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Environmental Justice and Socioeconomic Analyses for Lands Unsuitable for Mining EIS

Environmental justice and socioeconomic analysis support lands unsuitable for mining environmental impact statement.

  • Study Map

    The study area included a 67,000-acre portion of the Cumberland Highlands in northeastern Tennessee.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4

Anderson, Campbell, Morgan, and Scott Counties, Tennessee

Our Role
Environmental Justice and Socioeconomic Analyses.

67,000 acres
2 years
  • Analysis of populations afforded protection by the Executive Order on Environmental Justice
  • Socioeconomic analysis report of demographics and land use characteristics
  • Analysis of the coal industry production, employment, and economic impacts
  • Community engagement plan that enhances community participation.

The U.S. Department of the Interior Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) was considering a petition by the state of Tennessee on whether to restore future mining for a 67,000-acre portion of the scenic Cumberland Highlands in northeastern Tennessee. In response to the petition, OSM completed an Environmental Impact Statement for the North Cumberland Lands Unsuitable for Mining designation.

Gannett Fleming assisted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4 with conducting an Environmental Justice analysis and a socioeconomic analysis, as well as preparing a community engagement plan, to support OSM’s analysis and the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

What We Did

We analyzed the communities that were afforded protection under the Executive Order on Environmental Justice in Anderson, Campbell, Morgan, and Scott counties, Tennessee, and determined the potential impacts of proposed actions in communities impacted by the Lands Unsuitable for Mining project. We also developed a community engagement plan that enhanced public dialogue and participation in the Lands Unsuitable for Mining Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). 

Additionally, we prepared a socioeconomic analysis report that addresses demographics, county features, and land use characteristics of the study area. A portion of the report provides a detailed analysis of the coal industry, including production and employment, and assessed potential economic impacts associated with the proposed mining restrictions. Our firm identified major industries and job providers for the four counties in the report, as well as revenue streams and a summary of economic impacts of mining. We developed each section of the report to be included in the EIS.

Key Features

  • Environmental and economic analyses
  • Preparation of reports summarizing environmental justice and socioeconomic analysis 
  • Preparation of a community engagement plan to enhance participation in the analysis.

Sustainability Features & Outcomes

  • Analysis to support the decision to set-aside 67,000 acres from mining.

Similar Projects: Federal: Environmental, Environmental Management & Remediation, Mining: Exploration, Mining: Facility Operations & Process Design, Federal, Mining, Environmental Management & Remediation: Natural Resources & Restoration, Environmental Management & Remediation: NEPA Compliance & Documentation, Environmental Management & Remediation: Socio-Economic Studies & Cultural Resources