BLM Press Release
The Bureau of Land Management Green River District has prepared an environmental assessment and authorized Emery County Coal Resources, Inc. to take measures on approximately 7.3 surface acres to fight the Lila Canyon Mine fire near Price, Utah, that started Sept. 20. If unaddressed, the fire could result in the disruption of electricity service to up to 37% of customers in the State of Utah.
The BLM’s environmental assessment identified and analyzed possible impacts that could occur through implementation of proposed actions to address the underground coal fire inside the Lila Canyon Mine, including drill pads, boreholes, road improvements and a temporary above-ground water pipeline that would be authorized through a Title V right of way, implemented in accordance with 43 CFR Part 2800.
“The actions approved in this environmental assessment are focused on extinguishing the fire, and by doing so, preventing damage to equipment and existing mine infrastructure,” said BLM Utah State Director Greg Sheehan.
The decision authorizes Emery County Coal Resources, Inc., to carry out efforts to contain the fire and protect valuable resources. Once the U.S. Department of Labor Mine Safety and Health Administration approves clearance, the BLM will continue working with Emery County Coal Resources, Inc. as company workers enter the mine to determine any impacts to the mining operations. The environmental assessment is available on the BLM ePlanning site and can be found online at https://bit.ly/3SoEkvw.
Lila Canyon Mine produces 3.47 million tons of coal per year, about 28% of Utah’s coal total, and employs 235 local Emery County residents. Approximately 40% of the coal produced by the Lila Canyon Mine services the Hunter and Huntington power plants, which generated 15,513 gigawatt hours (GWh) in 2021 that is utilized in Utah and throughout the west.