Notice of Availability of a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Pinedale Anticline Oil and Gas Exploration and Development Project, Sublette County, WY, 36553-36554 [E8-14493]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 125 / Friday, June 27, 2008 / Notices Dated: June 23, 2008. Michael Fris, Acting Regional Director, Region 8, Sacramento, California. [FR Doc. E8–14581 Filed 6–26–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [WY–100–08–1310–DB] Notice of Availability of a Final 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. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES AGENCY: SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has prepared a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS) that analyzes additional oil and gas development in the Pinedale Anticline Project Area (PAPA). DATES: The FSEIS will be available for review for 30 days following the date the Environmental Protection Agency publishes their Notice of Availability in the Federal Register. A Record of Decision (ROD) will be prepared following the 30-day review period. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT: Caleb Hiner, BLM Project Manager, 768 West Pine Street, P.O. Box 768, Pinedale, Wyoming 82941. Electronic mail may be sent to: Caleb_Hiner@blm.gov with ‘‘PAPA FSEIS Information Request’’ in the subject line. The FSEIS will be posted at http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/ NEPA/pfodocs/anticline/seis.html when available. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 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 explore for and develop natural gas on the Pinedale Anticline. The 2000 PAPA ROD established protection of big game crucial winter ranges from oil and gas developments (well drilling and completion) during the winter months, and therefore did not include analysis of the potential impacts of oil and gas development activities (specifically VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:47 Jun 26, 2008 Jkt 214001 drilling and completions) to big game on crucial winter ranges during the period of November 15 through April 30. 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. Finally, the analysis in the PAPA EIS considered a total of 900 wells drilled with 700 producing well pads. The PAPA ROD stated that if the level of proposed development exceeds that analyzed in the EIS, BLM would conduct additional environmental analysis. There are currently approximately 460 producing wells in the PAPA. Starting in winter 2002–2003, the BLM authorized Questar Exploration and Development Company to continue winter gas development operations at one well pad within big game crucial winter range with the requirement that they work closely with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department in its study of impacts to the Sublette Mule Deer. Since then, other operators within the PAPA have expressed interest in conducting gas development activities including year-round drilling within big game crucial winter range. In summer 2005, Anschutz, Shell, and Ultra submitted a proposal to the BLM for year-round drilling demonstration project on three well pads within their leaseholds for one year. In September 2005, the BLM issued a Decision Record to allow them to proceed (ASU YearRound Drilling Demonstration Project, September 2005). In 2005, BLM received a proposal for continued and expanded long-term development of natural gas resources in the PAPA from Questar Exploration and Production, Shell Exploration and Production Company, and Ultra Resources Inc. (‘The Operators’). The Operators proposed to conduct yearround drilling and completions in concentrated development areas within a core development area coinciding with the Anticline Crest in the PAPA. The Operators proposed an additional 4,399 wells on approximately 10-acre bottom hole spacing from an additional 250 well pads. The proposed development included construction of new well pads and substantial expansion of existing well pads to allow for multiple wells to be drilled from a pad. In addition, the BLM has determined that there is a need for new pipeline corridors between the PAPA and gas processing plants in southwestern Wyoming. Therefore, the FSEIS also includes analysis of potential new corridors. PO 00000 Frm 00063 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 36553 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. 