Rescinding IM No. 2019-018, Compensatory Mitigation Policy
United States Department of the Interior
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Grand Junction, Colorado 81506
July 12, 2021
In Reply Refer To:
EMS Transmission: 07/14/2021
Instruction Memorandum No. 2021-038
To: All State Directors
From: Assistant Director, Resources and Planning
Subject: Rescinding IM No. 2019-018, Compensatory Mitigation Policy
Program Area: All Resource Programs
Purpose: This Instruction Memorandum (IM) rescinds IM No. 2019-018, Compensatory Mitigation Policy.1
Administrative or Mission Related: Mission Related.
Policy/Action: This IM rescinds IM 2019-018 Compensatory Mitigation Policy issued on December 6, 2018. The IM 2019-018 is inconsistent with the policies in Executive Order (EO) 13990, Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis (January 20, 2021) and Secretary’s Order (SO) 3398, Revocation of Secretary’s Orders Inconsistent with Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis (April 16, 2021).
The BLM is currently reviewing Manual Section (MS-1794, release 1-1782) and Handbook (H- 1794-1, release 1-1783), mitigation policy documents that were rescinded by SO 3360, Rescinding Authorities Inconsistent with Secretary’s Order 3349, American Energy Independence (Dec. 22, 2017). The BLM expects to establish policies which are aligned with EO 13990, SO 3398, and the priorities of the Department. During this interim period offices should consider and implement compensatory mitigation on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with state office and national office program specialists and the Office of the Solicitor as needed.
Timeframe: This IM is effective upon issuance. For NEPA documents that are near completion for an action (e.g., a preliminary Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is in the final stages of review), implementation of this policy may be modified to fit the specific circumstances so as not to delay publication of the NEPA document and approval of the project(s). This IM does not affect any existing approved land use planning decision or land use authorization.
Budget Impact: None.
Background: Executive Order 13783, Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth (March 28, 2017) rescinded the Presidential Memorandum relating to the mitigation of impacts on natural resources. In response to EO 13783, Secretary’s Order (SO) 3349, American Energy Independence (March 29, 2017), rescinded SO 3330 and directed the Department to review guidance documents and policies that potentially burden the development or utilization of domestically produced energy resources. Secretarial Order 3360, Rescinding Authorities Inconsistent with Secretary’s Order 3349, American Energy Independence, rescinded BLM Manual Section 1794 (release 1-1782, Dec. 22, 2016) and BLM Handbook H-1794-1 (release 1- 1782, Dec. 22, 2016) on mitigation and directed the BLM to reissue new policy guidance on compensatory mitigation. This resulted in issuance of IM No. 2018-093, Compensatory Mitigation (July 24, 2018), which was replaced by IM No. 2019-018, Compensatory Mitigation (December 6, 2018).
President Biden issued EO 13990, Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis (January 20, 2021), which revoked EO 13783, Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth (March 28, 2017). Secretary Haaland issued SO 3398, Revocation of Secretary’s Orders Inconsistent with Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis (April 16, 2021), which revoked SO 3349 and SO 3360, which were found to be inconsistent with the polices in EO 13990, and directed that all policies and instructions that implemented the above revoked SOs or that are otherwise inconsistent with the policies set forth in EO 13990 be reviewed and revised, as necessary. The Compensatory Mitigation IM (IM No. 2019-018) is inconsistent with the policies in EO 13990 and SO 3398.
Manual/ Handbook Sections Affected: None.
Coordination: Headquarters Office Programs (including Decision Support, Resources and Planning, Energy, Minerals, Realty Management, and National Conservation Lands and Community Partnerships) and state, district, and field offices will be notified of this change and may contact Deblyn Mead, National Mitigation Lead, for guidance during this interim period.
Contact: Offices may direct any questions related to this IM to Deblyn Mead, National Mitigation Lead at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 This IM is not intended to, and does not create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or equity by a party against the United States, its departments, agencies, instrumentalities or entities, its officers or employees, or any other person.
Signed by: Authenticated by:
David Jenkins Brianna Huerta
Assistant Director, Resources and Planning Division of Regulatory Affairs and Directives,(HQ-630)