[Federal Register: June 16, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 116)]
[Page 34035-34037]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Bureau of Land Management

[ES-030-08-1320-EL; WVES-50560; WVES-50556]

Notice of Availability of the East Lynn Lake Coal Lease Draft 
Land Use Analysis and Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Notice 
of Hearing, Wayne County, West Virginia

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Availability.


SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969 (NEPA) and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 
(FLPMA), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and its cooperating 
agencies have prepared a Draft Land Use Analysis and Draft 
Environmental Impact Statement (DLUA/DEIS) to analyze the potential 
impacts of two Federal Coal Lease By Applications (LBAs), WVES-50556 
and WVES-50560, totaling 13,089.55 acres at the

[[Page 34036]]

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' (USACE) East Lynn Lake Project in Wayne 
County, West Virginia. By this notice, the BLM announces the beginning 
of a 90-day public review and comment period and notice of a public 
hearing for the DLUA/DEIS, Maximum Economic Recovery (MER), and Fair 
Market Value (FMV) pursuant to the 43 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 
3425.4. The public is invited to review and comment on the DLUA/DEIS, 
MER, and FMV.

DATES: Comments will be accepted for 90 days following the date that 
the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publishes its Notice of 
Availability for this DLUA/DEIS in the Federal Register. The BLM will 
hold the public hearing at 7 p.m. EDT, on July 31, 2008, at the Town 
Hall, 1300 Norfolk Avenue, Wayne, West Virginia. The BLM will announce 
this public hearing as well as any future meetings or hearings and any 
other public involvement activities at least 15 days in advance through 
public notices, media news releases, and/or mailings.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     E-mail: EastLynnLakeComments@blm.gov.
     Mail: BLM-ES Milwaukee Field Office, Attn: Chris Carusona, 
626 E. Wisconsin Ave., Suite 200, Milwaukee, WI 53202.
     Facsimile: 414-297-4409, Attn: Chris Carusona.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Chris Carusona, Planning and 
Environmental Coordinator, at 414-297-4463, (Chris_Carusona@blm.gov), 
or at the location listed in the ADDRESSES section.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The BLM is considering issuing two coal 
leases as a result of applications made by Argus Energy WV, LLC (Argus) 
and Rockspring Development, Inc. (Rockspring) to lease the Federal coal 
in the East Lynn Lake Project area in Wayne County, West Virginia. 
Argus submitted a coal LBA (WVES-50556) to BLM for 7,639.63 acres 
bordering a portion of the southern shore of East Lynn Lake and 
Rockspring submitted a coal LBA (WVES-50560) for 5,449.92 acres that 
borders a portion of the north shore of the lake. East Lynn Lake is 
located approximately 25 miles south of Huntington, West Virginia, and 
is managed by the USACE for flood control, recreation, and wildlife. 
The DLUA/DEIS analyzes and discloses to the public direct, indirect, 
and cumulative environmental impacts of issuing Federal coal leases in 
the East Lynn Lake Project area. A copy of the DLUA/DEIS will be sent 
to affected Federal, State, and local government agencies; persons and 
entities identified as potentially being affected by a decision to 
lease the Federal coal in this area; and persons who indicated to the 
BLM that they wanted to receive a copy of the DLUA/DEIS. The purpose of 
the public hearing is to solicit comments on the DLUA/DEIS, on the 
proposed competitive lease sale and the MER and FMV of the Federal coal 
from the Federal coal tracts near East Lynn Lake.
    Argus and Rockspring applied for the tracts in accordance with 43 
CFR 3425 in order to extend the life of their existing underground 
mines they operate on adjacent private land. Argus estimated that the 
tracts in their application include 55 million tons of in-place Federal 
coal and Rockspring estimated that the tracts they applied for include 
40.98 million tons of in-place Federal coal. The coal seam proposed to 
be mined is the Coalburg/Winifrede seam.
    The State of West Virginia does not use the Public Land Rectangular 
Survey System to legally describe land tracts within the State, but 
instead utilizes metes and bounds property descriptions. Consequently, 
to avoid numerous pages of lengthy legal descriptions, the Federal coal 
reserves encompassed by the LBAs are described below by referencing the 
USACE mineral-tract numbers. It should be pointed out that referencing 
a mineral-tract number in the listing below does not necessarily mean 
the entire mineral tract is under application. More detailed property 
descriptions are available in the DLUA/DEIS.

