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Environmental Impact Statements

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An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is an environmental document required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for actions that significantly affect the quality of the human environment (42 USC §4332). The Corps may be the lead Federal agency or a cooperating agency for compliance with NEPA. The lead Federal agency is generally the agency with the larger federal control over the proposed action. For actions in which the Corps is the lead Federal agency, an EIS would only be required for certain actions that require an individual standard permit.

The decision to prepare an EIS is made based on whether the action would or could result in significant impacts to the human environment. In many cases this is soon after the receipt of a complete Department of Army permit application, although, in some cases, a determination may not be made until an environmental assessment is prepared, which occurs at the end of the standard permit process. All applicants will be informed on a determination that an EIS is necessary as soon as possible during the review period.

Process

Generally an EIS is prepared by a qualified environmental contractor chosen by the Corps, with the applicant responsible for the cost of preparation. When the Corps determines an EIS is necessary for a proposed action, the applicant will be notified in writing and requested to provide at least three (3) qualified third-party contractors who could prepare the EIS, in order of preference to the Corps. The contractor should have experience with NEPA and the Corps regulatory program. The Corps will choose the first qualified contractor on the list and notify the applicant of the choice. The Corps will work with the applicant and the contractor to prepare a Statement of Responsibilities and Scope of Work for the EIS preparation. As the lead Federal agency, the Corps is responsible for the preparation and content of the EIS to ensure an independent review. Although the applicant incurs the cost of the preparation of the EIS, the contractor is under the sole direction of the Corps, and will have limited interaction with the applicant.

Following selection of the third-party contractor, the Corps will initiate the scoping process by publishing a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an EIS in the Federal Register (FR), and issue public notice. The NOI is intended to solicit from the pubic factors to consider in the EIS. Based on comments received during scoping, the EIS will be prepared by the contractor. When ready, the Draft EIS (DEIS) is released to the public through a Notice of Availability (NOA) published in the Federal Register by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). The Corps will also publish a public notice for the proposed action with the DEIS, which will be sent to all adjacent property owners, interested agencies and the public, and will be posted on our website. The public will be given a specific period in which to comment on the DEIS. Following the close of the comment period of the DEIS, the Final EIS (FEIS) is completed based on comments received. The FEIS is then released to the public through a NOA published in the Federal Register by the USEPA and the Corps will publish a public notice. The public will be given a minimum of thirty days to comment on the FEIS. Following the close of the comment period on the FEIS, if all information has been received to make a permit decision, the Corps will prepare a Record of Decision (ROD) for the action. A public notice will be published following the completion of the ROD.

Environmental Impact Statements Under Preparation

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Corps ID:  POA-2015-25

Applicant:  Armstrong Energy, LLC

NEPA Lead Agency:  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Corps Point of Contact:  Janet Post, Regulatory Project Manager

Corps email:  Janet.L.Post@usace.army.mil

EIS Contractor:  DOWL

 

Description of Proposed Action: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District, is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to address the statutory responsibilities set forth under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for the proposed Nanushuk Project.  Armstrong Energy, LLC proposes to develop hydrocarbon deposits from its oil and gas leasehold east of the Colville River Delta, approximately 52 miles west of Deadhorse and 7 miles from Nuiqsut. Major project components would include construction of three drill sites, a central processing facility, an operations center, and tie-in facilities to connect to existing infrastructure at Kuparuk. Power, water and wastewater systems would be constructed for the facilities. The project facilities would require new gravel pads totaling 74.9 acres. The proposed Nanushuk Project would also construct interior and access roads. Road infrastructure would include13.6 miles of gravel access road (111.1 acres) with a bridge over the Miluveach River; 11.9 miles of infield roads (92.0 acres) including a bridge over the Kachemach River; and upgrades and/or widening of existing roads (8.1 acres) between Oliktok Dock and the project facilities. There would be 34.4 miles of pipelines constructed, including pipelines for water, three-phase product and sales quality oil. The proposed Nanushuk Project also includes screeding (contouring of the sea floor) of 5.8 acres at the existing Oliktok Dock. There is currently no year-round road or rail access to the proposed drilling sites, which are isolated from existing power and other required infrastructure. The proposed Nanushuk Project would have a total footprint of approximately 286 acres, which would include the fill of approximately 280 acres of wetlands and other Waters of the U.S.  

