Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Continental Divide-Creston Natural Gas Development Project, Wyoming, 22628-22630 [2016-09010]

Download as PDF 22628 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 74 / Monday, April 18, 2016 / Notices Mail written comments to the BLM Field Manager, Las Vegas Field Office, 4701 N. Torrey Pines Drive, Las Vegas, Nevada 89130. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Luis Rodriguez, 702–515–5069, email: lrodriguez@blm.gov. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877–8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Clark County submitted the parcel of land legally described as: ADDRESSES: mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Mount Diablo Meridian, Nevada T. 22 S., R. 60 E., Sec. 18, N1⁄2NE1⁄4NE1⁄4SW1⁄4, N1⁄2SW1⁄4 NE1⁄4NE1⁄4SW1⁄4, N1⁄2SE1⁄4NE1⁄4NE1⁄4 SW1⁄4,E1⁄2NW1⁄4NE1⁄4SW1⁄4, and E1⁄2 SW1⁄4NE1⁄4SW1⁄4. The area described contains 17.5 acres, more or less, in Clark County. The parcel is located in the southwest part of the Las Vegas Valley. In accordance with the R&PP Act, Clark County has filed an application in which it proposes to develop the abovedescribed land as a community park with children’s playground area, perimeter walking path, picnic shade areas, restroom facilities, athletic facilities, and ancillary equipment. Additional detailed information pertaining to this application, plan of development, and site plan is located in case file N–80613, which is available for review at the BLM Las Vegas Field Office at the above address. Clark County is a political subdivision of the State of Nevada and is therefore a qualified applicant under the R&PP Act. Subject to limitations prescribed by law and regulation, prior to patent issuance, the holder of any right-of-way grant within the lease area may be given the opportunity to amend the right-ofway grant for conversion to a new term, including perpetuity, if applicable. The land identified is not needed for any Federal purpose. The lease and conveyance is consistent with the BLM Las Vegas Resource Management Plan dated October 5, 1998, and would be in the public interest. Clark County has not applied for more than the 640 acre limitation for public purpose uses in a year and has submitted a statement in compliance with the regulations at 43 CFR 2741.4(b). The lease and conveyance, when issued, will be subject to the provisions of the R&PP Act and applicable regulations of the Secretary of the VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:54 Apr 15, 2016 Jkt 238001 Interior, and will contain the following reservations to the United States: 1. A right-of-way thereon for ditches or canals constructed by the authority of the United States, Act of August 30, 1890 (43 U.S.C. 945); and 2. All minerals shall be reserved to the United States, together with the right to prospect for, mine, and remove such deposits from the same under applicable law and such regulations as the Secretary of the Interior may prescribe. Any lease and/or conveyance will also be subject to valid existing rights, will contain any terms or conditions required by law (including, but not limited to, any terms or conditions required by 43 CFR 2741.4), and will contain an appropriate indemnification clause protecting the United States from claims arising out of the lessee’s/ patentee’s use, occupancy, or operations on the leased/patented lands. It will also contain any other terms and conditions deemed necessary and appropriate by the Authorized Officer. Any lease and conveyance will also be subject to all valid and existing rights. Upon publication of this notice in the Federal Register, the land described above will be segregated from all other forms of appropriation under the public land laws, including the general mining laws, except for lease and conveyance under the R&PP Act, leasing under the mineral leasing laws and disposals under the mineral material disposal laws. Interested parties may submit written comments on the suitability of the land for a public park in the Enterprise area. Comments on the classification are restricted to whether the land is physically suited for the proposal, whether the use will maximize the future use or uses of the land, whether the use is consistent with