[Federal Register: January 16, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 11)]
[Notices]               
[Page 3096-3098]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr16ja09-125]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[CO-921; COC-70538; CO-130; COC 69290]

 
Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact 
Statement for the Proposed Red Cliff Coal Mine and Associated Surface 
Facilities Including a Railroad Spur Line COC 69290, and Federal Coal 
Lease by Application COC 70538, in Garfield and Mesa Counties, CO

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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SUMMARY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Colorado State Office, 
Lakewood, Colorado, hereby gives notice that a public hearing will be 
held to receive comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement 
(DEIS), Maximum Economic Recovery (MER) and Fair Market Value (FMV) of 
Federal

[[Page 3097]]

coal to be offered. An application for coal lease was filed by CAM-
Colorado, LLC (CAM) on September 12, 2006. As a result, the BLM offers 
for competitive lease 14,466 acres of Federal coal in Garfield County, 
Colorado.
    In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 
(NEPA) and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, the BLM 
has prepared a DEIS for the proposed Red Cliff Mine, located near Loma, 
Colorado. The DEIS responds to Right-of-Way (ROW) Applications for a 
railroad spur and associated mine facilities on Federal Lands, and an 
electrical transmission line. In addition, a Federal Coal Lease by 
Application (LBA) was submitted by CAM-Colorado, on September 12, 2006. 
The BLM is providing this notice to announce the availability of the 
Red Cliff Mine DEIS, the proposed LBA, and the public hearing 
requesting comments on the DEIS, MER and FMV, pursuant to 40 CFR 1503.1 
and 43 CFR 3425.4.
    The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is being prepared in 
cooperation with the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and 
Enforcement (OSM); U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE); the Colorado 
Department of Natural Resources; the Colorado Division of Reclamation, 
Mining and Safety (CDRMS); the Colorado Division of Wildlife (CDOW); 
and Garfield and Mesa counties.
    The EIS analyzes the development of surface facilities for coal 
mining associated with CAM's proposed underground Red Cliff Mine, 
including roads, a water pipeline, electric transmission line, 
conveyers, coal stockpile and waste disposal areas, a coal preparation 
plant, the mine portal, other administrative and operations facilities, 
and a railroad spur line that will connect to the existing Union 
Pacific Railroad line near Mack, Colorado. The EIS also considers the 
effects of extracting coal from CAM's existing Federal coal leases, 
defined as logical mining unit COC-57198, and issuance of an adjoining 
Federal coal LBA COC-070538. This notice announces the opening of the 
public comment period for the DEIS.

DATES: Written comments on the DEIS, MER, and FMR will be accepted for 
60 calendar days following the date that the Environmental Protection 
Agency publishes a NOA in the Federal Register. The public hearing will 
be held at a date, time and location to be announced in the local 
media, displayed on the Web site http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.blm.gov/rmp/co/redcliffmine/, or obtained by calling the BLM Grand Junction Field 
Office at 970-244-3000, Monday through Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 
4:30 p.m. Mountain Standard Time (MST).

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     Web site: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.blm.gov/rmp/co/redcliffmine/.
     E-mail: RedCliffMineEIS@urscorp.com.
     Fax: 303 239-3808.
     Mail: Glenn Wallace, BLM, 2850 Youngfield Street, 
Lakewood, CO 80215.

Please note that public comments and information submitted, including 
names, street addresses, and e-mail addresses of respondents, will be 
available for public review and disclosure at the above address during 
regular business hours (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.), Monday through Friday, 
except holidays. Before including your address, phone number, e-mail 
address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, 
please be aware that your entire comment, including your personal 
identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. 
While you can request in your comment to withhold your personal 
identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we 
will be able to do so. Comments and responses to comments will be 
published as part of the Final EIS. Copies of the DEIS for the Proposed 
Red Cliff Coal Mine are available at the Web site http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.blm.gov/rmp/co/redcliffmine/. A limited number of printed copies of the DEIS 
and copies of the DEIS on compact disk are available at the BLM Grand 
Junction Field Office, located at 2815 H Road, Grand Junction, Colorado 
81506, and at the Colorado State Office public 2850 Youngfield Street, 
Lakewood, Colorado 80215. In addition, a printed copy of the DEIS is 
available for review at the Fruita Branch Library at 325 E. Aspen 
Avenue, in Fruita, Colorado and at the Mesa County Central Library at 
530 Grand Avenue, in Grand Junction, Colorado.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Glenn Wallace, 303-239-3736, glenn_
wallace@blm.gov, or by mail at 2850 Youngfield Street, Lakewood, CO 
80215.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The BLM, Colorado State Office, Lakewood, 
Colorado, hereby gives notice of the public hearing at a date, time and 
location to be announced in the local media, displayed on the Web site 
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.blm.gov/rmp/co/redcliffmine/, or obtained by calling the BLM 
Grand Junction Field Office, 970-244-3000, Monday through Friday 
between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Mountain Standard Time (MST).
    The BLM proposes to offer for competitive lease Federal coal in the 
lands described as:

