Final Report: Review of the Department of the Interior Actions That Potentially Burden Domestic Energy, 50532-50575 [2017-23702]

Download as PDF 50532 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations List of Subjects in 21 CFR Part 866 Biologics, Laboratories, Medical devices. Therefore, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and under authority delegated to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, 21 CFR part 866 is amended as follows: PART 866—IMMUNOLOGY AND MICROBIOLOGY DEVICES 1. The authority citation for part 866 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 21 U.S.C. 351, 360, 360c, 360e, 360j, 360l, 371. 2. Add § 866.6060 to subpart G to read as follows: ■ sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES § 866.6060 BCR–ABL quantitation test. (a) Identification. A BCR–ABL quantitation test is identified as a reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) test for the quantitation of BCR–ABL1 expressed on the International Scale (IS) and control transcripts in total RNA from whole blood of diagnosed t(9;22) positive chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients during monitoring of treatment with tyrosine kinase inhibitors. This test is not intended for the diagnosis of CML. (b) Classification. Class II (special controls). The special controls for this device are: (1) Premarket notification submissions must include the following information: (i) The indication for use must indicate the variant(s) for which the assay was designed and validated, for example BCR–ABL e13a2 and/or e14a2. (ii) A detailed description of all components in the test, including the following: (A) A detailed description of the test components, all required reagents, instrumentation and equipment, including illustrations or photographs of non-standard equipment or methods; (B) Detailed documentation of the device software including, but not limited to, standalone software applications and hardware-based devices that incorporate software; (C) Methodology and protocols for control procedures for the assay to allow reporting on the International Scale; (D) A description of the result outputs, analytical sensitivity of the assay, and the range of values that will be reported; and (E) A description of appropriate internal and external controls that are recommended or provided. The description must identify those control elements that are incorporated into the testing procedure. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 (iii) Information that demonstrates the performance characteristics of the test, including: (A) For indications for use based on a threshold established in a predicate device of this generic type, device performance data from either a method comparison study to the predicate device or through a clinical study demonstrating clinical validity using well-characterized prospectively or retrospectively obtained clinical specimens, as appropriate, representative of the intended use population; (B) For indications for use based on a threshold not established in a predicate device of this generic type, device performance data from a clinical study demonstrating clinical validity using well-characterized prospectively or retrospectively obtained clinical specimens, as appropriate, representative of the intended use population; (C) Device reproducibility data generated, using a minimum of three sites, of which at least two sites must be external sites, with two operators at each site. Each site must conduct a minimum of three runs per operator over non-consecutive days evaluating a minimum of five different BCR–ABL concentrations that span and are well distributed over the measuring range and include MR3 (0.1 percent IS). Results shall be reported as the standard deviation and percentage coefficient of variation for each level tested. Prespecified acceptance criteria must be provided and followed; (D) Device precision data using clinical samples to evaluate the withinlot, between-lot, within-run, between run, and total variation; (E) Device linearity data using a dilution panel created from clinical samples; (F) Device analytic sensitivity data, including limit of blank, limit of detection, and limit of quantification; (G) Device specificity data, including interference and cross-contamination; and (H) Device stability data, including real-time stability of samples under various storage times, temperatures, and freeze-thaw conditions. (iv) Identification of risk mitigation elements used by your device, including a detailed description of all additional procedures, methods, and practices incorporated into the instructions for use that mitigate risks associated with testing using your device. (2) Your 21 CFR 809.10 compliant labeling must include the following: (i) The intended use in your 21 CFR 809.10(a)(2) and (b)(2) complaint PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 labeling must include an indication for use statement that reads ‘‘This test is not intended for the diagnosis of CML’’; and (ii) A detailed description of the performance studies conducted to comply with paragraph (b)(1)(iii) of this section and a summary of the results. (3) Your device output must include results on the International Scale (IS) and your assay must include multipoint calibration controls traceable to a relevant international reference panel (e.g., the World Health Organization International Genetic Reference Panel for quantitation of BCR–ABL mRNA). Dated: October 26, 2017. Lauren Silvis, Chief of Staff. [FR Doc. 2017–23742 Filed 10–31–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164–01–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 25 CFR Chapters I through III and V through VII 30 CFR Chapters II, IV, V, VII, and XII 36 CFR Chapter I 43 CFR Subtitles A and B 50 CFR Chapters I and IV [178D0102DM, DS6CS00000, DLSN00000.000000, DX.6CS25] Final Report: Review of the Department of the Interior Actions That Potentially Burden Domestic Energy Office of the Secretary, Interior. Availability of Final Report. AGENCY: ACTION: The Department of the Interior (Interior or the Department) is announcing the availability of and publishing in its entirety the Final Report: Review of the Department of the Interior Actions that Potentially Burden Domestic Energy prepared pursuant to Executive Order 13783, ‘‘Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.’’ SUMMARY: November 1, 2017. The report is available online at: https://www.doi.gov/sites/ doi.gov/files/uploads/interior_energy_ actions_report_final.pdf. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark Lawyer, 202–208–5257, mark_ lawyer@ios.doi.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Executive Order 13783, ‘‘Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth,’’ 82 FR 16093 (March 31, 2017), declared a national policy of promoting clean and DATES: ADDRESSES: E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations safe development of domestic energy resources, while avoiding regulatory burdens that unnecessarily limit energy production, constrain economic growth, or hinder job creation. The Executive Order directed the heads of agencies to undertake an immediate review of all agency actions (including regulations, orders, guidance documents, policies, and other similar agency actions) that potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources, giving particular attention to oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy resources. The Executive Order instructed agencies not to include agency actions that are required by law, necessary for the public interest, or consistent with the policy set forth in the Order. The Executive Order directed agencies to submit reports describing the actions identified through their reviews and providing specific recommendations that could alleviate or eliminate aspects of agency actions that burden domestic energy production to the Vice President, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, and the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality. The Department of the Interior has aggressively pursued a comprehensive review of Interior’s energy activities. Interior is publishing the Final Report: Review of the Department of the Interior Actions that Potentially Burden Domestic Energy (October 24, 2017) prepared pursuant to Executive Order 13783 in its entirety in this Notice. Interior also is making the Final Report available on its Web site at: https:// www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/ uploads/interior_energy_actions_report_ final.pdf. Please note that while the format of the Final Report in this Notice may vary slightly from the version available on the website due to Federal Register style guidelines, the substance of both versions is the same. David L. Bernhardt, Deputy Secretary. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES Final Report: Review of the Department of the Interior Actions That Potentially Burden Domestic Energy October 24, 2017 I. PURPOSE OF THIS REPORT II. INTERIOR’S ROLE IN DOMESTIC ENERGY PRODUCTION, DEVELOPMENT, AND USE III. IMMEDIATE ACTION— SECRETARIAL ORDERS VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 IV. RESULTS OF INTERIOR’S REVIEW OF POTENTIALLY ENERGY– BURDENING ACTIONS A. Bureau of Land Management B. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management C. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement D. Office of Natural Resources Revenue E. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement F. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service G. Bureau of Reclamation H. Bureau of Indian Affairs I. Integrated Activity Plan for Oil & Gas in the National Petroleum Reserve—Alaska J. Mitigation K. Climate Change V. OUTREACH SUMMARY VI. CONCLUSION VII. ATTACHMENTS Secretarial Orders and Secretary’s Memorandum Report of the Secretary of the Interior Final Report: Review of the Department of the Interior Actions That Potentially Burden Domestic Energy I. Purpose of this Report ‘‘Energy is an essential part of American life and a staple of the world economy. Achieving American energy dominance begins with recognizing that we have vast untapped domestic energy reserves. For too long America has been held back by burdensome regulations on our energy industry. The Department is committed to an America-first energy strategy that lowers costs for hardworking Americans and maximizes the use of American resources, freeing us from dependence on foreign oil.’’ Secretary Zinke, May 1, 2017, Secretarial Order 3351 Strengthening the Department of the Interior’s Energy Portfolio This final report describes the Department of the Interior’s (Interior or Department) progress in implementing Executive Order (EO) 13783, Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth, dated March 28, 2017. EO13783 requires the head of each agency to carry out a review of all agency actions that potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources, with particular attention to oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy resources. See EO13783, section 2(a). On May 8, 2017, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued guidance to agencies on the contents of a draft report. See OMB Guidance M– 17–24 (May 8, 2017). The Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) has aggressively PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 50533 pursued a comprehensive review of Interior’s energy activities and this final report details the results of this review. II. Interior’s Role in Domestic Energy Production, Development, and Use Interior is the steward and manager of America’s natural resources, including oil, gas, coal, hydropower, and renewable energy resources. Interior manages lands, subsurface rights, and offshore areas that produce approximately 19 percent of the Nation’s energy. Energy development on public lands increases domestic energy production, provides alternatives to overseas energy resources, creates jobs, and enhances the Nation’s energy security. The Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) collects an average of over $10 billion annual revenue from onshore and offshore energy production, one of the Federal Government’s largest sources of non-tax revenue. Nine of Interior’s bureaus have energy programs and responsibilities: • The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) administers onshore energy and subsurface minerals on certain public lands. • The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) works with states and tribes to oversee environmentally sound coal mining operations; • The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) oversees offshore oil, gas, and wind development. • The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) is the lead Federal agency charged with improving safety and ensuring environmental protection related to the offshore energy industry, primarily oil and natural gas, on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). • The Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) is the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, generating over 40 million megawatt-hours of electricity each year; • The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) oversees leasing of tribal and Indian land for energy development. • The Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) collects revenue from energy production and development. • The United States Geological Survey (USGS) conducts research and assessments on the location, quantity, and quality of energy resources, including the economic and environmental effects of resource extraction and use. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Park Service (NPS), while not directly involved in the production or development of energy as E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 50534 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES part of their missions, may have Federal or non-Federal oil and gas or mineral inholdings. These agencies also manage lands and trails through which important energy-related infrastructure may pass in order to bring affordable energy to American families throughout our country. These agencies therefore have the ability to reduce potential burdens on domestic energy production, development, or transmission. III. Immediate Action—Secretarial Orders When the United States is a leader in developing its energy resources, it is less dependent on other nations, leading to a stronger America. Interior is committed to an America-First energy strategy that fosters domestic energy production in order to keep energy prices low for American families, businesses, and manufacturers. Every drop of oil, Mcf of natural gas or MW of offshore wind energy produced here in the U.S. benefits the American workers employed in those operations and also frees us from dependence on foreign energy resources. Beyond enhancing America’s energy security, low cost energy benefits the American consumer and enhances American manufacturing competitiveness, making American businesses more competitive globally. Secretary Zinke recognizes that development of energy resources on public lands increases the Nation’s domestic energy supply, provides alternatives to overseas energy resources, generates revenue, creates jobs, and enhances national security. Eliminating harmful regulations and unnecessary policies will require a sustained and focused effort. That said, the Department will strike the appropriate balance in order to make use of our Nation’s domestic resource wealth while also ensuring careful attention to safe and environmentally responsible operations both onshore and offshore, and promoting conservation stewardship. Secretary Zinke has issued seven Secretarial Orders to improve domestic onshore and offshore energy production that further these principles. To ensure energy policies receive the highest level attention across Interior, the Secretary established the Counselor to the Secretary for Energy Policy position to coordinate the energy policy of Interior, including, but not limited to, promoting responsible development of energy on public lands managed and administered by Interior, developing strategies to eliminate or minimize regulatory burdens that unnecessarily encumber energy, and promoting efficient and effective processing of energy-related VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 authorizations, permits, regulations, and agreements. See Secretarial Order 3351, ‘‘Strengthening the Department of the Interior’s Energy Portfolio’’ (May 1, 2017). Establishing this position that reports directly to the Secretary assures that developing America’s energy resources in a responsible way to create jobs and enhance the energy security of the United States will remain a central priority. The remaining six Secretarial orders are: • Secretarial Order 3348—Concerning the Federal Coal Moratorium; • Secretarial Order 3349—American Energy Independence; • Secretarial Order 3350—AmericaFirst Offshore Energy Strategy; • Secretarial Order 3352—National Petroleum Reserve—Alaska; • Secretarial Order 3353—Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation and Cooperation with Western States; and • Secretarial Order 3354—Supporting and Improving the Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Program and Federal Solid Mineral Leasing Program. These Orders direct Interior bureaus and offices to take immediate and specific actions to identify and alleviate or eliminate burdens on domestic energy development. Within this framework, bureaus have identified actions and, in some cases, already made progress in alleviating or eliminating the energy burdens. A. Secretary Order 3348—Concerning the Federal Coal Moratorium One of Secretary Zinke’s first acts was to sign Secretarial Order 3348, ‘‘Concerning the Federal Coal Moratorium’’ (March 29, 2017), which removed the moratorium on the Federal coal leasing program by revoking a prior Secretarial Order (Secretarial Order 3338, ‘‘Discretionary Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement to Modernize the Federal Coal Program’’). Secretarial Order 3348 promotes American energy security, job creation, and proper conservation stewardship. It directs BLM to process coal lease applications and modifications expeditiously and directs Interior bureaus and offices to make appropriate changes to policy and guidance documents to further President Donald Trump’s policy of promoting American energy independence and economic growth. (See further discussion below at IV.x and E.) In addition to lifting the coal moratorium, Secretary Zinke took other actions to advance American energy independence. In announcing these actions he said, ‘‘Today I signed a series of directives to put America on track to achieve the President’s vision for energy PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 independence and bringing jobs back to communities across the country.’’ These directives foster responsible development of coal, oil, gas, and renewable energy on Federal and tribal lands and initiate review of agency actions directed by EO13783. B. Secretarial Order 3349—American Energy Independence The most overarching Secretarial Order reducing burdens on energy development is Secretarial Order 3349, ‘‘American Energy Independence’’ (March 29, 2017), which directed bureaus to examine specific actions impacting oil and gas development, and any other actions affecting other energy development. It revoked Secretarial Order 3330, ‘‘Improving Mitigation Policies and Practices of the Department of the Interior,’’ and directed bureaus and offices to review all actions taken pursuant to that Order for possible reconsideration, modification, or rescission. It also directed each bureau and office to review actions taken regarding rescinded Executive Orders related to climate change. Further, it directed the review of the following specific actions impacting energy development: • BLM Hydraulic Fracturing Rule (RIN 1004–AE26) (see discussion below under IV.A.i.); • BLM Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation Rule (RIN 1004–AE14) (see discussion below under IV.A.ii); • NPS Non-Federal Oil and Gas Rights Rule (RIN 1024–AD78); and • FWS National Wildlife Refuge System; Management of Non-Federal Oil and Gas Rights (RIN 1018–AX36) (see discussion below under IV.F.). C. Secretarial Order 3350—AmericaFirst Offshore Energy Strategy This Order enhances opportunities for energy exploration, leasing, conservation stewardship, and development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), thereby providing jobs, energy security, and revenue for the American people by reinitiating the five-year planning process. Among other actions, it directed the review of the following regulatory actions that impact offshore energy development: • BOEM Notice to Lessees (NTL) No. 2016–N01 entitled, ‘‘Notice to Lessees and Operators of Federal Oil and Gas, and Sulfur Leases, and Holders of Pipeline Right-of-Way and Right-of-Use and Easement Grants in the Outer Continental Shelf’’; • BOEM Offshore Air Quality Control, Reporting, and Compliance Rule (RIN 1010–AD82); E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations • BSEE Oil and Gas and Sulfur Operations in the Outer Continental Shelf-Blowout Preventer Systems and Well Control (RIN 1014–AA11); and • BOEM and BSEE Oil and Gas and Sulfur Operations on the Outer Continental Shelf—Requirements for Exploratory Drilling on the Arctic Outer Continental Shelf Rule (RIN 1082– AA00). D. Secretarial Order 3352—National Petroleum Reserve—Alaska This Order provides for clean and safe development of oil and gas resources in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, recognizing that prudent development of these resources is essential to ensuring the Nation’s geopolitical security. (See discussion below at IV.J.) sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES E. Secretarial Order 3353—Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation and Cooperation With Western States Sage-grouse protections can affect energy development because these activities often share the same land across the 11 western states and 67 million acres of Federal land that are affected by sage grouse habitat. This Order establishes a Sage-Grouse Review Team that includes representatives from the BLM, FWS, and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to review the 2015 SageGrouse Plans and associated policies, giving appropriate weight to the value of energy and other development on public lands within BLM’s overall multiple-use mission and to be consistent with the policy set forth in Secretarial Order 3349, ‘‘American Energy Independence.’’ (See discussion below at IV.A.vii.) F. Secretarial Order 3354—Supporting and Improving the Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Program and Federal Solid Mineral Leasing Program This Order intends to ensure that quarterly oil and gas lease sales are consistently held and to identify ways to promote the exploration and development of Federal onshore oil and gas and solid mineral resources, including improving quarterly lease sales, enhancing the Federal onshore solid mineral leasing program, and improving the permitting processes. See discussion below at IV.A. Details of progress in accordance with the aforementioned Executive and Secretarial Orders are described below, as well as relevant proposed actions that are currently under review. Prior to reaching a final determination regarding any proposed action, Interior may be required to comply with the notice and comment requirements of the VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 Administrative Procedure Act or other laws and regulations, and will weigh the results of such procedures accordingly in its decisionmaking process. IV. Results of Interior’s Review of Potentially Energy-Burdening Actions A. Bureau of Land Management The Bureau of Land Management administers more land than any other Federal agency, consisting of more than 245 million surface acres and 700 million acres of subsurface mineral development. In response to EO13783 and Secretarial Orders 3348, 3349, and 3354, BLM is revising and reforming its leasing processes, improving the Coal Management Program, and delaying, revising, or rescinding burdensome regulations and policies to improve domestic energy production and support jobs. Below is a list of specific actions BLM is undertaking to reduce burdens on the production of energy on BLM managed resources. i. Review of the Hydraulic Fracturing Rule Executive Order 13783 required Interior to review the final rule entitled, ‘‘Oil and Gas; Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands,’’ 80 FR 16128 (Mar. 26, 2015). Secretarial Order 3349 directed BLM to undertake that review. On July 25, 2017, BLM published a proposed rule to rescind the 2015 hydraulic fracturing rule because the compliance costs of the existing 2015 rule are not justified (82 FR 34464). All 32 states with Federal oil and gas leases and some tribes currently have laws or regulations that address hydraulic fracturing operations. Thus, rescinding the rule has the potential to reduce regulatory burdens by enabling oil and gas operations to occur under one set of regulations within each state or tribal lands, rather than two. Rescinding this rule may result in additional interest in oil and gas development on public lands, especially under higher commodity prices. Interior has identified this proposed rescission as a deregulatory action under EO13771. ii. Temporarily Suspend or Postpone Certain Requirements and Review to Rescind or Revise the Venting and Flaring Rule Executive Order 13783 required Interior to review the final rule entitled, ‘‘Oil and Gas; Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation,’’ 81 FR 83008 (Nov. 18, 2016), also known as the ‘‘Venting and Flaring’’ rule. Secretarial PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 50535 Order 3349 ordered BLM to review the rule and report to the Assistant Secretary—Land and Minerals Management on whether the rule is fully consistent with the policy expressed in EO13783. The BLM conducted an initial review of the rule and found that it was inconsistent with the policy stated in EO13783 that ‘‘it is in the national interest to promote clean and safe development of our nation’s vast energy resources, while at the same time avoiding regulatory burdens that unnecessarily encumber energy production, constrain economic growth, and prevent job creation.’’ The BLM recognizes that the 2016 final rule poses a substantial burden on industry, particularly those requirements that are set to become effective on January 17, 2018. The BLM issued a proposed rule that was published in the Federal Register on October 5, 2017, seeking comment on temporarily suspending or delaying certain requirements until January 17, 2019, to reduce the regulatory burden on the energy industry. This will provide industry additional time to plan for and engineer responsive infrastructure modifications that will comply with the regulation. If finalized, the revised regulation will provide significant additional phase-in time to oil and gas operators. The BLM intends to work with industry to develop metrics, including key timelines or benchmarks, and the reduction of flaring from Federal and Indian lands over time. Following up on its initial review, BLM has reviewed the 2016 final rule in accordance with the policies set forth in EO13783. The BLM is currently drafting a proposed rule that would eliminate overlap with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Air Act authorities while also clarifying regulatory provisions related to the beneficial use of gas on Federal and Indian lands. The BLM has identified the delay of effective date rulemaking as a deregulatory action under EO13771. iii. Revise Oil and Gas; Onshore Orders Nos. 3, 4 and 5 The burdens placed on industry through these 3 new regulations are being reviewed as directed under EO13783. These 3 rulemakings, which were promulgated and issued concurrently, updated and replaced BLM’s Onshore Orders for site security, oil measurement, and gas measurement regulations, respectively, that had been in place since 1989. They are codified in the Code of Federal Regulations at 43 E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES 50536 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations CFR parts 3173, 3174, and 3175. External and internal oversight reviews prompted these rulemakings and found that many of BLM’s production measurement and accountability policies were outdated and inconsistently applied. The new rules also address some of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) concerns for high risk with regard to Interior’s production accountability. These 3 regulations impose new cost burdens on operators as a result of oil and gas facility infrastructure changes. The cost estimates for each individual rule are as follows: • Order 3, Site Security: $31.2 million in one-time costs, plus an $11.7 million increase in annual operating costs; • Order 4, Oil Measurement: $3.3 million in one-time costs, plus a $4.6 million increase in annual operating costs; and • Order 5, Gas Measurement: $23.3 million one-time cost, plus $12.1 million increase in annual operating costs. The new regulations also provide a process for approving new technology that meets defined performance goals. Some provisions of the rule may have added regulatory burdens that unnecessarily encumber energy production, constrain economic growth, and prevent job creation. The BLM is currently assessing the rules to determine 1) if additional revisions are needed beyond the already-implemented phase-in period for certain provisions, 2) the ability for industry to introduce new technologies through a defined process, rather than through an exception request, and 3) the built-in waivers or variances. The BLM expects to complete its assessment of possible changes to alleviate burdens that may have added to constraints on energy production, economic growth and job creation by the end of the fourth quarter of FY 2017. The new regulations have built in necessary waivers or variances. The BLM’s establishment of a phase-in period for the new site security and production measurement regulations is an interim measure. The BLM will measure success over the phase-in period in terms of the production measurements, royalties paid, a reduction in under-reporting of production, and greater site security for production facilities. iv. Revise and Replace Policy, Oil and Gas; IM 2010–117, ‘‘Oil and Gas Leasing Reform—Land Use Planning and Lease Parcel Reviews’’ This policy will be replaced with revised guidance for the purpose of VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 establishing greater efficiencies in the oil and gas leasing process. Policy Instruction Memorandum (IM) 2010– 117 established a process for leasing oil and gas resources on Federal lands. The BLM intended the IM to reduce the backlog of unissued leases. However, the IM has resulted in longer time frames in analyzing and responding to protests and appeals, as well as longer lead times for BLM to clear and make available parcels for oil and gas lease sales. It has also resulted in increased workload and staffing needs to conduct additional upfront environmental analysis. The BLM has undertaken an effort to revise and reform its leasing policy and to streamline the leasing process from beginning (i.e. receipt of an Expression of Interest) to end (competitively offering the nominated acreage in a lease sale). Under existing policies and procedures, the process can take up to 16 months (and sometimes longer) from the time lands are nominated to the time a lease sale occurs. The BLM is examining ways to significantly reduce this time by as much as 8–10 months. The BLM plans to complete revisions to the leasing process in the first quarter of FY 2018. A shorter period from nomination to sale will reduce the number of nominated acres awaiting competitive sale at any given time and will increase industry certainty regarding the acreage it holds. As a result, industry will be able to plan for and execute exploration and production strategies earlier, and respond more effectively to changing market conditions. Reducing the average time from acreage nomination to lease sale will be BLM’s measure of success. The BLM does not control what acreage industry nominates because market conditions can fluctuate dramatically; therefore, total nominated acreage awaiting sale is not likely to be a measure of success. Until the policy revisions are completed, BLM is setting quarterly lease sale acreage targets to address the acreage currently nominated. The BLM is also identifying ways to augment staff support for potential sales in those offices with the greatest numbers of acres nominated. v. Rescind Policy, Oil and Gas; IM 2013– 101, ‘‘Oil and Gas Leasing Reform— Master Leasing Plans (MLPs)’’ This policy announced the incorporation of Master Leasing Plans (MLPs) in the oil and gas leasing process, further explained in Chapter V of the BLM Handbook H–1624–1, entitled ‘‘Planning for Fluid Mineral Resources.’’ The IM establishes a PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 process for integrating an MLP into the land use planning process. The BLM has extended this IM several times while the BLM completes the public scoping and analysis for MLPs. An unintended consequence of this policy has been that many areas open to oil and gas leasing have been deferred from leasing while they await the completion of the MLP process. The BLM has undertaken an effort to revise the leasing reform and MLP policy and to re-establish the BLM Resource Management Plans (RMPs) as the source of lands available for fluid minerals leasing. The BLM is currently evaluating existing MLP efforts with the goal of ending this approach. The BLM expects to rescind this IM and complete the revision of the above BLM Handbook, as well as any other relevant BLM handbooks, in the first quarter of FY 2018. Because this change will re-establish the RMP as the source of land allocation decisions for fluid minerals, it will result in more streamlined National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis and a shorter timeframe for acreage nominations to make it to a competitive lease sale. Since extra time and NEPA analysis adds to uncertainty for industry and use of taxpayer dollars by the Department, removing these process-related steps has the effect of decreasing uncertainty. The primary measure of success in removing regulatory burden from the rescission of the MLP policy will be in the elimination of related nominated acreage sale deferral pending completion of MLP NEPA. While there will continue to be acreage sale deferrals for various reasons, completion of MLP NEPA will no longer be one of them. The time frames will be shorter. vi. Revise Policy, Oil and Gas; IM 2013– 177, ‘‘National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Compliance for Oil and Gas Lease Reinstatement Petitions’’ This IM directs all BLM oil and gas leasing Field Offices to: 1) ensure RMP conformance; 2) evaluate the adequacy of existing NEPA analysis and documentation; and 3) complete any necessary new or supplemental NEPA analysis and documentation before approving a Class I or Class II oil and gas lease reinstatement petition. This IM has resulted in additional analysis and review time that often involves another surface management agency and, in some instances, has led to adding new lease stipulations prior to lease reinstatement. Lease reinstatements were previously considered a ministerial matter, entailing a commensurate level of E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES review and process to complete. However, IM 2013–177 changed that in significant ways, resulting in additional NEPA review and significantly greater timeframes for completing the reinstatement. Rescinding or modifying this policy will greatly reduce decisionmaking timeframes on lease reinstatement requests. The BLM expects to complete review of this policy in the first quarter of FY 2018 and promptly finalize by the second quarter. The BLM expects that changes to this policy will refocus the emphasis back to existing NEPA analysis and information, which will significantly shorten the time it takes to consider and process a lease reinstatement request. The policy changes will provide greater certainty and reduced expense for energy development companies and result in production occurring sooner. The BLM will measure the reduction in burden in terms of the average time it takes to consider a complete lease reinstatement request. Similar to MLPs, in the interim, BLM must identify and evaluate the status of each current lease reinstatement request in order to determine whether and how to expedite review and processing. There are no other interim measures, waivers or variances that are relevant to the process. vii. Revise Policy, Oil and Gas: IM 2016– 140, ‘‘Implementation of Greater Sagegrouse Resource Management Plan Revisions or Amendments—Oil & Gas Leasing and Development Sequential Prioritization’’ Policy IM 2016–140 is being reviewed for the purpose of enhancing consistency and certainty for oil and gas development in areas of sage-grouse habitat as directed by EO13783. This IM provides guidance on prioritizing implementation decisions for BLM oil and gas leasing and development, to be consistent with Approved Resource Management Plan Amendments for the Rocky Mountain and Great Basin Greater Sage-grouse Regions and nine Approved Resource Management Plans in the Rocky Mountain Greater Sagegrouse Region (collectively referred to as the Greater Sage-grouse Plans). The IM applies to activities in the areas covered by both the Rocky Mountain and Great Basin Regions Records of Decision, issued by BLM in September 2015, and also contains reporting requirements for communication between BLM State Offices and the Washington Office (WO). The IM may have added administrative burdens since it requires additional analysis and staff time to screen parcels and weigh potential VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 impacts to the Greater Sage-grouse before the parcels are offered for leasing. It also requires additional analysis and staff time to process drilling permit approvals near Greater Sage-grouse areas. The BLM’s effort to avoid listing of the sage-grouse as an endangered species has affected many programs and a large area geographically. With new technologies and capabilities, such as long-reach horizontal boreholes in the oil and gas industry, the impacts are not as significant as once perceived. Likewise, the administrative burden is better understood and is likely less than once thought. Efforts are underway to better understand these conditions and define ways in which energy production and sage-grouse protection may continue to co-exist. Greater consistency and predictability will provide greater stability for industry. The BLM is currently assessing the policy to determine what revisions are needed and expects to complete this review in the fourth quarter of FY 2017. When the BLM completes this effort, industry will have greater certainty in leasing, exploration and production activities due to availability of acreage for oil and gas development and a defined process and timeframe for consideration of Greater Sage-grouse impacts. The BLM will measure success by assessing changes in industry’s interest in nominating acreage for competitive sale and developing existing leases in areas affected by the Greater Sage-grouse amendments to RMPs. As industry increases its understanding and gains confidence in the consistency and predictability of BLM actions relative to Greater Sage-grouse, then acreage nominations, permit requests, and development should stabilize and be tied to market forces rather than tied to BLM Greater Sage-grouse decisions. The BLM has been processing acreage nominations in Greater Sage-grouse areas and making them available for competitive sale. In addition, existing leases are being developed. This is evidence, in the interim, that both BLM and industry are developing innovative ways to adapt energy development in light of Greater Sage-grouse protections. viii. Review of General Greater SageGrouse Conservation Policies and Plans In September 2015, the BLM incorporated Greater Sage-grouse (GRSG) conservation measures into its land use plans within the range of the GRSG. In September 2016, the BLM issued a number of IMs to help guide the implementation of the GRSG plans. These GRSG plans and policies will PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 50537 affect where, when, and how energy and minerals are developed within the range of the GRSG. Pursuant to Secretarial Order 3353, ‘‘Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation and Cooperation with Western States,’’ an Interior Sage-Grouse Review Team (Review Team) is working with the State-Federal Sage-Grouse Task Force to identify opportunities for greater collaboration, to better align Federal and State plans for the GRSG, to support local economies and jobs, and consider new and innovative ways to conserve GRSG in the long-term. Pursuant to the Secretarial Order, in August 2017, the Review Team submitted a report to the Secretary summarizing their review and providing recommendations regarding next steps. The Review Team’s report identified a number of potential actions to enhance the coordination and integration of state and Federal GRSG conservation efforts. Success will be measured and evaluated in terms of improved working relationships among local, state, tribal, and Federal units of Government and in terms of improved partner and stakeholder understanding of effective GRSG conservation measures and of the science underlying them. The BLM anticipates that some of the actions outlined in the Review Team’s report to the Secretary could be implemented in the near future through changes in policy (through issuance of IMs, for example), technical assistance, or training. Other actions may require amending the land use plans. On October 11, 2017, the Department of the Interior, through BLM, initiated a public scoping process for RMP amendment(s) with associated NEPA documents. The comments may be submitted until November 27, 2017. Depending on the scope and significance, such amendments could take upwards of 9 months to 3 years to complete. ix. Improve Land Use Planning and NEPA Act Policies and Procedures: The BLM’s land use planning regulations and policies are outlined in 43 CFR subparts 1601 and 1610, Resource Management Planning; BLM Manual Section 1601; and BLM Handbook 1601–1. The BLM’s policies for complying with NEPA are outlined in BLM Handbook 1790–1 and the Interior NEPA implementing regulations are at 43 CFR part 46. Taken together, these regulations, manuals, and handbooks establish the policies and procedures BLM follows when conducting land use planning and NEPA compliance, including specific E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 50538 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES actions related to energy and mineral development. Pursuant to the Secretarial Memorandum of March 27, 2017, entitled ‘‘Improving the Bureau of Land Management’s Planning and National Environmental Policy Act Processes,’’ the BLM is identifying potential actions it could take to streamline its planning and NEPA review procedures. As part of this identification process, BLM is working with state and local elected officials and groups, including the Western Governors’ Association and the National Association of Counties, to engage and gather input. The BLM also has invited tribes and the public to provide input on how the Agency can make its planning and NEPA review procedures timelier, less costly, and more responsive to local needs. Pursuant to the Secretarial Memorandum, in September 2017, BLM will submit a report to the Secretary outlining recommended actions. Once implemented, the actions recommended in the report should reduce the time and/or cost of complying with BLM’s statutory direction to conduct land use planning under section 202 of FLPMA and complying with NEPA when evaluating proposed actions. These recommendations also should lead to more-standardized analyses in BLM’s NEPA reviews at the land use plan and project level. The reduction in burden will be measured and evaluated in terms of processing times and/or costs of authorizing energy development. Some of the actions outlined in BLM’s report to the Secretary will be actions that BLM will be able to implement in the near future, such as improvements to business processes, or updates to VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 internal manuals or handbooks. Other actions would require changes in statute or regulation (such as new Categorical Exclusions), may depend on other agencies to act, or may require front-end investments in data or information technology. x. Review Coal-Related Policies and Actions On March 29, 2017, Secretary Zinke issued Secretarial Order 3348 to lift the Federal coal moratorium imposed by previous Secretarial Order 3338. This Order conformed to the directive in EO13783 requiring the Secretary to lift the moratorium and commence Federal coal leasing activities consistent with all applicable laws and regulations. The BLM is working to process coal lease applications and modifications ‘‘expeditiously’’ in accordance with regulations and guidance that existed before Secretarial Order 3338. The BLM also ceased activities associated with preparation of the Federal Coal Program Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS). Consistent with EO13783 and Secretarial Order 3348, the BLM is reviewing its policies, with the intent to update or rescind them. xi. Other Recommendations for Alleviating or Eliminating Actions That Could Directly or Indirectly Burden Energy Exploration or Production • Review Land Use Designations The BLM land use planning process ensures that public lands are managed in accordance with the intent of Congress as stated in FLPMA (43 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), under the principles of multiple use and sustained yield. The BLM’s Resource Management Plans PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 (RMPs) are the basis for every on-theground action the BLM undertakes, which includes determinations on lands suitable for future energy leasing and permitting opportunities. The BLM uses land use designations as a part of the land use planning process to guide the management of certain geographic areas towards particular objectives, values or uses. While some land use designations are made by Congressional, Secretarial, or Presidential action (and therefore require specific land management principles), the BLM has used broad discretion in establishing other formal and less-formal land use designations to set additional management criteria for public lands. In some cases, these criteria may conflict with other multiple use objectives for the land—such as energy development—and therefore have the potential to burden domestic energy development on public lands by reducing access to leasable acreage. At the time of this report, BLM identified over 60 different land use designations used in RMPs, many of which may lead to additional restrictions on the use of the land. One example is the Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) designation, which is authorized by Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA). The Eastern Interior RMP, finalized on January 3, 2017, designated over 2 million acres of ACEC—much of which was recommended for closure to mineral entry and mineral leasing in order to best meet the objectives of the ACEC. The chart included below provides a visual reference for the increased use of this land use designation especially in more recent RMPs. E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES The BLM will further evaluate the need for these numerous land use designations as a part of the ongoing review of their planning process. The BLM will also work with state, local, and tribal partners to incorporate efficiencies and update policies on the use of land use designations that may burden or hinder energy development on Federal lands. • Review Use of Leasing Stipulations and Conditions of Approval Aside from providing for leasing with standard lease terms in the land use planning process, BLM may apply lease stipulations to a specific unit at the planning stage. Stipulations set additional criteria to which an operator must adhere once the acreage is leased. Stipulations include no surface occupancy restrictions (NSO), which close acreage to surface-disturbing activities, timing restrictions (TL), which close acreage to surfacedisturbing activities during certain timeframes, and other controlled surface use (CSU) restrictions, which include more specific restrictions such as sound and visual impacts or construction requirements. In some cases, these stipulations may have an impact on the attractiveness of the lease sale parcel in the bidding process. The BLM may also assign Conditions of Approval (COA) at the permitting stage when an operator first applies for an Application for Permit to Drill (APD). Once an APD is filed, the BLM will send VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 an onsite inspection team to determine the best location for the well, road, and facilities; identify site-specific concerns and potential environmental impacts associated with the proposal and potential options for mitigating these impacts, including COAs. Site-specific concerns include, but are not limited to: Well spacing; riparian and wetland areas; visual resource management such as painting infrastructure specific colors; and cultural and wildlife survey needs to comply with the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Lease stipulations and additional conditions of approval added at the permitting stage burden energy development on public lands by adding additional development costs; increasing the complexity of the drilling operations; and extending project timeframes. The 2008 Energy Policy and Conservation Act Phase III study found that of the 128 Federal land use plans surveyed for inventory, approximately 3,125 individual stipulations and 157 types of COAs were being used.1 The BLM does not have updated figures at the time of this report. • Review Protest Regulations and Policy Current BLM regulations allow any party to file a protest on a BLM 1 https://www.blm.gov/sites/blm.gov/files/EPCA_ III_Inventory_Onshore_Federal_Oil_Gas.pdf; p. 42, 109. PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 50539 decision, such as a protest on a land use plan or on a subsequent decision to include a parcel in an oil and gas lease sale. This process provides multiple opportunities to protest every step of the process of offering public lands for oil and gas leasing. To date, many state offices, such as CO, MT, NM, UT, and WY are receiving protests on every oil and gas parcel offered through the Notice of Competitive Lease Sale process. In the past, protests were parcelspecific on issues unique to the parcel in question. In recent years, the reasons for protesting every parcel in the sale are broad-based and non-parcel specific, such as general concerns on climate change or hydraulic fracturing. In FY 2016, 72 percent of parcels offered for lease were protested. By comparison, in FY 2012, only 17 percent of parcels received protests. The number of parcels offered on the original sale notice decreased from 2,247 in FY 2012 to 820 in FY 2016. If a protest is still pending on the day of sale, the parcel can still be offered during the sale but the protest must be resolved prior to the lease being issued and the protest may diminish interest in bidding. This in turn can delay payment of the State’s share of the bonus bids— which occurred most recently in the State of New Mexico. In September 2016, BLM hosted a record-setting lease sale generating $145 million in revenue, of which $80 million was owed to the state Mineral Leasing Act revenue E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 ER01NO17.009</GPH> Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations 50540 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations sharing provision. As a result of the number of protested parcels and the length of time it took to resolve all protests, the payment to the State of New Mexico was delayed approximately 250 days. This uptick in the protest process and the inability to reach conclusive resolutions in a timely manner is a burden on oil and natural gas development on public lands. A regulatory change may be necessary to limit redundant protests that hinder orderly development. Alternatively, the BLM is investigating the value in creating regional leasing teams that could build sufficient capacity to offer parcels during the BLM’s quarterly lease sales. