[Federal Register: September 26, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 188)]
[Page 55868-55869]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Bureau of Land Management


Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact 
Statement for the Proposed ``M'' Pit Mine Expansion at the Montana 
Tunnels Mine, Jefferson County, MT

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969 (NEPA, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and the Federal Land Policy and 
Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA, 43 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), a Final 
Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) has been prepared for the Montana 
Tunnels Mine ``M'' Pit Mine Expansion. The mine permit is administered 
by the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM's) Butte Field Office and the 
Montana Department of Environmental Quality. Operations on public lands 
in the permit area are on mining claims located in accordance with the 
General Mining Law of 1872, as amended (30 U.S.C. 22 et seq.).

DATES: The FEIS will be available for review for 30 days following the 
date the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publishes the Notice of 
Availability in the Federal Register. A Record of Decision (ROD) will 
be prepared following the 30-day public availability period.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the FEIS have been sent to affected federal, 
state, and local government agencies and to interested parties. Copies 
of the FEIS are available for public inspection at the Montana 
Department of Environmental Quality, 1520 East 6th Avenue, Helena, MT 
59620-0901 and the Bureau of Land Management, Butte Field Office, 106 
N. Parkmont, Butte, MT 59701. Interested parties may also review the 
FEIS on the Internet at http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.deq.mt.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Greg Hallsten, Montana Department of 
Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 200901, Helena, MT 59620-0901; or David 
Williams, Bureau of Land Management, Butte Field Office, 106 N. 
Parkmont, Butte, MT 59701.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Montana Tunnels Mine is a 1200 acre 
lead, zinc, gold and silver mine located T. 7 N., R. 4 W. in Jefferson 
County 5 miles west of Jefferson City, Montana. In September 2004, 
Montana Tunnels, Inc. submitted an application to expand their 
operation. The Notice of Intent to prepare the EIS was published in the 
Federal Register, 70 FR 8612 on February 22, 2005 and the Notice of 
Availability of the Draft EIS was announced in the Federal Register, 73 
FR 7588-89 on February 8, 2008. Comments on the Draft EIS received from 
the public, from other agencies, and from the internal DEQ and BLM 
review were incorporated into the FEIS. These comments resulted in the 
addition of clarifying text but did not significantly change the 
    The FEIS addresses three alternatives associated with the Montana 
Tunnels Mine ``M'' Pit Mine Expansion: The No Action Alternative, the 
Proposed Action Alternative, and the Agency Modified Alternative, which 
is the preferred alternative. The No Action Alternative would limit 
mine disturbance to 1200 acres, and the mine would close in 2010. The 
Proposed Action Alternative would result in disturbance of 1452 acres 
and a pit depth of 4250. This Alternative would result in the loss of 
approximately 2600 feet of Clancy Creek as the stream would be diverted 
around the expanded open pit in both a pipe and open flow channel. A 
portion of the Clancy Creek flow would be diverted

[[Page 55869]]

into the pit to augment the formation of a pit lake following 
completion of mining. The Agency Modified Alternative would be similar 
to the Proposed Action Alternative, with the exception of measures to 
improve environmental performance including: More natural surface 
reclamation techniques, improved geochemical and groundwater 
monitoring, and establishment of a reconstructed Clancy Creek channel 
to protect streamflow, wetlands, and fisheries.

Rick M. Hotaling,
Field Manager.
[FR Doc. E8-22535 Filed 9-25-08; 8:45 am]