Trapper comment period closed Thursday |

Trapper comment period closed Thursday

Patrick Kelly

OSMRE will have until April 30, 2016, to complete a new mining plan for Trapper Mine after WildEarth Guardians successfully challenged the mine's operations in federal court.

The public comment period for the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement's preliminary environmental assessment of Trapper Mine came to a close on Thursday.

According to OSMRE officials, the content of the comments will be used in the creation of a draft assessment for Trapper and the number of submissions won't be available until that process is completed.

All comments are categorized and given a response from OSMRE.

The focus of the comment period was to provide feedback on the nature of the environmental assessment and its adequacy. With those substantive comments, improvements to the assessment can be made.

A public outreach meeting hosted by OSMRE on Oct. 29 provided an opportunity for people to get educated on the issue and submit their written comments.

Trapper Mine spokesman Bill Ray said he was very grateful for the community's attendance at the public outreach meeting and its continued support of the mine.

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"The community response has been great," he said.

OSMRE hopes to release a draft environmental assessment in early January. Once released, comments will once again be taken and considered for the final assessment, which must be completed by April 30.

Ray said Trapper is committed to helping OSMRE complete the environmental assessment on time by providing support, materials and information.

In addition to working with OSMRE, Trapper will continue to keep the community up to date.

"When there are updates that we can give publically, when there's news to give publically, we'll make sure the community receives those," he said.

The public meeting and comment process are parts of ensuring the environmental assessment is in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act.

Reach Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or Reach Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or Follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.Reach Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or Follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.