BLM Releases Draft Plan for Oil and Gas Leasing in Central California


Dirt roads through a dry hilly area.MARINA, Calif. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released the Draft Resource Management Plan Amendment and Draft Environmental Impact Statement for oil and gas leasing and development in the BLM’s Central Coast Field Office.

The plan addresses oil and gas leasing and development on 793,000 acres of federal mineral estate for Alameda, Contra Costa, Fresno, Merced, Monterey, San Benito, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Stanislaus counties.

The preferred alternative analyzes development for up to 37 wells on 206 acres. Only areas with high oil and gas potential or within the boundaries of existing oil and gas fields would be open to leasing. Conservation areas currently closed to leasing such as wilderness areas, wilderness study areas and national monuments would remain closed to leasing. Important habitat areas for the endangered kangaroo rat in the Ciervo Panoche Natural Area would also be closed to leasing. 

The Draft RMP amendment puts in place new stipulations and best management practices for oil and gas leasing to address wildlife, air quality and water resources and ensure safe and environmentally responsible development. It also contains an updated Reasonably Foreseeable Development Scenario for oil and gas production and incorporates best available science to inform analysis on new leasing and decision making.

The Federal Register notice is scheduled to publish on Jan. 6 and initiates a 90-day public comment period. The Central Coast Field Office will host public meetings to provide information on the plan and an opportunity to comment. Public meetings will be announced at least 15 days in advance.

Written comments will be most effective if they are specific to the proposal or analysis and are received by April 6, 2017. Please submit comments by email to BLM_CA_OGEIS@blm.gov or by mail to Bureau of Land Management, California State Office, O&G Leasing DEIS Comments, 2800 Cottage Way Suite W-1623, Sacramento, CA 95825.

For more information about the Draft RMP amendment/Draft EIS or for a copy of the document, please visit: www.blm.gov/programs/planning-and-nepa/plans-in-development/california/central-coast-rmp-amendment-for-oil-and-gas.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America's public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Release Date

Thursday, January 5, 2017


Bureau of Land Management, California


Central Coast Field Office


David Christy