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES xii. Revise Energy-Related Collections of Information Under the Paperwork Reduction Act The BLM anticipates revising energyrelated collections of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act (e.g., Approval of Operations (1004–0213) and Application for Permit to Drill (1014–0025)) to reduce administrative burden on energy development and use through simplification of forms and associated instructions/guidance and ceasing collection of information that is unnecessary or lacks practical utility. B. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management The BOEM is responsible for managing development of the Nation’s offshore energy and mineral resources through offshore leasing, resource evaluation, review, and administration of oil and gas exploration and development plans, renewable energy development, economic analysis, NEPA analysis, and environmental studies. The BOEM promotes energy security, environmental protection and economic development through responsible, science-informed management of offshore conventional and renewable energy and mineral resources. The BOEM carries out these responsibilities while ensuring the receipt of fair market value for U.S. taxpayers on OCS leases, and balancing the energy demands and mineral needs of the Nation with the protection of the human, marine, and coastal environments. Since the publication of EO13771 on January 30, 2017, BOEM has been reviewing all aspects of its programs to identify regulations and guidance documents that potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources beyond the degree necessary to protect the public interest or otherwise comply with the law. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 Below are specific actions BOEM is undertaking to reduce burdens on the production of energy offshore in the America-First Offshore Energy Strategy, as delineated in EO13795 and S.O. 3350: i. Air Quality Rule The BOEM has been re-examining the provisions of the air quality proposed rule published on April 5, 2016 (81 FR 19718), which would provide the first substantive updates to the regulation since 1980. The proposed rule addressed air quality measurement, evaluation, and control with respect to oil, gas, and sulphur operations on the OCS of the United States in the central and western Gulf of Mexico and the area offshore the North Slope Borough in Alaska. Interior is currently reviewing recommendations on how to proceed, including promulgating final rules for certain necessary provisions and issuing a new proposed rule that may withdraw certain provisions and seek additional input on others. ii. Financial Assurance for Decommissioning Notice to Lessees No. 2016–N01, for which implementation has been suspended, would make substantial changes to BOEM’s requirements for companies to provide financial assurance to meet decommissioning obligations. The BOEM has been undertaking a thorough review of the NTL, including gathering stakeholder input. iii. Arctic Rule On July 15, 2016, BOEM and the BSEE promulgated a final rule, ‘‘Oil and Gas and Sulfur Operations on the Outer Continental Shelf—Requirements for Exploratory Drilling on the Arctic Outer Continental Shelf’’ (81 FR 46478). Interior is reviewing the requirements for exploratory drilling conducted from mobile drilling units within the Arctic OCS (Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea Planning Areas). Interior is considering full rescission or revision of this rule, including associated information collection requirements. Review of this rule is expected to allow greater utilization of the Arctic drilling season. iv. Oil and Gas Leasing on the Outer Continental Shelf Secretary Zinke directed development of a new 5-year OCS oil and gas leasing program to spur safe and responsible energy development offshore. On July 3, 2017, BOEM published a request for information and comments on the preparation of a new 5-year National OCS Leasing Program for 2019–2024 (82 PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 FR 30886). Upon its completion, the new program will replace the 2017– 2022 program. Secretarial Order 3350 directly implements EO13795, and also advances Interior’s implementation of EO13783 by providing for the reevaluation of actions that impact exploration, leasing, and development of our OCS energy resources. This Secretarial Order enhances opportunities for energy exploration, leasing, and development on the OCS by establishing regulatory certainty for OCS activities. In accordance with this Secretarial Order, Interior is reviewing potential regulatory changes to reduce burden on offshore energy production, development, and use. In addition, on July 13, Secretary Zinke offered 75.9 million acres offshore Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida for oil and gas exploration and development. The region-wide lease sale conducted on August 16, 2017, was the first offshore sale under the OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2017–2022. Under this program, 10 region-wide lease sales are scheduled for the Gulf, where resource potential and industry interest are high, and oil and gas infrastructure is well established. Two Gulf lease sales will be held each year and include all available blocks in the combined Western, Central, and Eastern Gulf of Mexico Planning Areas. v. Seismic Permitting Currently BOEM is one of two Federal agencies required to take separate regulatory actions in order to permit geological and geophysical surveying on the OCS. These seismic surveys, which are conducted by applicants, enable BOEM to make informed business decisions regarding oil and gas reserves, engineering decisions regarding the construction of renewable energy projects, and informed estimates regarding the composition and volume of marine mineral resources. This information is also used to ensure the proper use and conservation of OCS energy resources and the receipt of fair market value for the leasing of public lands. The ongoing delay in reaching decisions on Federal authorization of seismic surveys is a burden that hinders domestic energy development by preventing industry from being able to better determine the size and location of potential energy resources below the seafloor. The BOEM experts believe that these surveys can be authorized with appropriate mitigation measures consistent with the protection required by applicable Federal laws, primarily the Marine Mammal Protection Act E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations (MMPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA). While BOEM is responsible for ultimately issuing a permit to allow these activities to move forward, no seismic surveying can be done without MMPA authorization by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). For this reason, the issuance of certain seismic permits by BOEM has been held up in a years-long process awaiting NMFS authorization. BOEM and NMFS are currently working on ways to streamline review, as directed in EO 13795, Sec. 3(c). The Department believes that some improvements can be made through simple program initiatives, such as NMFS assigning dedicated staff to the permits or allowing BOEM to determine MMPA compliance for the purposes of BOEM-related activities in accordance with EO 13807. Finding a genuinely effective solution may warrant statutory changes as well as reorganizing departmental responsibilities within the Executive Branch in order to streamline opportunities to increase efficiency. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES vi. Revise Energy-Related Collections of Information Under the Paperwork Reduction Act The BOEM is reviewing four energyrelated information collections, two of which are related to the Arctic Rule, and two of which collect information that is no longer needed. C. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement The BSEE ensures the safe and responsible exploration, development, and production of America’s offshore energy resources through regulatory oversight and enforcement. The BSEE is focused on fostering secure and reliable energy production for America’s future through a program of efficient permitting, appropriate regulations, compliance monitoring and enforcement, technical assessments, inspections, and incident investigations. As a steward of the Nation’s OCS oil, gas, and mineral resources, the Bureau protects Federal royalty interests by ensuring that oil and gas production methods maximize recovery from underground reservoirs. The BSEE continues the efforts begun earlier this calendar year to review and seek stakeholder input on opportunities to reduce burden on the regulated community while maintaining necessary safety and environmental protections. Specifically, the BSEE is focusing its review on 2 final rules, published in 2016, regarding safety and environmental protection for oil and gas exploration, development and production activities on the OCS. The VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 first is the Well Control and Blowout Preventer (BOP) Rule (81 FR 25888); the second is the Arctic Exploratory Drilling Rule (the Arctic Rule) (81 FR 46478), which was issued jointly by BSEE and BOEM. Both rules (as described below) revised older regulations and added some new requirements that potentially burden development of domestic offshore oil and gas production. The BSEE continues to identify specific issues in both final rules that, if revised or eliminated through a future rulemaking process, could alleviate those burdens without reducing the safety or environmental protections of the rules. The BSEE is beginning the process of drafting timelines and developing stakeholder engagement strategies for potential revision to both sets of regulations. These rules fit into the category of ‘‘Other Actions that Potentially Burden Development or Use of Energy.’’ The BSEE has also identified policies that should be reexamined. Those are: • review decommissioning infrastructure removal requirements and timelines for infrastructure; • clarify Civil Penalties Guidance; and • review current policies associated with taking enforcement actions against contractors. The BSEE already completed publication of a final rule revising requirements of 30 CFR 250.180 to extend the period of time before a lease expires due to cessation of operations from 180 days to 1 year, thus allowing operators greater flexibility to plan exploration activities.2 The BSEE also improved its civil penalty program through the creation of a Civil Penalty Enforcement Specialist in each district in the Gulf of Mexico Region to serve as a liaison with District and Headquarters throughout a civil penalty case, providing clarity and consistency among civil penalty cases. The BSEE is also reviewing the Production Safety Systems Rule (30 CFR part 250, subpart H), based on Department guidance received between April and May of 2017. If areas for revision are identified, the BSEE would tier it behind the Well Control Rule (WCR) and the Arctic Rule in terms of potential burden reduction. Below are the specific details of BSEE’s review to identify additional regulations and policies that potentially burden development or use of energy. 2 See, ‘‘Oil and Gas and Sulphur Operations in the Outer Continental Shelf—Lease Continuation Through Operations,’’ 82 FR 26741 (June 9, 2017). PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 50541 i. Revise Well Control and BOP Rule (WCR) The WCR was issued on April 29, 2016, and consolidated new equipment and operational requirements for well control, including drilling, completion, workover, and decommissioning operations. The rule also incorporated or updated references to numerous industry standards and established new requirements reflecting advances in areas such as well design and control, casing and cementing, real-time monitoring (RTM), subsea containment of leaks and discharges, and blowout preventer requirements. In addition, the final rule adopted several reforms recommended by several bodies that investigated the Deepwater Horizon incident. The BSEE is considering several revisions to its regulations. Among those considerations is a rulemaking to revise the following aspects of the new well control regulations, including but not limited to: • revising the requirements for sufficient accumulator capacity and remotely-operated vehicle (ROV) capability to both open and close reams on subsea BOPs (i.e., to only require capability to close the rams); • revising the requirement to shut in platforms when a lift boat approaches within 500 feet; • extending the 14-day interval between pressure testing of BOP systems to 21 days in some situations; • clarifying that the requirement for weekly testing of two BOP control stations means testing one station (not both stations) per week; • simplifying testing pressures for verification of ram closure; and • revising or deleting the requirement to submit test results to BSEE District Managers within 72 hours. These changes are expected to strike the appropriate balance in order to maintain important safety and environmental protections while also ensuring development may continue. The BSEE initiated review of potential regulatory changes to this rule in July 2017. The interim step before issuing a proposed rule to revise existing regulations is to seek input on potential areas of reform from the stakeholders. The BSEE is in the process of determining the most effective way to engage stakeholders to provide meaningful and constructive input on regulatory reform efforts related to well control. As a result of stakeholder outreach, the above list of potential reforms may be increased. E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 50542 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES ii. Revise Arctic Rule The Arctic Rule was published on July 15, 2016 (81 FR 46478), and revised existing regulations and added new prescriptive and performance-based requirements for exploratory drilling conducted from mobile drilling units and related operations on the OCS within the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea Planning Areas (Arctic OCS). After conducting its review to eliminate burdens and increase economic opportunities, BSEE is considering a several revisions to the rule, including but not limited to: • modifying requirement to capture water-based muds and cuttings; • eliminating the requirement for a cap and flow system and containment dome that are capable of being located at the well site within 7 days of loss of well control; • eliminating the reference to the expected return of sea ice from the requirement to be able to drill a relief well within 45 days of loss of well control; and • eliminating the reference to equivalent technology from the mudline cellar requirement. The BOEM has also identified an opportunity to reduce burden on operators. A joint rulemaking would likely be undertaken again. Among the potential benefits of the items listed above is the possibility of allowing greater flexibility for operators to continue drilling into hydrocarbon zones later into the Arctic drilling season. Current leasing strategies in the Arctic constrain future exploratory activities to which this rule would apply. Success will result in a reduction in burdens associated with exploration of the Nation’s Arctic oil and gas reserves while also providing appropriate safety and environmental protection tailored to this unique environment. Prior to proposing a rulemaking to make the changes above, BSEE and BOEM plan to undertake stakeholder engagement activities. As a result of stakeholder engagement, the list of potential areas for proposed reform may change or grow. This process will enhance our ability to engage the public and stakeholders, as well as ensure our ability to engage in a robust consultation with tribes and Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act corporations. Stakeholder engagement will have the added benefit of allowing BSEE and BOEM to receive input on how the agencies calculate the primary lease term in order to provide a more tailored approach to the limited drilling windows in the Arctic. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 iii. Decommissioning Infrastructure Removal Requirements The BSEE will re-examine the NTL 2010–G05, ‘‘Decommissioning Guidance for Wells and Platforms,’’ to determine whether additional flexibility should be provided to better account for facility and well numbers and size, as well as timing consideration that can arise in the case of financial distress or bankruptcy of companies. Any changes to the NTL will not have an impact on companies’ underlying decommissioning obligations, but could provide more flexibility to allow for cash-flow management and ultimately increase assurance that decommissioning obligations can be fulfilled without government expense. iv. Lease Continuation Through Operations This action was completed on June 9, 2017, when final rule 1014–AA35, ‘‘Oil and Gas and Sulphur Operations in the Outer Continental Shelf-Lease Continuation Through Operations,’’ was published in the Federal Register (82 FR 26741). Section 121 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017 mandated that BSEE revise the requirements of 30 CFR 250.180 relating to maintaining a lease beyond its primary term through continuous operations. The final rule changed all of the references to the period of time before which a lease expires due to cessation of operations from ‘‘180 days’’ and ‘‘180th day’’ to a ‘‘year’’ and from ‘‘180-day period’’ to a ‘‘1-year period.’’ The rule has become effective and is allowing operators greater flexibility to plan exploration activities. v. Contractor Incidents of Noncompliance The BSEE currently has a policy that calls for issuing notices of noncompliance (INCs) to contractors as well as operators in certain instances. The BSEE will examine whether this policy is achieving the desired deterrence value or whether an alternative compliance incentive should be considered and the policy revised. There are currently several ongoing court actions that could result in adjustments to this policy. The BSEE will consider all of this information while examining the policy. vi. Civil Penalties Since 2013, the BSEE civil penalty program has continued to improve its processes and programs. For example, in 2016, each of the Districts in the Gulf of Mexico Region (GOMR) created the position of Civil Penalty Enforcement Specialist to assist with the review of all PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 INCs to determine which INCs are appropriate for civil penalty assessment, and to act as a liaison with the District and Headquarters (HQ) throughout a civil penalty case. This effort has greatly assisted in proving clarity and consistency to the development of civil penalty cases. vii. Energy-Related Information Collections under the Paperwork Reduction Act The BSEE has approximately 25 information collections associated with our regulations and guidance that must be renewed every 3 years on a rolling basis. The renewal process involves an analysis of whether each information collection continues to be necessary and if whether it requires modification. Through this process, BSEE continuously reviews our forms and the information we collect and reduces the collection burden wherever appropriate. Additionally, there may be further burden reduction associated with potential revisions to the Well Control and Arctic rules once final determinations have been made with respect to specific action on those regulations. D. Office of Natural Resources Revenue The ONRR is responsible for ensuring revenue from Federal and Indian mineral leases is effectively, efficiently, and accurately collected, accounted for, analyzed, audited, and disbursed to recipients. The ONRR collects an average of over $10 billion annual revenue from onshore and offshore energy production, one of the Federal government’s largest sources of non-tax revenue. i. Royalty Policy Committee In an effort to ensure the public continues to receive the full value of natural resources produced on Federal lands, Secretary Zinke signed a charter establishing a Royalty Policy Committee (RPC) to provide regular advice to the Secretary on the fair market value of and collection of revenues from Federal and Indian mineral and energy leases, including renewable energy sources. The RPC may also advise on the potential impacts of proposed policies and regulations related to revenue collection from such development, including whether a need exists for regulatory reform. The group consists of 28 local, tribal, state, and other stakeholders and will serve in an advisory nature. The Secretary’s Counselor to the Secretary for Energy Policy chairs the RPC. The first meeting will be held on October 4, 2017. E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations ii. 2017 Valuation Rule On April 4, 2017, ONRR published a proposed rule that would rescind the 2017 Valuation Rule. The ONRR, after considering public feedback, recognized that implementing the 2017 Valuation Rule would be contrary to the rule’s stated purpose of offering greater simplicity, certainty, clarity, and consistency in product valuation. The ONRR determined that the 2017 Valuation Rule unnecessarily burdened the development of Federal and Indian coal beyond what was necessary to protect the public interest or otherwise comply with the law. ONRR therefore repealed the rule in its entirety and reinstated the valuation regulations in effect prior that rule. (82 FR 36934, August 7, 2017). sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES E. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement The OSMRE ensures, through a nationwide regulatory program, that coal mining is conducted in a manner that protects communities and the environment during mining, restores the land to beneficial use following mining, and mitigates the effects of past mining by aggressively pursuing reclamation of abandoned mine lands. The OSMRE’s statutory role is to promote and assist its partner states and tribes in establishing a stable regulatory environment for coal mining. The proposed level of regulatory grant funding provides for the efficient and effective operations of programs at a level consistent with the anticipated obligations of State and tribal regulatory programs to account for the Nation’s demand for coal mine permitting and production. On February 16, 2017, President Trump signed a resolution under the Congressional Review Act to annul the Stream Protection Rule (SPR) (81 FR 93066, December 20, 2016). This rule imposed substantial burdens on the coal industry and threatened jobs in communities dependent on coal. As described below, OSMRE has drafted a Federal Register document to conform the Code of Federal Regulations to the legislation and return the regulations to their previous status and anticipates publication on or about September 30, 2017. In the interim, OSMRE has ensured that the SPR is not being implemented in any way and that regulation is occurring under the preexisting regulatory system. The OSMRE is reviewing additional actions to reduce burdens on coal development, including, for example, reviewing the state program amendment process to reduce the time it takes to formally amend an approved Surface VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) regulatory program. In compiling the following list of actions for review, OSMRE considered direct and indirect impacts to the coal industry, as well as impacts to the states with primary responsibility for regulating coal mining activities, pursuant to the SMCRA. Recommendations for Alleviating or Eliminating Burdensome Actions i. Disapproval of the Stream Protection Rule The SPR was published on December 20, 2016, and became effective on January 19, 2017. In accordance with the Congressional Review Act, Congress passed, and the President signed, a resolution of disapproval of the SPR on February 16, 2017, as Public Law 115– 5. No provisions of the SPR have been enforced since passage of the resolution. In addition, OSMRE will formally document the CRA nullification of the SPR by publishing in the Federal Register a document that replaces the SPR text with the regulations that were in place prior to January 19, 2017. This will result in the removal of any amendments, deletions, or other modifications associated with the nullified rule, and the reversion to the text of all regulations in effect immediately prior to the effective date of the SPR. The OSMRE estimates the elimination of this rule will save industry approximately $82 million annually, and will reduce the amount of time states and OSMRE are expending in the processing of permit applications and monitoring performance during the life of the operation. Interior has identified the CRA nullification and subsequent action by OSMRE to conform the CFR to the Congressional action as a deregulatory action under EO 13771. ii. Work with Interstate Mining Compact Commission (IMCC) to Revisit and Revise Ten-Day Notices and Independent Inspections—Directives INE–24, INE–35, REG–8 Under revisions to OSMRE Directive REG–8, which establishes policies, procedures and responsibilities for conducting oversight of state and tribal regulatory programs, OSMRE conducts 10 percent of all routine oversight inspections with 24 hours’ notice to the state regulatory authority. If the state inspector is unavailable to accompany the OSMRE inspector, OSMRE will conduct the inspection alone. These and other oversight inspections sometimes result in the issuance of Ten-Day PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 50543 Notices (TDNs) to the state regulatory authority under Inspection and Enforcement (INE)-35. In addition, INE– 24, issued on May 26, 1987, requires OSMRE to issue a TDN to state regulatory authorities upon receipt of a citizen’s complaint. Between 2011 and 2016, 882 TDNs were issued to state regulatory programs. On an annual basis, the majority (39 or 74 percent) of those resulted from citizen’s complaints. In addition, an evaluation of data during 2013 found that the number of TDNs issued when the state inspector does not participate was determined to be 6.4 percent of the total oversight inspections, versus 1.5 percent when the state inspector accompanied the OSMRE inspector. State regulatory authorities, particularly in the Appalachian Region, have expressed concern that the number of hours required to prepare TDN responses can be significant. In an effort to address these concerns, a joint OSMRE and State/Tribal Work Group assessed various topics, including the use of TDNs and independent inspections. In a report issued on July 30, 2014, the Work Group made six specific recommendations for the TDN process and four recommendations regarding the independent inspection process. Interstate Mining Compact Commission (IMCC) member states have requested OSMRE revisit these recommendations, and others, in an effort to implement the recommendations. In addition, OSMRE will revisit and revise, as needed, the specific policy directives governing the use of TDNs and independent inspections in cooperation with the IMCC to reduce the amount of time states and OSMRE are expending to process TDNs. The review will commence this calendar year, following specific timelines and benchmarks to be established jointly with IMCC. iii. Work with IMCC to Revise or Rescind OSMRE Memorandum and Directive INE–35—TDNs and Permit Defects On November 15, 2010, the OSMRE Director issued a memorandum directing OSMRE staff to apply the TDN process and Federal enforcement to permitting issues under approved regulatory programs. In support of this memorandum, on January 31, 2011, the Director reissued Directive INE–35, regarding policy and procedures for the issuance of TDNs. This directive requires the issuance of a TDN whenever a permit issued by the state regulatory authority (RA) contains a ‘‘permit defect,’’ which the directive E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 50544 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations defines as meaning ‘‘a type of violation consisting of any procedural or substantive deficiency in a permitrelated action taken by the RA (including permit issuance, permit revision, permit renewal, or transfer, assignment, or sale of permit rights).’’ The directive further states that OSMRE will not review pending permitting decisions and will not issue a TDN for an alleged violation involving a possible permit defect where the RA has not taken the relevant permitting action (e.g., permit issuance, permit revision, permit renewal, or transfer, assignment, or sale of permit rights). Since the issuance of this policy and associated directive, concerns have been raised by some states and industry stakeholders regarding the potential impact on mining operations where the RA has issued a permit, revision, or renewal, and the operator has commenced activities based upon RA approval. The OSMRE in cooperation with the IMCC will revisit the policy and directive and revise or rescind, as appropriate to provide more certainty to the industry in the state RA permitting process. The review will commence this calendar year; specific timelines and benchmarks will be established jointly with IMCC. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES iv. Revise Processing State Program Amendments—Directive STP–1 Directive STP–1, issued in October 2008, establishes policy and procedures for review and processing of amendments to state regulatory programs. Most changes in state law or regulations that impact an approved SMCRA regulatory program require submission of a formal program amendment to OSMRE for approval. Such changes to primacy programs cannot be implemented until a final amendment is approved by OSMRE. In addition, written concurrence must be received from the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency with respect to those aspects of a state/tribal program amendment which relates to air or water quality standards promulgated under the authority of the Clean Air Act or the Clean Water Act prior to OSMRE approval. In accordance with 30 CFR 732.17(h)(13), OSMRE must complete a final action on program amendments within 7 months of receipt. Often, due to the complexities of the process and other issues, including influences outside of OSMRE, it is difficult for OSMRE to meet the required processing times. The result is that state regulatory authorities are occasionally unable to VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 move forward in a timely manner with needed program amendments. Based upon the results of an internal control review (ICR) and work with the state/tribal work group, OSMRE is developing new training guides and opportunities for states and revising Directive STP–1 to improve the state program amendment process. The OSMRE will also review the process with the Office of the Solicitor to evaluate opportunities for process improvement. In addition, the recent approval by OMB of the information collection requirements of 30 CFR part 732 was conditioned upon OSMRE developing new guidance and supporting documents for states to use when preparing amendments to approved programs. The OSMRE intends for these actions to reduce its processing time for state program amendments. The revision of Directive STP–1 and development of training guides is anticipated to be completed this calendar year. OSMRE will track processing times once the revised directive and training have been implemented, and compare results to previous years. The OMB approval of new guidance for Part 732 is required by July 31, 2020. v. Revise or Rescind OSMRE Policy Advisory and Proposed Rulemaking: Self-Bonding On August 5, 2016, the OSMRE Director issued a policy advisory on self-bonding. The advisory was in direct response to three of the largest coal mine operators in the nation filing for Chapter 11 protection under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code between 2015 and 2016. Those companies held approximately $2.5 billion of unsecured or non-collateralized self-bonds that various states with federally-approved SMCRA regulatory programs previously accepted to guarantee reclamation of land disturbed by coal mining. The advisory stated that ‘‘the bankruptcy filings confirm the existence of significant issues about the future financial abilities of coal companies and how they will meet future reclamation obligations.’’ While recognizing the action of certain state programs to address self-bonding issues, the advisory went on to say that ‘‘each regulatory authority should exercise its discretion and not accept new or additional self-bonds for any permit until coal production and consumption market conditions reach equilibrium, events which are not likely to occur until at least 2021.’’ Since the issuance of this advisory, all three companies of concern have completed their plans for PO 00000 Frm 00054 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Chapter 11 reorganization, and either have or are expected to replace all selfbonds with other forms of financial guarantees. In addition to the issuance of the policy advisory on self-bonding, OSMRE accepted a petition for rulemaking submitted March 3, 2016, by WildEarth Guardians. The petition requested that OSMRE revise its selfbonding regulations to ensure that companies with a history of insolvency, and their subsidiary companies, not be allowed to self-bond coal mining operations. Limiting the use of self-bonds, as indicated in the policy advisory or potentially through a rulemaking, could impact a company’s ability to continue mining. In addition, there will likely be an increased demand and potential negative impact on the availability of third party surety bonding. On January 17, 2017, the GAO announced that it will conduct an audit of financial assurances for reclaiming coal mines (Job Code 101326) that will focus on the role of OSMRE in implementing and overseeing the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act’s requirements related to financial assurances. In view of the current status of the self-bonding bankruptcies and recent executive orders concerning rulemakings, OSMRE will reconsider the scope of the policy advisory and revise or rescind, as appropriate. In addition, OSMRE will revisit the need for and scope of any potential rulemaking in response to the previously accepted petition. Furthermore, OSMRE will carefully consider the report and recommendations of the pending GAO audit of financial assurances currently underway. The OSMRE will solicit public input prior to finalizing any decision on the need for further rulemaking. The OSMRE will continue to monitor the status of self-bonding issues in state programs in cooperation with the IMCC and other stakeholders (sureties, industry, and environmental groups). vi. Revise or Rescind OSMRE Enforcement Memorandum— Relationship between the Clean Water Act (CWA) and SMCRA On July 27, 2016, the OSMRE Director issued a policy memo to staff providing direction on the enforcement of the existing regulations related to violations of the CWA caused by SMCRApermitted operations and related issues, such as responses to self-reported violations of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations limits and OSMRE responses to Notices of Intent (NOI) to sue alleging CWA violations at SMCRA-permitted operations. The policy memo specifically required an NOI to be processed as a citizen complaint, which requires OSMRE to issue a TDN to the state RA upon receipt of the NOI. In addition, the memo stated that a violation of water quality standards is also a violation of SMCRA regulations. State regulatory authorities, as well as industry, have raised issues with this guidance document expressing concern with overlap and potential conflicts between section 702(a)(3) 3 of SMCRA and the CWA. In addition, state RAs have raised concerns about new TDNs and related enforcement actions that have been issued in response to this policy guidance. The relationship between the CWA and SMCRA and the role of the state RAs in ensuring compliance in accordance with their approved SMCRA regulatory programs have been longstanding issues. Resolution will bring certainty to the state regulatory programs as well as for the industry. The OSMRE will revisit the policy issues and concerns in cooperation with the IMCC and will revise or rescind the memorandum, as appropriate. Review of the policy with IMCC member states will commence this calendar year; the revised or rescinded policy should be complete by the end of this calendar year. The OSMRE will consider seeking public input prior to finalizing the policy. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES vii. Revise Policy on Reclamation Fee for Coal Mine Waste (Uram Memo) and Propose Rule for Additional Incentives On July 22, 1994, then-Director Robert Uram issued a memorandum outlining the conditions under which OSMRE would waive the assessment of reclamation fees on the removal of refuse or coal waste material for use as a waste fuel in a cogeneration facility. Recently, the Pennsylvania regulatory authority (PADEP) requested that OSMRE update this policy as outlined below to incentivize reclamation efforts on sites with coal refuse reprocessing activities. The PADEP believes that the reclamation fees deter operators from 3 Nothing in this Act shall be construed as superseding, amending, modifying, or repealing the Mining and Minerals Policy Act of 1970 (30 U.S.C. 21a), the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321–47), or any of the following Acts or with any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder, including, but not limited to—(3) The Federal Water Pollution Control Act (79 Stat. 903), as amended (33 U.S.C. 1151–1175), the State laws enacted pursuant thereto, or other Federal laws relating to preservation of water quality. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 reclamation efforts on sites with coal refuse reprocessing activities. Coal refuse sites located within the Anthracite Coal Region are unable or have ceased the removal of coal refuse to be used as waste fuel at co-generation facilities. This is partly or totally due to the assessment of reclamation fees on coal refuse used as waste fuel. In addition, PADEP recommended that OSMRE consider waste derived from filter presses at existing coal preparation plants to be a ‘‘no value’’ 4 product, which would encourage its use as a waste fuel rather than requiring it to be disposed in a coal refuse pile. The OSMRE will revisit the 1994 Uram Memo, with the goal of providing an incentive for use of coal refuse as a coal waste fuel. In addition, OSMRE will revisit the remining incentives provided by the 2006 amendments to SMCRA at section 415, some of which apply specifically to removal or reprocessing of abandoned coal mine waste. Additional incentives pursuant to Section 415 will require promulgation of rules, and, therefore, input from the public will be solicited. Providing additional incentives to industry to promote remining of coal refuse and other abandoned mine sites will provide for additional reclamation of abandoned mines that would not otherwise be accomplished through the Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) program. Specific benchmarks for measuring success, such as acres of additional reclamation performed, will be developed consistent with the implementation of the incentives. viii. Energy-Related Information Collections under the Paperwork Reduction Act The OSMRE reviewed the current industry costs associated with the Paperwork Reduction Act and did not find any information collections that ‘‘potentially burden 5 the development or utilization of domestically produced energy resources’’ in accordance EO13783. It should be noted that there will be no industry costs associated with information collection based on the Stream Protection Rule, due to the Congressional Review Act nullification of that final rule. 4 No value determinations are based upon the criteria established in the 1994 Uram Memorandum. 