Our Comments on the Environmental Assessment for Ormat’s Geothermal Exploration Project

On August 19, the Bureau of Land Management released its Draft Environmental Assessment of Ormat Technologies’ proposed geothermal exploration project outside of Gerlach, Nevada. The BLM is seeking public comments and feedback by September 19. Burning Man Project has taken up that call and is sharing our comments here.

You can also read our first round of comments in response to BLM’s initial announcement in December 2021 here. We encourage you to learn about the project and consider submitting comments of your own, particularly if you live in an impacted community. 

Burning Man Project strongly supports renewable energy (check out our 10-year environmental sustainability roadmap that includes our goal of becoming carbon negative) and the proper public process to bring those projects online. In our comments to the Ormat Draft Environmental Assessment, we focus on four primary issues: First, we request an extension of the public comment period so that a more robust conversation with the potentially impacted communities can occur. Second, the BLM did not address viable alternatives to the project. Third, we advocate for an environmental impact statement (EIS) instead of an Environmental Assessment as the right tool under the National Environmental Policy Act. Fourth, we highlight our continued concerns about the likely environmental, economic, and cultural impacts this exploration project, and a foreseeable geothermal generation plant, could bring.

Submit your comments to BLM by the September 19 deadline! Read our earlier post on how to submit an effective, substantive comment.

Cover image of sunset over Gerlach, Nevada — the last town before Black Rock City, 2022 (Photo by Daniel Fingerhut)

About the author: Burning Man Project

Burning Man Project

The official voice of the Burning Man organization, managed by Burning Man Project's Communications Team.

3 Comments on “Our Comments on the Environmental Assessment for Ormat’s Geothermal Exploration Project

  • sean spencer says:

    Delay the burn by a few weeks. Global warming is real, it’s dangerous to have an event so hot. More importantly you would eliminate half of the RV’s on the playa. People mainly bring them to run A/C during the day. What a horrible pollution. Have the event when it’s cooler and you will have less pollution, more tent camping.

    I’ve burned 6 times…only one of those 6 was a not scorching year.

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  • Jim Foster says:

    It seems odd that most of the exploration will be done immediately around Gerlach. If I were a local I would wonder about smells emitting from the wells, care of the roads leading to the sites, noise from the drilling operations, blowout risks and effects on meager groundwater reservoirs.

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  • Xulia Suero says:

    Thanks for protecting BMP and Gerlach. The comments submitted for Orwell Geothermal Exploration are well versed.

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