Comments sought for Boulder USAF Seismic Station EA
Public comment accepted until April 13
March 29, 2009
The United States Air Force Technical Applications Center's (AFTAC) is proposing construction of seismo-acoustic monitoring sites at the Boulder Seismic Station near Boulder, Wyoming.
"In order to fully carry out its mission to monitor worldwide nuclear treaty compliance, AFTAC proposes to install seven new boreholes at the Boulder Seismic Station for research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) as part of the U.S. Nuclear Treaty monitoring mission."
The Proposed Action is for AFTAC to use Bureau of Land Management (BLM) property to install seven semi-permanent test and evaluation monitoring sites to test and evaluate seismo-acoustic methods. Seismo-acoustic monitoring, or a combination of seismological data and acoustic readings, has been shown to better identify differences between routine explosions, such as routine mining blasts and nuclear explosions.
AFTAC proposes to construct seven semi permanent seismo-acoustic test and evaluation sites. The proposed project occurs in Section 3, Township 32 North, Range 107 West in Boulder, Wyoming, near the juncture of Spring Creek and Scab Creek Road. The sites would require the drilling of seven wellheads and construction of associated surface infrastructure. Each of the wellheads would be surrounded by a surface vault measuring 4.0 feet wide, 4.0 feet deep, and 6.5 feet long, and would have the ability to support up to 10,000 pounds without collapsing. The vault will be 3 feet below grade and 1 foot above grade. In addition, each site would contain a 12-foot pole with two solar panels, one omni antenna, and an air terminal.
An Environmental Assessment (EA) has been prepared to analyze the proposed action. Environmental issues addressed during the initial scoping process include the following: Air Installation Compatible use Zone/Land Use, Air Quality, Water Resources, Safety and Occupational Heath, Hazardous Materials/Waste, Biological Resources, Cultural Resources, Geology and Soils, Socioeconomics, Storm Water
It has been determined that the project would have a short-term impact on approximately 5.03 acres and a long-term impact on 0.004 acres of vegetation and soils. Short-term impacts would occur during construction of the proposed sites from trenching, construction activities, and cross-country travel. Short-term impacts would last approximately 26 days during construction and until the impacted vegetation on the site has recovered. Long-term impacts would occur from the installation of the surface vaults and until the surface vaults are removed. The project area has been identified as non-agricultural. Human use of the area is limited to some livestock grazing and seismic testing. No evidence of use by either Federally Threatened or Endangered Species or Wyoming Species of Special Status has been documented.
Hill Air Force Base anticipates no significant impacts, either short-term or long-term, from the Proposed Action.
Click on this link to read the EA: Boulder Seismic EA (41 pages, 939K)
Public comment is due back by Monday, April 13, 2009. Send comments to:
Kay W. Winn
Hill AFB, UT 84056