Notice of Availability of the Draft Central Coast Resource Management Plan Amendment and Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Oil and Gas Leasing and Development, California, 1754-1756 [2016-31975]

Download as PDF sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES 1754 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 4 / Friday, January 6, 2017 / Notices Concurrent with the protest period, the BLM made the Proposed RMP/Final EIS available to the Governor of Alaska for a 60-day consistency review as required by 43 CFR 1610.3–2(e). The Alaska Department of Natural Resources responded on behalf of the Governor with four issues. The BLM Alaska State Director determined that one of these points was within the scope of the Governor’s Consistency Review Process. The BLM Alaska State Director did not find the Proposed RMP inconsistent with state or local plans, policies, or programs. On November 8, 2016, the Governor appealed the BLM Alaska State Director’s decision to not accept his recommendations to the BLM Director. In the Governor’s appeal letter, the State of Alaska requested the BLM Director to reconsider the issues and recommendations raised in the Governor’s Consistency Review letter. The BLM Director issued a final response to the Governor affirming the State Director’s decision. As a result of protests and internal reviews, the BLM made minor modifications, corrections, and clarifications in preparing the Approved RMPs. These modifications provide further clarification of some of the decisions and future monitoring efforts. Clarifications correct typographical errors in the Proposed RMP and clarify language of some decisions. The following decisions are appealable under 43 CFR, part 4: Draanjik ROD: Draanjik Travel Management Plan and limitations on placement of bait and wildlife lures (Appendix E and sections 2.2.20, and 2.2.21 of the RMP); White Mountains ROD: Designate trails and areas for UTV use, change weight limitations from gross vehicle weight rating to curb weight, allow for use of hovercraft and airboats, and limitations on placement of bait and wildlife lures (sections 2.2.16, 2.2.20, and 2.2.21 of the RMP); Steese ROD: change weight limitations from gross vehicle weight rating to curb weight, allow for use of hovercraft and airboats, and limitations on placement of bait and wildlife lures (sections 2.2.16, 2.2.20, and 2.2.21 of the RMP); Fortymile ROD: Establish width and weight limits on use of OHVs outside of the Fortymile WSR corridor; change weight limitations from gross vehicle weight rating to curb weight; allow for use of motorboats, hovercraft, and airboats within the Fortymile WSR; and limitations on placement of bait and wildlife lures (sections 2.2.15, 2.2.19, and 2.2.20 of the RMP). Any party adversely affected by these proposed VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:06 Jan 05, 2017 Jkt 241001 decisions may appeal within 30 days of publication of this Notice of Availability pursuant to 43 CFR, part 4, subpart E. The appeal should state the specific items on which the decision is being appealed. The appeal must be filed with the Eastern Interior Field Manager at the above listed address. Please consult the appropriate regulations (43 CFR, part 4, subpart E) for further appeal requirements. Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6. Bud Cribley, State Director . [FR Doc. 2016–31976 Filed 1–5–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–JA–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLCA948000.L16100000.PP0000.15XL1 109AF.LXSILITI0000] Notice of Availability of the Draft Central Coast Resource Management Plan Amendment and Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Oil and Gas Leasing and Development, California Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has prepared a Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) Amendment and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Oil and Gas Leasing and Development for the Central Coast Field Office and by this notice is announcing the opening of the comment period. DATES: To ensure that comments will be considered, the BLM must receive written comments on the Draft RMP Amendment/Draft EIS within 90 days following the date the Environmental Protection Agency publishes its notice of the Draft RMP Amendment/Draft EIS in the Federal Register. The BLM will announce future meetings or hearings and any other public participation activities at least 15 days in advance through public notices, media releases, and/or mailings. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments related to the Draft Central Coast RMP Amendment and Draft EIS for Oil and Gas Leasing by any of the following methods: • Email: BLM_CA_OGEIS@blm.gov • Fax: 916–978–4388 SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00070 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 • Mail: BLM, California State Office; Attn: CCFO O&G Leasing DEIS; 2800 Cottage Way, Rm. W–1623; Sacramento, CA 95825 Copies of the Central Coast Draft RMP Amendment and Draft EIS for Oil and Gas Leasing are available in the Central Coast Field Office, formerly the Hollister Field Office, at 940 2nd Avenue, Marina, CA 93933; the California State Office at 2800 Cottage Way, Rm. W–1623, Sacramento, CA 95825; and at the BLM’s Web site www.blm.gov/ca/eis-og. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Melinda Moffitt, Project Manager, telephone: 916–978–4376; address: 2800 Cottage Way, Room W–1618, Sacramento, CA 95825; email: mmoffitt@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: The Draft RMP Amendment and Draft EIS describe and analyze alternatives for the planning and management of oil and gas leasing and development on public lands and Federal mineral estate administered by the BLM, Central Coast Field Office (CCFO). The former Hollister Field Office (HFO) moved to a new location in Marina, California and is now called the Central Coast Field Office. The Planning Area is located in central California and comprises approximately 6.8 million acres of land. Within the Planning Area, the BLM administers approximately 284,000 acres of surface estate and 793,000 acres of Federal mineral estate. Planning decisions in the RMP will apply only to the BLM-administered public lands and Federal mineral estate in the Planning Area. Through this RMP Amendment, the BLM is revising the existing HFO Resource Management Plan for the Southern Diablo Mountain Range and Central Coast of California (2007) to analyze the effects of alternative oil and gas management approaches on lands with Federal mineral estate. New circumstances and information regarding oil and gas exploration and development, including unconventional reservoirs and well stimulation techniques, have prompted the BLM to prepare this Draft RMP Amendment and Draft EIS. In 2014, the BLM conducted scoping to solicit input from the public and E:\FR\FM\06JAN1.SGM 06JAN1 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 4 / Friday, January 6, 2017 / Notices interested agencies on the nature and extent of issues and impacts to be addressed. Fifteen planning issues were identified through the scoping process: (1) Water resources; (2) Health and safety; (3) Vegetation and wildlife; (4) Air quality; (5) Climate change; (6) Geology and seismicity; (7) Soil resources; (8) Socioeconomics; (9) Traffic; (10) Tribal and cultural resources; (11) Environmental justice; (12) Land use; (13) Livestock grazing; (14) Recreation; and (15) Visual resources. These identified scoping issues will be used by the BLM to assist in the development of alternative management strategies for oil and gas management in the RMP Amendment. To assist the agency decision maker and the public in focusing on appropriate solutions to planning issues, the Draft RMP Amendment and Draft EIS considers five alternative RMPs. Alternative A. Alternative A would continue current management under the existing 2007 HFO RMP. All Federal mineral estate would be available for oil and gas leasing, except for designated wilderness, wilderness study areas, Fort Ord National Monument, and the Clear Creek Serpentine Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC), which are closed under the 2007 HFO RMP. No Surface Occupancy (NSO) stipulations would be applied in ACECs and Recreation and Public Purpose (R&PP) leases. The Endangered Species stipulation from the 2007 HFO RMP would apply in all areas open to leasing. Alternative B. Under Alternative B, Federal mineral estate within the boundaries of oil and gas fields plus a 0.5-mile buffer currently identified by the California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) would be available for leasing. Other areas would be closed to oil and gas leasing, including all National Conservation Lands. Controlled Surface Use (CSU) stipulations would apply to all lands open to leasing. Alternative C (Preferred Alternative). Under Alternative C, unless currently closed under the 2007 HFO RMP, Federal mineral estate would be open to leasing within high oil and gas potential areas or within the boundaries of oil and gas fields plus a 0.5-mile buffer currently identified by DOGGR, with the exception of core population areas of the kangaroo rat in the vicinity of Panoche, Griswold-Tumey and Ciervo Hills which are closed to leasing. CSU stipulations would apply to all lands open to leasing. NSO stipulations would apply to some lands open to leasing, including: (1) Threatened and endangered species critical