[Federal Register Volume 69, Number 180 (Friday, September 17, 2004)]
[Notices]
[Pages 56104-56105]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 04-20852]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No.: 70-3103]


Notice of Availability of Environmental Impact Statement for the 
Proposed National Enrichment Facility in Lea County, NM, NUREG-1790, 
Draft Report, and Notice of Public Meeting

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Notice of availability of draft environmental impact statement 
and notice of public meeting.

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SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission (NRC) is issuing a Draft Environmental Impact Statement 
(DEIS) for the Louisiana Energy Services (LES) license application, 
dated December 12, 2003, as revised by letters dated February 27, 2004, 
and July 30, 2004, and docketed on January 30, 2004, for the possession 
and use of source, byproduct and special nuclear materials at its 
proposed National Enrichment Facility (NEF) in Lea County, New Mexico.
    The DEIS discusses the purpose and need for the proposed LES 
facility and reasonable alternatives to the proposed action, including 
the no-action alternative. The DEIS also discusses the environment 
potentially affected by the LES proposal, presents and compares the 
potential environmental impacts resulting from the proposed action and 
its alternatives, and identifies mitigation measures that could 
eliminate or lessen the potential environmental impacts.
    The DEIS is being issued as part of the NRC's decision-making 
process on whether to issue a license to LES. Based on the preliminary 
evaluation in the DEIS, the NRC environmental review staff has 
concluded that the proposed action would have small effects on the 
physical environment and human communities with the exception of: (1) 
short-term impacts associated with construction traffic, accidents, and 
waste management, which would be small to moderate, and (2) beneficial 
economic impacts of the proposed NEF on the local communities which 
have been determined to be moderate. The DEIS is a preliminary analysis 
of the environmental impacts of the proposed action and its 
alternatives. The Final EIS and any decision documentation regarding 
the proposed action will not be issued until public comments on the 
DEIS have been received and evaluated. Notice of the availability of 
the Final EIS will be published in the Federal Register.

DATES: The NRC is offering an opportunity for public review and comment 
on the DEIS in accordance with applicable regulations, including NRC 
requirements in 10 CFR 51.73, 51.74 and 51.117. The comment period on 
this DEIS will be 45 days from the date the U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency publishes the notice of availability in the Federal 
Register. Written comments submitted by mail should be postmarked by 
that date to ensure consideration. Comments mailed after that date will 
be considered to the extent practical. Comments will also be accepted 
by electronic or facsimile submission.

ADDRESSES: Members of the public are invited and encouraged to submit 
comments to the Chief, Rules Review and Directives Branch, Mail Stop 
T6-D59, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001. 
Please note Docket No. 70-3103 when submitting comments. Comments will 
also be accepted by e-mail at nrcrep@nrc.gov or by facsimile to (301) 
415-5397, Attention: Anna Bradford.
    Public Meetings: The NRC staff will hold a public meeting to 
present an overview of the DEIS and to accept oral and written public 
comments. Prior to the public meeting, the NRC staff will be available 
to informally discuss the proposed LES project and answer questions in 
an ``open house'' format. This ``open house'' format provides for one-
on-one discussions with the NRC staff involved with the preparation of 
the LES Draft EIS. The meeting date, time and location are listed 
below:
    Thursday, October 14, 2004. Eunice Community Center, 1115 Avenue I, 
Eunice, New Mexico.
    Open House: 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.,
    Public Meeting: 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
    The meeting will be transcribed and will include: (1) A 
presentation summarizing the contents of the DEIS and (2) an 
opportunity for interested government agencies, organizations, and 
individuals to provide comments on the DEIS. Persons wishing to provide 
oral comments can register in advance by contacting Ms. Anna Bradford 
at (301) 415-5228 by October 8, 2004, or at the public meeting. 
Individual oral comments may have to be limited by the

[[Page 56105]]

time available, depending upon the number of persons who register.
    If special equipment or accommodations are needed to attend or 
present information at the public meeting, the need should be brought 
to Ms. Bradford's attention no later than October 1, 2004, to provide 
NRC staff with adequate notice to determine whether the request can be 
accommodated.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For environmental review questions, 
please contact Anna Bradford at (301) 415-5228. For questions related 
to the safety review or overall licensing of the proposed NEF, please 
contact Timothy Johnson at (301) 415-7299.
    Information and documents associated with the proposed NEF project, 
including the Environmental Report and the License Application, may be 
obtained from the Internet on NRC's LES Web page: http://www.nrc.gov/materials/fuel-cycle-fac/lesfacility.html. In addition, all documents, 
including the DEIS (ADAMS Accession Number: ML042510184), are available 
for public review through the NRC electronic reading room: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm.html. Any comments of Federal, State and local 
agencies, Indian tribes or other interested persons will be made 
available for public inspection when received. Documents may also be 
obtained from NRC's Public Document Room located at U.S. Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission Headquarters, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), 
Rockville, Maryland. For those without access to the Internet, paper 
copies of any electronic documents may be obtained for a fee by 
contacting the NRC's Public Document Room at 1-800-397-4209.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The NRC staff has prepared a DEIS in 
response to an application submitted by LES for a license to construct, 
operate and decommission a gas centrifuge uranium enrichment facility 
in Lea County, New Mexico. The DEIS for the proposed NEF was prepared 
by the staff of the NRC and its contractor, Advanced Technologies and 
Laboratories, International, Inc. and Pacific Northwest National 
Laboratory, in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA) and the NRC's regulations for implementing NEPA (10 CFR part 
51). The proposed action involves a decision by NRC of whether to issue 
a license to LES to construct, operate and decommission the proposed 
NEF.
    The NRC staff published a Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS for 
the proposed NEF and to conduct a scoping process, in the Federal 
Register on February 4, 2004 (69 FR 5374). The NRC staff accepted 
comments through March 18, 2004, and subsequently issued a Scoping 
Summary Report in April 2004 (ADAMS Accession Number: ML041050128).
    The DEIS describes the proposed action and alternatives to the 
proposed action, including the no-action alternative. The NRC staff 
assesses the impacts of the proposed action and its alternatives on 
public and occupational health, air quality, water resources, waste 
management, geology and soils, noise, ecology resources, land use, 
transportation, historical and cultural resources, visual and scenic 
resources, socioeconomics, accidents and environmental justice. 
Additionally, the DEIS analyzes and compares the costs and benefits of 
the proposed action.
    Based on the preliminary evaluation in the DEIS, the NRC 
environmental review staff has concluded that the proposed action 
should be approved, unless safety issues mandate otherwise, with 
implementation of the proposed mitigation measures that could eliminate 
or lessen the potential environmental impacts. The DEIS is a 
preliminary analysis of the environmental impacts of the proposed 
action and its alternatives. The Final EIS and any decision 
documentation regarding the proposed action will not be issued until 
public comments on the DEIS have been received and evaluated. Notice of 
the availability of the Final EIS will be published in the Federal 
Register.

    Dated in Rockville, Maryland, this 2nd day of September, 2004.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Scott C. Flanders,
Deputy Director, Environmental and Performance Assessment Directorate, 
Division of Waste Management and Environmental Protection, Office of 
Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.
[FR Doc. 04-20852 Filed 9-16-04; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P