[Federal Register Volume 69, Number 232 (Friday, December 3, 2004)]
[Pages 70256-70257]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 04-26627]



Remediation of the Moab Uranium Mill Tailings, Grand and San Juan 
Counties, Utah, Draft Environmental Impact Statement; Notice of 

AGENCY: Department of Energy.

ACTION: Notice of availability and public hearings.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announces the availability 
of the document, Remediation of the Moab Uranium Mill Tailings, Grand 
and San Juan Counties, Utah, Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DOE/
EIS-0335D) for the Moab, Utah, Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action 
(UMTRA) Project Site, for public comment. The draft environmental 
impact statement (EIS) analyzes the potential environmental impacts 
associated with alternatives for remediating contaminated soils, 
tailings, and ground water at the Moab Uranium Mill Tailings Site (Moab 
site), Grand County, Utah, and contaminated soils in adjacent public 
and private properties (vicinity properties) near the Moab site. The 
draft EIS also contains a Floodplain and Wetlands Assessment.
    The Department prepared this draft EIS in accordance with the 
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et 
seq.), the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations that 
implement the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR Parts 1500-1508), 
and the DOE procedures implementing NEPA (10 CFR Part 1021). The U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a notice of 
availability of the draft EIS in the Federal Register on November 12, 
2004 (69 FR 65427), starting a public comment period ending February 
18, 2005.
    DOE invites the public to comment on the draft EIS and will 
consider the comments in preparing the final EIS. Written comments must 
be submitted by February 18, 2005, to ensure consideration. DOE will 
consider comments submitted after this date to the extent practicable. 
DOE will conduct four public hearings to present information and 
receive comments on the draft in Moab, Blanding, White Mesa, and Green 
River, Utah. DOE will also publish information about the hearings in 
local Utah newspapers in advance of the hearings. DOE will accept oral 
and written comments at the public hearings.

DATES: DOE invites comments on the draft EIS, which should be submitted 
to Don Metzler (see ADDRESSES) by February 18, 2005. DOE will consider 
comments submitted after that date to the extent practicable. DOE also 
will conduct four public hearings to present information and receive 
oral and written comments on the draft EIS. Information about these 
hearings will also be published in local Utah newspapers in advance of 
the hearings. The locations, dates, and times for these public hearings 
are as follows:
    1. January 25, 2005, 6 p.m., City Hall Meeting Room, 240 E. Main, 
Green River, Utah.
    2. January 26, 2005, 6 p.m., Archway Inn, 1551 N. Hwy 191, Moab, 
    3. January 27, 2005, 10 a.m., Education Building, White Mesa, Utah.
    4. January 27, 2005, 6 p.m., College of Eastern Utah Arts and 
Events Center Auditorium, 639 West 100 South, Blanding, Utah.

ADDRESSES: Requests for further information on the draft EIS, copies of 
the document, and comments on the draft EIS should be directed to Don 
Metzler, Moab Federal Project Director, U.S. Department of Energy, 2597 
B\3/4\ Road, Grand Junction, Colorado, 81503; facsimile: (970) 248-
7636; telephone (970) 248-7612 or toll free at (800) 637-4575; or e-
mailed to: [email protected]. Additional information can also be 
obtained from the EIS Web site: http://www.gj.em.doe.gov/moab/. For 
information or instructions on how to record comments call (800) 637-

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general information on the Office 
of Environmental Management's (EM) NEPA process, please contact Mr. Don 
Metzler, Moab Federal Project Director, at the address or phone numbers 
listed above, or Steven A. Frank, Office of Environmental Management 
NEPA Compliance Officer, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence 
Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585; telephone (202) 586-7478.
    For information regarding the DOE NEPA process, please contact: 
Carol M. Borgstrom, Director, Office of NEPA Policy and Compliance (EH-
42), U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW., 
Washington, DC 20585, Telephone: (202) 586-4600, or leave a message at 
(800) 472-2756.


[[Page 70257]]

Alternatives Considered

    Remediation alternatives for the disposal of surface contamination 
include on-site disposal of the mill tailings at their current location 
in Moab, Utah; and three off-site disposal alternatives in Utah: 
Klondike Flats, near Moab; Crescent Junction, near the town of Crescent 
Junction and about 20 miles east of the town of Green River; and the 
White Mesa Mill within a few miles of the towns of Blanding and White 
Mesa and the Ute Mountain Ute Indian Reservation. The draft EIS 
considers three modes of transporting the mill tailings to the off-site 
alternatives: truck, rail, and slurry pipeline. In addition, the draft 
EIS evaluates active ground water remediation to eliminate the 
potential ongoing impacts to aquatic species in the Colorado River 
resulting from the discharge of contaminated ground water into the 
    In accordance with NEPA requirements, the draft EIS also analyzes, 
for comparative purposes, a No Action alternative. Under the No Action 
alternative, DOE would cease the active management that DOE currently 
provides of the mill tailings currently stored on-site. Discharge of 
contaminated ground water into the Colorado River would continue under 
the No Action alternative.
    DOE has not yet identified a preferred alternative. DOE will 
consider the analyses provided in the EIS as well as comments on the 
document in determining its preferred alternative, which will be 
identified in the final EIS.

Distribution and Availability of the Draft EIS

    Copies of the draft EIS were distributed to Members of Congress, 
Federal, State, and Indian tribal governments, local officials, 
persons, agencies, and organizations who have expressed an interest in 
the EIS process. Copies of the draft EIS may also be requested as 
indicated previously in the ADDRESSES and FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT sections of this notice. The draft EIS is available 
electronically on the Internet at http://www.gj.em.doe.gov/moab/, and 
is also available on the DOE NEPA Web site at http://www.eh.doe.gov/nepa/. Copies of the draft EIS have been placed in the Grand County 
Public Library, Blanding Branch Library, and the White Mesa Ute 
Administrative Building, and in the DOE Public Reading Room in Grand 
Junction, Colorado. Copies may also be requested by contacting DOE toll 
free at 1-800-637-4575.
    Addresses of Public Reading Rooms and Libraries:

Grand County Library, 25 South 100 East, Moab, Utah, (435) 259-5421. 
Library hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 
p.m. Saturday, Closed Sunday.
Blanding Branch Library, 25 West 300 South, Blanding, Utah, (435) 678-
2335. Library hours: Noon to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 2 to 6 
p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
White Mesa Ute Administrative Building (off U.S. Highway 191), White 
Mesa, Utah, (435) 678-3397.

    Reading Room hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 
Closed weekends.
    The DOE Freedom of Information Act Office and Reading Room, Room 
1E-190, 1000 Independence Ave, SW., Washington, DC 20585, (202) 586-
    Public Hearings: DOE will conduct four public hearings on the draft 
EIS (see DATES above).

    Issued in Washington, DC, on November 30, 2004.
Dr. In[eacute]s Triay,
Deputy Chief Operating Officer.
[FR Doc. 04-26627 Filed 12-2-04; 8:45 am]