Notice of Availability of the Final Supplement to the Montana Statewide Oil and Gas Environmental Impact Statement and Proposed Amendment of the Powder River and Billings Resource Management Plans (RMPs), 66253-66254 [E8-26473]

Download as PDF 66253 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 217 / Friday, November 7, 2008 / Notices personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. John Kalish, Field Manager, Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office. [FR Doc. E8–26476 Filed 11–6–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–40–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLOR 930.0000.L6350.0000.DQ0000; HAG– 09–0022] Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Revision of the Resource Management Plans of the Western Oregon Bureau of Land Management Districts of Salem, Eugene, Roseburg, Coos Bay, and Medford, and the Klamath Falls Resource Area of the Lakeview District; Amendment Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Amended Notice. ebenthall on PROD1PC60 with NOTICES AGENCY: SUMMARY: This is an amended notice for Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) No. 20080416, Final EIS, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Oregon (OR), Western Oregon BLM Districts of Salem, Eugene, Roseburg, Coos Bay, and Medford Districts, and the Klamath Falls Resource Area of the Lakeview District, Revision of the Resource Management Plans (RMP), Implementation, OR, which originally published in the Federal Register on October 17, 2008 [73 FR 61905]. This amended notice reflects a decision by the BLM to offer a protest period on the proposed revision of the Western Oregon RMPs. Any person who participated in the planning process and has an interest which is or may be adversely affected by the approval of the proposed RMPs may protest such approval. A protest period is not a comment period. A valid protest addresses only those issues which were submitted for the record during the planning process and contains a concise statement explaining why the decision to adopt the proposed plan would violate an applicable statute, regulation or BLM policy. DATES: The protest shall be filed (postmarked or delivered) by December 8, 2008. E-mailed and faxed protests will not be accepted as valid protests VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:04 Nov 06, 2008 Jkt 217001 unless the protesting party also provides the original letter by either regular mail (USPS) or overnight delivery service postmarked by the close of the protest period. Under these conditions, the BLM will consider the e-mailed or faxed protest as an advance copy and will afford it full consideration. If you wish to provide the BLM with such advance notification, please direct faxed protests to the attention of Brenda HudgensWilliams—BLM protest coordinator at 202–208–5010, and e-mailed protests to: Brenda_Hudgens-Williams@blm.gov. ADDRESSES: You may send your protest to one of the following addresses: • USPS Delivery Service: Director (210), Attention: Brenda HudgensWilliams—Western Oregon Plans Revisions, P.O. Box 66538, Washington, DC 20035 • Overnight Delivery Service (not USPS): Director (210), Attention: Brenda Hudgens-Williams—Western Oregon Plans Revisions, 1620 L Street NW., Suite 1075, Washington, DC 20036 SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The protest shall be in writing and shall be filed with the Director. The protest shall contain: • The name, mailing address, telephone number and interest of the person filing the protest; • A statement of the issue or issues being protested; • A statement of the part or parts of the plan or amendment being protested; • A copy of all documents addressing the issue or issues that were submitted during the planning process by the protesting party or an indication of the date the issue or issues were discussed or provided for the record; and • A concise statement explaining why the decision to adopt the proposed plan would violate an applicable statute, regulation or BLM policy. Concerns that have not been raised previously in the planning process, concerns that are not germane to the planning process, and/or statements that merely reflect disagreement, express opinions, or make demands or allegations without the support of a concise statement on why a decision to adopt the proposed plan is in error will not be further analyzed and will be considered invalid protests. • The Director shall promptly render a decision on all valid protests and will send his written decision to the protesting party by certified mail, return receipt requested. • The decision of the Director shall be the final decision of the Department of the Interior. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT: Jerry Hubbard, Public Affairs Specialist, PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Bureau of Land Management, Oregon State Office, 333 S.W. 3rd Ave., Portland, Oregon 97208, Telephone (503) 808–6115. Dated: November 3, 2008. Edward W. Shepard, State Director, Oregon/Washington. [FR Doc. E8–26672 Filed 11–6–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–33–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [MT–020–1310–DT 050E] Notice of Availability of the Final Supplement to the Montana Statewide Oil and Gas Environmental Impact Statement and Proposed Amendment of the Powder River and Billings Resource Management Plans (RMPs) Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of Availability. AGENCY: SUMMARY: By Order of the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana, dated April 5, 2005, and pursuant to the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 and the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has prepared a Final Supplement to the Montana Statewide Oil and Gas Environmental Impact Statement and Proposed Amendment (Proposed SEIS/ Amendment) of the Powder River and Billings Resource Management Plans (RMPs). Copies of the Proposed SEIS/Amendment have been sent to affected federal, state, and local government agencies; to tribal governments; and to interested parties. Copies of the Proposed SEIS/ Amendment are available for public inspection at the BLM Miles City Field Office, 111 Garryowen Road, Miles City, Montana; and at the BLM Montana State Office, 5001 Southgate Drive, Billings, Montana. You may also view the Proposed SEIS/Amendment on the Internet at http://www.blm.gov/eis/mt/ milescity_seis/. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary Bloom, Project Manager, by telephone at (406) 233–2852; by mail at 111 Garryowen Road, Miles City, MT 59301; or by e-mail at Mary_Bloom@blm.gov. ADDRESSES: The Powder River and Billings RMP areas comprise approximately 1.5 million acres of BLM-managed surface and 5 million acres of BLM-managed mineral SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\07NON1.SGM 07NON1 ebenthall on PROD1PC60 with NOTICES 66254 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 217 / Friday, November 7, 2008 / Notices estate. There are approximately 3.2 million acres of BLM-managed oil and gas. The Powder River RMP area includes Powder River and Treasure Counties, and portions of Big Horn, Carter, Custer, and Rosebud Counties. The Billings RMP area includes Carbon, Golden Valley, Musselshell, Stillwater, Sweet Grass, Wheatland, and Yellowstone Counties and the remaining portion of Big Horn County. The Proposed SEIS/Amendment supplements the 2003 Montana Statewide Final Oil and Gas Environmental Impact Statement and Proposed Amendment of the Powder River and Billings Resource Management Plans (Statewide Document). The Statewide Document was approved on April 30, 2003. Several lawsuits were filed against the BLM’s decisions. Two of the lawsuits resulted in an April 5, 2005, ruling by the U.S. District Court ordering the BLM to prepare the SEIS/Amendment to consider a phased development alternative for coal bed natural gas (CBNG) production in the Billings and Powder River RMP areas. Topics addressed in the Proposed SEIS/Amendment include those provided or recommended by the U.S. District Court: Phased CBNG development, the inclusion of the proposed Tongue River Railroad in the cumulative impact analysis, and a discussion on how private water well mitigation agreements help alleviate the impacts of methane migration and groundwater drawdown. The Notice of Intent to plan for the Draft SEIS/ Amendment was published in the Federal Register in Volume 70 FR Number 150, p. 45417, August 5, 2005. The Draft SEIS/Amendment analyzed three new alternatives (F, G and H) to consider phased CBNG development. Under Alternative F, the BLM would limit the number of Federal applications for permit to drill (APD) approved each year cumulatively and in each fourthorder watershed. The BLM would also limit the percentage of disturbance within identified crucial wildlife habitat. Further, the BLM would place a limit on the volume of untreated water discharged to surface waters from Federal CBNG wells within each fourthorder watershed. Under Alternative G, development of CBNG on Federal leases in the Billings and Powder River RMP areas would be done following the same management actions as described under Alternative F. However, while the BLM would limit the number of Federal APDs approved each year cumulatively, development would be limited to a low range of VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:04 Nov 06, 2008 Jkt 217001 predicted wells based on the Statewide Document’s Reasonably Foreseeable Development scenario. Alternative H, the BLM’s preferred alternative, contained three key components. First, a phased development approach would be implemented where a CBNG proposal would be reviewed against four filters or screens to determine if the proposal needed to be modified. Second, this alternative would include extensive requirements that an operator must meet when submitting a project Plan of Development (POD). Third, mitigation measures, and subsequent modifications to existing operations via adaptive management, would be considered and applied to each POD, as appropriate. The 90-day public comment period on the Draft SEIS/Amendment ended May 2, 2007. During the comment period, the EPA notified the BLM of air analysis deficiencies in the Draft SEIS/ Amendment. As a result, the BLM prepared a draft supplement to the Draft SEIS/Amendment to demonstrate that predicted visibility effects in Class I and II areas could be mitigated. The 90-day public comment period for the additional air quality analyses ended March 13, 2008. Public comments on the Draft SEIS/ Amendment and supplemental air analyses were considered in the preparation of the Proposed SEIS/ Amendment. Public comments resulted in changes to the Air Quality and Wildlife screens in the Draft SEIS/ Amendment (Alternative H). The Air Quality Screen was modified to allow for better monitoring of air quality. The BLM also received comments on climate change, which have been addressed in the Proposed SEIS/Amendment. Consideration of climate change analysis did not result in any additional changes to the Air Quality Screen. The Wildlife Screen was modified to include population threshold levels for pronghorn, mule deer, and sage-grouse habitat. If the BLM management of habitat results in declines in the populations of these species, based on the established threshold levels, the BLM would implement mitigation measures to minimize impacts to wildlife habitat and maintain wildlife populations. The Wildlife Screen was also modified to include provisions that would allow for the implementation of protective measures for other species’ habitats. The Assistant Secretary, Land and Minerals Management, in the Department of the Interior is the responsible official for this proposed plan amendment on public lands. The Federal Land Policy and Management PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Act and its implementing regulations provide land use planning authority to the Secretary, as delegated to the Assistant Secretary. Because the Record of Decision will be signed by the Assistant Secretary, Land and Minerals Management, it will be the final decision for the Department of the Interior. This decision is not subject to administrative review (protest) under the BLM or the Department of the Interior regulations (43 CFR 1610.5–2). The BLM has initiated activities to coordinate and consult with the Montana Governor. Prior to the issuance of the Record of Decision and approval of the proposed land use plan amendment, the Governor will be given the opportunity to identify any inconsistencies between the Proposed SEIS/Amendment and state or local plans and to provide recommendations in writing during the 60-day consistency review period required by the BLM land use planning regulations (43 CFR 1610.3–2). Gene R. Terland, State Director. [FR Doc. E8–26473 Filed 11–6–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–$$–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Reclamation Folsom Dam Safety of Dams Mormon Island Auxiliary Dam (MIAD) Modification, California Bureau of Reclamation, Interior. ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement/ Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) and notice of public scoping meetings. AGENCY: SUMMARY: Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the Bureau of Reclamation, the lead Federal agency, and the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency (SAFCA), acting as the lead State agency, will prepare a joint EIS/EIR for the proposed Folsom Dam Safety of Dams MIAD Modification (Proposed Action). The purpose of the Proposed Action is to reduce the seismic and static risk of failure of MIAD. In this way, Reclamation will achieve the existing standards for dam safety and reduce the risk of injury to those people living and working downstream of the Folsom Dam complex. DATES: A series of scoping meetings will be held to solicit public input on the scope of the environmental document, alternatives, concerns, and issues to be E:\FR\FM\07NON1.SGM 07NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 217 (Friday, November 7, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Pages 66253-66254]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-26473]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[MT-020-1310-DT 050E]


