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Tucson Field Office
Release Date: 05/24/13
Contacts: Diane Drobka, 928-348-4403,    
  Daniel Moore, 520-258-7234,    

BLM Extends Comment Period for Andrada Quarry Expansion

Tucson, Ariz. Due to heightened public interest, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Tucson Field Office is extending the public review and comment period for the proposed Andrada Marble Quarry expansion until July 1, 2013. The Tucson Field Office will consider all substantive comments received or postmarked by July 1.

The BLM Tucson Field Office originally announced the availability of the environmental assessment (EA) and unsigned Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for public review and comment on April 30. After the 30-day comment period had ended on May 30, the BLM had proposed to sign the FONSI and issue a decision whether or not to authorize the proposed Andrada Marble Quarry Mine Plan of Operation (MPO).

Andrada Holding, PLC, had filed its MPO with the BLM for the quarrying of high-purity calcium carbonate on federal mining claims held in T17S, R16E, Sec 21, NW of the NW, approximately 25 miles southeast of Tucson in Pima County. The mining claims are located on split-estate lands where the surface rights are on Arizona State Trust lands and the federal mineral rights are managed by the United States, specifically the BLM.

The public comment period for the EA and unsigned FONSI has been extended for another 30 days, ending Monday, July 1, 2013. The Andrada Marble Quarry MPO, EA, and unsigned FONSI are available for public review at the BLM Tucson Field Office, 3201 E Universal Way, Tucson, AZ 85756 or on the web at

The BLM will consider all substantive comments received during the public comment period. The BLM’s National Environmental Policy Act Handbook provides guidance on formulating substantive comments.

Substantive comments do one or more of the following:

  • question, with reasonable basis, the accuracy of information in the EIS or EA
  • question, with reasonable basis, the adequacy of, methodology for, or assumptions used for the environmental analysis
  • present new information relevant to the analysispresent reasonable alternatives other than those analyzed in the EIS or EA
  • cause changes or revisions in one or more of the alternatives

Comments that are not considered substantive include the following:

  • comments in favor of or against the proposed action or alternatives without reasoning that meet the criteria listed above (such as “we disagree with Alternative Two and believe the BLM should select Alternative Three”)
  • comments that only agree or disagree with BLM policy or resource decisions without justification or supporting data that meet the criteria listed above (such as “more grazing should be permitted”)
  • comments that don’t pertain to the project area or the project (such as “the government should eliminate all dams,” when the project is about a grazing permit)
  • comments that take the form of vague, open-ended questions
Questions may be directed to Mr. Brian Bellew, Tucson Field Manager, at, or Mr. Daniel Moore, Geologist, at, or by calling (520) 258-7200.  Comments can be submitted by email, mailed to the BLM Tucson Field Office at 3201 E Universal Way, Tucson, AZ 85756 or faxed to (520) 258-7238.      

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2014, the BLM generated $5.2 billion in receipts from public lands.

Last updated: 05-24-2013