[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 160 (Friday, August 17, 2012)]
[Pages 49825-49826]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-20175]



Bureau of Land Management


Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact 
Statement for the Lost Creek Uranium In Situ Recovery Project in 
Sweetwater County, WY

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969, as amended, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 
1976, as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has prepared a 
Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Lost Creek Uranium 
In Situ Recovery (ISR) Project and by this notice is announcing its 

DATES: The BLM will not issue a final decision on the proposal for a 
minimum of 30 days from the date that the Environmental Protection 
Agency publishes this notice in the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the Lost Creek Uranium ISR Project Final EIS are 
available for public inspection at:
     Bureau of Land Management, Wyoming State Office, 5353 
Yellowstone Road, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82009;
     Bureau of Land Management, High Desert District Office, 
280 Highway 191 North, Rock Springs, Wyoming 82901;
     Bureau of Land Management, Rawlins Field Office, 1300 N. 
Third Street, Rawlins, Wyoming 82301; and
     Bureau of Land Management, Lander Field Office, 1335 Main 
Street, Lander, Wyoming 82520.
    Interested persons may also review the Final EIS on the Internet 
at: http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/NEPA/documents/rfo/lostcreek.html.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Russell, Project Manager, 
telephone: 307-328-4252; address: Bureau of Land Management, Rawlins 
Field Office, 1300 N. Third Street, P.O. Box 2407, Rawlins, Wyoming 
82301; email: Lost_Crk_Mine_WY@blm.gov. Persons who use a 
telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal 
Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above 
individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours 
a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above-
named individual. You will receive a reply during normal business 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Development of Federal locatable minerals by 
private industry is part of the BLM's mineral program under the 
authority of 43 CFR 3800. The applicant, Lost Creek ISR, LLC (Lost 
Creek), has filed a plan of operations pursuant to the 43 CFR 3809 
regulations to construct a uranium ore recovery plant, an access road 
to the site, and a pipeline system for the flow of oxidizing leach 
solution to injection wells and the return of fluids from recovery 
wells to the recovery plant site; to drill injection, recovery and 
monitoring wells; and to

[[Page 49826]]

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 
the solution to the surface facility for concentration. The Lost Creek 
ISR Project is located about 40 miles northwest of Rawlins, Wyoming, in 
Sweetwater County.
    The project is located in the following area:

Sixth Principal Meridian

T. 25 N., R. 92 W.,
    Sec. 17, S\1/2\NE\1/4\NE\1/4\, S\1/2\NW\1/4\NE\1/4\, S\1/2\NE\1/
4\NW\1/4\, S\1/2\NW\1/4\NW\1/4\, S\1/2\N\1/2\, and S\1/2\;
    Sec. 18, lots 2 to 4, inclusive, S\1/2\NE\1/4\NE\1/4\, S\1/
2\SW\1/4\NE\1/4\, SE\1/4\NE\1/4\, S\1/2\SE\1/4\NW\1/4\, E\1/2\SW\1/
4\, and SE\1/4\;
    Sec. 19;
    Sec. 20, N\1/2\N\1/2\, W\1/2\SW\1/4\NW\1/4\, and W\1/2\W\1/
    Sec. 29, NW\1/4\NW\1/4\NW\1/4\;
    Sec. 30, lots 5 to 9, inclusive, and lots 16 and 17;
    Sec. 31, lot 8.
    T. 25 N., R. 93 W.,
    Sec. 13, SE\1/4\SE\1/4\NE\1/4\, S\1/2\S\1/2\, S\1/2\N\1/2\S\1/
2\, and NE\1/4\NE\1/4\SE\1/4\;
    Sec. 24;
    Sec. 25.

    The areas described aggregate 3,737 acres of BLM-managed land. The 
total project area, including both BLM-managed and State lands, is 
approximately 4,377 acres. The BLM would approve approximately 345 
acres of actual surface disturbance. Most of the surface disturbance 
would be related to construction of pads for wells used to extract 
uranium in solution from the site. The plant site would comprise 
approximately 10 acres, including parking space for 50-60 employees. 
Multiple subsurface ore bodies ranging in depth from 300-700 feet below 
the surface are found at the site. Each of the three separate 
production areas 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 predisturbance condition 
and re-vegetated.
    The BLM has selected the Drying Yellowcake On-Site Alternative as 
the preferred alternative. Under this alternative, a yellowcake drying 
and packing facility would be constructed and operated at the permit 
area. As with the proposed action, yellowcake slurry (30-50 percent 
solids) would be produced; however, the slurry would be filter-pressed 
to remove additional water, dried, and packaged on-site. Housing the 
drying-packing facility within the processing plant would reduce 
shipments from the site, resulting in fewer transportation-related 
impacts, fewer wildlife disturbances, and cleaner air quality.
    The Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact 
Statement (EIS) was published in the Federal Register on February 11, 
2011 (76 FR 7877). The scoping comments received in response to the NOI 
were used during the preparation of the Draft EIS to help identify 
impacts expected as a result of the proposed action and to develop the 
No Action Alternative, the ``Not-Fencing-The-Pattern-Areas'' 
Alternative, and the ``Drying-Yellowcake-On-Site'' Alternative. A 45-
day comment period for the Draft EIS ran from April 27, 2012, through 
June 11, 2012, as announced in the Federal Register on April 27, 2012 
(77 FR 25193). The BLM prepared the Final EIS in coordination with the 
State of Wyoming, Sweetwater County, and Carbon County, which 
participated as formal cooperating agencies during the EIS process. The 
BLM also closely coordinated with the United States Fish and Wildlife 
Service and the Environmental Protection Agency.
    Comments received from the public on the Draft EIS and internal BLM 
review were considered and incorporated as appropriate into the Final 
EIS. Public comments resulted in the addition of clarifying text, but 
did not significantly change proposed decisions.

Stephanie A. Connolly,
Acting Associate State Director.

    Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6, 40 CFR 1506.10.

[FR Doc. 2012-20175 Filed 8-16-12; 8:45 am]