Rescinding the Washington Office Instruction Memorandum No. 2017-037, Waste Mine Methane Policy
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Washington, D.C. 20240
December 8, 2017
In Reply Refer To:
3400 (300) P
EMS TRANMISSION 12/20/2017
Instruction Memorandum No. 2018-018
To: All Field Office Officials
From: Assistant Director, Energy, Minerals, and Realty Management
Subject: Rescinding the Washington Office Instruction Memorandum No. 2017-037, Waste Mine Methane Policy
Program Area: Coal Management, Solid Leasable Minerals Management.
Purpose: This policy rescinds the Washington Office (WO) Instruction Memorandum (IM) No. 2017-037, Waste Mine Methane Policy, issued on January 20, 2017.
Policy/Action: All issues related to management and capture of waste mine methane across Bureau of Land Management (BLM) managed lands are to be directed to the BLM WO, Energy, Minerals, and Realty Management Directorate. Field offices will no longer apply the provisions outlined in IM 2017-037.
Timeframe: This IM is effective immediately.
Budget Impact: This policy will not result in additional program costs.
Background: The referenced IM provided guidance to foster voluntary activities by coal lease operators to capture waste mine methane from underground coal or other solid mineral mines. The intent of the policy was to encourage the capture of waste mine methane for productive use where economical and reduce environmental impacts, while ensuring continued safe underground mining operations on Federal lands.
Pursuant to Executive Order 13783 and Secretarial Order 3349, the BLM has identified IM 2017-037 as an action that may burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources. Although IM 2017-037 will not create a significant burden on operators because it provides for voluntary compliance based on mutual agreement between the operator and the BLM, the likelihood of an operator implementing voluntary collection of waste mine methane is small given the large challenges in collecting such waste. Therefore, the BLM is rescinding this policy to eliminate the burdens to BLM coal leasing staff associated with investigating the possibility of waste mine capture with operators. This will allow staff to refocus on BLM priorities, including the processing of coal applications.
Manual/ Handbook Sections Affected: None.
Coordination: The BLM Energy, Minerals, and Realty Management Directorate; the WO Division of Solid Minerals (WO-320); and the Office of the Solicitor coordinated in preparation of this IM.
Contact: If there are any questions concerning this IM, please contact me at 202-208-4201, or Mitchell Leverette, Division Chief, WO-320, at 202-912-7113, firstname.lastname@example.org, for information concerning this IM.
Timothy R. Spisak
Acting Assistant Director Energy, Minerals, and Realty Management
Division of IT Policy and Planning (WO-870)