[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 29 (Friday, February 11, 2011)]
[Pages 7877-7878]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-3073]



Bureau of Land Management

[LLWYD03000. L51100000. GN0000. LVEMK10CW580]

Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for 
the Proposed Lost Creek In Situ Uranium Recovery Project in Sweetwater 
County, WY

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent.


SUMMARY: In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA) of 1969, as amended, and the Federal Land Policy and Management 
Act of 1976, as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Rawlins 
Field Office, Rawlins, Wyoming, intends to prepare an Environmental 
Impact Statement (EIS) and by this notice is announcing the beginning 
of the scoping process to solicit public comments and identify issues.

DATES: This notice initiates the public scoping process for the EIS. 
Comments on issues may be submitted in writing until March 14, 2011. 
The date(s) and location(s) of any scoping meetings will be announced 
at least 15 days in advance through local media, newspapers and the BLM 
Web site at: http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/NEPA/rfodocs/lostcreek.html.
    In order to be included in the Draft EIS, all comments must be 
received prior to the close of the scoping period or 15 days after the 
last public meeting, whichever is later. We will provide additional 
opportunities for public participation upon publication of the Draft 

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments related to the Lost Creek In Situ

[[Page 7878]]

Recovery Project by any of the following methods:
     Web site: http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/NEPA/rfodocs/lostcreek.html;
     E-mail: [email protected];
     Fax: (307) 328-4224; or
     Mail: Rawlins Field Office, Attention: Eldon Allison, 1300 
North Third Street, P.O. Box 2407, Rawlins, Wyoming 82301-2407.
    Documents pertinent to this proposal may be examined at the Rawlins 
Field Office.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information and/or to have 
your name added to our mailing list, contact Eldon Allison, Team 
Leader, telephone (307) 328-4267; address 1300 North Third Street, P.O. 
Box 2407, Rawlins, Wyoming 82301-2407; e-mail [email protected].

Creek) has filed a plan of operations pursuant to the 43 CFR subpart 
3809 regulations to construct an ore recovery plant, an access road to 
the site, and a pipeline system for the flow of oxidizing leach 
solution to injection wells and return of fluids from recovery wells to 
the recovery plant site; to drill injection, recovery and monitoring 
wells; and to construct associated facilities such as parking lots, 
power lines, etc. Development and recovery of the uranium consists of 
dissolving underground uranium-bearing minerals into solution and then 
bringing it to the surface facility for concentration.
    The Lost Creek ISR project is located about 40 miles northwest of 
Rawlins, Wyoming, in Sweetwater County. More specifically, the project 
is located in sections 16-20, 29-31, T. 25 N., R. 92 W., and sections 
13, 24, and 25, T. 25 N., R. 93 W. The project area boundary includes 
approximately 4,250 acres, but no more than 324 acres would be 
subjected to actual surface disturbance and would be approved by the 
BLM. Most of the surface disturbance would be related to construction 
of the well pads used to extract the uranium in solution from the site. 
Construction would occur year round. The plant site would comprise 
approximately 10 acres, including parking space for about 50-60 
employees. Multiple subsurface ore bodies range in depth from about 
300-700 feet below the surface. Each of the six separate cells 
containing uranium would be established and mined one at a time. It is 
expected that mining operations would last about 8 years. An estimated 
additional 3 years would be required for startup and closure of the 
site for a total project length of 11 years. A proposed final 
reclamation plan for the project area has been submitted. All surface 
facilities would be removed when the project is completed and the land 
re-contoured to near pre-disturbance condition and re-vegetated.
    In conjunction with this proposal, Lost Creek has also applied for 
a material source license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). 
The NRC is in the process of conducting its own environmental review 
and has released a draft Supplemental EIS. BLM may decide it is 
appropriate to incorporate by reference into its own EIS all or part of 
the NRC's Supplemental EIS once it is complete. In 2009, the BLM and 
the NRC entered into a memorandum of understanding to foster greater 
cooperation between the agencies with regard to the development of 
uranium resources on public lands.
    The purpose of the public scoping process is to determine relevant 
issues that will influence the scope of the environmental analysis, 
including alternatives, and guide the process for developing the EIS. 
At present, the BLM has identified the following preliminary issues:
    1. What standard operating procedures, best management practices or 
mitigation measures are necessary to reduce impacts from mineral 
resource exploration and development?
    2. How will access to and transportation across the BLM lands be 
influenced by project facilities?
    3. Will changes to recreation and off-highway vehicle management be 
necessary to protect the safety of public land users?
    4. How will project activities affect wildlife or wildlife habitat 
including threatened, endangered, candidate, and sensitive species?
    5. What effects to vegetation (including noxious and invasive 
species) might be expected from project development?
    6. Will special project considerations be necessary to protect 
cultural resources?
    7. Will the project facilities change wildland fire management 
    8. Will the project affect livestock grazing?
    9. What project facilities will influence visual resource 
    10. Will project development affect air and water quality?
    11. Will project development affect groundwater quality and 
    The BLM will utilize and coordinate the NEPA commenting process to 
satisfy the public involvement process for section 106 of the National 
Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470f) as provided for in 36 CFR 
    Native American Tribes in the project area were consulted regarding 
the proposed project in conjunction with the NRC environmental review 
process, which resulted in an agreement among certain Tribes, BLM, NRC, 
and the State Historical Preservation Office. The BLM has invited three 
Tribes to be cooperating agencies in its EIS process. Any additional 
Native American Tribal consultations will be conducted in accordance 
with policy, and Tribal concerns will be given due consideration, 
including impacts on Indian trust assets. Federal, State, and local 
agencies, and Native American Tribes, along with other stakeholders 
that may be interested in or affected by the BLM's decision on this 
project, are invited to participate in the scoping process and, if 
eligible, may request or be requested by the BLM to participate as a 
cooperating agency. Before including your address, phone number, e-mail 
address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you 
should be aware that your entire comment--including your personal 
identifying information--may be made publicly available at any time. 
While you may ask us in your comment to withhold your personal 
identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we 
will be able to do so.

    Authority:  40 CFR 1501.7.

Donald A. Simpson,
State Director.
[FR Doc. 2011-3073 Filed 2-10-11; 8:45 am]