T. 7 S, R. 101 W., 6th P.M. Colorado
    Sec. 7, SE\1/4\SE\1/4\, lot 8
    Sec. 8, S\1/2\SW\1/4\, NE\1/4\SW\1/4\, SE\1/4\
    Sec. 16, TR 43, Lots 5 and 6
    Sec. 17, All
    Sec. 18, E\1/2\E\1/2\, Lots 5 to 8 inclusive
    Sec. 19, E\1/2\E\1/2\, Lots 5 to 8 inclusive
    Sec. 20, All
    Sec. 21, E\1/2\, S\1/2\NW\1/4\, SW\1/4\, Lots 1 and 2
    Sec. 28, N\1/2\, SW\1/4\, W\1/2\SE\1/4\, NE\1/4\SE\1/4\
    Sec. 29, All
    Sec. 30, TR 44, Lots 5 to 10 inclusive
    Sec. 31, Lots 5 to 8 inclusive
    Sec. 32, NE\1/4\, N\1/2\NW\1/4\, Lots 1 to 4 inclusive
    Sec. 33, NW\1/4\, Lots 3 and 4
T. 8 S., R. 101 W. 6th P.M. Colorado
    Sec. 4, Lot 8
    Sec. 5, S\1/2\, Lots 5 to 20 inclusive
    Sec. 6, SE\1/4\, Lots 8 to 27 inclusive
    Sec. 7, E\1/2\, E\1/2\W\1/2\, Lots 5 to 8 inclusive
    Sec. 8, All
T. 7 S., R., 102 W., 6th P.M. Colorado
    Sec. 13, S\1/2\NW\1/4\, SW\1/4\, SW\1/4\NE\1/4\, W\1/2\SE\1/4\, 
Lots 2 to 4 inclusive
    Sec. 14, S\1/2\N\1/2\, S\1/2\
    Sec. 23, E\1/2\, NW\1/4\, E\1/2\SW\1/4\, Lots 1 and 4
    Sec. 24, W\1/2\E\1/2\, W\1/2\, Lots 1 to 4 inclusive
    Sec. 25, W\1/2\E\1/2\, W\1/2\, Lots 1 to 4 inclusive
    Sec. 26, All
    Sec. 35, All
    Sec. 36, W\1/2\E\1/2\, W\1/2\, Lots 1 to 4 inclusive
T. 8 S., R. 102 W., 6th P.M. Colorado
    Sec. 1, S\1/2\, Lots 5 to 20 inclusive
    Sec. 12, N\1/2\, SE\1/4\

    Containing approximately 14,466 acres in Garfield County, 
Colorado.

    The public hearing described above is for the purpose of soliciting 
public input regarding the MER and FMV of the proposed coal lease.
    The proposed Red Cliff Mine is located approximately 11 miles north 
of the towns of Mack and Loma, Colorado, and 1.5 miles east of State 
Highway (SH) 139. CAM is proposing a new mine portals and associated 
facilities to extract low-sulfur coal from Federal coal leases C-
0125515, C-0125516 and C-0125439 (defined collectively as logical 
mining unit COC-57198), from LBA COC 070538 filed September 12, 2006, 
as well as a small amount of private coal. CAM proposes to locate 
surface facilities on existing and potential new coal leases with the 
majority of the surface facilities located off-lease on BLM 
administered public lands within the boundaries of the proposed ROW 
(approximately 1,140 acres). These facilities will include, but not be 
limited to, a waste rock pile, railroad loop, unit train loadout, a 
coal conveyor, storage and equipment yards, sewage treatment plant, 
water tank, fuel oil storage and