habitat; (2) VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:06 Jan 05, 2017 Jkt 241001 BLM-developed recreation and administrative sites; and (3) Special status split estate lands (e.g., State parks, county parks, conservation easements, land trusts, and scenic designations). Alternative D. Under Alternative D, unless currently closed under the 2007 HFO RMP, Federal mineral estate underlying BLM surface estate would be available for leasing. All Federal mineral estate underlying split estate lands and the Ciervo Panoche Natural Area (both BLM surface and split-estate lands) would be closed to leasing. CSU stipulations would apply to all lands open to leasing. NSO stipulations would be applied in ACECs and R&PP leases. Alternative E. Under Alternative E, unless currently closed under the 2007 HFO RMP, Federal mineral estate outside of a California Department of Water Resources Bulletin 118, Groundwater Basin or Sub-basin, would be available for leasing. CSU stipulations would apply to all lands open to leasing. NSO stipulations would apply to some lands open to leasing, including: (1) 12-digit Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) intersecting EPA impaired, perennial surface waters (BLM surface and split estate); (2) 12digit HUCs intersecting non-impaired, perennial surface waters that intersect split estate; (3) 12-digit HUC subwatersheds with the highest aquatic intactness score; (4) 0.25 miles from non-impaired, perennial surface waters; and (5) 0.25 miles from eligible Wild and Scenic Rivers. Under each action alternative, CSU stipulations would apply to all lands open to leasing. The CSU stipulations would mitigate impacts to sensitive resources such as protected, sensitive, and priority species, critical and priority habitat, cultural resources, and water resources by requiring special operational constraints on surface use to protect these resources. ACECs. There are three ACECs managed by the CCFO. The Clear Creek Serpentine ACEC is approximately 31,000 acres, the Panoche/Coalinga ACEC is approximately 56,000 acres, and the Joaquin Rocks ACEC is approximately 8,000 acres. No boundaries of these ACECs are being modified by this Draft RMP Amendment. The Clear Creek Serpentine ACEC was closed to leasing under the 2007 HFO RMP and would remain closed under all alternatives. Under Alternative A, NSO stipulations would apply to the Panoche/Coalinga and Joaquin Rocks ACECs. Under Alternative B, only those portions of the ACECs within existing oil and gas fields—approximately 300 acres of the PO 00000 Frm 00071 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 1755 Joaquin Rocks ACEC and 11,000 acres of the Panoche/Coalinga ACEC—would be open to leasing with CSU stipulations. The majority of both of these ACECs would be closed under Alternative B. Under Alternative C, the Joaquin Rocks ACEC and almost half of the Panoche/ Coalinga ACEC would be open to leasing with CSU stipulations; the other half of the Panoche/Coalinga ACEC would be closed to leasing. Under Alternative D, approximately 30,000 acres in the Panoche/Coalinga ACEC would be closed to leasing; NSO stipulations would apply to the remainder of the Panoche/Coalinga ACEC and to the Joaquin Rocks ACEC. Under Alternative E, the Joaquin Rocks ACEC and about half of the Panoche/ Coalinga ACEC would be open to leasing with CSU stipulations. Of the remainder of the Panoche/Coalinga ACEC, roughly 14,000 acres would be closed to leasing and NSO stipulations would apply to nearly 4,000 acres. Non-NSO leases. The Draft RMP Amendment and Draft EIS impact analysis will also address 14 leases within the CCFO that do not contain NSO stipulations (non-NSO leases), per a July 2014 Federal court settlement agreement to resolve the disputes set forth in Center for Biological Diversity v. Bureau of Land Management, Case No. 11–06174 and Case No. 13–1749. While the BLM will select a Preferred Alternative as part of its plan-level decision for determining which BLMmanaged lands or subsurface Federal minerals are open or closed to oil and gas leasing, the determination for the 14 leases will be an implementation-level decision. For each of the 14 leases, the implementation decision will determine whether the leases should be issued, and, if so, whether the current stipulations are sufficient or if additional stipulations are needed. Alternative C has been identified as the Preferred Alternative as described in 40 CFR 1502.14(e). Identification of this alternative, however, does not represent final agency direction, and the Proposed RMP may reflect changes or adjustments based on information received during public comment, new information, or changes in BLM policies or priorities. The Proposed RMP may include objectives and actions described in the other analyzed alternatives. For this reason, the BLM invites and encourages comments on all alternatives, objectives, and actions described in the Draft RMP Amendment and Draft EIS. Please note that public comments and information submitted, including names, street addresses, and email addresses of persons who submit comments, will be available for public E:\FR\FM\06JAN1.SGM 06JAN1 1756 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 4 / Friday, January 6, 2017 / Notices review and disclosure at the above address during regular business hours (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.), Monday through Friday, except holidays. 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 do so. Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6, 40 CFR 1506.10, 43 CFR 1610.2. James V. Scrivner, Deputy State Director, Energy and Minerals. [FR Doc. 2016–31975 Filed 1–5–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–40–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLOR930000.L63500000.DQ0000. LXSS081H0000.16XL1116AF; HAG 16– 0122] Notice of Availability of the Northwestern and Coastal Oregon Record of Decision/Resource Management Plan and the Southwestern Oregon Record of Decision/Resource Management Plan for Western Oregon Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has signed the Northwestern and Coastal Oregon Record of Decision (ROD)/Resource Management Plan (RMP) and Southwestern Oregon ROD/RMP, and by this notice is announcing their availability. The Deputy Director of Operations for the Bureau of Land Management signed the RODs. DATES: The BLM signed the Northwestern and Coastal Oregon ROD/ RMP and Southwestern Oregon ROD/ RMP on August 5, 2016. These RODs/ RMPs were effective immediately upon signing. ADDRESSES: Copies or notification of the electronic availability of the Northwestern and Coastal Oregon ROD/ RMP and the Southwestern Oregon sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:06 Jan 05, 2017 Jkt 241001 ROD/RMP have been sent to affected Federal, State, tribal, and local government agencies and to other stakeholders including interested parties that previously requested a copy. Copies of the RODs/RMPs are available for public inspection at the Coos Bay, Eugene, Medford, Roseburg, and Salem District Offices and the Lakeview District’s Klamath Falls Field Office. Interested persons may also access the RODs/RMPs on the Internet at: http:// www.blm.gov/or/plans/rmpswestern oregon/. Mr. Mark Brown, Western Oregon RMPs Project Manager, telephone (503) 808– 6233; address 1220 SW 3rd Avenue, (P.O. Box 2965, zip code 97208), Portland, OR, 97204; or email blm_or_rmps_westernoregon@blm.gov. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service at 1–800–877– 8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The Service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The Northwestern and Coastal Oregon ROD/ RMP and Southwestern Oregon ROD/ RMP were developed through a collaborative planning process to design management for western Oregon BLM lands that would: produce a sustained yield of timber products, contribute to the conservation and recovery of threatened and endangered species, provide for clean water, restore fireadapted ecosystems, provide for recreation opportunities, and coordinate management of lands surrounding the Coquille Forest with the Coquille Tribe. The RMPs include land use allocations that reserve lands for the protection of resource values (Congressionally Reserved, DistrictDesignated Reserve, Late-Successional Reserve, Riparian Reserve) and include land use allocations that prioritize timber harvest and multiple use management (Harvest Land Base, Eastside Management Area). The Northwestern and Coastal Oregon ROD/ RMP revises the following BLM RMPs completed in 1995: Coos Bay, Eugene, Roseburg, and Salem. The Southwestern Oregon ROD/RMP revises the following BLM RMPs completed in 1995: Klamath Falls, Medford, and Roseburg. These six RMPs incorporated the land use allocations and standards and guidelines from the Northwest Forest Plan. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 Frm 00072 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 The decision areas for the Northwestern and Coastal Oregon ROD/ RMP and Southwestern Oregon ROD/ RMP encompass approximately 2.5 million acres of BLM-administered lands and 69,000 acres of split-estate lands in western Oregon. A Notice of Availability (NOA) for the Proposed RMP/Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the RMPs for Western Oregon was published in the Federal Register on April 15, 2016, which initiated a 30-day protest period (81 FR 22263). The BLM initiated the 60-day Governor’s Consistency Review period on March 31, 2016. The BLM received 46 timely and valid protest submissions on the Proposed RMP/Final EIS. All protests have been resolved and/or dismissed. For a full description of the issues raised during the protest period and how they were addressed, please refer to the Director’s Protest Resolution Report for the Proposed RMP/Final EIS, which is available at the following Web site: http://www.blm.gov/ wo/st/en/prog/planning/ planning_overview/protest_resolution/ protestreports.html. The BLM Oregon Acting State Director received a Governor’s Consistency Review letter from the State of Oregon Governor on June 14, 2016. This letter included requests for minor clarifications, which the BLM accepted. The Acting State Director issued a response to the Governor on June 23, 2016. The Proposed RMP was selected in the RODs as the Approved RMP, with some minor modifications and clarifications based on protests received on the Proposed RMP/Final EIS, review from the Oregon State Governor’s Office, and Endangered Species Act (ESA) consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service. No substantive changes to the Proposed RMP resulted from protests, the Governor’s review, or ESA consultation. Copies of the Northwestern and Coastal Oregon ROD/RMP are available upon request and are available for public inspection at: • BLM Coos Bay District Office; 1300 Airport Lane, North Bend, OR 97459 • BLM Eugene Office; 3106 Pierce Parkway, Springfield, OR 97477 • BLM Roseburg District Office; 777 NW Garden Valley Boulevard, Roseburg, OR 97471 • BLM Salem Office; 1717 Fabry Road SE., Salem, OR 97306 • BLM Salem District—Tillamook Field Office; 4610 Third Street, Tillamook, OR 97141 E:\FR\FM\06JAN1.SGM 06JAN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 4 (Friday, January 6, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 1754-1756]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-31975]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[LLCA948000.L16100000.PP0000.15XL1109AF.LXSILITI0000]


Notice of Availability of the Draft Central Coast Resource 
Management Plan Amendment and Draft Environmental Impact Statement for 
Oil and Gas Leasing and Development, California

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969, as amended, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 
1976, as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has prepared a 
Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) Amendment and Draft Environmental 
Impact Statement (EIS) for Oil and Gas Leasing and Development for the 
Central Coast Field Office and by this notice is announcing the opening 
of the comment period.

DATES: To ensure that comments will be considered, the BLM must receive 
written comments on the Draft RMP Amendment/Draft EIS within 90 days 
following the date the Environmental Protection Agency publishes its 
notice of the Draft RMP Amendment/Draft EIS in the Federal Register. 
The BLM will announce future meetings or hearings and any other public 
participation activities at least 15 days in advance through public 
notices, media releases, and/or mailings.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments related to the Draft Central Coast 
RMP Amendment and Draft EIS for Oil and Gas Leasing by any of the 
following methods:

 Email: BLM_CA_OGEIS@blm.gov
 Fax: 916-978-4388
 Mail: BLM, California State Office; Attn: CCFO O&G Leasing 
DEIS; 2800 Cottage Way, Rm. W-1623; Sacramento, CA 95825

    Copies of the Central Coast Draft RMP Amendment and Draft EIS for 
Oil and Gas Leasing are available in the Central Coast Field Office, 
formerly the Hollister Field Office, at 940 2nd Avenue, Marina, CA 
93933; the California State Office at 2800 Cottage Way, Rm. W-1623, 
Sacramento, CA 95825; and at the BLM's Web site www.blm.gov/ca/eis-og.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Melinda Moffitt, Project Manager, 
telephone: 916-978-4376; address: 2800 Cottage Way, Room W-1618, 
Sacramento, CA 95825; email: mmoffitt@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: The Draft RMP Amendment and Draft EIS 
describe and analyze alternatives for the planning and management of 
oil and gas leasing and development on public lands and Federal mineral 
estate administered by the BLM, Central Coast Field Office (CCFO). The 
former Hollister Field Office (HFO) moved to a new location in Marina, 
California and is now called the Central Coast Field Office. The 
Planning Area is located in central California and comprises 
approximately 6.8 million acres of land. Within the Planning Area, the 
BLM administers approximately 284,000 acres of surface estate and 
793,000 acres of Federal mineral estate. Planning decisions in the RMP 
will apply only to the BLM-administered public lands and Federal 
mineral estate in the Planning Area.
