Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Converse County Oil and Gas Project, Converse County, Wyoming, 3767-3768 [2018-01320]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 18 / Friday, January 26, 2018 / Notices Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6, 40 CFR 1506.10, 43 CFR 2200 T. 5 S., R. 5 E., Section 7, Section 19, Section 20, W1/2W1/2. The area described aggregates 1,471.24 acres. daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES San Bernardino and Base Meridian, California Douglas J. Herrema, Field Manager, Palm Springs—South Coast Field Office. [FR Doc. 2018–01437 Filed 1–25–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–40–P The purpose of the land exchange is to reduce the extent of ‘‘checkerboard’’ land ownership, thereby providing the BLM and the Tribe with more effective and efficient land management responsibilities within the Monument. The public interest will be well served by making this exchange. Lands acquired by the BLM will be managed in accordance with applicable statutes and regulations, as well as the California Desert Conservation Area Plan, as amended, and the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Management Plan. Lands acquired by the Tribe will be managed in accordance with its Land Use Ordinance, Indian Canyons Master Plan, and Tribal Habitat Conservation Plan. In 2008, the proposed land exchange was announced in a Notice of Exchange Proposal (NOEP), which included a 45day public comment period. In 2010, an Environmental Assessment was released for public review, which allowed for a 30-day comment period. Based on their findings, the BLM determined that preparation of an EIS was necessary. In 2012, the BLM initiated a public scoping process and subsequently released a Draft EIS with a 90-day public comment period, which concluded on March 29, 2015. Comments on the Draft EIS received from the public and internal BLM review were considered and incorporated as appropriate into the Final EIS. The BLM concluded that changes to the Draft EIS were minor, and as a result, an abbreviated Final EIS was completed. Those changes were primarily related to the exchange value equalization efforts based on a current appraisal. As a result, the amount of trails that were identified for disposal by the BLM were reduced. Before including your phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your protest, you should be aware that your entire protest—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask the BLM in your protest to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:14 Jan 25, 2018 Jkt 244001 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLWYP06000.LL13100000.DB0000.17X] Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Converse County Oil and Gas Project, Converse County, Wyoming Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability. AGENCIES: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) as the lead Federal agency, and the United States Forest Service (USFS), participating as a cooperating agency, have prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS) that evaluates, analyzes, and discloses to the public direct, indirect, and cumulative environmental impacts of a proposal to develop oil and natural gas in Converse County, Wyoming. This notice announces a 45-day public comment period to meet the requirements of NEPA and section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. SUMMARY: To ensure that comments will be considered, the BLM must receive written comments on the Converse County Oil and Gas Project Draft EIS within 45 days following the date the Environmental Protection Agency publishes its Notice of Availability in the Federal Register. The BLM will announce future meetings and any other public involvement activities at least 15 days in advance through public notices, media releases, mailings, and/or at the BLM website http://bit.ly/2oxHxeq. ADDRESSES: Comments on the Converse County Oil and Gas Project may be submitted by any of the following methods: • Website: http://bit.ly/2oxHxeq. • Email: blm_wy_casper_wymail@ blm.gov. • Fax: 307–261–7587. • Mail or hand delivery: Converse County Oil and Gas Project EIS, BLM Casper Field Office, Attn: Mike Robinson, Project Manager, 2987 Prospector Drive, Casper, WY 82604. DATES: PO 00000 Frm 00095 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 3767 Documents pertinent to this proposal may be examined at the following offices: • BLM Casper Field Office, 2987 Prospector Drive, Casper, WY 82604; • USFS Douglas Ranger District Office, 2250 East Richards Street, Douglas, WY 82633; and • BLM Wyoming State Office, 5353 Yellowstone Road, Cheyenne, WY 82009. Interested persons may also view the documents online at: http://bit.ly/ 2oxHxeq. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mike Robinson, Project Manager, telephone: 307–261–7520; address: 2987 Prospector Drive, Casper, WY 82604; email: blm_wy_casper_wymail@blm.gov. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1–800– 877–8339 to contact the above person during normal business hours. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: An Operator Group (OG) comprised of Anadarko Petroleum Company, Chesapeake Energy Corporation, Devon Energy, EOG Resources, Inc., and SM Energy, proposes to develop oil and gas leases within the Converse County Project Area (CCPA) in Converse County, Wyoming. The CCPA encompasses approximately 1.5 million acres of land, of which approximately 88,466 surface acres (6 percent of the CCPA) are public lands administered by the BLM and approximately 63,911 surface acres (4 percent of the CCPA) are administered by the USFS. The remaining surface estate consists of approximately 101,012 surface acres (7 percent) administered by the State of Wyoming and approximately 1,247,477 surface acres (83 percent) that are privately owned. The BLM administers approximately 964,525 acres of mineral estate (64 percent) within the CCPA. Split estate lands, lands with private surface and Federal mineral ownership, comprise approximately 812,189 acres of those 964,525 acres (54 percent of the 64 percent) of the Federal mineral ownership of land within the CCPA. The Draft EIS describes and analyzes the impacts of the OG’s Proposed Action (Alternative B) and two alternatives, the No Action Alternative (Alternative A) and Alterative C. Additional alternatives were considered, but eliminated from detailed analysis. All alternatives incorporate best management practices E:\FR\FM\26JAN1.SGM 26JAN1 daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES 3768 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 18 / Friday, January 26, 2018 / Notices for oil and gas development and other measures necessary to address impacts to air quality, cultural resources, historic trails, public safety, recreational opportunities, threatened and endangered species, socioeconomic, transportation, vegetation, visual resources, water, wildlife habitats including Greater Sage-grouse and Greater Sage-grouse Priority Habitat Management Areas, and other relevant issues. The following is a summary of the alternatives: 1. Alternative A: The No Action Alternative assumes that approval of the OG’s proposed Project would be denied and new drilling would continue under approval of the appropriate permitting agency. 