Notice of Availability, Assessment Plan for Natural Resources Injured by Releases of Hazardous Substances From the Rio Tinto Mine, 25847-25848 [05-9622]

Download as PDF 25847 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 93 / Monday, May 16, 2005 / Notices CHANGE IN TITLES TO HUD’S REGIONAL OFFICES—Continued Former title New title Sioux Falls Community Service Center ................................................................................................................. Sioux Falls Field Office Pacific/Hawaii San Francisco Area Office .................................................................................................................................... Fresno Community Service Center ....................................................................................................................... Hawaii Community Service Center ........................................................................................................................ Los Angeles Area Office ........................................................................................................................................ Phoenix Community Service Center ..................................................................................................................... Reno Community Service Center .......................................................................................................................... Sacramento Community Service Center ............................................................................................................... San Diego Community Service Center ................................................................................................................. Santa Ana Community Service Center ................................................................................................................. Las Vegas Community Service Center ................................................................................................................. Tucson Community Service Center ....................................................................................................................... Region IX San Francisco Regional Office Fresno Field Office Honolulu Field Office Los Angeles Field Office Phoenix Field Office Reno Field Office Sacramento Field Office San Diego Field Office Santa Ana Field Office Las Vegas Field Office Tucson Field Office Northwest/Alaska Seattle Area Office ................................................................................................................................................ Anchorage Community Service Center ................................................................................................................. Boise Community Service Center ......................................................................................................................... Portland Community Service Center ..................................................................................................................... Spokane Community Service Center .................................................................................................................... Region X Seattle Regional Office Anchorage Field Office Boise Field Office Portland Field Office Spokane Field Office [FR Doc. E5–2409 Filed 5–13–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210–01–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Indian Affairs Notice of Availability, Assessment Plan for Natural Resources Injured by Releases of Hazardous Substances From the Rio Tinto Mine AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability. SUMMARY: The Bureau of Indian Affairs and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, on behalf of the Department of the Interior, the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of Duck Valley, the Department of Agriculture, and the State of Nevada, announces the release for public review of the Assessment Plan, Rio Tinto Mine Site Natural Resource Damage Assessment—Public Release Draft Report (Assessment Plan). The Assessment Plan was developed by the Rio Tinto Mine Trustee Council consisting of representatives of the Tribe and Agencies listed above, to assess injuries to natural resources resulting from the releases of hazardous substances from the Rio Tinto Mine in Elko County, Nevada. The Assessment Plan describes the proposed approach for determining and quantifying natural resource injuries and calculating damages associated with these injuries. All interested parties are invited to submit comments on the Assessment Plan. VerDate jul<14>2003 16:37 May 13, 2005 Jkt 205001 Comments must be received on or before June 15, 2005. ADDRESSES: Written comments should be sent to the Regional Director, Western Regional Office, Bureau of Indian Affairs, P.O. Box 10, Phoenix, Arizona 85001 or 400 North Fifth Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85004 (Telephone (602) 379–6600 and facsimile (602) 379– 4413). The Assessment Plan is available for review from the following officials at their office locations: (1) John Krause, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Western Regional Office, 400 N. Fifth Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85004, (602) 379– 3491; (2) Marcie Phillips, Shoshone Paiute Tribes of Duck Valley, P.O. Box 219, Owyhee, Nevada 89832, (208) 759– 3100, ext. 247; and (3) Stan Wiemeyer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Nevada Fish and Wildlife Office, 1340 Financial Blvd., Suite 234, Reno, Nevada 89502, (775) 861–6300. The Assessment Plan is available for public inspection during normal business hours by appointment, at those addresses. The Assessment Plan is also available for review on the Web site at https://ndep.nv.gov/admin/ rio_tinto_nrda.htm. DATES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marcie Phillips, (208) 759–3100, extension 247, or by e-mail at shopaitr8@aol.com. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background The Rio Tinto Mine (Mine) was first worked by the Anaconda Copper Mining Company (Anaconda) using underground mining techniques and a flotation mill from 1932 to 1947. During this period, Anaconda established PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 tailings ponds, and deposited tailings and waste rock in the Mill Creek Watershed, and realigned Mill Creek. In 1966, G.M. Wallace and Company and Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company (Cleveland Cliffs), formerly Cliffs Copper Corporation, performed acid leaching activities and constructed an additional pond in the Mill Creek Watershed. In 1967, Cleveland Cliffs took ownership and operation in its entirety. In 1972, Teck Cominco American Incorporated (Cominco Amercian), formerly Cominco America, Inc. became legal owner of the Mine. From 1972 to 1975, in order to remove water accumulation in underground mining areas, a 6700-foot deep well and a waste water treatment plant were installed. The treatment plant discharged waste water to Mill Creek and produced sludge. A sludge pond was developed to dispose of this sludge. Also, drainage ditches were created in the tailings. In 1975, Cleveland Cliffs terminated operations. Also, in 1975, Cominco American and E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont) began to drill exploratory holes. From 1986 to 1987, Rio Tinto Copper, Inc. owned and operated an in-situ acid leaching operation. Releases of hazardous substances from the Mine began as early as 1932, and continue today. Several sources at the Mine currently release various hazardous substances into the ground water and the water and sediment in Mill Creek, and from there into the Owyhee River. Hazardous substance and contaminant releases from the Mine to Mill Creek and the Owyhee River are caused by the past deposition of mining waste in the historic Mill Creek channel E:\FR\FM\16MYN1.SGM 16MYN1 25848 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 93 / Monday, May 16, 2005 / Notices and other areas at the Mine. Mill Creek was diverted around the waste but water has flowed and continues to flow, over and through waste areas, tailings and process ponds, causing acid mine drainage, and chronic releases of hazardous substances and contaminants to Mill Creek. Additionally, catastrophic failures of impoundments in the Mill Creek channel have caused acute releases of hazardous substances and contaminants to Mill Creek. In August 2000, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to add the Rio Tinto Mine Site (Site) to the National Priorities List. The State of Nevada did not concur with this recommendation. EPA recommended that the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) enter into negotiations with the RTWG and the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of Duck Valley (Tribes) regarding proper remediation at the Site with input by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service. These negotiations resulted in an Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) between the NDEP and the RTWG. The AOC includes a scope of work outlining the remedial decision process. Also, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the NDEP, Tribes, and EPA is in place. Through the AOC process, the RTWG is continuing to conduct investigative and assessment activities at the Site in order to study remedial alternatives. The Rio Tinto Mine Trustee Council Natural Resource Trustees (Trustees) are representatives of federal, state, and tribal government entities with trust authority over natural resources potentially injured by releases of hazardous substances from the Rio Tinto Mine. The Trustees have the authority to obtain damages from potentially responsible parties for past, present, and future injuries to natural resources caused by releases of hazardous substances at the facility. Such natural resources include, but are not limited to, ground