Notice of Intent to Prepare a Generic Environmental Impact Statement for Uranium Milling Facilities, 40344-40346 [E7-14362]

Download as PDF mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES 40344 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 141 / Tuesday, July 24, 2007 / Notices Those permitted to intervene become parties to the proceeding, subject to any limitations in the order granting leave to intervene, and have the opportunity to participate fully in the conduct of the hearing. If a hearing is requested, the Commission will make a final determination on the issue of no significant hazards consideration. The final determination will serve to decide when the hearing is held. If the final determination is that the amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration, the Commission may issue the amendment and make it immediately effective, notwithstanding the request for a hearing. Any hearing held would take place after issuance of the amendment. If the final determination is that the amendment request involves a significant hazards consideration, any hearing held would take place before the issuance of any amendment. Nontimely requests and/or petitions and contentions will not be entertained absent a determination by the Commission or the presiding officer of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board that the petition, request and/or the contentions should be granted based on a balancing of the factors specified in 10 CFR 2.309(c)(1)(i)–(viii). A request for a hearing or a petition for leave to intervene must be filed by: (1) First class mail addressed to the Office of the Secretary of the Commission, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555– 0001, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff; (2) courier, express mail, and expedited delivery services: Office of the Secretary, Sixteenth Floor, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland, 20852, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff; (3) E-mail addressed to the Office of the Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, HEARINGDOCKET@NRC.GOV; or (4) facsimile transmission addressed to the Office of the Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC, Attention: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff at (301) 415–1101, verification number is (301) 415–1966. A copy of the request for hearing and petition for leave to intervene should also be sent to the Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555– 0001, and it is requested that copies be transmitted either by means of facsimile transmission to 301–415–3725 or by email to OGCMailCenter@nrc.gov. A copy of the request for hearing and petition for leave to intervene should also be sent to Mr. Brad Fewell, Assistant VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:50 Jul 23, 2007 Jkt 211001 General Counsel, Exelon Generation Company, LLC, 4300 Winfield Road, Warrenville, IL 60555, attorney for the licensee. For further details with respect to this action, see the application for amendment dated March 6, 2007, which is available for public inspection at the Commission’s PDR, located at One White Flint North, Public File Area O1 F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland. Publicly available records will be accessible from the Agencywide Documents Access and Management System’s (ADAMS) Public Electronic Reading Room on the Internet at the NRC Web site, http:// www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. Persons who do not have access to ADAMS or who encounter problems in accessing the documents located in ADAMS, should contact the NRC PDR Reference staff by telephone at 1–800– 397–4209, 301–415–4737, or by e-mail to pdr@nrc.gov. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 17th day of July 2007. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. John Hughey, Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch 1– 2, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. [FR Doc. E7–14250 Filed 7–23–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. 70–3098–MLA; ASLBP No. 07– 856–02–MLA–BD01] Shaw Areva Mox Services (Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility); Notice of Reconstitution Pursuant to 10 CFR 2.321, the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board in the above captioned Shaw Areva Mox Services proceeding is hereby reconstituted by appointing Administrative Judge Lawrence G. McDade in place of Administrative Judge William M. Murphy, whose circumstances have rendered him unavailable to participate in this proceeding (10 CFR 2.313(c)). In accordance with 10 CFR 2.302, henceforth all correspondence, documents, and other material relating to any matter in this proceeding over which this Licensing Board has jurisdiction should be served on Administrative Judge McDade as follows: Administrative Judge Lawrence G. McDade, Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001. PO 00000 Frm 00075 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Issued at Rockville, Maryland, this 18th day of July 2007. E. Roy Hawkens, Chief Administrative Judge, Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel. [FR Doc. E7–14255 Filed 7–23–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION Notice of Intent to Prepare a Generic Environmental Impact Statement for Uranium Milling Facilities