Notice of Availability of the Proposed Resource Management Plan Amendment and Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Buffalo Field Office, Wyoming

Published date17 May 2024
Record Number2024-10792
Citation89 FR 43431
CourtInterior Department,Land Management Bureau
SectionNotices
Federal Register, Volume 89 Issue 97 (Friday, May 17, 2024)
[Federal Register Volume 89, Number 97 (Friday, May 17, 2024)]
                [Notices]
                [Pages 43431-43432]
                From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
                [FR Doc No: 2024-10792]
                -----------------------------------------------------------------------
                DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
                Bureau of Land Management
                [BLM_WY_FRN_MO4500178570]
                Notice of Availability of the Proposed Resource Management Plan
                Amendment and Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the
                Buffalo Field Office, Wyoming
                AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.
                ACTION: Notice of availability.
                -----------------------------------------------------------------------
                SUMMARY: In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of
                1969, as amended (NEPA), and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act
                of 1976, as amended (FLMPA), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has
                prepared a Proposed Resource Management Plan (RMP) Amendment and Final
                Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for federal coal
                managed by the Buffalo Field Office and by this notice is announcing
                the opportunity to protest the Proposed RMP Amendment.
                DATES: The BLM Director will consider protests to the Proposed RMP
                Amendment. Protests must be postmarked or electronically submitted on
                the BLM's ePlanning site within 30 days after the Environmental
                Protection Agency's (EPA) publication of a Notice of Availability (NOA)
                of the Proposed RMP Amendment and Final EIS in the Federal Register.
                The EPA usually publishes NOAs on Fridays.
                ADDRESSES: The Proposed RMP Amendment and Final Supplemental EIS are
                available for review on the BLM ePlanning project website at https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2021239/510.
                 Instructions for filing a protest on the Proposed RMP Amendment can
                be found at https://www.blm.gov/programs/planning-and-nepa/public-participation/filing-a-plan-protest and at 43 CFR 1610.5-2. All
                protests must be submitted in writing and mailed to one of the
                following by any one of the following methods:
                 Website: https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2021239/510.
                 Regular and Overnight Mail: BLM Director, Attention:
                Protest Coordinator (HQ210), Denver Federal Center, Building 40 (Door
                W-4), Lakewood, CO 80215.
                FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas Bills, Project Manager,
                telephone (307) 684-1133; or at the address BLM Buffalo Field Office,
                1425 Fort Street, Buffalo WY 82834; email [email protected]. Individuals
                in the United States who are deaf, deafblind, hard of hearing, or have
                a speech disability may dial 711 (TTY, TDD, or TeleBraille) to access
                telecommunications relay services. Individuals outside the United
                States should use the relay services offered within their country to
                make international calls to the point-of-contact in the United States.
                SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The BLM prepared the Proposed Plan Amendment
                and Final Supplemental EIS to address a United States District Court
                for the District of Montana order (Western Organization of Resource
                Councils, et al. v. BLM; CV 00076-GF-BMM; 8/3/2022). The Final
                Supplemental EIS provides additional land use planning level analysis
                that considers no-leasing and limited coal leasing alternatives;
                discloses the public health impacts, both climate and non-climate, of
                burning fossil fuels (coal, oil, and gas); and completes new coal
                screens in accordance with 43 CFR 3420.1-4 to determine the lands to be
                made available for further consideration for coal leasing in the
                planning area.
                 The Buffalo planning area is located in Campbell, Johnson, and
                Sheridan Counties, Wyoming. The Coal Development Potential Area is
                located within Campbell County, Wyoming, and encompasses approximately
                48 billion short tons of recoverable BLM-administered Federal coal.
                 The BLM analyzed three alternatives in detail, including the No
                Action Alternative and two alternatives that
                [[Page 43432]]
                vary the amount of BLM-administered Federal coal authorized to be
                available for leasing. The alternatives include:
                 Alternative A (the No Leasing Alternative): the Coal
                Development Potential Area would be unavailable for leasing;
                 Alternative B (the No Action Alternative): approximately
                48.0 billion short tons of recoverable BLM-administered coal within the
                Coal Development Potential Area established in the 2019 RMP Amendment
                and Final Supplemental EIS would be available for further consideration
                of leasing; and
                 Alternative C: a reduced level of coal (1.24 billion short
                tons of recoverable BLM-administered coal) would be available for
                leasing within the Coal Development Potential Area.
                 The BLM further considered three additional alternatives but
                dismissed them from detailed analysis, as explained in the Proposed RMP
                Amendment and Final Supplemental EIS.
                 The BLM selected Alternative A, the No Leasing Alternative, as the
                proposed plan for allocating BLM administered coal; under this
                alternative, no BLM administered coal would be available for leasing
                within the Buffalo Field Office planning area. The proposed plan does
                not affect the area with coal development potential or the area
                determined to be suitable for surface coal mining. Collectively, the
                mines have sufficient federal coal leased to meet forecasted production
                levels into 2041. The remaining leased coal volume provides time to
                advance commercial scale carbon capture and non-thermal coal use
                technologies during the planning period.
                 The BLM published a notice of availability for the Draft
                Supplemental EIS and Potential RMP Amendment in the Federal Register on
                May 8, 2023, which initiated a 90-day comment period (88 FR 29691). On
                May 31, the BLM hosted a public meeting in Gillette, Wyoming, to
                present the Draft Supplemental EIS and RMP Amendment to the public and
                solicit comments. The BLM also hosted an on-line public meeting on June
                5, 2023.
                 During the public comment period, the BLM received 25 unique
                written submissions containing 147 substantive comments. The Draft
                Supplemental EIS comments helped the BLM refine the Final Supplemental
                EIS and guided the development of the Proposed RMP Amendment.
                Protest of the Proposed RMP
                 The BLM planning regulations state that any person who participated
                in the preparation of the RMP and has an interest that will or may be
                adversely affected by approval of the Proposed RMP may protest its
                approval. Protest of the Proposed RMP constitutes the final opportunity
                for administrative review of the proposed land use planning decisions
                prior to the BLM adopting an approved RMP. Instructions for filing a
                protest with the BLM Director may be found online at https://www.blm.gov/programs/planning-and-nepa/public-participation/filing-a-plan-protest and at 43 CFR 1610.5-2. All protests must be in writing
                and mailed to the appropriate address, as set forth in the ADDRESSES
                section earlier or submitted electronically through the BLM ePlanning
                project website as described previously. Protests submitted
                electronically by any means other than the ePlanning project website
                will be invalid unless a protest is also submitted as a hard copy. The
                BLM will render a written decision on each protest. The Director's
                protest decision shall be the final decision of the Department of the
                Interior. Responses to protest issues will be compiled and documented
                in a Protest Resolution Report made available following the protest
                resolution online at: https://www.blm.gov/programs/planning-and-nepa/public-participation/protest-resolution-reports. After resolution of
                protests, the BLM will issue a Record of Decision and Approved RMP.
                 Before including your address, phone number, email address, or
                other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be
                aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying
                information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can
                ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying
                information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be
                able to do so.
                (Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6, 40 CFR 1506.10, 43 CFR 1610.2)
                Andrew Archuleta,
                State Director.
                [FR Doc. 2024-10792 Filed 5-16-24; 8:45 am]
                BILLING CODE 4331-20-P
                

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT