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Full text of "Federal coal management program : United States Department of the Interior final environmental statement"


FINAL 

ENVIRONMENTAL 

STATEMENT 

FEDERAL COAL 
MANAGEMENT 
PROGRAM 



Bureau of Land Management 

Library , _, . 

Bidg. 50, Denver Federal jtentor 

Denver, CO 80225 




IN REPLY REFER TO: 



United States Department of the Interior 

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT 
WASHINGTON, D,C. 20240 



1972 (142) 



Enclosed with this letter of introduction is the final environmental 
statement (FES) for the new Federal Coal Management Program. 

This programmatic statement is based on information development by 
the Bureau of Land Management and the Department of the Interior. 
Information and data were supplied by Federal, State and local govern- 
mental departments and agencies, and non-governmental entities such as 
conservation and environmental groups, industrial organizations, 
mining companies, libraries, and others. 

On December 15, 1978, Secretary Cecil D. Andrus released the draft 
version of this statement (DES) and urged the widest possible public 
participation in the review of the document. During January and 
February of 1979, the Department conducted special public informa- 
tional meetings in 12 separate cities, followed by 10 formal public, 
hearings to receive comments on the DES. During the extended, 60-day 
review period (a 45-day period is mandatory) , the Department 
received and evaluated over 1600 separate comments on the DES. 

The purpose of the statement is to address various alternatives for 
a Federal Coal Management Program, including a preferred program 
alternative, and to assess the possible impacts from the various 
alternatives. The statement is programmatic in scope and discusses 
the national and interregional impacts associated with the Federal 
Coal Management Program. Impact assessment includes coverage of 12 
coal supply regions, 3 production levels (low, medium, and high), 7 
alternative management strategies, 2 projection periods (1985 and 1990), 
5 phases of the coal production and use cycle, and 27 impact categories. 
The statement also includes a set of proposed regulations which could be 
used to implement all or portions of each alternative management program. 
Availability of those regulations was announced in the March 19, 1979, 
edition of the Federal Register . 

This statement will assist the Secretary in earring out 
President Carter's directive to manage Federal coal lands in an 
environmentally acceptable manner. 



Sincerely yours, 



Director 



\ 



Bureau of Land Management 
ggV Denver Federal Center 
DenVr. CO 30225 ^ 



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i9 7 1 



UNITED STATES 

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 

FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL STATEMENT 

FEDERAL COAL 
MANAGEMENT 
PROGRAM 

APRIL 1979 



PREPARED BY THE 

UNITED STATES 

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT 





!yO? 



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DIRECTOR, BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT 



For suk' by tin! Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Ciovernmont Printing Office 
Washington, D.C. 20402 

Stock Number 024-011-00099-2 



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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 



Guidance in the preparation of this statement was provided by the 
following offices of the U.S. Department of the Interior: 

• Office of Coal Management; Bureau of Land Management 

• Office of Coal Leasing, Planning, and Coordination; Assistant 
Secretary - Land and Water Resources 

• Office of Policy Analysis; Assistant Secretary - Policy, Budget, 
and Administration 

Assistance in the preparation of certain portions of this Final 
Environmental Statement was provided by the MITRE Corporation, 
McLean, Virginia. 



1X1 



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SUMMARY 



Draft( ) 



Final(X) 



Environmental Statement 



1 . Type of Action: Administrative (X) Legislative ( ) 

2. grief Description of Action : This final programmatic environmental statement considers the environmental impacts of seven 
alternatives for a Federal coal management program to be adopted by the Department of the Interior. The proposed action is the adoption 
of the preferred Federal coal management program. In addition to providing for the administration of existing leases (lease readjustments, 
assignments, relinguishments, etc.), the processing of preference right lease applications, the review of Federal lands to determine 
unsuitability for all or certain types of mining, and other coal management activities, the program would establish standards and 
procedures for determining when, where, and in what manner the right to mine coal owned by the United States government should, 
through competitive sales, be leased to parties who would cause the coal to be mined. As a part of the program, before competitive lease 
sales would be held, the Secretary of the Interior would determine whether there is a need for such sales in order to make federally-owned 
coal available for production. Determination of the need for leasing would be based mainly on analyses of expected coal production in 
relation to projected demand for coal. 

Identification of Federal coal that can be considered for leasing would be done through the land use planning process of the Bureau of 
Land Management, Department of the Interior, under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 and the Federal Coal 
Leasing Amendments Act of 1976, and the Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, under the Multiple-Use Sustained- Yield Act of 1960 
and the National Forest Management Act of 1976. Selection of specific tracts of coal to be offered for lease and the administration of the 
lease sales would be managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Specific standards would be used to identify lands where mining 
Federal coal would cause unacceptable damage to lands or resources. Areas not found unsuitable for mining would be further evaluated 
and the value of potential coal development considered in comparison to other values, such as wildlife management, recreation, watershed 
protection, or stock grazing, which might be foreclosed or diminished if the coal were to be developed. From areas found to be acceptable 
for further consideration for coal leasing in the land use plans of the Federal land management agencies, tracts would be delineated. All 
tracts delineated in the planning units in each of eight Federal coal regions would be selected for possible leasing by ranking them region- 
wide on the basis of coal quantity and quality, cost of extraction, and social, economic, and environmental impacts of mining. Priority in 
selecting tracts to be offered for lease sales in each region would be assigned to those tracts which could be most productively developed 
with the least social, economic, and environmental damage. 

A central feature of the preferred Federal coal management program would be emphasis on participation by the public and by state and 
local governments in all aspects of the program. Information, advice, and opinion would be sought from all parties interested in decisions 
about Federal coal management. Assessment of the need for leasing, establishment of coal production goals and leasing targets, 
application of standards for determining lands unsuitable for leasing, planning to decide which of those areas that could be leased should 
be leased rather than be put to other uses, and ranking and selection of tracts to be offered for lease sale would be conducted in an open, 
accountable way, in a process designed to make decisions as responsive as possible to suggestions from those interests most affected by the 
decisions. Consideration of social and economic consequences as evaluated by state governments would be given special weight when 
decisions about Federal coal management are made through participation of regional coal management teams. 

3. Summary of Environmental Impacts : This is a programmatic environmental statement. The Federal coal management program 
would be established in June 1979. As a result of the operation of the program, decisions could be made that would result in competitive 
coal lease sales in some areas, deferral of decisions about whether leasing should take place in other areas, and the elimination of still other 
areas from further consideration as potential sites for leasing and mining of Federal coal. 

The environmental impacts which are expected to result from implementation of the Federal coal management program will vary among 
regions and over time. In the short term, many regions will experience substantial increases in coal production for several years, with or 
without additional leasing. Demand for coal in those regions will lead producers to develop available reserves. Leasing under such 
circumstances would not add significantly to cumulative social, economic, and environmental impacts within the region, but could cause 
intra-regional shifts in specific production sites if producers responded to more attractive development opportunities created by the 
availability of new Federal leases. A decision not to lease in the next several years could also diminish or foreclose production 
opportunities in an area, causing producers to turn their attention to other reserves, within or outside of a given area, which could be 
developed without Federal leasing. Whether the environmental consequences of production shifts caused by a Federal coal management 
program, and the decision which would be made under the program to lease or not to lease in the next several years, would be generally 
more or less damaging to the environment could only be determined through analysis of specific management decisions. As described in 
this statement, such specific management decisions would be made only after land use planning and environmental analyses designed to 
minimize environmental damage have been conducted. 

Over time, production from additional Federal leasing could account for a larger share of total national production, and so would be 
responsible for a larger percentage of the environmental consequences of production. 

Decisions not to lease could severely limit the production of coal in the western United States. The social, economic, and environmental 
consequences of program decisions under such circumstances would depend on the type and location of energy sources that would be used 
as alternatives to coal from the western United States. 

In this statement, the environmental consequences of implementation of a Federal coal management program are described on a 
national and inter-regional basis. While many impacts, both beneficial and damaging, can be directly attributed to coal production that 
would result from decisions made under such a program, a wide range of impacts would result from decisions about the transportation, 
conversion and use of coal. Furthermore, certain intra-regional impacts are too site-specific, or require management decisions not yet made 
which are too detailed or incapable of discernment, to be considered in a programmatic environmental impact statement. Thus, a tiered 



IV 



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structure of increasingly site-specific environmental analysis is proposed. The unavoidable national and inter-regional impacts of coal 
production that could be affected by decisions made under the program include: 

• Subsidence of land could result from underground mining activities. 

• Existing vegetation would be destroyed on sites cleared for development and surface mining, and wildlife habitat would be lost or 
temporarily displaced. 

• Present agricultural use in some areas would be converted to residential, commercial or industrial uses. 

• Industrial and municipal demand for water would increase; generally, water would be available for these uses but in some western 
states the new demands may compete with present water uses, and the competition will cause price increases that may cause 
economic problems for agricultural water users. 

• Water quality may be lowered and totally dissolved and suspended solids would increase due to industrial return flows and 
construction activities. 

• Aquifers may be disrupted and their long-term productivity could be reduced. 

• Increases in emissions of sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons, trace elements, and 
particulates would occur with some degradation of local and regional air quality and possible long-term climatic effects. 

• Topographical features would be altered during construction and mining activities. 

• There could be some loss of archaeological and historical sites. 

• The present visual quality of the landscape would be changed as a result of new coal mining and cleaning facilities, transportation 
networks, coal conversion plants, transmission lines, and urban expansion. 

• Population would increase in some areas and decrease in others. 

• Educational, police and fire protection, sewage and water, recreational, and other public facilities and services would not keep pace 
with population increases in some regions, straining personnel and budget levels of local and state governments and lowering the 
local quality of life for some. 

• Communities could lose their small town atmosphere and residents of rural areas would experience a change in their traditional life- 
styles. 

• Transportation arteries, including rail lines, would experience heavier average daily traffic with significant impact at rail grade 

crossings. 

• Employment increases would occur from coal development, and increased construction wages and investment in the impacted 
regions would lead to higher personal income, retail sales, and property values. This could also result in tight housing markets and 
inflation adversely affecting those persons on fixed incomes. 

• Fatal accidents and disabling injuries would undoubtedly occur as a result of coal development activities. 

4 Alternatives Considered : Considered in this environmental impact statement are seven alternatives: the preferred program, no new 
Federal leasing, issue preference right lease applications (PRLA'S) only, emergency leasing only, lease to meet industry indications of 
needs, lease to meet the United States Department of Energy production goals, and state determination of leasing levels. Numerous policy 
alternatives are capable of incorporation in various of the alternatives. Twelve coal regions are specified: Northern Appalachian Coal 
Region (Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, West Virginia); Central Appalachian Coal Region (Virginia, Kentucky); Southern Appalachian 
Coal Region (Tennessee, Alabama); Eastern Interior Coal Region Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky), Western Interior Coal Region (Iowa, 
Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Arkansas, Oklahoma); Texas Coal Region (Texas, Louisiana); Denver-Raton Mesa Coal Region (Colorado, 
New Mexico); San Juan River Coal Region (Colorado, New Mexico); Uinta-Southwestern Utah Coal Region (Colorado, Utah); Green 
River - Hams Fork Coal Region (Colorado, Utah, Wyoming); Powder River Coal Region (Montana, Wyoming); and Fort Union Coal 
Region (Montana, North Dakota). 

5. Comments on the draft environmental slaiement: Comments have been received from various individuals, organizations and 
governmental agencies indicated in Chapter 8. 



v 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



PAGE 

CHAPTER 1 - INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND OF 

FEDERAL COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM 
AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT 
STATEMENT 1-1 

1.1 INTRODUCTION 1-1 

1.1.1 Purpose of Final Environmental Impact 

Statement 1-2 

1.1.2 Summary of Program Alternatives 1-2 

1.1.3 Approach to Environmental Impact Statement ... . 1-3 

1.1.4 Relationship to Ongoing Regional Environmental 
Statements and Studies 1-5 

1.1.5 General Purpose of Coal Management Policy 1-8 

1.2 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND 1-8 

1.2.1 Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 1-9 

1.2.2 1971 Leasing Moratorium 1-9 

1.2.3 Short-Term Leasing Since 1973 1-9 

1 .2.4 1975 Federal Coal Leasing Environmental Impact 
Statement 1-10 

1.2.5 Sierra Club v. Kleppe 1-12 

1.2.6 NRDC v.Hughes 1-12 

1.2.7 NRDCv. Berklund 1-15 

1 .3 FEDERAL CONSTRAINTS ON AND AUTHORITIES FOR 
COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM 1-15 

1.3.1 Laws Governing Development of Federal 

Coal 1-15 

1 .3.2 Interagency Relationships in Federal Coal 
Management 1-18 

1.4 EXISTING FEDERAL ENERGY POLICIES 1-37 

1.4.1 Role of Coal in National Energy Policy 1-37 

1 .4.2 Congressional Action 1-37 

1.5 STATE POLICIES AND CONSTRAINTS 1-39 

1.6 REFERENCES 1-55 

CHAPTER 2 - THE NATIONAL ENERGY ROLE OF WESTERN 
AND FEDERAL COAL 2-1 

2.1 INTRODUCTION 2-1 

2.2 COAL RESERVES AND CHARACTERISTICS 2-1 

2.3 HISTORY OF THE NATIONAL COAL USE 2-5 

2.4 THE GROWTH IN WESTERN AND FEDERAL COAL 
PRODUCTION 2-11 

2.5 TRENDS IN OTHER SOURCES OF ENERGY 2-17 

2.5.1 Oil Production Trends 2-17 

2.5.2 Natural Gas Production Trends 2-21 

2.5.3 Nuclear Power Trends 2-21 

2.5.4 Hydroelectric Power Trends 2-25 

2.5.5 Nontraditional Energy Sources 2-25 

2.5.6 Energy Conservation 2-27 

2.6 EXPECTED FUTURE COAL USE 2-27 

2.6.1 Coal in the National Energy Plan 2-27 



PAGE 

2.6.2 Department of Energy Coal Projections 2-27 

2.7 WESTERN COAL SUPPLY SOURCES 2-35 

2.7.1 Production Potential of Federal Coal 2-35 

2.7.2 Coal Owned by Indian Tribes 2-40 

2.7.3 Non-Federal, Non-Indian Coal 2-43 

2.8 THE NEED FOR NEW FEDERAL COAL LEASING 2-48 

2.8.1 Leasing to Meet National Energy Objectives 2-50 

2.8.2 Leasing to Promote Motre Desirable Patterns of 

Coal Development 2-58 

2.8.3 Leasing for Legal and Administrative Purposes ..2-60 

2.8.4 Leasing to Increase Competition in the Coal 
Industry 2-61 

2.9 OVERVIEW OF THE NEED FOR A FEDERAL COAL 
MANAGEMENT PROGRAM 2-61 

2.10 REFERENCES 2-65 

CHAPTER 3 - THE PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT 

PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 3-1 

3.1 DESCRIPTION OF THE ALTERNATIVES 3-2 

3.1.1 The Preferred Program 3-2 

3.1.2 No Federal Leasing 3-10 

3.1.3 Processes Outstanding Preference Right Lease 
Applications 3-10 

3. 1 .4 Emergency Leasing 3-11 

3.1.5 Lease to Satisfy Industry's Indications of 

Need 3-12 

3.1.6 State Determination of Leasing Levels 3-12 

3.1.7 Lease to Meet DOE Production Goals 3-12 

3.1.8 Other Alternatives Not Considered 3-13 

3.2 DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF CERTAIN COMPONENTS 
OF THE PREFERRED PROGRAM AND ITS 
DEVELOPMENT 3-13 

