Kootenai National Forest, Lincoln County, Montana Montanore Project, 61533-61534 [2017-28060]

Download as PDF 61533 Notices Federal Register Vol. 82, No. 248 Thursday, December 28, 2017 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency statements of organization and functions are examples of documents appearing in this section. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Designation for the Essex, Illinois; Savage, Minnesota; Alabama; and Washington Areas under the United States Grain Standards Act (USGSA), as amended. The realignment of offices within the U.S. Department of Agriculture authorized by the Secretary’s Memorandum dated November 14, 2017, eliminates the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) as a standalone agency. The grain inspection activities formerly part of GIPSA are now organized under the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). DATES: Applicable Date: January 1, 2018. Jacob Thein, Compliance Officer, USDA, AMS, FGIS, QACD, 10383 North Ambassador Drive, Kansas City, MO 64153 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jacob Thein, 816–866–2223, Jacob.D.Thein@usda.gov or FGIS.QACD@usda.gov. Read Applications: All applications and comments are available for public inspection at the office above during regular business hours (7 CFR 1.27(c)). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In the July 3, 2017, Federal Register (82 FR 30817– 30820), GIPSA requested applications ADDRESSES: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice of designation. AGENCY: AMS is announcing the designations of Kankakee Grain Inspection, Inc. (Kankakee); State Grain Inspection, Inc. (State Grain); Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (Alabama); and the Washington Department of Agriculture (Washington) to provide official services SUMMARY: for designation to provide official services in the geographic areas presently serviced by Kankakee, State Grain, Alabama, and Washington. Applications were due by August 2, 2017. Because the current official agencies, Kankakee, State Grain, Alabama, and Washington, were the only applicants for designation to provide official services in these areas, GIPSA did not ask for additional comments. GIPSA evaluated the designation criteria in section 7(f) of the USGSA (7 U.S.C. 79(f)) and determined that Kankakee, State Grain, Alabama, and Washington are qualified to provide official services in the geographic areas specified in the Federal Register on July 3, 2017. These designations to provide official services in the specified areas of Kankakee, Alabama, and Washington are effective January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2022. The designation to provide official services in the specified area of State Grain is effective January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2018. Interested persons may obtain official services by contacting this agency at the following telephone number: Designation start Official agency Headquarters location and telephone Kankakee ......................................... State Grain ....................................... Alabama ........................................... Washington ...................................... Essex, IL, 815–365–2268 ......................................................................... Savage, MN, 952–808–8566 .................................................................... Montgomery, AL, 251–438–2549 .............................................................. Olympia, WA, 253–820–3756 ................................................................... Section 7(f) of the USGSA authorizes the Secretary to designate a qualified applicant to provide official services in a specified area after determining that the applicant is better able than any other applicant to provide such official services (7 U.S.C. 79 (f)). Dated: December 21, 2017. Bruce Summers, Acting Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service. [FR Doc. 2017–28033 Filed 12–27–17; 8:45 am] sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES BILLING CODE 3410–02–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Kootenai National Forest, Lincoln County, Montana Montanore Project AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:14 Dec 27, 2017 Jkt 244001 Notice of intent to prepare a supplemental environmental impact statement. ACTION: The Kootenai National Forest (KNF) will prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) on a proposed federal action, which is approval of a Plan of Operations for the Evaluation Phase of the Montanore Project (Project) The Project is a proposed underground copper and silver mine located about 18 miles south of Libby, near the Cabinet Mountains within the Libby Ranger District, Kootenai National Forest, Lincoln County, Montana. The Montanore Project is proposed by Montanore Minerals Corp. (MMC), a subsidiary of Hecla Mining Co. SUMMARY: Scoping is not required for an SEIS (40 CFR 1502.9(c)(4)). The Forest DATES: PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 1/1/2018 1/1/2018 1/1/2018 1/1/2018 Designation end 12/31/2022 12/31/2018 12/31/2022 12/31/2022 Service is not inviting comments at this time. The draft SEIS is expected to be available for public review and comment in the first quarter of 2018 and the final SEIS is expected to be issued in the second quarter of 2018. The comment period for the draft SEIS will be for 45 days from the date the Environmental Protection Agency publishes the notice of availability in the Federal Register. Kootenai National Forest, 31374 U.S. Highway 2, Libby, MT 59923. ADDRESSES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lynn Hagarty, Project Coordinator, Kootenai National Forest, Supervisor’s Office, 31374 U.S. Highway 2, Libby, MT 59923–3022. Inquiries can be made by phone at (406) 293–6211 or via email at lhagarty@fs.fed.us. E:\FR\FM\28DEN1.SGM 28DEN1 61534 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 248 / Thursday, December 28, 2017 / Notices This SEIS and related proposed federal action, which is the approval of a Plan of Operations for the Evaluation Phase of the Montanore Project, is being completed consistent with the Organic Administration Act, the Locatable Minerals Regulations (36 CFR 228 Subpart A), and the Multiple Use Mining Act. The KNF issued a Joint Final Environmental Impact Statement (JFEIS) in December 2015 and a Record of Decision (ROD) in February 2016. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) also issued a ROD in February 2016 that provided the State’s approval of the Evaluation Phase of the project. In a U.S. District Court opinion issued on May 30, 2017 in a consolidated case (Save Our Cabinets v. U.S. Dep’t of Agric., No. CV–16–53–M–DWM and Libby Placer Mining Co. v. U.S. Forest Serv., No. CV 16–56–M–DWM), the U.S. District Court ruled that the Forest Service violated, in various respects, the Clean Water Act, the Organic Administration Act, the National Forest Management Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act by approving the Montanore Project. In a separate opinion in Save Our Cabinets v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Serv. (No. CV 15–69–M– DWM) issued concurrently with the first, the Court ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) because the No Jeopardy conclusions regarding bull trout and grizzly bears were flawed and that the Forest Service violated the ESA by relying on the flawed Biological Opinions. The Court vacated the Forest Service decision approving the project and remanded the 2016 ROD and JFEIS back to the Forest Service for further action, ‘‘either through issuing a new Record of Decision that approves only the Evaluation Phase or one that again addresses the entire project.’’ Furthermore, the Court stated that the primary problem with the 2016 ROD was that it approved the entire project, not just the Evaluation Phase. The Court also remanded to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service its 2014 Biological Opinions. The SEIS will describe the activities that would occur during the Evaluation Phase of the Montanore Project, clarify what effects would occur as a result of those activities, and update resource analyses if there are significant new circumstances or information relevant to environmental concerns and bearing on the Evaluation Phase or its impacts in order to ensure a complete analysis of the environmental effects of the proposed federal action. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:14 Dec 27, 2017 Jkt 244001 Following is a brief summary of the Evaluation Phase of the Montanore Project, as it would occur under Alternative 3 selected by the KNF in its 2016 ROD. Detailed descriptions of the alternatives studied in detail are provided in the Joint FEIS and ROD, which can be can be viewed or downloaded from the following website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/projects/ kootenai/landmanagement/projects. Evaluation Phase The purposes of the Evaluation Phase would be to: (1) Expand the knowledge of the mineralized zones of the deposit; (2) assess and define the mineralized zone within established valid existing rights; and (3) collect, provide, and analyze additional geotechnical, hydrological, and other information necessary for preparation of a mine plan for subsequent phases. An updated mine Plan of Operations would be required should MMC decide, based on the assessment of the orebody and other information collected during the Evaluation Phase, to pursue subsequent phases of the project. Information collected during the Evaluation Phase would be used to confirm and update the analysis for subsequent phases that was provided in the JFEIS, should the KNF receive an updated mine Plan of Operations for subsequent project phases. The Evaluation Phase is anticipated to last 18 to 24 months. MMC would dewater the full extent of the existing Libby Adit and develop an additional 10,500 feet of drifts and 35 drill stations above the currently defined ore zones. MMC would drill ahead of the drifts and keep all drill stations 300 feet from the Rock Lake Fault and 1,000 feet from Rock Lake. The drill core would be used to support resource modeling, mine planning, metallurgical testing, preliminary hydrology assessment, and rock mechanic studies for the full Montanore Project. An estimated 287,000 tons (140,000 cubic yards) of waste rock would be generated and stored on private land at the Libby Adit Site. The waste rock storage areas would be lined to collect runoff from the area and seepage through the waste rock. Water from the Libby Adit and from the waste rock storage area would be treated before discharging to MPDESpermitted outfalls. The MPDES permit MT0030279, which the DEQ issued in 2017, sets effluent limits and establishes monitoring for wastewater discharges from the Libby Adit Water Treatment Plant. Treated water would be discharged to a percolation pond located at the Libby Adit Site. PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 MMC would use Tier 4 generators, if available, or Tier 3 generators for all Evaluation Phase activities and would be subject to the limits, emission controls, and mitigations required by its Air Quality Permit (MAQP #3788–00). MMC would also use Tier 4 engines, if available, or Tier 3 engines on underground mobile equipment and use ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel in generator and underground mobile equipment engines during the Evaluation Phase. In addition to underground activities, MMC would conduct field studies on National Forest System lands between Poorman and Little Cherry Creeks. The field studies would include a site reconnaissance and a drilling and sampling program to evaluate site geology, groundwater conditions and water quality. Surface disturbances would be reclaimed. If MMC does not pursue subsequent phases of the project or if those phases are not approved by the Forest Service, MMC would install a concretereinforced hydraulic plug in the adit, reconstruct the original adit plug, remove all surface facilities, and regrade and revegetate the disturbed areas. Monitoring that would occur during the Evaluation Phase is described in Appendix C of the JFEIS. Lead and Cooperating Agencies The USDA Forest Service is the Lead Agency for this project. Other agencies may become a Cooperating Agency as the SEIS progresses. Responsible Official Christopher Savage, Forest Supervisor Kootenai National Forest, 31374 U.S. Highway 2, Libby, MT 59923 is the Responsible Official for the Montanore Project. Dated: December 8, 2017. Chris French, Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System. [FR Doc. 2017–28060 Filed 12–27–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411–15–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act. Agency: U.S. Census Bureau. Title: Annual Business Survey. OMB Control Number: 0607–XXXX. E:\FR\FM\28DEN1.SGM 28DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 248 (Thursday, December 28, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 61533-61534]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-28060]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service