local planning and zoning, or if the use is consistent with State and Federal programs. Interested parties may also submit written comments regarding the specific use proposed in the application and plan of development, and whether the BLM followed proper administrative procedures in reaching the decision to lease and convey under the R&PP Act. Before including your address, phone number, email 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 us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to PO 00000 Frm 00062 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 do so. Only written comments submitted to the Field Manager, BLM Las Vegas Field Office, will be considered properly filed. Any adverse comments will be reviewed by the BLM Nevada State Director, who may sustain, vacate, or modify this realty action. In the absence of any adverse comments, the decision will become effective on June 17, 2016. The lands will not be available for lease and conveyance until after the decision becomes effective. Authority: 43 CFR 2741.5. Vanessa L. Hice, Assistant Field Manager, Division of Lands. [FR Doc. 2016–08895 Filed 4–15–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–HC–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLWYD03000 16XL13100000.DM0000] Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Continental Divide-Creston Natural Gas Development Project, Wyoming Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability. AGENCY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Rawlins Field Office has prepared a final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the proposed Continental DivideCreston Natural Gas Development Project (CD–C) in Rawlins, Wyoming, and by this notice announces its availability. SUMMARY: The BLM will not issue a final decision on the proposal for a minimum of 30 days of the date that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publishes this notice in the Federal Register. DATES: The CD–C Final EIS is available for public review at the BLM Rawlins Field Office, 1300 North Third Street, Rawlins, Wyoming; the BLM High Desert District Office, 280 Highway 191 North, Rock Springs, Wyoming; and the BLM Wyoming State Office, 5353 Yellowstone Road, Cheyenne, Wyoming. The Final EIS may also be reviewed online at www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/NEPA/ documents/rfo/cd_creston.html. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Fleuret, Project Manager, at (307) 328–4314; 1300 North Third ADDRESSES: E:\FR\FM\18APN1.SGM 18APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 74 / Monday, April 18, 2016 / Notices mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Street, Rawlins, WY 82301; or jfleuret@ blm.gov. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877–8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: BP America Production Company (BP) and 20 other companies propose to expand development of natural gas resources and condensate (oil) within the existing Continental Divide/Wamsutter II and Creston Blue Gap natural gas fields. More than 4,700 wells have been drilled in the project area since the 1950s under previous authorizations. Existing surface disturbance from natural gas and oil development in the project area is approximately 49,218 acres, including nearly 8,500 acres of long-term disturbance. The CD–C project would drill and develop up to 8,950 additional natural gas wells (some of which would also produce condensate (oil)), including 100 to 500 coalbed methane wells, using a combination of vertical and directional drilling techniques over an estimated 15-year period. The total estimated life of the project is 30 to 40 years and includes approximately 47,200 additional acres of disturbance. Planned facilities would include well pads, gas, condensate and water collection pipelines, compressor stations, water disposal systems, an access road network, and an electrical distribution system. All surface facilities would be removed when the project is completed and the land would be re-contoured to near pre-disturbance condition and revegetated with native plant communities. The project is located in the following area: Sixth Principal Meridian T. 14 N., R. 91 W., Secs. 6, 7, secs. 17 to 20, inclusive, and