3.2.1 Development of the Preferred Program 3-13 

3.2.2 Land Use Planning 3-17 

3.2.3 Activity Planning 3-54 

3.2.4 Setting Regional Production Goals and Leasing 
Targets 3-57 

3.2.5 Pre-Sale and Sale Procedures 3-60 

3.2.6 State, Local, and Industry Participation 3-65 

3.2.7 Special Leasing Opportunities 3-67 

3.2.8 Emergency Leasing System 3-67 

3.2.9 Post Programmatic Environmental Analysis 3-68 

3.2.10 Administration of Existing Leases and PRLAs ... 3-68 

3.2.1 1 Special Start-Up Considerations 3-72 

3.2.12 Other Aspects of the Preferred Program 3-73 

3.3 REFERENCES 3-74 

CHAPTER 4 - DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL 

ENVIRONMENTS 4-1 

4. 1 THE APPALACHIAN COAL REGION 4-1 

4.1.1 The Environment 4-1 



vi 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 
(Continued) 



4.1.2 The Environment and Man 4-4 

4.2 EASTERN INTERIOR COAL REGION 4-9 

4.2. 1 The Environment 4-9 

4.2.2 The Environment and Man 4-11 

4.3 WESTERN INTERIOR COAL REGION 4-12 

4.3.1 The Environment 4-12 

4.3.2 The Environment and Man 4-16 

4.4 TEXAS COAL REGION 4-18 

4.4.1 The Environment 4-18 

4.4.2 The Environment and Man 4-21 

4.5 POWDER RIVER COAL REGION 4-24 

4.5.1 The Environment 4-24 

4.5.2 The Environment and Man 4-27 

4.6 GREEN RIVER-HAMS FORK COAL REGION 4-31 

4.6.1 The Environment 4-31 

4.6.2 The Environment and Man 4-35 

4.7 FORT UNION COAL REGION 4-37 

4.7.1 The Environment 4-37 

4.7.2 The Environment and Man 4-40 

4.8 SAN JUAN RIVER COAL REGION 4-41 

4.8.1 The Environment 4-41 

4.8.2 The Environment and Man 4-45 

4.9 U1NTA-SOTHWESTERN UTAH COAL REGION 4-47 

4.9. 1 The Environment 4-47 

4.9.2 The Environment and Man 4-50 

4.10 DENVER-RATON MESA COAL REGION 4-53 

4.10.1 The Environment 4-53 

4.10.1 The Environment and Man 4-56 

4.11 REFERENCES 4-59 

CHAPTER 5 - REGIONAL IMPACTS OF FEDERAL COAL 
MANAGEMENT PROGRAM 
ALTERNATIVES 5-1 

5.1 IMPACT ANALYSIS METHODOLOGIES 5-1 

5.1.1 Coal Development Cycle Activities 5-1 

5.1.2 Assumptions and Analysis Guidelines 5-4 

5.1 .3 Impact Estimation 5-4 

5.1.4 Other Impacts 5-11 

5.2 REGIONAL IMPACTS SUMMARIES 5-11 

5.2.1 The Appalachian Coal Region 5-12 

5.2.2 The Eastern Interior Coal Region 5-16 

5.2.3 Western Interior Coal Region 5-16 

5.2.4 The Texas Coal Region 5-18 

5.2.5 The Powder River Coal Region 5-18 

5.2.6 The Green River-Hams Fork Coal Region 5-21 

5.2.7 The Fort Union Coal Region 5-24 

5.2.8 The San Juan River Coal Region 5-26 



5.2.9 The Uinta-Southwestern Utah Coal Region 5-28 

5.2.10 The Denver-Raton Mesa Coal Region 5-28 

5.3 PROGRAM IMPACTS 5.30 

5.3.1 Coal Production and Consumption 5-36 

5.3.2 Physical Impacts 5.45 

5.3.3 Ecological Impacts 5-107 

5.3.4 Socioeconomic Impacts 5-123 

5.3.5 Transportation System Impacts 5-156 

5.3.6 Operating Energy 5-171 

5.4 IMPACTS RESULTING FROM SUBALTERNATIVES 
AMONG OTHER POLICY ISSUES 5-175 

5.4.1 Introduction 5-175 

5.4.2 Require Underground Mining 5-175 

5.4.3 End Use Considerations 5-180 

5.4.4 Concentration of Federal Leases 5184 

5.4.5 Due Diligence 5-185 

5.4.6 Land Ownership Patterns 5-187 

5.4.7 Maximum Economic Recovery 5-192 

5.4.8 Unsuitability Criteria 5-194 

5.4.9 Role of Industry Nominations 5-204 

5.4.10 Land Use Planning Alternatives 5-206 

5.5 REFERENCES 5-210 

CHAPTER 6 - MITIGATION OF MAJOR ADVERSE IMPACTS 
OF A FEDERAL COAL MANAGEMENT 
PROGRAM 6-1 

6.1 INTRODUCTION 6-1 

6.2 ENVIRONMENTAL MITIGATION STRUCTURE OF THE 
PREFERRED PROGRAM AND CERTAIN OF THE ALTER- 
NATIVES 6-2 

6.3 MITIGATION OF SOCIOECONOMIC IMPACTS 6-5 

6.3.1 General Socioeconomic Impact Mitigation 6-5 

6.3.2 Program Socioeconomic Impact Mitigation 6-7 

6.4 REFERENCES 6-11 

CHAPTER 7 - LONG-TERM ENVIRONMENTAL CONSE- 
QUENCES OF FEDERAL COAL MANAGEMENT 
PROGRAM ALTERNATIVES 7-1 

7.1 UNAVOIDABLE ADVERSE IMPACTS 7-1 

7.1.1 Physical Environment 7-1 

7.1.2 Ecological Resources 7-3 

7.1.3 Community Resources 7-4 

7.2 IRREVERSIBLE AND IRRETRIEVABLE COMMITMENTS 
OF PUBLIC RESOURCES 7-5 

7.3 LONG-TERM PRODUCTIVITY LOSSES VERSUS SHORT- 
TERM USE OF LANDS 7-5 

7.3.1 Trade-Off Analysis of Multiple Uses of Public 

Lands 7-5 

7.3.2 Time Frame of Coal Leasing 7-8 

7.3.3 Productivity 7-8 



Vll 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 
(Concluded) 



7.3.4 Wildlife 7-10 

7.4 REFERENCES 7-10 

CHAPTER 8 -CONSULTATION AND COORDINATION ... 8-1 

8.1 PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT COORDINATION 8-1 

8.2 ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT 
PUBLICATION 8 " 2 

8.2. 1 Preparation of Draft Environmental Statement 
(DES) 8-2 

8.2.2 Publication and Distribution of the Draft 
Environmental Statement 8-3 

8.3 PUBLIC COMMENTS AND RESPONSES 8-3 

8.3.1 Public Meetings 8-3 

8.3.2 Public Hearings 8-4 

8.3.3 Public Comments 8-4 

8.3.4 Review Procedures for Handling Public 
Comments 

8.3.5 Letters Received with Substantive Comments 8-5 

8.3.6 Individuals Presenting Relevant Testimony at the 
Hearings 8-6 

8.3.7 Substantive Comments and Departmental 
Responses 8-7 

8.3.8 List of All Written Comments 8-176 

8.4 REFERENCES 8-179 

APPENDIX A -EXAMPLE REGULATIONS A-l 

APPENDIX B- MEMORANDA OF UNDERSTANDING .... B-l 

1. Memorandum of Understanding between the Depart- 
ment of the Interior and the Department of Energy 
Concerning the Establishment and Use of the Produc- 
tion Goals for Energy Resources on Federal 
Lands B-l 

2. Memorandum of Understanding between the Bureau of 
Land Management and the Fish and Wildlife Service on 
Coal B-4 

APPENDIX C - COAL TECHNOLOGY BACKGROUND 

INFORMATION C-l 

C.l IMPORTANT COAL CHARACTERISTICS C-l 

C.2 MINING TECHNOLOGY C-l 

C.2.1 Exploration C-l 

C.2. 2 Mine Development C-3 

C.2. 3 Coal Production C-3 

C.2. 4 Land Reclamation C-13 

C.3 FUTURE USES OF COAL C-15 

C.3.1 Coal Gasification C-15 

C.3. 2 Coal Liquefaction C-15 

C.3. 3 Direct Combustion C-15 

C.4 REFERENCES C-19 

APPENDIX D - ECOLOGICAL DATA D-l 

APPENDIX E - WATER RESOURCES DATA E-l 

APPENDIX F - REGIONAL COAL PRODUCTION AND USE 

SUMMARIES F-l 



APPENDIX G - CHANGE IN COAL-RELATED SOCIO- 
ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS FOR COAL 
PRODUCING REGIONS G-l 

APPENDIX H - IMPACT ESTIMATION METH- 
ODOLOGY 

H.l INTRODUCTION H-l 

H.2 COAL PRODUCTION AND DEMAND PROJECTIONS . H-l 

H.2.1 DOE Projections (Demand Assumptions) H-l 

H.2. 2 Department of the Interior Production 

Projections H-7 

H.2. 3 Allocation Algorithm and Constraints H-l 1 

H.2. 4 Transportation Assumptions (Modal Split) H-24 

H.3 COAL IMPACT ESTIMATION PROGRAM H-30 

H.3.1 Main Impact Estimation Module H-30 

H.3. 2 Socioeconomic Impact Estimation Subroutine .. H-34 

H.3. 3 Ecological Impact Estimation Subroutine H-34 

H.4 ENVIRONMENTAL LOADING FACTORS H-34 

H.4.1 Total Suspended Particulates (TSP) H-37 

H.4. 2 Direct Construction Workers H-37 

H.4. 3 Direct Operation Workers H-37 

H.4. 4 Acreage Disturbed H-91 

H.5 DERIVATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL LOADING 

FACTORS H-98 

H.5.1 Air Emissions H-98 

H.5. 2 Water Use H-109 

H.5. 3 Acreage Disturbed H-l 1 1 

H.5. 4 Solid Wastes H-l 11 

H.5. 5 Fatalities H-120 

H.5. 6 Disabling Accidents H-120 

H.5. 7 Man-Days Lost H-120 

H.5. 8 Operating Energy H-121 

H.5. 9 Operation and Construction Employment H-121 

H.6 AGRICULTURAL OPPORTUNITY COST DERIVATION 

METHODOLOGY H-l 23 

H.7 REFERENCES * ... . H-127 

APPENDIX I - EXISTING LEASES AND PRLAs DISCUSSION 

PAPER 1-1 

APPENDIX J - FEDERAL COAL PRODUCTION REGIONS BY 

COUNTY J-l 

APPENDIX K - LETTERS OF COMMENT Kl 



Vlll 



LIST OF TABLES 



Table No. Page 

1-1 Site-Specific Proposed Actions in the Ongoing 

Regional Environmental Statements 1-7 

1-2 Leases Issued between 1974 and 1978 1-11 

1-3 Federal Laws Affecting Coal Development and 

Energy Conversion 1-19 

1-4 Division of Functions and Responsibilities 

Concerning Management of Federal Coal between 
the Office of Surface Mining, the U.S. Geo- 
logical Survey and the Bureau of Land 
Management 1-26 

1-5 Principal Departments and Agencies 

Involved in Activities Affecting the Production, 
Transportation, and Utilization of Coal 1-31 

1-6 State Legislation 1-41 

2-1 Regional and U.S. Demonstrated Coal Reserve 

Base and Production Level 2-3 

2-2 Demonstrated Reserve Base of Coals in the 
U.S. on January 1, 1976 Potentially Minable 
by Underground and Surface Methods 2-4 

2-3 The Demonstrated Reserve Base of Coals 

of the Western United States on January 1 , 1 974, 

by Mining Method and Sulfur Content 2-6 

2-4 The Demonstrated Reserve Base of Coals 
of the Eastern United States on January 1 , 
1974, by Mining Method and Sulfur Content 2-7 

2-5 KRCRA Coal and Surface Ownership 2-9 

2-6 Consumption and Exports of Bituminous Coal and 
Lignite by Consumer Class in Selected Years 
1933-1977 2-12 

