Bureau of Reclamation
The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), a part of the Department of Interior, is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States; with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits.
Reclamation holds a 24.3 percent share of the Navajo Generating Station which is used to operate the Central Arizona Project’s pumping plants. Reclamation’s share of the power not used for that purpose is sold, and the sale revenues are used to pay the Central Arizona Project (CAP) annual construction repayment costs and fund Indian Water Rights settlement activities. Reclamation is the Federal Lead Agency for the Project and will oversee Environmental Impact Statement preparation. In addition, Reclamation is responsible for ensuring compliance with all Federal environmental laws for the Project.
Additional information about the Bureau of Reclamation is available at: http://www.usbr.gov/lc/phoenix/
Bureau of Indian Affairs
The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is the oldest bureau in the Department of the Interior. It was established in 1824 and currently provides services to approximately 1.9 million American Indians and Alaska Natives. The BIA mission is to: “… enhance the quality of life, to promote economic opportunity, and to carry out the responsibility to protect and improve the trust assets of American Indians, Indian tribes, and Alaska Natives.” The BIA accomplishes this mission within a government-to-government relationship by providing services through contracts, grants, compacts, and sometimes directly. The Bureau is responsible for the administration and management of programs including social services, natural resources management on trust lands representing 55 million surface acres, and 57 million acres of subsurface minerals. The role of the BIA has changed significantly in the last three decades in response to a greater emphasis on Indian self-governance. Through BIA programs, tribes improve their tribal government infrastructure, community infrastructure, education, job training, and employment opportunities along with other components of long term sustainable development that work to improve the quality of life for their members.
BIA’s Navajo Region is a key cooperating agency because both the mine and the NGS are located on tribal land. The BIA must approve project leases and rights-of-way on tribal lands. Without the leases and rights-of-way, neither facility could operate. The BIA plays an essential role in ensuring tribal needs are considered as part of the EIS.
Additional information about the BIA is available at: http://www.bia.gov/
Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE)
As part of the Department of the Interior, OSMRE is charged with balancing the nation’s need for continued domestic coal production with protection of the environment. OSMRE was created in 1977 when Congress enacted the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA). OSMRE works with states and tribes to ensure that citizens and the environment are protected during coal mining operations and that the land is restored to beneficial use when mining is finished.
The mission of OSMRE is to carry out the requirements of SMCRA in cooperation with states and tribes. OSMRE ensures coal mines are operated in a manner that protects citizens and the environment during mining and assures that the land is restored to beneficial use following mining.
OSMRE is the regulatory authority for Peabody Western Coal Company’s (PWCC) Kayenta and Black Mesa Mines and therefore, is a key cooperating agency on the project. In addition, OSMRE has a tribal trust responsibility wherever SMCRA activities may affect tribal trust resources. Since OSMRE has specific jurisdiction over the approval of the Life-of-Mine significant revision application and the SMCRA mining permit, which are essential for the continued operation of the mines, its input and information are absolutely essential to create an EIS that is complete and correct.
“OSMRE looks forward to working with the Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the tribes, particularly those involved with the proposed actions associated with the Kayenta Mine Complex, in determining that the pending NGS/KMC Project EIS, is developed in full accord with the requirements of NEPA”, Rick Williamson the PSD/ILD Manager for OSMRE said.
On May 1, 2012, OSMRE received a Life of Mine (LOM) significant permit revision application from Peabody Western Coal Company (PWCC) for the Kayenta Mine Complex (KMC). This May 1, 2012, permit revision application was updated by PWCC on December 18, 2013, and February 10, 2014. The LOM permit revision application includes the following information:
1) Expansion of the Kayenta Mine permit boundary to incorporate support facilities located on the former Black Mesa Mine area. The support facilities proposed to be added to the Kayenta Mine permanent program permit area are those located on the Black Mesa Mine that are being used to support mining on the Kayenta Mine. Adding the 841 acres of Black Mesa Mine support facilities (maintenance shops, roads, utilities, impoundments, administration offices, fuel storage sites, warehouse, equipment storage areas, company airport, monitoring stations, etc.) to the Kayenta Mine AZ0001E Permit area will also involve adding the 18,857 acre Black Mesa Mine area to the AZ-0001E permit area, and, if approved, referring to the new permitted area (including the Kayenta active mine pits and all facilities supporting this mining) as the ‘Kayenta Mine Complex’. This significant permit revision application does not include a proposal to mine any of the Black Mesa Mine coal reserves
2) An updated mine plan to identify the timing and sequence of continued coal mining operations through December 22, 2044. Mining is proposed to occur in the J-19, J-21, J21 West, J-28, N-9, N-10, and N-11 Extension coal resource areas.
3) The application includes environmental baseline information collected for the coal reserve areas for soils, vegetation, geology, and hydrology as well as the most current Navajo aquifer groundwater modeling information and updated probable hydrologic consequences (PHC).
4) The permanent realignment of Navajo Route 41.
Additional information about OSMRE is available at: http://www.osmre.gov/