About the Project
The U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), Western Region Office, prepared an environmental assessment (EA) and unsigned finding of no significant impact (FONSI), to analyze environmental impacts of approving a federal mining plan modification for future underground mining within the Flat Canyon Federal Coal Lease UTU-77114, held by Canyon Fuel Company as part of the Skyline Mine. The Flat Canyon Lease occurs in Sanpete County, Utah, while private land extending into Emery County, Utah, would be accessed from the Flat Canyon Lease. The EA analyzes both the federal coal lease and the private land anticipated to be mined with the Flat Canyon lease. Current Skyline Mine operations are located in Carbon and Emery counties, approximately five miles southwest of Scofield, Utah, and about 18 miles west of Helper, Utah. To comply with the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, 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.
Skyline Mine is an underground operation proposing to modify their Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 Permit Area to include approximately 2,692 acres of federal coal within the Flat Canyon Lease and to access approximately 1,100 acres of private coal reserves. Coal occurs in two seams throughout the project area and the majority of these seams could be mined, using longwall mining technology, to produce approximately 42 million tons of coal from the Skyline Lease and five million tons from private coal reserves. ASLM approval would extend the life of the Skyline Mine by approximately 9 to 12 years. The Flat Canyon Lease was issued by the Bureau of Land Management, and by consent of the Manti-La Sal National Forest, on September 11, 2015.
OSMRE is preparing this EA to evaluate the environmental impacts resulting from mining coal in the federal coal lease UTU-77114 and the associated private coal reserves, pursuant to the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. The EA will disclose the potential for direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts to the environment from the Project. Further, this EA will update, clarify, and provide new and additional environmental information for the Project. As a result of the EA process, OSMRE will determine whether or not there are significant environmental impacts. An environmental impact statement will be prepared if the EA identifies significant impacts. If it is determined that there are no significant impacts the FONSI will be signed.