Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Hycroft Mine Phase II Expansion Project, Humboldt and Pershing Counties, Nevada, 46965-46967 [2019-19389]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 173 / Friday, September 6, 2019 / Notices recovery plans or outlines, noting that some species do not have either. EPA’s Role in the EIS Process In addition to this notice, EPA is publishing a notice in the Federal Register announcing the final EIS for LCRA TSC’s final HCP, as required under the Clean Air Act, section 309. The EPA is charged with reviewing all Federal agencies’ EISs and commenting on the adequacy and acceptability of the environmental impacts of proposed actions in EISs. The EPA also serves as the repository (EIS database) for EISs that Federal agencies prepare. All EISs must be filed with EPA, which publishes a notice of availability on Fridays in the Federal Register. For more information, see https://www.epa.gov/nepa. You may search for EPA comments on EISs, along with EISs themselves, at https:// cdxnodengn.epa.gov/cdx-enepa-public/ action/eis/search. Authority We provide this notice under section 10(c) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (50 CFR 17.22 and 17.32) and NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 1506.6). Amy Lueders, Regional Director, Southwest Region, Albuquerque, New Mexico. [FR Doc. 2019–19253 Filed 9–5–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLOR957000.L63100000.HD0000. 19XL1116AF.HAG 19–0127] Filing of Plats of Survey: Oregon/ Washington Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The plats of survey of the following described lands are scheduled to be officially filed in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Oregon State Office, Portland, Oregon, 30 calendar days from the date of this publication. DATES: Protests must be received by the BLM prior to the scheduled date of official filing, October 7, 2019. ADDRESSES: A copy of the plats may be obtained from the public room at the Bureau of Land Management, Oregon State Office, 1220 SW 3rd Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97204, upon required jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:53 Sep 05, 2019 Jkt 247001 payment. The plats may be viewed at this location at no cost. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kyle Hensley, 503–808–6124, Branch of Geographic Sciences, Bureau of Land Management, 1220 SW 3rd Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97204. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service at 1–800–877–8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The plats of survey of the following described lands are scheduled to be officially filed in the Bureau of Land Management, Oregon State Office, Portland, Oregon: WILLAMETTE MERIDIAN, OREGON T. 38 S, R. 8 W, accepted August 9, 2019 T. 12 S, R. 1 E, accepted August 9, 2019 T. 35 S, R. 7 W, accepted August 9, 2019 T. 21 S, R. 11 E, accepted August 9, 2019 A person or party who wishes to protest one or more plats of survey identified above must file a written notice of protest with the Chief Cadastral Surveyor for Oregon/ Washington, Bureau of Land Management. The notice of protest must identify the plat(s) of survey that the person or party wishes to protest. The notice of protest must be filed before the scheduled date of official filing for the plat(s) of survey being protested. Any notice of protest filed after the scheduled date of official filing will be untimely and will not be considered. A notice of protest is considered filed on the date it is received by the Chief Cadastral Surveyor for Oregon/ Washington during regular business hours; if received after regular business hours, a notice of protest will be considered filed the next business day. A written statement of reasons in support of a protest, if not filed with the notice of protest, must be filed with the Chief Cadastral Surveyor for Oregon/ Washington within 30 calendar days after the notice of protest is filed. If a notice of protest against a plat of survey is received prior to the scheduled date of official filing, the official filing of the plat of survey identified in the notice of protest will be stayed pending consideration of the protest. A plat of survey will not be officially filed until the next business day following the resolution of all protests of the plat. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in a notice of protest or statement of reasons, you should be aware that the documents PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 46965 you submit—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available in their entirety at any time. While you can ask us to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Mary J.M. Hartel, Chief Cadastral Surveyor of Oregon/ Washington. [FR Doc. 2019–19254 Filed 9–5–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–33–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management Fish and Wildlife Service [51100000.GN0000.LVEMF1503760 .LLNVW03000.15x MO# 4500136770] Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Hycroft Mine Phase II Expansion Project, Humboldt and Pershing Counties, Nevada Bureau of Land