Author Topic: R M P Amendment and an Associated E I S for Farmington Field Office  (Read 2120 times)

Offline Peter Vahry

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Notice of Intent To Prepare a Resource Management Plan Amendment
and an Associated Environmental Impact Statement for the Farmington
Field Office, New Mexico

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent.


SUMMARY: In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of
1969, as amended (NEPA), and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act
of 1976, as amended (FLPMA), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
Farmington Field Office, Farmington, New Mexico, intends to prepare a
Resource Management Plan (RMP) Amendment with an associated
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to address issues relating to oil
and gas in the Mancos Shale/Gallup Formation. This notice announces the
beginning of the scoping process to solicit public comments and
identify issues.

DATES: Comments may be submitted in writing until April 28, 2014. The
date(s) and location(s) of any scoping meetings will be announced at
least 15 days in advance through local news media, newspapers and the
BLM web site at In order to be
included in the analysis, all comments must be received prior to the
close of the 60-day scoping period or 15 days after the last public
meeting, whichever is later. We will provide additional opportunities
for public participation as appropriate.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on issues and planning criteria
related to the oil and gas RMP Amendment/EIS for the Mancos Shale/
Gallup Formation by any of the following methods:
     Web site:
     Fax: 505-564-7608.
     Mail: 6251 N. College Blvd. Suite A, Farmington, NM 87402.
    Documents pertinent to this proposal may be examined at the
Farmington Field Office 6251 N. College Blvd. Suite A, Farmington, NM

Telephone: 505-564-7670; address: 6251 N. College Blvd. Suite A,
Farmington, New Mexico 87402; email:
Contact Lindsey if you wish to have your name added to our mailing
list. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD)
may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339
to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS
is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or
question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during
normal business hours.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The RMP amendment is being developed in
order to analyze the impacts of additional development in what was
previously considered a fully developed oil and gas play within the San
Juan Basin in northwestern New Mexico. The Mancos Shale/Gallup
Formation was analyzed in the 2002 Reasonable Foreseeable Development
(RFD) Scenario and current Farmington Field Office 2003 RMP/EIS.
Subsequent improvements and innovations in horizontal drilling
technology and multi-stage hydraulic fracturing have enhanced the
economics of developing this stratigraphic horizon. With favorable oil
prices, the oil play in the southern part of the Farmington Field
Office boundary has drawn considerable interest and several wells are
planned and being drilled. As full-field development occurs, especially
in the shale oil play, additional impacts may occur that previously
were not anticipated in the RFD or analyzed in the current 2003 RMP/
EIS, which will require an EIS-level plan amendment and revision of the
RFD for complete analysis of the Mancos Shale/Gallup Formation. The
planning area is located in northwestern New Mexico, encompassing about
4 million acres,

[[Page 10549]]

and the analysis area encompasses about 6 million acres. The Field
Office is part of the Farmington District and includes San Juan,
McKinley, Rio Arriba, and Sandoval Counties. The majority of the BLM-
managed land in the Field Office is located within larger tracts, with
tribal, Indian allotted, scattered private, and State-owned inholdings.
The area includes the larger communities of Farmington, Aztec,
Bloomfield, and the smaller communities of Kirtland, Fruitland,
Shiprock, Crownpoint, and Navajo Dam. Lands and mineral estate managed
by the BLM for other Federal agencies, such as the U.S. Forest Service
and the Bureau of Reclamation, are included in this RMP Amendment
process and the analysis area. The purpose of the public scoping
process is to determine relevant issues that will influence the scope
of the environmental analysis, including alternatives, and guide the
planning process. Preliminary issues for the plan amendment area have
been identified by BLM personnel; Federal, State, and local agencies;
and other stakeholders. The issues include: Public safety and hazardous
materials; air quality; leasable, locatable and salable minerals;
vegetation management; socio-economics; water (ground and surface);
wildlife; migratory birds; special status species management; cultural
resources; paleontological resources; realty and lands authorizations;
and transportation and travel management. This EIS is in preparation of
an RMP Amendment and not a revision, therefore, not all decisions from
the 2003 RMP will be revisited. Decisions will be made related to
impacts from oil and gas for the following resources and resource uses
in the planning area: Air resources (air quality and climate change);
soil resources; water resources (ground and surface); vegetative
communities (e.g., rangelands, riparian areas, and weeds); wildlife/
habitat management areas; leasable, locatable, and salable minerals;
land use authorizations. Additional inventories will be conducted for
lands with wilderness characteristics, transportation and travel

To read the full notice...
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