Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Assessment and Notice of Public Hearing for the GCC Energy, LLC, Coal Lease-by-Application and Mine Plan Modification COC-78825, La Plata County, CO, 32212-32213 [2019-14353]

Download as PDF 32212 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 129 / Friday, July 5, 2019 / Notices Authority We publish this notice under section 10(c) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Angela Picco, Acting Chief of Ecological Services, Pacific Southwest Region, Sacramento, California. [FR Doc. 2019–14340 Filed 7–3–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLCOF02000 L51100000.GA0000 LVEMC18CC500 18X] Notice of Availability of the Environmental Assessment and Notice of Public Hearing for the New Elk Coal Company, LLC, Coal Lease-byApplication COC–71978, Las Animas County, CO Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability and public hearing. AGENCY: In accordance with Federal coal management regulations, the New Elk Coal Company, LLC (New Elk Coal) Federal Coal Lease-by-Application (LBA) Environmental Assessment (EA) is available for public review and comment. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Royal Gorge Field Office (RGFO) will hold a public hearing to receive comments on the EA, Fair Market Value (FMV), and Maximum Economic Recovery (MER) of the coal resources contained in the proposed New Elk Coal LBA lease tract, serial number COC–71978. DATES: The public hearing will be held on July 24, 2019, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Mountain Time. Comments should be received no later than August 5, 2019. ADDRESSES: The public hearing will be held at the Mount Carmel Wellness and Community Center, 911 Robison Avenue, Trinidad, Colorado 81082. Copies of the EA are available online at https://go.usa.gov/xENMj and at the BLM RGFO, 3028 East Main Street, Canon City, Colorado 81212. Verbal comments related to the New Elk Coal LBA EA, FMV and MER will be accepted at the public hearing, all other comments must be submitted electronically. Electronic submissions may be uploaded at: https://go.usa.gov/ xENMj. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Melissa Smeins, Geologist; BLM RGFO, 3028 East Main Street, Canon City, Colorado 81212; telephone: 719–269– jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:54 Jul 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 8523; email: msmeins@blm.gov. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1–800–877–8339 to contact Ms. Smeins during normal business hours. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On October 12, 2007, New Elk Coal submitted an application to lease 1,279 acres of Federal coal resources located in Las Animas County, Colorado. The company put the lease application on hold for several years and is now interested in proceeding with the lease application. The application is for the Blue and Maxwell coal seams, which would be mined by underground methods. The EA analyzes and discloses the potential direct, indirect and cumulative impacts of leasing of the proposed 1,279 acres of the Blue and Maxwell seams. The LBA is located at the New Elk Coal Mine and contains approximately 8 million tons of recoverable Federal coal resources. The LBA underlies private surface owned by 12 individuals and is described as follows: Sixth Principal Meridian, Colorado T. 33 S., R. 67 W., sec. 6, lots 2 thru 7, and E1⁄2SW1⁄4; sec. 7, lot 2; sec. 17, E1⁄2NE1⁄4, and NE1⁄4SE1⁄4; sec. 18, lots 2 thru 4, and E1⁄2SW1⁄4; sec. 19, lot 1, NW1⁄4NE1⁄4, and NE1⁄4NW1⁄4. T. 33 S., R. 68 W., sec. 1, lots 1 and 2, S1⁄2NE1⁄4, and E1⁄2SE1⁄4; sec. 12, E1⁄2NE1⁄4; sec. 13, S1⁄2NE1⁄4, N1⁄2SE1⁄4, and SE1⁄4SE1⁄4. The areas described contain 1,279.63 acres of Federal coal resources. The EA addresses natural resource, cultural, socioeconomic, environmental, and cumulative impacts that would result from leasing these lands. Two alternatives are addressed in the EA: Alternative 1 (Proposed Action): The BLM would lease the tract as requested in the LBA; and Alternative 2 (No Action): The BLM would reject or deny the application, and the subsurface Federal coal reserves would be bypassed. Through this Notice, the BLM is inviting the public to provide comments regarding the potential environmental impacts related to the proposed action and to submit comments on the EA, FMV and the MER for the proposed LBA tract. All public comments will receive consideration prior to the BLM’s decision regarding the leasing of the Federal coal contained in the tract. Proprietary information or data marked as confidential