2-7 Coal Production from Federal Lands in 

the Six Major Coal-Producing States of the 

West in Selected Years, 1957-1977, and 

Comparisons with Total U.S. and Total 

State Production 2-13 

2-8 Coal Production from All Lands in 

Selected Years 1957-1977 by States 2-15 

2-9 Coal Production from Federal Lands in 

Selected Years 1957-1977 by States 2-16 

2-10 Coal Shipments from Selected Western and Eastern 

States in 1976 by Consumer Classifications 2-18 

2-11 U.S. Petroleum Supply and Demand 2-19 

2-12 U.S. Proven Reserves of Crude Oil 2-20 

2-13 Value of Crude Oil/Petroleum 

Product Imports, 1965 to 1977 2-22 

2-14 U.S. Proven Reserves of Natural Gas 2-23 

2-15 Status of Nuclear Powerplants, 

End of 1 977 2-24 

2-16 DOE National Coal Consumption 2-29 

2-17 DOE Detailed Regional Coal Production 

Forecasts 2-30 

2-18 DOE Production Projections for Western 

Coal Regions 2-32 

2-19 Eastern and Western Consumption of 

Western Coal 2-33 

2-20 1990 DOE Mid-Level Regional Coal Flows 

Production and Consumption 2-34 



Table No. Page 

2-2 1 Recoverable Coal Reserves in Existing 

Federal Leases 2-36 

2-22 Planned 1985 Production from Approved 

and Pending Mine Plans Containing Federal 

Leases 2-37 

2-23 Likely 1985 Production from Existing 

Federal Leases without Mine Plans 2-39 

2-24 Outstanding Preference Right Lease 

Applications 2-41 

2-25 Production Potential from Outstanding 

Preference Right Lease Applications 2-42 

2-26 Indian Coal Reserves and Production 

Plans, Six Western Federal Coal States 2-44 

2-27 Estimated Non-Federal Reserves 2-45 

2-28 State Coal Leases 2-46 

2-29 Estimated Distribution of Non-Federal Reserves 

by Ownership Categories 2-47 

2-30 1985 Planned Production from Existing 

and Planned Mining Operations Involving only 

Non-Federal, Non-Indian Coal 2-49 

2-31 Summary of Planned and Projected 

Production, 1985 2-52 

2-32 Summary of Planned, Potential, and 

Projected Production, 1990 2-54 

3-1 Issue Option Papers Prepared to Identify 

Preferred Program Alternative 3-18 

3-2 Policy Options— Secretary's 

Preference 3- 19 

3-3 Proposed Criteria for Assessing and Designating 

Federal Lands Unsuitable for All or 

Certain Types of Coal Mining Operations 3-33 

3-4 Proposed Unsuitability Standards: Their 

Sources and Limitations 3-43 

4-1 Population and Economic Characteristics in the 

Northern Appalachian Region 4-6 

4-2 Population and Economic Characteristics in 

the Central Appalachian Region 4-7 

4-3 Population and Economic Characteristics in 

the Southern Appalachian Region 4-8 

4-4 Population and Economic Characteristics in 

the Eastern Interior Region 4-13 

4-5 Population and Economic Characteristics in 

the Western Interior Region 4-19 

4-6 Population and Economic Characteristics in 

the Texas Region 4-23 

4-7 Population and Economic Characteristics in 

the Powder River Region 4-30 

4-8 Population and Economic Characteristics in 

the Green River-Hams Fork Region 4-36 

4-9 Population and Economic Characteristics in 

the Fort Union Region 4-42 

4-10 Population and Economic Characteristics in 

the San Juan River Region 4-46 

4-1 1 Population and Economic Characteristics in 

the Uinta-Soulhewestern Utah Region 4-52 



LIST OF TABLES 
(Continued) 



4-12 Population and Economic Characteristics in 

the Denver-Raton Mesa Region 4-57 

5-1 Coal Impact Estimation Program 5-9 

5-2 Regional Impact Summary, Northern 

Appalachian Coal Region 5-13 

5-3 Regional Impact Summary, Central 

Appalachian Coal Region 5-14 

5-4 Regional Impact Summary, Southern 

Appalachian Coal Region 5-15 

5-5 Regional Impact Summary, Eastern Interior 

Coal Region 5-17 

5-6 Regional Impact Summary, Western 

Interior Coal Region 5-19 

5-7 Regional Impact Summary, Texas 

Coal Region 5-20 

5-8 Regional Impact Summary, Powder River 

Coal Region 5-21 

5-9 Regional Impact Summary, Green River - 

Hams Fork Coal Region 5-23 

5-10 Regional Impact Summary, Fort Union 

Coal Region 5-25 

5-1 1 Regional Impact Summary, San Juan River 

Coal Region 5-27 

5-12 Regional Impact Summary, Uinta-Southwestern 

Utah Coal Region 5-29 

5-13 Regional Impact Summary, Denver-Raton 

Mesa Coal Region 5-31 

5-14 Summary of Percent of Change by 

Alternative from No New Leasing Medium 

Production Projection, Eastern Coal 

Regions, 1985 5-32 

5-15 Summary of Percent of Change by Alterntive 

from No New Leasing Medium Production 

Projection, Western Coal-Regions, 

1985 5-33 

5-16 Summary of Percent of Change by 

Alternative from No New Leasing Medium 

Production Projection, Eastern Coal 

Regions, 1980 5-34 

5-17 Summary of Percent of Change 

by Alternative From No New Leasing 

Medium Production Projection, Western 

Coal Regions, 1990 5-35 

5-18 Coal Production Summary 5-37 

5-19 Coal Consumption Summary 5-39 

5-20 Federal Coal Management Program Alternatives 
Comparison of 1985 and 1990 
Regional Coal Production Levels 5-41 

5-21 Land Requirements: Comparison 

of Alternatives 5-43 

5-22 Acres of Land Required by Coal 

Region for the Preferred Program Medium 

Coal Projection between 1976 and 1990 5-47 

5-23 Estimates of Land Disturbed by Mining 

Activities, Coal Cleaning and Consumption, 

and Coal-Related Population Increases in 

1990 under the Preferred Alternative, 

Medium Coal Production Projections 5-48 



5-24 Estimated Time Required to Reclaim 

Mined Land (Western Regions) 5-52 

5-25 No New Leasing Alternative Water Makeup 

(Withdrawal) Requirements (Eastern 

Coal Regions) 5-58 

5-26 No New Leasing Alternative Water Makeup 

(Withdrawal) Requirements (Western 

Coal Regions) 5-58 

5-27 Coal Regions and Corresponding 

Aggregated Subregions 5-60 

5-28 No New Leasing Alternative Consumptive 

Water Requirements by Coal Region 5-61 

5-29 No New Leasing Alternative Consumptive 

Water Requirements by Watershed 5-64 

5-30 Water Resources Council Projected Consumptive 

Water Requirements in 1985 5-66 

5-3 1 Predicted Water Flow in the Upper Ohio and 
Upper Tennessee River Basins, Containing the 
Northern, Central and Southern Appalachian 
Coal Regions, 1985 5-67 

5-32 Predicted Water Flow in the Upper 
Mississippi and Ohio River Basins, 
Containing the Eastern Interior and 
Appalachian Coal Regions, 1985 5-68 

5-33 Predicted Water Flow in the Missiouri and 
Arkansas River Basins, Containing the 
Western Interior, Powder River, and 
Fort Union Coal Regions, 1985 5-69 

5-34 Predicted Water Flow in the Lower Red, 
Sabine, Neches, Trinity, Brazos, 
Colorado and Nueces River Basins, 
Containing the Texas Coal Region, 1985 5-70 

5-35 Predicted Water Flow in the Yellowstone River 
Basins, Containing the Powder River Coal 
Region, 1985 5-71 

5-36 Predicted Water Flow in the Upper Missouri 

River Basin, Containing the Powder 

River and Fort Union Coal Regions, 

1985 5-72 

5-37 Predicted Water Flow in the Upper Colorado 

River Basin, Containing the Green 

River-Hams Fork, Uinta-Southwestern 

Utah, and San Juan River Coal 

Region, 1 985 5-73 

5-38 Predicted Water Flow in the Green 
River Basin, Containing the Green 
River-Hams Fork Coal Region, 1985 5-74 

5-39 Predicted Water Flow in the Upper 

Colorado Mainstream and Green River 
Basins, Containing the Green River- 
Hams Fork and Uinta-Southwestern 
Utah Coal Region, 1985 5-75 

5-40 Predicted Water Flow in the Upper 

Arkansas and Upper Platte River Basins, 

Containing the Denver-Raton Mesa 

Coal Region, 1985 5-76 

5-41 Water Consumption (Evaporative) Impacts, 

Comparison of Alternatives 5-83 

5-42 Expected Visibility at Four Different 

Total Suspended Particulate Concentrations 5-87 



LIST OF TABLES 

(Continued) 



5-43 Trace Elements and Emissions from 

Fossil Fuels 5-89 

5-44 Selected New Source Performance 
Standards (NSPS) for Air Pollutant 
Sources 5-91 