Management, and Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability. AGENCY: In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA), and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Black Rock Field Office, Winnemucca, Nevada, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) have prepared a joint Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and by this notice are announcing the beginning of the availability of the Final EIS. The BLM is the lead agency in development of the Final EIS and has evaluated Hycroft Resource and Development, Inc.’s (HRDI’s) request for the proposed expansion of their operations at the existing Hycroft Mine. The USFWS is a coordinating agency with the BLM on the development of this EIS and has evaluated the applicant’s Eagle Conservation Plan (ECP), which describes HRDI’s request to remove inactive (i.e., outside the nesting season) eagle nests and for a 30year incidental take permit for golden eagles under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (Eagle Act). DATES: This notice initiates the availability of the Final EIS. No ROD will issue for 30 days past the publication of this NOA. ADDRESSES: To access the Final EIS and if more information is required please reach out the appropriate contact below SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\06SEN1.SGM 06SEN1 jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES 46966 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 173 / Friday, September 6, 2019 / Notices Project Mining Expansion: • Website: https://go.usa.gov/xyu54 • Email: wfoweb@blm.gov • Fax: (775) 623–1503 • Mail: 5100 East Winnemucca Boulevard, Winnemucca, NV 89445 Eagle Take Permit: • Email: fw8_eaglepermits@fws.gov • Fax: (916) 414–6486 • Mail: 2800 Cottage Way, W–2605, Sacramento, CA 95825 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For questions about the proposed mine expansion, contact Taylor Grysen—BLM Project Manager, telephone: (775) 623– 1500, address: 5100 East Winnemucca Boulevard, Winnemucca, NV 89445. For questions about the eagle take permit contact: Heather Beeler—USFWS Project Manager, telephone: (916) 414– 6651, address: 2800 Cottage Way, W– 2605, Sacramento, CA 95825. 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 with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: HRDI has proposed an expansion to their operations at the existing Hycroft Mine, which is located approximately 55 miles west of Winnemucca, Nevada, in Humboldt and Pershing Counties. The Hycroft Mine Phase II Expansion proposed action proposes to increase the authorized Plan of Operations boundary to 27,835 acres, of which 26,082 acres would be on BLMadministered public lands. Under the project as proposed by HRDI, the surface disturbance would increase by 8,737 acres, from 6,144 acres to 14,881 acres, which includes 13,141 acres located on land administered by the BLM Black Rock Field Office. Surface disturbance on private land would decrease by 44 acres, from 1,784 acres to 1,740 acres. The proposed project would include the following activities: Expanding the authorized Plan of Operations boundary to the east; extending mining and ore processing activities to 2039; increasing the rate of process water pumping and extending until 2041; constructing and operating the Northeast Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) and associated pipeline corridor and haul road; constructing and operating the North Heap Leach Facility (HLF) East expansion and associated solution ponds; expanding the existing Brimstone Pit below the pre-mining groundwater table; conducting active dewatering of the Brimstone Pit through the installation and operation of VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:53 Sep 05, 2019 Jkt 247001 dewatering wells; conducting passive dewatering within the expanded pit footprint; expanding the South Waste Rock Facility (WRF); modifying the approved land use in the South Processing Complex to allow for the option of constructing the Southwest WRF in place of the complex, if desired; modifying waste backfill plans with respect to the proposed mining plan; expanding haul and secondary roads around the pits, WRFs, HLFs, and TSF; modifying the milling operation to process ore in an ambient oxidation and leaching process; constructing and operating an oxygen plant; constructing stormwater diversions, installing culverts, and other stormwater controls; constructing growth media stockpiles; incorporating four HRDI rights-of-way (ROWs) (microwave repeater site and road [NVN046292], Floka access road [NVN054893], buried pipeline, wells, power distribution and access roads [NVN046564], and road and water pipeline [NVN039119]) that exist wholly within the authorized Plan boundary into the amendment to the Plan and relinquish the ROWs with the BLM; continuing use of the well field ROW; relocating rangeland improvement facilities within the footprint of the Northeast TSF; rerouting Rosebud Road around the Northeast TSF; reallocating 10 acres of exploration disturbance on private land to public land; and implementing the authorized and proposed additional applicantcommitted Environmental Protection Measures to new facilities and activities. Alternative A would result in approximately 