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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Area reports: domestic 1978-79
Year 1978-79, Volume 2 (1978-1979)

Burgin, Lorraine B.
Utah,   pp. 519-534 PDF (1.9 MB)

Page 520

ceive protective wilderness designation. The BLM completed the first phase
of their review in Utah in 1978 by designating 11 natural and primitive areas
as "instant study areas." The 11 areas to be reviewed for possible
status were (1) Book Cliffs Natural Area about 30 miles north of Moab, (2)
Link Flat Natural Area south of 1-70 and west of Green River, (3) Park Canyon
Primitive Area south of Canyonlands National Park, (4) Grand Gulch Primitive
Area southeast of Natural Bridges National Monument, (5) Phipps Death Hollow
Natural Area in the Escalante River Basin, (6) The Gulch Natural Area also
in the Escalante Basin, (7) North Escalante Canyon Natural Area, (8) Escalante
Canyon Natural Area, (9) Devil's Garden Natural Area just south of Escalante,
(10) Paria Canyon Primitive Area between Kanab and Glen Canyon on the Arizona
border, and (11) Joshua Tree Natural Area in southwestern Utah. The BLM Utah:
Final, Initial Wilderness Inventory report and map was published in August
1979. BLM is expected to make its recommendations by July 1980. The agency
still has a number of years in which to complete submission of reports and
recommendations on the balance of its roadless areas, totaling 11 to 12 million
acres, including the 11 natural and primitive areas. 
Further concern over the restriction in the use of Government land developed
when western Utah and eastern Nevada were proposed as sites for the MX missile
system. Mining industry leaders questioned the location of such a project
near areas where mining operations might be interrupted or curtailed. 
In September of 1978, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held
a hearing to discuss new standards for sulfur dioxide emissions at the new
Noranda process smelter of the Utah Copper Div. of Kennecott Copper Corp.
The EPA limitation on sulfur dioxide emissions from the new smelter had been
6,900 pounds per hour, but in August, the agency promulgated regulations
that would lower the allowable emissions to 3,700 pounds per hour. The company
received general support from the public, and the Utah Air Conservation Commission
Committee took the position that EPA should not impose new regulations until
emissions had been thoroughly monitored and emission limitations established
on a scientifically sound basis. In 
1979, Kennecott Minerals Co. contended its operations were in compliance
with ambient air quality standards for sulfur dioxide, achieved by constant
engineering controls at processing plants and by curtailment of smelting
operations to reduce emissions under certain weather conditions. Some governmental
agencies specified that ambient air standards must be met by engineering
controls only. The company sought relief through administrative and judicial
review processes. 
United States Steel Corp. and EPA attempted to negotiate an agreement in
principle on emission controls at the firm's Geneva Works. The company maintained
that the more than $100 million pollution control program requested by EPA
would be too costly. By yearend, agreement between the two entities had not
been achieved. 
The Bureau of Mines, in fiscal years 1978 and 1979, granted several research
contracts to various universities and private institutions in the State.
Studies were related to haul-road dust emissions, probabilistic modeling
of tailings designs, noise control of underground load-haul-dump machines,
analysis and restoration of ground water quality after in situ uranium leaching,
and roof bolt behavior. In 1978-79, the U.S. Department of Energy funded
the University of Utah for an investigation of the energy requirements of
new smelting and refining processes in copper production. 
In 1978, the University of Utah was designated, by the Secretary of the Interior,
as one of 31 universities where a State Mining and Mineral Resources and
Research Institute would be established, pursuant to Title III of Public
Law 95-87. The institute will establish training programs in mining and minerals
extraction and provide scholarships and fellowships. It will receive annual
allotments of $110,000 through 1984, plus $160,000 for scholarships and fellowships
for a 3-year period. 
The University of Utah signed an agreement to purchase the U.S. Bureau of
Mines five-building, 13-acre complex on its campus. The facilities will provide
research space for the College of Mines and Minerals Industries and College
of Engineering. Transfer of the property, to be purchased for $978,000, will
be completed when the new $10 million Bureau of Mines building is completed
adjacent to the University of Utah Research Park. 

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