Laura Seitz, Deseret Morning News
A killdeer resides on a reserve owned by Kennecott on the south shore of the Great Salt Lake. The firm conducted a voluntary cleanup of the wetlands after a claim reported adverse effects to wildlife from historic storage and disposal of wastes and other materials associated with mining operations near Kennecott's North End copper smelting and refining facility.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a draft restoration plan and Environmental Action Statement detailing proposed actions to be taken at the Lakepoint Wetlands.

The actions are intended to restore natural resources the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service asserts were impacted by contaminated groundwater, surface waters and sediments at the North Zone Wetlands.

The public is invited to review and comment on the draft restoration plan and Environmental Action Statement. The public comment period ends April 2.

Restoration actions proposed in the draft restoration plan published today include the transfer of 616 acres of salt marsh wetlands, uplands habitats owned by Kennecott to the Nature Conservancy, which will maintain the land in perpetuity as wildlife habitat.

Kennecott will also provide water rights to the Nature Conservancy to ensure that the Lakepoint Wetlands have a permanent supply of water. Kennecott will also construct a pipeline and canal system to improve the distribution of water to the property and will fund an endowment to address the costs of ownership and management of the wetlands.

As a result of a settlement of a natural resource damages claim between the FWS and Kennecott, the proposed draft restoration plan actions are intended to result in enhancement, restoration and preservation of over 600 acres of salt-marsh wetlands on the south shore of the Great Salt Lake. The FWS's claim concerned adverse effects to wildlife from historic storage and disposal of wastes and other materials associated with mining operations near Kennecott's North End copper smelting and refining facility.

Kennecott conducted a voluntary cleanup of the wetlands under an Administrative Order on Consent with Utah and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This settlement addresses the FWS's claim of adverse impacts to waterfowl, other migratory birds and their habitats at the wetlands.

For information or to obtain copy of the draft restoration plan and EAS for the Lakepoint Wetlands, contact Chris Cline at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2369 W. Orton Circle, Suite 50, West Valley City, UT 84119 or call 801-975-3330 ext. 145.

The draft restoration plan can be viewed or downloaded at www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/nrda/LakepointWetlands.htm.

The Web site also contains links to other documents associated with the settlement.