secs. 29 to 32, inclusive. T. 18 N., R. 91 W., Secs. 3 to 10, inclusive, secs. 15 to 21, inclusive, and secs. 28 to 32, inclusive. T. 19 N., R. 91 W., Secs. 1 to 23, inclusive, and secs. 26 to 34, inclusive. T. 20 N., R. 91 W., Secs. 6, 7, 18, 19, 30, and 31. T. 21 N., R. 91 W., Secs. 4 to 9, inclusive, secs. 16 to 21, inclusive, and secs. 28 to 33, inclusive. T. 22 N., R. 91 W., Secs. 4 to 9, inclusive, secs. 16 to 21, inclusive, and secs. 28 to 33, inclusive. T. 23 N., R. 91 W., VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:54 Apr 15, 2016 Jkt 238001 Secs. 4 to 9, inclusive, secs. 16 to 21, inclusive, and secs. 28 to 33, inclusive. T. 14 N., R. 92 W., T. 15 N., R. 92 W., Secs. 3 to 10, inclusive, secs. 14 to 23, inclusive, and secs. 25 to 36, inclusive. T. 16 N., R. 92 W., Secs. 4 to 8, inclusive, secs. 18, 19, and secs. 29 to 33, inclusive. T. 17 N., R. 92 W., Secs. 1 to 23, inclusive, and secs. 27 to 34, inclusive. Tps. 18 to 23 N., R. 92 W. T. 14 N., R. 93 W., Secs. 1, 2, secs. 11 to 14, inclusive, secs. 23 to 26, inclusive, secs. 35 and 36. T. 15 N., R. 93 W., Secs. 1, 2, 3, secs. 10 to 15, inclusive, secs. 22 to 27, inclusive, secs. 34, 35, and 36. Tps. 16 to 23 N., R. 93 W. T. 16 N., R. 94 W., Secs. 1 to 14, inclusive, secs. 23 to 26, inclusive, secs. 35 and 36. Tps. 17 to 23 N., R. 94 W. T. 16 N., R 95. W., Secs. 1, 2, and 3. Sec. 4, E1⁄2. Secs. 10, 11, and 12. T. 17 N., R. 95 W., Secs. 1 to 15, inclusive, secs. 22 to 27, inclusive, secs. 34, 35, and 36. Tps. 18 to 24 N., R. 95 W. Tps. 18 to 24 N., R. 96 W. T. 19 N., R. 97 W., Secs. 1 to 4, inclusive, and secs. 9 to 16, inclusive; those portions of secs. 17, 19, and 20 lying south of the right-of-way granted to the Union Pacific Railroad Company by the United States, serial number WYE–05871; Secs. 21 to 36, inclusive. T. 20 N., R. 97 W., Secs. 1 to 4, inclusive, secs. 9 to 16, inclusive, secs. 21 to 28, inclusive, and secs. 33 to 36, inclusive. T. 22 N., R. 97 W., Secs. 1, 2, 3, and secs. 10 to 15, inclusive. T. 23 N., R. 97 W., Secs. 1 to 4, inclusive, secs. 9 to 16, inclusive, secs. 21 to 28 inclusive, and secs. 33 to 36, inclusive. T. 24 N., R. 97 W., Sec. 8, SE1⁄4; Sec. 9, S1⁄2; Sec. 10, S1⁄2; Sec. 11, S1⁄2; Sec. 12, S1⁄2; Secs. 13 to 16, inclusive; Sec. 17, E1⁄2; Sec. 20, E1⁄2; Secs. 21 to 28, inclusive; Sec. 29, E1⁄2; Secs. 33 to 36, inclusive. T. 19 N., R. 98 W., Those portions of secs. 23 and 24 lying south of the right-of-way granted to the Union Pacific Railroad Company by the United States, serial number WYE–05871; Sec. 25; Those portions of secs. 26 to 31, inclusive, lying south of the right-of-way granted to the Union Pacific Railroad Company by the United States, serial number WYE–05871; Secs. 32 to 36, inclusive. The CD–C project area includes about 1.1 million acres, or 1,672 square miles, PO 00000 Frm 00063 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 22629 in Carbon and Sweetwater counties, Wyoming. Approximately 626,932 acres (58.6 percent) are administered by the BLM Rawlins Field Office, approximately 48,684 acres (4.5 percent) are State of Wyoming owned and approximately 394,470 acres (36.9 percent) are privately-owned. The project area is bisected by Interstate 80 and extends from 25 miles west of Rawlins, Wyoming, to 50 miles east of Rock Springs, Wyoming. Cooperating agencies for this EIS include the State of Wyoming, with active participation from many state agencies including the State Planning Office, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, State Historic Preservation Office, the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality and the Wyoming Department of Agriculture. Regional cooperating agencies include Sweetwater and Carbon counties and the Little Snake River and Sweetwater County conservation districts. The Notice of Intent to prepare the EIS was published on September 8, 2005 (70 FR 53381), and again on March 3, 2006 (71 FR 10989). Public scoping meetings were held in Rawlins, Wyoming, on October 13, 2005, and on April 6, 2006. Fifty comment letters, faxes and emails were received during the extended scoping period. Key issues identified during scoping include: • Air quality: Potential project and cumulative impacts on air quality, including air quality-related values. • Cultural