5-45 State New Source Performance Standards 

for Coal Combustion 5-92 

5-46 National Ambient Air Quality 

Standards and Recommended Federal Episode 

Criteria 5-93 

5-47 Status of Attainment for Coal 

Region Air Quality Control Regions 5-95 

5-48 Prevention of Significant Deterioration 

Increments ( 5-96 

5-49 National Emissions Estimates for 1975 5-98 

5-50 No New Leasing Alternative, Sulfur 

Oxides Air Emissions 5-99 

5-51 No New Leasing Alternative, Particulate 

Air Emissions 5-100 

5-52 No New Leasing Alternative, Carbon 

Monoxide Air Emissions 5-101 

5-53 No New Leasing Alternative, Nitrogen 

Oxides Air Missions 5-102 

5-54 No New Leasing Alternative, Hydrocarbon 

Air Emissions 5-103 

5-55 No New Leasing Alternative, Carbon 

Dioxide Air Emissions 5-104 

5-56 Sulfur Oxide Emissions 5-105 

5-57 Total Suspended Particulates Emissions 5-106 

5-58 Carbon Monoxide Emissions 5-107 

5-59 Nitrogen Oxide Emissions 5-108 

5-60 Hydrocarbon Emissions 5-110 

5-61 Carbon Dioxide Emissions 5-111 

5-62 Comparisons of Potential Primary 

Productivity Loss 5-114 

5-63 Comparison of Game Animal Losses 5-117 

5-64 Potential Threats to Endangered Species 

on Coal Region 5-118 

5-65 Coal Related Population Associated 

with No New Leasing Alternative 5-128 

5-66 Coal Related Population, Comparison of 

Coal Management Alternatives 5-130 

5-67 No New Leasing Alternative, Coal Mining 

and Beneficiation Employment-Construction 

Workers 5-133 

5-68 Comparative Projections Coal Mining and 

Beneficiation-Construction Employment 5-134 

5-69 No New Leasing Alternative Coal Mining 

and Beneficiation Employment-Operational 

Workers 5-135 

5-70 Comparative Projections Coal Mining and 

Beneficiation-Operational Employment 5-136 

5-71 No New Leasing Alternative Coal Conversion 
and Utilization Employment-Construction 
Workers 5-137 



5-72 No New Leasing Alternative Coal Conversion 
and Utilization Employment-Operational 
Workers 5-137 

5-73 Agricultural Productivity Values, 

Comparison of Alternatives 5-140 

5-74 Net Impact on State and Local Goverment 

Expenditures in Coal Producing States 

No New Leasing Alternative 

1985 and 1990 5-142 

5-75 Net Impact on State and Local 

Government Expenditures in Coal Producing 

States Preferred Program 1985 

and 1990 5-143 

5-76 Impact on State and Local 

Government Expenditures in Non-Coal 

Producing States by Consuming Region, 

1985 and 1990 5-144 

5-77 Severance Taxes— Coal Producing States 5-146 

5-78 Projected 1985 and 1990 Coal Royalties 

and Severance Taxes 5-150 

5-79 Comparison of Fatalities from 

Coal Mining, Beneficiation, and 

Conversion under the No New Leasing 

and Preferred Program Alternatives 

(Medium Production Level) 5-151 

5-80 Disabling Accidents Coal Mining 

(Surface and Underground) 5-1 52 

5-81 Projected Man Day Losses 5-154 

5-82 Potentially Constrained Rail Links 5-162 

5-83 Freight Car Requirements 5-164 

5-84 Major Rail Transportation Environmental 

Residuals Medium Coal Production 

Level 5-167 

5-85 No New Leasing Alternative, Operating 

Energy Impacts 5-173 

5-86 Operating Energy, Comparison of Alternatives 5-174 

5-87 Percentages of Underground and 
Surface Mining for 1976, 1985, and 
1990 Preferred Program, Medium Production 
Projections 5-176 

5-88 Relation between the Average Seam 
Thickness and the Acres Disturbed by 
Region 5-178 

5-89 Annual Environmental Factors Associated 
with 10 Million Tons of Coal Surface 
Mined or Underground Mined in the 
Uinta-Southwestern Utah Region 5-179 

5-90 Draft Unsuitability Criteria Field 

Tested in 1978 5-196 

5-91 Summary of Results of 1978 Field 

Test of Draft Unsuitability Criteria 5-202 

5-92 Comparison of Subalternatives Discussed in 

Section 5.4.9 5-207 

7-1 Coal Production Summary 7-6 

7-2 Estimates of Long Term/Short Term 

Losses of Total Land Required 
between 1 976 and 1 990 under the 



XI 



LIST OF TABLES 
(Continued) 



Preferred Coal Leasing Alternative, 

Medium Level Production 7-9 

8-1 Organizations Consulted during Preparation 

of This Statement 8 -180 

8-2 Federal Agencies Requested to 

Comment on the Draft Environmental 

Statement 8-184 

8-3 Public Hearings 8-185 

C-l Relationship of Coal Thickness to 

Production C-12 

D-l Estimated Regional Carrying Capacities 

and Primary Productivities D-l 

D-2 Federally Protected Species of 

the Federal Coal Regions D-5 

D-3 Number of Species (by Category) 

Considered by States as Endangered, 

Threatened, or Worthy of Special 

Consideration D-8 

D-4 Potential Losses to Natural and 

Agricultural Production and to Wildlife 

Due to Habitat Loss Based on No New 

Federal Leasing — Low Level Production, 

1976-1985 D-9 

D-5 Potential Losses to Natural and 

Agricultural Production and to Wildlife 

Due to Habitat Loss Based on No New 

Federal Leasing — Low-Level Production, 

1986-1990 D-9 

D-6 Potential Losses to Natural and 

Agricultural Production and to Wildlife 

Due to Habitat Loss Based on No New 

Federal Leasing — Mid-Level Production, 

1976-1985 D-10 

D-7 Potential Losses to Natural and 

Agricultural Production and to Wildlife 

Due to Habitat Loss Based on No New 

Federal Leasing— Mid-Level Production, 

1986-1990 D-10 

D-8 Potential Losses to Natural and 

Agricultural Production and to Wildlife 

Due to Habitat Loss Based on No New 

Federal Leasing— High-Level Production, 

1976-1985 D-l 1 

D-9 Potential Losses to Natural and 

Agricultural Production and to Wildlife 

Due to Habitat Loss Based on No New 

Federal Leasing— High-Level 

Production, 1986-1990 D-l 1 

D- 1 Potential Losses to Natural and 

Agricultural Production and to Wildlife 
Due to Habitat Loss Based on the 
Preferred Program Alternative Low- 
Level Coal Production, 1976-1985 D-12 

D-l 1 Potential Losses to Natural and 

Agricultural Production and to Wildlife 
Due to Habitat Loss Based on the 
Preferred Program Alternative Low- 
Level Production, 1986-1990 D-12 

D-12 Potential Losses to Natural and 

Agricultural Production and to Wildlife 



Due to Habitat Loss Based on the 
Preferred Program Alternative Mid- 
Level Production, 1976-1985 



D-13 



D-14 



D-15 



D-16 



D-17 



D-18 



D-19 



D-20 



D-21 



D-22 



D-23 



Potential Losses to Natural and 
Agricultural Production and to Wildlife 
Due to Habitat Loss Based on the 
Preferred Program Alternative Mid- 
Level Production 1986-1990 



Potential Losses to Natural and 
Agricultural Production and to Wildlife 
Due to Habitat Loss Based on the 
Preferred Program Alternative High- 
Level Coal Production, 1976-1985 

Potential Losses to Natural and 
Agricultural Production and to Wildlife 
Due to Habitat Loss Based on the 
Preferred Program Alternative High- 
Level Coal Production, 1986-1990 

Potential Losses to Natural and 
Agricultural Production and to Wildlife 
Due to Habitat Loss Based on 
Preference Right Leasing Applications 
Only Leasing Mid-Level Coal 
Production, 1976-1985 



