Jim Sample   303-239-3861
David Boyd   970-947-2832

For Immediate Release
January 16, 2009 


Public Comment Period Begins for Red Cliff Mine Draft EIS


GRAND JUNCTION, COLO.--The Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Red Cliff Coal Mine Project near Mack, Colo., is now available for public review and comment at BLM offices in Grand Junction and Lakewood and at Grand Junction area public libraries.
The Draft EIS also may be viewed online at http://www.blm.gov/rmp/co/redcliffmine/index.htm   
“This begins the next stage of the public review and comment on the draft. The Draft EIS is the next stage of a major effort by BLM, state and local planning departments and regulators on the proposed Red Cliff coal mine project,” said Catherine Robertson, BLM Grand Junction Field Manager.
BLM will accept written comments on the Draft EIS for 60 days beginning January 16 and running through March 17.
The proposed Red Cliff Mine project area is located approximately 11 miles north of the towns of Mack and Loma, Colo., and 1.5 miles east of Colorado State Highway 139.The mine has been proposed by CAM-Colorado LLC, to provide better access to CAM’s existing coal leases and also for potential future federal coal leases in the same area. CAM would construct new mine portals and surface facilities, including a 14.5-mile rail line from the mine to the Union Pacific railroad near Mack. The rail line would cross both private and BLM land. 
The Draft EIS analyzes the environmental consequences of development on all of the lands affected, both public and private.  BLM’s decision-making authority applies only on the federal lands it manages; local, state and federal agencies will be involved in the decision making on this proposed project.
“The Draft EIS incorporates the concerns raised by the public and cooperating agencies and analyzes the potential impacts of the proposed Mine Project,” said Robertson. “Public review and comments will help us to improve the quality of the analysis and ultimately the decisions to be made by BLM, Mesa and Garfield Counties, other federal agencies and the State of Colorado, all of which have permit authority over parts of this project.” 
The BLM will hold a public hearing on Feb. 5, 2009, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the City of Fruita Council Chambers, 325 E. Aspen Ave. The public hearing will feature an open house format, where the public can receive information regarding the proposed project and environmental review process. It will also give the public an opportunity to submit written comments on the Draft EIS, and the fair market value and maximum economic recovery of the coal within the proposed area.
Instructions on providing comments on the Draft EIS and lease by application are included inside the front cover of the Draft EIS and on the Web site. For more information, contact Glenn Wallace, 303-239-3736, e-mail  glenn_wallace@blm.gov, or by mail to Glenn Wallace, BLM Colorado State Office, 2850 Youngfield St., Lakewood, CO 80215.

      -BLM-