resources: The impact on the historical trails and historical travel routes in the project area. • Hydrology: Potential degradation of surface and/or groundwater quality by project construction and drilling activities. • Land ownership: The majority of the project area is in the checkerboard pattern of mixed public and private land ownership, complicating landscape scale mitigation on public lands where adjacent sections are nonpublic lands not subject to BLM regulations and requirements. • Non-native, invasive plant species: The effect of current and projected infestations of non-native, invasive species. • Rangeland management: Loss of livestock forage and the impact of project-associated hazardous conditions to area livestock operators. • Special-status species: The impact from project activities upon threatened and endangered and sensitive wildlife species. • Socioeconomics: The impact of the project on traditional socioeconomic indicators. E:\FR\FM\18APN1.SGM 18APN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 22630 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 74 / Monday, April 18, 2016 / Notices • Surface disturbance/reclamation: The extent of existing and proposed surface disturbance and its effect on all resources in the project area; and • Wildlife habitat: The project’s potential to further fragment wildlife habitats and diminish the value of those habitats for many species. In response, the BLM developed five alternatives to the Proposed Action, which were analyzed in the Draft EIS: • Alternative A, 100-Percent Vertical Drilling—This alternative assumes that all natural gas wells would be drilled from single-well pads, and that no directional drilling would occur; • Alternative B, Enhanced Resource Protection—This alternative identifies those resources that may be most at risk from mineral development, defines areas within the CD–C project area where those resource risks are likely to occur, and describes the enhanced protection and mitigations that could diminish those risks; • Alternative C, Surface Disturbance Cap, Core and Non-Core Areas—This alternative places a cap on unreclaimed surface disturbance caused by mineral development, a 60-acre cap in areas that have seen the greatest mineral development to date and a 30-acre cap in the rest of the project area. The cap is expressed in terms of acres per 640acre section; • Alternative D, Directional Drilling— This alternative requires that all future natural gas wells on Federal mineral estate be drilled from multi-well pads, one new multi-well pad per section; and • Alternative E, No Action—NEPA regulations require that the EIS alternatives analysis ‘‘include the alternative of no action’’ (40 CFR 1502.14(d)). For the analysis in the Draft EIS, this means that the development activities on Federal lands proposed by the CD–C operators would not be approved or authorized. Lease rights on Federal lands or mineral estate granted by the BLM would remain in effect and other, additional or supplemental proposals to develop leased resources, such as oil and/or gas, could be received and would be considered by the BLM as appropriate. The Draft EIS Notice of Availability was published on December 7, 2012 (77 FR 73049), opening a 90-day public comment period. A public meeting was held on January 15, 2013, and the public comment period closed on March 7, 2013. Over 8,000 individual comment letters were received and identified issues such as the lack of a preferred alternative and concerns associated with each of the alternatives, including feasibility, sufficiency of the analysis and impacts to specific resources as a VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:54 Apr 15, 2016 Jkt 238001 result of each alternative. Comments were considered and incorporated as appropriate into the Final EIS; however, the analysis of the alternatives and the identified impacts did not significantly change. The Final EIS differs from the Draft EIS by: • Dropping Alternative A, 100Percent Vertical Drilling, from consideration due to public comments on feasibility and the magnitude of total disturbance; • Amending Alternative D, 100Percent Directional Drilling, to recognize the impact the restrictions in that alternative would have on well density; as a result, this