In a Record of Decision (ROD) published in the Federal Register today, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it has decided to continue management of the Uranium Leasing Program (ULP) for 31 lease tracts for the next 10 years. DOE’s decision is consistent with its preferred alternative identified in the Final Uranium Leasing Program Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (Final ULP PEIS) (DOE/EIS-0472).
Under the ULP, DOE administers 31 tracts of land covering an aggregate of approximately 25,000 acres (10,000 ha) in Mesa, Montrose, and San Miguel Counties in western Colorado for exploration, mine development and operations, and reclamation of uranium mines.
In implementing this decision, leases will be modified, as needed, to include mitigation measures described in the ULP PEIS, and DOE will prepare a Mitigation Action Plan in accordance with DOE National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) procedures. As plans for exploration, mine development and operation, or reclamation are submitted by the lessees to DOE for approval, further NEPA analyses for these actions will be prepared and tiered from the Final ULP PEIS. The level of follow-on NEPA analyses will depend on the action being proposed by the lessees. The ROD states that DOE will implement this ROD only after the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado has dissolved the injunction that it issued on October 18, 2011.