Notice of Availability of a Revised Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Pinedale Anticline Oil and Gas Exploration and Development Project, Sublette County, WY, 73877-73879 [E7-24955]

Download as PDF mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 248 / Friday, December 28, 2007 / Notices unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. However, under OMB regulations, the BLM may continue to conduct or sponsor this information collection while it is pending at OMB. On June 21, 2006, the BLM published a notice in the Federal Register (71 FR 35698) requesting comment on this information collection. The comment period ended on August 21, 2006. The BLM received no comments. You may obtain copies of the collection of information and related forms and explanatory material by contacting the BLM Information Collection Clearance Officer at the telephone number listed in the ADDRESSES section below. DATES: The OMB is required to respond to this request within 60 days but may respond after 30 days. Submit your comments to OMB at the address below by January 28, 2008 to receive maximum consideration. ADDRESSES: Send your comments and suggestions on this ICR to the Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior at OMB–OIRA at (202) 395– 6566 (fax) or OIRA_DOCKET@OMB.eop.gov (e-mail). Please provide a copy of your comments to Alexandra Ritchie, Information Collection Clearance Officer, Bureau of Land Management, at U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Mail Stop 401LS, 1849 C Street, NW., Washington, DC 20240. Additionally, you may contact Alexandra Ritchie regarding this ICR at (202) 452–0388 (phone); (202) 653–5287 (fax); or Alexandra_Ritchie@blm.gov (email). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For program-related questions, contact Alzata L. Ransom, Realty Use Group, on (202) 452–7772 (Commercial or FTS). Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877–8330, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to contact Ms. Ransom. For questions regarding this ICR or the information collection process, contact Alexandra Ritchie by phone, mail, fax, or e-mail (see ADDRESSES). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: OMB Control Number: 1004–0009. Title: Land Use Application and Permit, 43 CFR 2920. Bureau Form Number: 2920–1. Type of Request: Extension of currently approved collection. Affected Public: Private Citizens, Businesses, and State and Local Governments. Respondent’s Obligation: Required to obtain or retain a benefit. Frequency of Collection: On occasion. VerDate Aug<31>2005 22:27 Dec 27, 2007 Jkt 214001 Estimated Annual Number of Responses: 519. Estimated Time per Response: 1 hour per response for land use authorizations that will cause little or no damage to the public lands and resources; 120 hours for authorizations that may cause considerable damage or disturbance to the public lands and resources. Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 1,709. Abstract: The BLM uses the information to allow State and local governments, businesses, and private citizens to use, occupy, or develop the public lands under certain conditions. Land uses that may be authorized are: agricultural development, residential (under certain conditions), recreation concessions (under certain conditions), and business, industrial, and commercial. The types of land uses include commercial filming, advertising displays, commercial or noncommercial croplands, apiaries, livestock, holding or feeding areas not related to grazing permits and leases, harvesting of native or introduced species, temporary or permanent facilities for commercial purposes (does not include mining claims), ski resorts, construction equipment storage sites, assembly yards, oil rig stacking sites, mining claim occupancy if the residential structures are not incidental to the mining operation, and water pipelines and well pumps related to irrigation and nonirrigation facilities. We estimate that it will take a respondent 1 hour to complete an application for a land use authorization that will cause little or no damage or disturbance to the public lands and resources. Ninety-eight percent of land use authorization respondents are in this category. It will take a respondent 120 hours to complete an application for complex land use authorization proposals that will cause considerable damage or disturbance to the public lands and resources. Two percent of land use authorization respondents are in this category. The majority of the complex land use authorizations are from the major motion picture film industry. The BLM did not receive any responses in this last category during the current collection period. The average annual application processing fee for this entire collection (complex and less complex authorization proposals) is $148,933.28. We again specifically request your comments on the following: 1. Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper functioning of the BLM, including whether the information will have practical utility; PO 00000 Frm 00121 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 73877 2. The accuracy of BLM’s estimate of the burden of collecting the information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; 3. The quality, utility and clarity of the information we collect; and 4. How to minimize the burden of collecting the information on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated electronic, mechanical, or other forms of information technology. Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of public record. Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment, including your personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask OMB in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that it will be done. Dated: December 21, 2007. Alexandra Ritchie, Bureau of Land Management, Information Collection Clearance Officer. [FR Doc. E7–25217 Filed 12–27–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–84–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [WY–100–05–1310–DB] Notice of Availability of a Revised Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Pinedale Anticline Oil and Gas Exploration and Development Project, Sublette County, WY Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of Availability. AGENCY: SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) of 1969, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announces the availability of a Revised Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for long-term development of natural gas resources in the Pinedale Anticline Project Area (PAPA). The BLM released a Draft Supplemental Impact Statement (DSEIS) on December 15, 2006. The comment period for the DSEIS closed on April 6, 2007. Based upon public comments, BLM is reissuing a Revised Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (RDSEIS) to include the analysis of two additional alternatives. E:\FR\FM\28DEN1.SGM 28DEN1 mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES 73878 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 248 / Friday, December 28, 2007 / Notices The RDSEIS includes the three alternatives that were analyzed in the original draft: the no action, proposed action, and the BLM preferred alternative. It also includes two additional alternatives: One based upon the comments BLM received from oil and gas proponents and the State of Wyoming Game and Fish; and an additional alternative which analyzes full field development with current wildlife timing stipulations in place. The first added alternative analyzes the effects of continued development activities during winter under relaxed wildlife timing stipulations within a core area of the PAPA. In addition, leases on the East and West flanks of the PAPA are proposed to be placed in suspense to offset affected winter habitat in the core development areas. A wildlife matrix and mitigation fund has been incorporated into this alternative to address on and off-site mitigation. The second added alternative analyzes the effects of full field development with wildlife timing stipulations carried forward from the 2000 PAPA ROD and subsequent PAPA decision documents. This alternative would allow for the development of 4399 wells, the level of development currently considered necessary to effectively recover the oil and gas resources. In addition to the two new alternatives, the RDSEIS will analyze pace of development. This analysis will show levels of impact associated with the number of rigs operating at any one time in the PAPA. DATES: This notice initiates the public comment process. The BLM can best use public input if comments and resources information are submitted within 45 days of the publication of this notice. ADDRESSES: Please send written comments or resource information to the Bureau of Land Management, Pinedale Field Office, Caleb Hiner, Project Manager, 432 East Mill Street, P.O. Box 768, Pinedale, Wyoming 82941. Electronic mail may be sent to: WYMail_PAPA_YRA@blm.gov. The RDSEIS will be posted at http:// www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/NEPA/ pfodocs/anticline/seis.html when available. Your response is important and will be considered in the environmental analysis process. If you do respond, we will keep you informed of decisions resulting from this analysis. Please note that public comments and information submitted regarding this project including names, e-mail addresses and street addresses of the respondents will be available for public review and disclosure at the above VerDate Aug<31>2005 22:27 Dec 27, 2007 Jkt 214001 address during regular business hours (7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays). Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, be advised that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold from public review your personal identifying information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bureau of Land Management, Caleb Hiner, Project Manager, 1625 West Pine, P.O. Box 768, Pinedale, Wyoming 82941. Mr. Hiner may also be reached by telephone at (307) 367–5352, or by sending an electronic message to: caleb_hiner@blm.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The BLM released a Draft SEIS on December 15, 2006, based on a proposal received for long-term development of natural gas resources in the PAPA from Questar Exploration and Production (Questar), Shell Exploration and Production Company (Shell), and Ultra Resources Inc. (Ultra). The Operators proposed to conduct year round drilling and completions in Concentrated Development Areas within a Core Development Area (coinciding with the Anticline Crest) in the PAPA. In 2000, the PAPA Record of Decision (ROD) for development on the PAPA established seasonal restrictions on natural gas development to minimize adverse effects on wintering big game and sage grouse during breeding and nesting. The Operators proposed an additional 4,399 wells on approximately 10-acre bottom hole spacing from an additional 250 well pads to effectively recover the mineral resource. The proposed development included construction of new well pads and substantial expansion of existing well pads to allow for multiple wells drilled from a pad. The PAPA ROD established restrictions on when oil and gas development activities may occur. The NEPA document did not include analysis of the potential impacts of oil and gas development activities (specifically drilling and completions) to big game on crucial winter ranges during the period of November 15 through April 30. The air quality impact analysis considered a total of 900 wells drilled with 700 producing well pads. The PAPA ROD stated that if the level of development exceeds that analyzed in the Draft EIS, BLM would conduct PO 00000 Frm 00122 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 additional environmental analysis. There are currently approximately 460 producing wells in the PAPA. In addition, the BLM has determined that there is a need for new pipeline corridors between the PAPA and processing plants in southwestern Wyoming. Therefore, the RDSEIS will also include analysis of new corridors. In addition, specific analysis is included in the RDSEIS for two additional gas sales pipelines from the PAPA, one to the Granger and Blacks Fork gas plants and one from the PAPA to the Opal and Pioneer gas plants. The BLM has identified the following resources that may be adversely impacted by the proposal: Surface and ground water resources; air quality; wildlife and their habitats; reclamation; visual resources; transportation; noxious weed control; grazing, cultural and paleontological resources; wetland and riparian resources; threatened and endangered animal and plant species; and socioeconomic resources. The BLM conducted NEPA analysis and issued a ROD for the Pinedale Anticline Oil and Gas Exploration and Development Project in July 2000. The BLM conducted this analysis in response to increasing numbers of operators requesting approval to drill and develop gas wells on the Pinedale Anticline. The NEPA document analyzed three alternatives with different levels of required mitigation and for each alternative there were three exploration and development scenarios based on the density and distribution of well pad development. The PAPA ROD established protection of big game crucial winter ranges from oil and gas developments (well drilling and completion) during the winter months. The PAPA ROD provided that the BLM could grant limited exceptions to this winter closure period based on current conditions such as presence of wintering animals or depth of snow cover. However, each exception was to be made on a case-by-case basis (annually) and usually with the requirement that should winter conditions prevail, those activities would cease. Starting in the winter 2002–2003, the BLM authorized Questar Exploration and Development Company (Questar) to continue gas development operations at one well pad within big game crucial winter range with the requirement that Questar work closely with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department in its study of impacts to the Sublette Mule Deer. In November 2004, the BLM issued a Decision Record allowing Questar to expand their development activities in crucial mule deer winter range during E:\FR\FM\28DEN1.SGM 28DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 248 / Friday, December 28, 2007 / Notices winter while continuing to support the Sublette Mule Deer Study (Questar Year-Round Drilling Proposal Environmental Assessment, November 2004). Since then other operators within the Pinedale Anticline have expressed interest in conducting gas development activities including year-round drilling within big game crucial winter range. In the summer of 2005, Anschutz, Shell, and Ultra submitted a proposal to the BLM for year-round drilling demonstration project on three well pads within their leaseholds during one year. In September 2005, BLM issued a Decision Record to allow them to proceed (ASU Year-Round Drilling Demonstration Project, September 2005). The Decision Record allowed each of the three operators to drill yearround on one well pad each on crucial winter range during the winter of 2005– 2006. The result of that project led the Operators to the current proposal and to BLM’s determination that a Supplemental EIS is necessary. The PAPA encompasses approximately 198,034 acres of primarily Federal lands (nearly 80 percent), and state and private land. Approximately 83 percent of the mineral estate underlying the PAPA is federally-owned. James K. Murkin, Acting Associate State Director. [FR Doc. E7–24955 Filed 12–27–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–22–P INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. 337–TA–613] In the Matter of Certain 3G Mobile Handsets and Components; Notice of Commission Decision not to Review an Initial Determination Granting Complainants’ Motion to Amend the Complaint and Notice of Investigation U.S. International Trade Commission. ACTION: Notice. mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES AGENCY: SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the U.S. International Trade Commission has determined not to review an initial determination (‘‘ID’’) (Order No. 9) of the presiding administrative law judge (‘‘ALJ’’) granting complainants’’ motion to amend the complaint and notice of investigation in the above-captioned investigation. The above-captioned investigation has been consolidated with Inv. No. 337–TA–601, Certain 3G Wideband Code Division Multiple VerDate Aug<31>2005 22:27 Dec 27, 2007 Jkt 214001 Access (WCDMA) Handsets and Components Thereof. Eric Frahm, Office of the General Counsel, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street, SW., Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205–3107. Copies of non-confidential documents filed in connection with this investigation are or will be available for inspection during official business hours (8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.) in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street, SW., Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205–2000. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its Internet server at http://www.usitc.gov. The public record for this investigation may be viewed on the Commission’s electronic docket (EDIS) at http:// edis.usitc.gov. Hearing-impaired persons are advised that information on this matter can be obtained by contacting the Commission’s TDD terminal on (202) 205–1810. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The subject initial determination concerns investigations which have now been consolidated: Inv. No. 337–TA–601 and Inv. No. 337–TA–613. The Commission instituted Inv. No. 337–TA–601 on April 27, 2007, based on a complaint by InterDigital Communications Corp. of King of Prussia, Pennsylvania and InterDigital Technology Corp. of Wilmington, Delaware (collectively, ‘‘InterDigital’’) filed on March 23, 2007. 72 FR 21049. The complaint, as amended, alleged violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1337) in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain 3G wideband code division multiple access (WCDMA) handsets and components thereof by reason of infringement of claim 7 of U.S. Patent No. 6,674,791; claims 1, 3, and 4 of U.S. Patent No. 6,693,579; claims 1, 2, 31, 32, and 59 of U.S. Patent No. 7,117,004; and claims 1, 3, 8, 9, and 11 of U.S. Patent No. 7,190,966. The notice of investigation named Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. of Seoul, Korea; Samsung Electronics America, Inc. of Ridgefield Park, New Jersey; and Samsung Telecommunications America LLC of Richardson, Texas (collectively, ‘‘Samsung’’) as respondents. The Commission instituted Inv. No. 337–TA–613 on September 11, 2007, based on a complaint by InterDigital filed on August 7, 2007. 72 FR 51838. The complaint, as amended, alleged violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1337) in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: PO 00000 Frm 00123 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 73879 importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain 3G mobile handsets and components by reason of infringement of claims 1–4 of U.S. Patent No. 6,693,579; claims 1, 2, 7–10, 14, 15, 21, 22, 24, 30–32, 34, 35, 46, 47, 49, 59, and 60 of U.S. Patent No. 7,117,004; and claims 1–3 and 6–12 of U.S. Patent No. 7,190,966. The notice of investigation named Nokia Corporation of Finland and Nokia Inc. of Irving, Texas (collectively, ‘‘Nokia’’) as respondents. On October 24, 2007, the ALJ consolidated Inv. No. 337–TA–601 with Inv. No. 337–TA–613. On October 23, 2007, InterDigital moved to amend the complaint and notice of investigation of Inv. No. 337– TA–613 to add allegations of infringement of claims 1–3 and 5–11 of recently issued U.S. Patent No. 7,286,847 (‘‘the ’847 patent’’) by Nokia. The Commission investigative attorney supported the motion. No other party responded to the motion. On November 9, 2007, the ALJ issued the subject ID granting InterDigital’s motion, finding that there was good cause to amend the complaint and notice of investigation. No petitions for review were filed. The Commission has determined not to review the ID. The authority for the Commission’s determination is contained in section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, 19 U.S.C. 1337, and in sections 210.14 and 210.42(c) of the Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure, 19 CFR 210.14, 210.42(c). Issued: December 6, 2007. By order of the Commission. Marilyn R. Abbott, Secretary to the Commission. [FR Doc. E7–25172 Filed 12–27–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020–02–P INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Inv. No. 337–TA–543] In the Matter of Certain Baseband Processor Chips and Chipsets, Transmitter and Receiver (Radio) Chips, Power Control Chips, and Products Containing Same, Including Cellular Telephone Handsets; Notice of Institution of Formal Enforcement Proceeding U.S. International Trade Commission. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the U.S. International Trade E:\FR\FM\28DEN1.SGM 28DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 248 (Friday, December 28, 2007)]
[Notices]
[Pages 73877-73879]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-24955]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[WY-100-05-1310-DB]


Notice of Availability of a Revised Draft Supplemental 
Environmental Impact Statement for the Pinedale Anticline Oil and Gas 
Exploration and Development Project, Sublette County, WY

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Availability.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) of 1969, the Bureau of Land Management 
(BLM) announces the availability of a Revised Draft Supplemental 
Environmental Impact Statement for long-term development of natural gas 
resources in the Pinedale Anticline Project Area (PAPA).
