August 25, 2008
 
In Reply Refer To:
2800/3100 (300) P
EMS TRANSMISSION 08/27/2008
Instruction Memorandum No. 2008-180
Expires: 09/30/2009
 
To:                   All Field Officials
 
From:               Assistant Director, Minerals and Realty Management
 
Subject:           The Oil, Gas, Geophysical, and Geothermal Development Environmental Best Management Practices Awards Program                      DD: 12/01/08; 01/05/09
 
Program Areas: Oil, Gas, Geophysical, and Geothermal Operations
 
Purpose: The purpose of this Instruction Memorandum (IM) is to invite nominations of energy companies until December 1, 2008,for the 2009 Oil, Gas, Geophysical, and Geothermal Development Environmental Best Management Practices (BMP) Awards Program.
 
Policy/Action: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) invites nominations from surface management agencies, the public, and the energy industry for the 2009 Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Development Environmental BMP Awards Program. The purpose of the Awards Program is to promote and showcase the finest examples of responsible fluid minerals resource development on Federal, Indian Trust, and Federal split estate lands, and to recognize oil, gas, geophysical, and geothermal operators and their partners who demonstrate leadership and creativity in reducing environmental impacts of energy development.
 
The BMP Awards Program is as an important component of the BLM’s overall approach to ensure that energy development is conducted on its lands in an environmentally responsible manner. 
 
BMP Awards Program:  These awards will recognize one or more oil, gas, geophysical, or geothermal operators or partnerships. Fluid minerals development projects eligible for consideration must occur on BLM-managed public lands, other Federal agency lands, such as national forest lands, Indian Trust lands, or on split estate lands where the BLM manages the mineral estate and the surface is privately owned.  Environmental BMPs must have been implemented in 2007 or 2008.  
 
Nominations will be accepted until December 1, 2008.  Nominations may originate from surface management agencies, the public, or companies that self-nominate. The nominations will be screened by the BLM State Offices and forwarded by the Washington Office to a panel of judges. The panel of judges may be composed of energy industry and natural resource experts including individuals from Federal agencies, academic institutions, trade and conservation groups, and/or the public.   
 
The BLM State Offices will assist the Washington Office (WO) in publicizing this Awards Program. Attachment 1 provides a detailed description of the Awards Program and will be distributed to the public and operators and posted in the Public Room as notice of the program.  
 
The State Offices will receive and process nominations under their jurisdictions, including verifying information that is submitted with a nomination and determining if a nominee is in compliance with all applicable regulations.  State Offices will forward all nominations to Bryce Barlan in the WO Division of Fluid Minerals (WO-310) by January 5, 2009. The State Office will include a short statement of its findings with each nomination. Documents should be sent by Federal Express or United Parcel Service to:
 
                      U.S. Department of the Interior
                      Bureau of Land Management
                      1620 L St., N.W., Room 501
                     Washington, DC   20036-5605
                     Attn: Bryce Barlan – Natural Resource Specialist (WO-310)
 
Additional information on environmental BMPs may be obtained at: http://www.blm.gov/bmp.  
 
Timeframe:   The following is a summary of timeframes and deadlines related to this IM, which is effective immediately. 
  • Until December 1, 2008 - State Offices accept nominations.
  • January 5, 2009 - State Offices review and forward all nominations to the WO. 
  • 2009 Industry Conference (TBD) – Presentation of awards.

Budget Impacts: The budget impact of this Awards Program is minimal.  

Background: On June 22, 2004, the BLM directed all Field Offices to incorporate appropriate BMPs into Application for Permit to Drill and associated on-and off-lease rights-of-way approvals. In addition, the BLM highly encourages oil, gas, and geothermal companies to proactively incorporate environmental BMPs into their permit applications. A permit application containing BMPs will typically result in a more efficient permit and environmental review process and a lessened impact on the environment. In recognition of the many outstanding BMPs developed and implemented by the energy industry, the BLM has created this Awards Program. 
 
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: No manual or handbook sections are affected.
 
Coordination: This IM was coordinated with the U.S. Forest Service - WO.
 
Contact:  If you have questions or concerns regarding this IM, please contact me or your staff may contact:  Bryce Barlan, Natural Resource Specialist, WO-310, bryce_barlan@blm.gov, or by telephone, at 202-452-5197; U.S. Forest Service – Tracy Parker, Energy Minerals Program Manager, tparker03@fs.fed.us, or by telephone, at 703-605-4796.
 
 
Signed by:                                                                 Authenticated by:
Bob Anderson                                                            Robert M. Williams
Acting, Assistant Director                                          Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Minerals and Realty Management
 
 
1 Attachment