5 Burden ‘‘means to unnecessarily obstruct, delay, curtail, or otherwise impose significant costs on the siting, permitting, production, utilization, transmission, or delivery of energy resources’’ (Presidential Executive Order 13783, Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth, March 28, 2017). PO 00000 Frm 00055 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 50545 F. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service The FWS is reviewing its final rule, ‘‘Management of Non-Federal Oil and Gas Rights,’’ 81 FR 79948 (Nov. 14, 2016) to determine whether revision would be appropriate to reduce burden on energy. Additionally, below is a list of burdens and opportunities to fulfill the intent of the Executive Order: i. Streamline Rights-of-way (ROW) for pipelines and electricity transmission The approval process for new ROW access can be overly restrictive and excessively lengthy. The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act, as amended, requires all uses, including rights-of-way, of National Wildlife Refuges to be compatible with the mission of the System. The FWS will work with stakeholders in a more timely fashion to determine if proposed ROW uses are compatible. Additionally, FWS will revise its ROW regulation to streamline the current ROW granting process to significantly decrease the time to obtain ROW approval from the current 3–12 month time frame. ii. Review Incidental Take Regulations for oil and gas activities in the Southern Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea, under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) The MMPA prohibits take (i.e., harass, hunt, capture, or kill) of marine mammals (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) unless authorized by the Secretary. Existing measures in the MMPA incidental take regulations require: 1) maintaining a minimum spacing of 15 miles between all active seismic source vessels and/or drill rigs during exploration activities in the Chukchi Sea; 2) no more than two simultaneous seismic operations and three offshore exploratory drilling operations authorized in the Chukchi Sea region at any time; 3) time restrictions for transit through the Chukchi Sea; 4) time and vessel restrictions in the Hanna Shoal Walrus Use Area; 5) location of polar bear dens and 1-mile buffer; 6) maximum distance around Pacific walruses and polar bears on ice and groups of Pacific walruses in water; 7) sound producing mitigation zones & shut-down/ramp up procedures; 8) marine mammal observers and monitoring requirements; and 9) excessive reporting requirements. The FWS has the opportunity to review the Chukchi Sea incidental take regulation which expires in 2018, and the regulation for the southern Beaufort Sea expires in 2021. They may either be allowed to expire or be revised and reissued. E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 50546 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations iii. Modernize Guidance and regulations governing interagency consultation pursuant to Section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act Section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act requires Federal agencies, in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Commerce (delegated to the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service, respectively), to ensure that any action authorized, funded or carried out by the agency is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of designated critical habitat. However, the time and expense associated with satisfying the interagency consultation requirements are unnecessarily burdensome. The FWS has discretion to create efficiencies and streamlining in the consultation process through targeted revision to regulations and/or guidance and is reviewing opportunities for further process improvements. iv. Build Upon the Efforts of the Western Governors’ Association and Others to Improve the Application of the Endangered Species Act, Reduce Unnecessary Burdens on the Energy Industry, and Facilitate Conservation Stewardship sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES A number of groups, most prominently the Western Governors’ Association, have worked to evaluate and develop recommendations to improve the application of the ESA. For example, the Western Governors’ Association developed the Western Governors’ Species Conservation and Endangered Species Act Initiative (Initiative), which conducts broad-based stakeholder discussions focused on issues such as identifying means of incentivizing voluntary conservation, elevating the role of states in species conservation, and improving the efficacy of the ESA. Interior intends to build on these efforts to improve the application of the ESA in a manner that ensures conservation stewardship, while reducing unneeded burdens on the public, including the energy industry. v. Re-Evaluate Whether the MBTA Imposes Incidental Take Liability and Clarify Regulatory Authorities. Federal Courts of Appeals have split on whether the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) imposes criminal liability on companies and individuals for the inadvertent death of migratory birds resulting from industrial activities. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 Three circuits—the fifth, eighth, and ninth—have held that it does not, limiting taking liability to deliberate acts done directly and intentionally to migratory birds. Two circuits—the second and tenth—have held that it does. On January 10, 2017, the Office of the Solicitor issued an opinion regarding the issue, which was subsequently suspended pending further review of the opinion and the underlying regulations and decisions. This review is currently ongoing, and may serve as the basis for the development of new internal guidance or regulations that provide clarity to this longstanding issue. vi. Evaluate the Merits of a General Permit for Incidental Take Under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act The FWS intends to evaluate the merits of a general permit for incidental take under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Action Act (BGEPA). When the bald eagle was delisted under the ESA, FWS issued a rule establishing a permit program for incidental take under BGEPA. On December 16, 2016, FWS adopted a final rule intended to address some of industry’s concerns regarding the BGEPA incidental take permit process (81 FR 91494). One measure strongly supported by industry, a general permit for activities that constitute a low risk of taking eagles, was not considered as part of this rulemaking process, though FWS did accept comments on the subject for consideration in a future rulemaking. The FWS is reviewing these comments to determine whether additional regulatory changes would be appropriate to reduce the burden on industry. G. Bureau of Reclamation The BOR is the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, operating 53 hydroelectric power facilities, comprising 14,730 megawatts of capacity. Each year, BOR generates over 40 million megawatt-hours of electricity (the equivalent demand of approximately 3.5 million US homes),6 producing over one billion dollars in Federal revenue. In addition to our authorities to develop, operate, and maintain Federal hydropower facilities, BOR is also authorized to permit the use of our non-powered assets to nonFederal entities for the purposes of hydropower development via a lease of power privilege (LOPP). 6 See, https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id= 97&t=3 PO 00000 Frm 00056 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 The BOR is committed to facilitating the development of non-Federal hydropower at our existing Federal assets. Acting on this commitment, BOR has undertaken a number of activities, including: i. Completion of two publically available resource assessments. Assessments identify technical hydropower potential at existing BOR facilities, irrespective of financial viability. ii. Collaboration with stakeholder groups to improve the LOPP process and LOPP Directive and Standard (D&S) policy guidance document. A BOR LOPP is a contractual right given to a non-Federal entity to use a BOR asset (e.g. dam or conduit) for electric power generation consistent with BOR project purposes. The BOR has conducted LOPP outreach with stakeholder groups and hydropower industry associations; and made resources and staff available via a LOPP website: https://www.usbr.gov/ power/LOPP/index.html. The BOR has also partnered with sister agencies (United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Energy) under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Hydropower to, in part, encourage and streamline non-Federal development on Federal infrastructure. Through these activities, BOR has made resources available to developers and peeled back the barriers that may burden non-Federal hydropower development—while continuing to protect the Federal assets that our customers, operating partners, and stakeholders have depended on for over a century. The response BOR has received from these groups (including the development community) in this effort has been overwhelmingly positive. LOPP projects provide a source of reliable, domestic, and sustainable generation—that supports rural economies and the underlying Federal water resource project. H. Bureau of Indian Affairs The BIA provides services to nearly 2 million American Indians and Alaska Natives in 567 federally recognized tribes in the 48 contiguous States and Alaska. The BIA’s natural resource programs assist tribes in the management, development, and protection of Indian trust land and natural resources on 56 million surface acres and 59 million subsurface mineral estates. These programs enable tribal trust landowners to optimize sustainable stewardship and use of resources, providing benefits such as E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations revenue, jobs and the protection of cultural, spiritual, and traditional resources. Income from energy production is the largest source of revenue generated from trust lands, with royalty income of $534 million in 2016. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES Indian Energy Actions i. Clarify ‘‘Inherently Federal Functions for Tribal Energy Resource Agreements (TERAs) Tribal Energy Resource Agreements (TERAs) are authorized under Title V of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. A TERA is a means by which a tribe could be authorized to review, approve, and manage business agreements, leases, and rights-of-way pertaining to energy development on Indian trust lands, absent approval of each individual transaction by the Secretary. Interior promulgated TERA regulations in 2008 at 25 CFR part 224. The TERAs offer the opportunity to promote development of domestically produced energy resources on Indian land; however, 12 years after the passage of the Act and 9 years after the issuance of TERA regulations, not one tribe has sought Interior’s approval for a TERA. One theory asserted by at least one tribe as to the failure of this legislation is the Act does not address precisely how much Federal oversight would disappear for tribes operating under TERAs. Specifically, Interior had not defined the term ‘‘inherently Federal functions’’ that Interior will retain following approval of a TERA. This term appears in Interior’s regulations at 25 CFR 224.52(c) and 224.53(e)(2), but not in the Act. Without some assurance as to the benefits (in terms of less Federal oversight) a tribe would receive through clarification of ‘‘inherently Federal functions,’’ tribes have no incentive to undergo the intensive process of applying for a TERA. Clarification of this phrase would also address Recommendation 5 of GAO–15–502, Indian Energy Development: Poor Management by BIA Has Hindered Energy Development on Indian Lands (June 2015). The recommendation directed Interior to ‘‘provide additional energy development-specific guidance on provisions of TERA regulations that tribes have identified to Interior as unclear.’’ The BIA has been working closely with the Office of the Solicitor to develop guidance on how Interior will interpret the term ‘‘inherently Federal functions.’’ It is expected that by providing this certainty as to the scope of Federal oversight, tribes will better be able to justify the process of applying for a TERA. The BIA expects to have the VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 guidance finalized and available on its website by October 2017. The BIA anticipates that the benefits of this action will be to promote the use of TERAs, which will both save tribes the time and resources necessary to seek and obtain Interior approval of each transaction related to energy development on Indian land, and will help ease Interior’s workload by eliminating the need for Departmental review of each individual transaction. The reduction in burden will be measured by the number of tribes that choose to obtain TERAs. Once each tribe obtains a TERA, Interior will work with the tribe to estimate savings in terms of time and resources. I. Integrated Activity Plan for Oil & Gas in the National Petroleum Reserve— Alaska Noting that the National Petroleum Reserve—Alaska (NPR–A) is the largest block of federally managed land in the United States and offers economically recoverable oil and natural gas, the Secretary issued an order focusing on management of this area in a manner that appropriately balances promoting development and protecting surface resources. See Secretarial Order 3352, ‘‘National Petroleum Reserve—Alaska’’ (May 31, 2017). Currently, 11 million acres (or 48 percent) of the total 22.8 million acres in the NPR–A are closed to leasing under the current Integrated Activity Plan (IAP). The Secretarial Order requires review and revision of the IAP for management of the area and, within the existing plan, maximizing the tracts offered during the next lease sale. J. Mitigation Implemented properly, mitigation can be a beneficial tool for advancing the Administration’s goals of American energy independence and security, while ensuring public resources are managed for the benefit and enjoyment of the public. Interior seeks to establish consistent, effective and transparent mitigation principles and standards across all its Agencies. Interior and its bureaus and offices intends to develop consistent terminology, reduce redundancies, and simplify frameworks so that the Federal mitigation programs and stepped down programs are more predictable and consistent. Some mitigation is facilitated by goodwill and some is through our regulatory paradigm. PO 00000 Frm 00057 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 50547 BLM i. Review and Revise Mitigation Manual Section (MS–1794) and Handbook (H– 1794–1) Related to Mitigation, Which Provide Direction on the Use of Mitigation, Including Compensatory Mitigation, To Support the BLM’s Multiple-Use and Sustained-Yield Mandates. The Mitigation Manual Section and Handbook provide direction on the use of mitigation, including compensatory mitigation, to support BLM’s multiple use and sustained yield mandates. The BLM is reviewing whether the 2016 Manual and Handbook replaced several IMs (IM Numbers 2005–069, 2008–204, and 2013–142) issued by BLM for the same purpose. The BLM is considering revisions to the Manual and Handbook to provide greater predictability (internally and externally), ease conflicts, and may reduce permitting/authorizations times. Measuring success would be largely quantitative. The BLM would continue to track impacts from land use authorizations and would also track the type and amount of compensatory mitigation implemented and its effectiveness, preferably in a centralized database. The BLM is drafting an IM that provides interim direction regarding new and ongoing mitigation practices while the Manual and Handbook are being reviewed and revised. Use of the existing Manual and Handbook would continue, as modified and limited by this IM, until they are superseded. ii. Review of Manual 6220—National Monuments, National Conservation Areas, and Similar Designations (07/13/ 2012) To Assure That It Conforms to BLM’s Revised Mitigation Guidance. Manual 6220 provides guidance for managing BLM National Conservation Lands designated by Congress or the President as National Monuments, National Conservation Areas, and similar designations (NM/NCA) in order to comply with the designating Acts of Congress and Presidential Proclamations, FLPMA, and the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (16 U.S.C. 7202). Manual 6220 requires that when processing a new ROW application, BLM will determine, to the greatest extent possible, through the NEPA process, the consistency of the ROW with the Monument or NCA’s objects and values; consider routing or siting the ROW outside of the Monument or NCA; and consider mitigation of the impacts from the ROW. Land use plans must identify management actions, allowable uses, E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 50548 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations restrictions, management actions regarding any valid existing rights, and mitigation measures to ensure that the objects and values are protected. The manual requires that a land use plan for a Monument or NCA should consider closing the area to mineral leasing, mineral material sales, and vegetative sales, subject to valid existing rights, where that component’s designating authority does not already do so. A review of Manual 6220 to identify where clarity could be provided for mitigation, notification standards, and compatible uses, may potentially reduce or eliminate burdens. The BLM will review Manual 6220 following the proposed revisions to BLM Mitigation Manual Section (MS–1794) and Handbook (H–1794–1) to ensure that Manual 6220 conforms to the BLM’s revised mitigation guidance. Addressing any potential issues, along with providing consistency with BLM Mitigation Manual is expected to provide greater predictability (internally and externally), reduce conflicts, and may reduce permitting/authorizations times. Success will be measured in BLM meeting legal obligations under the designating Act or Proclamation for each unit and the allowance of compatible multiple uses, consistent with applicable provisions in the designating Act or Proclamation. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES iii. Other Reviews of BLM Manual Provisions Secretarial Order 3349 also revoked a prior order regarding mitigation and directed bureaus to examine all existing policies and other documents related to mitigation and climate change. (See Secretarial Order 3330 ‘‘Improving Mitigation Policies and Practices of the Department of the Interior.’’) Actions Interior is taking to implement this direction include: • BLM Manual 6400—Wild and Scenic Rivers, Policy and Program Direction for Identification, Evaluation, Planning, and Management (07/13/2012) Manual 6400 provides guidance for managing eligible and suitable wild and scenic rivers and designated wild and scenic rivers in order to fulfill requirements found in the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (WSRA). Subject to valid existing rights, the Manual states that minerals in any Federal lands that constitute the bed or bank or are situated within 1⁄4 mile of the bank of any river listed under section 5(a) are withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the mining laws, for the time periods specified in section 7(b) of the WSRA. The Manual allows VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 new leases, licenses, and permits under mineral leasing laws be made, but requires that consideration be given to applying conditions necessary to protect the values of the river corridor. For wild river segments, the Manual requires that new contracts for the disposal of saleable mineral material, or the extension or renewal of existing contracts, should be avoided to the greatest extent possible to protect river values. Manual 6400 will be reviewed following the proposed revisions to BLM Mitigation Manual Section and Handbook to ensure that it conforms to BLM revised mitigation guidance. Although the requirements for minerals and mineral withdrawals are legally mandated under the mining and mineral leasing laws in sections 9(a) and 15(2) of the WSRA, Manual 6400 will be reviewed for opportunities to clarify discretionary decision-space. Ensuring consistency with the BLM Mitigation Manual will foster greater predictability (internally and externally), reduce conflicts, and may reduce permitting/authorizations times. Success will be measured in terms of complying with the WSRA and identifying and allowing compatible multiple uses. • BLM Manual 6280—Management of National Scenic and Historic Trails and Trails under Study or Recommended as Suitable for Congressional Designation (09/14/2012) Manual 6280 provides guidance for managing trails under study, trails recommended as suitable, and congressionally designated National Scenic and Historic Trails to fulfill the requirements of the National Trails System Act (NTSA) and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. Manual 6280 identifies mitigation as one way to address substantial interference with the natural and purposes for which a National Trail is designated. Manual 6280 will be reviewed following the proposed revisions to the BLM Mitigation Manual Section and Handbook to ensure it conforms to the BLM revised mitigation guidance. Although many of the requirements are legally mandated under the National Trails System Act, Manual 6280 will be reviewed for opportunities to clarify any discretionary decision-space to reduce or eliminate burdens. Addressing any potential issues, along with providing consistency with the BLM Mitigation Manual is expected to provide greater predictability (internally and externally), reduce conflicts, and PO 00000 Frm 00058 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 may reduce permitting/authorizations time. Success will be measured in terms of complying with the NTSA and identifying and allowing compatible multiple uses. FWS iv. Compensatory Mitigation for Impacts to Migratory Bird Habitat The FWS has the authority to recommend, but not require, mitigation for impacts to migratory bird habitat under several Federal authorities. Pursuant to a Memoranda of Understanding with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), implementing EO13186 (January 10, 2001), FWS evaluates the impacts of FERC-licensed interstate pipelines to migratory bird habitat. The FWS is developing Service-wide guidance to ensure the bureau is consistent, fair and objective, appropriately characterizes the voluntary nature of compensatory mitigation for impacts to migratory bird habitat, and demonstrates a reasonable nexus between anticipated impacts and recommended mitigation. The FWS anticipates it will take 3 months to finalize the guidance. Guidance will result in timely and practicable licensing decisions, while providing for the conservation of migratory Birds of Conservation Concern. Success will be measured by timely issuance of licenses that contain appropriate recommendations that do not impose burdensome costs to developers. The FWS Regional and Field Offices will provide informal guidance through email and regularly scheduled conference calls to educate and remind staff of policy. v. Mitigation Actions—Regulations and Policy Governing Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances (CCAAs) The CCAAs are developed to encourage voluntary conservation efforts to benefit species that are candidates for listing by providing the regulatory assurance that take associated with implementing an approved candidate conservation agreement will be permitted under section 10(a)(1)(A) for the Endangered Species Act if the species is ultimately listed, and that no additional mitigation requirements will be imposed. Recent revisions to the CCAA regulations and policy and the adoption of ‘‘net conservation benefit’’ as an issuance standard has been perceived by E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES some to impose an unnecessary, ambiguous, and burdensome standard that will discourage voluntary conservation. There are also concerns with the preamble language that suggested that CCAAs may not be appropriate vehicles for permitting take of listed species resulting from oil and gas development activities. The FWS will solicit public review and comment on the need and basis for a revision of the CCAA regulation and associated policy for the purpose of evaluating whether it should maintain or revise the current regulation and policy or reinstate the former ones. The FWS anticipates that it will take 3 months to prepare the Federal Register Notice soliciting public review and comments. The FWS will then publish the Federal Register Notice with a 60day comment period. Based upon comments received, FWS will decide whether and how to revise the regulation and policy. The anticipated benefits will be ensuring the CCAA standard is clear and encourages stakeholder participation in voluntary conservation of candidate and other at-risk species. Success will be measured by FWS providing timely assistance to developers if they seek a CCAA. The FWS Headquarters will provide Regional and Field Offices with informal guidance through email and regularly scheduled conference calls to remind staff of the regulation and policy review. vi. Mitigation Actions—FWS Mitigation Policy In 2016, FWS finalized revisions to its 1981 Mitigation Policy, which guides FWS recommendations on mitigating the adverse impacts of land and water development on fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats. Some stakeholders believe the revised policy’s mitigation planning goal exceeds statutory authority. The FWS will solicit public review and comment for the purpose of evaluating the policy. The FWS anticipates that it will take 3 months to prepare the Federal Register Notice soliciting public review and comment on the policy. The FWS will then publish the Federal Register Notice with a 60-day comment period. Based upon comments received, FWS will decide whether and how to revise the policy. The anticipated benefits will be timely and practicable mitigation recommendations by FWS staff to energy developers (and others) that promote conservation of species and their habitats. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 Success will be measured by incorporation of recommendations without delays to the permitting or licensing process. The FWS Headquarters will provide FWS Regional and Field Offices informal guidance through email and regularly scheduled conference calls to remind staff of the policy review. vii. FWS ESA Compensatory Mitigation Policy In 2016, FWS finalized its ESA Compensatory Mitigation Policy (CMP), which steps down and implements the 2016 revised the FWS Mitigation Policy (including the mitigation planning goal). The CMP was established to improve consistency and effectiveness in the use of compensatory mitigation. Its primary intent is to provide FWS staff with direction and guidance in the planning and implementation of compensatory mitigation. Some stakeholders believe the mitigation planning goal exceeds statutory authority. The FWS will solicit public review and comment for the purpose of evaluating whether it should modify the policy. Additional legal review will be undertaken after comments are reviewed. The FWS anticipates that it will take three months to prepare the Federal Register Notice soliciting public review and comment on the policy. The FWS will then publish the Federal Register Notice with a 60-day comment period. Based upon comments received, FWS will decide whether and how to revise the policy. The anticipated benefits will be timely and practicable mitigation recommendations by FWS staff to energy developers (and others) that promote conservation of species and their habitats. Success will be measured by incorporation of recommendations without delays to the permitting or licensing process. The FWS Headquarters will provide FWS Regional and Field Offices informal guidance through email and regularly scheduled conference calls to remind staff of the policy review. viii. Interim Guidance on Implementing the Final ESA Compensatory Mitigation Policy This document provides interim guidance for implementing the Service’s CMP. The guidance provides operational detail on the establishment, use, and operation of compensatory mitigation projects and programs as tools for offsetting adverse impacts to endangered and threatened species, species proposed as endangered or PO 00000 Frm 00059 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 50549 threatened, and designated and proposed critical habitat under the ESA. Within 6 months of completing revisions to the ESA Compensatory Mitigation Policy (CMP) (or deciding revisions to the CMP are not necessary), FWS will revise the interim implementation guidance (to be consistent with the revised CMP) and make it available for public review and comment in the Federal Register for 60 days. Within 6 months of close of the comment period, FWS will publish the final implementation guidance in the Federal Register (Note: we anticipate that the implementation guidance may need to be reviewed under the Paperwork Reduction Act, which may affect the timeline). The anticipated benefits will be timely and practicable mitigation recommendations by FWS staff to energy developers (and others) that promote conservation of species and their habitats. Success will be measured by incorporation of recommendations without delays to the permitting or licensing process. The FWS Headquarters will issue a memorandum to Regional and Field staff reiterating the limited applicability of the CMP’s mitigation planning goal and that decisions related to compensatory mitigation must comply with the ESA and its implementing regulations. K. Climate Change Interior is reviewing bureau reports of the work conducted to identify requirements relevant to climate that can potentially burden the development or uses of domestically produced energy resources. Most of the bureaus found no existing requirements in place. A couple of bureaus have non-regulatory documents (i.e., handbook, memo, manual, guidance, etc.) that inwardly focus on their units and workforce management activities. Interior is reviewing these to better understand their connection to other management, operations and guidance documents. BLM The BLM rescinded its Permanent Instruction Memorandum (PIM) 2017– 003 (Jan. 12, 2017). This Permanent IM transmitted the CEQ guidance on consideration of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the effects of climate change in NEPA reviews, and provided general guidelines for calculating reasonably foreseeable direct and indirect GHG emissions of proposed actions. As the CEQ guidance was withdrawn pursuant to section 3 of EO13783, the E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 50550 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations BLM Permanent IM was rescinded. In the future, BLM will consider issuing new guidance to its offices on approaches for calculating reasonably foreseeable direct and indirect GHG emissions of proposed and related actions. Any new IM would provide guidance on consideration of GHG emissions and the effects of climate change in NEPA reviews. The BLM is also developing a unified Air Resources Toolkit that can be used across all organizational levels to consistently calculate, as needed and appropriate, relevant air emissions for a variety of BLM resource management functions. Once available, this toolkit will expedite analysis of reasonably foreseeable GHG emissions associated with energy and mineral development. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES V. Outreach Summary To ensure that Interior is considering the input of all viewpoints affected by VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 the identified actions to reduce the burden on domestic energy, Interior has been, and will continue to, seek from outside entities through various means of public outreach including, but not limited to, working closely with affected stakeholders. In accordance with Administrative Procedure Act requirements, the Department is seeking public input on each proposal to revise or rescind individual energy-related regulatory requirements. The Department is also considering input it receives as part of its regulatory reform efforts through www.regulations.gov when such input relates to energyrelated regulations. The Department’s outreach efforts encompass state, local, and tribal governments, as well as stakeholders such as the Western Governors’ Association, Interstate Mining Compact Commission, and natural resource and outdoorsmen groups. To comply with PO 00000 Frm 00060 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 tribal consultation requirements, Interior will host a separate consultation with official representatives of tribal governments on matters that substantially affect tribes, in accordance with the Department’s policy on consultation with tribal governments. VI. Conclusion Interior is aggressively working to put America on track to achieve the President’s vision for energy dominance and bring jobs back to communities across the country. Working with state, local and tribal communities, as well as other stakeholders, Secretary Zinke is instituting sweeping reforms to unleash America’s energy opportunities. VII. Attachments Secretarial Orders and Secretary’s Memorandum BILLING CODE 4334–63–P E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations 50551 THi SECR£1ARY Of THE .INTERtOR W/d~Hl1li~TQN On,~27.2017,~~J. ~--H.J4~44.. wbich~y nullifiedt!te~-wn,.~ao. ·· · lhavo~-.y~.,_tWsmte;I.JldlbODt~ ..... C>ftlm4M~s(BL¥} p_.._.... , ..... ·.·, ..............,7.... ,..,..~.··~~--•~ ·. . . · . . ··· . . • t ......; ..._•·~uu..,..;,~_.~, .. ····•··· ··. tatwuse~_.a.ea~~·=fJSII!Ujclto.htlp~-. . ~~~-te:~·.ow-~.~10~ ~~~ as welltlte~Jio -t¥~ti'®J:pubtic~ . . ... Hmwver>'~·~-~~~~-,~-qenoy lant.r.~..-~acli-~infl~~~~-~ miews• ~~~~----.~.p.t~a~~~ ·~-~.-~mt01fl~-~-~ilw9~iaa~. l'he,.,~~~.u,._. ... ... ~ iut.~~-l'OuJbly ~of~~~ . 'l11eislttle~-BL¥m..a ..johia_.~®J: pWJiCJ~nas -~~(If~. ~~~-~tt~c~ aDd ···~~~~~~-.Y·Id year.~ ; .....· ·.·· .. . . . . . ~~ai14~,1Mfe.tu.S,O()O ~-~- ... Witi-~Policy~-Al.~·Of~~ ... ,> .... ·.. . ~~ ~.~~.·~.·~,--~-·~ . ~·.~······ D.e~I1laW~~.~_,.ofour.-and.kl<;al~pfho~.isth$tthe • 'S.....i...... • ·. .. ·~ ~~·~~·~~,1 ....................~--.. ...,...:.:a.;,_ .. ~~..........4,.. ~ ~"':~~IIIQQ,~.aot.t"<~~·"""t.W. ..... ~~~~~n.~~i.t·~--~~­ ~~··~l} . . .t1ate.~)~-·~·-~)-~~-looal need$•. PW~.~·.Ia~.~.t<J·J4)~f.Q~·~~t(t~ ,, acti~ . . . -•.,.•··~~·~·-=~~Puams~ VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 \ ' " ' ' Jkt 244001 ' PO 00000 ' ' ' ' ,'' ' ' / Frm 00061 ' Fmt 4700 '' ' ~ ' Sfmt 4725 ,' E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 ER01NO17.010</GPH> sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES ) VerDate Sep<11>2014 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Frm 00062 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 ER01NO17.011</GPH> sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES 50552 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations 50553 THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR WASHINGTON ORD£R NO. 3 3 4 :8 Subject: Concerning the Federal Coal Moratorium See. 1 Purpose. The Federal coal leasing program is of critical imponance to the economy of the United States, supplying approximately 40 percent of the coal produced in the Nation. · On January 15, 2016, Secretary's Order 3338, "DisQretionary Programmatic Enviro.nmental Impaet Statement to Modernize the Federal Coal Program... was sianed and placed. a moratorium on the coal leasing program with limited exceptions. Given the critical importa.m:e of the Federal coal leasing program to energy security. job creation. and proper cooservation stewardship, this Order directs efforts to enhance and improve the Federal coal leasing program. Sec. 2 Au.th:orities. This Order is issued under the authority of Section 2 ofRcorganization Plan No. 3 of 1950 (64 Stat. 1262), as amended. Other statutory authorities for this Order include but are not limited to the following statutes; a.. Mineral Leasing Act. 30 U.S.C. §1181 et seq. b. Mineral Leasing Act for AcqWred.Lands, 30 U.S. C.§ .351 et seq. c. FederalLandPolicyandManagement Act.43lJ.S.C.1701·17g5, d. Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, 30 U.S.C. §§ 1201-1328. Sec. 3 Background. Secretary•s Order3338 directs the Bureau of Land ~ent (BLM) to analyze and "consider potential leasing and management reforms to the current Federal coal program." Secretary's Order 3338 ordered the preparation of a discretionary Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PElS) to analyze potential reforms and ordered a ''pause on leasing; with limited exceptions" pending completion of the discretionacy Federal Coal Program PBIS; The PBIS is estimated to cost many millions of dollars and would be completed no sooner than 2019, even with robust timding; VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Frm 00063 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 ER01NO17.012</GPH> sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES Sec. 4 Revoea&n of Secretary's Order 3338. Based upon the Department's review of Secretary~s Order 3338, the scoping report for the discretionary Federal Coal Program P.BIS issued in January 2017, and other information provided.by BLM,. I find that the public interest is not served by halting the Federal coal program for an extended time. nor is a PElS required to consider potential improvements to the program. Accordingly, consistent with the principles of responsible public stewardship entrusted to this office. I revoke Secretaey's Order 3338, "DisQretionacy Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement to Modernize the Federal Coal Program." 50554 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations 2 Sec. 5 Implementafiou. With the revocation of Secretary's Order 3338, BLM is directed to process coal lease applications and modifications expeditiously in accordance with regulations and guidance existing before the issuanee of Secretary's Order 3338. All activities associated with the prepatatio'D of the Federal Coal.Prograrn PBIS shall cease. The Deputy Secre1ary. Assistant Secretaries. and beads ofl:mreaus and offices are hereby directed to make changes in their policy and guidance documents that are consistent with the revocatiott of Secretary's Order3338. Sec. 6. Effect of the Order. This Order is intended to improve the internal management of the Department. This Order and any resulting reports or xecommendations are not intended to, and do not, create. any right or benefit, SUbstantive orp~ enforceable at law or equity by a party against the United States. its departments. aaencies, inslmm.entalities or entities, its officers or employees. or an;r other person. To the extent~ is any inconSistency between the provisions of this Order and any Federal laws. or regulations, the laws or regulations will control. Sec. 7 Expiratiou Date. This Order is effective immediately. amended. superseded. or revoked. · VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 2 9 7017 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Frm 00064 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 ER01NO17.013</GPH> sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES Date: MAQ Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations 50555 THE SECRETARY OFTH E INTERIOR WASHINGTON ORDERNO. 3 3 49 Subject; American Energy Independence Sec. 1 Purpose. This Order implements the review of agency actions directed by an Executive Order signed by the President on March 28, 2017 and entitled "Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth" {March 28, 201 7 E. 0. ). It also directs a reexamination of the mitigation policies and practices across the Department of the Interior (Department) in order to better balance conservation strategies and policies with the equally legitimate need of creating jobs for hard-working American families. Sec. 2 Authorities. This Order is issued under the authority of Section 2 .of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1950 (64 Stat. 1262), as amended, and other applicable statutory authorities. Sec. 3 Backgroulld. Among other provisions, the March 28, 2017 E.O. directs the Department to review an existing regulations, orders, guidance documents, policies, and any other similar actions that potentially burden the development or utilization of domestically produced energy resources. A plan to carry out the review must be submitted to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OM B) and to certain other White House officials. within 45 days of the date of the March 28, 2017 RO. The objective of the review is to identifY agency actions that unnecessarily burden the development or utilization of the Nation's energy resources and support action to appropriately and lawfully suspend, revise, or rescind such agency actions as soon as practicable. The March 28, 2017 E. 0. also directs the Department to promptly review certain specific actions recently taken by the Department, in particular Secretary's Order 3338, "Discreti<:mary Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement to Modernize the Federal Coal Program," and four rules related to onshore oil and gas development. The March 28,2017 E.O. also rescinds certain Presidential Actions, reports, and final guidance related to climate change, including: a. E.O. 13653 ofNovember 6, 2013 (Preparing the United States for the Impacts ofClimateChange)~ b. Presidential Memorandum of June 25, 2013 (Power Sector Carbon Pollution Standards);and VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Frm 00065 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 ER01NO17.014</GPH> sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES c. Presidential Memorandum ofSeptember 21, 2016 (Climate Change and National Security). 50556 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations 2 'The. Match lS, 2017 E.O. ~the Department to idtmtify agency actiom~ 11telated tQ Ql' arisfng from" the rel!cinc!ed ~idetl:tial Acti~s, rep~ and guidance, llfld to initiate a lawful and appropriate process to s\ISpend, Nvise, ortescindsuch actio~. The March 28* 2017 E.O. also rescinds the Presidential Memorandum issued onNovember 3, 2.01$, entitled ''Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources from Development an.d Encouraging Related Private Investment." That Memoran.dum directed the Secretary of the Interior, among other Cabinet officials, to undertake a number of actions to implement a landscape-seale mitigation poli"Y• including 8J>eeifie directions to the Bureau ofLand Mllflagement (BLM) and the Fish and Wildlife Serviee (FWS) to develop mitigation policies.that incotp«afed compensatory mitigati~ into planning and permitting processes. Secretary's Order 3330. "Improving Mitigation Policies and Practices .of the Department of the Interior," dated October 13, 2013, is directly related to the rescinded Presidential Memotandum ~ mitisati~. Secretary's Order 3330 dovetails with the subsequently is!IUed Presidential Memotllfldum by directing the develQPment and implementation ()fa landscape-scale mitigation policy fO!'the Department. As directed by the Order,. the Secretary received a report in April 2014 entitled, "A Strat~ fur Improving Mitigation Policies and Practices ofthe. Departtn~nt ofthe.Jnterior." The. Strategy set forth a.number 9f "deliverable$" by nearly evi:n'y office and bure~ within the Department to advance the stated ·goal of "lapdscapii:--scalemitigation." Given the 1::lose nexus between the. Tescinded Presidential Mernoraudum and Secretaey's Order 3330, a tl1orough reexamination is needed oftho policies .set out intluit Order. Set1!. 4 Policy. To begin implementing the Match 28. 2017E.o.,. I hereby order the. following: a. Revocttion of SeCretary's Order 3330. I hereby revo~ Secretary's Order 3330, "Improving Mitigation Policies and Practices ofthe Department ofthe fut;;~rior," dated October 31, 2013. As set fOrth below, all actions taken pursuantto Secretary's Order 3330 must be reviewed for possible .teconsideration. modification, or rescission as appropriate. b. Review of Department Actions. As set forth. ttl See. 5 below, each bureau and office shall review all existing regulations, orders, guidance documents, policies, in!ltrtJc1;iom, notices. implemonting actions, and My other similar actions (Department Actions) related to or arising from the Presidential Actions set forth above and, to the. extent deemed necessary and permitted by law, initiate an appropriate process to suspend, revise, orri\scind any such actions.• consistent with the policies set forth in the VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Frm 00066 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 ER01NO17.015</GPH> sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES March28, 2017E.O. Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations 50557 3 Sec. 5 Implementation. The foUowing actions shall betaken pursuant to. this Q:rder: a. Mitigation PolicyReview. (i) Within 14 <lays of the date ofthi$ Order, each buteall and office bead shall provide to the ~puty Secretary, throu~Jh their Assistant Secretary, all Departmcmt Actions they ba;ve adopted orate iri thepro~ess ofdeveloping relating to (1) the Pre~idential Memorandum dated November 3,201!, "Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resouree:s.from Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment" and(2) Sectetary's Order 3330. (ii) Within 30 days: oftbe 4a,te ofthis Order, the Dep\lty Seomary shall inform the Assistant Secretaries whether to p.rooeed with reconside:ratio~modification. or rescission as appropriate and necessary of any Department Actions they have adopted or are. in the proc~s ofde'Yeloping ~lating to (l) the Presidential Metnonnd'-lm dated November 3~ 2015, "Mitigating lmpac~ on Na.t\ltal R.esourcell front Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment" and (2) Secretary's Order 3330. (iii) Within 90 daY$' of the date oftbi'&Order. each bureau and office required U) reconsider. modify, or r<ll!