The EIS analyzed direct, indirect, and cumulative environmental effects of the proposed projects and its alternatives including:
- cultural resources
- surface and groundwater quality and supplies
- aquatic/terrestrial habitat and biota
- wetlands and stream habitats
- federal and state listed species of concern
- emergency response and contingency plans
- mine closure and rehabilitation
- social and economic factors
Prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the EIS included sections related to cultural resources. Cardno assisted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with the review of the project in compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).
Tasks included coordination with the South Carolina State Historic Preparation Officer and the facilitation of tribal consultation. More than 200 cultural resources – prehistoric and historic archaeological sites, structures, bridges, cemeteries and the mine itself – were evaluated and assessed for potential project impacts.
In addition to drafting an Unanticipated Discoveries Plan, Cardno supported the preparation of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) outlining the treatment of significant archaeological sites and the historic Haile Gold Mine School.