The following steps summarize the BLM's land use planning process that was used for the Oil & Gas Development Resource Management Plan Amendment.
Identify Issues and Develop Planning Criteria
Identify issues that need to be resolved or addressed during the project studies and in preparation of the RMPA/EIS. This is an ongoing process that ties to the NEPA scoping process. Planning criteria guide the development of the RMPA/EIS, avoid unnecessary data collection and analyses, and ensure the plan is tailored to the issues. Preliminary planning criteria developed by the BLM can be modified through public comment.
Collection Information, Analyze Management Situation, Formulate Alternatives
Collect inventory data based on the planning criteria. Data are generally collected from existing sources, with new data collection being limited to what is needed to resolve the planning issues. At this step reasonable alternatives are developed that address issues identified during scoping and that offer a distinct choice among potential management strategies. A no action alternative is included.
Assess Effects of Alternatives
Each alternative is evaluated for its potential impact on resources and resource uses, and management situation.
The public is notified of the availability of the Draft RMPA/EIS through publishing the Notice of Availability (NOA) in the Federal Register, media, mailings, and other avenues. Publishing of the NOA initiates a 90-day public review and comment period.
Proposed RMPA/Final EIS and Record of Decision
Comments received on the Draft RMPA/EIS are evaluated and modifications to the document are made as needed. A second NOA would be published to notify the public of the availability of the Proposed RMPA/Final EIS, and a copy of the document would be filed with the EPA. The publication of this NOA initiates a 60-day Governor’s consistency review to identify inconsistencies with state or local plans and a 30-day protest period under 43 CFR 1610.5-2. The State Director of the BLM may sign and implement that portion of the plan not under protest.
Once protests have been resolved and the Governor’s consistency review has been completed, the State Director approves the RMPA by signing the Record of Decision (ROD).
Issue and implement the Plan Amendment. Ensure that the plan is continually monitored and evaluated until it is replaced or modified by another plan.
For More Information
For a detailed explanation of the BLM land use planning procedures please refer to the following link:
H-1601-1 Land Use Planning Handbook - (Public)