4,800 acres less surface disturbance, and the plan boundary would be nearly 7,800 acres less than the proposed action. Under Alternative A, all components of the proposed action would be the same except the Northeast TSF and all associated infrastructure would not be constructed, rather, the Southwest TSF would be constructed instead with all associated infrastructure. Alternative A would include an expansion to the authorized Plan of Operations boundary to accommodate the Southwest TSF (Alternative A Expansion). The Alternative A Expansion of the Plan of Operations boundary would encompass approximately 5,310 acres of public lands administered by the BLM. Alternative A would expand the authorized Project boundary, which encompasses 14,753 acres, by 5,310 acres of public lands administered by the BLM, for a combined total of 20,063 acres. Under Alternative A, HRDI would construct and operate an approximately 2,426-acre facility (dam and tails PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 surface) known as the Southwest TSF to accommodate tailings generated by mining sulfide ore below the groundwater table and processed in the authorized mill facility located on private land. The Winnemucca District, Black Rock Field Office has selected Alternative A, as outlined in Chapter 2 of the Draft EIS, including the applicant’s committed EPMs specified in the Draft EIS Section 5.3 and all of the mitigation specified in the Draft EIS Section 5.2 for Alternative A. This aligns with the USFWS Eagle Take Permit Alternative A (USFWS Alternative A Eagle Permit Decision) as the Preferred Action based on the outcome of the Final EIS. HRDI’s Eagle Conservation Plan contains commitments to avoid, minimize, and mitigate adverse effects on golden eagles resulting from the implementation of the Project. There are no new anticipated significant impacts on the cumulative effects of the area since a mine already exists in the area; impacting the air quality, visual resources, and the cultural viewshed of the area. Ten alternatives addressing pit lake concerns, mine feature concerns, and eagle permit concerns were considered but eliminated from analysis for the inability meet the project’s purpose and need, technical feasibility, the inability to reduce environmental impacts and for not being in compliance with regulatory and legal guidance. In addition, HRDI has submitted an application to the USFWS requesting authorization to remove inactive golden eagle nests and for incidental take under the Eagle Act for operational activities associated with both the BLM’s currently authorized mining activities and proposed expansion Project. The Project would also affect golden eagle nests and territories. HRDI’s ECP is the foundation of the permit application and contains commitments to avoid, minimize, and mitigate adverse effects on golden eagles resulting from the implementation of the Project. Through scoping the BLM has identified, and through the EIS the agencies have analyzed impacts to the following resources areas: Air and atmospheric resources; cultural resources (including National Historic Trails); noxious weeds, invasive species, and nonnative species; migratory birds; Native American religious concerns; wastes and materials (hazardous and solid); water quality (surface and ground); geology, minerals, and energy; golden eagles; lands and realty; paleontology; rangeland management; recreation; social values and economics; soils; special status species (plants and E:\FR\FM\06SEN1.SGM 06SEN1 46967 jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 173 / Friday, September 6, 2019 / Notices wildlife); transportation and access; vegetation; visual resources; and wildlife. The EIS describes and analyzes the proposed Project’s direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts on all affected resources. In addition to the Mine Expansion Proposed Action (BLM Decision) and the Eagle Take Permit Proposed Action (USFWS Eagle Permit Decision), the following alternatives are also analyzed in the EIS: The Mine Expansion Alternative A (BLM Alternative Decision), referred to as Alternative A; Eagle Take Permit Alternative A (USFWS Alternative A Eagle Permit Decision); the BLM No Action Alternative; and the USFWS No Action Alternative. On December 30, 2014, an initial Notice of Intent (NOI) was published in the Federal Register inviting scoping comments on the proposed action. A total of 14 scoping comment letters were received for the December 20, 2014, through January 29, 2015, public scoping period. On September 22, 2017, a second NOI was published in the Federal Register inviting scoping comments on the requested eagle take permit as related to the Eagle Take Permit Proposed Action (USFWS Eagle Permit Decision) and the ECP. A total of nine scoping comment letters were received during the September 22, 2017, through November 21, 2017, public scoping period. Concerns raised included impacts to air quality, cultural resources, environmental justice, lands, realty and transportation, Native American religious concerns, rangeland management, recreation, soils, visual resources, wastes and materials (hazardous and solid), water resources, vegetation, and wildlife. A total of nine public