    The BLM released a Draft Supplemental Impact Statement (DSEIS) on 
December 15, 2006. The comment period for the DSEIS closed on April 6, 
2007. Based upon public comments, BLM is reissuing a Revised Draft 
Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (RDSEIS) to include the 
analysis of two additional alternatives.

[[Page 73878]]

The RDSEIS includes the three alternatives that were analyzed in the 
original draft: the no action, proposed action, and the BLM preferred 
alternative. It also includes two additional alternatives: One based 
upon the comments BLM received from oil and gas proponents and the 
State of Wyoming Game and Fish; and an additional alternative which 
analyzes full field development with current wildlife timing 
stipulations in place.
    The first added alternative analyzes the effects of continued 
development activities during winter under relaxed wildlife timing 
stipulations within a core area of the PAPA. In addition, leases on the 
East and West flanks of the PAPA are proposed to be placed in suspense 
to offset affected winter habitat in the core development areas. A 
wildlife matrix and mitigation fund has been incorporated into this 
alternative to address on and off-site mitigation.
    The second added alternative analyzes the effects of full field 
development with wildlife timing stipulations carried forward from the 
2000 PAPA ROD and subsequent PAPA decision documents. This alternative 
would allow for the development of 4399 wells, the level of development 
currently considered necessary to effectively recover the oil and gas 
resources.
    In addition to the two new alternatives, the RDSEIS will analyze 
pace of development. This analysis will show levels of impact 
associated with the number of rigs operating at any one time in the 
PAPA.

DATES: This notice initiates the public comment process. The BLM can 
best use public input if comments and resources information are 
submitted within 45 days of the publication of this notice.

ADDRESSES: Please send written comments or resource information to the 
Bureau of Land Management, Pinedale Field Office, Caleb Hiner, Project 
Manager, 432 East Mill Street, P.O. Box 768, Pinedale, Wyoming 82941. 
Electronic mail may be sent to: WYMail--PAPA--YRA@blm.gov. The RDSEIS 
will be posted at http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/NEPA/pfodocs/
anticline/seis.html when available. Your response is important and will 
be considered in the environmental analysis process. If you do respond, 
we will keep you informed of decisions resulting from this analysis. 
Please note that public comments and information submitted regarding 
this project including names, e-mail addresses and street addresses of 
the respondents will be available for public review and disclosure at 
the above address during regular business hours (7:45 a.m. to 4:30 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays). Before including your 
address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying 
information in your comment, be advised that your entire comment--
including your personal identifying information--may be made publicly 
available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold 
from public review your personal identifying information, we cannot 
guarantee that we will be able to do so.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bureau of Land Management, Caleb 
Hiner, Project Manager, 1625 West Pine, P.O. Box 768, Pinedale, Wyoming 
82941. Mr. Hiner may also be reached by telephone at (307) 367-5352, or 
by sending an electronic message to: caleb_hiner@blm.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The BLM released a Draft SEIS on December 
15, 2006, based on a proposal received for long-term development of 
natural gas resources in the PAPA from Questar Exploration and 
Production (Questar), Shell Exploration and Production Company (Shell), 
and Ultra Resources Inc. (Ultra). The Operators proposed to conduct 
year round drilling and completions in Concentrated Development Areas 
within a Core Development Area (coinciding with the Anticline Crest) in 
the PAPA. In 2000, the PAPA Record of Decision (ROD) for development on 
the PAPA established seasonal restrictions on natural gas development 
to minimize adverse effects on wintering big game and sage grouse 
during breeding and nesting. The Operators proposed an additional 4,399 
wells on approximately 10-acre bottom hole spacing from an additional 
250 well pads to effectively recover the mineral resource. The proposed 
development included construction of new well pads and substantial 
expansion of existing well pads to allow for multiple wells drilled 
from a pad.
