BLM releases Record of Decision for Alton Coal tract
KANAB, Utah — Consistent with Secretary Zinke’s priorities for responsible development of energy on public lands and serving America, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Alton Coal Tract Lease by Application for Federal coal resources on lands near Alton, Utah. The decision selects the preferred alternative and includes protective stipulations that will be incorporated in the lease, which will help minimize, or eliminate, effects to wildlife, air, water, recreation and other issues of concern.
“Today, after more than a decade of rigorous environmental studies, I was happy to hear that the Trump administration took a stand for commonsense energy production in Utah,” said Senator Orrin Hatch. “Alton Coal has proven that responsible development and environmental stewardship can meaningfully coincide. Secretary Zinke inherited a challenge, and I applaud him for finding a way to strike a balance that will bring much-needed jobs to Utah’s rural counties.”
The selected alternative in the ROD allows for the competitive lease sale of approximately 2,114 acres, of which an estimated 30.8 million tons of coal would be recoverable. Senator Mike Lee shared, “I commend the Bureau of Land Management for its work to approve the Alton Coal lease. This action not only advances the Trump administration’s energy dominance agenda, it will also provide stability to local economies in Kane and Garfield Counties.”
Congressman Chris Stewart expressed his support for the decision’s job creation potential, “Alton Coal is an economic engine that provides good paying jobs that benefit the entire region. After years of being on hold, this decision will allow for additional growth and create more jobs that can support families year round. I’m grateful for the leadership of Secretary Zinke on this issue.”
BLM Deputy Director for Policy and Programs Brian Steed emphasized the BLM’s cooperative efforts. “This responsible energy project achieves the Secretary’s goal of being a good neighbor to local communities. The BLM has worked diligently to address public comments while collaborating closely with the state of Utah and other federal agencies to complete the analysis and review.”
The decision has the potential to create over 100 new jobs at the mine and indirectly increase employment by 240 to 480 jobs, including fuel providers, and positions in maintenance, grocery stores, and retail stores.
This ROD constitutes the BLM’s final decision on holding a competitive lease sale in accordance with 43 CFR 3422.2. Prior to the lease sale, the BLM will publish a notice of the proposed sale in the Federal Register and in newspapers of general circulation, and the BLM will also post the notice in the Utah State Office. The newspaper notice will be published not less than once a week for three consecutive weeks. The ROD is available online at https://go.usa.gov/xNmE2 or at the Kanab Field Office, 669 South Highway 89A, Kanab, Utah 84741.
This year, we invite everyone to reimagine your public lands as we celebrate 75 years of the BLM’s stewardship and service to the American people. The BLM manages approximately 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.