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11/19/2018 10:42:05 MST
The Bureau of Land Management has opened a public comment period as part of the process to prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and potential amendment for the 2015 Buffalo Field Office Approved Resource Management Plan in response to a United States Montana District court opinion and order pertinent to “Western Organization of Resource Councils, et al vs BLM.”

A public scoping meeting to further identify relevant issues has been planned for December 19, 2018. The meeting location will be the Campbell County Public Library at ( 2101 S 4-J Road, Gillette, WY) from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.  The 30-day comment period will end on December 28, 2018. Comments sent by mail must be postmarked by this date in order to be considered.

Hard copy comments can be mailed or hand-delivered to the Buffalo Field Office during business hours (8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.).
Buffalo RMP Supplemental Draft EIS
Attn: Tom Bills, RMP SEIS Project Manager
Buffalo Field Office
1425 Fort Street, Buffalo, Wyo. 82834

Those who provide comments are advised that before including their address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information, they should be aware that the entire comment – including personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While those commenting can ask in their comments to have their personal identifying information withheld from public review, the BLM cannot guarantee that they will be able to do so.
On March 26, 2018, the US District Court, Montana District found that the BLM did not adequately address concerns about climate change, and violated the NAtional Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by failing to consider any alternative that would decrease the areas and amount of extractable coal available for leasing, and failing to consider the environmental consequences of the downstream combustion of the coal, oil and gas resources in their 2015 Buffalo Approved Resource Managmetn Plan (ARMP). The Court also ruled that the BLM was arbitrary and capricious for failing to justify the use of a global warming potential (GWP) calculated over a 100-year time horizon, and failing to respond further to criticisms of this methodology raised during public comment and the protest process.

The BLM intends to correct the deficiencies in the ARMP analysis by analyzing a no action alternative, and one or more action alternatives that reduce the acres and/or amount of coal available for leasing. There are currently 13 active coal mines in the planning area, including the following mines: Buckskin, Rawhide, Eagle Butte, Dry Fork, Wyodak, Caballo, Belle Ayr, Cordero Rojo, Coal Creek, Black Thunder, School Creek, North Antelope/Rochelle, and Antelope.