may be PO 00000 Frm 00094 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 submitted to the BLM in response to this solicitation of comments. Information and data marked confidential will be treated in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations governing the confidentiality of such information or data. A copy of the comments submitted by the public on the EA, FMV, and MER for the tract, except those portions identified as proprietary and that meet one of the exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act, will be available for public inspection at the BLM RGFO at the address listed earlier during regular business hours (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. M.D.T.), Monday through Friday. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made public at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. (Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6; 43 CFR 3425.3, and 3425.4) Jamie E. Connell, BLM Colorado State Director. [FR Doc. 2019–14344 Filed 7–3–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–JB–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLCOSO01000 L51100000.GA0000.LVEMC18CC400.18X] Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Assessment and Notice of Public Hearing for the GCC Energy, LLC, Coal Lease-by-Application and Mine Plan Modification COC–78825, La Plata County, CO Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability and public hearing. AGENCY: In accordance with Federal coal management regulations, the GCC Energy, LLC, (GCCE) Federal Coal Lease-by-Application (LBA) Environmental Assessment (EA) is available for public review and comment. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Tres Rios Field Office (TRFO) will hold a public hearing to receive comments on the EA, Fair Market Value (FMV), and Maximum Economic Recovery (MER) of the coal resources contained in the proposed SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\05JYN1.SGM 05JYN1 jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 129 / Friday, July 5, 2019 / Notices Dunn Ranch LBA lease tract, serial number COC–78825. DATES: The public hearing will be held on July 24, 2019, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Comments should be received no later than August 5, 2019. ADDRESSES: The public hearing will be held at the Dolores Public Lands Office, 29211 Highway 184, Dolores, Colorado 81323. Copies of the EA are available online at https://go.usa.gov/xEKTV, and at the BLM Tres Rios Field Office, located in the Dolores Public Lands Office. Verbal comments related to the GCCE Coal LBA EA, FMV and MER will be accepted at the public hearing; all other comments must be submitted online at: https://go.usa.gov/xEKTV. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: James Blair, Geologist; BLM Tres Rios Field Office, 29211 Highway 184, Dolores, Colorado 81323; telephone: 970–882–1135; email: jblair@blm.gov. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1–800– 877–8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question for the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The BLM and the Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) are preparing the EA jointly. In accordance with the TRFO Resource Management Plan, the BLM will consider a lease sale for the lands in the LBA and, if a lease sale is conducted, determine whether or not to approve the lease. Should the BLM approve and issue the lease, OSMRE will review the proposed permit revision and mining plan modification to mine the leased Federal coal and provide the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management (ASLM) a recommendation to approve, approve with conditions, or disapprove the permit revision and mining plan. The BLM and OSMRE will issue separate decision documents. On January 10, 2018, GCCE submitted an application to lease 2,462 acres (as amended) of Federal coal located in La Plata County, Colorado. The application is for coal within the Cretaceous Menefee Formation, which would be mined by underground methods. The EA analyzes and discloses the potential direct, indirect and cumulative impacts of leasing and mining the proposed 2,462-acres of coal. The LBA is located adjacent to the King II Mine and contains an estimated 9.54 million tons of recoverable coal reserves, as determined by the BLM. As proposed, VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:54 Jul 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 up to 12 million tons of combined private and Federal coal would be mined, resulting in approximately 20 acres of surface