2. Alternative B: The Proposed Action Alternative, which is also the Agency Preferred Alternative, consists of the OG’s proposal to explore and develop potentially productive subsurface formations underlying the CCPA by drilling up to approximately 5,000 oil and natural gas wells on 1,500 single and multi-well pads within the CCPA over a period of 10 years. The production life of each well is estimated to be approximately 30 years. The OG would develop the CCPA using directional, vertical, horizontal, and other drilling techniques, as well as to develop infrastructure to support oil and gas production in the CCPA, including: Well pads, roads, pipelines, power lines, compressor stations, electrical substations, and ancillary facilities such as water supply wells and water disposal facilities. The total estimated new surface disturbance for development under Alternative B would be approximately 52,667 acres. This alternative includes requesting fullseason exceptions, excluding USFS Administered lands (i.e. year-round drilling), to multiple timing limitation stipulations which serve to protect several wildlife species in the project area. 3. Alternative C: This alternative would reduce the surface disturbance and related impacts from oil and gas development based on assumptions that a higher average number of wells would be drilled from each pad. Specifically, 55 percent of well pads in the CCPA would have up to 4 wells, 35 percent of well pads in the CCPA would have 5 to 8 wells, and 10 percent of well pads in the CCPA would have 9 to 16 wells. This would provide for drilling the same number of wells (5,000) under the same drilling rate (500 wells per year) as Alternative B. Furthermore, this would reduce the total number of well pads to 938, which would reduce the miles of access roads, gas gathering VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:14 Jan 25, 2018 Jkt 244001 pipelines, water pipelines, and overhead electrical lines needed, as well as the acreage encumbered by the proposed project. The total estimated new surface disturbance for development under Alternative C would be approximately 37,267 acres. This alternative would require that multiple timing stipulations be applied as outlined in the BLM RMP and the USFS LRMP, thus not allowing for year-round drilling. The BLM NEPA Handbook (H–1790– 1) calls for expression of the BLM’s preferred alternative in the Draft EIS if one exists (BLM 2008c). The BLM selected Alternative B, the Proposed Action, as a preferred alternative for the Converse County Oil and Gas Development Project. The BLM believes that the Proposed Action has the necessary elements that would address the purpose and need for the Draft EIS and will review public comments on the Draft before the preferred alternative is identified in the Final EIS. The No Action Alternative (Alternative A) and each of the action alternatives (Alternative B and C) are discussed in terms of alternativespecific activities and schedule, design features, and surface disturbance summaries. Alternatives considered, but eliminated from detailed analysis also are discussed. The analysis of each alternative focuses on the new disturbance that would occur under each alternative and would be in addition to existing and permitted disturbance. The Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS was published in the Federal Register on May 16, 2014 (79 FR 28538). Key issues identified during scoping included: Potential impacts on private landowners over Federal mineral estate; socioeconomic impacts on local communities and residents, including new jobs and economic activity in the community, as well as increased noise, traffic, and population growth; potential impacts on air quality and climate change; potential impacts to groundwater and surface water supply and quality; potential impacts to historic trails; enforcement of reclamation and other mitigation on non-Federal lands; impacts to area recreation, grazing, and hunting; the potential to impact Greater Sage-grouse, migratory birds, big game and other wildlife; and adequate analysis of cumulative impacts. The public is encouraged to comment on any and all portions of the document. The BLM and the USFS ask that those submitting comments make them as specific as possible with reference to chapters, page numbers, PO 00000 Frm 00096 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 and paragraphs in the Draft EIS document. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Comments that contain only opinions or preferences will not receive a formal response; however, they will be considered and included as part of the BLM and the USFS decision-making process. The most useful comments are those that include new technical or scientific information, identification of data gaps in the impact analysis, or technical or scientific rationale for opinions or preference. Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6, 40 CFR 1506.10) Mary Jo Rugwell, State Director, Wyoming. [FR Doc. 2018–01320 Filed 1–25–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–22–P INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [USITC SE–18–005] Change to Date and Time of Government in the Sunshine Act Meeting Notice United States International Trade Commission. ORIGINAL TIME AND DATE: January 25, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. NEW DATE AND TIME: January 26, 2018 at 2:30 p.m. PLACE: Room 100, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436, Telephone: (202) 205–2000. STATUS: Open to the public. In accordance with 19 CFR 201.35(d)(2)(i), the Commission hereby gives notice that the Commission has determined to change the date and time of the meeting originally scheduled for January 25, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. to January 26, 2018 at 2:30 p.m. to consider Inv. Nos. 701–TA–578 and 731–TA–1386 (Final) (100- to 150-Seat Large Civil Aircraft from Canada). In accordance with Commission policy, subject matter listed above, not disposed of at the scheduled meeting, may be carried over to the agenda of the following meeting. AGENCY HOLDING THE MEETING: By order of the Commission: E:\FR\FM\26JAN1.SGM 26JAN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 18 (Friday, January 26, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 3767-3768]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-01320]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[LLWYP06000.LL13100000.DB0000.17X]


Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact 
Statement for the Converse County Oil and Gas Project, Converse County, 
Wyoming

AGENCIES: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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

SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969, as amended (NEPA), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) as the 
lead Federal agency, and the United States Forest Service (USFS), 
participating as a cooperating agency, have prepared a Draft 
Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS) that evaluates, analyzes, 
and discloses to the public direct, indirect, and cumulative 
environmental impacts of a proposal to develop oil and natural gas in 
Converse County, Wyoming. This notice announces a 45-day public comment 
period to meet the requirements of NEPA and section 106 of the National 
Historic Preservation Act.

DATES: To ensure that comments will be considered, the BLM must receive 
written comments on the Converse County Oil and Gas Project Draft EIS 
within 45 days following the date the Environmental Protection Agency 
publishes its Notice of Availability in the Federal Register. The BLM 
will announce future meetings and any other public involvement 
activities at least 15 days in advance through public notices, media 
releases, mailings, and/or at the BLM website http://bit.ly/2oxHxeq.

ADDRESSES: Comments on the Converse County Oil and Gas Project may be 
submitted by any of the following methods:
     Website: http://bit.ly/2oxHxeq.
     Email: [email protected].
     Fax: 307-261-7587.
     Mail or hand delivery: Converse County Oil and Gas Project 
EIS, BLM Casper Field Office, Attn: Mike Robinson, Project Manager, 
2987 Prospector Drive, Casper, WY 82604.
    Documents pertinent to this proposal may be examined at the 
following offices:
     BLM Casper Field Office, 2987 Prospector Drive, Casper, WY 
82604;
     USFS Douglas Ranger District Office, 2250 East Richards 
Street, Douglas, WY 82633; and
     BLM Wyoming State Office, 5353 Yellowstone Road, Cheyenne, 
WY 82009.

Interested persons may also view the documents online at: http://bit.ly/2oxHxeq.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mike Robinson, Project Manager, 
telephone: 307-261-7520; address: 2987 Prospector Drive, Casper, WY 
82604; email: [email protected]. Persons who use a 
telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay 
Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above person during 
normal business hours. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a 
week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You 
will receive a reply during normal business hours.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: An Operator Group (OG) comprised of Anadarko 
Petroleum Company, Chesapeake Energy Corporation, Devon Energy, EOG 
Resources, Inc., and SM Energy, proposes to develop oil and gas leases 
within the Converse County Project Area (CCPA) in Converse County, 
Wyoming.
    The CCPA encompasses approximately 1.5 million acres of land, of 
which approximately 88,466 surface acres (6 percent of the CCPA) are 
public lands administered by the BLM and approximately 63,911 surface 
acres (4 percent of the CCPA) are administered by the USFS. The 
remaining surface estate consists of approximately 101,012 surface 
acres (7 percent) administered by the State of Wyoming and 
approximately 1,247,477 surface acres (83 percent) that are privately 
owned. The BLM administers approximately 964,525 acres of mineral 
estate (64 percent) within the CCPA. Split estate lands, lands with 
private surface and Federal mineral ownership, comprise approximately 
812,189 acres of those 964,525 acres (54 percent of the 64 percent) of 
the Federal mineral ownership of land within the CCPA.
    The Draft EIS describes and analyzes the impacts of the OG's 
Proposed Action (Alternative B) and two alternatives, the No Action 
Alternative (Alternative A) and Alterative C. Additional alternatives 
were considered, but eliminated from detailed analysis. All 
alternatives incorporate best management practices

[[Page 3768]]

for oil and gas development and other measures necessary to address 
impacts to air quality, cultural resources, historic trails, public 
safety, recreational opportunities, threatened and endangered species, 
socioeconomic, transportation, vegetation, visual resources, water, 
wildlife habitats including Greater Sage-grouse and Greater Sage-grouse 
Priority Habitat Management Areas, and other relevant issues. The 
following is a summary of the alternatives:
    1. Alternative A: The No Action Alternative assumes that approval 
of the OG's proposed Project would be denied and new drilling would 
continue under approval of the appropriate permitting agency.
    2. Alternative B: The Proposed Action Alternative, which is also 
the Agency Preferred Alternative, consists of the OG's proposal to 
explore and develop potentially productive subsurface formations 
underlying the CCPA by drilling up to approximately 5,000 oil and 
natural gas wells on 1,500 single and multi-well pads within the CCPA 
over a period of 10 years. The production life of each well is 
estimated to be approximately 30 years. The OG would develop the CCPA 
using directional, vertical, horizontal, and other drilling techniques, 
as well as to develop infrastructure to support oil and gas production 
in the CCPA, including: Well pads, roads, pipelines, power lines, 
compressor stations, electrical substations, and ancillary facilities 
such as water supply wells and water disposal facilities. The total 
estimated new surface disturbance for development under Alternative B 
would be approximately 52,667 acres. This alternative includes 
requesting full-season exceptions, excluding USFS Administered lands 
(i.e. year-round drilling), to multiple timing limitation stipulations 
which serve to protect several wildlife species in the project area.
    3. Alternative C: This alternative would reduce the surface 
disturbance and related impacts from oil and gas development based on 
assumptions that a higher average number of wells would be drilled from 
each pad. Specifically, 55 percent of well pads in the CCPA would have 
up to 4 wells, 35 percent of well pads in the CCPA would have 5 to 8 
wells, and 10 percent of well pads in the CCPA would have 9 to 16 
wells. This would provide for drilling the same number of wells (5,000) 
under the same drilling rate (500 wells per year) as Alternative B. 
Furthermore, this would reduce the total number of well pads to 938, 
which would reduce the miles of access roads, gas gathering pipelines, 
water pipelines, and overhead electrical lines needed, as well as the 
acreage encumbered by the proposed project. The total estimated new 
surface disturbance for development under Alternative C would be 
approximately 37,267 acres. This alternative would require that 
multiple timing stipulations be applied as outlined in the BLM RMP and 
the USFS LRMP, thus not allowing for year-round drilling.
    The BLM NEPA Handbook (H-1790-1) calls for expression of the BLM's 
preferred alternative in the Draft EIS if one exists (BLM 2008c). The 
BLM selected Alternative B, the Proposed Action, as a preferred 
alternative for the Converse County Oil and Gas Development Project. 
The BLM believes that the Proposed Action has the necessary elements 
that would address the purpose and need for the Draft EIS and will 
review public comments on the Draft before the preferred alternative is 
identified in the Final EIS.
    The No Action Alternative (Alternative A) and each of the action 
alternatives (Alternative B and C) are discussed in terms of 
alternative-specific activities and schedule, design features, and 
surface disturbance summaries. Alternatives considered, but eliminated 
from detailed analysis also are discussed. The analysis of each 
alternative focuses on the new disturbance that would occur under each 
alternative and would be in addition to existing and permitted 
disturbance.
    The Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS was published in the Federal 
Register on May 16, 2014 (79 FR 28538). Key issues identified during 
scoping included: Potential impacts on private landowners over Federal 
mineral estate; socioeconomic impacts on local communities and 
residents, including new jobs and economic activity in the community, 
as well as increased noise, traffic, and population growth; potential 
impacts on air quality and climate change; potential impacts to 
groundwater and surface water supply and quality; potential impacts to 
historic trails; enforcement of reclamation and other mitigation on 
non-Federal lands; impacts to area recreation, grazing, and hunting; 
the potential to impact Greater Sage-grouse, migratory birds, big game 
and other wildlife; and adequate analysis of cumulative impacts.
    The public is encouraged to comment on any and all portions of the 
document. The BLM and the USFS ask that those submitting comments make 
them as specific as possible with reference to chapters, page numbers, 
and paragraphs in the Draft EIS document.
    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so. Comments that contain only opinions or preferences will 
not receive a formal response; however, they will be considered and 
included as part of the BLM and the USFS decision-making process. The 
most useful comments are those that include new technical or scientific 
information, identification of data gaps in the impact analysis, or 
technical or scientific rationale for opinions or preference.

Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6, 40 CFR 1506.10)

Mary Jo Rugwell,
State Director, Wyoming.
[FR Doc. 2018-01320 Filed 1-25-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4310-22-P