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Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for New Federal Coal Leasing Program

June 21, 2016
by John Weisheit

Coal Seam in the Mesa Verde Group
Coal Seam in the Mesa Verde Group

Written comments may be submitted until July 28, 2016 (the original posted deadline for submitting written comments was changed), using one of the following methods:

Mail: Coal Programmatic EIS Scoping
Bureau of Land Management
20 M St. SE, Room 2134 LM
Washington, D.C. 20003

Emaii: BLM_WO_Coal_Program_PEIS_Comments@blm.gov

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Home page by the Bureau of Land Management and as follows:

The Department of the Interior has launched a comprehensive review to identify and evaluate potential reforms to the federal coal program in order to ensure that it is properly structured to provide a fair return to taxpayers and reflect its impacts on the environment, while continuing to help meet our energy needs.

The review, in the form of a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS), will take a careful look at issues such as how, when, and where to lease; how to account for the environmental and public health impacts of federal coal production; and how to ensure American taxpayers are earning a fair return for the use of their public resources.

A news release announcing a Notice of Intent (NOI) for the PEIS was issued on March 24, 2016.  The NOI can be viewed here.

A news release announcing the proposed rule was distributed January 15, 2016. The BLM plans to publish a Notice of Intent to conduct the PEIS.

Related Documents: Secretarial Order | Fact Sheet | Questions and Answers | Coal PEIS Scoping Meeting Presentation

Additional information on the federal coal program can be found here.

The BLM will host the following six public scoping meetings to solicit public input on the Federal Coal Program PEIS. Information on how to comment can be found here.

Meetings in Casper, Wyo., Salt Lake City, Knoxville, Seattle, and Grand Junction, Colo., will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. local time. The Pittsburgh meeting will be held from 1 to 7 p.m. local time. Specifics for all of the upcoming public scoping meetings can be found below:

May 17, 2016
Casper Events Center
1 Events Drive
Casper, WY 82601
Doors open for speaker registration at 8:30 a.m.; meeting 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

May 19, 2016
Salt Palace Convention Center
90 South West Temple
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Doors open for speaker registration at 8:00 a.m., meeting 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

May 26, 2016
Tennessee Theatre
604 S. Gay Street
Knoxville, TN 37902
Doors open for speaker registration at 8:00 a.m.; meeting 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

June 21, 2016
Sheraton Seattle Downtown
1400 6th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
Doors open for speaker registration at 8:00 a.m.; meeting 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

June 23, 2016
Two Rivers Convention Center Avalon Theatre
645 Main Street
Grand Junction, CO 81501
Doors open for speaker registration at 8:00 a.m.; meeting 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

June 28, 2016*
Pittsburgh Convention Center
1000 Fort Duquesne Boulevard
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Doors open for speaker registration at 11:00 a.m.; meeting 1 to 7 p.m.
*PLEASE NOTE this is a new date; the meeting originally scheduled for June 16, 2016, is now scheduled for June 28, 2016.

The meetings in Casper, Wyo., Seattle and Pittsburgh will be live-streamed at www.blm.gov/live; meetings in Salt Lake City, Knoxville, Tenn., and Grand Junction, Colo., will have a toll-free, listen-only audio link available via telephone.

Those who attend the meetings in person and who wish to speak will be asked to sign in. Speakers will be called upon on a first-come, first-served basis determined by sign-in order. Attendees wishing to speak will be accommodated to the fullest extent possible given the time available. The maximum speaking time per speaker is three minutes.

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