Trapper Mining Inc. has welcomed the final approval of its Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) by the US Department of the Interior.
The completed EA, developed by the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) in response to a lawsuit brought by WildEarth Guardians, allows Trapper to continue operating based on its existing permits for opencast coal mining.
“On behalf of Trapper’s board, employees and families, and our entire community, I want to thank the Department of Interior and the professional team at OSMRE for working together to keep this important effort on track. The approach to the assessment has been thoughtful and thorough and has provided the opportunity for robust public involvement,” said Jim Mattern, Trapper Mining’s President and General Manager.
Trapper’s commitment to environmental stewardship was an essential part of completing the EA. Since the mine opened in 1977, Trapper has been repeatedly recognised for its industry-leading reclamation program, including OSMRE’s Bronze Medal for serving as one of the best three examples of mine reclamation in the US in the modern coal-mining era.
“The Department of Interior’s assessment confirmed that Trapper has no significant impact on air or water quality. And once reclamation is complete, Trapper has virtually no lasting effect on the surface area in and around the mine—and in many cases actually improves the habitat for wildlife,” Mattern said.
The EA process includes two public comment periods, an OSMRE open house and a joint community meeting with the Colowyo mine.
Throughout the entire process, the northwest Colorado community was engaged and showed support for Trapper and its employees. Bipartisan elected officials —including Senators Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet, US Rep. Scott Tipton, Governor John Hickenlooper and state and local leaders — made clear their support to the Department of Interior and Secretary Sally Jewell.
“We greatly appreciate the strong support from federal, state and local elected officials, regional community and business leaders, and community members. Through public comments and vocal support of Trapper, they clearly made their voices heard on behalf of our employees, environmental stewardship and economic impact,” Mattern concluded.
Edited from press release by Harleigh Hobbs
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/mining/04052016/trapper-mine-ea-approved-705/