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’s Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare a SEIS was printed in the Federal Register on October 21, 2005. A Notice of Availability (NOA) of the Draft SEIS was published in the Federal Register on December 15, 2006. The public comment period on the Draft SEIS closed in April 2006. Based upon public comment, the BLM determined two additional alternatives needed to be analyzed and made available for public review. A NOA for Revised Draft SEIS was published in the Federal Register on December 28, 2007. The comment period on the Revised Draft SEIS closed on February 11, 2008. The FSEIS describes and analyzes five alternatives, including the No Action Alternative and The Operators proposed action. A summary of the alternatives follows: (A) The No Action Alternative would continue development on the Pinedale Anticline under the conditions imposed by the 2000 PAPA ROD. The Operator’s proposal for year-round access would be denied. This alternative does not provide for full resource recovery. (B) Alternative 2, The Operators proposed action, includes year-round development of up to 4,399 additional wells. Development would occur in three areas of concentrated development within a core area. Tier 2 equivalent emission controls would be installed on drilling rig engines in 29 of 48 drilling rigs in 2009. The Operators have also committed to 3:1 offsite mitigation for wildlife, if necessary. (C) Alternative 3 considers the same project components as Alternative 2; however implementation would be phased spatially. It analyzes a smaller core area, with five areas of development; year-round access would be limited by area. The goal of Alternative 3 is to minimize surface disturbance in some areas while maximizing development in other areas. Air quality mitigation to reduce impacts E:\FR\FM\27JNN1.SGM 27JNN1 36554 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 125 / Friday, June 27, 2008 / Notices in nearby sensitive areas is included in this alternative. (D) Alternative 4, the BLM Preferred Alternative, is the result of comments received on the Draft SEIS. This alternative expands the core area slightly as compared to Alternatives 2 and 3, and delineates a potential development area around the core. Similar to Alternatives 2 and 3 the core area is broken into five development areas. The alternative also analyzes spatial phasing of development and applies Operator offered mitigation measures including Federal suspended leases and areas of no surface occupancy on areas outside the core of the PAPA. Adaptive management and a compensatory mitigation fund are also important elements of this alternative. Additional air quality mitigation is also included to further reduce impacts. (E) Alternative 5 describes development of the full Operator proposed number of new wells (4,399) under conditions similar to the 2000 PAPA ROD, and without winter access in restricted wildlife habitats. James K. Murkin, Acting Associate State Director. [FR Doc. E8–14493 Filed 6–26–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–22–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [CO–921–03–1320–EL; COC–73016] Notice of Invitation for Coal Exploration License Application, Peabody Coal Company, COC–73016; Colorado AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of Invitation for Coal Exploration License Application, Peabody Coal Company. SUMMARY: Pursuant to the Mineral Leasing Act of February 25, 1920, as amended, and to Title 43, Code of Federal Regulations, Subpart 3410, members of the public are hereby invited to participate with Peabody Coal Company, in a program for the exploration of unleased coal deposits owned by the United States of America containing approximately 3,980.0 acres in Morgan & Routt County, Colorado. DATES: Written Notice of Intent to Participate should be addressed to the attention of the following persons and must be received by them within 30 days after publication of this Notice of Invitation in the Federal Register. ADDRESSES: Kurt M. Barton, CO–921, Solid Minerals Staff, Division of Energy, Lands and Minerals, Colorado State Office, Bureau of Land Management, 2850 Youngfield Street, Lakewood, Colorado 80215; and, Peabody Coal Company, PO Box 373, St. Louis, MO 63166. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The application for coal exploration license is available for public inspection during normal business hours under serial number COC–73016 at the Bureau of Land Management, Colorado State Office, 2850 Youngfield Street, Lakewood, Colorado 80215; and at the Little Snake Field Office, 455 Emerson St., Craig, Colorado 81625. Any party electing to participate in this program must share all costs on a pro rata basis with Peabody Coal Company, and with any other party or parties who elect to participate. Kurt M. Barton, Solid Minerals Staff, Division of Energy, Lands and Minerals. [FR Doc. E8–14614 Filed 6–26–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–JB–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Minerals Management Service Environmental Documents Prepared for Proposed Oil and Gas Operations on the Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Minerals Management Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of the Availability of Environmental Documents. Prepared for AGENCY: OCS Mineral Proposals on the Gulf of Mexico OCS. SUMMARY: Minerals Management Service (MMS), in accordance with Federal Regulations that implement the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), announces the availability of NEPArelated Site-Specific Environmental Assessments (SEA) and Findings of No Significant Impact (FONSI), prepared by MMS for the following oil and gas activities proposed on the Gulf of Mexico OCS. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Public Information Unit, Information Services Section at the number below. Minerals Management Service, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region, Attention: Public Information Office (MS 5034), 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, Room 114, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123–2394, or by calling 1–800–200–GULF. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: MMS prepares SEAs and FONSIs for proposals that relate to exploration for and the development/production of oil and gas resources on the Gulf of Mexico OCS. These SEAs examine the potential environmental effects of activities described in the proposals and present MMS conclusions regarding the significance of those effects. Environmental Assessments are used as a basis for determining whether or not approval of the proposals constitutes major Federal actions that significantly affect the quality of the human environment in the sense of NEPA Section 102(2)(C). A FONSI is prepared in those instances where MMS finds that approval will not result in significant effects on the quality of the human environment. The FONSI briefly presents the basis for that finding and includes a summary or copy of the SEA. This notice constitutes the public notice of availability of environmental documents required under the NEPA Regulations. This listing includes all proposals for which the Gulf of Mexico OCS Region prepared a FONSI in the period subsequent to publication of the preceding notice. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES Activity/operator Location Murphy Exploration and Production Company-USA, Initial Exploration Plan, SEA N–9060. Apache Corporation, Supplemental Exploration Plan, SEA S– 7139. El Paso Production Oil & Gas Company, Structure Removal, SEA ES/SR 05–157A. El Paso Production Oil & Gas Company, Structure Removal, SEA ES/SR 06–092A. W & T Offshore, Inc., Structure Removal, SEA ES/SR 07–160 .. De Soto Canyon, Block 838, Lease OCS–G 10475, located 95 miles from the nearest Louisiana shoreline. High Island, Block A–376, Lease OCS–G 02754, located 120 miles from the nearest Louisiana shoreline. Vermilion, Block 102, Lease OCS–G 03393, located 29 miles from the nearest Louisiana shoreline. Eugene Island, Block 53, Lease OCS–G 00479, located 15 miles from the nearest Louisiana shoreline. Ship Shoal, Block 201, Lease OCS–G 05557, located 42 miles from the nearest Louisiana shoreline. VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:47 Jun 26, 2008 Jkt 214001 PO 00000 Frm 00064 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\27JNN1.SGM Date 27JNN1 11/2/2007 1/8/2008 1/8/2008 1/10/2008 1/10/2008

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 125 (Friday, June 27, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Pages 36553-36554]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-14493]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[WY-100-08-1310-DB]


Notice of Availability of a Final 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 of 
1969 (NEPA, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) 
has prepared a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement 
(FSEIS) that analyzes additional oil and gas development in the 
Pinedale Anticline Project Area (PAPA).

DATES: The FSEIS will be available for review for 30 days following the 
date the Environmental Protection Agency publishes their Notice of 
Availability in the Federal Register. A Record of Decision (ROD) will 
be prepared following the 30-day review period.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT: Caleb Hiner, BLM Project Manager, 768 
West Pine Street, P.O. Box 768, Pinedale, Wyoming 82941. Electronic 
mail may be sent to: Caleb_Hiner@blm.gov with ``PAPA FSEIS Information 
Request'' in the subject line. The FSEIS will be posted at http://
www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/NEPA/pfodocs/anticline/seis.html when 
available.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 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 explore for and 
develop natural gas on the Pinedale Anticline. The 2000 PAPA ROD 
established protection of big game crucial winter ranges from oil and 
gas developments (well drilling and completion) during the winter 
months, and therefore 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 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. Finally, the analysis in the PAPA EIS considered a total of 900 
wells drilled with 700 producing well pads. The PAPA ROD stated that if 
the level of proposed development exceeds that analyzed in the EIS, BLM 
would conduct additional environmental analysis. There are currently 
approximately 460 producing wells in the PAPA.
