BLM Seeks Public Comment on Rights of Way for Enefit Project

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Vernal, Utah—The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Vernal Field Office has announced a 60-day comment period on the Enefit American Oil Utility Corridor Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).   The Draft EIS was prepared to analyze the potential impacts of the five rights-of-way (ROW) applications filed by Enefit American Oil across BLM-administered lands.

The ROW applications cover three proposed pipelines, a 138-kV power line, and the expansion of an existing road.  The project area is located approximately 12 miles southeast of Bonanza, Utah.  Enefit has applied for the ROWs to provide utilities to and the transport oil from its South Project. The South Project, located entirely on private land, will include development of a 7,000-acre to 9,000-acre commercial oil shale mining, retorting, and upgrading operation in Uintah County, Utah. The project is expected to produce 50,000 barrels of oil per day at full build out for up to 30 years using oil shale ore rock mined from Enefit’s private property holdings.

The 60-day public comment period for the Draft EIS will conclude on June 14, 2016.  The BLM will carefully review and respond to the comments received before publishing a Final EIS and releasing a Record of Decision for this project.

This Draft EIS analyzes in detail the proposed action and a no-action alternative.  The proposed action consists of granting ROWs for: 19 miles of water supply lines (116 acres), 8.8 miles of buried natural gas supply lines (52.6 acres), 11.2 miles of buried oil product lines (68.3 acres), 5.7 miles of upgrades and pavement to Dragon Road (41.7 acres), and a 30-mile 138-kV power line (501.4 acres). Under the no action alternative, the proposed ROWs would be denied. According to the company if the proposed ROWs were not approved, it would rely on other means, including onsite power generation and the trucking of oil and natural gas, to provide utilities to and transport product from the South Project.

Because Enefit’s South Project targets private minerals and is on private land, the BLM has no jurisdiction over the use of those minerals or how the project is built or operated.  Because of the relationship between the South Project and the proposed action, the Draft EIS includes an evaluation of the environmental impacts of the South Project as indirect impacts of the proposed action.  This analysis includes, among other things, an evaluation of air quality, greenhouse gases emissions, and wildlife impacts.  Mitigation measures analyzed in the Draft EIS related to sage grouse are consistent with the recently approved sage grouse conservation plans.

To provide the public an opportunity to ask questions about the proposal and EIS, the BLM will host open-house meetings as follows:

Vernal, Utah

May 3, 2016 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Uintah County Library, 204 E 100 N

Rangely, Colo.

May 4, 3016 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Western Rio Blanco Recreation and Park District, 611 S Stanolind Ave.

Salt Lake City, Utah

May 5, 2016 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Hilton Garden Inn, 4975 Wiley Post Way

The meetings will be conducted by BLM staff.  Representatives from Enefit will attend and will be available to explain details of the proposal. Additional information about the proposed project is included in the Draft EIS.  An electronic copy of the EIS can be found on the BLM’s ePlanning NEPA register at: https://go.usa.gov/csa9j

Please reference Enefit EIS when submitting comments.  Comments may be submitted by any the following methods:

Before including an address, phone number, email address, or other personally identifiable information in any comments, commenters should aware that the entire commentincluding personal identifying informationmay be made publicly available at any time.  Requests to withhold personal identifying information from public review can be submitted, but the BLM cannot guarantee that it will be able to do so.

For further information, contact Stephanie Howard at (435)781-4469.  Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours.  The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual.  Replies are provided during normal business hours.

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