BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Federal officials have released a final plan for five open-pit phosphate mines and reclamation work in eastern Idaho proposed by Idaho-based J.R. Simplot Company.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service released the jointly-prepared final environmental impact statement Friday for the Dairy Syncline Mine Project about 14 miles east of Soda Springs.
The five mines, disposal areas, tailing ponds and other mine workings would cover about 4.3 square miles.
The two federal agencies are taking comments before making decisions.
The area contains one of the nation's most abundant deposits of phosphate ore that's turned into fertilizer needed by farmers to grow food.
The area also contains more than a dozen federal Superfund sites needing cleanup from past phosphate mining activities.