On Tuesday, Aug. 14, the Bureau of Land Management released the final Environmental Assessment and the associated Finding of No Significant Impact and Decision Record regarding coal lease modifications at the Bowie mine five miles northeast of Paonia, Colo. in Delta County.
The EA evaluated the continuation of mining operations adjacent to Bowie Resources, LLC’s existing federal coal leases. The modifications consist of adding 502.43 acres to two of Bowie’s existing leases in order to prevent bypassing roughly 3.25 million tons of recoverable federal coal.
The Bowie No. 2 Mine has been in operation since November 1997 and produced about 2.5 million tons of coal in 2011. Currently, the mine employs 297 employees, and the majority of these employees, as well as their families, live in communities in Delta County. Total direct economic benefits associated with the coal mines within the North Fork Valley exceed $60 million annually.
Delta County received $860,000 in tax revenues from Bowie in 2011 which was the largest revenue source for the County for the year.
The EA, FONSI and DR are available at http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/BLM_Information/nepa/ufo.html.