About the Project
The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Tres Rios Field Office and Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) Western Region Office, prepared an environmental assessment (EA) for the King II Mine, Dunn Ranch Area Lease-by-Application and Mining Plan Modification (the Project). The BLM and the OSMRE are serving as co-lead agencies in the preparation of the EA. In accordance with the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 (MLA), The DOI Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management (ASLM) must approve the Project before any mining and reclamation can occur on lands containing leased federal coal.
BLM and OSMRE are releasing the EA for a 30-day public comment period. The EA analyzes potential impacts from the proposed project to modify the permit application package for the federal mine plan, which is associated with the mining and production of federally-owned and private coal at the King II Mine in La Plata County, Colorado.
The proposed action would result in a continuation of operations at the King II Coal Mine with expanded underground acreage, and approximately the same production rates and traffic. It would extend the life of the mine by approximately 22 years. If authorized, the project would result in a total of about 20 acres of new surface disturbance over a 2,462 acre lease area known as the “Dunn Ranch Area”. The proposed project area consists mostly of split-estate federally owned coal, with a mixture of surface estate owners, including the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Devil’s Canyon Trust, C & C Livestock, Shirard Colorado LTD Partnership and BLM (refer to Figure 2). The majority of this surface acreage is fee restricted land owned by the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe. In addition, about 204 acres of non-federal coal would be mined beneath about 479 acres of Ute Mountain Ute surface.
The EA will update, clarify, and provide new and additional environmental information for the Project. As a result of the EA process, OSMRE and BLM will determine whether or not there are significant environmental impacts. An environmental impact statement will be prepared if the EA identifies significant impacts. If a finding of no significant impact is reached, and pursuant to 30 CFR 746.13, OSMRE will prepare and submit to the ASLM a mining plan decision document recommending approval, disapproval, or conditional approval of the mining plan. The ASLM will approve, disapprove, or conditionally approve the mining plan approval document within the mining plan decision document, as required under the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920.