Intent To Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Construction and Operation of an Open Pit Taconite Mine, an Ore Concentrator, a Pellet Plant, a Direct Reduced Iron Plant, a Steel Mill, and a Tailings Basin Proposed by Minnesota Steel Industries, LLC Near Nashwauk in Itasca County, MN, 47814-47815 [05-16109]

Download as PDF 47814 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 156 / Monday, August 15, 2005 / Notices NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Those individuals requesting a hearing should set forth the specific reasons why a hearing on this particular request would be appropriate. Comments may also be submitted by facsimile at (301)427–2521, provided the facsimile is confirmed by hard copy submitted by mail and postmarked no later than the closing date of the comment period. Comments may also be submitted by e-mail. The mailbox address for providing email comments is NMFS.Pr1Comments@noaa.gov. Include in the subject line of the e-mail comment the following document identifier: File No. 1540. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Patrick Opay or Ruth Johnson, (301)713–2289. The subject permit is requested under the authority of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and the regulations governing the taking, importing, and exporting of endangered and threatened species (50 CFR 222–226). The purpose of the proposed action is a continuation of Permit No. 1245 documentation of in-water relative abundances, size distributions, sex ratios, genetic contributions, and the health of sea turtles in coastal waters in the southeastern U.S. Up to 350 loggerhead, 50 Kemp’s ridley, 10 green, 3 leatherback, and 5 hawksbill sea turtles would be captured annually using trawls. Turtles would be handled, blood sampled, measured, flipper and PIT tagged, photographed and subsequently released. A subsample of animals would have barnacles and keratin removed from their shells, have cloacal samples taken, be laproscopic and ultrasound examined, and have satellite transmitters attached to them. Up to 4 loggerhead, 1 Kemp’s ridley, 1 green, 3 leatherback, and 5 hawksbill sea turtles may be accidentally killed during the research. The permit would be issued for 5 years. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Dated: August 5, 2005. Jennifer Skidmore, Acting Chief, Permits, Conservation and Education Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 05–16059 Filed 8–12–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S VerDate jul<14>2003 13:17 Aug 12, 2005 Jkt 205001 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [I.D. 072105B] Endangered Species; File No. 1542 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; application for permit. AGENCY: SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that SCANA Services, Inc. (Stephen E. Summer, Principal Investigator), 6248 Bush River Road, Columbia, SC 29212, has applied in due form for a permit to take shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum) for purposes of scientific research. DATES: Written, telefaxed, or e-mail comments must be received on or before September 14, 2005. ADDRESSES: The application and related documents are available for review upon written request or by appointment in the following offices: Permits, Conservation and Education Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301)713–2289; fax (301)427–2521; and Southeast Region, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701; phone (727)824–5312; fax (727)824– 5309. Written comments or requests for a public hearing on this application should be mailed to the Chief, Permits, Conservation and Education Division, F/PR1, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Those individuals requesting a hearing should set forth the specific reasons why a hearing on this particular request would be appropriate. Comments may also be submitted by facsimile at (301)427–2521, provided the facsimile is confirmed by hard copy submitted by mail and postmarked no later than the closing date of the comment period. Comments may also be submitted by e-mail. The mailbox address for providing email comments is NMFS.Pr1Comments@noaa.gov. Include in the subject line of the e-mail comment the following document identifier: File No. 1542. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Shane Guan or Carrie Hubard, (301)713– 2289. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The subject permits are requested under the authority of the Endangered Species Act PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and the regulations governing the taking, importing, and exporting of endangered and threatened species (50 CFR 222–226). SCANA Services, Inc., sister company to South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G), proposes to conduct a study of shortnose sturgeon in portions of the Santee River Basin in South Carolina (Saluda, Congaree, Broad, Wateree, and Santee Rivers) in support of SCE&G’s efforts to acquire a new operating license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the Saluda Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. 516). The purpose of the proposed study is to document shortnose sturgeon usage in areas downstream of the Saluda Hydroelectric Project which are within the historic range of the species, but have not been adequately sampled in recent history. A maximum of 15 adult and juvenile shortnose sturgeon would be captured with gill nets, examined, measured, weighed, PIT and dart tagged, a tissue sample collected for genetic analysis, and released annually. An estimated 100 shortnose sturgeon eggs and larvae would be lethally taken by using Dshaped or rectangular drift nets annually as part of the proposed study to determine if spawning is taking place. The permit is requested for a duration of 5 years, with work slated to begin in January 2006. Dated: August 4, 2005. Stephen L. Leathery, Chief, Permits, Conservation and Education Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 05–16061 Filed 8–12–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army; Corps of Engineers Intent To Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Construction and Operation of an Open Pit Taconite Mine, an Ore Concentrator, a Pellet Plant, a Direct Reduced Iron Plant, a Steel Mill, and a Tailings Basin Proposed by Minnesota Steel Industries, LLC Near Nashwauk in Itasca County, MN Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD. ACTION: Notice of intent. AGENCY: SUMMARY: Minnesota Steel Industries, LLC (Minnesota Steel) has applied to the St. Paul District, Corps of Engineers (Corps) for a permit to discharge fill E:\FR\FM\15AUN1.SGM 15AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 156 / Monday, August 15, 2005 / Notices material into wetlands to facilitate the construction and operation of an open pit taconite mine at the former Butler Taconite site near Nashwauk, Minnesota, and the construction of new facilities—a crusher, a concentrator, a pellet plant, a plant for producing direct reduced iron (DRI), and a steel mill consisting of two electric arc furnaces, two idle furnaces, two thin slab casters, and a sheet rolling mill. the former Butler Taconite Stage 1 tailings basin would be reactivated for the disposal of concentrator tailings. The mining process would require the construction of overburden, waste rock, and lean ore stockpiles just north of the proposed mine site. Ore would be hauled via truck from the mine to the adjacent ore concentrator. Concentrating the ore would involve crushing, grinding, magnetic separation, and flotation processes. Concentrator tailings would be pumped as slurry to the former Butler Taconite Stage 1 tailings basin approximately two miles southeast of the proposed mine site. The concentrate would be mixed with a binder and limestone, and converted to unfired pellets in balling drums or disks. The unfired pellets would be hardened in an indurating furnace. The DRI plant would convert the iron oxide pellets to nearly pure iron pellets (DRI pellets) in a 300- to 425-foot-high vertical shaft reactor. The DRI pellets would be fed to steel mill, which would produce hot rolled sheet steel. Project plans call for the mining of approximately 12.8 million long tons of crude ore per year at a stripping ratio of approximately 0.50:1. Approximately 2.4 million short tons per year of hot rolled sheet steel would be produced. The project would employ approximately 700 people for production, support, and administration. Economic feasibility of the project is based on a 20-year project life. Minnesota Steel at this time cannot predict whether investments for further operations would be economically desirable. Therefore, mine planning and detailed design are being prepared for 20 years of operation and environmental permits are being requested for a 20-year project life. If the project is permitted, and if Minnesota Steel proposes to extend the project life beyond the 20year period, then modifications to the Section 404 permit and supplemental environmental review would be required. The project would require dredging or discharging fill material into approximately 1,014 acres of wetlands. While some of the wetlands may be isolated, the majority of the wetlands are adjacent to Oxhide Creek, Snowball VerDate jul<14>2003 13:17 Aug 12, 2005 Jkt 205001 Creek, Pickerel Creek, or O’Brien Creek, which are tributaries to the Swan River, or they are