[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 21 (Friday, January 31, 2014)]
[Pages 5468-5469]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-02043]




Proposed Dewey-Burdock Project in Fall River and Custer Counties, 
South Dakota, for In-Situ Leach Uranium Milling Facilities

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Final supplemental environmental impact statement; issuance.


SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission (NRC) published the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact 
Statement (SEIS) (NUREG-1910, Supplement 4) for the Dewey-Burdock In-
Situ Uranium Recovery (ISR) Project. By letter dated August 10, 2009, 
Powertech USA, Inc. (Powertech) submitted an application to the NRC for 
a new source materials license for the Dewey-Burdock ISR Project, which 
Powertech proposes to be located in Fall River and Custer Counties, 
South Dakota. Powertech is proposing to recover uranium from the Dewey-
Burdock Project site using the in-situ recovery process.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2012-0277 when contacting the 
NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You 
may access publicly-available information related to this action by the 
following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2012-0277. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-287-
3422; email: [email protected]. For technical questions, contact 
the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of 
this document.
     NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System 
(ADAMS): You may access publicly available documents online in the NRC 
Library at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the 
search, select ``ADAMS Public Documents'' and then select ``Begin Web-
based ADAMS Search.'' For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's 
Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-
4737, or by email to [email protected]. The ADAMS accession number 
for each document referenced in this notice (if that document is 
available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is 
referenced. The ``Final SEIS (NUREG-1910, Supplement 4) is available in 
ADAMS under Accession Nos. ML14024A477 and ML14024A478.
     NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public 
documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 
Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Haimanot Yilma, Office of Federal 
and State Materials and Environmental Management Programs, U.S. Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission, Washington DC, 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-
8029, email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under the NRC's environmental protection 
regulations in part 51 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations 
(10 CFR), that implement the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 
(NEPA), preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) or 
supplement to an EIS (SEIS) is required for issuance of a license to 
possess and use source material for uranium milling (see 10 CFR 
    In May 2009, the NRC staff issued NUREG-1910, ``Generic 
Environmental Impact Statement for In-Situ Leach Uranium Milling 
Facilities'' (herein referred to as the GEIS). In the GEIS, NRC 
assessed the potential environmental impacts from construction, 
operation, aquifer restoration, and decommissioning of an ISR facility 
located in four specific geographic regions of the western United 
States. The proposed Dewey-Burdock ISR Project is located within the 
Nebraska-South Dakota-Wyoming Uranium Milling Region identified in the 
GEIS. This final SEIS supplements the GEIS and incorporates by 
reference relevant portions from the GEIS, and uses site-specific 
information from the applicant's license application and other 
independent sources to fulfill the requirements in 10 CFR 51.20(b)(8).
    The final SEIS was prepared in response to an application submitted 
by Powertech by letter dated August 10, 2009. The applicant proposes 
the construction, operation, aquifer restoration, and decommissioning 
of an in-situ recovery facility to recover uranium.
    The final SEIS was prepared by the NRC and its contractor, the 
Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses (CNWRA), in cooperation 
with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), in compliance with NEPA, 
and the NRC's regulations for implementing NEPA (10 CFR part 51).
    The proposed Dewey-Burdock project will be located approximately 21 
km [13 mi] north-northwest of Edgemont, South Dakota, in northern Fall 
River and southern Custer Counties. The proposed facility would 
encompass approximately 4,282 hectares (ha) (10,580 acres [ac]), which 
consists of two contiguous mining units: the Burdock Unit and the Dewey 
    The final SEIS is being issued as part of the NRC's process to 
decide whether to issue a license to Powertech pursuant to 10 CFR part 
40. In this final SEIS, the NRC staff has assessed the potential 
environmental impacts from the construction, operation, aquifer 
restoration, and decommissioning of the proposed Dewey-Burdock project. 
The NRC staff accessed the impacts of the proposed action and its 
alternatives on land use; historical and cultural resources; visual and 
scenic resources; climatology, meteorology and air quality; geology, 
minerals and soils; water resources; ecological resources; 
socioeconomics; environmental justice; noise; traffic and 
transportation; public

[[Page 5469]]

and occupational health and safety; and waste management. Additionally, 
the final SEIS analyzes and compares the benefits and costs of the 
proposed action. In preparing this final SEIS, the NRC staff also 
considered, evaluated, and addressed the public comments received on 
the draft SEIS published on November 26, 2012 (77 FR 70486). Appendix E 
of final SEIS captures the public's comments and the NRC's responses.
    In doing so, the NRC staff evaluated site-specific data and 
information from the Dewey-Burdock ISR Project to determine if 
Powertech's proposed activities and the site characteristics were 
consistent with those evaluated in the GEIS. The NRC then determined 
which relevant sections of, and impact conclusions in, the GEIS could 
be incorporated by reference. The NRC staff also determined if 
additional data or analysis was needed to assess the potential 
environmental impacts for a specific environmental resource area. The 
NRC documented its assessments and conclusions in the final SEIS.
    In addition to the action proposed by Powertech, the NRC staff 
addressed the no-action alternative, as well as alternative wastewater 
disposal options under the proposed action. All the alternatives were 
analyzed in detail. The no-action alternative serves as a baseline for 
comparison of the potential environmental impacts of the proposed 
    After weighing the impacts of the proposed action and comparing the 
alternatives, the NRC staff, in accordance with 10 CFR 51.911(d), sets 
forth its recommendation regarding the proposed action. Unless safety 
issues mandate otherwise, the NRC staff recommends that the proposed 
action be approved (i.e., the NRC should issue a source material 
license for the proposed Dewey-Burdock ISR Project).
    The final SEIS for the proposed Dewey-Burdock project may also be 
accessed on the internet at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/nuregs/staff/ by selecting ``NUREG-1910'' or on the NRC's 
Dewey-Burdock ISR Project Web page at http://www.nrc.gov/materials/uranium-recovery/license-apps/dewey-burdock/dewey-burdock-app-docs.html. Additionally, a copy of the final SEIS will be available at 
the following public libraries:
Edgemont Public Library, 412 2nd Avenue, Edgemont, SD 57735.
Rapid City Public Library, 610 Quincy Street, Rapid City, SD 57701-
Custer County Library, 447 Crook Street, Custer, SD 57730.
Weston County Library, 23 West Main Street, Newcastle, WY 82701.
Hot Springs Public Library, 145 N. Chicago Street, Hot Springs, SD 
Oglala Lakota College Library, P.O. Box 310, Kyle, SD 57752.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 24th day of January 2014.
    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Christepher McKenney,
Acting Deputy Director, Environmental Protection and Performance 
Assessment Directorate, Division of Waste Management and Environmental 
Protection, Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental 
Management Programs.
[FR Doc. 2014-02043 Filed 1-30-14; 8:45 am]