~;:rind any $UCh Deparlment Action. shall su\lmit to the Deputy Secretary, through;theit Assistant Secretary. a dr&ftl'e:Vised or substitute Depm1ment·Actionformie:w~ b• Climate Change Policy Review. (i) Within 14 days: of the <late ofthis Order. each.buteau and office bead shall provide t~ the Deppty Secretary, through theit Assistant Secretary, all Department Actions they have adopted,. or are. in the process of develeping, relating to the Pre.sidential AetiOl.'IS, reports. and guidance that aretescinded by the March 28,2017E.0 .• :in particular: Executive Order 136~3 of November 6, 2013 (Pre))!'lring th.::~ United States for the Im.pactsofClimate Chang-:); Presidential Memorandum ofJune lS. 2013 (Power Sector Carbon PoUution Standards); Presidential Memorandum of September .21, 2016 (Climate Change and National Security); Report ofthe Executive Office ofthe President of June 20\3 (The Pre$tdt;.Dt's Climate Action Plan); Repott of the Executive Office ofthe President of March 2014 (Cl.imate Action PJan Strategy to Red\lce Methanl.l EmissionS); and the Council on Environmental Quality's final guidance entitled "Final Guidance for Foedefal Departments and Agencies ou\C.onsidefation ofGreenhouse Gas Emissions and the Effects ofCfimate Clwl.g-: in National En'Yitoninental Policy. Act Reviews," 81 Fed.. Reg; 51866 (August 5,2016). VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Frm 00067 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 ER01NO17.016</GPH> sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES (ii) Within30 daye;ofthe date ofthis.Ordet, the Deputy Secretary shall inforot the Assistant Secretaries whether to proceed with reconsideration, modifieatio~ or rescission as appropriate and necessary ofany Department Actions identified in the review requited by subs~ion (i)'above, 50558 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations 4 (iii) Within .90 days of the .date of this Qrder. each buroau a11d offiqe requin!d to rec~ider, .mof!uy, or .rescind any suchDepanmmt Action. shall submittothe Deputy Secretary. through their Assistant Secretary, a draft. revised or substitute Department Action,forreview~ c. Review ofOther D®anment Actions Impacting Energy Development. (i) Afl previously announced by the Department, SLM sh~l proceed expeditiously with proposms to rescind the final rule entitled, "Oil and Gas; Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal a11d Indian Lands/' 80 Fed Reg. 16128 (Mar. 26, 20 15). (ii) Within 21 days, the Director* BLM shall review the imal rule entitled, *'Waste Prevention. PrQduetion Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation." 81 Fed Reg. 83008 (January 17, 2017). and report to the Assistant Secretary~ Land and Minerals Management on whether the rule is tully consistent with the policy set forth'in Section 1 ofthe March 28, 2017 E.O. (iii) Within 21 days, the Director, National Park Service shall review the final rule entitled; "General Provisions and Non~FederalOil and Gas Rights.'' 81 Fed Reg. 17912 (Nov. 4,.2016). ud report to the .Assistant Sectetaty for Fish and Wildlife . attdParks on whether the rule isfutly consistent with the :J?9licy set forth in Section 1 ofth;,; M$h 28, 2017 E.O. (iv) Within :n day!'l, the Director, FWS shall review the f'lllal rule entitled, "Management o:t'Non-Federal Oil and Gas Rights." 81 Fed, Reg. 79948 (Nov. 14, 20.16}1 and rep.ort to the Assi~ Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks on whether the rule is fully consilltent with the policy set forth in Section 1 of the March 28, 2017E.O. (v) Within 21 days, each bureau and o:fttc~ h~d shall provide to the Deputy Secretary, through their Assistant Secretary, a report that identifies all existing Department Actions i~>Sued by their bureau or office that potentially burden (as that rerm is defined in the March 28, 2017 E.O,) the development or utilization of domestically produced mergy resources, with particular attention to oil, natttraJ gas, coa:l, and nuclear re.wutces. (vi:) Within 35 days, the Deputy Secretary shall provide to me a plan to complete the review otDepi:U'ttnent Actions contemplated by Section 2 of the March 28, 2011 E,o. The plan li11J$t. meet all objectives and time lines set.forth.in the March. 28, 2017 E.O. Sec. S Effect ofthe Order. This Order is intended to improve the internal· management VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Frm 00068 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 ER01NO17.017</GPH> sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES of1he Depanment. This Order and any resulting reports or recommendations . ~ not intended to, att4 do not, create .any right. 0 t bem}fit, stibstanfive or procedtlt'4l, enforceable at law or equity by a pa,tty against the United Statee., its departments, ~g~;~ncies, Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations 50559 5 instrumentalities or entities, its officers or employees, or any other person. To the extent there is any inconsistency between the provisions of this Order and any Federal Jaws or regulations, the laws or regulations will controL Sec. 6 Expiration Date. This Order is effective immediately. It will remain in effect until it is amended, superseded, or revoked. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 MAR 29 2017 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Frm 00069 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 ER01NO17.018</GPH> sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES Date: 50560 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR WASHINGTON ORDER NO. 3350 Subject: America-First Offshore Energy Strategy Sec. l Purpose. This Order further implements the President's Executive Order entitled: "Implementing. an America-First Offshore Energy Strategy'' (April28, 2017); enhances opportunities for energy exploration, leasing, and development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS); establishes regulatory certainty for OCS activities; and enhances conservation stewardship, thereby providing jobs, energy security, and revenue for the American people. Sec. 2 Authorities. This Order is issued under the authority of Section 2 of Reorganization Plan No.3 of 1950 (64 Stat. 1262), as amended, and other applicable authorities, including the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), 43 U.S.C. 133.1 Itt seq~ Sec. 3 Background. Safe and responsible development of our offshore natural resources is critic:al to the Nation's environment and economy. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is responsible for administering the leasing program far oil and gas resources on the OCS and developing a five-year schedule of lease sales designed to "best meet national energy needs" for the five-year period following the schedule's approval, as required in. Section 18 of th.e OCSLA, 43 U.S.C. 1334. The $OEM also permits seismic surveys on the OCS and, in conjunction with the Bw:eau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), regulates leasing, exploration, and development activities on the OCS. In January 2017 the 2017 ~ 2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program was approved excluding lease sales in the Atlantic Ocean and the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas offshore Alaska. By excluding these areas from the leasing program, the Department has forgone considering areas that potentially contain tens ofbillions of barrels of oil and over 100 trillion cubic feet of gas by BOEM' s own estimates of l.llldisoovered technically recoverable oil and ga.~ resources. In addition. through a series of Presidential Memoranda issued by the previous Administration, huge swaths of the OCS were withdrawn from disposition by leasing along the Alaska and Atlantic coasts. In addition to existing restrictions on OCS leasing, concerns have been raised by stakeholders that certain final. or proposed rules, such as BSEE' s fmal rule on "Oil and Gas and Sulfur Operations in the Outer Continental She:lf-Blowout Preventer Systems and Well Controf' published at 81 Federal Register 25887 (April29, 2016), unnecessarily include prescriptive measures that are not needed to ensure safe and responsible development of our OCS resources. Accordingly, a reevaluation oftb.ese rules is appropriate and necessary. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Frm 00070 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 ER01NO17.019</GPH> sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES On April28, 2017, the President issued an Executive Order entitled: "Implementing an Ameri.ca-First Offshore Energy Strategy (Executive Order)," which reconfirmed thltt it is "the pofit,'Y of the United States to encourage energy exploration and production. including on the Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations 50561 Outer Continental Shelf, in order to maintain the Nation's position as a global energy leader and foster energy security and resilience for the benefit of the American people." The Executive Order eliminated the previous Administration's OCS leasing withdrawals and directed the Department to take a number of ru.,1ions designed to ensure robust and responsible exploration and development of our OCS resources. These directives include revising the five-year leasing program and reconsidering promulgation of enumerated final or proposedtu!es and guidance that impact OCS resource development. This Order is designed to implement the President's directives and take other actions to ensure that tesponsible OCS exploration and development is promoted and not unnecessarily delayed or inln"bited. Sec. 4 Direc:tive, ln furtherance of the President's Executive Order, and consistent with principles of rel>'PO:nsible public stewardship entrusted to the Department, with due consideration of the critical importance of energy security, job creation. and conservation stewardship, I hereby direct the following: a. The BQEM shall undertake the following actions: (1) Immediately initiate development of a new "Five:-Year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program", with full consideration given to leasing the OCS off.~hore Alaska, Mid-Atlantic, South Atlantic, and the Gulf ofMeldco, in conformity with the provisions of OCSLA as directed by the President's Executive Order. (2) In cooperation with the National Marine Fisheries Service, undertake the following activities: (i) establish a plan to expedite consideration of Incidental Take Authorization requests, including Incidental Harassment Authorizations and Letters of Authorization, that may be needed for seismic survey permits and other OCS activities; and (ii) develop and implement a streamlined permitting approach for privately~funded seismic data research and collection aimed at expeditiously determining the offshore energy resource potential of the United States. (3) Expedite consideration of appealed, new, or resubmitted seismic permitting applications for the Atlantic. (4} Promptly contpleteBOEM's previously announced review of Notice to Lessees (NTL) No. 2016~NCH "Notice to Lessees and Operators ofFederal Oil and Gas, and Sulfur Leases, and Holders ofPipeline Right-of-Way and Right-of-Use and Easement Grants in the Outer Continental Shelf" (September 12, 2016), and provide to the Assistant Secretary Land and Minerals Management (ASLM), the Deputy Secretary, and Counselor to the Secretary for Energy Policy, a report describing the results of the review and options for revising or rescinding NTL No. 2016-NOl. The BOEM's previously announced extension of the implementation timelines for NTL No. 2016-NOl shall remain in effect pending completion of the review by the ASLM. Deputy Secretary. and the Counselor to the Secretary for Energy Policy. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Frm 00071 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 ER01NO17.020</GPH> sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES (5) . Immediately cease all activities to promulgate the "Offshore Air Quality Control, Reporting, and Compliance" Proposed Rule published at 81 Federal Register 19717 50562 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations 3 (April 5, 20 l 6) and all other rules and guidance publishe4 pursuant thereto. Within 21 days of the issuance of this Order, the Director of BOEM shall provide to the ASLM, the Deputy Secretary, and Counselor to the Secretary for Energy Policy, a report explaining the eftects, if any, of not isslring a new rule addressing offshore air quality, and providing options for revising or withdrawing the proposed rule consistent with the policy set forth in section 2 of the Executive Order. (6) Within 21 days of the issuance of this Order, BOEM shall provide to the ASLM, the Deputy Secretary, and Counselor to the Secretary for Energy Policy, a report smnmarizing progress on the action items 1-5 above. b. The BSEE shall undertake the following actions; (1) Promptly review the final rule on "Oil and Gas and Sulfur Operations in the Outer Continental Shelf-Blowout Preventer Systems and Well Control" for consistency with the policy set forth in section 2 of the Executive Order, as well as all policies, rules, guidance~ instructions, notices, or othet implementing actions that have been adopted or are in the process of being developed relating thereto. (2) Within 21 days ofthe isb'UaD.Ce of this Order, provide to ASLM, Deputy Secretary.and Counselor to the Secretary for Energy Policy a report summarizing the review and providing recommendations oil whether to suspend, revise, or rescind the rule. c. .The BSEE and BOEM are also to undertake the following action; Promptly review the final rule entitled ''Oil and Gas and Sulfur Operations on the Outer CQntinental Shelf-Requirements for Exploratory Drilling on the Arctic Outer Continental Shelf," &1 Federal Register 46478 (JUly 15, 2016), for consistency ~ith the policy set forth in section 2 of the Executive Order and, within 21 days of the date ofthis Order, provide to ASLM, Deputy Secretary, and Counselor to the Secretary for Energy Policy a report summarizing the review and providing recommendations on whether to suspend. revise, or rescind the rule. d. Jhe Cgunselortq the Secretary for Energy PolicY, in cooperation with the Assistant Secretary for :Fish and Wildlife and Parks (ASF\VP) and ASLM, shall worlt with the Department of Commerce to review the National Marine Sanctuary and Monument designations as directed by the Executive Order. Sec. 5 CoUlllselor to the Seeretary for Energy Polley. To further promote the deliberate and active coordination of energy policy in the Department,l am, by separate Order, eb'tablishing within the Secretary's Immediate Office the position of Counselor to the Secretary for Energy Policy. The Deputy Secretary, ASLM, and ASFWP will coordinate with the Counselor to the Secretary for Energy Policy in implementing this Order. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Frm 00072 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 ER01NO17.021</GPH> sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES Sec. 6 Effeet of Order. This Order is intended to improve the internal management of the Department. This Order and any resulting reports or recommendations are not intended to, and do not create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or equity by a party against the United States, its departments, agencies, instrumentalities or entities, its Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations 50563 4 officers or employees, or any other person. To the extent there is any inconsistency between the provisions. of this Order and any Federal laws or regulations, the laws or regulations will control. Sec. 7 Expiration Date, This Order is effective immecliately. It will remain in effect until its provisions are implemented and completed, or until it is amended, superseded, or revoked. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 MAY 012tiJ7 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Frm 00073 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 ER01NO17.022</GPH> sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES Date: 50564 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR WASHINGTON ORDERNO. 3351 Subject: Stren.gthening the Department of the Interior's Energy Portfolio Sec. 1 Purpose. Tlris Order establishes the position of Counselor to the Secretary for Energy Policy to ensure deliberate and active coordination of energy policy in the Department. Sec. 2 Baekground. Energy is an essential part of Ameriean life and a staple of the world economy. Achieving Ameriean energy dominance begim withlWOgnizing that we have vast untapped domestic energy reserves. For too long, America bas been held back by burdensome regulations on our energy industry. The Department is co:tl::lmitted to an America-first energy strategy that lowers costs for hardworking Americans and maximi:7..es the use of American resources, :freeing us from dependence on foreign oil. Nine ofthe Department's 10 bureaus have significant energy programs and responsibili.ties. The Department's energy portfolio includes oil, gas, coal, hydroelectric, wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass. The Department recognizes that. the development of energy resources on public lands will increase domestic energy production, provide alternatives to overseas energy resources, create jobs, and enhance the energy security of the United States. Eliminating harmful regulations and unnecessary policies will :require a sustained, focused effort. Sec.. 3 Authority. This Order is issued under the authority of 43 U.S. C. 1451, Section 2 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of1950 (64 Stat 1262), and other applicable statues. Sec. 4 Counselor to the Secretary for Energy Policy. a. There is established in the Immediate Office of the Secretary. the position of Counselor to the Secretary for Energy Policy (Counselor). b. The Counselor shall report directly to the Secretary, who retains all de-cisionmaking authority. c. The duties of the Counselor position shall include, but are oot limited to: (l) Advising the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Assistant Secretaries, and Chief of Staff on all aspects of enetgy policy. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Frm 00074 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 ER01NO17.023</GPH> sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES (2) Developing and coordinating strategies, policies, and practices that promote responsible development ofall types of energy on public lands managed and administered by the Department Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations 50565 2 (3) Identifying regulatory burdens that unnecessarily encumber energy exploration development, production, transportation; and developing strategies to eliminate or minimize these burdens. (4) Promoting efficient and effective processing of energy-related authori:r..ations. permits, regulations, and agreements. This includes, b1.rt is not limited to, working with the Assistant Secretaries and ()tber Departtnent leadership in prioritizing the work ofbu:reaus/offices in developing and implementing enetgy policy and affaits; tracking progress ofbmeaus/offices; and resolving obstacles to energy exploration, development, production, and transportation concerns. d. As directed by the Secretary, the Counselor: (1) Represents the Secretary, the Deputy Secretary. and/or Chief of Staff on energy-related intra- and inter-agency meetings ofiligb.-level go-vernmental officials; (2) Chairs boards, councils, and committees concerned with research. development, exploration, and transpmtation of energy; and (3) Represents the Secretary, the Deputy Secretary, and/or Chief of Staff before energy-related internal and external stakeholder meetings and conferences. e. The Counselor undertakes such other actions as directed by and <>n behalf oftbe Set--retary that relate to energy policy and affairs, including but not limited to coordinating: ( 1) Policy and regulatory decisionmak:ing for domesti'C and international projects; (2) De-velopmentofbest management practices for energy projects on the public lands to ensure responsible development of energy; and (3) Reviews of cost recovery in processing energy applications and monitoring of authorizations under the provisions of Section 304 and Section 504 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act f. The Counselor works with other Federal agencies and offices, and s:tate regulatory agencies and offices, to improve the cootdination of energy policy. Sec. 5 Implementation. a The Counselor and the Chief of Staff ate responsible for implementing this Ordet. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Frm 00075 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 ER01NO17.024</GPH> sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES b. Each Assistant Secretary and bureau!office head. including the Solicitor, shall designate a liaison to serve with the Counselor in accordance with this Order. 50566 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations 3 Sec, 6 Expiration Date. This Order is effective immediately. It will remain in effect until i:ts provisions are converted to the Departmental Manual or until amended, suspended, or revoked. whichever occurs first. The termination of this Order will not nullify implementation of the requirements and responsibilities affected herein. /-------.. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 MAY 0 120l7 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Frm 00076 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 ER01NO17.025</GPH> sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES Date: Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations 50567 United States Department of the Interior • Ol"Ft<:E OF TliE SF.( :RET.-\R\' . ' Wa.uungron, ll t: 202-l{l ORDER NO. 3352 Subject: National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska Sec. I Purpose. This Order provides for clean and safe development of our Nation's vast energy resources, while at the same time avoiding regulatory burdens that unnecessarily encumber energy production. constrain economic growth, and prevent job creation. The prudent development of these natural resources in Alaska and beyond is essential to ensuring the Nation's geopolitical security. Sec. 2 Authorities. This Order is issued under the authority of section 2 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1950 (64 Stat. 1262), as amended; the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, 43 U.S.C. 1701~1785; the Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act of 1976, 42 U.S.C. 650 I~507, as amended; and other applicable statutes. Sec. 3 Background. The National Petroleum Reserve -Alaska (NPR-A} is the largest block of federally managed land in the United States. In 2010, the U.S. Geological Slli"Vey estimated the NPR-A contained approximately 895 million barrels of economically recoverable oil and 52.8 rrillion cubic feet of natural gas. On February 21, 2013, the Secretary of the Interior signed a Record of Decision approving the Integrated Activity Plan for the NPR-A, which sets forth the Bureau of Land Management· s plan for future management of the area That plan made approximately II million of the NPR-A's 22.8 million acres unavailable for leasing, potentially precluding development of up to 350 million barrels of oil and 45 rrillion cubic fed of natural gas. The 1.5 million·ac~ coastal plain of the 19 million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is the largest unexplored, potentially productive geologic onshore basin in the United States. The primary area of the coastal plain is the Section I002 Area of ANWR.. The Section 1002 Area was specifically set aside by Congress and the President in 1980 because of its potential for oil and natural gas development. Sec. 4 Policy and Diredlon. a. Within 21 days of the issuance of this Order. the Assistant Secretary- Land and Minerals Management shall submit to the Counselor to the Secretary for Energy Policy: a schedule to effectuate the lawful review and development of a revised (I) Integrated Activity Plan for the NPR~A that srrikes an appropriate statutory balance of promoting development while protecting surface resources; and (2) an evaluation. under the existing Integrated Activity Plan. on efficiently VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Frm 00077 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 ER01NO17.026</GPH> sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES and effectively rnnimizing the tracts offered for sale during the next NPR·A lease sale. 50568 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations b. Within 21 days of the issuance of this Order, the Assistant Secre~- Land and M'merals Managetnent and the Assistant Secretary- Water a~~.d Science shall submit to the Counselor to the Secretary for Energy Policy a joint plm for updating current assessments of undiscovered. technically recovetable o!J and natural gas resources of Alaska's North Slope. f~sin& on Federal lands including tbe NPR-A md the Section 1002 Area. The joint plan shall include consideration of new geologielil and geophysical data that has become available since the last assessments. as well as potential for reprocessing existing geological md geophysical data. c. Within 31 days of the issuance of this Order, the Counselor to tbe Secretary for Energy Policy shall provide to me a plan to.complete the review of the Department's actions set forth above. Sec. S Effed of Order. This Order is intertded to improve the internal management of the Department. This Order and any resulting reports or recommendations axe not intended to. and do not. create any right or benefit. substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or equity by any party aaainst tbe United States. its departments, agencies, instntmentalities or entities, its officers or employees, or any other person. To the extent there is my inconsistency between the provisions of thiS Order and my Federal laws or regulations, the laws or regulations will conttQl. Sec. 6 Expiralioa Date. This Order is effective immediately. Jt wilt remain in effect until its provisions axe fully implemented, or untii it is amended. superseded, or revoked, whichever occurs (U'St. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Frm 00078 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 ER01NO17.027</GPH> sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES Date: Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations 50569 THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR WASHINGTON ORDERNO. 3353 Subject: Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation and Cooperation with Western States sec. 1 Purpose. The purpo$eS a:fthe Order are to! (l) enhance cooperation between the Dept;utntent of the lnterior (I>epa.rUnent} and the States of Oregon. Washington. California, Nevada, Idaho, Utah. Montana, North Dakota, South Dalrota, Wyoming, and Colorado (the Eleven Western States) in the management and conservation of the Greater Sage..Qrouse (Sage-Grouse)and its habitat; (2) support a partnership with clearly defined objectives and roles for Federal and State entides resjl()llSt'ble for Sage-Grouse truUlagemertt and conservation in order to sustain healthy populations of the species; and (3) establi!ili a team to review the Federalland management agencies' Sage-Grouse plan amendments and revisions oomple1ed on or before September 2015. Sec. 2 A11tllorities. This Order is issued \Ulder the authority of section 2.ofReorganizatkm Plan No. 3 ofl950 (64 Stat. 1262}, as amended, and pursuant to the land management and programmatic authorities of the bureaus identified below in section 4b. Sec. 3 Baekground. The Department has broad responsibilities to manage Federal lands and resources fot the public's benefit, including, but not limited to. permitting authorized uses; n:mnaging habitat to support fish, wildlife, and other resources; protecting cultural resources; and providing recreational and educational opportunities on Federal lands and watera. The State agencle~~ responsible for fish and wildlife management possess broad powers for the protection and management of fish, wildlife, and plants within their borders. exeept where preempted by Federal law. State agencies are at the forefront ofefforts to maintain healthy fish and wildlife populations and to conserve at~risk species to ensure that protection under the Endangered Specie~! Act (HSA) is not required. The State-Federal ~~Grouse Task Force (SOTF) was established in 2011 as a forum for h.igb.level State and Federal representatives to meet .and evaluate poli~ies, programs, management actions. data sharing. and other. actions a:trecting conservation ofthe Sage--Grouse and the sagebrush ecosystem, as well as the health of the cmnmunities and economies of the American West. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Frm 00079 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 ER01NO17.028</GPH> sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES In September 2015, the Department and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) adopted amendments and revisions to 98 Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) land U8e plans across the .Eleven Western States addressing. in part. the SageGrouse and its habittt (the 2(}15 Sage--Grouse Plans). The 2015 Sage..Qronse Plans govern management of 61 :millio11 acres of'Federallands. More than half of remaining Sage-Grouse habitat is on land managed by BLM and USFS. As the ~t moves forwanl in the management of Sage..:Qronse habitat, itis imperative that it does so in a manner that allows both 50570 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations wildlife andlocal economies to tlnive andlnoorporate the expertise of Federal employees in the field. local conditions•. and proven State and local approaches. In Q~tober 20U. in relitmce up()n the conservation contmittnents aodprogtess reflected in Federalltmd use pltm atr1endrnents tmd revisions and. other private, SWie. and, Federal conservation effarls,1he U.S. Fish and Wildlife ~ce (FWS) determined that the Sage-Grouse did not warrant listing under the ESA. In making that finding. FWS committed to work with State and Federal partners to conduct a Sage-Grouse status review 1n S yearn. Sec. 4 Po6ey. a. Cqo.peration with the Bleyen Westetn States oti Sage-OJ;puse Conservation ~Consistent with gov~b\g.laws, regulatio~ and policies, tb:e ~ent will implement a multifaceted strategy .to enhanoo cooperation with the Eleven Western States primarily responsible for the management and conServation of Sage-Grouse. The strategy will include suppord:ng a pllrtllership that alluws the Department and the Eleven Westem States tp trudntain healthy populations of Sage-Grouse and bnprove collabonition and. integration of State and local concerns and approaches into sagebrush mtmagement and conservation on Federal lands. Accordingly, and subject to paragraph 4b, below, the BLM Director, working with other heads of bureaus and offices within the Department. USPS, and affected States the SO't'F,. shall develop: thto• (i) memorandums of understanding and other agreements with states and otbet partners regarding implementation of the 2015 Sage-Grouse Plans; (ii) training for BLM sta:ffregal'ding implementation ofthe 2015 Sage-Grouse Plans. including direction to consider state and local illfotJnation.I!IS appropriate; and (iii) meml:lt8ndums of understanding and other agreements with States and other partners regardb\g mtegration ofmftmnation on Sage-Grouse populations into Federal land management decisionS. b. Department of the Interior Sage-Grouse Review Team. This Order establishes the Sage--Grouse Revi'CW Team (Team). The Team will be made up of lmd mana~s J:llld other professionals ftom b~tiS and ottices, including BLM. FWS, and the U.S. Geological Smvey(OSGS). The Team will close{ycoort:finatewith USDA and USPS. The. Team will engage with appropriate State agencies through the SGTF to coordinate its work. The Team is hereby directed to conduct: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Frm 00080 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 ER01NO17.029</GPH> sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES (i) a review of the plans and programs th$t States already have in place to ensure that the 2015 Sage-Grouse PltmS adequately complement state efforts to con!let'W the species; Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations 50571 3 (ii) a~ ~nation, through the framework established by the Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy. ofissues associated with preventing and .fighting the proliferation ofinvasive grasses and wildland ~. which are leading t:hnmts to Sage-GrotJse habitat; (iii) an examination of the impact on individual States disproportionately affected by the large petcentage of Federal lands within their borders. recognizing that those lands are importllnt to resoun;e use and dwelopmen~ and. to the conservation ofthe Sage-Grouse; (iv) areview ofthe 2015 Sage--Omuse Plans and associated polices, including sewn BLM Instrw:ition Mem.Ora1lda (IM) issued in September 2016. The.review will include (1) identification ofprovisions that n:q~ modification or rescission. as appropriate. in order to give appropriate weight to the value of energy and other development of public lands within BLM's overall multiple-use mission and to be consistent with the policy set :forth in Secretary's Order 3349, "American Energy Independence." implementing the Executive Order signed~ the President on March 28, 2017, "Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth''~ and (2) opportunities to conserw the .Sage-Grouse ttnd its habitat without inhibiting job creation and local economic growth; mar (v} as appropriate, the Team shoUld provide recommendations with regard to (1) captive breed'mg (2) owortunities to enhance State involvement; (3) effi<1acy of target popUia.ti.Qns on a State-by-State bas~ and {4) additiQnal steps that can be talc:en in the ne~Jttettn to maintain or improve: the currentpopulation levels and habitat conditions. Sec. 5. Implementation. a. Within 10 days of the signblg of this Order. the :Deputy S~ will designate individuals from within the Department to serve on the Team. b. The BLMI>b:ector will designate ttn individual to coordinate all activities by and within the Department With respect to implementation ofthis Otder. c. All bureaus and o6ices are directed to. immediately begin implementing section 4 ofthis Order by identifYing opportUnities for cooperative management agreements and collaborative partnerships with the Eleven Western States and~ outlining any specific steps to be undertaken. d. Within 60 day.s.ofthe date of this Order.. the Team shall prQvide a report to the Secretary summarizing the review set forth in section 4b ofthis Order and provide reconnnendations; tegardingadditional steps the Department shoUld take to address anyissues identified as a resUlt of that review. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Frm 00081 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 ER01NO17.030</GPH> sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES Sec. 6 Effect of Order. This Order is intended to improve the internal managementofthe Department. This Order and any resUlting reports or recommendations are not intended to and 50572 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations 4 do not ereate any right or benefit, substantive or proeec!uW. enfureeal)le ~law or equity by any party against the United States. its departments_. agencies. instrumentalities or entities, its officers or employees~ or any other person. To the extent there is any inconsistency between the ptQvisi9nS of this Order and any FedenU laws or replations, the laws or regulations: Will conf;ml. See. 7 Expiration Date. This Orderis effective :in:nnediatdy and will remain in effect until its provisions are accomplished. amended. superseded,.or revoked, whichever occurs first. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Frm 00082 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 ER01NO17.031</GPH> sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES Date: JUne 7, 2017 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations 50573 THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR WASHINGTON ORDERNO. 3354 Subject: Supporting and Improving the Federal Ollshore Oil and Gas Leasing Program and Federal Solid Mineral Leasing Program Sec. 1 PnrpQs~. this Order. is intended to: ensure that quarterly lease sales are consistently h~d and to identifY other ways the Department of the Interior (Department) may promOte the exploratioo and development of both Federal Onshore oil and gas resoul'Ces and Federal SC>lid mineral resouro.es. In administering 700 million acres of the Federal mineral resources, the Bureau of Land Matmgement(BLM) has a responsibility to make both Federal oil and gas resourceS. and Federal csolid mineral resources available for the benefit of citizens of the United States. Multiple quarterly Fed~al onshore oil and gas lease sales have been postp()ned o.r cancelled since 2009. The Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 requires that oil and gas lease sales "be held for each State where eligible lands are available at least quarterly and more frequently if' the Secretary of the Interior detennines sueh sales are necessary." 30 U.S.C. § 226. In issuing this Order, I am taking oo:rrective action as a responsible public steward to strengthen American enerQ security and create American job$, Sec, 2 Auth!lrities. This Order is issued under the authority ofsection 2. ofReorganization Plan No. 3 of 1950. 64 Stat. 1262. as amended. Other statutory authorities for this Otder include, but are not limited to, the following: (a) Mineral Leasing Act of1920, 30 U.S.C. §§ 181-287; (b) Mineral Leasing Act for Acquired Lands. 30 O.s.c. §§ 3Sl~3S9~ and (c) Federal Land Policyand Management Act, 43 U.S,C. i§ 1701-1785. See. 3 Direetiv-. Consistent with principles of responsible public Stewardship entrusted to this ofiice, with due consideration of the critical importance of American energy security. j()b ereatioo•. conservation stewardship, and the economies of affected states, the following acti()Ds shall be taken by BLM: (a) suppe>rt and improve the implementation ofthe oil and gas quarterly l~se sale provision found in the Mineral Leasing Act; VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Frm 00083 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 ER01NO17.032</GPH> sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES (b) identify options to improve the Federal o~ oil and gas leasing program and the Federal solid mineral leasing program. tuJ well as identify additional steps to enhance exploration and development of Federal onshore oil and gas resources aud Federal solid mineral resources; and 50574 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations 2 (c) develop an effective strategy to address permitting appllimtio~ efficiently and effectively u well u develop clear and actillnable goals for reducing the permit processin@ tbne. Sec•. 4 Implementation.. (a) The Assista:t\t Secretary- Land and M'metals Management (ASLM) and the Direct<)r, BLM. shall tep!lrt to the Counselor to the Secretary for Energy Policy within 45 days ofthe date of this Order 011! (1) props made to $upport and itnpwve the quarterly lease sales in the F.ederal onsllom ()it and gas·IeuiJlgprognun and a 1imeline for doing so, ifnot already completed; (2) options identified to imprOve the Vedetal onshore oil and gas leU'ing program.and the Federal.soli.d millet'lll leasing program to enhance Federal onshore oil and gas and Federal solld mineral exploration and development as required by section 3 .above; and (3) a strategy to process the large number of ewently pending permitting applications and improve the permitting process. (As pi:U't o;fthis process, the ASLM and Director, BLM,. mall consult with the U.S. ~~ent of Agriculture and U.S. Forest Setvice.) (h) In addition.. the other Assistant Secretaries and beads of burea;usloffices within the Department are hereby directed to; (1) identify any provisions in their exls.ting policy .and guidance documents that would lm:pede BLM's plans to carry out quarterly oit and S8.S lease :sales or its efforts to enhance exploration and development of Federal onshore oil and gas resources and Federal solid mineral resources; and · {2) provide to the Counselor to the Sooretary for Energy Policy within 45 days of the date of this Order a ;report on progre$11 made to eliminate the identUied policy or guidance impediments and a timeline for eliminating them, if not already C4)ll'lpleted. Sec. 5 'Effeet ot'the Order. This Order is intended to improve the internal management of the Dep~ent. this Order and llllY resulting ti}ports or recommendations are not intended to, and (lo not, create any right or benetl~ substantive or procedural, ~roeable tJ,t law or equity by a party against the United States, its depl;lttments. agencies, instrumentalities or entities,. its officers or employees or any other person. to the extent there is any inconsistency between VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Frm 00084 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 ER01NO17.033</GPH> sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES the provisions oftbis Order and any Feder~ laws or regulati~ the laws or regulations \\lilt control. Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 210 / Wednesday, November 1, 2017 / Rules and Regulations www.regulations.gov, type USCG–2017– 0552 in the ‘‘SEARCH’’ box and click ‘‘SEARCH.’’ Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this rule, call or email Petty Officer Mara J. Brown, Sector Miami Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone (305) 535–4317, email Mara.J.Brown@ uscg.mil. BILLING CODE 4334–63–C DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket Number USCG–2017–0552] RIN 1625–AA08 SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Special Local Regulation; Atlantic Ocean, Ft. Lauderdale, FL Coast Guard, DHS. ACTION: Final rule. The Coast Guard is establishing a recurring special local regulation for navigable waters of the Atlantic Ocean in the vicinity of Fort Lauderdale, FL for the Fort Lauderdale Grand Prix of the Seas. The Fort Lauderdale Grand Prix of the Seas race course is located east of South Beach Park and North of the Port Everglades inlet. Approximately 100 high-speed personal watercraft will be participating in the event. The special local regulation is needed to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment from potential hazards during the race event. All vessels and persons in the regulated area must follow the direction of Coast Guard personnel, law enforcement, and race officials. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES SUMMARY: This rule is effective November 1, 2017. ADDRESSES: To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http:// DATES: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:12 Oct 31, 2017 Jkt 244001 III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule I. Table of Abbreviations AGENCY: CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking § Section U.S.C. United States Code II. Background Information and Regulatory History On June 7, 2017, the company Powerboat P1–USA, LLC notified the Coast Guard that it will be conducting the Ft. Lauderdale Grand Prix of the Seas race annually. This event will occur yearly on one weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) in November. The race course will be located directly east of South Beach Park in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The special local regulation is intended to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment. On September 6, 2017, the Coast Guard published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled, ‘‘Special Local Regulation; Atlantic Ocean, Ft. Lauderdale, FL’’ (82 FR 42050). Therein we stated why we issued the NPRM, and invited comments on our proposed regulatory action related to this race During the PO 00000 Frm 00085 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 comment period that ended October 6, 2017, we received five comments. Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Delaying the effective date of this rule would be impracticable because immediate action is needed to respond to the potential safety hazards associated with this event which will take place this year on November 17, 2017. The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1233. The Captain of the Port Miami (COTP) has determined that that potential hazards associated with the high speeds of the participants during the races would be a safety concern for anyone who would enter the race area. The purpose of this rulemaking is to ensure the safety of vessels and the navigable waters within the established race area, marked with buoys. IV. Discussion of Comments, Changes, and the Rule As noted above, we received five comments on our NPRM published September 6, 2017. All comments were in favor of this regulation. There are no changes in the regulatory text of this rule from the proposed rule in the NPRM. This rule establishes a special local regulation for this event occuring annually on one weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) in November, with the precise date of the event each year to be published in a notice of enforcement in the Federal Register. The special local regulation covers all E:\FR\FM\01NOR1.SGM 01NOR1 ER01NO17.034</GPH> [FR Doc. 2017–23702 Filed 10–31–17; 8:45 am] 50575

