado, the first such sale since the1980s.

In news from Colorado, it is reported that “The U.S. Bureau of Land Management again has scheduled a geothermal lease sale for a 799-acre parcel of land near Mount Princeton Hot Springs.

The lease has been pulled off the sale block three different times, most recently in February, to allow BLM officials more time to analyze the environmental impact. Federal officials received 278 letters protesting the geothermal lease.

The surface portion of the parcel is held by more than 60 private landowners, while the subsurface mineral estate is administered by the BLM. The Mount Princeton Geothermal Lease parcel is the first to be offered in the state of Colorado since the 1980s.

On Friday, BLM officials released the 2010 determination of National Environmental Policy Act adequacy, paving the way for a Nov. 10 sale of the geothermal lease in Denver.

The determination indicates that leasing geothermal resources within the area complies with the resource management plan for the Royal Gorge Resource Area.

Some of the public health and safety concerns that were brought up by the protesters can be addressed by issuing appropriate lease stipulations. Other resource concerns are more appropriate to be addressed in subsequent environmental review documents after the lease is issued, but prior to any ground disturbing activities, according to the BLM determination document.

After the lease is issued, any ground disturbing activity would require further analysis and approval from the BLM. At that time, the BLM will analyze the proposed activity for environmental act compliance.

Additional conditions of approval will be applied when location and logistics of exploration and development become known and are analyzed during the permitting stage. At that point, the BLM will be required to encourage public involvement in the decisions that affect the quality of the human environment.

For more information log onto www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/rgfo.html and click on the Mount Princeton Geothermal Lease Parcel link or call Melissa Smeins, BLM geologist, at 719-269-8523.”

Source: The Pueblo Chieftain