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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A list of frequently asked questions about the Uranium Leasing Program Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement.

Below is a list of frequently asked question about the Uranium Leasing Program PEIS. Click a question below to see the answer.

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What is an EIS?

"EIS" is the abbreviation for environmental impact statement, a document prepared to evaluate the impacts of proposed activities on the environment. "Environment" in this case is defined as the natural and physical environment and the relationship of people with that environment. This means that the "environment" considered in an EIS includes land; water; air; structures; living organisms; environmental values at the site; and social, cultural, and economic factors.

An "impact" is a change or consequence that results from an activity. Impacts can be positive or negative, or both. An EIS is a decision making tool that describes the impacts on the environment as a result of a proposed action. It also describes impacts of alternative actions, as well as ways to mitigate the impacts. To "mitigate" means to lessen or remove negative impacts.

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What is a Programmatic EIS?

A Programmatic EIS evaluates the environmental impacts of broad agency actions, such as the development of programs or the setting of national policies.

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Why is an EIS needed for the Uranium Leasing Program?

The DOE issued a Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) in 2007 for the ULP. While DOE decided that an EIS was not needed at that time, the agency has now decided to prepare a PEIS, based on new site-specific information gathered by DOE since 2007 and agency actions proposed and approved pursuant to the PEA.

The PEIS will evaluate the environmental impacts, including the site-specific impacts, associated with continuation of the ULP for the remainder of the ten-year period covered in the PEA; and, if it decides to continue the ULP, to determine which alternative to adopt in order to manage the ULP during that period. This is a major federal action which could significantly impact the quality of the human environment. An EIS is the appropriate document to prepare for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. A PEIS is appropriate as the proposed action covers a major federal program.

A PEIS will allow for an assessment and disclosure of the environmental impacts associated with the ULP. This will facilitate input and suggestions from stakeholders including regulatory agencies, elected officials, environmental organizations, and individual citizens on how best to proceed with this program.

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What is the scope of the analysis in the ULP PEIS?

The scope of the PEIS includes an assessment of the positive and negative environmental, social, and economic impacts of the ULP. DOE evaluated five alternatives in the ULP PEIS. These five alternatives are described in the Final PEIS and summarized on this Web site.

For more information, visit What Is in the ULP PEIS.

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What impacts and issues have been evaluated in the ULP PEIS?

In the ULP PEIS, DOE has evaluated each alternative for its potential impacts on the following 13 human health and environmental resource areas using available site-specific information in combination with assumptions:

  1. Air quality,
  2. Acoustic environment,
  3. Soil resources,
  4. Water resources,
  5. Human health,
  6. Ecological resources,
  7. Land use,
  8. Socioeconomics,
  9. Environmental justice,
  10. Transportation,
  11. Cultural resources,
  12. Visual resources, and
  13. Waste management.

In addition to the above resource areas, DOE has evaluated cumulative impacts that could occur when potential impacts from the proposed action are considered with past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions in the region of influence (ROI) for this ULP PEIS. The five alternatives are also analyzed for the three phases of uranium mining: exploration; mine development and operations; and reclamation, as applicable to the given alternative.

For more information, visit What Is in the ULP PEIS.

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What alternatives have been analyzed in the ULP PEIS?

The DOE evaluated five alternatives in the ULP PEIS. DOE developed the range of alternatives by carefully considering DOE's underlying need for action and comments received during the public scoping period for the ULP PEIS. The five alternatives are summarized on What Is in the Uranium Leasing Program PEIS and described in the Final PEIS.

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What is DOE's preferred alternative for the ULP?

DOE's preferred alternative for the management of the ULP is Alternative 4. DOE would continue to allow, after appropriate NEPA analysis, the exploration, mine development and operations, and reclamation of uranium mines on the 31 lease tracts that are being managed under the DOE ULP.

For more information, see the Final PEIS under PEIS Documents.

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How long will it take to complete the PEIS?

Preparation of the ULP PEIS is a multistep process that will include preparation of a Draft PEIS, a Final PEIS, and a Record of Decision (ROD). The schedule for the ULP PEIS can be found on the ULP PEIS Schedule page and at http://nepa.energy.gov/.

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How can I participate in the PEIS process?

There are several ways to participate in the PEIS process. Aside from attending public scoping meetings, attending public hearings, and providing comments during both the public scoping and public comment periods, you can read the PEIS and related documents, and you can learn about the PEIS by using this Web site.

For more information, visit Getting Involved.

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How can I obtain a copy of the Final PEIS?

The Final PEIS is available for browsing, downloading, or printing in PDF format under PEIS Documents on this Web site. In addition, a CD-ROM or printed copy of the Final PEIS may be requested through the Final ULP PEIS Order Form.

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