BLM Seeks Public Comment on the MK Tunnel Environmental Assessment


BLM Press Release

PRICE, Utah – The Bureau of Land Management, Price Field Office has developed an Environmental Assessment (EA) to address public safety concerns at the Morrison Knudsen (MK) Tunnels.

“Public safety is our primary issue regarding the MK tunnel complex, and it has become more difficult each year to safely secure the tunnel,” said Gary Torres, Green River District Manager. “As we have looked into different methods to safely manage these tunnels, we have also worked closely with Emery County, as well as other agency partners and stakeholders, to find ways to protect the cultural and historical resource values of the site.”

In the 1950s, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) conducted experiments associated with North American Aerospace Defense Command. Tests were set up in tunnels with substantial rock overburden. One of the locations chosen was in the San Rafael Desert in Emery County. The tunnels were constructed by the Morrison Knudsen Company.

The field office has undertaken several projects at the MK tunnels site over the years. In all, there have been five attempts to fence-out or close the three major features at the former DOD test site. The field office has also contracted with an engineering group to assess the present condition of the site and to provide appropriate courses of action using cost effective measures to safeguard the tunnels. It is with anticipation for future work the field office is preparing the EA that there exists a possibility that the site will require additional surface disturbance.

BLM welcomes and encourages public participation and diverse viewpoints to ensure we have thoroughly analyzed a proposal before making decisions affecting public lands and our local communities. Comments will be accepted from July 13 through July 27. Comments submitted by mail must be postmarked by July 27, 2018.

People are encouraged to submit comments online through BLM’s ePlanning project page at the following internet address: On the website, the public can view the current EA. Comments can be added by clicking the “Documents” tab, then click the “Comment on Document” button.

Alternately, comments may be submitted by email to or by mail to the following address:  BLM-Price Field office, Attn:  MK Tunnels, 125 South 600 West, Price, UT 84501.

Additional project information is available from Chris Conrad, (435)-636-3600. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact Conrad during normal business hours. FRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for leaving a message or question. Replies are provided during normal business hours.

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