The release of a draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Stibnite gold project is running behind schedule. The draft EIS (or "D-EIS" in regulator-speak) is a part of the permitting process for the Stibnite gold project in the Payette National Forest.
The D-EIS was supposed to be out in May. Then, the release got bumped to August to account for added hydrology study. And now, after the 2019 government shutdown — the longest in U.S. history — a D-EIS for the Stibnite open-pit mine isn’t expected until December.
Completing an Environmental Impact Statement is a requirement under the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA. It’s a document that describes the environmental impacts of any given project, and alternatives to those actions. In this case, the project is to re-open and expand an open-pit gold mine near the headwaters of the Salmon River, about 40 air miles east of McCall.
Forest Service public affairs officer Brian Harris said even December could be a moving target, adding that it’s more important to get it done right than to get it done fast.
Despite the delayed release of the D-EIS, the Forest Service is still aiming for a record of decision — that’s the finish line of the NEPA process — by December 2020.
Public documents related to the NEPA process for Stibnite are on the Payette National Forest's website.
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