Additional Information:

Armstrong Energy LLC has submitted an application for a Department of the Army permit to develop the Nanushuk Project.  The Corps will be evaluating the permit application for work and/or discharges of pollutants under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899.  The EIS will be used as a basis for the permit decision in compliance with NEPA.

The Corps is the lead Federal agency for the EIS.  Cooperating Agencies include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources and the Native Village of Nuiqsut.

Additional information about the project is available at http://www.nanushukeis.com

 EIS Milstones                                                                           Completion Date

Publish Notice of Intent to Prepare EIS                                     February 4, 2016

Conduct Scoping                                                                       February 4 through May 31, 2016

Publish Notice of Availability and Issue Draft EIS                                

Hold DEIS Public Meetings                                                     

Publish Notice of Availability and Issue Final EIS                    

Complete Record of Decision                                                 

Documents:

Notice of Intent to Prepare EIS
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/02/04/2016-01973/intent-to-prepare-an-environmental-impact-statement-for-the-nanushuk-project-located-75-miles

Scoping Report Available at
http://www.nanushukeis.com/projects/nanushukeis/documents/2016_06_29_draftssr.pdf

Draft EIS (pending)

Public Notice for DEIS (pending)

Final EIS (pending)

Public Notice for FEIS (pending)

Corps ID:  POA-1995-120-M20

Applicant:  Donlin Gold LLC

NEPA Lead Agency:  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Corps Point of Contact:  Richard Darden

Corps email:  Richard.L.Darden@usace.army.mil

EIS Contractor:  URS Alaska LLC

Description of Proposed Action: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), Alaska District, is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to address the statutory responsibilities set forth under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), for the proposed Donlin Gold Project.  Donlin Gold LLC proposes to develop an open pit, hardrock gold mine located 10 miles north of the village of Crooked Creek, Alaska.  Major project components include excavation of an open pit that ultimately would be approximately 2.2 miles long by 1 mile wide by 1,850 feet deep; a waste treatment facility (tailings impoundment) approximately 1 mile long, and ultimately covering 2,350 acres; a waste rock facility covering approximately 2,300 acres; a mill facility processing approximately 59,000 short tons of ore per day; a natural gas-fired power plant with a total connected load of 227 MW, supplied by a 313-mile, small-diameter (14-inch), natural gas pipeline from the west side of Cook Inlet to the mine site; and transportation infrastructure including a 5,000-foot airstrip, a 30-mile-long road from the mine site to a new barge landing near Jungjuk Creek on the Kuskokwim River, and barge terminal facilities in Bethel.  There is currently no road or rail access to the proposed mine site, which is isolated from existing power and other related infrastructure.  The proposed mine and related facilities would have a total foot print of approximately 16,300 acres, including approximately 6,900 acres of wetlands. 

Additional Information:

Donlin Gold LLC has submitted an application for a Department of the Army permit to develop the Donlin Gold Project.  The Corps will be evaluating the permit application for work and/or discharges of pollutants under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899.  The EIS will be used as a basis for the permit decision in compliance with NEPA.

The Corps is the lead Federal agency for the EIS.  Cooperating Agencies include the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, the Village of Crooked Creek, the Native Village of Chuathbaluk, the Native Village of Napaimute, the Knik Tribal Council, the Village of Lower Kalskag, the Akiak Native Community, and the Aniak Traditional Council.

Additional information about the project is available at http://donlingoldeis.com

 

EIS Milstones                                                                           Completion Date

Publish Notice of Intent to Prepare EIS                                     December 14, 2012

Conduct Scoping                                                                         March 29, 2013

Publish Notice of Availability and Issue Draft EIS

Hold DEIS Public Meetings

Publish Notice of Availability and Issue Final EIS

Complete Record of Decision

Documents:

Notice of Intent to Prepare EIS     http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-12-14/html/2012-30198.htm

Scoping Report                                     Available at http://donlingoldeis.com/EISDocuments.aspx

Draft EIS (pending)

 Public Notice for DEIS (pending)

 Final EIS (pending)

 Public Notice for FEIS (pending)

Environmental Impact Statements Completed

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