alternative now analyzes a 20-percent decrease in total wells drilled; • Redefining the No Action Alternative to include an analysis of impacts associated with development on state and private mineral estate in addition to potential development on Federal mineral estate; and • Including Alternative F, AgencyPreferred Alternative—This alternative responds to Draft EIS scoping concerns and comments by limiting development to eight wellpads per square mile section, requiring that wellpads be placed in the most environmentally suited areas, and creating a CD–C consultation and coordination group to response to evolving energy issues and concerns relating to the project. This alternative is a reconfiguration of elements of alternatives that were analyzed in the Draft EIS. The CD–C consultation and coordination group and protection measures of Alternative F were originally analyzed in the DEIS under Alternative B; and the emphasis on directional drilling was analyzed in Alternative D. The Final EIS includes potential landscape scale mitigation strategies. Consistent with Secretarial Order No. 3330 and the BLM’s obligations under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, BLM Wyoming drafted a landscape-scale mitigation appendix, Appendix S, for inclusion in the Final EIS. The appendix has been reviewed by the Washington Office and the cooperating agencies. Upon conclusion of the 30-day public availability period following the date the EPA publishes the NOA in the Federal Register, the BLM will prepare and sign the record of decision (ROD) to announce its final decision on the Continental Divide-Creston Natural Gas Development Project. Availability of the ROD will be announced to the local media and the project mailing list, and the ROD itself will be posted on the project Web page. PO 00000 Frm 00064 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6, 40 CFR 1506.10. Mary Jo Rugwell, Acting BLM Wyoming State Director. [FR Doc. 2016–09010 Filed 4–15–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–22–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service [NPS–PWR–PWRO–17327; PPPWLAKER6/ PPMRSNR1Z.Y00000] Record of Decision for Development Concept Plans for Cottonwood Cove and Katherine Landing, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada and Arizona National Park Service, Interior. Notice of availability. AGENCY: ACTION: The National Park Service has prepared and approved a Record of Decision for the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Development Concept Plans (DCP) for Katherine Landing and Cottonwood Cove. Approval of the DCP concludes an extensive conservation planning and environmental impact analysis effort that began during 2008. ADDRESSES: Those wishing to review the Record of Decision may obtain a copy by request to the Superintendent, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, 601 Nevada Way, Boulder City, Nevada 89005 or via telephone request at (702) 293–8978. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Boyles, Acting Chief, Resource Management and Visitor Services, (702) 293–8978. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The National Park Service has prepared and approved a Record of Decision for the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the DCP for Cottonwood Cove and Katherine Land. This process was conducted pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and the implementing regulations promulgated by the Council on Environmental Quality (40 CFR part 1505.2). The requisite no-action ‘‘wait period’’ was initiated on November 14, 2014, with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Federal Register announcement of the filing of the Final EIS. Three alternatives, all including mitigation measures, were evaluated during the DCP process. The ‘‘agency preferred’’ Alternative 3 Enhance Visitor Experience and Park Operations has been selected as the approved DCP. All primary project components of the selected alternative will be SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\18APN1.SGM 18APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 74 (Monday, April 18, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 22628-22630]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-09010]