United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). ACTION: Notice of Intent (NOI). AGENCY: SUMMARY: The NRC announces its intent to prepare a Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and NRC’s NEPA implementing regulations contained in 10 CFR Part 51. The GEIS will assess the potential environmental impacts associated with uranium recovery at milling facilities employing the in-situ leach (ISL) process. The GEIS may also assess the potential environmental impacts of alternative methods of uranium recovery (including the conventional milling process). DATES: The public scoping process required by NEPA begins with publication of this NOI and continues until September 4, 2007. Written comments submitted by mail should be postmarked by that date to ensure consideration. Comments mailed after that date will be considered to the extent possible. NRC will conduct two public meetings to assist in defining the appropriate scope of the GEIS, including the significant environmental issues to be addressed. The meeting dates, times and locations are listed below: Meeting Date: August 7, 2007, 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Meeting Location: Parkway Plaza Hotel and Convention Center, 123 West E Street, Casper, WY 82601, Phone (307) 235–1777. Meeting Date: August 9, 2007, 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Meeting Location: Hilton Albuquerque, 1901 University Boulevard, NE., Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87102, Phone: (505) 884–2500. For both meetings, members of the NRC staff will be available for informal discussions with members of the public from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. The formal meeting and associated NRC presentation will begin at 7 p.m. For planning purposes, those who wish to E:\FR\FM\24JYN1.SGM 24JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 141 / Tuesday, July 24, 2007 / Notices mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES present oral comments at the meeting are encouraged to pre-register by contacting Carol Walls of the NRC by telephone at 1–800–368–5642, Extension 8028, or by e-mail at CAW@nrc.gov no later than August 3, 2007. Interested persons may also register to speak at the meetings. Depending on the number of speakers, each speaker may be limited in the amount of time allocated for their comments so that all speakers will have an opportunity to offer comments. ADDRESSES: Members of the public and interested parties are invited and encouraged to submit comments to the Chief, Rules Review and Directives Branch, Mail Stop T–6D59, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001. Due to the current mail situation in the Washington, DC area, the NRC encourages comments to be submitted electronically to nrcrep@nrc.gov. Please refer to the ‘‘Uranium Recovery GEIS’’ when submitting comments. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general information on the NRC NEPA process, or the environmental review process related to this GEIS, please contact: James Park, Environmental Project Manager, Division of Waste Management and Environmental Protection (DWMEP), Mail Stop T–8F5, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001, by phone at 1–800–368–5642, Extension 6935, or by e-mail at JRP@nrc.gov, For general or technical information associated with the safety and licensing of uranium milling facilities, please contact: William Von Till Environmental, Branch Chief, Uranium Recovery Branch, DWMEP, Mail Stop T–8F5, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001, by phone at 1–800–368–5642, Extension 0598, or by e-mail at RWV@nrc.gov. Information and documents associated with the GEIS are available for public review through the NRC electronic reading room: http:// www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. Documents may also be obtained from the NRC Public Document Room at U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Headquarters, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland, 20852–2738. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 1.0 Background The NRC is expecting numerous license applications for in-situ leach (ISL) uranium milling facilities in the coming 2–3 years. This GEIS is intended to address the common issues associated with environmental reviews VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:50 Jul 23, 2007 Jkt 211001 of such milling facilities located in the western United States. Because there are environmental issues common to ISL milling facilities, the NRC staff will be addressing these common issues generically to aid in a more efficient environmental review for each separate license application, if and when these applications are submitted. ISL milling facilities recover uranium from low grade ores that may not be economically recoverable by other methods. In this process, a leaching agent, such as oxygen with sodium bicarbonate, is added to native ground water for injection through wells into the subsurface ore body to dissolve the uranium. The leach solution, containing the dissolved uranium, is pumped back to the surface and sent to the processing plant, where ion exchange is used to separate the uranium from the solution. The underground leaching of the uranium also frees other metals and minerals from the host rock. Operators of ISL facilities are required to restore