What species of concern will be included in the impact analysis for the NGS-KMC Project EIS and Biological Assessment?
Species of concern to be analyzed in the EIS will include federally listed species and those proposed for listing, Native American, state protected, and other special status species for land management agencies including the BLM, US Forest Service, and the National Park Service. The Biological Assessment conducted for compliance with the Endangered Species Act will focus on species that are federally-listed, proposed for listing, and candidates.
What is an Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) and how will it be used in the impact analysis for the NGS-KMC EIS?
The ERA is a standardized impact assessment tool that will be used to evaluate the potential for adverse effects to ecological receptors resulting from exposure to chemical contaminants dispersed in NGS stack emissions. The ERA methodology will follow procedures described in guidance documents prepared by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The ERA will focus on relevant area(s) of emissions deposition and on the effects to federal, Native American, state listed, and other special status species. Non-listed species also will be considered where applicable. The risk characterization will conduct two assessments as part of the ERA: one to evaluate risks to ecological receptors from current conditions (2019) and one to evaluate risks projected to result from future deposition of project-specific emissions through 2044.
Are fish in water bodies in the project area being affected by chemicals/metals from air emissions? How is that information being collected?
The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is conducting air modeling/deposition studies that consider regional and global influences (conducted for the Four Corners EIS; may be applied to the NGS-KMC EIS) on air quality. These studies include consideration of the migration of arsenic, mercury, and selenium into regional water resources (rivers and lakes) and the bioaccumulation of mercury from water into top predator fish tissue to estimate exposure.