The Bureau of Land Management Pocatello Field Office and United States Forest Service Caribou-Targhee National Forest, in cooperation with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, have completed a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Panels F and G Lease and Mine Plan Modification Project at the Smoky Canyon Mine.
A public information meeting on the proposal will be held at the Afton Civic Center on Monday, June 16 from 5-7 p.m.
The proposed modifications include:
• construction of an ore conveyor system between Panel F (lease IDI-27512) and the existing mill;
• enlargement of the existing Panel G lease (IDI-01441) for expansion of the east overburden disposal area;
• utilization of a geosynthetic clay laminate liner on Panel G;
• and enlargement of the south overburden disposal area on Panel G by 20 acres for the temporary storage of chert.
According to the BLM. there are “approximately 170 acres of new disturbance associated with the proposed modifications.”
The Federal phosphate leases held by J.R. Simplot Company grant them exclusive rights to develop the phosphate minerals in the leases under the BLM-approved mine plan(s). Modifications to existing leases and mine plans must be approved by the BLM. Off-lease disturbance on National Forest System lands requires special use authorization by the USFS.
The Draft EIS is available for public review and comment.
Electronic copies of the Draft EIS are available via BLM and USFS websites at www.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/nepa/nepa_register.do and www.fs.usda.gov/projects/ctnf/landmanagement/projects.
CD-ROMs and limited quantities of print copies are available at the BLM Pocatello Field Office, 4350 Cliffs Drive, Pocatello, ID.
Comments on the Draft EIS will be accepted through July 15, 2014.
Send written comments by mail or email to the following addresses respectively: Panels F and G Lease and Mine Plan Modification Project EIS, C/O JBR Environmental, 8160 South Highland Drive, Sandy, UT 84093; or BLM_ID_scm_panelsfg@blm.gov. Reference “Panels F and G Lease and Mine Plan Modification EIS” on all correspondence.
For more information, contact Diane Wheeler, Project Manager, BLM Pocatello Field Office, 4350 Cliffs Drive, Pocatello, ID 83204, phone (208) 557-5839.