the ground water affected by the leaching operations. The milling process concentrates the recovered uranium into the product known as ‘‘yellowcake’’ (U3O8). This yellowcake is then shipped to uranium conversion facilities for further processing in the overall uranium fuel cycle. One alternative to ISL milling is the conventional uranium milling process that extracts uranium from mined ore. At conventional mills, the ore arrives via truck and is crushed, ground, and leached. In most cases, sulfuric acid is the leaching agent, but alkaline leaching can also be done. The leaching agent not only extracts uranium from the ore but also several other constituents (e.g., vanadium, selenium, iron, lead, and arsenic). Conventional mills extract 90 to 95 percent of the uranium from the ore. These mills are typically in areas of low population density, and they typically process ores from mines within 50 kilometers (30 miles). Conventional mills may also produce significant quantities of waste materials, known as mill tailings, from the ore processing. These tailings are contained in impoundments which can be as large as 250 to 300 acres in extent. It is estimated that roughly 95% of the incoming ore ends as mill tailings. These mill tailings contain most of the radioactive progeny of uranium and may be a significant source of radon and radon progeny releases to the environment. The GEIS will focus on the construction, operation, and decommissioning of ISL mills and also assess alternative methods of uranium recovery. It is noted that the hardrock PO 00000 Frm 00076 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 40345 mining associated with conventional uranium milling is regulated by other entities (e.g., the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and various state agencies). For more information on the uranium fuel cycle, please see Regulating Nuclear Fuel, NUREG/BR–0280, Rev. 1, (which can be found online at: http:// www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doccollections/nuregs/brochures/br0280/). 2.0 Alternatives To Be Evaluated No action—The no-action alternative would be to not build nor license potential uranium milling facilities. Under this alternative the NRC would not approve future license applications. This alternative serves as a baseline for comparison of the potential environmental impacts. Proposed action—The proposed action is the construction, operation, and decommissioning of an ISL uranium mill. Implementation of the proposed action would require the issuance of an NRC license under the provisions of 10 CFR Part 40. Alternatives—The conventional milling process is one alternative. Other alternatives not listed in this notice may be identified through the scoping process. 3.0 Environmental Impact Areas To Be Analyzed The following resource areas have been tentatively identified for analysis in the GEIS: —Public and Occupational Health: Addressing the potential public and occupational consequences from construction, routine operation, transportation, and credible accident scenarios (including natural events), and decommissioning; —Waste Management: Addressing the types of wastes expected to be generated, handled, stored and subject to re-use or disposal; —Land Use: Addressing land use plans, policies and controls; —Transportation: Addressing the transportation modes, routes, quantities, and risk estimates; —Geology and Soils: Addressing the physical geography, topography, geology and soil characteristics; —Water Resources: Addressing the surface and ground water hydrology, water use and quality, and the potential for degradation; —Ecology: Addressing wetlands, aquatic, terrestrial, economically and recreationally important species, and threatened and endangered species; —Air Quality: Addressing meteorological conditions, ambient E:\FR\FM\24JYN1.SGM 24JYN1 40346 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 141 / Tuesday, July 24, 2007 / Notices mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES background, pollutant sources, and the potential for degradation; —Noise: Addressing ambient noises, sources, and sensitive receptors; —Historical and Cultural Resources: Addressing historical, archaeological, and traditional cultural resources; —Visual and Scenic Resources: Addressing landscape characteristics, man-made features and viewshed; —Socioeconomics: Addressing the demography, economic base, labor pool, housing, transportation, utilities, public services/facilities, education, recreation, and cultural resources; —Environmental Justice: Addressing the potential disproportionately high and adverse impacts to minority and lowincome populations; and —Cumulative Effects: Addressing the impacts from past, present, and reasonably foreseeable actions at and near the site. The examples under each resource area are not intended to be all inclusive, nor is this list an indication that environmental impacts will occur. The list is presented to facilitate comments on the scope of the GEIS. Additions to, or deletions from, this list may occur as a result of the public scoping process. 