Simplot Company’s Proposed East Smoky Panel Mine Project

Smoky Canyon Mine, fall 2018. Showing excavated highwalls and pit.|Fugitive Dust from Haul Road at Lanes Creek Mine.|||| Smoky Canyon Mine, fall 2018. Showing excavated highwalls and pit.|Fugitive Dust from Haul Road at Lanes Creek Mine.|||| |||||

In December 2018, Y2U submitted comments on the joint prepared (Bureau of Land Management and Caribou-Targhee National Forest) Draft Environmental Impact Statement for a J.R. Simplot proposed open pit phosphate mine in southeast Idaho. The expansion of the mine is in a regionally signifcant wildlife corridor and would negatively impact habitat for wildlife including sage grouse, big game, lynx, wolverine, birds, and fish. The DEIS fails to take into account impacts of logging and vegetation removal on climate change, bad air quality, mining related seismic activity, ground and surface water, noise, and hunting and fishing opportunities. Furthermore, the area around the mine is already deemed a Superfund Site subject to Natural Resource Damages from past and/or ongoing mining pollution.

The comment period is insufficient and prevents small organizations like Y2U from providing thorough analysis of the cumulative effects the Smoky Canyon mine would have. The shortened time periods are the result of the Trump administration's natural resource development platform that seeks to push through large extractive projects in shorter amounts of time to prevent adequate feedback on impacts and proposed mitigation. Y2U will continue to monitor the situation and work with public lands agencies to suggest further analysis and mitigation efforts to minimize the impact on habitat, fish, and wildlife.

See attachment below for full comments.