ACTION ALERT!!! BLM Releases Final EIS and ROD to public

BLM Releases West Tavaputs Plateau Project Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision

Jul 29, 2010

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today released the Final Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIS) and Record of Decision (ROD) for the West Tavaputs Natural Gas Full Field Development Plan. The ROD reflects a historic agreement between the project proponent, Bill Barrett Corporation (BBC), and the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) that will substantially reduce the project's environmental impacts while continuing to allow for vigorous new oil and gas production.

The ROD is effective 30 days from the date that the EPA publishes its Notice of Availability of the Final EIS and ROD in the Federal Register. During the 30 days between the EPA publication and the effective date of the ROD, the ROD may be appealed to the IBLA, Office of Hearings and Appeals, U.S. Department of the Interior, 801 North Quincy Street, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia, 22203, in accordance with the regulations contained in 43 CFR Part 4. The appeal must also be filed with the State Director, BLM, Utah State Office, P.O. Box 45155, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84145-0155.

If you wish to file a petition for stay of the ROD pursuant to 43 CFR 4.21 during the pendency of your appeal before the IBLA, the petition for stay must accompany your notice of appeal. A petition for stay must show sufficient justification based on the standards listed in 43 CFR 4.21(b) which include:

(1) The relative harm to the parties if the stay is granted or denied;
(2) The likelihood of the appellant's success on the merits;
(3) The likelihood of irreparable harm to the appellant or resource if the stay is not granted; and
(4) Whether the public interest favors granting the stay.

If a petition for stay is submitted with the notice of appeal, a copy of the notice of appeal and petition for stay must be served on the IBLA at the same time it is filed with the State Director. A copy of the notice of appeal, and statement of reasons and all pertinent documents must be served on each adverse party named in the decision from which the appeal is taken and on the Office of the Regional Solicitor, U.S. Department of the Interior, 6201 Federal Building 125 South State Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84138-1180, no later than 15 days after filing documents with the State Director or IBLA.

The Nine Mile Canyon Coalition urges each of you to review these most important documents and respond as prescribed above within the 30-day time frame specified if you find the Final EIS and ROD objectionable per the four standards listed above. Preserving Nine Mile Canyon's cultural, environmental and aesthetic future depends on all of us to be active participants.

Printed copies or CDs of the Final EIS and ROD can be requested from the Price Field Office, Bureau of Land Management, 125 South 400 West, Price, Utah, 84501, or you can read the documents online via the Internet at http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/price/energy/Oil_Gas.html.

For further information contact Tyler Ashcroft, Planning and Environmental Coordinator, telephone (435) 636-3613; address 125 South 600 West, Price, Utah, 84501; e-mail Tyler_Ashcroft@blm.gov.

Thank you for your active support!

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Annual Canyon Spring Cleanup

Saturday April 17, 2010 at 9:00 am.

Apr 08, 2010

Greetings, Nine Mile Canyon Enthusiasts!

Just a reminder that the Nine Mile Canyon Coalition's Annual Spring Cleanup is fast approaching. We will be picking up trash along the Back Country Byway. Those coming in from the Uinta Basin will meet at the Nine Mile Canyon information kiosk, located on the Nine Mile Canyon Back Country Byway, West of Myton and just south of State Highway 40 (next to the Hollow Moon Cafe) at 9:00 am.

Those coming in from Carbon County will meet at the Nine Mile Canyon information kiosk, located at Walker's Chevron on State Highway 6 in Wellington at 9:00 am.

Each group will work toward each other, and will meet at the Cottonwood Glen picnic area (mile post 27.2) at 1:00 pm for a potluck lunch and socializing.

Please remember to bring plenty of drinks (especially water), work gloves, hat, eating utensils, and a potluck contribution. If you have any questions, please email them to us at 9mcc@xmission.com.

We hope you will be there, and look forward to spending a great day of service in Nine Mile with you!

Thank you!

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In the News

Natural gas leak into Nine Mile Creek:

Apr 07, 2010

A natural gas pipeline has spilled natural gas into Nine Mile Creek near the Bill Barrett Corporation's (BBC) natural gas compressor station located at the mouth of Dry Canyon in Nine Mile Canyon. A seemingly low-key response led to very sketchy (at best) accounts of the accident in the press and media. One such account was published in an article titled "Gas driller mopping up leak at eastern Utah compressor station" - Deseret News, Friday April 2, 2010:
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700021474/Gas-driller-mopping-up-leak-at-eastern-Utah-compressor-station.html

"No water contamination says Barrett Corp after 'minor' leak" - by Greg Eichelberger, "Sun Advocate", April 6, 2010:
http://sunad.com/index.php?tier=1&article_id=18203

Contrary to these news reports, the spill was not "near Wellington", but was in Nine Mile Canyon, 45 miles from Wellington. According to unnamed sources at the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, this is not a minor spill, and it will take time for Bill Barrett to figure out where the spill is coming from and how to contain it. They also indicate that this will end up being a substantial cleanup and remediation project.

Who ever thought that a whirlwind of issues involving Nine Mile Canyon would fade away after the January signing of the Programmatic Agreement? Well, think again. Read on for even more news regarding the canyon.

Nearly two years ago, the Nine Mile Canyon Coalition joined a complaint in Federal Court with the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and the Wilderness Society, wherein we opposed the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) reckless use of statutorial categorical exclusions (CX). As a result of this lawsuit, a nationwide change in policy regarding how energy development is approved and managed in culturally-sensitive regions is the law of the land. Read about it in the article titled "Drilling deal sets new rules on sensitive lands - Policy will apply nationwide to areas with cultural, archaeological treasures" - by Patty Henetz, "The Salt Lake Tribune", April 1, 2010: http://www.sltrib.com/ci_14793508

"Interior Moves to Restrict Fast-Track Oil and Gas Drilling Permits" - "The New York Times", April 2, 2010: http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2010/04/01/01greenwire-interior-moves-to-restrict-fast-track-oil-and-99095.html?scp=1&sq=nine%20mile%20canyon&st=cse

"BLM settlement closes oil and gas leasing loophole" - by Amy Joi O'Donoghue, "Deseret News", April 6, 2010: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700021075/Enviro-groups-cheer-BLM-settlement.html

"Save a canyon - Interior boss wins one for Utah" - Tribune Editorial, "The Salt Lake Tribune", April 2, 2010: http://www.sltrib.com/ci_14810678

Thank you for your continued support! Your enthusiastic advocacy for the protection of Nine Mile Canyon is helping us protect this unique national treasure.

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In the News

Several articles have recently been published in major Salt Lake City newspapers regarding the natural gas industry in Nine Mile Canyon. Here are links to some of those articles:

Jan 04, 2009

BIG NEWS!!! Oil & Gas Leases in 9 Mile Pulled by Interior Secretary

Greetings, Nine Mile Canyon Enthusiasts:

Today was a GREAT DAY for Nine Mile Canyon and other special places in Utah. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced that the government is dropping the lease of 77 parcels of federal land that were offered at a BLM-administered oil & gas lease sale on December 19th. Some of those leases were located in and around Nine Mile Canyon. While this does not affect the current industrial activity or mode of operation in Nine Mile Canyon, there is hope that the new Administration will move soon to protect the Canyon's unique and irreplaceable cultural treasures and landscapes.

The Nine Mile Canyon Coalition thanks Secretary Salazar and President Obama for this important decision regarding our public lands. It's great to know that Nine Mile Canyon's plight is in the new Administration's sight and conscience.

A Google search on the terms "secretary Salazar 77 oil" will return hundreds of media, press and web coverage links regarding the announcement.

Here are a few links to keep you busy reading:

THE NEW YORK TIMES:
"Drilling Leases Scrapped in Utah" by Leslie Kaufman 02/04/2009
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/05/us/05leases.html?_r=1&ref=us

Associated Press (AP):
"Salazar scraps sale of oil-and-gas leases in Utah" by Paul Foy 02/04/2009
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iR6iksPv6MUmw4jraPWPGHWAuGsgD9651CTO0

KSL TV - Salt Lake City:
"BLM cancels 77 oil and gas leases in Utah" by Whit Johnson and AP 02/04/2009
http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=5504421

THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE Editorial 02/04/2009:
"Undoing damage"
http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/ci_11629726

THE DESERET NEWS:
"Interior Secretary cancels energy lease sale" by Joi O'Donoghue
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,705282698,00.html

MSNBC:
"Bush-era energy drilling leases in Utah canceled"
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29017638/

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In the News

Several articles have recently been published in major Salt Lake City newspapers regarding the natural gas industry in Nine Mile Canyon. Here are links to some of those articles:

Dec 09, 2008

Deseret News, December 9, 2008
"BLM is asked to pull more lease parcels"
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,705269201,00.html

The Salt Lake Tribune, December 4, 2008
"Protests pour in against drilling leases"
http://www.sltrib.com/ci_11140585?IADID=Search-www.sltrib.com-www.sltrib.com

Sun Advocate, December 4, 2008
"BLM removes Nine Mile parcels from lease sale"
http://www.sunad.com/index.php?tier=1&article_id=14645

Deseret News, December 3, 2008
"BLM backs off on Nine Mile, Desolation drilling"
http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5620,705267704,00.html%3FprintView%3Dtrue

Deseret News, November 26, 2008
"BLM pulls land near parks from sale"
http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5620,705265990,00.html

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Contact Us

Mailing Address:
PO Box 402
Price, Utah 84501
Email Address:
Nine Mile Canyon Coalition Board Chair
Dr. Deanne Matheny