Environmental Documents: Bakersfield Field Office
The Bureau of Land Management conducts a wide variety of activities in order to help achieve its goals and objectives. The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) requires that all proposed actions affecting public lands or resources under an agency's jurisdiction be reviewed for compliance with the act.
BLM routinely reviews its actions for compliance with NEPA. Within the Bakersfield Field Office, most NEPA review is in response to applications from the public for various kinds of permits, leases, or authorizations. The effects of an action on biological resources, cultural resources, and human environment are just a few of the considerations commonly addressed. The environmental review conducted for NEPA conformance in some cases may even extend beyond the boundaries of public lands in order to consider the cumulative effects of the proposal.
All Environmental Assessments
Proposed actions fall into one of five categories :
- Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) - An environmental impact statement evaluates actions that are projected to have a significant impact on the human environment. It usually identifies several alternatives, and provides decision makers and the public with a complete and objective evaluation of significant environmental impacts.
- Environmental Assessment (EA) - Environmental assessments are short documents prepared on proposals to determine if there may be significant impacts which would require the subsequent preparation of an EIS. The EA should include enough information for the decision-maker to accept or reject the proposed action, amend it, or adopt an alternative.
- Categorical Exclusion (CX) - The Department of the Interior and BLM maintain lists of actions that are categorically excluded from the requirement to have an EA or EIS in place. These are generally routine actions with minor impacts. Proposals that qualify for a CX are reviewed to see if there are any special considerations present that might warrant completion of an environmental assessment or EIS.
- Existing Documentation - Existing environmental documentation can and should be used whenever possible. If previous documents fully encompass the current proposed action, then no further review is needed. This finding should be documented (there is no required format), and is referred to as a Determination of NEPA Adequacy (DNA). If the proposed action is partially covered by prior documents, a new NEPA review must be undertaken, but can incorporate those earlier documents by reference.
- Exempt Actions - Actions that do not require any of the review identified above include proposals that must be rejected because they are in conflict with another regulatory or statutory authority, emergency actions, and actions specifically exempted from NEPA by Congress.
The extent of public involvement varies according to the scope and controversy associated with the proposed action. EIS's include opportunities for the public to participate in the scoping of an issue and to comment on the draft; preparation of an EIS is usually accompanied by one or more public open houses. All of these opportunities are widely advertised. Development of an EA may or may not include open houses and public scoping, as well as an opportunity to comment on the final EA before a decision on the proposed action is made. Public involvement in the development of an EA is commensurate with the expected level of controversy. EA's and decisions are available to the public upon request.
The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969
Council on Environmental Quality
- Regulations for implementing NEPA
- Office of NEPA Policy and Compliance
- CEQ Guidance
- Forty Most Asked Questions Concerning CEQ's NEPA Regulations
BLM BAKERSFIELD ENVIRONMENTAL DOCUMENTS
Most of the actions within the Bakersfield Field Office are addressed through environmental assessments (EA's). Between 100 and 130 EA's are prepared in a normal year. Categorical exclusions are prepared less frequently, and Determinations of NEPA Adequacy usually number one or two annually. Over the last ten years, the only EIS undertaken was for the Caliente Resource Management Plan.
In the Bakersfield Field Office, notice or copies of EA's are frequently sent out to the Native American community, partners, and other affected interests. Many actions result in communication or consultation with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to ensure conformance with the Endangered Species Act. Most EA's in Bakersfield are routine in nature.
Following are the links to tables listing the most recent environmental impact statements, environmental assessments, and categorical exclusions completed within the Bakersfield Field Office.
Guide to Types of Action (refers to codes below)
1610 - Resource Management Planning
2200 - Land Exchanges
2800 - Rights-of-Way
2920 - Leases, Permits & Easements
3045 - Geophysical Exploration
3100 - Oil & Gas
3600 - Mineral Material Disposal
3809 - Surface Management
4120 - Grazing Management
4130 - Authorized Grazing Use
5900 - Forest Ecosystems Health & Recovery
6500 - Wildlife
8100 - Cultural Resources
8300 - Recreation
8372 - Special Recreation Permits
8500 - Wilderness
9113 - Roads
9214 - Prescribed Burns
All documents are located at the Bakersfield Field Office.
ONLINE BAKERSFIELD NEPA DOCUMENTS
- E&B Natural Resource Management Corp. CX: This is a Categorical Exclusion (BLM-CA-C069-2014-0208-CX) for a proposed right-of-way, including the installation of a new well meter, underground pipeline, and the removal of an existing pipeline. The proposed project is located on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) managed lands located in Sections 3, 10, and 11, T. 11 N., R. 28W., SBBM. The project location is within the Carrizo Plain National Monument (CPNM) as well as within the existing Russell Ranch Oil Field.
The following are links to older Environmental Document Rosters: