Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
* BLM Casper Field Office, 2987 Prospector Drive, Casper, Wyoming 82604.
Written comments may be submitted to: Bureau of Land Management, Casper Field Office, Attn: Nancy Doelger at the address listed above. The public may submit comments electronically to the attention of Nancy Doelger at
The FEIS analyzes and discloses to the public direct, indirect, and cumulative environmental impacts of issuing a Federal coal lease in the Wyoming portion of the Powder River Basin. The BLM is considering a coal lease issuance as a result of a December 28, 2001, application submitted by RAG Coal West, Inc. (RAG) to lease Federal coal near the Eagle Butte Mine, approximately 3 miles north of Gillette, Wyoming. RAG sold the Eagle Butte Mine to Foundation Coal West, Inc. in August 2004.
The applicant proposes to lease the tract as a maintenance tract to extend the life of their existing mining operations at the Eagle Butte Mine under the provisions of the Leasing on Application regulations at 43 CFR 3425. This tract, case number WYW155132, is referred to as the Eagle Butte West Coal Tract.
The following lands in Campbell County, Wyoming are included in the tract as applied for:
Containing 1,397.64 acres more or less.
Foundation estimates that approximately 238 million tons of Federal coal are included in the tract as applied for.
The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM), the Land Quality and Air Quality Divisions of the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ), the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WDOT), the Wyoming State Planning Office (WSPO), and the Campbell County Board of Commissioners are cooperating agencies in the preparation of the FEIS. If the tract is leased as a maintenance tract, the new lease will be incorporated into the existing mining and reclamation plan for the adjacent mine. The Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) must approve the revision to the Mineral Leasing Act (MLA) mining plan before the Federal coal can be mined. If the tract is leased, OSM is the Federal agency that would be responsible for recommending approval, approval with conditions, or disapproval of the revised MLA mining plan to the Office of the Secretary. WDEQ has entered into a cooperative agreement with the Secretary to regulate
On May 2, 2005, the BLM published a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an EIS for the Eagle Butte West coal lease application in the
The FEIS analyzes leasing the above-described tract as applied for as a separate Proposed Action. Under this alternative, a competitive sale would be held and a lease issued for Federal coal in the tract as it was applied for. As part of the coal leasing process, the BLM identified a different tract configuration that would potentially avoid bypassing coal or prompt competitive interest in the unleased Federal coal in this area. The tract configuration that the BLM has identified is described and analyzed as a separate alternative in the FEIS. Under this alternative, a competitive sale would be held and a lease issued for Federal coal lands included in a tract modified by the BLM. The FEIS also analyzes the alternative of rejecting the application to lease Federal coal as the No Action Alternative. The Proposed Action and Alternatives being considered in the FEIS are in conformance with the “Approved Resource Management Plan for Public Lands Administered by the Bureau of Land Management Buffalo Field Office.” (April 2001).
A Record of Decision (ROD) will be prepared after the close of the 30-day review period for the FEIS. Comments received on the FEIS will be considered during preparation of the ROD.