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Posted 4/29/2016

Release no. 16-026


Contact
Clay Church
817-886-1314
clayton.a.church@usace.army.mil
819 Taylor St., Fort Worth, TX

FORT WORTH, Texas – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District has released a Public Notice to announce the availability of the Final Regional Environmental Impact Statement for Surface Coal and Lignite Mining in Texas. The FREIS was prepared to analyze potential impacts within defined geographic regions in Texas that may be affected by future USACE permit decisions for future surface coal and lignite mine expansions within the District’s area of responsibility. The FREIS analyzes the potential future direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts to waters of the U.S. and all other relevant environmental and human resources, and will facilitate the District’s formulation of a categorized permit process. 

Surface coal and lignite mining projects in the USACE Fort Worth’s area of responsibility typically conduct work that results in impacts to waters of the U.S. Such work requires authorization under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, and for projects affecting navigable waters, authorization under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. These programs are administered by the USACE. 

The anticipated number of future permit applications requiring the USACE compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, along with agency resource constraints, could result in lengthy review times. Historic permit evaluations associated with mine expansions have required substantial time periods. These timeframes have been influenced in part by the need to develop resource information, undertake data gathering efforts, as well as coordination with various agencies and their permit review processes. The USACE also needs to ensure it can adapt and efficiently respond to multiple concurrent requests for permits that may occur in the future. 

The REIS would facilitate future tiering or supplementation of the NEPA analysis in the REIS in the evaluation of future project-specific Section 404/10 permit applications.  It also is intended to provide a cohesive framework for stream mitigation, establishment of sound performance metrics, and enhance project monitoring efforts associated with these types of activities.  The REIS is intended to avoid duplication and provide efficiency and effectiveness with future decisions. The Final REIS does NOT render any project-specific decision(s). 

Copies of the FREIS may viewed/downloaded/printed from the Fort Worth District USACE internet website at: http://www.swf.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/Permitting/REISforLigniteMininginTexas.aspx.

Alternatively, you may visit the Regulatory Division in Room 3A37 of the Lanham Federal Building at 819 Taylor Street in Fort Worth, Texas, between 8:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M., Monday through Friday to pick up an electronic media (cd) copy of the FREIS. Additional information may be obtained by calling 817-886-1744.

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About the Fort Worth District: The Fort Worth District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was established in 1950. The District is responsible for water resources development in two-thirds of Texas, and design and construction at military installations in Texas and parts of Louisiana and New Mexico.  Visit the Fort Worth District Web site at: www.swf.usace.army.mil and SWF Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fort-Worth-District-US-Army-Corps-of-Engineers/188083711219308.  Lake Lavon Master Plan Update documents and related information are available to the public at: http://www.swf.usace.army.mil/About/LakesandRecreationInformation/MasterPlanUpdates/LavonLake.aspx.

Final Regional Environmental Impact Statement Surface Coal and Lignite Mining