adjacent to an unnamed tributary to the Prairie River or to an unnamed tributary to Sucker Brook, which is a tributary to the Prairie River. The Swan River and the Prairie River are tributaries to the Mississippi River, which is a navigable water of the United States. A specific compensatory wetland mitigation plan has not been developed for the project. Minnesota Steel intends to work with interested Federal and state agencies to develop an acceptable plan that would meet Federal and state compensatory mitigation requirements. The discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States requires a permit issued by the Corps under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. The final environmental impact statement will be used as a basis for the permit decision and to ensure compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions concerning the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) can be addressed to Mr. Jon K. Ahlness, Regulatory Branch by letter at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 190 Fifth Street East, St. Paul, MN 55101–1638, by telephone at (651) 290–5381, or by email at jon.k.ahlness@mvp02.usace.army.mil. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Corps and the State of Minnesota will jointly prepare the DEIS. The Corps is the lead federal agency and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MnDNR) is the lead state agency. The Corps and the MnDNR will prepare and release to the public a Scoping Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) and a Draft Scoping Decision Document. The public will have 30 days to provide comments on those two documents. The Corps and the MnDNR will conduct a public scoping meeting in Nashwauk, Minnesota during the 30day public comment period. A notice will be published or aired in local media once the meeting has been scheduled. Additional meetings will be conducted as needed. In accordance with 40 CFR 1506.5(c) and Corps policy, a third party contractor will be selected to prepare the DEIS. We anticipate that the DEIS will be available to the public in late 2006. The DEIS will assess impacts of the proposed action and reasonable alternatives, identify and evaluate mitigation alternatives, and discuss potential environmental monitoring. Significant issues and resources to be identified in the DEIS will be determined through coordination with PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 47815 responsible Federal, state, and local agencies; the general public; interested private organizations and parties; and affected Native American Tribes. Anyone who has an interest in participating in the development of the DEIS is invited to contact the St. Paul District, Corps of Engineers. Major issues identified to date for discussion in the DEIS are the impacts of the projected project on: 1. Natural resources including: fishery, wildlife, vegetation, riparian areas, and waters of the U.S., including wetlands. 2. Water quality, water quantity, groundwater, erosion, and sedimentation. 3. Air quality. 4. Social and economic resources. 5. Downstream resources. Additional issues of interest may be identified through the public scoping meeting and agency meetings. Issuing a permit for the development of an open pit taconite mine and associated ore processing, steel making, and tailings facilities is considered to be a major Federal action having a significant impact on the quality of the human environment. The project: (1) Would have a significant adverse effect on wetlands (which are special aquatic sites), and (2) has the potential to significantly affect air quality, water quality, groundwater, plankton, fish, and wildlife. Our environmental review will be conducted to the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, Council of Environmental Quality Regulations, Endangered Species Act of 1973, Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, and other applicable laws and regulations. Dated: August 5, 2005. Michael F. Pfenning, Colonel, Corps of Engineers, District Engineer. [FR Doc. 05–16109 Filed 8–12–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3710–CY–M DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request AGENCY: Department of Education. SUMMARY: The Leader, Information Management Case Services Team, Regulatory Information Management Services, Office of the Chief Information Officer invites comments on the submission for OMB review as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. E:\FR\FM\15AUN1.SGM 15AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 156 (Monday, August 15, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 47814-47815]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-16109]


