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Tribal Energy and Environmental Information Clearinghouse: Environmental resources for tribal energy development
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Land Use Mitigation Measures

Mitigation measures to avoid or reduce impacts to land use from biomass energy development.

The following are examples of mitigation measures that could be applied to reduce land use impacts of a project depending upon site- and project-specific conditions. Land use impacts are related to the project activities (e.g., land disturbance, habitat destruction, erosion, changes in runoff patterns, and hydrological alterations), project emissions (e.g., fugitive dust, sediment runoff, air releases, and water releases), noise levels, and resource use (e.g., water extraction). Many impacts can be reduced or avoided when taken into account during the siting and design phase.

Develop a final set of mitigation measures for the project in consultation with the appropriate federal resource management agencies and stakeholders. Conduct these consultations early in the project development process and preferably prior to final project siting and design.

Siting and Design Mitigation Measures

Siting and design considerations that mitigate impacts include:

  • Contact local stakeholders early in the process to identify sensitive land uses, issues, and local plans and ordinances.
  • Provide adequate public notice of planned activities.
  • Evaluate current transportation systems and access routes.
  • Minimize the amount of land disturbance and develop and implement stringent erosion and dust control practices. Site the project on previously disturbed or altered landscapes whenever possible.
  • Develop and implement stringent erosion and fugitive dust control practices.
  • Establish a reclamation plan that addresses both interim and final reclamation requirements that ensures all impact areas are restored.
  • Install site fencing to prevent public access and access by livestock. Also, coordinate with appropriate natural resource agencies to either allow or prevent site access by certain wildlife species.

General Mitigation Measures

General mitigation practices and principles that could apply to any or all phases of a biomass energy project include:

  • Implement a reclamation plan.
  • Keep gates and fences closed and in good repair to prevent access by the public, livestock, and wildlife.
  • Compensate farmers or ranchers for crop or forage losses.
  • Compensate property owners for relocation of their homes, in the event that relocation is unavoidable.
  • Restore lost agricultural lands at the end of the project.
  • Restore culturally valuable native plants on tribal lands.

Project Phase-Specific Mitigation Measures

Mitigation measures specific to a particular phase of a biomass energy project include:

Decommissioning/Site Reclamation

Implement the reclamation plan developed for the project. Items to consider include:

  • Remove all aboveground structures from the project area.
  • Remove intake and discharge structures from the surface water bodies.
  • Reestablish the original grade and drainage pattern to the extent practicable.
  • Restore the vegetation cover, composition, and diversity commensurate with the ecological setting.
  • Review reclamation efforts and weed control periodically until the site has been successfully reclaimed.