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

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[LLWYD03000 16XL13100000.DM0000]


Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact 
Statement for the Continental Divide-Creston Natural Gas Development 
Project, Wyoming

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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

SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969 (NEPA), as amended, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act 
of 1976, as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Rawlins Field 
Office has prepared a final environmental impact statement (EIS) for 
the proposed Continental Divide-Creston Natural Gas Development Project 
(CD-C) in Rawlins, Wyoming, and by this notice announces its 
availability.

DATES: The BLM will not issue a final decision on the proposal for a 
minimum of 30 days of the date that the Environmental Protection Agency 
(EPA) publishes this notice in the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES: The CD-C Final EIS is available for public review at the BLM 
Rawlins Field Office, 1300 North Third Street, Rawlins, Wyoming; the 
BLM High Desert District Office, 280 Highway 191 North, Rock Springs, 
Wyoming; and the BLM Wyoming State Office, 5353 Yellowstone Road, 
Cheyenne, Wyoming. The Final EIS may also be reviewed online at 
www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/NEPA/documents/rfo/cd_creston.html.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Fleuret, Project Manager, at 
(307) 328-4314; 1300 North Third

[[Page 22629]]

Street, Rawlins, WY 82301; or jfleuret@blm.gov. Persons who use a 
telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal 
Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above 
individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours 
a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above 
individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: BP America Production Company (BP) and 20 
other companies propose to expand development of natural gas resources 
and condensate (oil) within the existing Continental Divide/Wamsutter 
II and Creston Blue Gap natural gas fields. More than 4,700 wells have 
been drilled in the project area since the 1950s under previous 
authorizations. Existing surface disturbance from natural gas and oil 
development in the project area is approximately 49,218 acres, 
including nearly 8,500 acres of long-term disturbance.
    The CD-C project would drill and develop up to 8,950 additional 
natural gas wells (some of which would also produce condensate (oil)), 
including 100 to 500 coalbed methane wells, using a combination of 
vertical and directional drilling techniques over an estimated 15-year 
period. The total estimated life of the project is 30 to 40 years and 
includes approximately 47,200 additional acres of disturbance. Planned 
facilities would include well pads, gas, condensate and water 
collection pipelines, compressor stations, water disposal systems, an 
access road network, and an electrical distribution system. All surface 
facilities would be removed when the project is completed and the land 
would be re-contoured to near pre-disturbance condition and re-
vegetated with native plant communities.
    The project is located in the following area:

Sixth Principal Meridian

T. 14 N., R. 91 W.,
    Secs. 6, 7, secs. 17 to 20, inclusive, and secs. 29 to 32, 
inclusive.
T. 18 N., R. 91 W.,
    Secs. 3 to 10, inclusive, secs. 15 to 21, inclusive, and secs. 
28 to 32, inclusive.
T. 19 N., R. 91 W.,
    Secs. 1 to 23, inclusive, and secs. 26 to 34, inclusive.
T. 20 N., R. 91 W.,
    Secs. 6, 7, 18, 19, 30, and 31.
T. 21 N., R. 91 W.,
    Secs. 4 to 9, inclusive, secs. 16 to 21, inclusive, and secs. 28 
to 33, inclusive.
T. 22 N., R. 91 W.,
    Secs. 4 to 9, inclusive, secs. 16 to 21, inclusive, and secs. 28 
to 33, inclusive.
T. 23 N., R. 91 W.,
    Secs. 4 to 9, inclusive, secs. 16 to 21, inclusive, and secs. 28 
to 33, inclusive.
T. 14 N., R. 92 W.,
T. 15 N., R. 92 W.,
    Secs. 3 to 10, inclusive, secs. 14 to 23, inclusive, and secs. 
25 to 36, inclusive.
T. 16 N., R. 92 W.,
    Secs. 4 to 8, inclusive, secs. 18, 19, and secs. 29 to 33, 
inclusive.
T. 17 N., R. 92 W.,
    Secs. 1 to 23, inclusive, and secs. 27 to 34, inclusive.
Tps. 18 to 23 N., R. 92 W.
T. 14 N., R. 93 W.,
    Secs. 1, 2, secs. 11 to 14, inclusive, secs. 23 to 26, 
inclusive, secs. 35 and 36.
T. 15 N., R. 93 W.,
    Secs. 1, 2, 3, secs. 10 to 15, inclusive, secs. 22 to 27, 
inclusive, secs. 34, 35, and 36.
Tps. 16 to 23 N., R. 93 W.
T. 16 N., R. 94 W.,
    Secs. 1 to 14, inclusive, secs. 23 to 26, inclusive, secs. 35 
and 36.
Tps. 17 to 23 N., R. 94 W.
T. 16 N., R 95. W.,
    Secs. 1, 2, and 3.
    Sec. 4, E\1/2\.
    Secs. 10, 11, and 12.
T. 17 N., R. 95 W.,
    Secs. 1 to 15, inclusive, secs. 22 to 27, inclusive, secs. 34, 
35, and 36.
Tps. 18 to 24 N., R. 95 W.
Tps. 18 to 24 N., R. 96 W.
T. 19 N., R. 97 W.,

