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We invite you to submit your comments on the Proposed Regulations Now Open for Comments via our web based automated regulations comment system. Individuals with accessibility requirements or who are otherwise unable to access the online system may submit comments through our accessibility compliant process.

If you do not receive a confirmation from the Internet that we have received your comments, contact us directly at (202) 452-5030.

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Regulatory Actions

Proposed Rules Open for Comment

  • None

Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) Open for Comment
  • 43 CFR Part 3800--Surface Management  (Federal Register, February 23, 2007, 72 FR 8139-8142).  This advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) relates to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) surface management regulations for mining operations authorized by the Mining Law.  In a previous Federal district court proceeding, environmental groups challenged the BLM's regulations on surface management under the Mining Law in 43 CFR subpart 3809, issued by the Department in 2001, in part, because the regulations did not require fair market value payment for use of Federal lands for mining operations when the lands are "invalidly claimed" or "unclaimed under the Mining Law.  For the most part the Court upheld the 3809 regulations, but remanded them in part to the Department "for evaluation, in light of Congress's expressed policy goal for the United States to 'receive fair market value of the use of the public lands and their resources."'  This ANPR is intended to assist the BLM in the evaluation ordered by the Court.
  • Comments on the Advance Notice of Proposed Rule must be submitted by April 24, 2007.

Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) Extension Closed for Comment
  • 43 CFR Part 3900--Commercial Oil Shale Leasing Program--Notice of reopening of public comment period  (Federal Register, September 26, 2006, 71 FR 56085).  This BLM notice extended the public comment period for the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) published in the Federal Register on August 25, 2006 (71 FR 50378).  The extended comment period for the ANPR closed on October 25, 2006.  The extended comment period provided the public with additional time to prepare and submit comments.  The ANPR requested comments and suggestions to assist in the writing of a proposed rule to establish a commercial leasing program for oil shale.  The Energy Policy Act of 2005 directs the Secretary of the Interior to--

    1. Complete a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for a commercial leasing program for oil shale and tar sands resources on public lands, with emphasis on the most geologically prospective lands with Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming; and
    2. Publish a final rule establishing such program, not later than 180 days after completion of the PEIS.  On May 18, 2006, BLM published a final rule for the leasing of tar sands.

    As an aid in preparing the proposed rule to establish an oil shale commercial leasing system and regulate oil shale mining operations, we encourage members of the public to provide comments and suggestions on the following key components:

    • royalty rate;
    • fair market value for conversion of preference right acreage and for commercial leasing;
    • diligence;
    • royalty determination point; and
    • small tract leasing.

    See Section III of the ANPR for a list of specific questions relating to these topics.

Notice of Intent Closed for Comment
  • None
Proposed Rules--Extension of Comment Period Closed
  • None

Notice of Interim Final Supplementary Rules Closed for Comment

The comment period is closed for the following proposed regulations.

  • 43 CFR Parts 3200 and 3280--Geothermal Resources Leasing and Geothermal Resources Unit Agreements--RIN: 1004-AD86 (Federal Register, 7/21/06, 71 FR 41542-41613).  The comment period for the proposed rule closed on September 19, 2006.  The proposed rule would--

    • Revise the BLM's existing geothermal resource leasing and unit agreement regulations to implement the Energy Policy Act of 2005;
    • Restructure existing regulations concerning the general geothermal leasing process and would revise existing regulations on royalties and readjustment of lease terms, conditions, and rentals; and
    • Revise existing regulations on lease duration and work commitment requirements, annual rental and credit of rental towards royalty, unit and communitization agreements, and acreage limitations.

    Additional revisions required by the Energy Policy Act include various technical corrections.  Other proposed changes in sections unaffected by changes in the statue would clarify existing procedures, improve grammatical construction, conform the regulations to new administrative regulatory standards, and correct existing errors.

  • 43 CFR Parts 3100, 3110, 3120, 3130, 3140, 3150, 3160, 3170, and 3180--Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing and Operations [pdf]-- RIN 1004-AC94 (Federal Register, 12/3/98, 63 FR 66839-66937).  The extended comment period closed on July 19, 1999 (Federal Register, 6/1/99, 64 FR 29256-29257).  This proposed rule would revise BLM's current Federal oil and gas leasing and operations regulations, except those concerning drainage, combined hydrocarbon leasing (part 3140), and oil and gas leasing in the National Petroleum Reserve--Alaska (part 3130) and would--
    • Use performance standards in certain places instead of prescriptive requirements, to allow more flexibility for operators and protect the environment and Federal royalty interests;
    • Cite industry standards and incorporate them by reference rather than repeating those standards in the rule itself;
    • Incorporate the requirements of the Onshore Oil and Gas Orders and national notices to lessees into the regulations to eliminate their overlap with the current regulations;
    • Increase bonding for statewide and lease bonding;
    • Add a fair market value user fee for geophysical exploration;
    • Revise and replace BLM's current unitization regulations with a more flexible unit agreement process; and
    • Eliminate redundancies, clarify procedures and regulatory requirements and streamline procedures.

  • 43 CFR Part 2610–Carey Act--RIN 1004-AC80 (Federal Register, 9/10/96, 61 FR 47725-47726).  The public comment period closed on October 10, 1996.  This rule would remove these regulations because the provisions are obsolete. Since 1980 when regulations were issued, only one public land State has applied for a grant of desert lands under the Carey Act.

Further Proposed Rules Closed For Comment
  • None

    For more information on any of these
regulatory actions, please contact: Edna Taylor 

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