[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 48 (Friday, March 12, 2010)]
[Pages 11906-11907]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-5257]



Bureau of Land Management

[LLWYP00000-L51100000-GA0000-LVEMK09CK380, WYW172684]

Notice of Availability and Notice of Hearing for the Buckskin 
Mine Hay Creek II Coal Lease by Application Draft Environmental Impact 
Statement, WY

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969 (NEPA) and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 
(FLPMA), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has prepared a Draft 
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Buckskin Mine Hay Creek II 
Coal Lease by Application (LBA) and by this Notice is announcing a 
public hearing requesting comments on the Draft EIS, the Maximum 
Economic Recovery (MER), and the Fair Market Value (FMV) of the Federal 
coal resources.

DATES: To ensure comments will be considered, the BLM must receive 
written comments on the Hay Creek II Coal LBA Draft EIS, MER, and FMV 
within 60 days following the date that the Environmental Protection 
Agency publishes its Notice of Availability in the Federal Register. 
The public hearing will be held at 7 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, on 
April 22, 2010, at the Campbell County George Amos Memorial Building, 
412 South Gillette Avenue, Gillette, Wyoming.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     E-mail: [email protected]. Please include 
``Hay Creek II Draft EIS--Teresa Johnson'' in the subject line.
     Fax: 307-261-7587, Attn: Teresa Johnson.
     Mail: Wyoming High Plains District Office, Bureau of Land 
Management, Attn: Teresa Johnson, 2987 Prospector Drive, Casper, 
Wyoming 82604.
     Written comments may also be hand-delivered to the BLM 
Wyoming High Plains District Office in Casper.
    Copies of the Draft EIS are available at the following BLM office 
locations: BLM Wyoming State Office, 5353 Yellowstone Road, Cheyenne, 
Wyoming 82009; and BLM Wyoming High Plains District Office in Casper, 
2987 Prospector Lane, Casper, Wyoming 82604. The Draft EIS is available 
electronically at the following Web site: http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/NEPA/cfodocs/HayCreekII.html.

Wyoming High Plains District Office, 2987 Prospector Drive, Casper, 
Wyoming 82604. Ms. Johnson or Mr. Karbs may also be reached at (307) 
261-7600 or by e-mail at [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Draft EIS analyzes the potential impacts 
of issuing a lease for the Hay Creek II Federal maintenance tract, 
serial number WYW172684.
    The BLM is considering issuing a coal lease as a result of a March 
24, 2006, application made by Kiewit Mining Properties, Inc. to lease 
the Federal coal in the Hay Creek II Tract. The Hay Creek II LBA is 
located in Campbell County, Wyoming, northwest of the Buckskin Mine, 
approximately 12 miles north of Gillette, Wyoming.
    Kiewit Mining Properties, Inc. applied for the tract to extend the 
life of the existing Buckskin Mine in accordance with 43 CFR part 3425. 
On two occasions, May 19, 2008, and November 28, 2008, Kiewit Mining 
Properties, Inc. modified the LBA. As a result of the second 
modification, the Hay Creek II Tract now contains 419.04 acres. The 
applicant estimates that the current tract includes approximately 54.1 
million tons of recoverable coal underlying the following lands in 
Campbell County, Wyoming:

T. 52 N., R. 72 W., 6th PM, Wyoming

    Section 19: Lots 5 (W \1/2\), 6, 7, 10, 11, 12 (W \1/2\), 13(W 
\1/2\), 14, 15, 18, 19, 20 (W \1/2\).

    Containing 419.04 acres more or less.

    Consistent with Federal regulations under NEPA and the Mineral 
Leasing Act of 1920 (MLA), as amended, the BLM must prepare an 
environmental analysis prior to holding a competitive Federal coal 
lease sale. The Powder River Regional Coal Team recommended that the 
BLM process the Hay Creek II LBA after it reviewed the tract at a 
public meeting held on April 19, 2006, in Casper, Wyoming.
    Lands in the Hay Creek II Tract contain all private surface estate 
which overlies the Federal coal.
    The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ) and the 
Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) are 
cooperating agencies in the preparation of the Draft EIS.
    The Buckskin Mine is adjacent to the LBA and is operating under an 
approved mining and reclamation plan from the WDEQ Land Quality 
Division and an approved air quality permit from the WDEQ Air Quality 
Division that

[[Page 11907]]

allows Kiewit Mining Properties, Inc., to mine up to 42 million tons of 
coal per year.
    If the tract is leased to the existing Buckskin Mine, the new lease 
must be incorporated into the existing mining and reclamation plan for 
the mine. Before the Federal coal in the tract can be mined, the 
Secretary of the Interior must approve the revised MLA mining plan for 
the Buckskin Mine. The OSM is the Federal agency that is responsible 
for recommending approval, approval with conditions, or disapproval of 
the revised MLA mining plan to the Office of the Secretary of the 
    The Draft EIS analyzes and discloses to the public direct, 
indirect, and cumulative environmental impacts associated with issuing 
a Federal coal lease in the decertified Powder River Federal Coal 
Production Region, Wyoming. A copy of the Draft EIS has been sent to 
affected Federal, state, and local government agencies; persons and 
entities identified as potentially being affected by a decision to 
lease the Federal coal in this tract; and persons who indicated to the 
BLM that they wished to receive a copy of the Draft EIS. The purpose of 
the public hearing is to solicit comments on the Draft EIS, on the 
proposed competitive sale of the Federal coal lease maintenance tract, 
and on the FMV and MER of the Federal coal.
    The Draft EIS analyzes leasing the tract as the Proposed Action. 
Under the Proposed Action, a competitive sale would be held and a lease 
issued for Federal coal contained in the tract as applied for by Kiewit 
Mining Properties, Inc. As part of the coal leasing process, the BLM is 
evaluating adding Federal coal to the tract to avoid bypassing coal or 
to prompt competitive interest in unleased Federal coal in this area. 
An alternate tract configuration that BLM is evaluating is described 
and analyzed as a separate alternative in the Draft EIS. Under the BLM 
Preferred Alternative, a competitive sale would be held and a lease 
issued for Federal coal resources contained in a tract configured by 
the BLM from the lands included within the study area. The tract could 
be larger or smaller than the Proposed Action. The Draft EIS 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 Draft EIS are in conformance with the approved 
Resource Management Plan for Public Lands Administered by the BLM 
Buffalo Field Office (2001).
    Requests to be included on the mailing list for this project, for 
copies of the Draft EIS, or to be notified of the dates of the comment 
period and public hearing, may be sent in writing, by facsimile, or 
electronically to the addresses listed in the ADDRESSES section above. 
For those submitting comments on the Draft EIS, please make the 
comments as specific as possible with reference to page numbers and 
sections of the document. 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 decision-making process.
    Please note that public comments and information submitted to the 
BLM --including the commenter's name, street address, and e-mail 
address--will be available for public review and disclosure at the 
above address during regular business hours (7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), 
Monday through Friday, except holidays.
    Before including your address, phone number, e-mail 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.

Ruth Welch,
Associate State Director.
[FR Doc. 2010-5257 Filed 3-10-10; 8:45 am]