    The PAPA ROD established restrictions on when oil and gas 
development activities may occur. The NEPA document did not include 
analysis of the potential impacts of oil and gas development activities 
(specifically drilling and completions) to big game on crucial winter 
ranges during the period of November 15 through April 30.
    The air quality impact analysis considered a total of 900 wells 
drilled with 700 producing well pads. The PAPA ROD stated that if the 
level of development exceeds that analyzed in the Draft EIS, BLM would 
conduct additional environmental analysis. There are currently 
approximately 460 producing wells in the PAPA. In addition, the BLM has 
determined that there is a need for new pipeline corridors between the 
PAPA and processing plants in southwestern Wyoming. Therefore, the 
RDSEIS will also include analysis of new corridors. In addition, 
specific analysis is included in the RDSEIS for two additional gas 
sales pipelines from the PAPA, one to the Granger and Blacks Fork gas 
plants and one from the PAPA to the Opal and Pioneer gas plants.
    The BLM has identified the following resources that may be 
adversely impacted by the proposal: Surface and ground water resources; 
air quality; wildlife and their habitats; reclamation; visual 
resources; transportation; noxious weed control; grazing, cultural and 
paleontological resources; wetland and riparian resources; threatened 
and endangered animal and plant species; and socioeconomic resources.
    The BLM conducted NEPA analysis and issued a ROD for the Pinedale 
Anticline Oil and Gas Exploration and Development Project in July 2000. 
The BLM conducted this analysis in response to increasing numbers of 
operators requesting approval to drill and develop gas wells on the 
Pinedale Anticline. The NEPA document analyzed three alternatives with 
different levels of required mitigation and for each alternative there 
were three exploration and development scenarios based on the density 
and distribution of well pad development. The PAPA ROD established 
protection of big game crucial winter ranges from oil and gas 
developments (well drilling and completion) during the winter months.
    The PAPA ROD provided that the BLM could grant limited exceptions 
to this winter closure period based on current conditions such as 
presence of wintering animals or depth of snow cover. However, each 
exception was to be made on a case-by-case basis (annually) and usually 
with the requirement that should winter conditions prevail, those 
activities would cease.
    Starting in the winter 2002-2003, the BLM authorized Questar 
Exploration and Development Company (Questar) to continue gas 
development operations at one well pad within big game crucial winter 
range with the requirement that Questar work closely with the Wyoming 
Game and Fish Department in its study of impacts to the Sublette Mule 
Deer. In November 2004, the BLM issued a Decision Record allowing 
Questar to expand their development activities in crucial mule deer 
winter range during

[[Page 73879]]

winter while continuing to support the Sublette Mule Deer Study 
(Questar Year-Round Drilling Proposal Environmental Assessment, 
November 2004).
    Since then other operators within the Pinedale Anticline have 
expressed interest in conducting gas development activities including 
year-round drilling within big game crucial winter range. In the summer 
of 2005, Anschutz, Shell, and Ultra submitted a proposal to the BLM for 
year-round drilling demonstration project on three well pads within 
their leaseholds during one year. In September 2005, BLM issued a 
Decision Record to allow them to proceed (ASU Year-Round Drilling 
Demonstration Project, September 2005). The Decision Record allowed 
each of the three operators to drill year-round on one well pad each on 
crucial winter range during the winter of 2005-2006. The result of that 
project led the Operators to the current proposal and to BLM's 
determination that a Supplemental EIS is necessary. The PAPA 
encompasses approximately 198,034 acres of primarily Federal lands 
(nearly 80 percent), and state and private land. Approximately 83 
percent of the mineral estate underlying the PAPA is federally-owned.

James K. Murkin,
Acting Associate State Director.
[FR Doc. E7-24955 Filed 12-27-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-22-P