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 210 (Wednesday, November 1, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 50532-50575]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-23702]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

25 CFR Chapters I through III and V through VII

30 CFR Chapters II, IV, V, VII, and XII

36 CFR Chapter I

43 CFR Subtitles A and B

50 CFR Chapters I and IV

[178D0102DM, DS6CS00000, DLSN00000.000000, DX.6CS25]


Final Report: Review of the Department of the Interior Actions 
That Potentially Burden Domestic Energy

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, Interior.

ACTION: Availability of Final Report.

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

SUMMARY: The Department of the Interior (Interior or the Department) is 
announcing the availability of and publishing in its entirety the Final 
Report: Review of the Department of the Interior Actions that 
Potentially Burden Domestic Energy prepared pursuant to Executive Order 
13783, ``Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.''

DATES: November 1, 2017.

ADDRESSES: The report is available online at: https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/uploads/interior_energy_actions_report_final.pdf.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark Lawyer, 202-208-5257, 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Executive Order 13783, ``Promoting Energy 
Independence and Economic Growth,'' 82 FR 16093 (March 31, 2017), 
declared a national policy of promoting clean and

[[Page 50533]]

safe development of domestic energy resources, while avoiding 
regulatory burdens that unnecessarily limit energy production, 
constrain economic growth, or hinder job creation. The Executive Order 
directed the heads of agencies to undertake an immediate review of all 
agency actions (including regulations, orders, guidance documents, 
policies, and other similar agency actions) that potentially burden the 
development or use of domestically produced energy resources, giving 
particular attention to oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy 
resources. The Executive Order instructed agencies not to include 
agency actions that are required by law, necessary for the public 
interest, or consistent with the policy set forth in the Order. The 
Executive Order directed agencies to submit reports describing the 
actions identified through their reviews and providing specific 
recommendations that could alleviate or eliminate aspects of agency 
actions that burden domestic energy production to the Vice President, 
the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the 
Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, the Assistant to the 
President for Domestic Policy, and the Chair of the Council on 
Environmental Quality.
    The Department of the Interior has aggressively pursued a 
comprehensive review of Interior's energy activities. Interior is 
publishing the Final Report: Review of the Department of the Interior 
Actions that Potentially Burden Domestic Energy (October 24, 2017) 
prepared pursuant to Executive Order 13783 in its entirety in this 
Notice. Interior also is making the Final Report available on its Web 
site at: https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/uploads/interior_energy_actions_report_final.pdf. Please note that while the 
format of the Final Report in this Notice may vary slightly from the 
version available on the website due to Federal Register style 
guidelines, the substance of both versions is the same.

David L. Bernhardt,
Deputy Secretary.

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Final Report: Review of the Department of the Interior Actions That 
Potentially Burden Domestic Energy

October 24, 2017
I. PURPOSE OF THIS REPORT
II. INTERIOR'S ROLE IN DOMESTIC ENERGY PRODUCTION, DEVELOPMENT, AND USE
III. IMMEDIATE ACTION--SECRETARIAL ORDERS
IV. RESULTS OF INTERIOR'S REVIEW OF POTENTIALLY ENERGY-BURDENING 
ACTIONS
    A. Bureau of Land Management
    B. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
    C. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement
    D. Office of Natural Resources Revenue
    E. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement
    F. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    G. Bureau of Reclamation
    H. Bureau of Indian Affairs
    I. Integrated Activity Plan for Oil & Gas in the National Petroleum 
Reserve--Alaska
    J. Mitigation
    K. Climate Change
V. OUTREACH SUMMARY
VI. CONCLUSION
VII. ATTACHMENTS
Secretarial Orders and Secretary's Memorandum

Report of the Secretary of the Interior

Final Report: Review of the Department of the Interior Actions That 
Potentially Burden Domestic Energy

I. Purpose of this Report

    ``Energy is an essential part of American life and a staple of the 
world economy. Achieving American energy dominance begins with 
recognizing that we have vast untapped domestic energy reserves. For 
too long America has been held back by burdensome regulations on our 
energy industry. The Department is committed to an America-first energy 
strategy that lowers costs for hardworking Americans and maximizes the 
use of American resources, freeing us from dependence on foreign oil.''
Secretary Zinke, May 1, 2017, Secretarial Order 3351 Strengthening the 
Department of the Interior's Energy Portfolio
    This final report describes the Department of the Interior's 
(Interior or Department) progress in implementing Executive Order (EO) 
13783, Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth, dated March 
28, 2017. EO13783 requires the head of each agency to carry out a 
review of all agency actions that potentially burden the development or 
use of domestically produced energy resources, with particular 
attention to oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy resources. See 
EO13783, section 2(a). On May 8, 2017, the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) issued guidance to agencies on the contents of a draft 
report. See OMB Guidance M-17-24 (May 8, 2017). The Secretary of the 
Interior (Secretary) has aggressively pursued a comprehensive review of 
Interior's energy activities and this final report details the results 
of this review.

II. Interior's Role in Domestic Energy Production, Development, and Use

    Interior is the steward and manager of America's natural resources, 
including oil, gas, coal, hydropower, and renewable energy resources. 
Interior manages lands, subsurface rights, and offshore areas that 
produce approximately 19 percent of the Nation's energy. Energy 
development on public lands increases domestic energy production, 
provides alternatives to overseas energy resources, creates jobs, and 
enhances the Nation's energy security. The Office of Natural Resources 
Revenue (ONRR) collects an average of over $10 billion annual revenue 
from onshore and offshore energy production, one of the Federal 
Government's largest sources of non-tax revenue.
    Nine of Interior's bureaus have energy programs and 
responsibilities:
     The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) administers onshore 
energy and subsurface minerals on certain public lands.
     The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement 
(OSMRE) works with states and tribes to oversee environmentally sound 
coal mining operations;
     The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) oversees 
offshore oil, gas, and wind development.
     The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) 
is the lead Federal agency charged with improving safety and ensuring 
environmental protection related to the offshore energy industry, 
primarily oil and natural gas, on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf 
(OCS).
     The Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) is the second largest 
producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, generating over 
40 million megawatt-hours of electricity each year;
     The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) oversees leasing of 
tribal and Indian land for energy development.
     The Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) collects 
revenue from energy production and development.
     The United States Geological Survey (USGS) conducts 
research and assessments on the location, quantity, and quality of 
energy resources, including the economic and environmental effects of 
resource extraction and use.
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Park Service 
(NPS), while not directly involved in the production or development of 
energy as

[[Page 50534]]

part of their missions, may have Federal or non-Federal oil and gas or 
mineral inholdings. These agencies also manage lands and trails through 
which important energy-related infrastructure may pass in order to 
bring affordable energy to American families throughout our country. 
These agencies therefore have the ability to reduce potential burdens 
on domestic energy production, development, or transmission.

III. Immediate Action--Secretarial Orders

    When the United States is a leader in developing its energy 
resources, it is less dependent on other nations, leading to a stronger 
America. Interior is committed to an America-First energy strategy that 
fosters domestic energy production in order to keep energy prices low 
for American families, businesses, and manufacturers. Every drop of 
oil, Mcf of natural gas or MW of offshore wind energy produced here in 
the U.S. benefits the American workers employed in those operations and 
also frees us from dependence on foreign energy resources. Beyond 
enhancing America's energy security, low cost energy benefits the 
American consumer and enhances American manufacturing competitiveness, 
making American businesses more competitive globally. Secretary Zinke 
recognizes that development of energy resources on public lands 
increases the Nation's domestic energy supply, provides alternatives to 
overseas energy resources, generates revenue, creates jobs, and 
enhances national security. Eliminating harmful regulations and 
unnecessary policies will require a sustained and focused effort. That 
said, the Department will strike the appropriate balance in order to 
make use of our Nation's domestic resource wealth while also ensuring 
careful attention to safe and environmentally responsible operations 
both onshore and offshore, and promoting conservation stewardship.
    Secretary Zinke has issued seven Secretarial Orders to improve 
domestic onshore and offshore energy production that further these 
principles. To ensure energy policies receive the highest level 
attention across Interior, the Secretary established the Counselor to 
the Secretary for Energy Policy position to coordinate the energy 
policy of Interior, including, but not limited to, promoting 
responsible development of energy on public lands managed and 
administered by Interior, developing strategies to eliminate or 
minimize regulatory burdens that unnecessarily encumber energy, and 
promoting efficient and effective processing of energy-related 
authorizations, permits, regulations, and agreements. See Secretarial 
Order 3351, ``Strengthening the Department of the Interior's Energy 
Portfolio'' (May 1, 2017). Establishing this position that reports 
directly to the Secretary assures that developing America's energy 
resources in a responsible way to create jobs and enhance the energy 
security of the United States will remain a central priority. The 
remaining six Secretarial orders are:
     Secretarial Order 3348--Concerning the Federal Coal 
Moratorium;
     Secretarial Order 3349--American Energy Independence;
     Secretarial Order 3350--America-First Offshore Energy 
Strategy;
     Secretarial Order 3352--National Petroleum Reserve--
Alaska;
     Secretarial Order 3353--Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation 
and Cooperation with Western States; and
     Secretarial Order 3354--Supporting and Improving the 
Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Program and Federal Solid Mineral 
Leasing Program.
    These Orders direct Interior bureaus and offices to take immediate 
and specific actions to identify and alleviate or eliminate burdens on 
domestic energy development. Within this framework, bureaus have 
identified actions and, in some cases, already made progress in 
alleviating or eliminating the energy burdens.