[[Page 3098]]

various buildings. County Road (CR) X will be upgraded to serve as the 
mine access road from SH 139. The railroad spur will be located on BLM 
and private lands, with the railroad connecting to the existing Union 
Pacific Railroad (UPRR) near Mack, Colorado. The proposed railroad will 
traverse approximately 9.5 miles of BLM administered public land and 
approximately 5 miles of private land. A water diversion will be 
constructed in Mack Wash and the water pipeline will follow the 
proposed railroad spur. The railroad spur would serve only the Red 
Cliff Mine for the purpose of transporting coal to market. CAM will own 
the railroad spur, but the trains using the spur will be operated by 
the UPRR or other railroad companies. The draft EIS discusses BLM's 
analysis and proposed conclusion that CAM will not operate a common 
carrier railroad.
    Electric power will be needed at the mine to run the underground 
mining machinery, the conveyor system, and other mine support 
facilities. The local utility, Grand Valley Power (GVP), has applied to 
BLM for a ROW to supply the necessary electric power. GVP will need to 
construct a new 69-kilovolt (kV) transmission line from the Uintah 
Substation to the mine to supply this power. The transmission line will 
be approximately 14 miles long, with approximately 7 miles on federally 
managed lands and 7 miles on private land, depending on which 
alternative route is chosen. This ROW application is analyzed in the 
EIS as a connected action as is the LBA filed by CAM (COC-070538) for 
approximately 11,660 acres adjacent to CAM's existing leases. BLM 
determined that, if this coal is to be leased, it would be by a 
competitive bid process. BLM has modified the proposed LBA area to 
include 14,466 acres.
    The EIS analysis area includes a total future lease area of about 
23,000 acres which corresponds to the estimated life of the mine.
    CAM proposes to conduct underground mining 24 hours per day, 7 days 
per week, and 365 days per year by room and pillar and longwall mining 
techniques. CAM's production from the Red Cliff Mine would be up to 8 
million tons per year of clean coal depending on market conditions, 
with an estimated mine life of 30 years.
    A mine permit application has been filed for CAM's existing leases 
in accordance with the OSM and the CDRMS regulations. This EIS will 
meet the NEPA requirements for the mine permit for the existing Federal 
coal leases, and is intended to provide necessary information to 
facilitate the USACE, Colorado Public Utility Commission, and Garfield 
and Mesa Counties' permitting decisions regarding the project. There 
will be additional opportunities for public involvement as the mine 
permit application is processed.
    The DEIS analyzes the potential impacts of the proposed action and 
connected actions and a No-Action alternative. Alternatives to 
individual project components were considered that were consistent with 
the purpose and need, which is to mine and transport coal for sale at 
competitive prices to help supply the energy needs of the United 
States. Alternatives to project components were included for detailed 
analysis if they were found to be practical, feasible, reduced 
environmental impacts, and/or addressed public and agency concerns. A 
wide range and variety of alternatives were examined, resulting in the 
following alternative project components that are analyzed in detail: 
Grade separated railroad crossing at Mesa County Road (CR) M.8; 
noiseless grade crossings at CR M.8 and CR 10; construction of an 
electric transmission line along CR 16 crossing BLM and private lands 
north of the Highline Canal; construction of an electric transmission 
line along CR 16 to the Highline Canal and then along section lines to 
avoid as many private land parcels as possible; and construction of an 
electric transmission line along CR 14 to just north of the Highline 
Canal and then northwesterly and north to join the proposed railroad 
alignment east of SH 139.
    Required consultations are in progress or have been completed, 
including consultations with tribal governments and the State Historic 
Preservation Officer, as required by the National Historic Preservation 
Act; consultations with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service as required by 
the Endangered Species Act; and consultations with the USACE as 
required by the Clean Water Act.

Raul Morales,
Grand Junction Associate Field Manager.
 [FR Doc. E9-1006 Filed 1-15-09; 8:45 am]