Kootenai National Forest, Lincoln County, Montana Montanore 
Project

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare a supplemental environmental impact 
statement.

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SUMMARY: The Kootenai National Forest (KNF) will prepare a Supplemental 
Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) on a proposed federal action, 
which is approval of a Plan of Operations for the Evaluation Phase of 
the Montanore Project (Project) The Project is a proposed underground 
copper and silver mine located about 18 miles south of Libby, near the 
Cabinet Mountains within the Libby Ranger District, Kootenai National 
Forest, Lincoln County, Montana. The Montanore Project is proposed by 
Montanore Minerals Corp. (MMC), a subsidiary of Hecla Mining Co.

DATES: Scoping is not required for an SEIS (40 CFR 1502.9(c)(4)). The 
Forest Service is not inviting comments at this time. The draft SEIS is 
expected to be available for public review and comment in the first 
quarter of 2018 and the final SEIS is expected to be issued in the 
second quarter of 2018. The comment period for the draft SEIS will be 
for 45 days from the date the Environmental Protection Agency publishes 
the notice of availability in the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES: Kootenai National Forest, 31374 U.S. Highway 2, Libby, MT 
59923.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lynn Hagarty, Project Coordinator, 
Kootenai National Forest, Supervisor's Office, 31374 U.S. Highway 2, 
Libby, MT 59923-3022. Inquiries can be made by phone at (406) 293-6211 
or via email at [email protected].

[[Page 61534]]


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This SEIS and related proposed federal 
action, which is the approval of a Plan of Operations for the 
Evaluation Phase of the Montanore Project, is being completed 
consistent with the Organic Administration Act, the Locatable Minerals 
Regulations (36 CFR 228 Subpart A), and the Multiple Use Mining Act. 
The KNF issued a Joint Final Environmental Impact Statement (JFEIS) in 
December 2015 and a Record of Decision (ROD) in February 2016. The 
Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) also issued a ROD in 
February 2016 that provided the State's approval of the Evaluation 
Phase of the project. In a U.S. District Court opinion issued on May 
30, 2017 in a consolidated case (Save Our Cabinets v. U.S. Dep't of 
Agric., No. CV-16-53-M-DWM and Libby Placer Mining Co. v. U.S. Forest 
Serv., No. CV 16-56-M-DWM), the U.S. District Court ruled that the 
Forest Service violated, in various respects, the Clean Water Act, the 
Organic Administration Act, the National Forest Management Act, and the 
National Environmental Policy Act by approving the Montanore Project. 
In a separate opinion in Save Our Cabinets v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife 
Serv. (No. CV 15-69-M-DWM) issued concurrently with the first, the 
Court ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service violated the 
Endangered Species Act (ESA) because the No Jeopardy conclusions 
regarding bull trout and grizzly bears were flawed and that the Forest 
Service violated the ESA by relying on the flawed Biological Opinions. 
The Court vacated the Forest Service decision approving the project and 
remanded the 2016 ROD and JFEIS back to the Forest Service for further 
action, ``either through issuing a new Record of Decision that approves 
only the Evaluation Phase or one that again addresses the entire 
project.'' Furthermore, the Court stated that the primary problem with 
the 2016 ROD was that it approved the entire project, not just the 
Evaluation Phase. The Court also remanded to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service its 2014 Biological Opinions. The SEIS will describe the 
activities that would occur during the Evaluation Phase of the 
Montanore Project, clarify what effects would occur as a result of 
those activities, and update resource analyses if there are significant 
new circumstances or information relevant to environmental concerns and 
bearing on the Evaluation Phase or its impacts in order to ensure a 
complete analysis of the environmental effects of the proposed federal 
action.
    Following is a brief summary of the Evaluation Phase of the 
Montanore Project, as it would occur under Alternative 3 selected by 
the KNF in its 2016 ROD. Detailed descriptions of the alternatives 
studied in detail are provided in the Joint FEIS and ROD, which can be 
can be viewed or downloaded from the following website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/projects/kootenai/landmanagement/projects.

