UCAA seeks Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) for Sevier Dry Lake in Millard County. The BLM is proposing to lease the entire lakebed for potash mining which will have large impacts on water resources, wildlife (principally birds).

The Sevier Lake ACEC meets the relevance criteria of 43 CFR 1610.7-2: There shall be present a significant historic, cultural or scenic value; a fish or wildlife resource or other natural system or process; or a natural hazard.  The Sevier Lake area contains scenic and wildlife resource values, as well as a large natural hazard.

” The Sevier Lake playa presents a natural hazard from dust storms that afflict the Wasatch Front with large quantities of dust and foul the air quality of a large region.  See, e.g., Utah Division of Air Quality, PM10 Exceptional Wind Event, Event Date – April 15, 2008 (attached) (documenting a large dust storm on the Wasatch Front generated by the Sevier Lake). Human activity in this area only serves to exacerbate the dust problem.

 The Sevier Lake is also a significant wildlife resource. Sevier Lake is roughly 130 miles south of the Great Salt Lake and is a key component of one of the most important aquatic bird resources in the Western Hemisphere. Many of the birds that migrate through the Great Salt Lake no doubt fly over Sevier Lake. There has been extensive aquatic bird use of this area when there has been water in Sevier Lake. It is fairly certain that the usage of Sevier Lake for birds is particularly important because much of Great Salt Lake is likely in flood stage when Sevier Lake has water. The Great Salt Lake during flood stage results in a drastic reduction of the shoreline that is available for aquatic birds. Furthermore, Sevier Lake includes brine shrimp and brine flies, the major food source for many aquatic birds in this area, such as Eared Grebes and Wilson’s Phalaropes. The Sevier Lake is very likely a major alternative to Great Salt Lake for many aquatic birds during the high water years at Great Salt Lake and brine shrimp and brine flies at Sevier Lake are a major food source.

 Sevier Lake also includes significant scenic values. It is an excellent example of an inland basin lake in the Great Basin. It provides visitors with vast, sweeping panoramas free from human development. Sevier Lake’s beauty has been documented in many photographs and pictures. See, e.g., Utah Pictures, Sevier Lake, Delta, Utah, http://utahpictures.com/Sevier_Lake_Delta.php (last visited Oct. 24, 2010).”

US seeking curbs on truck emissions: http://www.fairwarning.org/2010/10/seeking-to-cut-air-pollution-u-s-unveils-curbs-on-truck-emissions/

 

1. Kennecott plans to expand mine. Kennecott already contributes abt 25% of air pollutants to the Wasatch Airshed, and about 70% to Salt Lake County. The mine will expand by 33% and UCAA will join others in responding to the expansion. See: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home/50120766-76/kennecott-company-pollution-expansion.html.csp

2. The Clean Air Challenge was successful in reducing pollution whereby drivers used vehicles less. But industry needs to step up to the plate as well. See: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/49896769-82/quality-utah-business-pollutants.html.csp

3. Smart Phone ap to record air quality: http://www.montrealgazette.com/technology/scientists+create+smartphone+monitor+quality/3556830/story.html

4. NASA maps global air pollution (<2.5om) http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/09/nasa-maps-global-air-pollution/

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