comment letters were received during the May 17, 2019, through July 14, 2019, public comment period. Concerns raised included impacts to air quality, cultural resources, environmental justice, Native American religious concerns, rangeland management, recreation, soils, visual resources, wastes and materials (hazardous and solid), water resources, vegetation, and wildlife. Further clarification is provided in the Final EIS addressing these comments. The BLM has utilized and coordinated the NEPA scoping and comment process to help fulfill the public involvement requirements under the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) (54 U.S.C. 306108) as provided in 36 CFR 800.2(d)(3)—and continues to do so. The information about historic and cultural resources within the area potentially affected by the proposed Project has assisted the BLM in VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:53 Sep 05, 2019 Jkt 247001 identifying and evaluating impacts to such resources in the context of both NEPA and Title 54 of the NHPA. The BLM and USFWS have consulted and continue to consult with numerous Native Indian tribes on a government-togovernment basis in accordance with Executive Order 13175 and other policies. Tribal concerns, including impacts to Indian trust assets and potential impacts to cultural resources have been analyzed in the EIS. Federal, State, and local agencies, along with tribes and other stakeholders that may be interested in or affected by the proposed Project that the BLM and USFWS have evaluated, are notified of the availability of the Final EIS. No ROD will issue for 30 days past the publication of this NOA. Authority: 40 CFR 1501.7. Ester McCullough, District Manager, Winnemucca District Office. Jody Holzworth, Deputy Regional Director, Pacific Southwest Region, Sacramento, California. [FR Doc. 2019–19389 Filed 9–5–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–HC–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLCA942000 L57000000.BX0000 16XL5017AR; MO#4500136444] Filing of Plats of Survey: California Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of official filing. AGENCY: The plats of survey of lands described in this notice are scheduled to be officially filed in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), California State Office, Sacramento, California, 30 calendar days from the date of this publication. The surveys, which were executed at the request of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, are necessary for the management of these lands. DATES: Unless there are protests to this action, the plats described in this notice will be filed on October 7, 2019. ADDRESSES: You may submit written protests to the BLM California State Office, Cadastral Survey, 2800 Cottage Way, W–1623, Sacramento, CA 95825. A copy of the plats may be obtained from the BLM California State Office, Public Room, 2800 Cottage Way, W– 1623, Sacramento, California 95825, upon required payment. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jon Kehler, Chief, Branch of Cadastral Survey, Bureau of Land Management, SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 California State Office, 2800 Cottage Way, W–1623, Sacramento, California 95825; 1–916–978–4323; jkehler@ blm.gov. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1–800–877–8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The Service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The lands surveyed are: Mount Diablo Meridian, California T. 47 N., R. 4 E., dependent resurvey and subdivision of section 6, for Group No. 1765, accepted July 29, 2019. T. 42 N., R. 12 E., dependent resurvey, subdivision and metes-and-bounds survey, for Group No. 1746, accepted August 1, 2019. A person or party who wishes to protest one or more plats of survey must file a written notice of protest within 30 calendar days from the date of this publication at the address listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice. Any notice of protest received after the due date will be untimely and will not be considered. A written statement of reasons in support of a protest, if not filed with the notice of protest, must be filed at the same address within 30 calendar days after the notice of protest is filed. If a protest against the survey is received prior to the date of official filing, the filing will be stayed pending consideration of the protest. A plat will not be officially filed until the day after all protests have been dismissed or otherwise resolved. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your notice of protest or statement of reasons, you should be aware that the documents you submit—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask the BLM to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Authority: 43 U.S.C., Chapter 3. Jon L. Kehler, Chief Cadastral Surveyor. [FR Doc. 2019–19250 Filed 9–5–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–40–P E:\FR\FM\06SEN1.SGM 06SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 173 (Friday, September 6, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 46965-46967]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-19389]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