A. Secretary Order 3348--Concerning the Federal Coal Moratorium

    One of Secretary Zinke's first acts was to sign Secretarial Order 
3348, ``Concerning the Federal Coal Moratorium'' (March 29, 2017), 
which removed the moratorium on the Federal coal leasing program by 
revoking a prior Secretarial Order (Secretarial Order 3338, 
``Discretionary Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement to 
Modernize the Federal Coal Program''). Secretarial Order 3348 promotes 
American energy security, job creation, and proper conservation 
stewardship. It directs BLM to process coal lease applications and 
modifications expeditiously and directs Interior bureaus and offices to 
make appropriate changes to policy and guidance documents to further 
President Donald Trump's policy of promoting American energy 
independence and economic growth. (See further discussion below at IV.x 
and E.)
    In addition to lifting the coal moratorium, Secretary Zinke took 
other actions to advance American energy independence. In announcing 
these actions he said, ``Today I signed a series of directives to put 
America on track to achieve the President's vision for energy 
independence and bringing jobs back to communities across the 
country.'' These directives foster responsible development of coal, 
oil, gas, and renewable energy on Federal and tribal lands and initiate 
review of agency actions directed by EO13783.

B. Secretarial Order 3349--American Energy Independence

    The most overarching Secretarial Order reducing burdens on energy 
development is Secretarial Order 3349, ``American Energy Independence'' 
(March 29, 2017), which directed bureaus to examine specific actions 
impacting oil and gas development, and any other actions affecting 
other energy development. It revoked Secretarial Order 3330, 
``Improving Mitigation Policies and Practices of the Department of the 
Interior,'' and directed bureaus and offices to review all actions 
taken pursuant to that Order for possible reconsideration, 
modification, or rescission. It also directed each bureau and office to 
review actions taken regarding rescinded Executive Orders related to 
climate change. Further, it directed the review of the following 
specific actions impacting energy development:
     BLM Hydraulic Fracturing Rule (RIN 1004-AE26) (see 
discussion below under IV.A.i.);
     BLM Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and 
Resource Conservation Rule (RIN 1004-AE14) (see discussion below under 
IV.A.ii);
     NPS Non-Federal Oil and Gas Rights Rule (RIN 1024-AD78); 
and
     FWS National Wildlife Refuge System; Management of Non-
Federal Oil and Gas Rights (RIN 1018-AX36) (see discussion below under 
IV.F.).

C. Secretarial Order 3350--America-First Offshore Energy Strategy

    This Order enhances opportunities for energy exploration, leasing, 
conservation stewardship, and development on the Outer Continental 
Shelf (OCS), thereby providing jobs, energy security, and revenue for 
the American people by reinitiating the five-year planning process. 
Among other actions, it directed the review of the following regulatory 
actions that impact offshore energy development:
     BOEM Notice to Lessees (NTL) No. 2016-N01 entitled, 
``Notice to Lessees and Operators of Federal Oil and Gas, and Sulfur 
Leases, and Holders of Pipeline Right-of-Way and Right-of-Use and 
Easement Grants in the Outer Continental Shelf'';
     BOEM Offshore Air Quality Control, Reporting, and 
Compliance Rule (RIN 1010-AD82);

[[Page 50535]]

     BSEE Oil and Gas and Sulfur Operations in the Outer 
Continental Shelf-Blowout Preventer Systems and Well Control (RIN 1014-
AA11); and
     BOEM and BSEE Oil and Gas and Sulfur Operations on the 
Outer Continental Shelf--Requirements for Exploratory Drilling on the 
Arctic Outer Continental Shelf Rule (RIN 1082-AA00).

D. Secretarial Order 3352--National Petroleum Reserve--Alaska

    This Order provides for clean and safe development of oil and gas 
resources in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, recognizing that 
prudent development of these resources is essential to ensuring the 
Nation's geopolitical security. (See discussion below at IV.J.)

E. Secretarial Order 3353--Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation and 
Cooperation With Western States

    Sage-grouse protections can affect energy development because these 
activities often share the same land across the 11 western states and 
67 million acres of Federal land that are affected by sage grouse 
habitat. This Order establishes a Sage-Grouse Review Team that includes 
representatives from the BLM, FWS, and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to 
review the 2015 Sage-Grouse Plans and associated policies, giving 
appropriate weight to the value of energy and other development on 
public lands within BLM's overall multiple-use mission and to be 
consistent with the policy set forth in Secretarial Order 3349, 
``American Energy Independence.'' (See discussion below at IV.A.vii.)

F. Secretarial Order 3354--Supporting and Improving the Federal Onshore 
Oil and Gas Leasing Program and Federal Solid Mineral Leasing Program

    This Order intends to ensure that quarterly oil and gas lease sales 
are consistently held and to identify ways to promote the exploration 
and development of Federal onshore oil and gas and solid mineral 
resources, including improving quarterly lease sales, enhancing the 
Federal onshore solid mineral leasing program, and improving the 
permitting processes. See discussion below at IV.A.
    Details of progress in accordance with the aforementioned Executive 
and Secretarial Orders are described below, as well as relevant 
proposed actions that are currently under review. Prior to reaching a 
final determination regarding any proposed action, Interior may be 
required to comply with the notice and comment requirements of the 
Administrative Procedure Act or other laws and regulations, and will 
weigh the results of such procedures accordingly in its decisionmaking 
process.

IV. Results of Interior's Review of Potentially Energy-Burdening 
Actions

A. Bureau of Land Management

    The Bureau of Land Management administers more land than any other 
Federal agency, consisting of more than 245 million surface acres and 
700 million acres of subsurface mineral development. In response to 
EO13783 and Secretarial Orders 3348, 3349, and 3354, BLM is revising 
and reforming its leasing processes, improving the Coal Management 
Program, and delaying, revising, or rescinding burdensome regulations 
and policies to improve domestic energy production and support jobs.
    Below is a list of specific actions BLM is undertaking to reduce 
burdens on the production of energy on BLM managed resources.

i. Review of the Hydraulic Fracturing Rule

    Executive Order 13783 required Interior to review the final rule 
entitled, ``Oil and Gas; Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian 
Lands,'' 80 FR 16128 (Mar. 26, 2015). Secretarial Order 3349 directed 
BLM to undertake that review. On July 25, 2017, BLM published a 
proposed rule to rescind the 2015 hydraulic fracturing rule because the 
compliance costs of the existing 2015 rule are not justified (82 FR 
34464). All 32 states with Federal oil and gas leases and some tribes 
currently have laws or regulations that address hydraulic fracturing 
operations. Thus, rescinding the rule has the potential to reduce 
regulatory burdens by enabling oil and gas operations to occur under 
one set of regulations within each state or tribal lands, rather than 
two. Rescinding this rule may result in additional interest in oil and 
gas development on public lands, especially under higher commodity 
prices.

Interior has identified this proposed rescission as a deregulatory 
action under EO13771.

ii. Temporarily Suspend or Postpone Certain Requirements and Review to 
Rescind or Revise the Venting and Flaring Rule

    Executive Order 13783 required Interior to review the final rule 
entitled, ``Oil and Gas; Waste Prevention, Production Subject to 
Royalties, and Resource Conservation,'' 81 FR 83008 (Nov. 18, 2016), 
also known as the ``Venting and Flaring'' rule. Secretarial Order 3349 
ordered BLM to review the rule and report to the Assistant Secretary--
Land and Minerals Management on whether the rule is fully consistent 
with the policy expressed in EO13783.
    The BLM conducted an initial review of the rule and found that it 
was inconsistent with the policy stated in EO13783 that ``it is in the 
national interest to promote clean and safe development of our nation's 
vast energy resources, while at the same time avoiding regulatory 
burdens that unnecessarily encumber energy production, constrain 
economic growth, and prevent job creation.'' The BLM recognizes that 
the 2016 final rule poses a substantial burden on industry, 
particularly those requirements that are set to become effective on 
January 17, 2018. The BLM issued a proposed rule that was published in 
the Federal Register on October 5, 2017, seeking comment on temporarily 
suspending or delaying certain requirements until January 17, 2019, to 
reduce the regulatory burden on the energy industry. This will provide 
industry additional time to plan for and engineer responsive 
infrastructure modifications that will comply with the regulation.
    If finalized, the revised regulation will provide significant 
additional phase-in time to oil and gas operators.
    The BLM intends to work with industry to develop metrics, including 
key timelines or benchmarks, and the reduction of flaring from Federal 
and Indian lands over time.
    Following up on its initial review, BLM has reviewed the 2016 final 
rule in accordance with the policies set forth in EO13783. The BLM is 
currently drafting a proposed rule that would eliminate overlap with 
the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Clean Air Act authorities 
while also clarifying regulatory provisions related to the beneficial 
use of gas on Federal and Indian lands.

The BLM has identified the delay of effective date rulemaking as a 
deregulatory action under EO13771.

iii. Revise Oil and Gas; Onshore Orders Nos. 3, 4 and 5

    The burdens placed on industry through these 3 new regulations are 
being reviewed as directed under EO13783. These 3 rulemakings, which 
were promulgated and issued concurrently, updated and replaced BLM's 
Onshore Orders for site security, oil measurement, and gas measurement 
regulations, respectively, that had been in place since 1989. They are 
codified in the Code of Federal Regulations at 43

[[Page 50536]]

CFR parts 3173, 3174, and 3175. External and internal oversight reviews 
prompted these rulemakings and found that many of BLM's production 
measurement and accountability policies were outdated and 
inconsistently applied. The new rules also address some of the 
Government Accountability Office (GAO) concerns for high risk with 
regard to Interior's production accountability. These 3 regulations 
impose new cost burdens on operators as a result of oil and gas 
facility infrastructure changes. The cost estimates for each individual 
rule are as follows:
     Order 3, Site Security: $31.2 million in one-time costs, 
plus an $11.7 million increase in annual operating costs;
     Order 4, Oil Measurement: $3.3 million in one-time costs, 
plus a $4.6 million increase in annual operating costs; and
     Order 5, Gas Measurement: $23.3 million one-time cost, 
plus $12.1 million increase in annual operating costs.
    The new regulations also provide a process for approving new 
technology that meets defined performance goals. Some provisions of the 
rule may have added regulatory burdens that unnecessarily encumber 
energy production, constrain economic growth, and prevent job creation.
    The BLM is currently assessing the rules to determine 1) if 
additional revisions are needed beyond the already-implemented phase-in 
period for certain provisions, 2) the ability for industry to introduce 
new technologies through a defined process, rather than through an 
exception request, and 3) the built-in waivers or variances. The BLM 
expects to complete its assessment of possible changes to alleviate 
burdens that may have added to constraints on energy production, 
economic growth and job creation by the end of the fourth quarter of FY 
2017.
    The new regulations have built in necessary waivers or variances. 
The BLM's establishment of a phase-in period for the new site security 
and production measurement regulations is an interim measure. The BLM 
will measure success over the phase-in period in terms of the 
production measurements, royalties paid, a reduction in under-reporting 
of production, and greater site security for production facilities.

iv. Revise and Replace Policy, Oil and Gas; IM 2010-117, ``Oil and Gas 
Leasing Reform--Land Use Planning and Lease Parcel Reviews''

    This policy will be replaced with revised guidance for the purpose 
of establishing greater efficiencies in the oil and gas leasing 
process. Policy Instruction Memorandum (IM) 2010-117 established a 
process for leasing oil and gas resources on Federal lands. The BLM 
intended the IM to reduce the backlog of unissued leases. However, the 
IM has resulted in longer time frames in analyzing and responding to 
protests and appeals, as well as longer lead times for BLM to clear and 
make available parcels for oil and gas lease sales. It has also 
resulted in increased workload and staffing needs to conduct additional 
upfront environmental analysis.
    The BLM has undertaken an effort to revise and reform its leasing 
policy and to streamline the leasing process from beginning (i.e. 
receipt of an Expression of Interest) to end (competitively offering 
the nominated acreage in a lease sale). Under existing policies and 
procedures, the process can take up to 16 months (and sometimes longer) 
from the time lands are nominated to the time a lease sale occurs. The 
BLM is examining ways to significantly reduce this time by as much as 
8-10 months. The BLM plans to complete revisions to the leasing process 
in the first quarter of FY 2018.
    A shorter period from nomination to sale will reduce the number of 
nominated acres awaiting competitive sale at any given time and will 
increase industry certainty regarding the acreage it holds. As a 
result, industry will be able to plan for and execute exploration and 
production strategies earlier, and respond more effectively to changing 
market conditions.
    Reducing the average time from acreage nomination to lease sale 
will be BLM's measure of success. The BLM does not control what acreage 
industry nominates because market conditions can fluctuate 
dramatically; therefore, total nominated acreage awaiting sale is not 
likely to be a measure of success.
    Until the policy revisions are completed, BLM is setting quarterly 
lease sale acreage targets to address the acreage currently nominated. 
The BLM is also identifying ways to augment staff support for potential 
sales in those offices with the greatest numbers of acres nominated.

v. Rescind Policy, Oil and Gas; IM 2013-101, ``Oil and Gas Leasing 
Reform--Master Leasing Plans (MLPs)''

    This policy announced the incorporation of Master Leasing Plans 
(MLPs) in the oil and gas leasing process, further explained in Chapter 
V of the BLM Handbook H-1624-1, entitled ``Planning for Fluid Mineral 
Resources.'' The IM establishes a process for integrating an MLP into 
the land use planning process. The BLM has extended this IM several 
times while the BLM completes the public scoping and analysis for MLPs. 
An unintended consequence of this policy has been that many areas open 
to oil and gas leasing have been deferred from leasing while they await 
the completion of the MLP process.
    The BLM has undertaken an effort to revise the leasing reform and 
MLP policy and to re-establish the BLM Resource Management Plans (RMPs) 
as the source of lands available for fluid minerals leasing. The BLM is 
currently evaluating existing MLP efforts with the goal of ending this 
approach. The BLM expects to rescind this IM and complete the revision 
of the above BLM Handbook, as well as any other relevant BLM handbooks, 
in the first quarter of FY 2018.
    Because this change will re-establish the RMP as the source of land 
allocation decisions for fluid minerals, it will result in more 
streamlined National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis and a 
shorter timeframe for acreage nominations to make it to a competitive 
lease sale. Since extra time and NEPA analysis adds to uncertainty for 
industry and use of taxpayer dollars by the Department, removing these 
process-related steps has the effect of decreasing uncertainty.
    The primary measure of success in removing regulatory burden from 
the rescission of the MLP policy will be in the elimination of related 
nominated acreage sale deferral pending completion of MLP NEPA. While 
there will continue to be acreage sale deferrals for various reasons, 
completion of MLP NEPA will no longer be one of them. The time frames 
will be shorter.

vi. Revise Policy, Oil and Gas; IM 2013-177, ``National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA) Compliance for Oil and Gas Lease Reinstatement 
Petitions''

    This IM directs all BLM oil and gas leasing Field Offices to: 1) 
ensure RMP conformance; 2) evaluate the adequacy of existing NEPA 
analysis and documentation; and 3) complete any necessary new or 
supplemental NEPA analysis and documentation before approving a Class I 
or Class II oil and gas lease reinstatement petition. This IM has 
resulted in additional analysis and review time that often involves 
another surface management agency and, in some instances, has led to 
adding new lease stipulations prior to lease reinstatement.
    Lease reinstatements were previously considered a ministerial 
matter, entailing a commensurate level of

[[Page 50537]]

review and process to complete. However, IM 2013-177 changed that in 
significant ways, resulting in additional NEPA review and significantly 
greater timeframes for completing the reinstatement. Rescinding or 
modifying this policy will greatly reduce decisionmaking timeframes on 
lease reinstatement requests. The BLM expects to complete review of 
this policy in the first quarter of FY 2018 and promptly finalize by 
the second quarter.
    The BLM expects that changes to this policy will refocus the 
emphasis back to existing NEPA analysis and information, which will 
significantly shorten the time it takes to consider and process a lease 
reinstatement request. The policy changes will provide greater 
certainty and reduced expense for energy development companies and 
result in production occurring sooner.
    The BLM will measure the reduction in burden in terms of the 
average time it takes to consider a complete lease reinstatement 
request.
    Similar to MLPs, in the interim, BLM must identify and evaluate the 
status of each current lease reinstatement request in order to 
determine whether and how to expedite review and processing. There are 
no other interim measures, waivers or variances that are relevant to 
the process.

vii. Revise Policy, Oil and Gas: IM 2016-140, ``Implementation of 
Greater Sage-grouse Resource Management Plan Revisions or Amendments--
Oil & Gas Leasing and Development Sequential Prioritization''

    Policy IM 2016-140 is being reviewed for the purpose of enhancing 
consistency and certainty for oil and gas development in areas of sage-
grouse habitat as directed by EO13783. This IM provides guidance on 
prioritizing implementation decisions for BLM oil and gas leasing and 
development, to be consistent with Approved Resource Management Plan 
Amendments for the Rocky Mountain and Great Basin Greater Sage-grouse 
Regions and nine Approved Resource Management Plans in the Rocky 
Mountain Greater Sage-grouse Region (collectively referred to as the 
Greater Sage-grouse Plans). The IM applies to activities in the areas 
covered by both the Rocky Mountain and Great Basin Regions Records of 
Decision, issued by BLM in September 2015, and also contains reporting 
requirements for communication between BLM State Offices and the 
Washington Office (WO). The IM may have added administrative burdens 
since it requires additional analysis and staff time to screen parcels 
and weigh potential impacts to the Greater Sage-grouse before the 
parcels are offered for leasing. It also requires additional analysis 
and staff time to process drilling permit approvals near Greater Sage-
grouse areas.
    The BLM's effort to avoid listing of the sage-grouse as an 
endangered species has affected many programs and a large area 
geographically. With new technologies and capabilities, such as long-
reach horizontal boreholes in the oil and gas industry, the impacts are 
not as significant as once perceived. Likewise, the administrative 
burden is better understood and is likely less than once thought. 
Efforts are underway to better understand these conditions and define 
ways in which energy production and sage-grouse protection may continue 
to co-exist. Greater consistency and predictability will provide 
greater stability for industry. The BLM is currently assessing the 
policy to determine what revisions are needed and expects to complete 
this review in the fourth quarter of FY 2017.
    When the BLM completes this effort, industry will have greater 
certainty in leasing, exploration and production activities due to 
availability of acreage for oil and gas development and a defined 
process and timeframe for consideration of Greater Sage-grouse impacts.
    The BLM will measure success by assessing changes in industry's 
interest in nominating acreage for competitive sale and developing 
existing leases in areas affected by the Greater Sage-grouse amendments 
to RMPs. As industry increases its understanding and gains confidence 
in the consistency and predictability of BLM actions relative to 
Greater Sage-grouse, then acreage nominations, permit requests, and 
development should stabilize and be tied to market forces rather than 
tied to BLM Greater Sage-grouse decisions.
    The BLM has been processing acreage nominations in Greater Sage-
grouse areas and making them available for competitive sale. In 
addition, existing leases are being developed. This is evidence, in the 
interim, that both BLM and industry are developing innovative ways to 
adapt energy development in light of Greater Sage-grouse protections.

viii. Review of General Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation Policies and 
Plans

    In September 2015, the BLM incorporated Greater Sage-grouse (GRSG) 
conservation measures into its land use plans within the range of the 
GRSG. In September 2016, the BLM issued a number of IMs to help guide 
the implementation of the GRSG plans. These GRSG plans and policies 
will affect where, when, and how energy and minerals are developed 
within the range of the GRSG.
    Pursuant to Secretarial Order 3353, ``Greater Sage-Grouse 
Conservation and Cooperation with Western States,'' an Interior Sage-
Grouse Review Team (Review Team) is working with the State-Federal 
Sage-Grouse Task Force to identify opportunities for greater 
collaboration, to better align Federal and State plans for the GRSG, to 
support local economies and jobs, and consider new and innovative ways 
to conserve GRSG in the long-term. Pursuant to the Secretarial Order, 
in August 2017, the Review Team submitted a report to the Secretary 
summarizing their review and providing recommendations regarding next 
steps.
    The Review Team's report identified a number of potential actions 
to enhance the coordination and integration of state and Federal GRSG 
conservation efforts.
    Success will be measured and evaluated in terms of improved working 
relationships among local, state, tribal, and Federal units of 
Government and in terms of improved partner and stakeholder 
understanding of effective GRSG conservation measures and of the 
science underlying them.
    The BLM anticipates that some of the actions outlined in the Review 
Team's report to the Secretary could be implemented in the near future 
through changes in policy (through issuance of IMs, for example), 
technical assistance, or training. Other actions may require amending 
the land use plans. On October 11, 2017, the Department of the 
Interior, through BLM, initiated a public scoping process for RMP 
amendment(s) with associated NEPA documents. The comments may be 
submitted until November 27, 2017. Depending on the scope and 
significance, such amendments could take upwards of 9 months to 3 years 
to complete.

ix. Improve Land Use Planning and NEPA Act Policies and Procedures:

    The BLM's land use planning regulations and policies are outlined 
in 43 CFR subparts 1601 and 1610, Resource Management Planning; BLM 
Manual Section 1601; and BLM Handbook 1601-1. The BLM's policies for 
complying with NEPA are outlined in BLM Handbook 1790-1 and the 
Interior NEPA implementing regulations are at 43 CFR part 46. Taken 
together, these regulations, manuals, and handbooks establish the 
policies and procedures BLM follows when conducting land use planning 
and NEPA compliance, including specific

[[Page 50538]]

actions related to energy and mineral development.
    Pursuant to the Secretarial Memorandum of March 27, 2017, entitled 
``Improving the Bureau of Land Management's Planning and National 
Environmental Policy Act Processes,'' the BLM is identifying potential 
actions it could take to streamline its planning and NEPA review 
procedures. As part of this identification process, BLM is working with 
state and local elected officials and groups, including the Western 
Governors' Association and the National Association of Counties, to 
engage and gather input. The BLM also has invited tribes and the public 
to provide input on how the Agency can make its planning and NEPA 
review procedures timelier, less costly, and more responsive to local 
needs. Pursuant to the Secretarial Memorandum, in September 2017, BLM 
will submit a report to the Secretary outlining recommended actions.
    Once implemented, the actions recommended in the report should 
reduce the time and/or cost of complying with BLM's statutory direction 
to conduct land use planning under section 202 of FLPMA and complying 
with NEPA when evaluating proposed actions. These recommendations also 
should lead to more-standardized analyses in BLM's NEPA reviews at the 
land use plan and project level.
    The reduction in burden will be measured and evaluated in terms of 
processing times and/or costs of authorizing energy development.
    Some of the actions outlined in BLM's report to the Secretary will 
be actions that BLM will be able to implement in the near future, such 
as improvements to business processes, or updates to internal manuals 
or handbooks. Other actions would require changes in statute or 
regulation (such as new Categorical Exclusions), may depend on other 
agencies to act, or may require front-end investments in data or 
information technology.

x. Review Coal-Related Policies and Actions

    On March 29, 2017, Secretary Zinke issued Secretarial Order 3348 to 
lift the Federal coal moratorium imposed by previous Secretarial Order 
3338. This Order conformed to the directive in EO13783 requiring the 
Secretary to lift the moratorium and commence Federal coal leasing 
activities consistent with all applicable laws and regulations.
    The BLM is working to process coal lease applications and 
modifications ``expeditiously'' in accordance with regulations and 
guidance that existed before Secretarial Order 3338. The BLM also 
ceased activities associated with preparation of the Federal Coal 
Program Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS).
    Consistent with EO13783 and Secretarial Order 3348, the BLM is 
reviewing its policies, with the intent to update or rescind them.

xi. Other Recommendations for Alleviating or Eliminating Actions That 
Could Directly or Indirectly Burden Energy Exploration or Production

 Review Land Use Designations

    The BLM land use planning process ensures that public lands are 
managed in accordance with the intent of Congress as stated in FLPMA 
(43 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), under the principles of multiple use and 
sustained yield. The BLM's Resource Management Plans (RMPs) are the 
basis for every on-the-ground action the BLM undertakes, which includes 
determinations on lands suitable for future energy leasing and 
permitting opportunities. The BLM uses land use designations as a part 
of the land use planning process to guide the management of certain 
geographic areas towards particular objectives, values or uses.
    While some land use designations are made by Congressional, 
Secretarial, or Presidential action (and therefore require specific 
land management principles), the BLM has used broad discretion in 
establishing other formal and less-formal land use designations to set 
additional management criteria for public lands. In some cases, these 
criteria may conflict with other multiple use objectives for the land--
such as energy development--and therefore have the potential to burden 
domestic energy development on public lands by reducing access to 
leasable acreage.
    At the time of this report, BLM identified over 60 different land 
use designations used in RMPs, many of which may lead to additional 
restrictions on the use of the land. One example is the Area of 
Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) designation, which is authorized 
by Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA). The Eastern Interior 
RMP, finalized on January 3, 2017, designated over 2 million acres of 
ACEC--much of which was recommended for closure to mineral entry and 
mineral leasing in order to best meet the objectives of the ACEC. The 
chart included below provides a visual reference for the increased use 
of this land use designation especially in more recent RMPs.

[[Page 50539]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR01NO17.009

    The BLM will further evaluate the need for these numerous land use 
designations as a part of the ongoing review of their planning process. 
The BLM will also work with state, local, and tribal partners to 
incorporate efficiencies and update policies on the use of land use 
designations that may burden or hinder energy development on Federal 
lands.

 Review Use of Leasing Stipulations and Conditions of Approval

    Aside from providing for leasing with standard lease terms in the 
land use planning process, BLM may apply lease stipulations to a 
specific unit at the planning stage. Stipulations set additional 
criteria to which an operator must adhere once the acreage is leased. 
Stipulations include no surface occupancy restrictions (NSO), which 
close acreage to surface-disturbing activities, timing restrictions 
(TL), which close acreage to surface-disturbing activities during 
certain timeframes, and other controlled surface use (CSU) 
restrictions, which include more specific restrictions such as sound 
and visual impacts or construction requirements. In some cases, these 
stipulations may have an impact on the attractiveness of the lease sale 
parcel in the bidding process.
    The BLM may also assign Conditions of Approval (COA) at the 
permitting stage when an operator first applies for an Application for 
Permit to Drill (APD). Once an APD is filed, the BLM will send an 
onsite inspection team to determine the best location for the well, 
road, and facilities; identify site-specific concerns and potential 
environmental impacts associated with the proposal and potential 
options for mitigating these impacts, including COAs. Site-specific 
concerns include, but are not limited to: Well spacing; riparian and 
wetland areas; visual resource management such as painting 
infrastructure specific colors; and cultural and wildlife survey needs 
to comply with the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and the 
Endangered Species Act (ESA).
    Lease stipulations and additional conditions of approval added at 
the permitting stage burden energy development on public lands by 
adding additional development costs; increasing the complexity of the 
drilling operations; and extending project timeframes. The 2008 Energy 
Policy and Conservation Act Phase III study found that of the 128 
Federal land use plans surveyed for inventory, approximately 3,125 
individual stipulations and 157 types of COAs were being used.\1\ The 
BLM does not have updated figures at the time of this report.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ https://www.blm.gov/sites/blm.gov/files/EPCA_III_Inventory_Onshore_Federal_Oil_Gas.pdf; p. 42, 109.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Review Protest Regulations and Policy

    Current BLM regulations allow any party to file a protest on a BLM 
decision, such as a protest on a land use plan or on a subsequent 
decision to include a parcel in an oil and gas lease sale. This process 
provides multiple opportunities to protest every step of the process of 
offering public lands for oil and gas leasing. To date, many state 
offices, such as CO, MT, NM, UT, and WY are receiving protests on every 
oil and gas parcel offered through the Notice of Competitive Lease Sale 
process.
    In the past, protests were parcel-specific on issues unique to the 
parcel in question. In recent years, the reasons for protesting every 
parcel in the sale are broad-based and non-parcel specific, such as 
general concerns on climate change or hydraulic fracturing. In FY 2016, 
72 percent of parcels offered for lease were protested. By comparison, 
in FY 2012, only 17 percent of parcels received protests. The number of 
parcels offered on the original sale notice decreased from 2,247 in FY 
2012 to 820 in FY 2016.
    If a protest is still pending on the day of sale, the parcel can 
still be offered during the sale but the protest must be resolved prior 
to the lease being issued and the protest may diminish interest in 
bidding. This in turn can delay payment of the State's share of the 
bonus bids--which occurred most recently in the State of New Mexico. In 
September 2016, BLM hosted a record-setting lease sale generating $145 
million in revenue, of which $80 million was owed to the state Mineral 
Leasing Act revenue

[[Page 50540]]

sharing provision. As a result of the number of protested parcels and 
the length of time it took to resolve all protests, the payment to the 
State of New Mexico was delayed approximately 250 days.
    This uptick in the protest process and the inability to reach 
conclusive resolutions in a timely manner is a burden on oil and 
natural gas development on public lands. A regulatory change may be 
necessary to limit redundant protests that hinder orderly development. 
Alternatively, the BLM is investigating the value in creating regional 
leasing teams that could build sufficient capacity to offer parcels 
during the BLM's quarterly lease sales.

xii. Revise Energy-Related Collections of Information Under the 
Paperwork Reduction Act

    The BLM anticipates revising energy-related collections of 
information under the Paperwork Reduction Act (e.g., Approval of 
Operations (1004-0213) and Application for Permit to Drill (1014-0025)) 
to reduce administrative burden on energy development and use through 
simplification of forms and associated instructions/guidance and 
ceasing collection of information that is unnecessary or lacks 
practical utility.

B. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

    The BOEM is responsible for managing development of the Nation's 
offshore energy and mineral resources through offshore leasing, 
resource evaluation, review, and administration of oil and gas 
exploration and development plans, renewable energy development, 
economic analysis, NEPA analysis, and environmental studies. The BOEM 
promotes energy security, environmental protection and economic 
development through responsible, science-informed management of 
offshore conventional and renewable energy and mineral resources. The 
BOEM carries out these responsibilities while ensuring the receipt of 
fair market value for U.S. taxpayers on OCS leases, and balancing the 
energy demands and mineral needs of the Nation with the protection of 
the human, marine, and coastal environments.
    Since the publication of EO13771 on January 30, 2017, BOEM has been 
reviewing all aspects of its programs to identify regulations and 
guidance documents that potentially burden the development or use of 
domestically produced energy resources beyond the degree necessary to 
protect the public interest or otherwise comply with the law.
    Below are specific actions BOEM is undertaking to reduce burdens on 
the production of energy offshore in the America-First Offshore Energy 
Strategy, as delineated in EO13795 and S.O. 3350:

i. Air Quality Rule

    The BOEM has been re-examining the provisions of the air quality 
proposed rule published on April 5, 2016 (81 FR 19718), which would 
provide the first substantive updates to the regulation since 1980. The 
proposed rule addressed air quality measurement, evaluation, and 
control with respect to oil, gas, and sulphur operations on the OCS of 
the United States in the central and western Gulf of Mexico and the 
area offshore the North Slope Borough in Alaska. Interior is currently 
reviewing recommendations on how to proceed, including promulgating 
final rules for certain necessary provisions and issuing a new proposed 
rule that may withdraw certain provisions and seek additional input on 
others.

ii. Financial Assurance for Decommissioning

    Notice to Lessees No. 2016-N01, for which implementation has been 
suspended, would make substantial changes to BOEM's requirements for 
companies to provide financial assurance to meet decommissioning 
obligations. The BOEM has been undertaking a thorough review of the 
NTL, including gathering stakeholder input.

iii. Arctic Rule

    On July 15, 2016, BOEM and the BSEE promulgated a final rule, ``Oil 
and Gas and Sulfur Operations on the Outer Continental Shelf--
Requirements for Exploratory Drilling on the Arctic Outer Continental 
Shelf'' (81 FR 46478). Interior is reviewing the requirements for 
exploratory drilling conducted from mobile drilling units within the 
Arctic OCS (Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea Planning Areas). Interior is 
considering full rescission or revision of this rule, including 
associated information collection requirements. Review of this rule is 
expected to allow greater utilization of the Arctic drilling season.

iv. Oil and Gas Leasing on the Outer Continental Shelf

    Secretary Zinke directed development of a new 5-year OCS oil and 
gas leasing program to spur safe and responsible energy development 
offshore. On July 3, 2017, BOEM published a request for information and 
comments on the preparation of a new 5-year National OCS Leasing 
Program for 2019-2024 (82 FR 30886). Upon its completion, the new 
program will replace the 2017-2022 program.
    Secretarial Order 3350 directly implements EO13795, and also 
advances Interior's implementation of EO13783 by providing for the 
reevaluation of actions that impact exploration, leasing, and 
development of our OCS energy resources. This Secretarial Order 
enhances opportunities for energy exploration, leasing, and development 
on the OCS by establishing regulatory certainty for OCS activities. In 
accordance with this Secretarial Order, Interior is reviewing potential 
regulatory changes to reduce burden on offshore energy production, 
development, and use.
    In addition, on July 13, Secretary Zinke offered 75.9 million acres 
offshore Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida for oil 
and gas exploration and development. The region-wide lease sale 
conducted on August 16, 2017, was the first offshore sale under the OCS 
Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2017-2022. Under this program, 10 
region-wide lease sales are scheduled for the Gulf, where resource 
potential and industry interest are high, and oil and gas 
infrastructure is well established. Two Gulf lease sales will be held 
each year and include all available blocks in the combined Western, 
Central, and Eastern Gulf of Mexico Planning Areas.

v. Seismic Permitting

    Currently BOEM is one of two Federal agencies required to take 
separate regulatory actions in order to permit geological and 
geophysical surveying on the OCS. These seismic surveys, which are 
conducted by applicants, enable BOEM to make informed business 
decisions regarding oil and gas reserves, engineering decisions 
regarding the construction of renewable energy projects, and informed 
estimates regarding the composition and volume of marine mineral 
resources. This information is also used to ensure the proper use and 
conservation of OCS energy resources and the receipt of fair market 
value for the leasing of public lands.
    The ongoing delay in reaching decisions on Federal authorization of 
seismic surveys is a burden that hinders domestic energy development by 
preventing industry from being able to better determine the size and 
location of potential energy resources below the seafloor. The BOEM 
experts believe that these surveys can be authorized with appropriate 
mitigation measures consistent with the protection required by 
applicable Federal laws, primarily the Marine Mammal Protection Act

[[Page 50541]]

(MMPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA). While BOEM is responsible 
for ultimately issuing a permit to allow these activities to move 
forward, no seismic surveying can be done without MMPA authorization by 
the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). For this reason, the 
issuance of certain seismic permits by BOEM has been held up in a 
years-long process awaiting NMFS authorization. BOEM and NMFS are 
currently working on ways to streamline review, as directed in EO 
13795, Sec. 3(c).
    The Department believes that some improvements can be made through 
simple program initiatives, such as NMFS assigning dedicated staff to 
the permits or allowing BOEM to determine MMPA compliance for the 
purposes of BOEM-related activities in accordance with EO 13807. 
Finding a genuinely effective solution may warrant statutory changes as 
well as reorganizing departmental responsibilities within the Executive 
Branch in order to streamline opportunities to increase efficiency.

vi. Revise Energy-Related Collections of Information Under the 
Paperwork Reduction Act

    The BOEM is reviewing four energy-related information collections, 
two of which are related to the Arctic Rule, and two of which collect 
information that is no longer needed.

C. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

    The BSEE ensures the safe and responsible exploration, development, 
and production of America's offshore energy resources through 
regulatory oversight and enforcement. The BSEE is focused on fostering 
secure and reliable energy production for America's future through a 
program of efficient permitting, appropriate regulations, compliance 
monitoring and enforcement, technical assessments, inspections, and 
incident investigations. As a steward of the Nation's OCS oil, gas, and 
mineral resources, the Bureau protects Federal royalty interests by 
ensuring that oil and gas production methods maximize recovery from 
underground reservoirs.
    The BSEE continues the efforts begun earlier this calendar year to 
review and seek stakeholder input on opportunities to reduce burden on 
the regulated community while maintaining necessary safety and 
environmental protections. Specifically, the BSEE is focusing its 
review on 2 final rules, published in 2016, regarding safety and 
environmental protection for oil and gas exploration, development and 
production activities on the OCS. The first is the Well Control and 
Blowout Preventer (BOP) Rule (81 FR 25888); the second is the Arctic 
Exploratory Drilling Rule (the Arctic Rule) (81 FR 46478), which was 
issued jointly by BSEE and BOEM. Both rules (as described below) 
revised older regulations and added some new requirements that 
potentially burden development of domestic offshore oil and gas 
production. The BSEE continues to identify specific issues in both 
final rules that, if revised or eliminated through a future rulemaking 
process, could alleviate those burdens without reducing the safety or 
environmental protections of the rules. The BSEE is beginning the 
process of drafting timelines and developing stakeholder engagement 
strategies for potential revision to both sets of regulations. These 
rules fit into the category of ``Other Actions that Potentially Burden 
Development or Use of Energy.'' The BSEE has also identified policies 
that should be re-examined. Those are:
     review decommissioning infrastructure removal requirements 
and timelines for infrastructure;
     clarify Civil Penalties Guidance; and
     review current policies associated with taking enforcement 
actions against contractors.
    The BSEE already completed publication of a final rule revising 
requirements of 30 CFR 250.180 to extend the period of time before a 
lease expires due to cessation of operations from 180 days to 1 year, 
thus allowing operators greater flexibility to plan exploration 
activities.\2\ The BSEE also improved its civil penalty program through 
the creation of a Civil Penalty Enforcement Specialist in each district 
in the Gulf of Mexico Region to serve as a liaison with District and 
Headquarters throughout a civil penalty case, providing clarity and 
consistency among civil penalty cases.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ See, ``Oil and Gas and Sulphur Operations in the Outer 
Continental Shelf--Lease Continuation Through Operations,'' 82 FR 
26741 (June 9, 2017).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The BSEE is also reviewing the Production Safety Systems Rule (30 
CFR part 250, subpart H), based on Department guidance received between 
April and May of 2017. If areas for revision are identified, the BSEE 
would tier it behind the Well Control Rule (WCR) and the Arctic Rule in 
terms of potential burden reduction.
    Below are the specific details of BSEE's review to identify 
additional regulations and policies that potentially burden development 
or use of energy.

i. Revise Well Control and BOP Rule (WCR)

    The WCR was issued on April 29, 2016, and consolidated new 
equipment and operational requirements for well control, including 
drilling, completion, workover, and decommissioning operations. The 
rule also incorporated or updated references to numerous industry 
standards and established new requirements reflecting advances in areas 
such as well design and control, casing and cementing, real-time 
monitoring (RTM), subsea containment of leaks and discharges, and 
blowout preventer requirements. In addition, the final rule adopted 
several reforms recommended by several bodies that investigated the 
Deepwater Horizon incident.
    The BSEE is considering several revisions to its regulations. Among 
those considerations is a rulemaking to revise the following aspects of 
the new well control regulations, including but not limited to:
     revising the requirements for sufficient accumulator 
capacity and remotely-operated vehicle (ROV) capability to both open 
and close reams on subsea BOPs (i.e., to only require capability to 
close the rams);
     revising the requirement to shut in platforms when a lift 
boat approaches within 500 feet;
     extending the 14-day interval between pressure testing of 
BOP systems to 21 days in some situations;
     clarifying that the requirement for weekly testing of two 
BOP control stations means testing one station (not both stations) per 
week;
     simplifying testing pressures for verification of ram 
closure; and
     revising or deleting the requirement to submit test 
results to BSEE District Managers within 72 hours.
    These changes are expected to strike the appropriate balance in 
order to maintain important safety and environmental protections while 
also ensuring development may continue.
    The BSEE initiated review of potential regulatory changes to this 
rule in July 2017. The interim step before issuing a proposed rule to 
revise existing regulations is to seek input on potential areas of 
reform from the stakeholders. The BSEE is in the process of determining 
the most effective way to engage stakeholders to provide meaningful and 
constructive input on regulatory reform efforts related to well 
control. As a result of stakeholder outreach, the above list of 
potential reforms may be increased.

[[Page 50542]]

ii. Revise Arctic Rule

    The Arctic Rule was published on July 15, 2016 (81 FR 46478), and 
revised existing regulations and added new prescriptive and 
performance-based requirements for exploratory drilling conducted from 
mobile drilling units and related operations on the OCS within the 
Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea Planning Areas (Arctic OCS). After 
conducting its review to eliminate burdens and increase economic 
opportunities, BSEE is considering a several revisions to the rule, 
including but not limited to:
     modifying requirement to capture water-based muds and 
cuttings;
     eliminating the requirement for a cap and flow system and 
containment dome that are capable of being located at the well site 
within 7 days of loss of well control;
     eliminating the reference to the expected return of sea 
ice from the requirement to be able to drill a relief well within 45 
days of loss of well control; and
     eliminating the reference to equivalent technology from 
the mudline cellar requirement.
    The BOEM has also identified an opportunity to reduce burden on 
operators. A joint rulemaking would likely be undertaken again.
    Among the potential benefits of the items listed above is the 
possibility of allowing greater flexibility for operators to continue 
drilling into hydrocarbon zones later into the Arctic drilling season. 
Current leasing strategies in the Arctic constrain future exploratory 
activities to which this rule would apply.
    Success will result in a reduction in burdens associated with 
exploration of the Nation's Arctic oil and gas reserves while also 
providing appropriate safety and environmental protection tailored to 
this unique environment.
    Prior to proposing a rulemaking to make the changes above, BSEE and 
BOEM plan to undertake stakeholder engagement activities. As a result 
of stakeholder engagement, the list of potential areas for proposed 
reform may change or grow. This process will enhance our ability to 
engage the public and stakeholders, as well as ensure our ability to 
engage in a robust consultation with tribes and Alaska Native Claims 
Settlement Act corporations. Stakeholder engagement will have the added 
benefit of allowing BSEE and BOEM to receive input on how the agencies 
calculate the primary lease term in order to provide a more tailored 
approach to the limited drilling windows in the Arctic.

iii. Decommissioning Infrastructure Removal Requirements

    The BSEE will re-examine the NTL 2010-G05, ``Decommissioning 
Guidance for Wells and Platforms,'' to determine whether additional 
flexibility should be provided to better account for facility and well 
numbers and size, as well as timing consideration that can arise in the 
case of financial distress or bankruptcy of companies. Any changes to 
the NTL will not have an impact on companies' underlying 
decommissioning obligations, but could provide more flexibility to 
allow for cash-flow management and ultimately increase assurance that 
decommissioning obligations can be fulfilled without government 
expense.

iv. Lease Continuation Through Operations

    This action was completed on June 9, 2017, when final rule 1014-
AA35, ``Oil and Gas and Sulphur Operations in the Outer Continental 
Shelf-Lease Continuation Through Operations,'' was published in the 
Federal Register (82 FR 26741). Section 121 of the Consolidated 
Appropriations Act of 2017 mandated that BSEE revise the requirements 
of 30 CFR 250.180 relating to maintaining a lease beyond its primary 
term through continuous operations. The final rule changed all of the 
references to the period of time before which a lease expires due to 
cessation of operations from ``180 days'' and ``180th day'' to a 
``year'' and from ``180-day period'' to a ``1-year period.'' The rule 
has become effective and is allowing operators greater flexibility to 
plan exploration activities.

v. Contractor Incidents of Noncompliance

    The BSEE currently has a policy that calls for issuing notices of 
noncompliance (INCs) to contractors as well as operators in certain 
instances. The BSEE will examine whether this policy is achieving the 
desired deterrence value or whether an alternative compliance incentive 
should be considered and the policy revised. There are currently 
several ongoing court actions that could result in adjustments to this 
policy. The BSEE will consider all of this information while examining 
the policy.

vi. Civil Penalties

    Since 2013, the BSEE civil penalty program has continued to improve 
its processes and programs. For example, in 2016, each of the Districts 
in the Gulf of Mexico Region (GOMR) created the position of Civil 
Penalty Enforcement Specialist to assist with the review of all INCs to 
determine which INCs are appropriate for civil penalty assessment, and 
to act as a liaison with the District and Headquarters (HQ) throughout 
a civil penalty case. This effort has greatly assisted in proving 
clarity and consistency to the development of civil penalty cases.

vii. Energy-Related Information Collections under the Paperwork 
Reduction Act

    The BSEE has approximately 25 information collections associated 
with our regulations and guidance that must be renewed every 3 years on 
a rolling basis. The renewal process involves an analysis of whether 
each information collection continues to be necessary and if whether it 
requires modification. Through this process, BSEE continuously reviews 
our forms and the information we collect and reduces the collection 
burden wherever appropriate. Additionally, there may be further burden 
reduction associated with potential revisions to the Well Control and 
Arctic rules once final determinations have been made with respect to 
specific action on those regulations.

D. Office of Natural Resources Revenue

    The ONRR is responsible for ensuring revenue from Federal and 
Indian mineral leases is effectively, efficiently, and accurately 
collected, accounted for, analyzed, audited, and disbursed to 
recipients. The ONRR collects an average of over $10 billion annual 
revenue from onshore and offshore energy production, one of the Federal 
government's largest sources of non-tax revenue.

i. Royalty Policy Committee

    In an effort to ensure the public continues to receive the full 
value of natural resources produced on Federal lands, Secretary Zinke 
signed a charter establishing a Royalty Policy Committee (RPC) to 
provide regular advice to the Secretary on the fair market value of and 
collection of revenues from Federal and Indian mineral and energy 
leases, including renewable energy sources. The RPC may also advise on 
the potential impacts of proposed policies and regulations related to 
revenue collection from such development, including whether a need 
exists for regulatory reform. The group consists of 28 local, tribal, 
state, and other stakeholders and will serve in an advisory nature. The 
Secretary's Counselor to the Secretary for Energy Policy chairs the 
RPC. The first meeting will be held on October 4, 2017.

[[Page 50543]]

ii. 2017 Valuation Rule

    On April 4, 2017, ONRR published a proposed rule that would rescind 
the 2017 Valuation Rule. The ONRR, after considering public feedback, 
recognized that implementing the 2017 Valuation Rule would be contrary 
to the rule's stated purpose of offering greater simplicity, certainty, 
clarity, and consistency in product valuation. The ONRR determined that 
the 2017 Valuation Rule unnecessarily burdened the development of 
Federal and Indian coal beyond what was necessary to protect the public 
interest or otherwise comply with the law. ONRR therefore repealed the 
rule in its entirety and reinstated the valuation regulations in effect 
prior that rule. (82 FR 36934, August 7, 2017).

E. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement

    The OSMRE ensures, through a nationwide regulatory program, that 
coal mining is conducted in a manner that protects communities and the 
environment during mining, restores the land to beneficial use 
following mining, and mitigates the effects of past mining by 
aggressively pursuing reclamation of abandoned mine lands. The OSMRE's 
statutory role is to promote and assist its partner states and tribes 
in establishing a stable regulatory environment for coal mining. The 
proposed level of regulatory grant funding provides for the efficient 
and effective operations of programs at a level consistent with the 
anticipated obligations of State and tribal regulatory programs to 
account for the Nation's demand for coal mine permitting and 
production.
    On February 16, 2017, President Trump signed a resolution under the 
Congressional Review Act to annul the Stream Protection Rule (SPR) (81 
FR 93066, December 20, 2016). This rule imposed substantial burdens on 
the coal industry and threatened jobs in communities dependent on coal. 
As described below, OSMRE has drafted a Federal Register document to 
conform the Code of Federal Regulations to the legislation and return 
the regulations to their previous status and anticipates publication on 
or about September 30, 2017. In the interim, OSMRE has ensured that the 
SPR is not being implemented in any way and that regulation is 
occurring under the pre-existing regulatory system.
    The OSMRE is reviewing additional actions to reduce burdens on coal 
development, including, for example, reviewing the state program 
amendment process to reduce the time it takes to formally amend an 
approved Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) regulatory 
program.
    In compiling the following list of actions for review, OSMRE 
considered direct and indirect impacts to the coal industry, as well as 
impacts to the states with primary responsibility for regulating coal 
mining activities, pursuant to the SMCRA.

Recommendations for Alleviating or Eliminating Burdensome Actions

i. Disapproval of the Stream Protection Rule

    The SPR was published on December 20, 2016, and became effective on 
January 19, 2017. In accordance with the Congressional Review Act, 
Congress passed, and the President signed, a resolution of disapproval 
of the SPR on February 16, 2017, as Public Law 115-5. No provisions of 
the SPR have been enforced since passage of the resolution. In 
addition, OSMRE will formally document the CRA nullification of the SPR 
by publishing in the Federal Register a document that replaces the SPR 
text with the regulations that were in place prior to January 19, 2017. 
This will result in the removal of any amendments, deletions, or other 
modifications associated with the nullified rule, and the reversion to 
the text of all regulations in effect immediately prior to the 
effective date of the SPR.
    The OSMRE estimates the elimination of this rule will save industry 
approximately $82 million annually, and will reduce the amount of time 
states and OSMRE are expending in the processing of permit applications 
and monitoring performance during the life of the operation.

Interior has identified the CRA nullification and subsequent action by 
OSMRE to conform the CFR to the Congressional action as a deregulatory 
action under EO 13771.

ii. Work with Interstate Mining Compact Commission (IMCC) to Revisit 
and Revise Ten-Day Notices and Independent Inspections--Directives INE-
24, INE-35, REG-8

    Under revisions to OSMRE Directive REG-8, which establishes 
policies, procedures and responsibilities for conducting oversight of 
state and tribal regulatory programs, OSMRE conducts 10 percent of all 
routine oversight inspections with 24 hours' notice to the state 
regulatory authority. If the state inspector is unavailable to 
accompany the OSMRE inspector, OSMRE will conduct the inspection alone. 
These and other oversight inspections sometimes result in the issuance 
of Ten-Day Notices (TDNs) to the state regulatory authority under 
Inspection and Enforcement (INE)-35. In addition, INE-24, issued on May 
26, 1987, requires OSMRE to issue a TDN to state regulatory authorities 
upon receipt of a citizen's complaint.
    Between 2011 and 2016, 882 TDNs were issued to state regulatory 
programs. On an annual basis, the majority (39 or 74 percent) of those 
resulted from citizen's complaints. In addition, an evaluation of data 
during 2013 found that the number of TDNs issued when the state 
inspector does not participate was determined to be 6.4 percent of the 
total oversight inspections, versus 1.5 percent when the state 
inspector accompanied the OSMRE inspector. State regulatory 
authorities, particularly in the Appalachian Region, have expressed 
concern that the number of hours required to prepare TDN responses can 
be significant.
    In an effort to address these concerns, a joint OSMRE and State/
Tribal Work Group assessed various topics, including the use of TDNs 
and independent inspections. In a report issued on July 30, 2014, the 
Work Group made six specific recommendations for the TDN process and 
four recommendations regarding the independent inspection process. 
Interstate Mining Compact Commission (IMCC) member states have 
requested OSMRE revisit these recommendations, and others, in an effort 
to implement the recommendations. In addition, OSMRE will revisit and 
revise, as needed, the specific policy directives governing the use of 
TDNs and independent inspections in cooperation with the IMCC to reduce 
the amount of time states and OSMRE are expending to process TDNs.
    The review will commence this calendar year, following specific 
timelines and benchmarks to be established jointly with IMCC.

iii. Work with IMCC to Revise or Rescind OSMRE Memorandum and Directive 
INE-35--TDNs and Permit Defects

    On November 15, 2010, the OSMRE Director issued a memorandum 
directing OSMRE staff to apply the TDN process and Federal enforcement 
to permitting issues under approved regulatory programs. In support of 
this memorandum, on January 31, 2011, the Director reissued Directive 
INE-35, regarding policy and procedures for the issuance of TDNs. This 
directive requires the issuance of a TDN whenever a permit issued by 
the state regulatory authority (RA) contains a ``permit defect,'' which 
the directive

[[Page 50544]]

defines as meaning ``a type of violation consisting of any procedural 
or substantive deficiency in a permit-related action taken by the RA 
(including permit issuance, permit revision, permit renewal, or 
transfer, assignment, or sale of permit rights).'' The directive 
further states that OSMRE will not review pending permitting decisions 
and will not issue a TDN for an alleged violation involving a possible 
permit defect where the RA has not taken the relevant permitting action 
(e.g., permit issuance, permit revision, permit renewal, or transfer, 
assignment, or sale of permit rights).
    Since the issuance of this policy and associated directive, 
concerns have been raised by some states and industry stakeholders 
regarding the potential impact on mining operations where the RA has 
issued a permit, revision, or renewal, and the operator has commenced 
activities based upon RA approval. The OSMRE in cooperation with the 
IMCC will revisit the policy and directive and revise or rescind, as 
appropriate to provide more certainty to the industry in the state RA 
permitting process.
    The review will commence this calendar year; specific timelines and 
benchmarks will be established jointly with IMCC.

iv. Revise Processing State Program Amendments--Directive STP-1

    Directive STP-1, issued in October 2008, establishes policy and 
procedures for review and processing of amendments to state regulatory 
programs. Most changes in state law or regulations that impact an 
approved SMCRA regulatory program require submission of a formal 
program amendment to OSMRE for approval. Such changes to primacy 
programs cannot be implemented until a final amendment is approved by 
OSMRE. In addition, written concurrence must be received from the 
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency with respect to 
those aspects of a state/tribal program amendment which relates to air 
or water quality standards promulgated under the authority of the Clean 
Air Act or the Clean Water Act prior to OSMRE approval. In accordance 
with 30 CFR 732.17(h)(13), OSMRE must complete a final action on 
program amendments within 7 months of receipt. Often, due to the 
complexities of the process and other issues, including influences 
outside of OSMRE, it is difficult for OSMRE to meet the required 
processing times.
    The result is that state regulatory authorities are occasionally 
unable to move forward in a timely manner with needed program 
amendments.
    Based upon the results of an internal control review (ICR) and work 
with the state/tribal work group, OSMRE is developing new training 
guides and opportunities for states and revising Directive STP-1 to 
improve the state program amendment process. The OSMRE will also review 
the process with the Office of the Solicitor to evaluate opportunities 
for process improvement. In addition, the recent approval by OMB of the 
information collection requirements of 30 CFR part 732 was conditioned 
upon OSMRE developing new guidance and supporting documents for states 
to use when preparing amendments to approved programs. The OSMRE 
intends for these actions to reduce its processing time for state 
program amendments.
    The revision of Directive STP-1 and development of training guides 
is anticipated to be completed this calendar year. OSMRE will track 
processing times once the revised directive and training have been 
implemented, and compare results to previous years. The OMB approval of 
new guidance for Part 732 is required by July 31, 2020.

v. Revise or Rescind OSMRE Policy Advisory and Proposed Rulemaking: 
Self-Bonding

    On August 5, 2016, the OSMRE Director issued a policy advisory on 
self-bonding. The advisory was in direct response to three of the 
largest coal mine operators in the nation filing for Chapter 11 
protection under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code between 2015 and 2016. Those 
companies held approximately $2.5 billion of unsecured or non-
collateralized self-bonds that various states with federally-approved 
SMCRA regulatory programs previously accepted to guarantee reclamation 
of land disturbed by coal mining. The advisory stated that ``the 
bankruptcy filings confirm the existence of significant issues about 
the future financial abilities of coal companies and how they will meet 
future reclamation obligations.'' While recognizing the action of 
certain state programs to address self-bonding issues, the advisory 
went on to say that ``each regulatory authority should exercise its 
discretion and not accept new or additional self-bonds for any permit 
until coal production and consumption market conditions reach 
equilibrium, events which are not likely to occur until at least 
2021.'' Since the issuance of this advisory, all three companies of 
concern have completed their plans for Chapter 11 reorganization, and 
either have or are expected to replace all self-bonds with other forms 
of financial guarantees.
    In addition to the issuance of the policy advisory on self-bonding, 
OSMRE accepted a petition for rulemaking submitted March 3, 2016, by 
WildEarth Guardians. The petition requested that OSMRE revise its self-
bonding regulations to ensure that companies with a history of 
insolvency, and their subsidiary companies, not be allowed to self-bond 
coal mining operations.
    Limiting the use of self-bonds, as indicated in the policy advisory 
or potentially through a rulemaking, could impact a company's ability 
to continue mining. In addition, there will likely be an increased 
demand and potential negative impact on the availability of third party 
surety bonding.
    On January 17, 2017, the GAO announced that it will conduct an 
audit of financial assurances for reclaiming coal mines (Job Code 
101326) that will focus on the role of OSMRE in implementing and 
overseeing the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act's 
requirements related to financial assurances.
    In view of the current status of the self-bonding bankruptcies and 
recent executive orders concerning rulemakings, OSMRE will reconsider 
the scope of the policy advisory and revise or rescind, as appropriate. 
In addition, OSMRE will revisit the need for and scope of any potential 
rulemaking in response to the previously accepted petition. 
Furthermore, OSMRE will carefully consider the report and 
recommendations of the pending GAO audit of financial assurances 
currently underway. The OSMRE will solicit public input prior to 
finalizing any decision on the need for further rulemaking.
    The OSMRE will continue to monitor the status of self-bonding 
issues in state programs in cooperation with the IMCC and other 
stakeholders (sureties, industry, and environmental groups).

vi. Revise or Rescind OSMRE Enforcement Memorandum--Relationship 
between the Clean Water Act (CWA) and SMCRA

    On July 27, 2016, the OSMRE Director issued a policy memo to staff 
providing direction on the enforcement of the existing regulations 
related to violations of the CWA caused by SMCRA-permitted operations 
and related issues, such as responses to self-reported violations of 
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)

[[Page 50545]]

limits and OSMRE responses to Notices of Intent (NOI) to sue alleging 
CWA violations at SMCRA-permitted operations. The policy memo 
specifically required an NOI to be processed as a citizen complaint, 
which requires OSMRE to issue a TDN to the state RA upon receipt of the 
NOI. In addition, the memo stated that a violation of water quality 
standards is also a violation of SMCRA regulations.
    State regulatory authorities, as well as industry, have raised 
issues with this guidance document expressing concern with overlap and 
potential conflicts between section 702(a)(3) \3\ of SMCRA and the CWA. 
In addition, state RAs have raised concerns about new TDNs and related 
enforcement actions that have been issued in response to this policy 
guidance. The relationship between the CWA and SMCRA and the role of 
the state RAs in ensuring compliance in accordance with their approved 
SMCRA regulatory programs have been longstanding issues. Resolution 
will bring certainty to the state regulatory programs as well as for 
the industry.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ Nothing in this Act shall be construed as superseding, 
amending, modifying, or repealing the Mining and Minerals Policy Act 
of 1970 (30 U.S.C. 21a), the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-47), or any of the following Acts or with any 
rule or regulation promulgated thereunder, including, but not 
limited to--(3) The Federal Water Pollution Control Act (79 Stat. 
903), as amended (33 U.S.C. 1151-1175), the State laws enacted 
pursuant thereto, or other Federal laws relating to preservation of 
water quality.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The OSMRE will revisit the policy issues and concerns in 
cooperation with the IMCC and will revise or rescind the memorandum, as 
appropriate. Review of the policy with IMCC member states will commence 
this calendar year; the revised or rescinded policy should be complete 
by the end of this calendar year. The OSMRE will consider seeking 
public input prior to finalizing the policy.

vii. Revise Policy on Reclamation Fee for Coal Mine Waste (Uram Memo) 
and Propose Rule for Additional Incentives

    On July 22, 1994, then-Director Robert Uram issued a memorandum 
outlining the conditions under which OSMRE would waive the assessment 
of reclamation fees on the removal of refuse or coal waste material for 
use as a waste fuel in a cogeneration facility. Recently, the 
Pennsylvania regulatory authority (PADEP) requested that OSMRE update 
this policy as outlined below to incentivize reclamation efforts on 
sites with coal refuse reprocessing activities.
    The PADEP believes that the reclamation fees deter operators from 
reclamation efforts on sites with coal refuse reprocessing activities. 
Coal refuse sites located within the Anthracite Coal Region are unable 
or have ceased the removal of coal refuse to be used as waste fuel at 
co-generation facilities. This is partly or totally due to the 
assessment of reclamation fees on coal refuse used as waste fuel. In 
addition, PADEP recommended that OSMRE consider waste derived from 
filter presses at existing coal preparation plants to be a ``no value'' 
\4\ product, which would encourage its use as a waste fuel rather than 
requiring it to be disposed in a coal refuse pile.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ No value determinations are based upon the criteria 
established in the 1994 Uram Memorandum.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The OSMRE will revisit the 1994 Uram Memo, with the goal of 
providing an incentive for use of coal refuse as a coal waste fuel. In 
addition, OSMRE will revisit the remining incentives provided by the 
2006 amendments to SMCRA at section 415, some of which apply 
specifically to removal or reprocessing of abandoned coal mine waste. 
Additional incentives pursuant to Section 415 will require promulgation 
of rules, and, therefore, input from the public will be solicited.
    Providing additional incentives to industry to promote remining of 
coal refuse and other abandoned mine sites will provide for additional 
reclamation of abandoned mines that would not otherwise be accomplished 
through the Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) program. Specific benchmarks for 
measuring success, such as acres of additional reclamation performed, 
will be developed consistent with the implementation of the incentives.

viii. Energy-Related Information Collections under the Paperwork 
Reduction Act

    The OSMRE reviewed the current industry costs associated with the 
Paperwork Reduction Act and did not find any information collections 
that ``potentially burden \5\ the development or utilization of 
domestically produced energy resources'' in accordance EO13783. It 
should be noted that there will be no industry costs associated with 
information collection based on the Stream Protection Rule, due to the 
Congressional Review Act nullification of that final rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ Burden ``means to unnecessarily obstruct, delay, curtail, or 
otherwise impose significant costs on the siting, permitting, 
production, utilization, transmission, or delivery of energy 
resources'' (Presidential Executive Order 13783, Promoting Energy 
Independence and Economic Growth, March 28, 2017).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

F. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

    The FWS is reviewing its final rule, ``Management of Non-Federal 
Oil and Gas Rights,'' 81 FR 79948 (Nov. 14, 2016) to determine whether 
revision would be appropriate to reduce burden on energy.
    Additionally, below is a list of burdens and opportunities to 
fulfill the intent of the Executive Order:

i. Streamline Rights-of-way (ROW) for pipelines and electricity 
transmission

    The approval process for new ROW access can be overly restrictive 
and excessively lengthy. The National Wildlife Refuge System 
Administration Act, as amended, requires all uses, including rights-of-
way, of National Wildlife Refuges to be compatible with the mission of 
the System. The FWS will work with stakeholders in a more timely 
fashion to determine if proposed ROW uses are compatible. Additionally, 
FWS will revise its ROW regulation to streamline the current ROW 
granting process to significantly decrease the time to obtain ROW 
approval from the current 3-12 month time frame.

ii. Review Incidental Take Regulations for oil and gas activities in 
the Southern Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea, under the Marine Mammal 
Protection Act (MMPA)

    The MMPA prohibits take (i.e., harass, hunt, capture, or kill) of 
marine mammals (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) unless authorized by the 
Secretary. Existing measures in the MMPA incidental take regulations 
require: 1) maintaining a minimum spacing of 15 miles between all 
active seismic source vessels and/or drill rigs during exploration 
activities in the Chukchi Sea; 2) no more than two simultaneous seismic 
operations and three offshore exploratory drilling operations 
authorized in the Chukchi Sea region at any time; 3) time restrictions 
for transit through the Chukchi Sea; 4) time and vessel restrictions in 
the Hanna Shoal Walrus Use Area; 5) location of polar bear dens and 1-
mile buffer; 6) maximum distance around Pacific walruses and polar 
bears on ice and groups of Pacific walruses in water; 7) sound 
producing mitigation zones & shut-down/ramp up procedures; 8) marine 
mammal observers and monitoring requirements; and 9) excessive 
reporting requirements.
    The FWS has the opportunity to review the Chukchi Sea incidental 
take regulation which expires in 2018, and the regulation for the 
southern Beaufort Sea expires in 2021. They may either be allowed to 
expire or be revised and reissued.

[[Page 50546]]

iii. Modernize Guidance and regulations governing interagency 
consultation pursuant to Section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act

    Section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act requires Federal 
agencies, in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior or the 
Secretary of Commerce (delegated to the Fish and Wildlife Service and 
the National Marine Fisheries Service, respectively), to ensure that 
any action authorized, funded or carried out by the agency is not 
likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or 
threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification 
of designated critical habitat. However, the time and expense 
associated with satisfying the interagency consultation requirements 
are unnecessarily burdensome.
    The FWS has discretion to create efficiencies and streamlining in 
the consultation process through targeted revision to regulations and/
or guidance and is reviewing opportunities for further process 
improvements.

iv. Build Upon the Efforts of the Western Governors' Association and 
Others to Improve the Application of the Endangered Species Act, Reduce 
Unnecessary Burdens on the Energy Industry, and Facilitate Conservation 
Stewardship

    A number of groups, most prominently the Western Governors' 
Association, have worked to evaluate and develop recommendations to 
improve the application of the ESA. For example, the Western Governors' 
Association developed the Western Governors' Species Conservation and 
Endangered Species Act Initiative (Initiative), which conducts broad-
based stakeholder discussions focused on issues such as identifying 
means of incentivizing voluntary conservation, elevating the role of 
states in species conservation, and improving the efficacy of the ESA. 
Interior intends to build on these efforts to improve the application 
of the ESA in a manner that ensures conservation stewardship, while 
reducing unneeded burdens on the public, including the energy industry.

v. Re-Evaluate Whether the MBTA Imposes Incidental Take Liability and 
Clarify Regulatory Authorities.

    Federal Courts of Appeals have split on whether the Migratory Bird 
Treaty Act (MBTA) imposes criminal liability on companies and 
individuals for the inadvertent death of migratory birds resulting from 
industrial activities. Three circuits--the fifth, eighth, and ninth--
have held that it does not, limiting taking liability to deliberate 
acts done directly and intentionally to migratory birds. Two circuits--
the second and tenth--have held that it does. On January 10, 2017, the 
Office of the Solicitor issued an opinion regarding the issue, which 
was subsequently suspended pending further review of the opinion and 
the underlying regulations and decisions. This review is currently 
ongoing, and may serve as the basis for the development of new internal 
guidance or regulations that provide clarity to this longstanding 
issue.

vi. Evaluate the Merits of a General Permit for Incidental Take Under 
the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act

    The FWS intends to evaluate the merits of a general permit for 
incidental take under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Action Act 
(BGEPA). When the bald eagle was delisted under the ESA, FWS issued a 
rule establishing a permit program for incidental take under BGEPA. On 
December 16, 2016, FWS adopted a final rule intended to address some of 
industry's concerns regarding the BGEPA incidental take permit process 
(81 FR 91494). One measure strongly supported by industry, a general 
permit for activities that constitute a low risk of taking eagles, was 
not considered as part of this rulemaking process, though FWS did 
accept comments on the subject for consideration in a future 
rulemaking. The FWS is reviewing these comments to determine whether 
additional regulatory changes would be appropriate to reduce the burden 
on industry.

G. Bureau of Reclamation

    The BOR is the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in 
the United States, operating 53 hydroelectric power facilities, 
comprising 14,730 megawatts of capacity. Each year, BOR generates over 
40 million megawatt-hours of electricity (the equivalent demand of 
approximately 3.5 million US homes),\6\ producing over one billion 
dollars in Federal revenue. In addition to our authorities to develop, 
operate, and maintain Federal hydropower facilities, BOR is also 
authorized to permit the use of our non-powered assets to non-Federal 
entities for the purposes of hydropower development via a lease of 
power privilege (LOPP).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ See, https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=97&t=3
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The BOR is committed to facilitating the development of non-Federal 
hydropower at our existing Federal assets. Acting on this commitment, 
BOR has undertaken a number of activities, including:

i. Completion of two publically available resource assessments.

    Assessments identify technical hydropower potential at existing BOR 
facilities, irrespective of financial viability.

ii. Collaboration with stakeholder groups to improve the LOPP process 
and LOPP Directive and Standard (D&S) policy guidance document.

    A BOR LOPP is a contractual right given to a non-Federal entity to 
use a BOR asset (e.g. dam or conduit) for electric power generation 
consistent with BOR project purposes.
    The BOR has conducted LOPP outreach with stakeholder groups and 
hydropower industry associations; and made resources and staff 
available via a LOPP website: https://www.usbr.gov/power/LOPP/index.html. The BOR has also partnered with sister agencies (United 
States Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Energy) under the 
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Hydropower to, in part, encourage 
and streamline non-Federal development on Federal infrastructure.
    Through these activities, BOR has made resources available to 
developers and peeled back the barriers that may burden non-Federal 
hydropower development--while continuing to protect the Federal assets 
that our customers, operating partners, and stakeholders have depended 
on for over a century. The response BOR has received from these groups 
(including the development community) in this effort has been 
overwhelmingly positive. LOPP projects provide a source of reliable, 
domestic, and sustainable generation--that supports rural economies and 
the underlying Federal water resource project.

H. Bureau of Indian Affairs

    The BIA provides services to nearly 2 million American Indians and 
Alaska Natives in 567 federally recognized tribes in the 48 contiguous 
States and Alaska. The BIA's natural resource programs assist tribes in 
the management, development, and protection of Indian trust land and 
natural resources on 56 million surface acres and 59 million subsurface 
mineral estates. These programs enable tribal trust landowners to 
optimize sustainable stewardship and use of resources, providing 
benefits such as

[[Page 50547]]

revenue, jobs and the protection of cultural, spiritual, and 
traditional resources. Income from energy production is the largest 
source of revenue generated from trust lands, with royalty income of 
$534 million in 2016.

Indian Energy Actions

i. Clarify ``Inherently Federal Functions for Tribal Energy Resource 
Agreements (TERAs)

    Tribal Energy Resource Agreements (TERAs) are authorized under 
Title V of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. A TERA is a means by which a 
tribe could be authorized to review, approve, and manage business 
agreements, leases, and rights-of-way pertaining to energy development 
on Indian trust lands, absent approval of each individual transaction 
by the Secretary. Interior promulgated TERA regulations in 2008 at 25 
CFR part 224. The TERAs offer the opportunity to promote development of 
domestically produced energy resources on Indian land; however, 12 
years after the passage of the Act and 9 years after the issuance of 
TERA regulations, not one tribe has sought Interior's approval for a 
TERA. One theory asserted by at least one tribe as to the failure of 
this legislation is the Act does not address precisely how much Federal 
oversight would disappear for tribes operating under TERAs. 
Specifically, Interior had not defined the term ``inherently Federal 
functions'' that Interior will retain following approval of a TERA. 
This term appears in Interior's regulations at 25 CFR 224.52(c) and 
224.53(e)(2), but not in the Act. Without some assurance as to the 
benefits (in terms of less Federal oversight) a tribe would receive 
through clarification of ``inherently Federal functions,'' tribes have 
no incentive to undergo the intensive process of applying for a TERA. 
Clarification of this phrase would also address Recommendation 5 of 
GAO-15-502, Indian Energy Development: Poor Management by BIA Has 
Hindered Energy Development on Indian Lands (June 2015). The 
recommendation directed Interior to ``provide additional energy 
development-specific guidance on provisions of TERA regulations that 
tribes have identified to Interior as unclear.''
    The BIA has been working closely with the Office of the Solicitor 
to develop guidance on how Interior will interpret the term 
``inherently Federal functions.'' It is expected that by providing this 
certainty as to the scope of Federal oversight, tribes will better be 
able to justify the process of applying for a TERA. The BIA expects to 
have the guidance finalized and available on its website by October 
2017.
    The BIA anticipates that the benefits of this action will be to 
promote the use of TERAs, which will both save tribes the time and 
resources necessary to seek and obtain Interior approval of each 
transaction related to energy development on Indian land, and will help 
ease Interior's workload by eliminating the need for Departmental 
review of each individual transaction.
    The reduction in burden will be measured by the number of tribes 
that choose to obtain TERAs. Once each tribe obtains a TERA, Interior 
will work with the tribe to estimate savings in terms of time and 
resources.

I. Integrated Activity Plan for Oil & Gas in the National Petroleum 
Reserve--Alaska

    Noting that the National Petroleum Reserve--Alaska (NPR-A) is the 
largest block of federally managed land in the United States and offers 
economically recoverable oil and natural gas, the Secretary issued an 
order focusing on management of this area in a manner that 
appropriately balances promoting development and protecting surface 
resources. See Secretarial Order 3352, ``National Petroleum Reserve--
Alaska'' (May 31, 2017). Currently, 11 million acres (or 48 percent) of 
the total 22.8 million acres in the NPR-A are closed to leasing under 
the current Integrated Activity Plan (IAP). The Secretarial Order 
requires review and revision of the IAP for management of the area and, 
within the existing plan, maximizing the tracts offered during the next 
lease sale.

J. Mitigation

    Implemented properly, mitigation can be a beneficial tool for 
advancing the Administration's goals of American energy independence 
and security, while ensuring public resources are managed for the 
benefit and enjoyment of the public.
    Interior seeks to establish consistent, effective and transparent 
mitigation principles and standards across all its Agencies. Interior 
and its bureaus and offices intends to develop consistent terminology, 
reduce redundancies, and simplify frameworks so that the Federal 
mitigation programs and stepped down programs are more predictable and 
consistent. Some mitigation is facilitated by goodwill and some is 
through our regulatory paradigm.

BLM

i. Review and Revise Mitigation Manual Section (MS-1794) and Handbook 
(H-1794-1) Related to Mitigation, Which Provide Direction on the Use of 
Mitigation, Including Compensatory Mitigation, To Support the BLM's 
Multiple-Use and Sustained-Yield Mandates.

    The Mitigation Manual Section and Handbook provide direction on the 
use of mitigation, including compensatory mitigation, to support BLM's 
multiple use and sustained yield mandates. The BLM is reviewing whether 
the 2016 Manual and Handbook replaced several IMs (IM Numbers 2005-069, 
2008-204, and 2013-142) issued by BLM for the same purpose.
    The BLM is considering revisions to the Manual and Handbook to 
provide greater predictability (internally and externally), ease 
conflicts, and may reduce permitting/authorizations times.
    Measuring success would be largely quantitative. The BLM would 
continue to track impacts from land use authorizations and would also 
track the type and amount of compensatory mitigation implemented and 
its effectiveness, preferably in a centralized database.
    The BLM is drafting an IM that provides interim direction regarding 
new and ongoing mitigation practices while the Manual and Handbook are 
being reviewed and revised. Use of the existing Manual and Handbook 
would continue, as modified and limited by this IM, until they are 
superseded.

ii. Review of Manual 6220--National Monuments, National Conservation 
Areas, and Similar Designations (07/13/2012) To Assure That It Conforms 
to BLM's Revised Mitigation Guidance.

    Manual 6220 provides guidance for managing BLM National 
Conservation Lands designated by Congress or the President as National 
Monuments, National Conservation Areas, and similar designations (NM/
NCA) in order to comply with the designating Acts of Congress and 
Presidential Proclamations, FLPMA, and the Omnibus Public Land 
Management Act of 2009 (16 U.S.C. 7202). Manual 6220 requires that when 
processing a new ROW application, BLM will determine, to the greatest 
extent possible, through the NEPA process, the consistency of the ROW 
with the Monument or NCA's objects and values; consider routing or 
siting the ROW outside of the Monument or NCA; and consider mitigation 
of the impacts from the ROW. Land use plans must identify management 
actions, allowable uses,

[[Page 50548]]

restrictions, management actions regarding any valid existing rights, 
and mitigation measures to ensure that the objects and values are 
protected. The manual requires that a land use plan for a Monument or 
NCA should consider closing the area to mineral leasing, mineral 
material sales, and vegetative sales, subject to valid existing rights, 
where that component's designating authority does not already do so.
    A review of Manual 6220 to identify where clarity could be provided 
for mitigation, notification standards, and compatible uses, may 
potentially reduce or eliminate burdens. The BLM will review Manual 
6220 following the proposed revisions to BLM Mitigation Manual Section 
(MS-1794) and Handbook (H-1794-1) to ensure that Manual 6220 conforms 
to the BLM's revised mitigation guidance.
    Addressing any potential issues, along with providing consistency 
with BLM Mitigation Manual is expected to provide greater 
predictability (internally and externally), reduce conflicts, and may 
reduce permitting/authorizations times.
    Success will be measured in BLM meeting legal obligations under the 
designating Act or Proclamation for each unit and the allowance of 
compatible multiple uses, consistent with applicable provisions in the 
designating Act or Proclamation.

iii. Other Reviews of BLM Manual Provisions

    Secretarial Order 3349 also revoked a prior order regarding 
mitigation and directed bureaus to examine all existing policies and 
other documents related to mitigation and climate change. (See 
Secretarial Order 3330 ``Improving Mitigation Policies and Practices of 
the Department of the Interior.'') Actions Interior is taking to 
implement this direction include:

 BLM Manual 6400--Wild and Scenic Rivers, Policy and Program 
Direction for Identification, Evaluation, Planning, and Management (07/
13/2012)

    Manual 6400 provides guidance for managing eligible and suitable 
wild and scenic rivers and designated wild and scenic rivers in order 
to fulfill requirements found in the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (WSRA). 
Subject to valid existing rights, the Manual states that minerals in 
any Federal lands that constitute the bed or bank or are situated 
within \1/4\ mile of the bank of any river listed under section 5(a) 
are withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the mining laws, 
for the time periods specified in section 7(b) of the WSRA. The Manual 
allows new leases, licenses, and permits under mineral leasing laws be 
made, but requires that consideration be given to applying conditions 
necessary to protect the values of the river corridor. For wild river 
segments, the Manual requires that new contracts for the disposal of 
saleable mineral material, or the extension or renewal of existing 
contracts, should be avoided to the greatest extent possible to protect 
river values.
    Manual 6400 will be reviewed following the proposed revisions to 
BLM Mitigation Manual Section and Handbook to ensure that it conforms 
to BLM revised mitigation guidance. Although the requirements for 
minerals and mineral withdrawals are legally mandated under the mining 
and mineral leasing laws in sections 9(a) and 15(2) of the WSRA, Manual 
6400 will be reviewed for opportunities to clarify discretionary 
decision-space.
    Ensuring consistency with the BLM Mitigation Manual will foster 
greater predictability (internally and externally), reduce conflicts, 
and may reduce permitting/authorizations times.
    Success will be measured in terms of complying with the WSRA and 
identifying and allowing compatible multiple uses.

 BLM Manual 6280--Management of National Scenic and Historic 
Trails and Trails under Study or Recommended as Suitable for 
Congressional Designation (09/14/2012)

    Manual 6280 provides guidance for managing trails under study, 
trails recommended as suitable, and congressionally designated National 
Scenic and Historic Trails to fulfill the requirements of the National 
Trails System Act (NTSA) and the Federal Land Policy and Management 
Act. Manual 6280 identifies mitigation as one way to address 
substantial interference with the natural and purposes for which a 
National Trail is designated.
    Manual 6280 will be reviewed following the proposed revisions to 
the BLM Mitigation Manual Section and Handbook to ensure it conforms to 
the BLM revised mitigation guidance. Although many of the requirements 
are legally mandated under the National Trails System Act, Manual 6280 
will be reviewed for opportunities to clarify any discretionary 
decision-space to reduce or eliminate burdens.
    Addressing any potential issues, along with providing consistency 
with the BLM Mitigation Manual is expected to provide greater 
predictability (internally and externally), reduce conflicts, and may 
reduce permitting/authorizations time.
    Success will be measured in terms of complying with the NTSA and 
identifying and allowing compatible multiple uses.

FWS

iv. Compensatory Mitigation for Impacts to Migratory Bird Habitat

    The FWS has the authority to recommend, but not require, mitigation 
for impacts to migratory bird habitat under several Federal 
authorities. Pursuant to a Memoranda of Understanding with the Federal 
Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), implementing EO13186 (January 10, 
2001), FWS evaluates the impacts of FERC-licensed interstate pipelines 
to migratory bird habitat.
    The FWS is developing Service-wide guidance to ensure the bureau is 
consistent, fair and objective, appropriately characterizes the 
voluntary nature of compensatory mitigation for impacts to migratory 
bird habitat, and demonstrates a reasonable nexus between anticipated 
impacts and recommended mitigation. The FWS anticipates it will take 3 
months to finalize the guidance.
    Guidance will result in timely and practicable licensing decisions, 
while providing for the conservation of migratory Birds of Conservation 
Concern.
    Success will be measured by timely issuance of licenses that 
contain appropriate recommendations that do not impose burdensome costs 
to developers.
    The FWS Regional and Field Offices will provide informal guidance 
through email and regularly scheduled conference calls to educate and 
remind staff of policy.

v. Mitigation Actions--Regulations and Policy Governing Candidate 
Conservation Agreements with Assurances (CCAAs)

    The CCAAs are developed to encourage voluntary conservation efforts 
to benefit species that are candidates for listing by providing the 
regulatory assurance that take associated with implementing an approved 
candidate conservation agreement will be permitted under section 
10(a)(1)(A) for the Endangered Species Act if the species is ultimately 
listed, and that no additional mitigation requirements will be imposed.
    Recent revisions to the CCAA regulations and policy and the 
adoption of ``net conservation benefit'' as an issuance standard has 
been perceived by

[[Page 50549]]

some to impose an unnecessary, ambiguous, and burdensome standard that 
will discourage voluntary conservation. There are also concerns with 
the preamble language that suggested that CCAAs may not be appropriate 
vehicles for permitting take of listed species resulting from oil and 
gas development activities.
    The FWS will solicit public review and comment on the need and 
basis for a revision of the CCAA regulation and associated policy for 
the purpose of evaluating whether it should maintain or revise the 
current regulation and policy or reinstate the former ones. The FWS 
anticipates that it will take 3 months to prepare the Federal Register 
Notice soliciting public review and comments. The FWS will then publish 
the Federal Register Notice with a 60-day comment period. Based upon 
comments received, FWS will decide whether and how to revise the 
regulation and policy.
    The anticipated benefits will be ensuring the CCAA standard is 
clear and encourages stakeholder participation in voluntary 
conservation of candidate and other at-risk species.
    Success will be measured by FWS providing timely assistance to 
developers if they seek a CCAA.
    The FWS Headquarters will provide Regional and Field Offices with 
informal guidance through email and regularly scheduled conference 
calls to remind staff of the regulation and policy review.

vi. Mitigation Actions--FWS Mitigation Policy

    In 2016, FWS finalized revisions to its 1981 Mitigation Policy, 
which guides FWS recommendations on mitigating the adverse impacts of 
land and water development on fish, wildlife, plants, and their 
habitats.
    Some stakeholders believe the revised policy's mitigation planning 
goal exceeds statutory authority.
    The FWS will solicit public review and comment for the purpose of 
evaluating the policy. The FWS anticipates that it will take 3 months 
to prepare the Federal Register Notice soliciting public review and 
comment on the policy. The FWS will then publish the Federal Register 
Notice with a 60-day comment period. Based upon comments received, FWS 
will decide whether and how to revise the policy.
    The anticipated benefits will be timely and practicable mitigation 
recommendations by FWS staff to energy developers (and others) that 
promote conservation of species and their habitats.
    Success will be measured by incorporation of recommendations 
without delays to the permitting or licensing process.
    The FWS Headquarters will provide FWS Regional and Field Offices 
informal guidance through email and regularly scheduled conference 
calls to remind staff of the policy review.

vii. FWS ESA Compensatory Mitigation Policy

    In 2016, FWS finalized its ESA Compensatory Mitigation Policy 
(CMP), which steps down and implements the 2016 revised the FWS 
Mitigation Policy (including the mitigation planning goal). The CMP was 
established to improve consistency and effectiveness in the use of 
compensatory mitigation. Its primary intent is to provide FWS staff 
with direction and guidance in the planning and implementation of 
compensatory mitigation.
    Some stakeholders believe the mitigation planning goal exceeds 
statutory authority.
    The FWS will solicit public review and comment for the purpose of 
evaluating whether it should modify the policy. Additional legal review 
will be undertaken after comments are reviewed. The FWS anticipates 
that it will take three months to prepare the Federal Register Notice 
soliciting public review and comment on the policy. The FWS will then 
publish the Federal Register Notice with a 60-day comment period. Based 
upon comments received, FWS will decide whether and how to revise the 
policy.
    The anticipated benefits will be timely and practicable mitigation 
recommendations by FWS staff to energy developers (and others) that 
promote conservation of species and their habitats.
    Success will be measured by incorporation of recommendations 
without delays to the permitting or licensing process.
    The FWS Headquarters will provide FWS Regional and Field Offices 
informal guidance through email and regularly scheduled conference 
calls to remind staff of the policy review.

viii. Interim Guidance on Implementing the Final ESA Compensatory 
Mitigation Policy

    This document provides interim guidance for implementing the 
Service's CMP. The guidance provides operational detail on the 
establishment, use, and operation of compensatory mitigation projects 
and programs as tools for offsetting adverse impacts to endangered and 
threatened species, species proposed as endangered or threatened, and 
designated and proposed critical habitat under the ESA.
    Within 6 months of completing revisions to the ESA Compensatory 
Mitigation Policy (CMP) (or deciding revisions to the CMP are not 
necessary), FWS will revise the interim implementation guidance (to be 
consistent with the revised CMP) and make it available for public 
review and comment in the Federal Register for 60 days. Within 6 months 
of close of the comment period, FWS will publish the final 
implementation guidance in the Federal Register (Note: we anticipate 
that the implementation guidance may need to be reviewed under the 
Paperwork Reduction Act, which may affect the timeline).
    The anticipated benefits will be timely and practicable mitigation 
recommendations by FWS staff to energy developers (and others) that 
promote conservation of species and their habitats.
    Success will be measured by incorporation of recommendations 
without delays to the permitting or licensing process.
    The FWS Headquarters will issue a memorandum to Regional and Field 
staff reiterating the limited applicability of the CMP's mitigation 
planning goal and that decisions related to compensatory mitigation 
must comply with the ESA and its implementing regulations.

K. Climate Change

    Interior is reviewing bureau reports of the work conducted to 
identify requirements relevant to climate that can potentially burden 
the development or uses of domestically produced energy resources. Most 
of the bureaus found no existing requirements in place. A couple of 
bureaus have non-regulatory documents (i.e., handbook, memo, manual, 
guidance, etc.) that inwardly focus on their units and workforce 
management activities. Interior is reviewing these to better understand 
their connection to other management, operations and guidance 
documents.

BLM

    The BLM rescinded its Permanent Instruction Memorandum (PIM) 2017-
003 (Jan. 12, 2017).
    This Permanent IM transmitted the CEQ guidance on consideration of 
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the effects of climate change in 
NEPA reviews, and provided general guidelines for calculating 
reasonably foreseeable direct and indirect GHG emissions of proposed 
actions.
    As the CEQ guidance was withdrawn pursuant to section 3 of EO13783, 
the

[[Page 50550]]

BLM Permanent IM was rescinded. In the future, BLM will consider 
issuing new guidance to its offices on approaches for calculating 
reasonably foreseeable direct and indirect GHG emissions of proposed 
and related actions.
    Any new IM would provide guidance on consideration of GHG emissions 
and the effects of climate change in NEPA reviews. The BLM is also 
developing a unified Air Resources Toolkit that can be used across all 
organizational levels to consistently calculate, as needed and 
appropriate, relevant air emissions for a variety of BLM resource 
management functions. Once available, this toolkit will expedite 
analysis of reasonably foreseeable GHG emissions associated with energy 
and mineral development.

V. Outreach Summary

    To ensure that Interior is considering the input of all viewpoints 
affected by the identified actions to reduce the burden on domestic 
energy, Interior has been, and will continue to, seek from outside 
entities through various means of public outreach including, but not 
limited to, working closely with affected stakeholders. In accordance 
with Administrative Procedure Act requirements, the Department is 
seeking public input on each proposal to revise or rescind individual 
energy-related regulatory requirements. The Department is also 
considering input it receives as part of its regulatory reform efforts 
through www.regulations.gov when such input relates to energy-related 
regulations.
    The Department's outreach efforts encompass state, local, and 
tribal governments, as well as stakeholders such as the Western 
Governors' Association, Interstate Mining Compact Commission, and 
natural resource and outdoorsmen groups. To comply with tribal 
consultation requirements, Interior will host a separate consultation 
with official representatives of tribal governments on matters that 
substantially affect tribes, in accordance with the Department's policy 
on consultation with tribal governments.

VI. Conclusion

    Interior is aggressively working to put America on track to achieve 
the President's vision for energy dominance and bring jobs back to 
communities across the country. Working with state, local and tribal 
communities, as well as other stakeholders, Secretary Zinke is 
instituting sweeping reforms to unleash America's energy opportunities.

VII. Attachments

    Secretarial Orders and Secretary's Memorandum
BILLING CODE 4334-63-P

[[Page 50551]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR01NO17.010


[[Page 50552]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR01NO17.011


[[Page 50553]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR01NO17.012


[[Page 50554]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR01NO17.013


[[Page 50555]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR01NO17.014


[[Page 50556]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR01NO17.015


[[Page 50557]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR01NO17.016


[[Page 50558]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR01NO17.017


[[Page 50559]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR01NO17.018


[[Page 50560]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR01NO17.019


[[Page 50561]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR01NO17.020


[[Page 50562]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR01NO17.021


[[Page 50563]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR01NO17.022


[[Page 50564]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR01NO17.023


[[Page 50565]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR01NO17.024


[[Page 50566]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR01NO17.025


[[Page 50567]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR01NO17.026


[[Page 50568]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR01NO17.027


[[Page 50569]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR01NO17.028


[[Page 50570]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR01NO17.029


[[Page 50571]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR01NO17.030


[[Page 50572]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR01NO17.031


[[Page 50573]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR01NO17.032


[[Page 50574]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR01NO17.033


[[Page 50575]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR01NO17.034

[FR Doc. 2017-23702 Filed 10-31-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4334-63-C