Notice of Availability of the Final Supplement to the Montana 
Statewide Oil and Gas Environmental Impact Statement and Proposed 
Amendment of the Powder River and Billings Resource Management Plans 
(RMPs)

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Availability.

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

SUMMARY: By Order of the U.S. District Court for the District of 
Montana, dated April 5, 2005, and pursuant to the Federal Land Policy 
and Management Act of 1976 and the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has prepared a Final 
Supplement to the Montana Statewide Oil and Gas Environmental Impact 
Statement and Proposed Amendment (Proposed SEIS/Amendment) of the 
Powder River and Billings Resource Management Plans (RMPs).

ADDRESSES: Copies of the Proposed SEIS/Amendment have been sent to 
affected federal, state, and local government agencies; to tribal 
governments; and to interested parties. Copies of the Proposed SEIS/
Amendment are available for public inspection at the BLM Miles City 
Field Office, 111 Garryowen Road, Miles City, Montana; and at the BLM 
Montana State Office, 5001 Southgate Drive, Billings, Montana. You may 
also view the Proposed SEIS/Amendment on the Internet at http://
www.blm.gov/eis/mt/milescity_seis/.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary Bloom, Project Manager, by 
telephone at (406) 233-2852; by mail at 111 Garryowen Road, Miles City, 
MT 59301; or by e-mail at Mary_Bloom@blm.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Powder River and Billings RMP areas 
comprise approximately 1.5 million acres of BLM-managed surface and 5 
million acres of BLM-managed mineral

[[Page 66254]]