    Through this RMP Amendment, the BLM is revising the existing HFO 
Resource Management Plan for the Southern Diablo Mountain Range and 
Central Coast of California (2007) to analyze the effects of 
alternative oil and gas management approaches on lands with Federal 
mineral estate. New circumstances and information regarding oil and gas 
exploration and development, including unconventional reservoirs and 
well stimulation techniques, have prompted the BLM to prepare this 
Draft RMP Amendment and Draft EIS.
    In 2014, the BLM conducted scoping to solicit input from the public 
and

[[Page 1755]]

interested agencies on the nature and extent of issues and impacts to 
be addressed. Fifteen planning issues were identified through the 
scoping process: (1) Water resources; (2) Health and safety; (3) 
Vegetation and wildlife; (4) Air quality; (5) Climate change; (6) 
Geology and seismicity; (7) Soil resources; (8) Socioeconomics; (9) 
Traffic; (10) Tribal and cultural resources; (11) Environmental 
justice; (12) Land use; (13) Livestock grazing; (14) Recreation; and 
(15) Visual resources. These identified scoping issues will be used by 
the BLM to assist in the development of alternative management 
strategies for oil and gas management in the RMP Amendment.
    To assist the agency decision maker and the public in focusing on 
appropriate solutions to planning issues, the Draft RMP Amendment and 
Draft EIS considers five alternative RMPs.
    Alternative A. Alternative A would continue current management 
under the existing 2007 HFO RMP. All Federal mineral estate would be 
available for oil and gas leasing, except for designated wilderness, 
wilderness study areas, Fort Ord National Monument, and the Clear Creek 
Serpentine Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC), which are 
closed under the 2007 HFO RMP. No Surface Occupancy (NSO) stipulations 
would be applied in ACECs and Recreation and Public Purpose (R&PP) 
leases. The Endangered Species stipulation from the 2007 HFO RMP would 
apply in all areas open to leasing.
    Alternative B. Under Alternative B, Federal mineral estate within 
the boundaries of oil and gas fields plus a 0.5-mile buffer currently 
identified by the California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal 
Resources (DOGGR) would be available for leasing. Other areas would be 
closed to oil and gas leasing, including all National Conservation 
Lands. Controlled Surface Use (CSU) stipulations would apply to all 
lands open to leasing.
    Alternative C (Preferred Alternative). Under Alternative C, unless 
currently closed under the 2007 HFO RMP, Federal mineral estate would 
be open to leasing within high oil and gas potential areas or within 
the boundaries of oil and gas fields plus a 0.5-mile buffer currently 
identified by DOGGR, with the exception of core population areas of the 
kangaroo rat in the vicinity of Panoche, Griswold-Tumey and Ciervo 
Hills which are closed to leasing. CSU stipulations would apply to all 
lands open to leasing. NSO stipulations would apply to some lands open 
to leasing, including: (1) Threatened and endangered species critical 
habitat; (2) BLM-developed recreation and administrative sites; and (3) 
Special status split estate lands (e.g., State parks, county parks, 
conservation easements, land trusts, and scenic designations).
    Alternative D. Under Alternative D, unless currently closed under 
the 2007 HFO RMP, Federal mineral estate underlying BLM surface estate 
would be available for leasing. All Federal mineral estate underlying 
split estate lands and the Ciervo Panoche Natural Area (both BLM 
surface and split-estate lands) would be closed to leasing. CSU 
stipulations would apply to all lands open to leasing. NSO stipulations 
would be applied in ACECs and R&PP leases.
    Alternative E. Under Alternative E, unless currently closed under 
the 2007 HFO RMP, Federal mineral estate outside of a California 
Department of Water Resources Bulletin 118, Groundwater Basin or Sub-
basin, would be available for leasing. CSU stipulations would apply to 
all lands open to leasing. NSO stipulations would apply to some lands 
open to leasing, including: (1) 12-digit Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) 
intersecting EPA impaired, perennial surface waters (BLM surface and 
split estate); (2) 12-digit HUCs intersecting non-impaired, perennial 
surface waters that intersect split estate; (3) 12-digit HUC 
subwatersheds with the highest aquatic intactness score; (4) 0.25 miles 
from non-impaired, perennial surface waters; and (5) 0.25 miles from 
eligible Wild and Scenic Rivers.
