The U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) is taking comment until July 1 on what should be covered in an environmental assessment (EA) for a Jim Bridger Coal Mine complex mining plan modification for federal coal lease WYW-02727.
The Bridger Coal Co. (BCC) mine complex and the adjacent Jim Bridger power plant are located in southwest Wyoming and both are co-owned by PacifiCorp and Idaho Power.
Since 1974, the operator of the Bridger Mine Complex (currently Bridger Coal Co. (BCC)) has mined portions of federal coal lease WYW-02727. In November 2014, Wyoming regulators approved an amendment to the mine plan that including mining of portions of federal coal lease WYW-02727 not previously approved by OSMRE. An Interior Dept. official overseeing OSMRE must sign-off on this new permit area.
The Bridger Mine Complex is located approximately 35 miles northeast of Rock Springs, Wyoming. BCC proposes to add 560 federal surface acres and 4.5 million tons of federal coal to the approved federal mining plan. The proposed mining plan modification will not change the average production rate of 2.24 million tons per year or the maximum production rate of 3.60 million tons per year for the life of the surface mining operation. This mining plan modification would extend the life of the mine by approximately 13 years, concluding in 2037.