Evaluation Phase

    The purposes of the Evaluation Phase would be to: (1) Expand the 
knowledge of the mineralized zones of the deposit; (2) assess and 
define the mineralized zone within established valid existing rights; 
and (3) collect, provide, and analyze additional geotechnical, 
hydrological, and other information necessary for preparation of a mine 
plan for subsequent phases. An updated mine Plan of Operations would be 
required should MMC decide, based on the assessment of the orebody and 
other information collected during the Evaluation Phase, to pursue 
subsequent phases of the project. Information collected during the 
Evaluation Phase would be used to confirm and update the analysis for 
subsequent phases that was provided in the JFEIS, should the KNF 
receive an updated mine Plan of Operations for subsequent project 
phases.
    The Evaluation Phase is anticipated to last 18 to 24 months. MMC 
would dewater the full extent of the existing Libby Adit and develop an 
additional 10,500 feet of drifts and 35 drill stations above the 
currently defined ore zones. MMC would drill ahead of the drifts and 
keep all drill stations 300 feet from the Rock Lake Fault and 1,000 
feet from Rock Lake. The drill core would be used to support resource 
modeling, mine planning, metallurgical testing, preliminary hydrology 
assessment, and rock mechanic studies for the full Montanore Project. 
An estimated 287,000 tons (140,000 cubic yards) of waste rock would be 
generated and stored on private land at the Libby Adit Site. The waste 
rock storage areas would be lined to collect runoff from the area and 
seepage through the waste rock.
    Water from the Libby Adit and from the waste rock storage area 
would be treated before discharging to MPDES-permitted outfalls. The 
MPDES permit MT0030279, which the DEQ issued in 2017, sets effluent 
limits and establishes monitoring for wastewater discharges from the 
Libby Adit Water Treatment Plant. Treated water would be discharged to 
a percolation pond located at the Libby Adit Site.
    MMC would use Tier 4 generators, if available, or Tier 3 generators 
for all Evaluation Phase activities and would be subject to the limits, 
emission controls, and mitigations required by its Air Quality Permit 
(MAQP #3788-00). MMC would also use Tier 4 engines, if available, or 
Tier 3 engines on underground mobile equipment and use ultra-low sulfur 
diesel fuel in generator and underground mobile equipment engines 
during the Evaluation Phase.
    In addition to underground activities, MMC would conduct field 
studies on National Forest System lands between Poorman and Little 
Cherry Creeks. The field studies would include a site reconnaissance 
and a drilling and sampling program to evaluate site geology, 
groundwater conditions and water quality. Surface disturbances would be 
reclaimed.
    If MMC does not pursue subsequent phases of the project or if those 
phases are not approved by the Forest Service, MMC would install a 
concrete-reinforced hydraulic plug in the adit, reconstruct the 
original adit plug, remove all surface facilities, and regrade and 
revegetate the disturbed areas. Monitoring that would occur during the 
Evaluation Phase is described in Appendix C of the JFEIS.

Lead and Cooperating Agencies

    The USDA Forest Service is the Lead Agency for this project. Other 
agencies may become a Cooperating Agency as the SEIS progresses.

Responsible Official

    Christopher Savage, Forest Supervisor Kootenai National Forest, 
31374 U.S. Highway 2, Libby, MT 59923 is the Responsible Official for 
the Montanore Project.

    Dated: December 8, 2017.
Chris French,
Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System.
[FR Doc. 2017-28060 Filed 12-27-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3411-15-P