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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Department of the Army; Corps of Engineers


Intent To Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the 
Construction and Operation of an Open Pit Taconite Mine, an Ore 
Concentrator, a Pellet Plant, a Direct Reduced Iron Plant, a Steel 
Mill, and a Tailings Basin Proposed by Minnesota Steel Industries, LLC 
Near Nashwauk in Itasca County, MN

AGENCY: Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD.

ACTION: Notice of intent.

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

SUMMARY: Minnesota Steel Industries, LLC (Minnesota Steel) has applied 
to the St. Paul District, Corps of Engineers (Corps) for a permit to 
discharge fill

[[Page 47815]]

material into wetlands to facilitate the construction and operation of 
an open pit taconite mine at the former Butler Taconite site near 
Nashwauk, Minnesota, and the construction of new facilities--a crusher, 
a concentrator, a pellet plant, a plant for producing direct reduced 
iron (DRI), and a steel mill consisting of two electric arc furnaces, 
two idle furnaces, two thin slab casters, and a sheet rolling mill. the 
former Butler Taconite Stage 1 tailings basin would be reactivated for 
the disposal of concentrator tailings. The mining process would require 
the construction of overburden, waste rock, and lean ore stockpiles 
just north of the proposed mine site. Ore would be hauled via truck 
from the mine to the adjacent ore concentrator. Concentrating the ore 
would involve crushing, grinding, magnetic separation, and flotation 
processes. Concentrator tailings would be pumped as slurry to the 
former Butler Taconite Stage 1 tailings basin approximately two miles 
southeast of the proposed mine site. The concentrate would be mixed 
with a binder and limestone, and converted to unfired pellets in 
balling drums or disks. The unfired pellets would be hardened in an 
indurating furnace. The DRI plant would convert the iron oxide pellets 
to nearly pure iron pellets (DRI pellets) in a 300- to 425-foot-high 
vertical shaft reactor. The DRI pellets would be fed to steel mill, 
which would produce hot rolled sheet steel. Project plans call for the 
mining of approximately 12.8 million long tons of crude ore per year at 
a stripping ratio of approximately 0.50:1. Approximately 2.4 million 
short tons per year of hot rolled sheet steel would be produced. The 
project would employ approximately 700 people for production, support, 
and administration. Economic feasibility of the project is based on a 
20-year project life. Minnesota Steel at this time cannot predict 
whether investments for further operations would be economically 
desirable. Therefore, mine planning and detailed design are being 
prepared for 20 years of operation and environmental permits are being 
requested for a 20-year project life. If the project is permitted, and 
if Minnesota Steel proposes to extend the project life beyond the 20-
year period, then modifications to the Section 404 permit and 
supplemental environmental review would be required.
    The project would require dredging or discharging fill material 
into approximately 1,014 acres of wetlands. While some of the wetlands 
may be isolated, the majority of the wetlands are adjacent to Oxhide 
Creek, Snowball Creek, Pickerel Creek, or O'Brien Creek, which are 
tributaries to the Swan River, or they are adjacent to an unnamed 
tributary to the Prairie River or to an unnamed tributary to Sucker 
Brook, which is a tributary to the Prairie River. The Swan River and 
the Prairie River are tributaries to the Mississippi River, which is a 
navigable water of the United States. A specific compensatory wetland 
mitigation plan has not been developed for the project. Minnesota Steel 
intends to work with interested Federal and state agencies to develop 
an acceptable plan that would meet Federal and state compensatory 
mitigation requirements. The discharge of dredged or fill material into 
waters of the United States requires a permit issued by the Corps under 
Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. The final environmental impact 
statement will be used as a basis for the permit decision and to ensure 
compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions concerning the Draft 
Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) can be addressed to Mr. Jon K. 
Ahlness, Regulatory Branch by letter at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 
190 Fifth Street East, St. Paul, MN 55101-1638, by telephone at (651) 
290-5381, or by e-mail at jon.k.ahlness@mvp02.usace.army.mil.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Corps and the State of Minnesota will 
jointly prepare the DEIS. The Corps is the lead federal agency and the 
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MnDNR) is the lead state 
agency. The Corps and the MnDNR will prepare and release to the public 
a Scoping Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) and a Draft Scoping 
Decision Document. The public will have 30 days to provide comments on 
those two documents. The Corps and the MnDNR will conduct a public 
scoping meeting in Nashwauk, Minnesota during the 30-day public comment 
period. A notice will be published or aired in local media once the 
meeting has been scheduled. Additional meetings will be conducted as 
needed. In accordance with 40 CFR 1506.5(c) and Corps policy, a third 
party contractor will be selected to prepare the DEIS. We anticipate 
that the DEIS will be available to the public in late 2006.
    The DEIS will assess impacts of the proposed action and reasonable 
alternatives, identify and evaluate mitigation alternatives, and 
discuss potential environmental monitoring. Significant issues and 
resources to be identified in the DEIS will be determined through 
coordination with responsible Federal, state, and local agencies; the 
general public; interested private organizations and parties; and 
affected Native American Tribes. Anyone who has an interest in 
participating in the development of the DEIS is invited to contact the 
St. Paul District, Corps of Engineers. Major issues identified to date 
for discussion in the DEIS are the impacts of the projected project on:
    1. Natural resources including: fishery, wildlife, vegetation, 
riparian areas, and waters of the U.S., including wetlands.
    2. Water quality, water quantity, groundwater, erosion, and 
sedimentation.
    3. Air quality.
    4. Social and economic resources.
    5. Downstream resources.

Additional issues of interest may be identified through the public 
scoping meeting and agency meetings.
    Issuing a permit for the development of an open pit taconite mine 
and associated ore processing, steel making, and tailings facilities is 
considered to be a major Federal action having a significant impact on 
the quality of the human environment. The project: (1) Would have a 
significant adverse effect on wetlands (which are special aquatic 
sites), and (2) has the potential to significantly affect air quality, 
water quality, groundwater, plankton, fish, and wildlife. Our 
environmental review will be conducted to the requirements of the 
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, National Historic 
Preservation Act of 1966, Council of Environmental Quality Regulations, 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, and 
other applicable laws and regulations.

    Dated: August 5, 2005.
Michael F. Pfenning,
Colonel, Corps of Engineers, District Engineer.
[FR Doc. 05-16109 Filed 8-12-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3710-CY-M