ePlanning DOI-BLM-Eastern States-0030-2016-0002-EA (Wayne National Forest Athens Ranger District Marietta Unit - Expressions of Interest Oil & Gas Leasing)  
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03/23/2017 08:03:34 MDT
March 2017 Lease Sale
The NEPA documents completed for the Wayne National Forest Marietta Unit EA, which can be accessed from the left sidebar under Documents are still in effect for the March 2017 Competitive Internet-Based Oil and Gas Lease Sale.

The date of the sale is Thursday, March 23, 2017.   Parcels being offered include Federal fluid mineral estates located in the Eastern States, Northeastern States District (NSD).  Please see the lease sale notice here for specific parcels.  Additional information about the sale is available at https://www.energynet.com/govt_listing.pl 

December 2016 Lease Sale Results

On December 13, 2016, seventeen parcels totalling 679.48 acres of BLM-administered subsurface mineral estate were offered for lease in Ohio.  All parcels were sold at the lease sale.

To see the results of the sale, click here and go to the Documents link on the left-side panel at the bottom of the page under the heading "December 2016 Lease Sale Results"

December 2016 Lease Sale
The oil and gas leasing program managed by the BLM encourages the sustainable development of domestic oil and gas reserves which reduces the dependence of the United States on foreign sources of energy as part of its multiple-use and sustainable yield mandate. Therefore, in accordance with the Mineral Leasing Act, 30 U.S.C.226(b)(1), as amended by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 (Pub. L. 113-291. 128 Stat.3762) (Dec.19, 2014), and the BLM regulations at 43 CFR 3120, the Bureau of Land Management will be offering parcels for lease at a Competitive Internet-Based Oil and Gas Lease sale.

The date of the sale is Tuesday, December 13, 2016 and the parcels being offered include Federal fluid mineral estates located in the Eastern States, Southeastern States District (SSD) and Northeastern States District (NSD). Additional information about the sale is available at https://www.energynet.com/govt_listing.pl

Nineteen parcels totalling 759.08 acres will be offered for lease in Arkansas (1 parcel, 39.57 acres), Mississippi (1 parcel, 40.03 acres) and Ohio (17 parcels, 679.48 acres)

Click the Documents link on the left side panel to access the December 2016 Notice of Competitive Internet-Based Lease Sale, Final EA and FONSI that were released on October 14, 2016.

Maps showing the specific sale parcels, the list of lands, and the Shapefiles are available at https://www.energynet.com/govt_listing.pl

The sale will be conducted utilizing the EnergyNet internet-based auction system. Additional details about the internet auction process are included in the December 2016 Notice of Competitive Internet-Based Lease Sale, which can be found on BLM-Eastern States Oil and Gas Lease Sale webpage (http://www.blm.gov/es/st/en/prog/minerals/current_sales_and.html). A hard copy of the Sale Notice and will also be posted in the BLM Public Room located in Suite 950, 20 M Street, Washington, D.C.

The sale notice initiates a 30 day protest period.  All protests must be received no later than 4:30 p.m., November 14, 2016.  Protests should be as specific as possible.  Those which contain only opinions or preferences will not receive a formal response, but may be considered in the BLM decision-making process.  Protests may be mailed to the BLM-Eastern States office at 20 M Street, Suite 950, Washington, D.C. 20003, or faxed to the attention of State Director at (202) 912-7710.  For information on how to file a timely protest, please refer to the sale notice.  Hard copies of the sale notice may also be obtained in person from the BLM-Eastern States State Office Public Room. 
NOTE: The Protest Period is to protest the inclusion of a parcel listed in the Notice of Competitive Oil and Gas Internet-Based Lease Sale.  Therefore, the protest period is regarding the parcels and not the content of the Environmental Assessment.

Before including an address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in any comments, please be aware that the entire comment—including personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time.  Requests to withhold personal identifying information from public review can be submitted, but the BLM cannot guarantee that it will be able to do so.

