April 1, 2010
Las Vegas, NV—Nevada Senator Harry Reid today sent a letter to Bob Abbey, the Director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), encouraging him to provide an extended period for public comment on the Sloan Hills Mineral Materials Sale once the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) is released in early summer. Reid also requested that the BLM ensure that the forthcoming document protects the BLM’s ability to deny the permit for the quarry. Reid has been contacted by thousands of southern Nevada residents who are concerned about the project’s location and its potential impact on surrounding neighborhoods. Reid wants to make certain that the public has sufficient time to weigh in on this proposal. A copy of Reid’s letter to Abbey is included below.
April 1, 2010
The Honorable Robert A. Abbey
Director, Bureau of Land Management
1849 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20240
Dear Director Abbey:
Over the past year, I have been contacted by thousands of people in southern Nevada who share my serious concerns about a proposed gravel mining operation that would be near many neighborhoods in Henderson. I am aware that the BLM intends to release the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) prepared for this project – the proposed Sloan Hills Mineral Materials Sale – early this summer. I write today to encourage you to provide an extended public comment period once that DEIS is released and to make sure that the DEIS sufficiently considers denying the permit for this gravel pit.
As you may be aware, there is considerable public controversy over this proposed gravel pit, including serious concerns about how the proposed operations would impact the quality of life and general health of residents that live in the Inspirada, Anthem, and Southern Highlands neighborhoods. It is important that the local communities get the maximum amount of time allowed under the BLM’s regulations to examine the forthcoming document. A comment period of at least 90 days to review and submit comments on the DEIS would be a welcome step by the Bureau of Land Management.
Additionally, I encourage you to ensure that the DEIS carefully analyzes this project in a manner that preserves the BLM’s opportunity to deny the permit for the proposed mineral materials sale. According to the settlement agreement that prompted this Environmental Impact Statement, the BLM must engage in a process to consider the proposed sale; however, nothing in that agreement restricts the BLM’s discretion to deny the opening of the proposed gravel pit. It is imperative that the BLM consider and present to the public a DEIS that does not foreclose this option.
If you have any questions, please contact me or my staff at (202) 224-3542. I appreciate your attention to and consideration of this request.
United States Senator
RenoBruce R. Thompson
Courthouse & Federal Bldg
400 S. Virginia St, Suite 902
Reno, NV 89501
Washington DC522 Hart Senate Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20510
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