disturbance. An engineered, below-grade, steel-lined haulage way called a ‘‘low-cover crossing’’ (LCC) would be constructed to connect the LBA to the existing mine. The LCC would allow underground mining equipment to pass beneath East Alkali Gulch and not emerge to the surface. Surface facilities, operations and haulage at the existing King II Coal Mine would not change. About two-thirds of the coal shipped from the mine is used to fuel cement manufacturing plants controlled by GCCE’s parent company, Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua. The plants are located in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas, as well as in Mexico. The excess coal is sold for use on local scenic railways, home heating and on the spot market. Coal for cement plants in Arizona, Texas, and Mexico and for some spot market buyers is initially transported to a railhead in Gallup, New Mexico. GCCE produces approximately 600,000 tons of coal each year, shipping approximately 80 truckloads of coal per day with 28.5 tons per load. If the BLM issues the lease, production may increase to 800,000 tons per year, with a shipping increase of 120 truckloads per day. If the proposal is approved, the total mine life at the King II Coal Mine would be extended by 22 years (including both private and Federal coal). The proposed project area is mostly split-estate federally owned coal, with various surface estate owners. The Ute Mountain Ute Tribe owns the majority of the surface estate, with private individuals owning a small portion, as well as one 47-acre parcel of BLMmanaged land. The lands are in an area referred to as the Dunn Ranch in La Plata County and described as follows: New Mexico Principal Meridian, Colorado T. 35 N, R. 11 W, Sec. 18, lots 2 thru 5, 8, 9, and 10, SE1⁄4NW1⁄4, and NE1⁄4SW1⁄4; Sec. 19, lots 1, 2, 6, and 7, NE1⁄4NW1⁄4, and N1⁄2SE1⁄4NW1⁄4. T. 35 N, R. 12 W, Sec. 13, S1⁄2NE1⁄4, SE1⁄4NW1⁄4, S1⁄2SW1⁄4, NE1⁄4SE1⁄4, and S1⁄2SE1⁄4; Sec. 14, S1⁄2NE1⁄4SW1⁄4, S1⁄2NW1⁄4SW1⁄4, S1⁄2SW1⁄4, S1⁄2NW1⁄4SE1⁄4, and S1⁄2SE1⁄4; Sec. 15, SE1⁄4SW1⁄4 and S1⁄2SE1⁄4; Sec. 22, N1⁄2NE1⁄4, N1⁄2SW1⁄4NE1⁄4, SE1⁄4SW1⁄4NE1⁄4, SE1⁄4NE1⁄4, E1⁄2NE1⁄4NW1⁄4, NE1⁄4SE1⁄4NW1⁄4, and E1⁄2NW1⁄4SE1⁄4; Sec. 23, N1⁄2NE1⁄4, SE1⁄4NE1⁄4, N1⁄2NW1⁄4, SE1⁄4SW1⁄4, and SE1⁄4; Sec. 24, N1⁄2, SW1⁄4 and NW1⁄4SE1⁄4; PO 00000 Frm 00095 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 32213 Sec. 26, N1⁄2NE1⁄4NE1⁄4, SW1⁄4NE1⁄4NE1⁄4, NW1⁄4NE1⁄4, N1⁄2NW1⁄4, N1⁄2SW1⁄4NW1⁄4, SE1⁄4SW1⁄4NW1⁄4, and SE1⁄4NW1⁄4; Sec. 27, NE1⁄4NE1⁄4 and SE1⁄4NW1⁄4NE1⁄4. The area described contains 2,462.07 acres. The EA addresses natural resource, cultural, socioeconomic, environmental, and cumulative impacts that would result from leasing and mining these lands. Two alternatives are addressed in the EA: Alternative 1 (Proposed Action): The BLM would offer the tract for competitive lease as requested in the LBA and issue a lease to the winning bidder, with OSMRE approving the proposed permit revision and mine plan modification to the lessee; and Alternative 2 (No Action): The BLM would reject or deny the application, and the subsurface Federal coal reserves would be bypassed. If the BLM does not issue a Federal coal lease, OSMRE’s proposed action would be moot. Proprietary information or data marked as confidential may be submitted to the BLM in response to this solicitation of comments. Information and data marked confidential will be treated in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations governing the confidentiality of such information or data. A copy of the comments submitted by the public on the EA, FMV, and MER for the tract, except those portions identified as proprietary and that meet one of the exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act, will be available for public inspection at the BLM TRFO at the address listed above, during regular business hours (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), Monday through Friday. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made public at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. (Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6; 43 CFR 3425.3 and 3425.4.) Jamie E. Connell, BLM Colorado State Director. [FR Doc. 2019–14353 Filed 7–3–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–JB–P E:\FR\FM\05JYN1.SGM 05JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 129 (Friday, July 5, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 32212-32213]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-14353]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[LLCOSO01000 L51100000.GA0000.LVEMC18CC400.18X]


Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Assessment and 
Notice of Public Hearing for the GCC Energy, LLC, Coal Lease-by-
Application and Mine Plan Modification COC-78825, La Plata County, CO

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability and public hearing.

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

SUMMARY: In accordance with Federal coal management regulations, the 
GCC Energy, LLC, (GCCE) Federal Coal Lease-by-Application (LBA) 
Environmental Assessment (EA) is available for public review and 
comment. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Tres Rios Field Office 
(TRFO) will hold a public hearing to receive comments on the EA, Fair 
Market Value (FMV), and Maximum Economic Recovery (MER) of the coal 
resources contained in the proposed

[[Page 32213]]

Dunn Ranch LBA lease tract, serial number COC-78825.

DATES: The public hearing will be held on July 24, 2019, from 5 p.m. to 
8 p.m. Comments should be received no later than August 5, 2019.

ADDRESSES: The public hearing will be held at the Dolores Public Lands 
Office, 29211 Highway 184, Dolores, Colorado 81323. Copies of the EA 
are available online at https://go.usa.gov/xEKTV, and at the BLM Tres 
Rios Field Office, located in the Dolores Public Lands Office. Verbal 
comments related to the GCCE Coal LBA EA, FMV and MER will be accepted 
at the public hearing; all other comments must be submitted online at: 
https://go.usa.gov/xEKTV.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: James Blair, Geologist; BLM Tres Rios 
Field Office, 29211 Highway 184, Dolores, Colorado 81323; telephone: 
970-882-1135; email: [email protected]. Persons who use a 
telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay 
Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above individual during 
normal business hours. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a 
week, to leave a message or question for the above individual. You will 
receive a reply during normal business hours.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The BLM and the Office of Surface Mining, 
Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) are preparing the EA jointly. In 
accordance with the TRFO Resource Management Plan, the BLM will 
consider a lease sale for the lands in the LBA and, if a lease sale is 
conducted, determine whether or not to approve the lease. Should the 
BLM approve and issue the lease, OSMRE will review the proposed permit 
revision and mining plan modification to mine the leased Federal coal 
and provide the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management 
(ASLM) a recommendation to approve, approve with conditions, or 
disapprove the permit revision and mining plan. The BLM and OSMRE will 
issue separate decision documents.
    On January 10, 2018, GCCE submitted an application to lease 2,462 
acres (as amended) of Federal coal located in La Plata County, 
Colorado. The application is for coal within the Cretaceous Menefee 
Formation, which would be mined by underground methods. The EA analyzes 
and discloses the potential direct, indirect and cumulative impacts of 
leasing and mining the proposed 2,462-acres of coal. The LBA is located 
adjacent to the King II Mine and contains an estimated 9.54 million 
tons of recoverable coal reserves, as determined by the BLM. As 
proposed, up to 12 million tons of combined private and Federal coal 
would be mined, resulting in approximately 20 acres of surface 
disturbance. An engineered, below-grade, steel-lined haulage way called 
a ``low-cover crossing'' (LCC) would be constructed to connect the LBA 
to the existing mine. The LCC would allow underground mining equipment 
to pass beneath East Alkali Gulch and not emerge to the surface. 
Surface facilities, operations and haulage at the existing King II Coal 
Mine would not change.
    About two-thirds of the coal shipped from the mine is used to fuel 
cement manufacturing plants controlled by GCCE's parent company, Grupo 
Cementos de Chihuahua. The plants are located in Arizona, Colorado, New 
Mexico, and Texas, as well as in Mexico. The excess coal is sold for 
use on local scenic railways, home heating and on the spot market. Coal 
for cement plants in Arizona, Texas, and Mexico and for some spot 
market buyers is initially transported to a railhead in Gallup, New 
Mexico.
    GCCE produces approximately 600,000 tons of coal each year, 
shipping approximately 80 truckloads of coal per day with 28.5 tons per 
load. If the BLM issues the lease, production may increase to 800,000 
tons per year, with a shipping increase of 120 truckloads per day.
    If the proposal is approved, the total mine life at the King II 
Coal Mine would be extended by 22 years (including both private and 
Federal coal).
    The proposed project area is mostly split-estate federally owned 
coal, with various surface estate owners. The Ute Mountain Ute Tribe 
owns the majority of the surface estate, with private individuals 
owning a small portion, as well as one 47-acre parcel of BLM-managed 
land. The lands are in an area referred to as the Dunn Ranch in La 
Plata County and described as follows:

