The proposed Project would include construction, operations and maintenance, and decommissioning of a communication site, ancillary components, and an access road (totaling approximately 6.13 acres). The Project components, including the access road, would occur entirely on Bureau of Land Management-administered land. The Project would be a multi-tenant wireless communication facility designed to accommodate a minimum of four national carriers, as well as government agencies including police, fire, and highway patrol. The Project is within the California Desert Conservation Area Plan Utility Corridor “BB,” which permits the expansion of utility facilities for the purpose of telecommunication, electricity, gas, water, and other commodities.
Construction is anticipated to take 4 months, and would likely occur from late 2022 to early 2023. During construction, a new extension of the existing access road (8,953 feet long by 14 feet wide) entering the communication site would be constructed to accommodate construction equipment. The staging area, an already disturbed area, is located adjacent to the I-15/Nipton Road interchange and is currently used for vehicle parking. Direct permanent impacts of Project construction would occur to 5.82 acres. Upon completion of construction, temporary disturbance areas would be restored.
The Applicant has applied for an Incidental Take Permit (ITP) to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) for the Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii). The ITP, if issued by CDFW subject to certain conditions, would remain in effect for 30 years. In addition, the Applicant submitted a Lake and Streambed Alteration (LSA) Agreement notification to CDFW for a term of 5 years or less. CDFW, consistent with their obligation as the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) lead agency, has analyzed and disclosed the environmental effects of the proposed Project as part of the “whole of the action” in the Draft IS/MND.