    Under each action alternative, CSU stipulations would apply to all 
lands open to leasing. The CSU stipulations would mitigate impacts to 
sensitive resources such as protected, sensitive, and priority species, 
critical and priority habitat, cultural resources, and water resources 
by requiring special operational constraints on surface use to protect 
these resources.
    ACECs. There are three ACECs managed by the CCFO. The Clear Creek 
Serpentine ACEC is approximately 31,000 acres, the Panoche/Coalinga 
ACEC is approximately 56,000 acres, and the Joaquin Rocks ACEC is 
approximately 8,000 acres. No boundaries of these ACECs are being 
modified by this Draft RMP Amendment. The Clear Creek Serpentine ACEC 
was closed to leasing under the 2007 HFO RMP and would remain closed 
under all alternatives. Under Alternative A, NSO stipulations would 
apply to the Panoche/Coalinga and Joaquin Rocks ACECs. Under 
Alternative B, only those portions of the ACECs within existing oil and 
gas fields--approximately 300 acres of the Joaquin Rocks ACEC and 
11,000 acres of the Panoche/Coalinga ACEC--would be open to leasing 
with CSU stipulations. The majority of both of these ACECs would be 
closed under Alternative B. Under Alternative C, the Joaquin Rocks ACEC 
and almost half of the Panoche/Coalinga ACEC would be open to leasing 
with CSU stipulations; the other half of the Panoche/Coalinga ACEC 
would be closed to leasing. Under Alternative D, approximately 30,000 
acres in the Panoche/Coalinga ACEC would be closed to leasing; NSO 
stipulations would apply to the remainder of the Panoche/Coalinga ACEC 
and to the Joaquin Rocks ACEC. Under Alternative E, the Joaquin Rocks 
ACEC and about half of the Panoche/Coalinga ACEC would be open to 
leasing with CSU stipulations. Of the remainder of the Panoche/Coalinga 
ACEC, roughly 14,000 acres would be closed to leasing and NSO 
stipulations would apply to nearly 4,000 acres.
    Non-NSO leases. The Draft RMP Amendment and Draft EIS impact 
analysis will also address 14 leases within the CCFO that do not 
contain NSO stipulations (non-NSO leases), per a July 2014 Federal 
court settlement agreement to resolve the disputes set forth in Center 
for Biological Diversity v. Bureau of Land Management, Case No. 11-
06174 and Case No. 13-1749. While the BLM will select a Preferred 
Alternative as part of its plan-level decision for determining which 
BLM-managed lands or subsurface Federal minerals are open or closed to 
oil and gas leasing, the determination for the 14 leases will be an 
implementation-level decision. For each of the 14 leases, the 
implementation decision will determine whether the leases should be 
issued, and, if so, whether the current stipulations are sufficient or 
if additional stipulations are needed.
    Alternative C has been identified as the Preferred Alternative as 
described in 40 CFR 1502.14(e). Identification of this alternative, 
however, does not represent final agency direction, and the Proposed 
RMP may reflect changes or adjustments based on information received 
during public comment, new information, or changes in BLM policies or 
priorities. The Proposed RMP may include objectives and actions 
described in the other analyzed alternatives. For this reason, the BLM 
invites and encourages comments on all alternatives, objectives, and 
actions described in the Draft RMP Amendment and Draft EIS.
    Please note that public comments and information submitted, 
including names, street addresses, and email addresses of persons who 
submit comments, will be available for public

[[Page 1756]]

review and disclosure at the above address during regular business 
hours (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.), Monday through Friday, except holidays.
    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 do so.

    Authority:  40 CFR 1506.6, 40 CFR 1506.10, 43 CFR 1610.2.

James V. Scrivner,
Deputy State Director, Energy and Minerals.
[FR Doc. 2016-31975 Filed 1-5-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4310-40-P