water, surface water, sediment, fish, amphibian and other aquatic biota, floodplain soils, riparian vegetation, and wildlife in and around the Mill Creek drainage and the Owyhee River drainage. The assessment area includes the area surrounding and downstream from the Rio Tinto Mine in Elko, County; the Humboldt National Forest, and the Duck Valley Indian Reservation. Authority This notice is published in accordance with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of VerDate jul<14>2003 16:37 May 13, 2005 Jkt 205001 1980, as amended (42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq.) and is in the exercise of authority delegated to the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs under Part 209, Departmental Manual, Chapter 8.1. Dated: May 5, 2005. Michael D. Olsen, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary— Indian Affairs. [FR Doc. 05–9622 Filed 5–13–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–W7–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [WY–920–1310–01; WYW85370] Notice of Proposed Reinstatement of Terminated Oil and Gas Lease Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of proposed reinstatement of terminated oil and gas lease. AGENCY: SUMMARY: Under the provisions of 30 U.S.C. 188(d) and (e), and 43 CFR 3108.2–3(a) and (b)(1), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) received a petition for reinstatement of oil and gas lease WYW85370 for lands in Johnson County, Wyoming. The petition was filed on time and was accompanied by all the rentals due since the date the lease terminated under the law. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bureau of Land Management, Pamela J. Lewis, Chief, Fluid Minerals Adjudication, at (307) 775–6176. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The lessees have agreed to the amended lease terms for rentals and royalties at rates of $5.00 per acre or fraction thereof, per year and 162⁄3 percent, respectively. The lessees have paid the required $500 administrative fee and $166 to reimburse the Department for the cost of this Federal Register notice. The lessees have met all the requirements for reinstatement of the lease as set out in Section 31(d) and (e) of the Mineral Lands Leasing Act of 1920 (30 U.S.C. 188), and the Bureau of Land Management is proposing to reinstate lease WYW85370 effective December 1, 2003, under the original terms and conditions of the lease and the increased rental and royalty rates cited above. BLM has not issued a valid lease affecting the lands. Pamela J. Lewis, Chief, Fluid Minerals Adjudication. [FR Doc. 05–9690 Filed 5–13–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–22–P PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [WY–920–1310–01; WYW138423] Notice of Proposed Reinstatement of Terminated Oil and Gas Lease Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of proposed reinstatement of terminated oil and gas lease. AGENCY: SUMMARY: Under the provisions of 30 U.S.C. 188(d) and (e), and 43 CFR 3108.2–3(a) and (b)(1), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) received a petition for reinstatement of oil and gas lease WYW138423 for lands in Converse County, Wyoming. The petition was filed on time and was accompanied by all the rentals due since the date the lease terminated under the law. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bureau of Land Management, Pamela J. Lewis, Chief, Fluid Minerals Adjudication, at (307) 775–6176. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The lessee has agreed to the amended lease terms for rentals and royalties at rates of $10.00 per acre or fraction thereof, per year and 162⁄3 percent, respectively. The lessee has paid the required $500 administrative fee and $166 to reimburse the Department for the cost of this Federal Register notice. The lessee has met all the requirements for reinstatement of the lease as set out in Section 31(d) and (e) of the Mineral Lands Leasing Act of 1920 (30 U.S.C. 188), and the Bureau of Land Management is proposing to reinstate lease WYW138423 effective March 1, 2004, under the original terms and conditions of the lease and the increased rental and royalty rates cited above. BLM has not issued a valid lease affecting the lands. Pamela J. Lewis, Chief, Fluid Minerals Adjudication. [FR Doc. 05–9691 Filed 5–13–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–22–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [MTM 037720 and MTM 41231] Public Land Order No. 7635; Partial Revocation of Executive Order Dated April 19, 1912, and Public Land Order No. 2459; Montana Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Public land order. AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\16MYN1.SGM 16MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 93 (Monday, May 16, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 25847-25848]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-9622]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Indian Affairs