4.0 Scoping Meetings This NOI is to encourage public involvement in the GEIS process and to solicit public comments on the proposed scope and content of the GEIS. NRC will hold public scoping meetings as described above to solicit both oral and written comments from interested parties. Scoping is an early and open process designed to determine the range of actions, alternatives, and potential impacts to be considered in the GEIS, and to identify the significant issues related to the proposed action. Scoping is intended to solicit input from the public and other agencies so that the analysis can be more clearly focused on issues of genuine concern. The principal goals of the scoping process are to: —Identify public concerns; —Ensure that concerns are identified early and are properly studied; —Identify alternatives that will be examined; —Identify significant issues that need to be analyzed; and —Eliminate unimportant issues. The scoping meetings will begin with NRC staff providing a description of NRC’s role and mission followed by a brief overview of NRC’s environmental review process and goals of the scoping meeting. The bulk of the meeting will be allotted for attendees to make oral comments. VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:50 Jul 23, 2007 Jkt 211001 5.0 Scoping Comments Week of July 23, 2007 Written comments should be mailed to the address listed above in the ADDRESSES section. The NRC staff will prepare a scoping summary report in which it will summarize public comments. The NRC will make the scoping summary report and projectrelated materials available for public review through its electronic reading room: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/ adams.html. Further, an NRC Web site will be established in the near future to keep the public abreast of the current schedule and to post important documents. 6.0 The NEPA Process The GEIS will be prepared according to NEPA and NRC’s NEPA implementing regulations contained in 10 CFR part 51. After the scoping process is complete, the NRC will prepare a draft GEIS. The draft GEIS is scheduled to be published by April 2008. A 45-day comment period on the draft GEIS is planned, and a public meeting(s) to receive comments will be held approximately three weeks after publication of the draft GEIS. Availability of the draft GEIS, the dates of the public comment period, and information about the public meeting will be announced in the Federal Register, on NRC’s Web page, and in the local news media. The final GEIS is expected to be published in January 2009 and will incorporate, as appropriate, public comments received on the draft GEIS. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 20th day of July, 2007. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Gregory F. Suber, Branch Chief, Environmental Review Branch, Environmental Protection and Performance Assessment Directorate, Division of Waste Management and Environmental Protection, Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental Management Programs. [FR Doc. E7–14362 Filed 7–23–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P Notice of Sunshine Act Meetings Weeks of July 23, 30, August 6, 13, 20, 27, 2007. DATE: Commissioners’ Conference Room, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland. STATUS: Public and closed. MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED: PO 00000 Frm 00077 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 9:30 a.m. Preparation for the 2008 Convention on Nuclear Safety (closed—ex. 9). 1:55 p.m. Affirmation Session (Public Meeting) (Tentative). a. Request for Reconsideration of the Wording of 10 CRF Sec. 26.205(D)(4) as Affirmed on April 17, 2007 (Tentative). This meeting will be webcast live at the Web address, http://www.nrc.gov. 2 p.m. Briefing on Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station (Public Meeting). (Contact: Michael Markley, (301) 415– 5723). This meeting will be webcast live at the Web address, http://www.nrc.gov. Wednesday, July 25, 2007 9:30 a.m. Continuation of Discussion of Security Issues (closed—ex. 1 & 3) held Wednesday, July 18, 2007. 2 p.m. Discussion of Management Issues (closed—ex. 2). Week of July 30, 2007—Tentative Thursday, August 2, 2007 1:30 p.m. Briefing on Risk-Informed, Performance-Based Regulation (Public Meeting). (Contact: John Monninger, (301) 415–6189). This meeting will be webcast live at the Web address, http://www.nrc.gov. Week of August 6, 2007—Tentative There are no meetings scheduled for the Week of August 6, 2007. Week of August 13, 2007—Tentative There are no meetings scheduled for the Week of August 13, 2007. Week of August 20, 2007—Tentative Tuesday, August 21, 2007 1:30 p.m. Meeting with OAS and CRCPD (Public Meeting). (Contact: Shawn Smith, (301) 415–2620). This meeting will be webcast live at the Web address, http://www.nrc.gov. Wednesday, August 22, 2007 NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION PLACE: Tuesday, July 24, 2007 9:30 a.m. Periodic Briefing on New Reactor Issues (Morning Session) (Public Meeting). (Contact: Donna Williams, (301) 415–1322). This meeting will be webcast live at the Web address, http://www.nrc.gov. 1:30 p.m. Periodic Briefing on New Reactor Issues (Afternoon Session) (Public Meeting). (Contact: Donna Williams, (301) 415–1322). This meeting will be webcast live at the Web address, http://www.nrc.gov. E:\FR\FM\24JYN1.SGM 24JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 141 (Tuesday, July 24, 2007)]
[Notices]
[Pages 40344-40346]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-14362]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION


Notice of Intent to Prepare a Generic Environmental Impact 
Statement for Uranium Milling Facilities

AGENCY: United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

ACTION: Notice of Intent (NOI).

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

SUMMARY: The NRC announces its intent to prepare a Generic 
Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) in accordance with the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and NRC's NEPA implementing regulations 
contained in 10 CFR Part 51. The GEIS will assess the potential 
environmental impacts associated with uranium recovery at milling 
facilities employing the in-situ leach (ISL) process. The GEIS may also 
assess the potential environmental impacts of alternative methods of 
uranium recovery (including the conventional milling process).

DATES: The public scoping process required by NEPA begins with 
publication of this NOI and continues until September 4, 2007. Written 
comments submitted by mail should be postmarked by that date to ensure 
consideration. Comments mailed after that date will be considered to 
the extent possible.
    NRC will conduct two public meetings to assist in defining the 
appropriate scope of the GEIS, including the significant environmental 
issues to be addressed. The meeting dates, times and locations are 
listed below:
    Meeting Date: August 7, 2007, 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
    Meeting Location: Parkway Plaza Hotel and Convention Center, 123 
West E Street, Casper, WY 82601, Phone (307) 235-1777.
    Meeting Date: August 9, 2007, 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
    Meeting Location: Hilton Albuquerque, 1901 University Boulevard, 
NE., Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87102, Phone: (505) 884-2500.
    For both meetings, members of the NRC staff will be available for 
informal discussions with members of the public from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. 
The formal meeting and associated NRC presentation will begin at 7 p.m. 
For planning purposes, those who wish to

[[Page 40345]]

present oral comments at the meeting are encouraged to pre-register by 
contacting Carol Walls of the NRC by telephone at 1-800-368-5642, 
Extension 8028, or by e-mail at CAW@nrc.gov no later than August 3, 
2007. Interested persons may also register to speak at the meetings. 
Depending on the number of speakers, each speaker may be limited in the 
amount of time allocated for their comments so that all speakers will 
have an opportunity to offer comments.

ADDRESSES: Members of the public and interested parties are invited and 
encouraged to submit comments to the Chief, Rules Review and Directives 
Branch, Mail Stop T-6D59, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 
Washington, DC 20555-0001. Due to the current mail situation in the 
Washington, DC area, the NRC encourages comments to be submitted 
electronically to nrcrep@nrc.gov. Please refer to the ``Uranium 
Recovery GEIS'' when submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general information on the NRC 
NEPA process, or the environmental review process related to this GEIS, 
please contact: James Park, Environmental Project Manager, Division of 
Waste Management and Environmental Protection (DWMEP), Mail Stop T-8F5, 
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, by phone 
at 1-800-368-5642, Extension 6935, or by e-mail at JRP@nrc.gov, For 
general or technical information associated with the safety and 
licensing of uranium milling facilities, please contact: William Von 
Till Environmental, Branch Chief, Uranium Recovery Branch, DWMEP, Mail 
Stop T-8F5, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-
0001, by phone at 1-800-368-5642, Extension 0598, or by e-mail at 
RWV@nrc.gov.
    Information and documents associated with the GEIS are available 
for public review through the NRC electronic reading room: http://
www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. Documents may also be obtained from 
the NRC Public Document Room at U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission 
Headquarters, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland, 
20852-2738.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