New Mexico Principal Meridian, Colorado

T. 35 N, R. 11 W,
    Sec. 18, lots 2 thru 5, 8, 9, and 10, SE\1/4\NW\1/4\, and NE\1/
4\SW\1/4\;
    Sec. 19, lots 1, 2, 6, and 7, NE\1/4\NW\1/4\, and N\1/2\SE\1/
4\NW\1/4\.
T. 35 N, R. 12 W,
    Sec. 13, S\1/2\NE\1/4\, SE\1/4\NW\1/4\, S\1/2\SW\1/4\, NE\1/
4\SE\1/4\, and S\1/2\SE\1/4\;
    Sec. 14, S\1/2\NE\1/4\SW\1/4\, S\1/2\NW\1/4\SW\1/4\, S\1/2\SW\1/
4\, S\1/2\NW\1/4\SE\1/4\, and S\1/2\SE\1/4\;
    Sec. 15, SE\1/4\SW\1/4\ and S\1/2\SE\1/4\;
    Sec. 22, N\1/2\NE\1/4\, N\1/2\SW\1/4\NE\1/4\, SE\1/4\SW\1/
4\NE\1/4\, SE\1/4\NE\1/4\, E\1/2\NE\1/4\NW\1/4\, NE\1/4\SE\1/4\NW\1/
4\, and E\1/2\NW\1/4\SE\1/4\;
    Sec. 23, N\1/2\NE\1/4\, SE\1/4\NE\1/4\, N\1/2\NW\1/4\, SE\1/
4\SW\1/4\, and SE\1/4\;
    Sec. 24, N\1/2\, SW\1/4\ and NW\1/4\SE\1/4\;
    Sec. 26, N\1/2\NE\1/4\NE\1/4\, SW\1/4\NE\1/4\NE\1/4\, NW\1/
4\NE\1/4\, N\1/2\NW\1/4\, N\1/2\SW\1/4\NW\1/4\, SE\1/4\SW\1/4\NW\1/
4\, and SE\1/4\NW\1/4\;
    Sec. 27, NE\1/4\NE\1/4\ and SE\1/4\NW\1/4\NE\1/4\.

    The area described contains 2,462.07 acres.

    The EA addresses natural resource, cultural, socioeconomic, 
environmental, and cumulative impacts that would result from leasing 
and mining these lands. Two alternatives are addressed in the EA:
    Alternative 1 (Proposed Action): The BLM would offer the tract for 
competitive lease as requested in the LBA and issue a lease to the 
winning bidder, with OSMRE approving the proposed permit revision and 
mine plan modification to the lessee; and
    Alternative 2 (No Action): The BLM would reject or deny the 
application, and the subsurface Federal coal reserves would be 
bypassed. If the BLM does not issue a Federal coal lease, OSMRE's 
proposed action would be moot.
    Proprietary information or data marked as confidential may be 
submitted to the BLM in response to this solicitation of comments. 
Information and data marked confidential will be treated in accordance 
with the applicable laws and regulations governing the confidentiality 
of such information or data. A copy of the comments submitted by the 
public on the EA, FMV, and MER for the tract, except those portions 
identified as proprietary and that meet one of the exemptions in the 
Freedom of Information Act, will be available for public inspection at 
the BLM TRFO at the address listed above, during regular business hours 
(8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), Monday through Friday.
    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made public at any time. While you can ask us in 
your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from 
public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

(Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6; 43 CFR 3425.3 and 3425.4.)

Jamie E. Connell,
BLM Colorado State Director.
[FR Doc. 2019-14353 Filed 7-3-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4310-JB-P