Notice of Availability, Assessment Plan for Natural Resources 
Injured by Releases of Hazardous Substances From the Rio Tinto Mine

AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Bureau of Indian Affairs and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, on behalf of the Department of the Interior, the Shoshone-
Paiute Tribes of Duck Valley, the Department of Agriculture, and the 
State of Nevada, announces the release for public review of the 
Assessment Plan, Rio Tinto Mine Site Natural Resource Damage 
Assessment--Public Release Draft Report (Assessment Plan). The 
Assessment Plan was developed by the Rio Tinto Mine Trustee Council 
consisting of representatives of the Tribe and Agencies listed above, 
to assess injuries to natural resources resulting from the releases of 
hazardous substances from the Rio Tinto Mine in Elko County, Nevada. 
The Assessment Plan describes the proposed approach for determining and 
quantifying natural resource injuries and calculating damages 
associated with these injuries. All interested parties are invited to 
submit comments on the Assessment Plan.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before June 15, 2005.

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be sent to the Regional Director, 
Western Regional Office, Bureau of Indian Affairs, P.O. Box 10, 
Phoenix, Arizona 85001 or 400 North Fifth Street, Phoenix, Arizona 
85004 (Telephone (602) 379-6600 and facsimile (602) 379-4413).
    The Assessment Plan is available for review from the following 
officials at their office locations: (1) John Krause, Bureau of Indian 
Affairs, Western Regional Office, 400 N. Fifth Street, Phoenix, Arizona 
85004, (602) 379-3491; (2) Marcie Phillips, Shoshone Paiute Tribes of 
Duck Valley, P.O. Box 219, Owyhee, Nevada 89832, (208) 759-3100, ext. 
247; and (3) Stan Wiemeyer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Nevada Fish 
and Wildlife Office, 1340 Financial Blvd., Suite 234, Reno, Nevada 
89502, (775) 861-6300. The Assessment Plan is available for public 
inspection during normal business hours by appointment, at those 
addresses. The Assessment Plan is also available for review on the Web 
site at https://ndep.nv.gov/admin/rio_tinto_nrda.htm.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marcie Phillips, (208) 759-3100, 
extension 247, or by e-mail at shopaitr8@aol.com.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Rio Tinto Mine (Mine) was first worked by the Anaconda Copper 
Mining Company (Anaconda) using underground mining techniques and a 
flotation mill from 1932 to 1947. During this period, Anaconda 
established tailings ponds, and deposited tailings and waste rock in 
the Mill Creek Watershed, and realigned Mill Creek. In 1966, G.M. 
Wallace and Company and Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company (Cleveland 
Cliffs), formerly Cliffs Copper Corporation, performed acid leaching 
activities and constructed an additional pond in the Mill Creek 
Watershed. In 1967, Cleveland Cliffs took ownership and operation in 
its entirety. In 1972, Teck Cominco American Incorporated (Cominco 
Amercian), formerly Cominco America, Inc. became legal owner of the 
Mine. From 1972 to 1975, in order to remove water accumulation in 
underground mining areas, a 6700-foot deep well and a waste water 
treatment plant were installed. The treatment plant discharged waste 
water to Mill Creek and produced sludge. A sludge pond was developed to 
dispose of this sludge. Also, drainage ditches were created in the 
tailings. In 1975, Cleveland Cliffs terminated operations. Also, in 
1975, Cominco American and E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont) 
began to drill exploratory holes. From 1986 to 1987, Rio Tinto Copper, 
Inc. owned and operated an in-situ acid leaching operation.
    Releases of hazardous substances from the Mine began as early as 
1932, and continue today. Several sources at the Mine currently release 
various hazardous substances into the ground water and the water and 
sediment in Mill Creek, and from there into the Owyhee River. Hazardous 
substance and contaminant releases from the Mine to Mill Creek and the 
Owyhee River are caused by the past deposition of mining waste in the 
historic Mill Creek channel

[[Page 25848]]

and other areas at the Mine. Mill Creek was diverted around the waste 
but water has flowed and continues to flow, over and through waste 
areas, tailings and process ponds, causing acid mine drainage, and 
chronic releases of hazardous substances and contaminants to Mill 
Creek. Additionally, catastrophic failures of impoundments in the Mill 
Creek channel have caused acute releases of hazardous substances and 
contaminants to Mill Creek.
    In August 2000, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed 
to add the Rio Tinto Mine Site (Site) to the National Priorities List. 
The State of Nevada did not concur with this recommendation. EPA 
recommended that the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) 
enter into negotiations with the RTWG and the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of 
Duck Valley (Tribes) regarding proper remediation at the Site with 
input by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, and the U.S. Forest Service. These negotiations resulted in an 
Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) between the NDEP and the RTWG. 
The AOC includes a scope of work outlining the remedial decision 
process. Also, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the NDEP, 
Tribes, and EPA is in place. Through the AOC process, the RTWG is 
continuing to conduct investigative and assessment activities at the 
Site in order to study remedial alternatives.
    The Rio Tinto Mine Trustee Council Natural Resource Trustees 
(Trustees) are representatives of federal, state, and tribal government 
entities with trust authority over natural resources potentially 
injured by releases of hazardous substances from the Rio Tinto Mine. 
The Trustees have the authority to obtain damages from potentially 
responsible parties for past, present, and future injuries to natural 
resources caused by releases of hazardous substances at the facility. 
Such natural resources include, but are not limited to, ground water, 
surface water, sediment, fish, amphibian and other aquatic biota, 
floodplain soils, riparian vegetation, and wildlife in and around the 
Mill Creek drainage and the Owyhee River drainage. The assessment area 
includes the area surrounding and downstream from the Rio Tinto Mine in 
Elko, County; the Humboldt National Forest, and the Duck Valley Indian 
Reservation.

Authority

    This notice is published in accordance with the Comprehensive 
Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, as 
amended (42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq.) and is in the exercise of authority 
delegated to the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs 
under Part 209, Departmental Manual, Chapter 8.1.

    Dated: May 5, 2005.
Michael D. Olsen,
Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs.
[FR Doc. 05-9622 Filed 5-13-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-W7-P