The Navajo Mine is shown on March 6 off of Burnham Road. Officials with the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement have extended the public
The Navajo Mine is shown on March 6 off of Burnham Road. Officials with the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement have extended the public comment period for the draft environmental impact statement for the Four Corners Power Plant and Navajo Mine energy project. (The Daily Times file photo)

FARMINGTON — Federal officials have extended the public comment period for the draft environmental impact statement for the Four Corners Power Plant and Navajo Mine energy project.

The U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement approved extending the comment period to June 27.

The draft statement was released for public review on March 28. That started a 60-day public comment period, which was scheduled to end on May 27.

Marcelo Calle, environmental impact statement coordinator, said the federal office received multiple requests to extend the deadline for public comments.

Among those that requested an extension were the City of Durango, the Diné Medicine Men's Association Inc. and the Shiprock, Teec Nos Pos and White Rock chapters.

Comments may be submitted by email to fcppnavajoenergyeis@osmre.gov or by mail to Marcelo Calle, OSMRE Western Region, 1999 Broadway, Suite 3320, Denver, CO 80202-3050. When emailing a comment, indicate in the subject line it is for the "Four Corners-Navajo Mine DEIS Comments."

A copy of the draft statement is available online and a paper copy can be reviewed at the Farmington Public Library, Shiprock Branch Library, the Bureau of Indian Affairs Shiprock Office and the Nenahnezad, Shiprock, Tiis Tsoh Sikaad and Upper Fruitland chapter houses.

A notice of the extension was printed May 16 in the Federal Register.

The draft statement, which is more than 800 pages, analyzes the effects of implementing four possible options for the power plant and the coal mine.

The proposed actions would authorize Arizona Public Service Co. to continue operating the power plant until 2041, renew the mine permit to allow Navajo Transitional Energy Company to continue mining coal to fuel the power plant and approve NTEC to develop a new mine area within the existing Navajo Mine lease.

THE COMPLETE DEIS

Read the draft environmental impact statement and supporting documents on the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement's website.

It would also renew the rights-of-way of four transmission lines that travel from the power plant to the San Juan Generating Station, the West Mesa Switchyard, the Cholla Substation and the Moenkopi Substation,

The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement hosted nine open house sessions from April 30 to May 9 in which officials discussed the project, proposed actions and findings with the public.

Comments submitted during the sessions were either written or recorded by certified court recorders.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636. nsmith@daily-times.com Follow her @nsmithdt on Twitter.