US Park Service Seeks to Protect New Mexico Thermal Features Under Geothermal Steam Act

The U.S. National Park Service has proposed protecting thermal features within New Mexico’s Valles Caldera National Preserve from possible adverse effects of geothermal power development near the preserve.

In a public notice, NPS said that it proposes that thermal features within the preserve be designated as “significant thermal features” and added to the list of significant thermal features within the National Park System for protection under the Geothermal Steam Act.

According to the notice, the Act provides special protections for listed significant features by requiring the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to work with NPS to determine whether geothermal development on federal lands outside the park system could affect protected features within the park system.

The Act prohibits BLM from issuing leases if the development is likely to result in adverse effects on the features.

Valles Caldera National Preserve was added to the park system in 2014.

NPS said that it is seeking comments on the proposal. The comment period ends Jan. 26.

Lead image credit: National Park Service

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