Montana/Dakotas

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United States Department of the Interior
 
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Montana State Office
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, Montana 59101-4669
http://www.blm.gov/mt

November 3, 2005

 
In Reply To:  
1610(923)P
 
 
EMAIL TRANSMISSION – 11/04/05
Instruction Memorandum No. MT-2006-009
Expires: 9/30/07
 
To:             State Management Team
                  Attention: Planning and Environmental Coordinators
 
From:         Deputy State Director, Division of Resources
 
Subject:     Washington Office (WO) Instruction Memorandum (IM) No. 2005-058, End of the Fiscal Year Report to Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) for Environmental Assessments (EAs) and Environmental Impact Statements (EISs)                                             DD: 11/21/05
 
Program Area: National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance
 
Purpose: This Instruction Memorandum (IM) formally requests from field offices responses to an annual data call on cooperating agencies. 
 
Policy/Action: This data call is not new; however, response format and protocols have changed slightly from previous years. The primary changes are: 
1.       The reporting period has been increased from 6 to 12 months and aligned with the fiscal year;
2.       CEQ has decreased the amount of information requested; and
3.       we have a different protocol for reporting EAs (we now provide the number of EAs that are finished (vs. started) during the reporting period).
                                                                                                                              
Practically, this means that field offices should determine, for the period of October 1, 2004, through September 30, 2005, the number of EAs finished and EISs started (indicated by an Notice of Intent (NOI) being published within the reporting period); how many of those involved potential cooperating agencies; and in cases with potential cooperating agencies, some additional information relating to whether the agency actually signed on as a formal cooperating agency. 
 
Field offices should enter this information into Attachment 1 of this IM and submit it electronically to Katie A Stevens (Katie_A_Stevens@blm.gov) by the due date of November 21, 2005. Attachments 2 (WO IM No. 2005-058) and 3 (Frequently Asked Questions) to this IM provide additional information relative to the information requested (i.e., definitions of cooperating agency, reasons status was not accepted/offered); one attachment to the WO IM has been deleted because it restated previously provided information. 
 
Timeframe: This IM takes effect immediately. 
 
Budget Impact: None

Background: The Bureau of Land Management Montana State Office has submitted totals of EAs and EISs, with supporting information regarding cooperating agency status on each of those EAs/EISs, to the Washington Office biannually. Response protocols have been slightly updated each year in response to feedback to CEQ from federal agencies. 
 
In future years, this information may be available via Montana’s internet-based NEPA log, at which time it may not be necessary for field offices to submit individual responses.
 
Additional background information is provided in Attachments 2 and 3 to this email. 
 
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: None. 
 
Contact: For questions regarding this IM, please contact Katie Stevens, (406) 896-5246, or Katie_A_Stevens@blm.gov.
 
 
Signed by: Randy D. Heuscher, Acting
 
Authenticated by: Merry Prestridge (MT923)
 
 
3 Attachments
   1-Report format (2 pp)
   2-WO IM 2005-058 (2 pp)
 
Distribution
Asst. FM Havre - 1
Asst. FM Glasgow - 1