estate. There are approximately 3.2 million acres of BLM-managed oil 
and gas. The Powder River RMP area includes Powder River and Treasure 
Counties, and portions of Big Horn, Carter, Custer, and Rosebud 
Counties. The Billings RMP area includes Carbon, Golden Valley, 
Musselshell, Stillwater, Sweet Grass, Wheatland, and Yellowstone 
Counties and the remaining portion of Big Horn County. The Proposed 
SEIS/Amendment supplements the 2003 Montana Statewide Final Oil and Gas 
Environmental Impact Statement and Proposed Amendment of the Powder 
River and Billings Resource Management Plans (Statewide Document).
    The Statewide Document was approved on April 30, 2003. Several 
lawsuits were filed against the BLM's decisions. Two of the lawsuits 
resulted in an April 5, 2005, ruling by the U.S. District Court 
ordering the BLM to prepare the SEIS/Amendment to consider a phased 
development alternative for coal bed natural gas (CBNG) production in 
the Billings and Powder River RMP areas.
    Topics addressed in the Proposed SEIS/Amendment include those 
provided or recommended by the U.S. District Court: Phased CBNG 
development, the inclusion of the proposed Tongue River Railroad in the 
cumulative impact analysis, and a discussion on how private water well 
mitigation agreements help alleviate the impacts of methane migration 
and groundwater drawdown. The Notice of Intent to plan for the Draft 
SEIS/Amendment was published in the Federal Register in Volume 70 FR 
Number 150, p. 45417, August 5, 2005.
    The Draft SEIS/Amendment analyzed three new alternatives (F, G and 
H) to consider phased CBNG development. Under Alternative F, the BLM 
would limit the number of Federal applications for permit to drill 
(APD) approved each year cumulatively and in each fourth-order 
watershed. The BLM would also limit the percentage of disturbance 
within identified crucial wildlife habitat. Further, the BLM would 
place a limit on the volume of untreated water discharged to surface 
waters from Federal CBNG wells within each fourth-order watershed.
    Under Alternative G, development of CBNG on Federal leases in the 
Billings and Powder River RMP areas would be done following the same 
management actions as described under Alternative F. However, while the 
BLM would limit the number of Federal APDs approved each year 
cumulatively, development would be limited to a low range of predicted 
wells based on the Statewide Document's Reasonably Foreseeable 
Development scenario.
    Alternative H, the BLM's preferred alternative, contained three key 
components. First, a phased development approach would be implemented 
where a CBNG proposal would be reviewed against four filters or screens 
to determine if the proposal needed to be modified. Second, this 
alternative would include extensive requirements that an operator must 
meet when submitting a project Plan of Development (POD). Third, 
mitigation measures, and subsequent modifications to existing 
operations via adaptive management, would be considered and applied to 
each POD, as appropriate.
    The 90-day public comment period on the Draft SEIS/Amendment ended 
May 2, 2007. During the comment period, the EPA notified the BLM of air 
analysis deficiencies in the Draft SEIS/Amendment. As a result, the BLM 
prepared a draft supplement to the Draft SEIS/Amendment to demonstrate 
that predicted visibility effects in Class I and II areas could be 
mitigated. The 90-day public comment period for the additional air 
quality analyses ended March 13, 2008.
    Public comments on the Draft SEIS/Amendment and supplemental air 
analyses were considered in the preparation of the Proposed SEIS/
Amendment. Public comments resulted in changes to the Air Quality and 
Wildlife screens in the Draft SEIS/Amendment (Alternative H). The Air 
Quality Screen was modified to allow for better monitoring of air 
quality. The BLM also received comments on climate change, which have 
been addressed in the Proposed SEIS/Amendment. Consideration of climate 
change analysis did not result in any additional changes to the Air 
Quality Screen. The Wildlife Screen was modified to include population 
threshold levels for pronghorn, mule deer, and sage-grouse habitat. If 
the BLM management of habitat results in declines in the populations of 
these species, based on the established threshold levels, the BLM would 
implement mitigation measures to minimize impacts to wildlife habitat 
and maintain wildlife populations. The Wildlife Screen was also 
modified to include provisions that would allow for the implementation 
of protective measures for other species' habitats.
    The Assistant Secretary, Land and Minerals Management, in the 
Department of the Interior is the responsible official for this 
proposed plan amendment on public lands. The Federal Land Policy and 
Management Act and its implementing regulations provide land use 
planning authority to the Secretary, as delegated to the Assistant 
Secretary. Because the Record of Decision will be signed by the 
Assistant Secretary, Land and Minerals Management, it will be the final 
decision for the Department of the Interior. This decision is not 
subject to administrative review (protest) under the BLM or the 
Department of the Interior regulations (43 CFR 1610.5-2).
    The BLM has initiated activities to coordinate and consult with the 
Montana Governor. Prior to the issuance of the Record of Decision and 
approval of the proposed land use plan amendment, the Governor will be 
given the opportunity to identify any inconsistencies between the 
Proposed SEIS/Amendment and state or local plans and to provide 
recommendations in writing during the 60-day consistency review period 
required by the BLM land use planning regulations (43 CFR 1610.3-2).

Gene R. Terland,
State Director.
[FR Doc. E8-26473 Filed 11-6-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-$$-P