D-13 



D-13 



D-14 



D-14 



D4-15 



Potential Losses to Natural and 
Agricultural Production and to Wildlife 
Due to Habitat Loss Based on Preference 
Right Leasing Applications Only 
Leasing, Mid-Level Coal Production, 
1986-1990 



Potential Losses to Natural and 
Agricultural Production and to Wildlife 
Due to Habitat Loss Based on Short 
Term Leasing, Mid-Level Coal 
Production, 1976-1985 



Potential Losses to Natural and 
Agricultural Production and to Wildlife 
Due to Habitat Loss Based on Short 
Term Leasing, Mid-Level Coal 
Production, 1986-1990 



Potential Losses to Natural and 
Agricultural Production and to Wildlife 
Due to Habitat Loss Based on Leasing 
to Meet Industry Needs, Mid- 
Level Production, 1976-1985 



Potential Losses to Natural and 
Agricultural Production and to Wildlife 
Due to Habitat Loss Based on Leasing 
to Meet Industry Needs, Mid-Level 
Production, 1986-1990 



Potential Losses to Natural and 
Agricultural Production and to Wildlife 
Due to Habitat Loss Based on 
Department of Energy Goals Mid- 
Level Coal Production, 1976-1985 

Potential Losses to Natural 
and Agricultural Production and to 
Wildlife Due to Habitat Loss Based 
on Department of Energy Goals 
1986-1990 



D-15 



D-16 



D-16 



D-17 



D-17 



D-18 



D-18 



XIX 



LIST OF TABLES 
(Continued) 



F-3 Regional Coal Production and 

Use Summaries Preferred Program 

Alternative, 1990 Medium Production 

Level F-7 

F-4 Regional Coal Production and 
Use Summary No New Leasing 
Alternative, 1985 Medium Production 
Level F-10 

F-5 Regional Coal Production and 
Use Summary No New Leasing 
Alternative, 1990 Medium Production 
Level F- 1 3 

F-6 Regional Coal Production and Use 

Summaries PLRAs Only Alternative, 

1985 Medium Production Level F-16 

F-7 Regional Coal Production and Use 

Summaries PRLAs Only Alternative, 

1990 Medium Production Level F-19 

F-8 Regional Coal Production and Use 

Summaries Energy Leasing Alternative, 

1985 Medium Production Level F-22 

F-9 Regional Coal Production and Use 

Summaries Emergency Leasing Alternative, 

1990 Medium Production Level F-25 

F-10 Regional Coal Production and Use 

Summaries Meet Industry Needs Alternative, 

1985 Medium Production Level F-28 

F-l I Coal Production and Use Summaries Meet 
Industry Needs Alternative, 1990 
Medium Production Level F-3 1 

F-l 2 Regional Coal Production and Use 
Summaries DOE Goals Alternative, 
1985 Medium Production Level F-34 

F-13 Regional Coal Production and Use 
Summaries DOE Goal Alternative, 
1990 Medium Production Level F-37 

F-14 Regional Coal Production and Use 

Summaries State Determination Alternative, 

1985 Medium Production Level F-40 

F-l 5 Regional Coal Production and Use 

Summaries State Determination Alternative, 

1990 Medium Production Level F-43 

G-l Coal Producing Regions — Socio- 
economic Characteristics for the No New 
Leasing Alternative 1985 Low Level G-l 

G-2 Coal Producing Regions — Socio- 
economic Characteristics for the No New 
Leasing Alternative 1990 Low Level G-2 

G-3 Coal Producing Regions — Socio- 
economic Characteristics for the No New 
Leasing Alternative 1985 Medium Level G-3 

G-4 Coal Producing Regions — Socio- 
economic Characteristics for the No New 
Leasing Alternative 1990 Medium Level G-4 

G-5 Coal Producing Regions — Socio- 
economic Characteristics for the No New 
Leasing Alternative 1985 High Level G-5 



G-6 Coal Producing Regions — Socio- 
economic Characteristics for the No New 
Leasing Alternative 1990 High Level G-6 

G-7 Coal Producing Regions— Socio- 
economic Characteristics for the Preferred 
Program Alternative 1985 Low Level G-7 

G-8 Coal Producing Regions— Socio- 
economic Characteristics for the 
Preferred Program Alternative 1990 
Low Level G-8 

G-9 Coal Producing Regions— Socio- 
economic Characteristics for the 
Preferred Program Alternative 1985 
Medium Level G-9 

G-10 Coal Producing Regions — Socio- 
economic Characteristics for the 
Preferred Program Alternative 1990 
Medium Level G-10 

G-ll Coal Producing Regions— Socio- 
economic Characteristics for the 
Preferred Program Alternative 1985 
High Level G-l 1 

G-12 Coal Producing Regions— Socio- 
economic Characteristics for the 
Preferred Program Alternative 1990 
High Level G-12 

G-13 Coal Producing Regions— Socio- 
economic Characteristics for the 
Preference Right Program Alternative 
— 1985 Medium Level G-13 

G-14 Coal Producing Regions— Socio- 
economic Characteristics for the 
Preference Right Program Alternative— 
1990 Medium Level G-14 

G-l 5 Coal Producing Regions— Socio- 
economic Characteristics for the 
Emergency Program Alternative 
1985 Medium Level G-15 

G-16 Coal Producing Regions— Socio- 
economic Characteristics for the 
Emergency Program Alternative 1990 
Medium Level Q-16 

G-l 7 Coal Producing Regions— Socio- 
economic Characteristics for the 
Meet Industry Needs Alternative 
1985 Medium Level G-17 

G-18 Coal Producing Regions— Socio- 
economic Characteristics for the 
Meet Industry Needs Alternative 
1990 Medium Level G-18 

G-I9 Coal Producing Regions — Socio- 
economic Characteristics for the 
DOE Production Projections Alternative 
1985 Medium Level G-19 

G-20 Coal Producing Regions — Socio- 
economic Characteristics for the 
DOE Production Projections Alternative — 
1990 Medium Level G-20 



Xlli 



LIST OF TABLES 
(Continued) 



G-21 Coal Producing Regions— Socio- 
economic Characteristics for the 
State Determination Alternative— 
1985 Medium Level G-21 

G-22 Coal Producing Regions— Socio- 
economic Characteristics for the 
State Determination Alternative— 
1990 Medium Level G-22 