For additional information about BLM Eastern States oil and gas leasing program, please contact Kemba Anderson at (202) 912-7733.  Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to leave a message or question with the above individual.  The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Replies are provided during normal business hours.

Comment period ended Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has prepared a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) with an associated unsigned Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) to evaluate the anticipated environmental impacts of leasing federal mineral estate to support potential future oil and gas development within the proclamation boundary of the Wayne National Forest (WNF), Athens Ranger District, Marietta Unit, located in Monroe, Noble, and Washington Counties, Ohio (Marietta Unit).

The BLM proposes to lease up to approximately 40,000 federally-owned minerals located in the Wayne National Forest, Athens Ranger District, Marietta Unit in Monroe, Noble, and Washington Counties in Ohio.  This approximate acreage figure represents the total amount of federally-owned minerals that could be nominated and potentially be made available for leasing on the Marietta Unit.  Industry uses the BLM Expression of Interest (EOI) process to nominate federal minerals for leasing.  To date, industry has submitted over fifty EOIs for parcels located on the Marietta Unit (nominated parcels currently under review total approximately 18,000 acres. Click the Data link on the left side panel for the list and approximate locations of the nominated parcels).  The BLM and the Forest Service review deeds on a parcel-by-parcel basis to verify federal mineral ownership as leasing nominations are received. 

Under the Proposed Action, the BLM would offer for lease, at future BLM Eastern States competitive oil and gas lease sales, nominated parcels that have been reviewed and approved by the BLM and the Forest Service.  In accordance with 43 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 3120.4-2, approved parcels will be identified, along with any attached stipulations and notices, through a Notice of Competitive Lease Sale that will be posted at least 45 days prior to a lease sale.  Mineral ownership is highly fragmented and complicated throughout the WNF.  Approximately 59% of the WNF surface ownership is underlain by private minerals.  The remaining approximately 41% of surface ownership is underlain by federal minerals.  The federal government owns a 100% mineral interest in approximately 10,000 acres and owns a partial mineral interest in approximately 8,200 acres underlying National Forest System (NFS) lands on the Marietta Unit, totaling more than 18,000 acres.  There are current leases on an additional 10,000 acres, which may be federally owned and more than 13,000 acres of reserved minerals that will revert to the federal government in the future.  The Proposed Action also applies to the minerals that are reverting.  The Forest Service has authority to purchase lands; therefore acreages listed above are subject to change through time.

As there are at least 50 EOIs to nominate parcels on the Marietta Unit and due to the complicated nature of the mineral estate on the Wayne National Forest, the final EA for this Proposed Action will be used to lease nominated parcels on the Marietta Unit that will undergo review by BLM and the Forest Service over the next few years.  Any nominated parcels reviewed and approved for competitive leasing by the BLM and Forest Service after the initial lease sale in which parcels are auctioned would be addressed with a Determination of NEPA Adequacy (DNA) document tiered to the environmental analysis in the final EA.  Approved lease parcels would then be auctioned at future BLM Eastern States competitive oil and gas lease sales.

The draft EA and unsigned FONSI will be available for a 30-day public review and comment period until May 31, 2016.  Comments that identify issues relevant to the proposed action or those that contain new technical or scientific information are most helpful, but all comments are considered in this decision-making process.  They may be submitted by one of the following methods:  

                    E-mail:     blm_es_comments@blm.gov

           Fax number:    (414) 297-4409, Attn: Kurt Wadzinski

U.S. Postal Service:    BLM Northeastern States District
                                     Attn: Kurt Wadzinski
                                     Planning & Environmental Coordinator
                                     626 E. Wisconsin Ave., Suite 200
                                     Milwaukee, WI 53202-4617

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, 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 from public review your personal identifying information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.  All submissions from organizations, from businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives of organizations or businesses, will be available for public review.

Following the conclusion of the public comment period for the draft EA, the BLM analyzes and incorporates (where appropriate) all substantive comments received during the public comment period and makes changes to the document, if necessary and finalizes the EA.