    Secs. 1 to 4, inclusive, and secs. 9 to 16, inclusive; those 
portions of secs. 17, 19, and 20 lying south of the right-of-way 
granted to the Union Pacific Railroad Company by the United States, 
serial number WYE-05871;
    Secs. 21 to 36, inclusive.
T. 20 N., R. 97 W.,
    Secs. 1 to 4, inclusive, secs. 9 to 16, inclusive, secs. 21 to 
28, inclusive, and secs. 33 to 36, inclusive.
T. 22 N., R. 97 W.,
    Secs. 1, 2, 3, and secs. 10 to 15, inclusive.
T. 23 N., R. 97 W.,
    Secs. 1 to 4, inclusive, secs. 9 to 16, inclusive, secs. 21 to 
28 inclusive, and secs. 33 to 36, inclusive.
T. 24 N., R. 97 W.,
    Sec. 8, SE\1/4\;
    Sec. 9, S\1/2\;
    Sec. 10, S\1/2\;
    Sec. 11, S\1/2\;
    Sec. 12, S\1/2\;
    Secs. 13 to 16, inclusive;
    Sec. 17, E\1/2\;
    Sec. 20, E\1/2\;
    Secs. 21 to 28, inclusive;
    Sec. 29, E\1/2\;
    Secs. 33 to 36, inclusive.
T. 19 N., R. 98 W.,
    Those portions of secs. 23 and 24 lying south of the right-of-
way granted to the Union Pacific Railroad Company by the United 
States, serial number WYE-05871;
    Sec. 25;
    Those portions of secs. 26 to 31, inclusive, lying south of the 
right-of-way granted to the Union Pacific Railroad Company by the 
United States, serial number WYE-05871;
    Secs. 32 to 36, inclusive.

    The CD-C project area includes about 1.1 million acres, or 1,672 
square miles, in Carbon and Sweetwater counties, Wyoming. Approximately 
626,932 acres (58.6 percent) are administered by the BLM Rawlins Field 
Office, approximately 48,684 acres (4.5 percent) are State of Wyoming 
owned and approximately 394,470 acres (36.9 percent) are privately-
owned. The project area is bisected by Interstate 80 and extends from 
25 miles west of Rawlins, Wyoming, to 50 miles east of Rock Springs, 
Wyoming.
    Cooperating agencies for this EIS include the State of Wyoming, 
with active participation from many state agencies including the State 
Planning Office, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, State Historic 
Preservation Office, the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality 
and the Wyoming Department of Agriculture. Regional cooperating 
agencies include Sweetwater and Carbon counties and the Little Snake 
River and Sweetwater County conservation districts.
    The Notice of Intent to prepare the EIS was published on September 
8, 2005 (70 FR 53381), and again on March 3, 2006 (71 FR 10989). Public 
scoping meetings were held in Rawlins, Wyoming, on October 13, 2005, 
and on April 6, 2006. Fifty comment letters, faxes and emails were 
received during the extended scoping period. Key issues identified 
during scoping include:
     Air quality: Potential project and cumulative impacts on 
air quality, including air quality-related values.
     Cultural resources: The impact on the historical trails 
and historical travel routes in the project area.
     Hydrology: Potential degradation of surface and/or 
groundwater quality by project construction and drilling activities.
     Land ownership: The majority of the project area is in the 
checkerboard pattern of mixed public and private land ownership, 
complicating landscape scale mitigation on public lands where adjacent 
sections are nonpublic lands not subject to BLM regulations and 
requirements.
     Non-native, invasive plant species: The effect of current 
and projected infestations of non-native, invasive species.
     Rangeland management: Loss of livestock forage and the 
impact of project-associated hazardous conditions to area livestock 
operators.
     Special-status species: The impact from project activities 
upon threatened and endangered and sensitive wildlife species.
     Socioeconomics: The impact of the project on traditional 
socioeconomic indicators.

