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Transportation Mitigation Measures

Mitigation measures to avoid or reduce transportation impacts from geothermal energy development.

The following are examples of mitigation measures that could be applied to reduce transportation impacts of a project from site- and project-specific conditions. Transportation impacts are related to the amount and types of vehicular traffic associated with a project. Many impacts can be reduced or avoided when considered during the siting and design phase.

Develop a final set of mitigation measures for any 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:

  • Prepare an access road siting study and management plan incorporating road design, construction, and maintenance standards.
  • Plan to use existing roads and pad sites to the extent possible.
  • Install permanent and temporary access roads as needed to support the exploration, drilling, and operation phases of the project, but minimize the number and length of such roads. For exploratory drilling activities, consider using primitive or two-track road access rather than constructing a higher-quality access road.
  • Develop a transportation plan, particularly for the oversized and overweight components specific to a geothermal development. The plan should consider component sizes, weights, origin, destination, and unique handling requirements. It should also evaluate alternate transportation approaches (e.g., barge, rail).
  • Develop a traffic management plan for site access roads and for use of main public roads. The plan would ensure that no hazards would result from increased truck traffic and that traffic flow would not be adversely impacted. The plan should incorporate consultation with local planning authorities regarding the number of vehicles per day and their size and type, and specific issues such as the location of school bus routes and stops.
  • Develop and implement measures to control off-highway vehicle traffic from newly constructed access roads.

General Mitigation Measures

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

  • Limit traffic to roads indicated specifically for the project. Limit use of unimproved roads to emergency use only.
  • Place signs along roads to identify speed limits, travel restrictions, and other standard traffic control information.
  • Instruct and require all personnel and contractors to adhere to speed limits to ensure safe and efficient traffic flow.
  • Limit construction vehicle traffic on public roadways to off-peak commuting times to minimize impacts on local commuters.
  • Avoid construction activities during high recreational use periods. Post signs directing vehicles to alternative park access and parking if construction temporarily obstructs recreational parking areas near trailheads. Place signs on any adjacent access roads or trails that might be affected.
  • Restore roads to equal or better condition than before project construction after the heavy construction period is complete.
  • Control dust along unsurfaced roads, especially near residences and farm fields.