ePlanning DOI-BLM-ID-I020-2013-0003-EIS (Dairy Syncline Mine Project EIS)  
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11/13/2019 08:53:27 MST

Project Timeline for Dairy Syncline EIS

Action                                            Date*                           Status
Publish Notice of Intent                 April 13, 2010                 Completed
Hold Public Scoping Meeting        May 3-6, 2010                Completed
Publish Draft EIS                           Nov. 23, 2018                Completed
Hold Public Comment Meetings    Jan. 8,9,10,  2019          Completed as Scheduled
Publish Final EIS & NOA               Nov. 8, 2019                  Completed
Publish Record of Decision           Spring 2020                   In progress

 *Dates for items not yet completed are preliminary and subject to change

Please note that the BLM proposal to amend the Pocatello Resource Management Plan, to clarify that the lands previously identified as available for disposal are in compliance with FLPMA section 203(a), is subject to protest.  To submit a protest electronically through this page, please click on “Documents” in the navigation pane to the left.  To the right of the Final EIS document, click on the “Submit Protest” button to begin your submission.  The only electronic protests the BLM will accept are those filed through ePlanning.  Hard copy protests may be submitted by mailing to one of the following addresses and must be postmarked by the end of the protest period, Dec. 9, 2019.

Via mail:  Director (210), Attn: Protest Coordinator, P.O. Box 71383, Washington, DC  20024-1383
Via overnight Delivery:  Director (210), Attn: Protest Coordinator, 20 M Street SE, Room 2134LM, Washington, DC  20003



Dairy Syncline Project Environmental Impact Statement

The United States Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management, Pocatello Field Office (BLM) and the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service (FS), Caribou-Targhee National Forest (the Agencies) are jointly preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a mine and reclamation plan proposed by J.R. Simplot Company (Simplot) for development of the Dairy Syncline Phosphate Leases I-28115 and I-0258 (Project). Simplot has notified the Agencies of their intent to exercise their mining and development rights that are granted to them in the leases. The BLM is serving as the lead agency. The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, Idaho Office of Energy and Mineral Resources, Idaho Department of Lands, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers are cooperating agencies in the preparation of the EIS. Through the EIS process, the agencies will evaluate the environmental impacts of the Proposed Action and alternatives.

Project Description

The J.R. Simplot Company proposes to disturb approximately 2,830 acres of surface through the creation of five open-pits, external overburden disposal areas, access roads, a transmission line, an ore slurry pipeline, an industrial water well, a mill and tailings pond, and other ancillary facilities. To maximize recovery of phosphate from the leases, they propose to enlarge the existing leases by 722 acres through lease modifications. USFS Special Use Authorizations (SUA) are needed for ancillary facilities located off-lease on NFS lands. The tailings pond would be located on lands acquired from the BLM and the USFS. They propose a 1,142 acre BLM direct land sale for the BLM portion of the tailings pond and adjacent facilities. Simplot would purchase the land for full market value, and donate a 440 acre parcel to BLM to minimize potential impacts to the public and tribal treaty rights stemming from the loss of federal land. An amendment to the Pocatello approved Resource Management Plan is required to complete the sale. In addition, a USFS land exchange is proposed for Simplot to acquire the USFS portion of the tailings pond.  The M&RP proposes an exchange of 632 acres of NFS lands for a 640 acre parcel of Simplot property. The USFS Land Use Plan would also be amended.

Decisions to be made

BLM will make decisions related to:  1) Approval of the Mine Plan and/or alternatives; 2) enlargement (modification) of the existing leases; 3) Approval of the land sale as proposed or modified; 4) issuance of right of ways for infrastructure if the land sale is not approved; 5) Approval of the ARMP amendment for the land sale; and 6) acceptance of the 440-acre parcel donated by Simplot.

The USFS will provide a recommendation to BLM regarding surface management and the selected alternative on leased NFS lands, and make decisions related to the USFS land exchange; acceptance of the donation parcel; Roadless Area boundary changes; SUAs for off-lease activities; amendments to the Forest Travel Management Plan; amendments to their LUP to add management prescriptions and designate power corridors.

Additional permits will be required by other agencies.