[[Page 22630]]

     Surface disturbance/reclamation: The extent of existing 
and proposed surface disturbance and its effect on all resources in the 
project area; and
     Wildlife habitat: The project's potential to further 
fragment wildlife habitats and diminish the value of those habitats for 
many species.
    In response, the BLM developed five alternatives to the Proposed 
Action, which were analyzed in the Draft EIS:
     Alternative A, 100-Percent Vertical Drilling--This 
alternative assumes that all natural gas wells would be drilled from 
single-well pads, and that no directional drilling would occur;
     Alternative B, Enhanced Resource Protection--This 
alternative identifies those resources that may be most at risk from 
mineral development, defines areas within the CD-C project area where 
those resource risks are likely to occur, and describes the enhanced 
protection and mitigations that could diminish those risks;
     Alternative C, Surface Disturbance Cap, Core and Non-Core 
Areas--This alternative places a cap on unreclaimed surface disturbance 
caused by mineral development, a 60-acre cap in areas that have seen 
the greatest mineral development to date and a 30-acre cap in the rest 
of the project area. The cap is expressed in terms of acres per 640-
acre section;
     Alternative D, Directional Drilling--This alternative 
requires that all future natural gas wells on Federal mineral estate be 
drilled from multi-well pads, one new multi-well pad per section; and
     Alternative E, No Action--NEPA regulations require that 
the EIS alternatives analysis ``include the alternative of no action'' 
(40 CFR 1502.14(d)). For the analysis in the Draft EIS, this means that 
the development activities on Federal lands proposed by the CD-C 
operators would not be approved or authorized. Lease rights on Federal 
lands or mineral estate granted by the BLM would remain in effect and 
other, additional or supplemental proposals to develop leased 
resources, such as oil and/or gas, could be received and would be 
considered by the BLM as appropriate.
    The Draft EIS Notice of Availability was published on December 7, 
2012 (77 FR 73049), opening a 90-day public comment period. A public 
meeting was held on January 15, 2013, and the public comment period 
closed on March 7, 2013. Over 8,000 individual comment letters were 
received and identified issues such as the lack of a preferred 
alternative and concerns associated with each of the alternatives, 
including feasibility, sufficiency of the analysis and impacts to 
specific resources as a result of each alternative. Comments were 
considered and incorporated as appropriate into the Final EIS; however, 
the analysis of the alternatives and the identified impacts did not 
significantly change.
    The Final EIS differs from the Draft EIS by:
     Dropping Alternative A, 100-Percent Vertical Drilling, 
from consideration due to public comments on feasibility and the 
magnitude of total disturbance;
     Amending Alternative D, 100-Percent Directional Drilling, 
to recognize the impact the restrictions in that alternative would have 
on well density; as a result, this alternative now analyzes a 20-
percent decrease in total wells drilled;
     Redefining the No Action Alternative to include an 
analysis of impacts associated with development on state and private 
mineral estate in addition to potential development on Federal mineral 
estate; and
     Including Alternative F, Agency-Preferred Alternative--
This alternative responds to Draft EIS scoping concerns and comments by 
limiting development to eight wellpads per square mile section, 
requiring that wellpads be placed in the most environmentally suited 
areas, and creating a CD-C consultation and coordination group to 
response to evolving energy issues and concerns relating to the 
project. This alternative is a reconfiguration of elements of 
alternatives that were analyzed in the Draft EIS. The CD-C consultation 
and coordination group and protection measures of Alternative F were 
originally analyzed in the DEIS under Alternative B; and the emphasis 
on directional drilling was analyzed in Alternative D.
    The Final EIS includes potential landscape scale mitigation 
strategies. Consistent with Secretarial Order No. 3330 and the BLM's 
obligations under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, BLM 
Wyoming drafted a landscape-scale mitigation appendix, Appendix S, for 
inclusion in the Final EIS. The appendix has been reviewed by the 
Washington Office and the cooperating agencies.
    Upon conclusion of the 30-day public availability period following 
the date the EPA publishes the NOA in the Federal Register, the BLM 
will prepare and sign the record of decision (ROD) to announce its 
final decision on the Continental Divide-Creston Natural Gas 
Development Project. Availability of the ROD will be announced to the 
local media and the project mailing list, and the ROD itself will be 
posted on the project Web page.

    Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6, 40 CFR 1506.10.

Mary Jo Rugwell,
Acting BLM Wyoming State Director.
[FR Doc. 2016-09010 Filed 4-15-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-22-P