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Tetra Tech Spreads it’s Tentacles over the Environment

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new-logo25Debbie Coffey                Copyright 2013        All Rights Reserved.

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In a 2011 article about Tetra Tech, a company hired by the BLM to prepare BLM Resource Management Plans and Environmental Assessments, it was revealed that Hugh Grant, the Chairman and CEO of Monsanto, is on Tetra Tech’s Board of Directors, and that Tetra Tech also has ties to mining interests.

In September, 2013, Tetra Tech was given a $48 million contract to help the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with it’s Superfund Program.  Tetra Tech also received another contract in July, 2013, worth $50 million for “technical assistance” on Superfund sites.

In the EPA’s Superfund database, as of 2012, Monsanto is associated with 11 “active” Superfund sites and 20 “archived” sites in the United States. Monsanto has been sued, and has settled, multiple times for damaging the health of its employees or residents near its Superfund sites through pollution and poisoning.

Mining companies have also caused many Superfund sites.

It seems the polluters are now cleaning up on the cleanup. More

BLM Again Targeting Herd Filmed by Ginger Kathrens of The Cloud Foundation

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Debbie Coffey   Copyright 2011 All Rights Reserved.

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Mr. James M. Sparks, Field Manager

BLM Billings Field Office

5501 Southgate Drive

Billings, MT  59101 

Dear Mr. Sparks:

            My comments regarding your scoping notice for capturing and removal of wild horses in the Pryor Mountains are: 

1)       In your “DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT” you base your reasoning for the need to remove the wild horses on “preventing deterioration of the range” while “maintaining a  thriving ecological balance.”  I will now notify you of reasons why I believe this “justification” is perpetrating fraud on the American public. 

In reviewing the 40 pages of APDs (Applications for Permits to Drill) for oil and gas since 2003, I see that many of them were approved.  Although this document is from the Miles Field Office in Montana, it included APDs within boundaries of the Billings, MT, BLM Field Office.

These permits were probably given a Finding Of No Significant Impact by BLM Field Office Managers, even though each well probably uses a couple of thousand gallons of water per day for exploratory drilling (much more than the horses drink, and much more terrain is disturbed by construction of the oil well pads and additional roads, etc., than could ever be attributed to some horse hooves).

It seems that when these APDs are granted, the BLM’s scope is myopic in that the BLM doesn’t seem to foresee, or care to mention, that if these any of these wells start to really produce, there will be a huge INCREASE in public land disturbance and INCREASED USE of water.

There are also many more APDs pending. Will I be reading any BLM Environmental Assessments about preventing or removing oil and gas production with reasoning that there’s a need for “preventing deterioration of the range” or “maintaining a thriving ecological balance” or any concern about the “watershed condition?” In looking at the oil and gas lease sales for Billings, MT Field Office, I see that thousands of acres of public lands are going to oil and gas lease sales each quarter.  I’m not going to take the time to add up the total amount of acreage now, but I will when I make a public comment on any upcoming EA by your field office.  If anything, this is OUT OF ECOLOGICAL BALANCE, and giving an unfair amount of “multiple use” to one use (oil and gas) over another use (wild horses)

2)       In your “RELATIONSHIP TO EXISTING PLANS and DOCUMENTS” you mention that your objective is “to manage for a balance,” and you also mention the “watershed condition.”  

Since you brought up water, in looking at some other projects in your district, I see that you gave a Finding of No Significant Impact” to the Bull Mountains Mine #1, a coal lease, saying this “will not significantly affect the quality of the human environment, individually or cumulatively with other actions in the general area. No environmental effects meet the definition of significance in context or intensity as defined in 40 CFR 1508.27…”   

Really?  How did you come to this conclusion after it was noted that Madison Formation wells provide water used for the underground mine equipment and the coal

preparation plant and use is approximately 500 gallons per minute?  That’s about 720,000 gallons of water PER DAY.   This is a LOT of water taken from the aquifer.

Have you added all of the additional water used by all the oil and gas leases?  If a reasonable person compared the above usage to the 15-20 gallons of water a day a wild horse drinks, they would come to the conclusion that I have:  If there is not enough water (or forage because of the lack of water) for our wild horses, it is ONLY because the BLM has mismanaged land and water use.   

Aquifers are not confined by Field Office or county boundaries.  The USGA has said of aquifers in your region “Most of the aquifers in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming are parts of five large regional aquifer systems. An aquifer system consists of two or more aquifers that function similarly. The aquifers can be hydraulically connected so that a change in hydrologic conditions in one of the aquifers will affect the other aquifers or separated but with common geologic and hydrologic characteristics. Much of the freshwater that is withdrawn in Segment 8 is obtained from the regional aquifer systems, some of which extend far beyond the boundaries of the segment.”  The BLM might as well just be honest and say “We’re getting rid of the wild horses come hell or high water to replace them with other ‘multiple uses’ that make more money.”  It’s obvious to the public that this is what the BLM is doing.

 http://pubs.usgs.gov/ha/ha730/ch_i/I-text2.html
http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/prog/energy/oil_and_gas/leasing/historic_sale_results.html
http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/mt/blm_programs/energy/oil_and_gas/apds.Par.78213.File.dat/MCFOpending.pdf 

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE BLM

6 Comments

 

 

 by Debbie Coffey Copyright 2011 All Rights Reserved.

Investigative Reporter/PPJ

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Graphic by Kurt Golgart

This is about the wild horse roundups. BUT, ranch owners who own cattle and sheep should pay attention to the following, and wonder what water or land will be left for your livestock grazing in the future. Why do you think the DOI is removing all of the wild horses off our public lands?  For you?

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Jay D’Ewart

BLM Rocks Springs Field Office

280 Highway 191 North

Rock Springs, WY 82901

WhiteMountain_LittleColorado_HMA_WY@blm.gov

Subject: White Mountain/Little Colorado Environmental Assessment Comments

Dear Mr. D’Ewart:

In this BLM Environmental Assessment, Section 1.2 PURPOSE AND NEED, the EA states:

“The need for this action is to remove excess animals in order to achieve a thriving natural ecological balance between wild horse populations, wildlife, livestock, vegetation, and water resources and to protect the range from deterioration associated with overpopulation of wild horses as authorized under Section 1333 (b) (2) of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses & Burros Act (1971).”

My comments are:

 1) One of my biggest concerns is that this Environmental Assessment is based on flawed reasoning and for reasons listed below is, basically, fraud against the American public, no matter what “authorizations” it hides behind. More

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