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NTL 93-2

Notice to Lessees and Operators of Onshore Federal and Indian
Oil and Gas Leases Within the Jurisdiction
of the Farmington and Albuquerque District Offices
(NTL 93-2 FDO/ADO)

Modification of Production Equipment to Prevent Bird and Bat Losses

I. Background:

The subject of bird and bat mortalities associated with open exhaust stacks on production equipment has been discussed with San Juan Basin operators, State and Federal agencies and recently at the San Juan Basin Working Committee meetings. In recent months, the Farmington and Albuquerque District Offices, in cooperation with industry, have obtained sufficient data to establish that the majority of the birds being lost are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is mandated to prevent this loss. Additionally, the BLM is concerned about any unnecessary loss of other birds or bats. These losses appear to be occurring primarily due to equipment designs that allow the birds and bats to access the equipment (dehydrators, separators and tank heaters) through the vertical exhaust stacks of these fired units. Once inside the units, the birds and bats are unable to get out. The draft NTL for modification of production equipment to prevent these losses was subject to a thirty day public review and comment period.

II. Purpose:

To prevent these losses, the BLM, Farmington District Office, in cooperation with the Albuquerque District Office has established the following requirements for all oil and gas related production equipment. These requirements will apply on Federal and Indian leases within the Farmington and Albuquerque Districts.

III. Authority:

Under the authority of Title 43 CFR Part 3161.2, Part 3164.2, and Part 3162.5-l (Environmental Obligations) for lessees/operators on Federal and Indian oil and gas leases, modifying production equipment to eliminate hazards to migratory birds can be required.

IV. Requirements:

A. All vertical exhaust stacks of fired units associated with existing production equipment shall be modified to prevent birds and bats from entering them and to the extent practical to discourage perching and nesting. The following time frames will be followed for implementation:

  1. All equipment located within approximately one mile of Navajo Reservoir, Jackson Lake, Farmington Lake, or the La Plata, San Juan or Animas Rivers will be modified by October 1, 1993.
  2. All other such equipment will be modified by October 1, 1994.

B. New production equipment installed on Federal or Indian leases after May 1, 1993 will have the exhaust stacks covered to prevent the entry of birds and bats and to the extent practical to discourage perching and nesting.

V. Compliance:

Monitoring will be done by both the BLM and the operators to determine the effectiveness of the modifications made to the exhaust stacks. If the modifications are shown to be ineffective, additional measures shall be required.

APPROVED:Date: 4-27-93Michael R. Ford
Albuquerque District Manager
 Date: 4-27-93Michael J. Pool
Farmington District Manager