Fish and Wildlife Service

[51100000.GN0000.LVEMF1503760.LLNVW03000.15x MO# 4500136770]


Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact 
Statement for the Proposed Hycroft Mine Phase II Expansion Project, 
Humboldt and Pershing Counties, Nevada

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, and Fish and Wildlife Service, 
Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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

SUMMARY: In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969, as amended (NEPA), and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act 
of 1976, as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Black Rock 
Field Office, Winnemucca, Nevada, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service (USFWS) have prepared a joint Final Environmental Impact 
Statement (EIS) and by this notice are announcing the beginning of the 
availability of the Final EIS. The BLM is the lead agency in 
development of the Final EIS and has evaluated Hycroft Resource and 
Development, Inc.'s (HRDI's) request for the proposed expansion of 
their operations at the existing Hycroft Mine. The USFWS is a 
coordinating agency with the BLM on the development of this EIS and has 
evaluated the applicant's Eagle Conservation Plan (ECP), which 
describes HRDI's request to remove inactive (i.e., outside the nesting 
season) eagle nests and for a 30-year incidental take permit for golden 
eagles under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (Eagle Act).

DATES: This notice initiates the availability of the Final EIS. No ROD 
will issue for 30 days past the publication of this NOA.

ADDRESSES: To access the Final EIS and if more information is required 
please reach out the appropriate contact below


[[Page 46966]]


Project Mining Expansion:
     Website: https://go.usa.gov/xyu54
     Email: [email protected]
     Fax: (775) 623-1503
     Mail: 5100 East Winnemucca Boulevard, Winnemucca, NV 89445
Eagle Take Permit:
     Email: [email protected]
     Fax: (916) 414-6486
     Mail: 2800 Cottage Way, W-2605, Sacramento, CA 95825

