Western Solar Development

Notice of Impacts to Wetlands in Accordance with
 Section 2(b) of E.O. 11990, Protection of Wetlands and
DOT Order 5660.1A, Preservation of the Nation’s Wetlands

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (Airports Authority) has prepared a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) to evaluate the Western Solar Development project at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD or the Airport), for a sublease of approximately 800 acres to Dominion Energy to construct a utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) system facility and a small-scale parking lot PV system (Proposed Action).

The Airports Authority’s purpose and need for the Proposed Action being evaluated in this Draft EA is to monetize the value of land available within the Airport boundary and achieve elements of the Airports Authority sustainability goals to improve air quality, reduce emissions of global greenhouse gases, and provide on-site renewable energy. Dominion Energy’s purpose and need for the Proposed Action is to obtain land near high energy demand areas in northern Virginia to construct and operate a utility-scale renewable energy facility to make progress toward meeting the mandates of the 2020 Virginia Clean Economy Act.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the lead federal agency to ensure compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) for airport development actions. The Draft EA has been prepared pursuant to the requirements of Section 102(2)(c) NEPA, and Section 509(b)(5) of the Airport and Airway Improvement Act of 1982, as amended, as well as the requirements and guidelines of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Order 1050.1F, Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures, FAA Order 5050.4B, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Implementing Instructions for Airport Actions, and the FAA Order 1050.1F Desk Reference.

This Notice also serves to notify the public that this EA process will satisfy the public notice and comment requirements of Executive Order 11990, Protection of Wetlands and DOT Order 5660.1A, Preservation of the Nation’s Wetlands. The Proposed Action includes the placement of fill in 0.66 acres of wetlands and permanent impacts to 135 linear feet of stream channel. It is anticipated that the project will qualify for a State Programmatic General Permit and Virginia Water Protection Permit based on further consultation with the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality which will include compensatory mitigation for project impacts.

This public review and comment period is also being conducted pursuant to the 1987 Programmatic Memorandum of Agreement among the FAA, the Virginia State Historic Preservation Officer (VASHPO) and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (as regards Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 – 36 CFR 800). The Virginia Department of Historic Resources (VDHR) as the VASHPO has determined that the proposed project would not have an adverse effect on historic resources.

Beginning November 5th, 2021, the Draft EA will be available for public review under the Environmental Information section of the Airports Authority website: A physical copy of the Draft EA is available at the Brambleton Branch of the Loudoun County Library:

          Loudoun County Library, Brambleton Branch
          22850 Brambleton Plaza
          Brambleton, Virginia 20148

As well as the Chantilly Regional Library branch of the Fairfax County Library:

          Fairfax County Library – Chantilly Regional Library
          4000 Stringfellow Road
          Chantilly, Virginia 20151

Written comments on the information disclosed in the Draft EA may be submitted by email (preferred) or mailed to:

          Thomas Wasaff, Planning Department
          Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
          45045 Aviation Drive, 3rd Floor
          Dulles, VA 20166
          [email protected]

All comments must be received no later than 5:00 PM, December 10th, 2021. Please ensure adequate time for mailing. Comments can only be accepted with the full name and address of the individual commenting. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, be advised that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask in your comment to withhold from public review your personal identifying information, it cannot be guaranteed that it will be withheld. Comments received on the Draft EA and responses to those comments will be disclosed in the Final EA.

The Airports Authority will host a virtual public workshop from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm Eastern Time on December 2nd, 2021 to provide information on the Draft EA, and to solicit comments from the public. An opportunity to submit written comments will be provided during and after the public workshop. The virtual workshop can be attended via the following link:

          IAD Western Solar Development Draft EA Public Workshop

          Telephone: (872) 703-0307 Conference ID: 37181660#

Members of the public unable to attend the virtual public workshop or who have special communication or accommodation needs are encouraged to contact Thomas Wasaff with the Airports Authority to receive a copy of presentation materials. Public workshop materials will be made available under the Environmental Information section of the Airports Authority website.

The entire Draft EA is divided into three volumes. Volume 1 - Draft Environmental Assessment, Volume 2 - Appendices A through E, and Volume 3 - Appendices F through K. For ease of access, each individual appendix is also available.

Editorial Section(s)
Western Solar Development, Draft Environmental Assessment, Washington Dulles International Airport