[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 41 (Friday, February 29, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Pages 11103-11104]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-3931]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY


Amended Record of Decision for the Remediation of the Moab 
Uranium Mill Tailings, Grand and San Juan Counties, UT

AGENCY: Office of Environmental Management, U.S. Department of Energy.

ACTION: Amended Record of Decision.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is amending its decision 
regarding the transportation method that DOE will use to relocate 
uranium mill tailings and other contaminated materials (residual 
radioactive material) at the Moab milling site and vicinity properties 
in Utah. In its Record of Decision for the Remediation of the Moab 
Uranium Mill Tailings, Grand and San Juan Counties, Utah (70 FR 55358; 
September 21, 2005), DOE had decided to relocate the residual 
radioactive material using predominately rail, with truck transport for 
some oversized materials. Under this amended Record of Decision (ROD), 
DOE will use either truck and/or rail for all materials.
    This ROD amendment is essential to give DOE flexibility needed to 
expedite completion of the Moab, Utah, Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial 
Action (UMTRA) Project. Expediting completion is in accordance with 
Congressional direction (Section 3402 of the National Defense 
Authorization Act for 2008 (Pub. L. 110-181)). This ROD amendment meets 
the strong stakeholder desire to relocate the residual radioactive 
material as soon as practicable by accelerating the date of the first 
shipment because truck shipments could start sooner since the logistics 
of initiating the rail alternative would require time to safely 
implement (i.e. building the hillside loadout infrastructure). In 
addition long-term risks would be reduced through earlier completion, 
and reducing total project costs would be reduced through greater 
flexibility and competition between rail and truck transporters.
    DOE analyzed several transportation methods in its Remediation of 
the Moab Uranium Mill Tailings, Grand and San Juan Counties, Utah, 
Final Environmental Impact Statement (DOE/EIS-0355)(Final EIS), issued 
in August 2005. An all truck option was among the

[[Page 11104]]

reasonable alternative methods analyzed in the Final EIS for 
transporting the residual radioactive material. This ROD amendment 
allows an increase in the quantity to be shipped by truck. All other 
aspects of DOE's original decision remain unchanged, including that DOE 
will relocate the residual radioactive material at the Moab site and 
vicinity properties to a new disposal site 30 miles north at Crescent 
Junction, Utah, and will conduct active remediation of contaminated 
groundwater at the Moab site.
    This ROD amendment has been prepared in accordance with the 
regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality (Title 40 Code of 
Federal Regulations [CFR] parts 1500-1508) for implementing the 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and DOE's NEPA Implementing 
Procedures (10 CFR part 1021). Based on information previously provided 
in the Final EIS, DOE has determined that no further review under NEPA 
is required.

ADDRESSES: Copies of this ROD amendment may be requested by contacting 
Mr. Donald Metzler, Moab Federal Project Director, U.S. Department of 
Energy, by mail: 200 Grand Avenue, Grand Junction, Colorado, 81501; by 
phone: 1-800-637-4575 or 1-970-257-2115; by fax: 1-970-257-2175; or e-
mail: moabcomments@gjem.doe.gov. This ROD amendment will be available 
on the DOE NEPA Web site, at http://www.eh.doe.gov/nepa/documents.html, 
and on the project Web site at http://www.gjem.energy.gov/moab/.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information on this 
amended ROD, contact Donald Metzler, as indicated in the ADDRESSES 
section above. For general information on the DOE NEPA process, contact 
Carol Borgstrom, Director, Office of NEPA Policy and Compliance, GC-20, 
U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, 
DC 20585; telephone 1-202-586-4600, or leave a message at 1-800-472-
2756.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DOE analyzed several transportation methods 
in its Remediation of the Moab Uranium Mill Tailings, Grand and San 
Juan Counties, Utah, Final Environmental Impact Statement (DOE/EIS-
0355) (Final EIS), issued in August 2005. An all truck option was among 
the reasonable alternative methods analyzed in the Final EIS for 
transporting the residual radioactive material. DOE also analyzed 
transportation by rail and slurry pipeline. In DOE's original ROD, 
issued in September 2005, DOE had decided to relocate the residual 
radioactive material using predominately rail, with truck transport for 
some oversized materials. Under this amended Record of Decision (ROD), 
DOE will use truck and/or rail for all materials.
    This ROD amendment allows an increase in the quantity to be shipped 
by truck. All other aspects of DOE's original decision remain 
unchanged, including that DOE will relocate the residual radioactive 
material at the Moab site and vicinity properties to a new disposal 
site 30 miles north at Crescent Junction, Utah, and will conduct active 
remediation of contaminated groundwater at the Moab site.
    This ROD amendment has been prepared in accordance with the 
regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality (Title 40 Code of 
Federal Regulations [CFR] parts 1500-1508) for implementing the 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and DOE's NEPA Implementing 
Procedures (10 CFR part 1021). Based on information previously provided 
in the Final EIS, DOE has determined that no further review under NEPA 
is required.
    Basis for Decision: Trucking will be performed primarily during 
daylight hours, thus minimizing potential safety hazards. The trucking 
option allows DOE more control over the schedule by giving the 
additional flexibility to supplement rail transport and avoid potential 
project delays.
    This ROD amendment is essential to give DOE flexibility needed to 
expedite completion of the Moab, Utah, Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial 
Action (UMTRA) Project. Expediting completion is in accordance with 
Public Law 110-181, which directs DOE to complete remediation of the 
Moab site and the removal of the tailings to the Crescent Junction site 
in Utah by October 1, 2019 and, if DOE is unable to do so, DOE must 
submit a plan to Congress by October 2, 2019, with the projected 
completion date and estimated funding. This ROD amendment meets the 
strong stakeholder desire to relocate the residual radioactive material 
as soon as practicable by accelerating the date of the first shipment, 
reducing long-term risks through earlier completion, and reducing total 
project costs through greater flexibility and competition between rail 
and truck transporters. This amended decision incorporates all 
practicable means to avoid or minimize environmental harm. Although DOE 
identified in its original ROD rail transportation as part of the 
environmentally preferred alternative, the analyses in the Final EIS 
show that truck transportation also can be conducted in a safe and 
environmentally sound manner. In view of the acceleration of long-term 
risk reduction at the Moab site that use of both truck and rail will 
afford, DOE now regards rail and truck transportation as equally 
environmentally preferable.

    Issued in Washington, DC, this 25th day of February 2008.
In[eacute]s R. Triay
Acting, Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management.
[FR Doc. E8-3931 Filed 2-28-08; 8:45 am]
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