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For questions about the proposed mine 
expansion, contact Taylor Grysen--BLM Project Manager, telephone: (775) 
623-1500, address: 5100 East Winnemucca Boulevard, Winnemucca, NV 
89445. For questions about the eagle take permit contact: Heather 
Beeler--USFWS Project Manager, telephone: (916) 414-6651, address: 2800 
Cottage Way, W-2605, Sacramento, CA 95825. 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 with the above individual. You 
will receive a reply during normal business hours.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: HRDI has proposed an expansion to their 
operations at the existing Hycroft Mine, which is located approximately 
55 miles west of Winnemucca, Nevada, in Humboldt and Pershing Counties. 
The Hycroft Mine Phase II Expansion proposed action proposes to 
increase the authorized Plan of Operations boundary to 27,835 acres, of 
which 26,082 acres would be on BLM-administered public lands. Under the 
project as proposed by HRDI, the surface disturbance would increase by 
8,737 acres, from 6,144 acres to 14,881 acres, which includes 13,141 
acres located on land administered by the BLM Black Rock Field Office. 
Surface disturbance on private land would decrease by 44 acres, from 
1,784 acres to 1,740 acres. The proposed project would include the 
following activities: Expanding the authorized Plan of Operations 
boundary to the east; extending mining and ore processing activities to 
2039; increasing the rate of process water pumping and extending until 
2041; constructing and operating the Northeast Tailings Storage 
Facility (TSF) and associated pipeline corridor and haul road; 
constructing and operating the North Heap Leach Facility (HLF) East 
expansion and associated solution ponds; expanding the existing 
Brimstone Pit below the pre-mining groundwater table; conducting active 
dewatering of the Brimstone Pit through the installation and operation 
of dewatering wells; conducting passive dewatering within the expanded 
pit footprint; expanding the South Waste Rock Facility (WRF); modifying 
the approved land use in the South Processing Complex to allow for the 
option of constructing the Southwest WRF in place of the complex, if 
desired; modifying waste backfill plans with respect to the proposed 
mining plan; expanding haul and secondary roads around the pits, WRFs, 
HLFs, and TSF; modifying the milling operation to process ore in an 
ambient oxidation and leaching process; constructing and operating an 
oxygen plant; constructing stormwater diversions, installing culverts, 
and other stormwater controls; constructing growth media stockpiles; 
incorporating four HRDI rights-of-way (ROWs) (microwave repeater site 
and road [NVN046292], Floka access road [NVN054893], buried pipeline, 
wells, power distribution and access roads [NVN046564], and road and 
water pipeline [NVN039119]) that exist wholly within the authorized 
Plan boundary into the amendment to the Plan and relinquish the ROWs 
with the BLM; continuing use of the well field ROW; relocating 
rangeland improvement facilities within the footprint of the Northeast 
TSF; rerouting Rosebud Road around the Northeast TSF; reallocating 10 
acres of exploration disturbance on private land to public land; and 
implementing the authorized and proposed additional applicant-committed 
Environmental Protection Measures to new facilities and activities. 
Alternative A would result in approximately 4,800 acres less surface 
disturbance, and the plan boundary would be nearly 7,800 acres less 
than the proposed action. Under Alternative A, all components of the 
proposed action would be the same except the Northeast TSF and all 
associated infrastructure would not be constructed, rather, the 
Southwest TSF would be constructed instead with all associated 
infrastructure. Alternative A would include an expansion to the 
authorized Plan of Operations boundary to accommodate the Southwest TSF 
(Alternative A Expansion). The Alternative A Expansion of the Plan of 
Operations boundary would encompass approximately 5,310 acres of public 
lands administered by the BLM. Alternative A would expand the 
authorized Project boundary, which encompasses 14,753 acres, by 5,310 
acres of public lands administered by the BLM, for a combined total of 
20,063 acres. Under Alternative A, HRDI would construct and operate an 
approximately 2,426-acre facility (dam and tails surface) known as the 
Southwest TSF to accommodate tailings generated by mining sulfide ore 
below the groundwater table and processed in the authorized mill 
facility located on private land.
    The Winnemucca District, Black Rock Field Office has selected 
Alternative A, as outlined in Chapter 2 of the Draft EIS, including the 
applicant's committed EPMs specified in the Draft EIS Section 5.3 and 
all of the mitigation specified in the Draft EIS Section 5.2 for 
Alternative A. This aligns with the USFWS Eagle Take Permit Alternative 
A (USFWS Alternative A Eagle Permit Decision) as the Preferred Action 
based on the outcome of the Final EIS. HRDI's Eagle Conservation Plan 
contains commitments to avoid, minimize, and mitigate adverse effects 
on golden eagles resulting from the implementation of the Project. 
There are no new anticipated significant impacts on the cumulative 
effects of the area since a mine already exists in the area; impacting 
the air quality, visual resources, and the cultural viewshed of the 
area.
    Ten alternatives addressing pit lake concerns, mine feature 
concerns, and eagle permit concerns were considered but eliminated from 
analysis for the inability meet the project's purpose and need, 
technical feasibility, the inability to reduce environmental impacts 
and for not being in compliance with regulatory and legal guidance.
    In addition, HRDI has submitted an application to the USFWS 
requesting authorization to remove inactive golden eagle nests and for 
incidental take under the Eagle Act for operational activities 
associated with both the BLM's currently authorized mining activities 
and proposed expansion Project. The Project would also affect golden 
eagle nests and territories. HRDI's ECP is the foundation of the permit 
application and contains commitments to avoid, minimize, and mitigate 
adverse effects on golden eagles resulting from the implementation of 
the Project.
    Through scoping the BLM has identified, and through the EIS the 
agencies have analyzed impacts to the following resources areas: Air 
and atmospheric resources; cultural resources (including National 
Historic Trails); noxious weeds, invasive species, and nonnative 
species; migratory birds; Native American religious concerns; wastes 
and materials (hazardous and solid); water quality (surface and 
ground); geology, minerals, and energy; golden eagles; lands and 
realty; paleontology; rangeland management; recreation; social values 
and economics; soils; special status species (plants and

