On Monday, April 30, the Bureau of Land Management released a preliminary Environmental Assessment and unsigned Finding of No Significant Impact for public comment regarding the proposed coal lease modifications at the Bowie mine about five miles northeast of Paonia.
The EA evaluates the continuation of mining operations adjacent to Bowie Resources, LLC existing federal coal leases.
Bowie's application consisted of adding a total of about 500 acres to leases COC37210 and COC61209 in order to prevent the bypassing of about 3.25 million recoverable tons of federal coal.
The BLM Uncompahgre Field Office, in accordance with the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, the Mineral Leasing Act for Acquired Lands of 1947 and the Uncompahgre Basin Resource Management Plan is responsible for analyzing the leasing proposal through the National Environmental Policy Act. The coal lease modifications surface area includes private and public lands in which BLM manages a portion of the surface.
The Bowie No. 2 Mine has been in operation since November 1997 and produced about 2.5 million tons of coal in 2011. Currently, the mine employs 297 employees, and the majority of these employees, as well as their families, live in communities in Delta County. Total direct economic benefits associated with the coal mines within the North Fork Valley exceed $60 million annually.
Delta County received $860,000 in tax revenues from Bowie in 2011, which was the largest revenue source for the County for the year.
To review the EA and FONSI, go to http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/BLM_Information/nepa/ufo.html.blog comments powered by Disqus