1.0 Background

    The NRC is expecting numerous license applications for in-situ 
leach (ISL) uranium milling facilities in the coming 2-3 years. This 
GEIS is intended to address the common issues associated with 
environmental reviews of such milling facilities located in the western 
United States. Because there are environmental issues common to ISL 
milling facilities, the NRC staff will be addressing these common 
issues generically to aid in a more efficient environmental review for 
each separate license application, if and when these applications are 
submitted.
    ISL milling facilities recover uranium from low grade ores that may 
not be economically recoverable by other methods. In this process, a 
leaching agent, such as oxygen with sodium bicarbonate, is added to 
native ground water for injection through wells into the subsurface ore 
body to dissolve the uranium. The leach solution, containing the 
dissolved uranium, is pumped back to the surface and sent to the 
processing plant, where ion exchange is used to separate the uranium 
from the solution. The underground leaching of the uranium also frees 
other metals and minerals from the host rock. Operators of ISL 
facilities are required to restore the ground water affected by the 
leaching operations. The milling process concentrates the recovered 
uranium into the product known as ``yellowcake'' 
(U3O8). This yellowcake is then shipped to 
uranium conversion facilities for further processing in the overall 
uranium fuel cycle.
    One alternative to ISL milling is the conventional uranium milling 
process that extracts uranium from mined ore. At conventional mills, 
the ore arrives via truck and is crushed, ground, and leached. In most 
cases, sulfuric acid is the leaching agent, but alkaline leaching can 
also be done. The leaching agent not only extracts uranium from the ore 
but also several other constituents (e.g., vanadium, selenium, iron, 
lead, and arsenic). Conventional mills extract 90 to 95 percent of the 
uranium from the ore. These mills are typically in areas of low 
population density, and they typically process ores from mines within 
50 kilometers (30 miles). Conventional mills may also produce 
significant quantities of waste materials, known as mill tailings, from 
the ore processing. These tailings are contained in impoundments which 
can be as large as 250 to 300 acres in extent. It is estimated that 
roughly 95% of the incoming ore ends as mill tailings. These mill 
tailings contain most of the radioactive progeny of uranium and may be 
a significant source of radon and radon progeny releases to the 
environment.
    The GEIS will focus on the construction, operation, and 
decommissioning of ISL mills and also assess alternative methods of 
uranium recovery. It is noted that the hardrock mining associated with 
conventional uranium milling is regulated by other entities (e.g., the 
U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and various state agencies).
    For more information on the uranium fuel cycle, please see 
Regulating Nuclear Fuel, NUREG/BR-0280, Rev. 1, (which can be found 
online at: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/nuregs/
brochures/br0280/).

2.0 Alternatives To Be Evaluated

    No action--The no-action alternative would be to not build nor 
license potential uranium milling facilities. Under this alternative 
the NRC would not approve future license applications. This alternative 
serves as a baseline for comparison of the potential environmental 
impacts.
    Proposed action--The proposed action is the construction, 
operation, and decommissioning of an ISL uranium mill. Implementation 
of the proposed action would require the issuance of an NRC license 
under the provisions of 10 CFR Part 40.
    Alternatives--The conventional milling process is one alternative. 
Other alternatives not listed in this notice may be identified through 
the scoping process.

