July 26, 2006
In Reply Refer To:
3400 (320) P
Instruction Memorandum No. 2006-203  
Expires: 09/30/2007
To:                               All Field Office Officials
From:                           Assistant Director, Minerals, Realty & Resource Protection
Subject:                       Competitive Coal Leasing Handbook H-3420-1
PROGRAM AREA: Coal Management Program Guidance
PURPOSE:    This Instruction Memorandum corrects the reference to a draft environmental assessment(EA) in the programmatic guidance provided in H-3420-1 (Release 3-148 dated December 18, 1985) Chapter III, page III-8 and Appendix 2-9, page 2.
POLICY: Under the general coal leasing procedures requiring BLM to hold a public hearing on the environmental assessment (EA) or environmental impact statement (EIS), the public is given the opportunity to review the EA or draft EIS (see 43 CFR 3425.3 and 3425.4). The Competitive Coal Leasing Handbook, in detailing the steps involved in scheduling a public hearing, references a notice of availability of a draft EA or EIS. The word draft is incorrectly placed in the sentence andshould have preceded the reference to an EIS rather than an EA.
ACTIONS REQUIRED: With respect to theH-3420-1 - Competitive Coal Leasingguidance currently in effect, this IM  amends the following provisions by replacing  the underlined references below with the phrase, EA or draft EIS:
H-3420-1 – COMPETITIVE COAL LEASING, Chapter III, page III-8, item 3: “ The District Manager, in coordination with the Adjudicator . . .  a public hearing on the draft analysis . . . .” [emphasis added]
H-3420-1 – COMPETITIVE COAL LEASING, Appendix 2-9, page 2: “3425.3-5 allows the notice of availability of a draft EA or EIS . . . .” [emphasis added]    
TIMEFRAME: This policy is effective immediately.
BUDGET IMPACT: No budget impact is anticipated.

BACKGROUND: This IM is needed to correct a technical error relating to certain references in H-3420-1 to a draft EA. A similar incorrect reference to a draft EA appears in regulation 43 CFR 3435.3-5. The Washington Office intends to correct the technical error in the regulation in the near future.
MANUAL/HANDBOOK SECTIONS AFFECTED: The changes noted above under “Actions Required” revises H-3420-1 – Competitive Coal Leasing.
COORDINATION: This IM has been reviewed by the Group Manager, Planning Assessment and Community Support (WO-210); Deb Rawhouser (202-452-0354).
CONTACT PERSON: If you have any questions or concerns regarding this policy, please address them to WO-320 Ted Murphy (202-452-0350) or John Lewis (202-785-6567).
Signed by:                                                                   
Authenticated by:
Bob Anderson                                                             
Robert M. Williams
Acting, Assistant Director                                            
Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Minerals, Realty and Resource Protection