[[Page 46967]]

wildlife); transportation and access; vegetation; visual resources; and 
wildlife. The EIS describes and analyzes the proposed Project's direct, 
indirect, and cumulative impacts on all affected resources.
    In addition to the Mine Expansion Proposed Action (BLM Decision) 
and the Eagle Take Permit Proposed Action (USFWS Eagle Permit 
Decision), the following alternatives are also analyzed in the EIS: The 
Mine Expansion Alternative A (BLM Alternative Decision), referred to as 
Alternative A; Eagle Take Permit Alternative A (USFWS Alternative A 
Eagle Permit Decision); the BLM No Action Alternative; and the USFWS No 
Action Alternative.
    On December 30, 2014, an initial Notice of Intent (NOI) was 
published in the Federal Register inviting scoping comments on the 
proposed action. A total of 14 scoping comment letters were received 
for the December 20, 2014, through January 29, 2015, public scoping 
period. On September 22, 2017, a second NOI was published in the 
Federal Register inviting scoping comments on the requested eagle take 
permit as related to the Eagle Take Permit Proposed Action (USFWS Eagle 
Permit Decision) and the ECP. A total of nine scoping comment letters 
were received during the September 22, 2017, through November 21, 2017, 
public scoping period. Concerns raised included impacts to air quality, 
cultural resources, environmental justice, lands, realty and 
transportation, Native American religious concerns, rangeland 
management, recreation, soils, visual resources, wastes and materials 
(hazardous and solid), water resources, vegetation, and wildlife. A 
total of nine public comment letters were received during the May 17, 
2019, through July 14, 2019, public comment period. Concerns raised 
included impacts to air quality, cultural resources, environmental 
justice, Native American religious concerns, rangeland management, 
recreation, soils, visual resources, wastes and materials (hazardous 
and solid), water resources, vegetation, and wildlife. Further 
clarification is provided in the Final EIS addressing these comments.
    The BLM has utilized and coordinated the NEPA scoping and comment 
process to help fulfill the public involvement requirements under the 
National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) (54 U.S.C. 306108) as 
provided in 36 CFR 800.2(d)(3)--and continues to do so. The information 
about historic and cultural resources within the area potentially 
affected by the proposed Project has assisted the BLM in identifying 
and evaluating impacts to such resources in the context of both NEPA 
and Title 54 of the NHPA.
    The BLM and USFWS have consulted and continue to consult with 
numerous Native Indian tribes on a government-to-government basis in 
accordance with Executive Order 13175 and other policies. Tribal 
concerns, including impacts to Indian trust assets and potential 
impacts to cultural resources have been analyzed in the EIS.
    Federal, State, and local agencies, along with tribes and other 
stakeholders that may be interested in or affected by the proposed 
Project that the BLM and USFWS have evaluated, are notified of the 
availability of the Final EIS. No ROD will issue for 30 days past the 
publication of this NOA.

    Authority: 40 CFR 1501.7.

Ester McCullough,
District Manager, Winnemucca District Office.
Jody Holzworth,
Deputy Regional Director, Pacific Southwest Region, Sacramento, 
California.
[FR Doc. 2019-19389 Filed 9-5-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4310-HC-P