3.0 Environmental Impact Areas To Be Analyzed

    The following resource areas have been tentatively identified for 
analysis in the GEIS:

--Public and Occupational Health: Addressing the potential public and 
occupational consequences from construction, routine operation, 
transportation, and credible accident scenarios (including natural 
events), and decommissioning;
--Waste Management: Addressing the types of wastes expected to be 
generated, handled, stored and subject to re-use or disposal;
--Land Use: Addressing land use plans, policies and controls;
--Transportation: Addressing the transportation modes, routes, 
quantities, and risk estimates;
--Geology and Soils: Addressing the physical geography, topography, 
geology and soil characteristics;
--Water Resources: Addressing the surface and ground water hydrology, 
water use and quality, and the potential for degradation;
--Ecology: Addressing wetlands, aquatic, terrestrial, economically and 
recreationally important species, and threatened and endangered 
species;
--Air Quality: Addressing meteorological conditions, ambient

[[Page 40346]]

background, pollutant sources, and the potential for degradation;
--Noise: Addressing ambient noises, sources, and sensitive receptors;
--Historical and Cultural Resources: Addressing historical, 
archaeological, and traditional cultural resources;
--Visual and Scenic Resources: Addressing landscape characteristics, 
man-made features and viewshed;
--Socioeconomics: Addressing the demography, economic base, labor pool, 
housing, transportation, utilities, public services/facilities, 
education, recreation, and cultural resources;
--Environmental Justice: Addressing the potential disproportionately 
high and adverse impacts to minority and low-income populations; and
--Cumulative Effects: Addressing the impacts from past, present, and 
reasonably foreseeable actions at and near the site.

    The examples under each resource area are not intended to be all 
inclusive, nor is this list an indication that environmental impacts 
will occur. The list is presented to facilitate comments on the scope 
of the GEIS. Additions to, or deletions from, this list may occur as a 
result of the public scoping process.

4.0 Scoping Meetings

    This NOI is to encourage public involvement in the GEIS process and 
to solicit public comments on the proposed scope and content of the 
GEIS. NRC will hold public scoping meetings as described above to 
solicit both oral and written comments from interested parties.
    Scoping is an early and open process designed to determine the 
range of actions, alternatives, and potential impacts to be considered 
in the GEIS, and to identify the significant issues related to the 
proposed action. Scoping is intended to solicit input from the public 
and other agencies so that the analysis can be more clearly focused on 
issues of genuine concern. The principal goals of the scoping process 
are to:

--Identify public concerns;
--Ensure that concerns are identified early and are properly studied;
--Identify alternatives that will be examined;
--Identify significant issues that need to be analyzed; and
--Eliminate unimportant issues.

    The scoping meetings will begin with NRC staff providing a 
description of NRC's role and mission followed by a brief overview of 
NRC's environmental review process and goals of the scoping meeting. 
The bulk of the meeting will be allotted for attendees to make oral 
comments.

5.0 Scoping Comments

    Written comments should be mailed to the address listed above in 
the ADDRESSES section. The NRC staff will prepare a scoping summary 
report in which it will summarize public comments. The NRC will make 
the scoping summary report and project-related materials available for 
public review through its electronic reading room: http://www.nrc.gov/
reading-rm/adams.html. Further, an NRC Web site will be established in 
the near future to keep the public abreast of the current schedule and 
to post important documents.

6.0 The NEPA Process

    The GEIS will be prepared according to NEPA and NRC's NEPA 
implementing regulations contained in 10 CFR part 51.
    After the scoping process is complete, the NRC will prepare a draft 
GEIS. The draft GEIS is scheduled to be published by April 2008. A 45-
day comment period on the draft GEIS is planned, and a public 
meeting(s) to receive comments will be held approximately three weeks 
after publication of the draft GEIS. Availability of the draft GEIS, 
the dates of the public comment period, and information about the 
public meeting will be announced in the Federal Register, on NRC's Web 
page, and in the local news media. The final GEIS is expected to be 
published in January 2009 and will incorporate, as appropriate, public 
comments received on the draft GEIS.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 20th day of July, 2007.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Gregory F. Suber,
Branch Chief, Environmental Review Branch, Environmental Protection and 
Performance Assessment Directorate, Division of Waste Management and 
Environmental Protection, Office of Federal and State Materials and 
Environmental Management Programs.
[FR Doc. E7-14362 Filed 7-23-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P