ELKO — Great Basin Resource Watch wants Mt. Hope’s record of decision and final environmental impact statement rescinded.
Great Basin announced Friday that it submitted a petition to the state director of the Bureau of Land Management for a review of the molybdenum project.
“The proposed mine located in Eureka County, approximately 23 miles northwest of the town of Eureka, has been controversial with many growers concerned about impacts to their livelihood while others feel it is a needed economic boost,” GBRW Executive Director John Hadder said in a statement. “Regardless of economics the law requires a hard look at the impacts and analysis of mitigation measures to address those impacts.”
Hadder said GBRW requested the review based on three grounds:
• BLM failed to prevent “unnecessary or undue degradation” of public land resources, as required by the Federal Land Policy and Management Act and BLM’s implementing regulations when it approved the project.
• The FEIS/ROD is based on incorrect and unsupportable assumptions and positions regarding Eureka Moly LLC’s alleged “statutory right” to have the project approved under the mining law.
• BLM violated the National Environmental Policy Act.
BLM spokeswoman JoLynn Worley said the state director will review the petition. Meanwhile, the decision and final EIS remain in effect.
She said there is a 10-day deadline for a review, but there is no penalty in the regulations if the deadline is exceeded.
The petition does not stop the mine project from moving forward at this time, Worley said.
“We believe the BLM did its job correctly in issuing a record of decision for the Mt. Hope project,” General Moly Director of External Communications Zach Spencer said. “We will continue to work with federal, state and local regulatory agencies as we move forward with the construction phase of the Mt. Hope project.”
Great Basin Resource said the Mt. Hope project will sit on three watersheds, with the Roberts Mountains to the west and the agricultural fields of Diamond and Kobeh valleys to the east and south.
“It is vital that a complete understanding of the potential impacts of the mine on the region be known in advance through the environmental impact statement,” Hadder said. “The final EIS does not provide sufficient detail to develop clear mitigation for these impacts. The wait and see approach to mitigation plans of Eureka Moly LLC, which has not been challenged by the BLM or the state of Nevada, could ultimately cost the nearby communities in irreparable environmental damage and irretrievable losses in resources to the county. ...
“Overall, the shortcomings of the FEIS require a supplemental EIS process to take the required ‘hard look’ at the impacts of the project. This is in addition to the violations FLPMA and other laws noted above in the FEIS and ROD. Thus, the ROD and FEIS must be rescinded.”