BLM - Bureau of Land Management

05/13/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/13/2019 07:15

BLM to open public comment period on coal lease application

NORMAN, OKLA. - The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is announcing that it has prepared an environmental assessment (EA) on a coal lease application in cooperation with the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement and the Oklahoma Department of Mines. The EA is available for a 30-day public comment period ending on June 10, 2019.

The applicant, Evans Coal Company, has submitted a lease-by-application (LBA) for Federal segregated coal reserves underlying 1,270.85 acres of privately owned surface in Haskell and LeFlore counties, Oklahoma. The LBA tract contains an estimated 3.28 million tons of recoverable coal. The BLM decision is whether or not to hold a competitive lease sale for these coal resources. If a sale is held, the winning bidder must then obtain all necessary permits and approvals, including a permit from the Oklahoma Department of Mines, before any mining operations could occur.

The public hearing was originally scheduled for January 7, 2019, but cancelled due to the lapse in appropriations. This notice announces a new public comment period and public hearing date. In addition to the new comment period, the BLM will accept all comments submitted during the prior comment period announced by the December 27, 2018, Federal Register notice.

The BLM will hold a public hearing to take comments on the EA as well as fair market value and maximum economic recovery for the coal in the tract. The meeting will be held on Thursday, May 30, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at McCurtain City Hall, 308 Main Street, McCurtain, OK 74944.

The EA is available on the BLM National NEPA Register, ePlanning. A link to the Evans-McCurtain LBA-OKNM-127509 ePlanning site is at: https://www.blm.gov/programs/energy-and-minerals/new-mexico/coal.

Comments may be submitted through the ePlanning site, emailed to [email protected] or mailed to the BLM Oklahoma Field Office, April Crawley, 201 Stephenson Pkwy, Ste. 1200, Norman, OK 73072. Please provide the project name (Evans McCurtain Coal LBA) in the subject field. Those who provide comments are advised that before including their address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information, they should be aware that the entire comment - including the personal identifying information - may be made publicly available at any time. While those commenting can ask in their comments to withhold personal identifying information from public review, the BLM cannot guarantee that it will be able to do so.

For more information, please call BLM Natural Resource Specialist April Crawley at 405-579-7171.