Print Page
November 28, 2009
In Reply Refer To:
3809/3720 (320) P         
Instruction Memorandum No. 2009-034      
Expires: 09/30/2010
To:                  State Directors
                        Attn:  Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah
From:               Assistant Director, Minerals and Realty Management
Subject:           Dissemination of Fix a Shaft Today! (FAST!) Safety Notice to Mining Claimants                                                                          
Program Area:  Surface Management
Purpose: This Instruction Memorandum (IM) establishes an action item for state directors and minerals program leads in six southwestern states to provide mining claimants with a FAST! mine safety notice. The safety notice provides situational awareness of recent accidents involving casual visitors and off-highway vehicle users.  The safety notice requests mining claimants to take action to mitigate any potential safety hazards.
Policy/Action: The FAST! Campaign is a collaborative partnership between the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)-Forest Service (FS), the National Association of Abandoned Mine Land Programs, the mining industry (including the National Mining Association), mining claimants, Bat Conservation International, landowners, recreational user groups, and volunteers to work together to correct unsafe mine features (e.g., abandoned mine shafts).  Under the FAST! Campaign, the partners want to encourage mining claimants to fix open adits, shafts, and other mine hazards.
To this end, we request that your offices provide mining claimants with the attached documents:  a notice requesting mining claimants take action to mitigate mining hazards (attachment 1) and a description of recent accidents (attachment 2). The notice to claimants encourages them to address mine hazards on their claims and, if necessary, to contact the BLM or the FS for technical assistance.  The description of recent accidents provides a grim, but realistic account of what can happen if these hazards are not addressed.  These documents provide claimants with information on the dangers and liabilities associated with mine hazards.
If a claimant seeks the BLM’s advice, please work with him or her to begin to document, monitor, and address any long-term issues at the site. These issues may include eroding or unstable dumps, open sumps, unused buildings or inoperable equipment, eroding roadbeds,
and any surface management-related issue that needs a long-term plan or program for proper management of our surface resources.
Timeframe: State offices will provide the claimant notice and accident description documents to all mining claimants in their state within 120 days after issuance of this IM.
Budget Impact: No budget impact as mining claimants will voluntarily fix the identified mine safety hazard. There is a modest cost associated with reprinting of materials to be sent and postage. State offices may consider splitting costs between Subactivities 1010 Soil, Water
and Air, 1990 Mining Law Administration, under budget object classes 233G Postage,
and 241E Printing and Reproduction. For Subactivity 1010, use Cost Code ANMS for Abandoned Mine Lands.
Background: The BLM is concerned about increasing numbers of abandoned mine safety hazard-related accidents occurring in the southwestern states. According to the Mine Safety Health Administration (MSHA), approximately 29 people die each year due to accidents involving mine land features. Deaths and injuries have occurred on lands mined and then abandoned. A growing number of fatalities are occurring on private land and adjacent to public lands. 
Seeing the need to quickly and effectively fix these mine shafts before accidents happen, the BLM and its partners have initiated the FAST! Campaign.  Because of the extent of the problem, the BLM seeks to partner with mining claimants, landowners, the mining industry, recreational user groups, and volunteers to work together to fix these unsafe mine features.
This is one part of the FAST! Campaign whereby the BLM is reaching out to mining claimants by (1) encouraging the claimants to close open adits and shafts and address any other hazards on their claim site and (2) offering technical support (either from the BLM or one of its FAST!
partners) to those mining claimants unsure of how to address these hazards.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: No manuals or handbooks are affected.
Coordination: This IM has been coordinated with the Division of Environmental Quality
and Protection (WO-280), the Office of the Solicitor, and all partners mentioned above. 


Contact: If you have any questions, please contact me at 202-208-4201, or your staff
may contact Mitchell Leverette, Solid Minerals Division Chief, at 202-452-5088 or
mitchell_leverette@blm.gov. For more information regarding the FAST! Campaign,
please contact Erinn Shirley (WO-280), Abandoned Mine Land Specialist, at
202-452-3015 or erinn_shirley@blm.gov.                                               
Signed by:                                                                   Authenticated by:
Michael D. Nedd                                                           Robert M. Williams
Assistant Director                                                        Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Minerals and Realty Management                                                       
2 Attachments

Last updated: 10-20-2009