Argus, LBA WVES-50556

    Mineral Tract Numbers: 177M-14; 177M-12; 177M-11; 177M-1; 745M; 
746M; 808; 840M; 843M; 846M; 1140M; 1140; 1301; 1313M; 1330M; 1717M; 
1718M; 1810M; 1811M; 1813M; 2020M; 2321M; 2430M; 2431M; and 2737.
    Approximately 7,639.63 acres in Wayne County, West Virginia.

Rockspring, LBA WVES-50560

    Mineral Tract Numbers: 174M; 177M-2; 177M-1; 184M; 376ME-2; 375M; 
376ME-1; 377M; 378M; 380M; 381M; 382M; 384M; 386M; 390ME-1; 395M; 430M; 
517A; 517B; 545M; 547M; 548M; 550M; 553M; 554M; 556M; 745M; 1450M; 
1451M; 1452M; 1453M; 1717M; and 1718M.
    Approximately 5,449.92 acres in Wayne County, West Virginia.
    The Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare a LUA/EIS for Federal coal 
leasing administered by the BLM in Wayne County, West Virginia, was 
published in the Federal Register on July 14, 2005 (70 FR 40723-40725). 
The scope of the analysis was to include an assessment of the direct, 
indirect, and cumulative environmental, cultural, social science, and 
economic impacts associated with commercial leasing of the Federal coal 
under a range of alternatives.
    The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM), the 
USACE, and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) are 
cooperating agencies in the preparation of the DLUA/DEIS.
    Argus proposes to mine the Federal coal in the lease application 
area by underground methods extending from two of their existing 
underground mines located on private land to the south of the 
application area. Rockspring would similarly access their application 
area from their existing underground mine located on private lands 
north of their application area. No mining would occur beneath East 
Lynn Lake and no surface mining would take place. The existing mines 
for Argus and Rockspring have approved mining and reclamation plans 
from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and an 
approved air quality permit from the Air Quality Division of the West 
Virginia DEQ.
    It is reasonable to expect that Rockspring may wish to conduct 
exploratory drilling on their area of interest. Both companies may need 
to drill additional holes for mine plan purposes if leases were to be 
issued and mine plans approved.
    The BLM is authorized to lease Federal coal, under the Mineral 
Leasing Act (43 CFR 3480.0-5(a)(25)) and the Water Resource and 
Development Act of 1999, for Federally owned coal at East Lynn Lake. 
The OSM, in cooperation with the State of West Virginia, issues mine 
permits under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act.
    The DLUA/DEIS analyzes leasing the East Lynn Lake Federal coal 
tracts as the Proposed Action and is the agency's preferred action. 
Under the proposed action, a competitive sale would be held and two 
leases issued for Federal coal in the tracts under applications by 
Argus and Rockspring. The DLUA/DEIS also analyzes the alternative of 
rejecting the applications to lease Federal coal as the No Action 
    Requests to be included on the mailing list for this project and 
for copies of the DLUA/DEIS, paper copy or CD-ROM, or notification of 
the comment period or hearing date, or both, may be sent in writing, by 
facsimile, or electronically to the addresses previously stated at the 
beginning of this notice. The BLM asks that those submitting comments 
on the

[[Page 34037]]

DLUA/DEIS make them as specific as possible with reference to page 
numbers and chapters of the document. Comments that contain only 
opinions or preferences will not receive a formal response; however, 
they will be considered and included as part of the BLM decision-making 
    Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire comment including your personal identifying 
information may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.
    Copies of the DLUA/DEIS are available for public inspection at the 
Milwaukee Field Office address listed above, during regular business 
hours (7:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m., CDT), Monday through Friday, with 
the exception of Federal holidays. The DLUA/DEIS is available on the 
following Web site: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.es.blm.gov/EastLynnLake/index.php.

    Dated: February 14, 2008.
Juan Palma,
State Director, Eastern States.

    Editorial Note: This document was received in the Office of the 
Federal Register on June 11, 2008.

 [FR Doc. E8-13457 Filed 6-13-08; 8:45 am]