About the Project
The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), Western Region Office, has prepared an environmental assessment (EA) for a Federal Mining Plan Modification for the Bridger Mine Complex Federal Coal Lease WYW02727 (the Project). OSMRE prepared the EA to evaluate the environmental impacts resulting from the proposed mining plan modification for Federal Coal Lease WYW02727, pursuant to the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA).
The Bridger Mine Complex is located approximately 35 miles northeast of Rock Springs, WY and is operated by Bridger Coal Company (BCC). BCC proposes to add 560 federal surface acres and 4.5 million tons of federal coal to the approved Federal Mining Plan. The proposed mining plan modification would result in an annual production increase of 3-5% after 2025, allowing the mine to maintain existing annual production levels until 2037, when combined with future mining on adjacent lands. After 2025, the average annual production of coal mined at the Bridger Mine Complex would increase from between approximately 3.5 and 6.3 million tons to between approximately 3.7 and 6.5 million tons of coal per year. This mining plan modification would allow approximately 215,000 tons of federal coal per year to be mined on average. The life of the mine would not be extended by the mining plan modification.
The EA analyzes the potential direct, indirect and cumulative impacts to the environment from the Project. Through the EA process, OSMRE has determined that there are no significant environmental impacts. OSMRE will prepare and submit to the ASLM a mining plan decision document recommending approval, disapproval, or conditional approval of the mining plan. The OSMRE Director will make a recommendation to the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management (ASLM) on the Federal Mining Plan Modification, and the ASLM will approve, approve with conditions, or disapprove the Federal Mining Plan Modification as required under the MLA.