    Starting in winter 2002-2003, the BLM authorized Questar 
Exploration and Development Company to continue winter gas development 
operations at one well pad within big game crucial winter range with 
the requirement that they work closely with the Wyoming Game and Fish 
Department in its study of impacts to the Sublette Mule Deer. Since 
then, other operators within the PAPA have expressed interest in 
conducting gas development activities including year-round drilling 
within big game crucial winter range. In summer 2005, Anschutz, Shell, 
and Ultra submitted a proposal to the BLM for year-round drilling 
demonstration project on three well pads within their leaseholds for 
one year. In September 2005, the BLM issued a Decision Record to allow 
them to proceed (ASU Year-Round Drilling Demonstration Project, 
September 2005).
    In 2005, BLM received a proposal for continued and expanded long-
term development of natural gas resources in the PAPA from Questar 
Exploration and Production, Shell Exploration and Production Company, 
and Ultra Resources Inc. (`The Operators'). 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. The Operators proposed an additional 4,399 wells on 
approximately 10-acre bottom hole spacing from an additional 250 well 
pads. The proposed development included construction of new well pads 
and substantial expansion of existing well pads to allow for multiple 
wells to be drilled from a pad. In addition, the BLM has determined 
that there is a need for new pipeline corridors between the PAPA and 
gas processing plants in southwestern Wyoming. Therefore, the FSEIS 
also includes analysis of potential new corridors.
    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. 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's Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare a SEIS was printed in 
the Federal Register on October 21, 2005. A Notice of Availability 
(NOA) of the Draft SEIS was published in the Federal Register on 
December 15, 2006. The public comment period on the Draft SEIS closed 
in April 2006. Based upon public comment, the BLM determined two 
additional alternatives needed to be analyzed and made available for 
public review. A NOA for Revised Draft SEIS was published in the 
Federal Register on December 28, 2007. The comment period on the 
Revised Draft SEIS closed on February 11, 2008.
    The FSEIS describes and analyzes five alternatives, including the 
No Action Alternative and The Operators proposed action. A summary of 
the alternatives follows:
    (A) The No Action Alternative would continue development on the 
Pinedale Anticline under the conditions imposed by the 2000 PAPA ROD. 
The Operator's proposal for year-round access would be denied. This 
alternative does not provide for full resource recovery.
    (B) Alternative 2, The Operators proposed action, includes year-
round development of up to 4,399 additional wells. Development would 
occur in three areas of concentrated development within a core area. 
Tier 2 equivalent emission controls would be installed on drilling rig 
engines in 29 of 48 drilling rigs in 2009. The Operators have also 
committed to 3:1 offsite mitigation for wildlife, if necessary.
    (C) Alternative 3 considers the same project components as 
Alternative 2; however implementation would be phased spatially. It 
analyzes a smaller core area, with five areas of development; year-
round access would be limited by area. The goal of Alternative 3 is to 
minimize surface disturbance in some areas while maximizing development 
in other areas. Air quality mitigation to reduce impacts

[[Page 36554]]

in nearby sensitive areas is included in this alternative.
    (D) Alternative 4, the BLM Preferred Alternative, is the result of 
comments received on the Draft SEIS. This alternative expands the core 
area slightly as compared to Alternatives 2 and 3, and delineates a 
potential development area around the core. Similar to Alternatives 2 
and 3 the core area is broken into five development areas. The 
alternative also analyzes spatial phasing of development and applies 
Operator offered mitigation measures including Federal suspended leases 
and areas of no surface occupancy on areas outside the core of the 
PAPA. Adaptive management and a compensatory mitigation fund are also 
important elements of this alternative. Additional air quality 
mitigation is also included to further reduce impacts.
    (E) Alternative 5 describes development of the full Operator 
proposed number of new wells (4,399) under conditions similar to the 
2000 PAPA ROD, and without winter access in restricted wildlife 
habitats.

James K. Murkin,
Acting Associate State Director.
 [FR Doc. E8-14493 Filed 6-26-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-22-P