H-l Assumptions for DOE's 1985 

Regional Coal Production Levels H-2 

H-2 Assumptions for DOE's 1990 

Regional Coal Production Levels H-4 

H-3 PIES and Corresponding NCM Demand 

Regions H-8 

H-4 Western Projected Production Levels, 

Preferred Program and No New 

Leasing Alternatives (1985 and 1990) H-9 

H-5 Western Production Levels, Mid- 
Level Alternatives 1985 and 

1990 ' ■ H-10 

Counties Utilized in FES H-l 2 

National Coal Model Supply and 

Demand Regions H-22 

Department of the Interior 

Supply and Demand Regions H-23 

Weighted Average MBtus/Ton 

1985 DOE Mid-Level Production H-25 

Example of Weighted MBtu/ 

Ton Calculation H-27 

Sumary of Transportation Statistics 

1985 DOE Mid-Level Percent of 

Distribution by Mode H-28 

H-12 Summary of Transportation Statistics, 

1985 DOE Mid-Level Scenario H-3 1 

H-l 3 Ratios Used in Transportation H-32 

H-14 Environmental Loadings from Alabama H-38 

H-15 Environmental Loadings from Arizona- 
Black Mesa H-39 

H-16 Environmental Loadings from Arkansas- 
Western Interior H-40 

H-17 Environmental Loadings from Arkansas- 
Texas H-41 

H-18 Environmental Loadings from California H-42 

H-19 Environmental Loadings from Colorado- 
Green River-Hams Fork H-43 

H-20 Environmental Loadings from Colorado- 
San Juan River H-44 

H-21 Environmental Loadings from Colorado- 
Denver-Raton Mesa H-45 

H-22 Environmental Loadings from Colorado- 

Uinta-Southwestern Utah H-46 

H-23 Environmental Loadings from Connecticut- 
Massachusetts— Rhode Island H-47 

H-24 Environmental Loadings from Delaware- 
New Jersey H-48 

H-25 Environmental Loadings from Florida H-49 



H-6 


H-7 


H-8 


H-9 


H-10 


H-l 1 



H-26 Environmental Loadings from Georgia H-50 

H-27 Environmental Loadings from Idaho H-51 

H-28 Environmental Loadings from Illinois H-52 

H-29 Environmental Loadings from Indiana H-53 

H-30 Environmental Loadings from Iowa- 
Eastern Interior H-54 

H-3 1 Environmental Loadings from Iowa- 
Western Interior H-55 

H-32 Environmental Loadings from Kansas H-56 

H-33 Environmental Loadings from Kentucky- 
Central Appalachian H-57 

H-34 Environmental Loadings from Kentucky- 
Eastern Interior H-58 

H-35 Environmental Loadings from Louisiana H-59 

H-36 Environmental Loadings from Maine/ 

New Hampshire/Vermont H-60 

H-37 Environmental Loadings from Maryland H-61 

H-38 Environmental Loadings from Michigan H-62 

H-39 Environmental Loadings from Minnesota- 
Wisconsin H-63 

H-40 Environmental Loadings from Mississippi H-64 

H-41 Environmental Loadings from Missouri H-65 

H-42 Environmental Loadings from Montana- 
Powder River H-66 

H-43 Environmental Loadings from Montana- 
Fort Union H-67 

H-44 Environmental Loadings from Nebraska H-68 

H-45 Environmental Loadings from Nevada H-69 

H-46 Environmental Loadings from New 

Mexico/San Juan River H-70 

H-47 Environmental Loadings from New 

Mexico/Denver-Raton Mesa H-71 

H-48 Environmental Loadings from New York H-72 

H-49 Environmental Loadings from North 

Carolina-South Carolina H-73 

H-50 Environmental Loadings from North 

Dakota H-74 

H-5 1 Environmental Loadings from Ohio H-75 

H-52 Environmental Loadings from Oklahoma H-76 

H-53 Environmental Loadings from Oregon- 
Washington H-77 

H-54 Environmental Loadings from 

Pennsylvania H-78 

H-55 Environmental Loadings from South 

Dakota H-79 

H-56 Environmental Loadings from Tennessee- 
Central Applachian H-80 

H-57 Environmental Loadings from Tennessee- 
Southern Appalachian H-81 

H-58 Environmental Loadings from Texas H-82 

H-59 Environmental Loadings from Utah- 
Green River-Hams Fork H-83 

H-60 Environmental Loadings from Utah- 
San Juan River H-84 



Xiv 



LIST OF TABLES 

(Concluded) 



H-61 Environmental Loadings from Utah- 

Uinta-Southwestern Utah H-85 

H-62 Environmental Loadings from Virginia H-86 

H-63 Environmental Loadings from West 

Virginia-Northern Appalachian H-87 

H-64 Environmental Loadings from West 

Virginia-Central Appalachian H-88 

H-65 Environmental Loadings from Wyoming- 
Green River-Hams Fork H-89 

H-66 Environmental Loadings from Wyoming- 
Powder River H-90 

H-67 Socioeconomic Characteristics H-92 

H-68 Percentage of the Total Land 
Disturbed Allocated to Various 
Land-Use Categories within Each 
Region H-93 

H-69 Estimated Productivity per Acre for 

Natural and Agricultural Crop H-94 

H-70 Estimated Densities of Wildlife per 

Acre in the Various Regions H-95 

H-71 Acres Required to Support One 

Large Game Mammal or One Animal 

Unit H-96 

H-72 Percentage of Cropland Acres 
Allocated to the Various Crops 
within Each Region H-97 

H-73 Poductivity Losses for Natural 

Ecosystems H-99 

H-74 Potential Loss of Wildlife Due 

to Habitat Loss H-99 

H-75 Air Emissions from Surface 

Mining H-100 

H-76 Air Emissions from Modes of 

Transportation H-101 

H-77 Emissions Factors for Bituminous 
Coal Combustion without Control 
Equipment H-103 



H-78 

H-79 
H-80 

H-81 

H-82 
H-83 

H-84 
H-85 
H-86 

H-87 

H-88 

H-89 

H-90 

H-91 

H-92 

H-93 
H-94 
J-l 



Air Emissions from Coal 

Combustion H-104 

Coal Characteristics by Region H-105 

Air Emissions from Coal Liquefaction 

PIams H-106 

Emission Factors from Metallurgical 

Coke Manufacture with Controls H-107 

Air Emissions for Coke Production H-108 

Water Loading Factors for Extraction 

Phase of Coal Cycle H-l 10 

Coal Cleaning Data H-l 13 

Ash: Sulfur Ratios H-l 14 

Inert and Active Wastes Produced by 

Steam-Electric Plans H-l 15 

Projected Inert Solid Waste per High Btu 

Gasification Plan jj-1 16 

Projected Inert and Active Waste per Low 

Btu Gasification Plant H-l 17 

Average Inert and Active Waste per 

Gasification Plant H-l 18 

Inert and Active Waste for Synthetic 

Liquefaction Plants H-l 19 

Maximum Agricultural Opportunity Costs of 

Mining. Showing Capitalized Value of 

All Agricultural Products Sold per 

Acre of All Land H-125 

Maximum Direct and Indirect Agricultural 

Opportunity Costs of Mining H-126 

Estimated Agricultural Opportunity 

Costs of Mining H-128 

Value of All Agricultural Products 

Sold Per Acre of All Land H-129 

Federal Coal Production Regions 

by County j.j 



XV 



LIST OF FIGURES 



Figure No. Page 

1-1 Twelve Coal Supply Regions of 

the United States 1-4 

1-2 Regional Areas Covered by 

Environmental Impact Statements or 

Studies 1-6 

2-1 Known Recoverable Coal Resources 

Areas 2-8 

2-2 Distribution of the Coal Reserve 

Base and of 1976 Production 2-14 

2-3 Summary of Planned and Projected 

Production, 1985 2-53 

2-4 Summary of Planned, Potential, 

and Projected Production, 1990 2-55 

3-1 Summary of the Preferred Program 3-4 

3-2 Preferred Program: BLM Land 

Use Planning Process 3-14 

3-3 Preferred Program: Activity 

Planning Process 3-15 

3-4 Preferred Program: Sales 

Procedures 3-16 

5-1 The Coal Development Cycle 5-3 

5-2 Stream Flow Monitoring Points 5-61 

5-3 1974 Major Interstate Coal 

Flows by Railroad 5-156 

5-4 Regional Coal Production and Consumption 

Flows 1985 5-157 

5-5 Regional Coal Production and 

Consumption Flows 1990 5-158 

5-6 Operating Energy Impacts on the 

Coal Cycle 5-172 

5-7 Reserves Classed by Surface 

Ownership Status and Maximum Annual 

Production Potential 5-189 



5-8 Federal Strippable Coal Deposits: 
Decker Birney Planning Unit, All 
Tested Suitability Criteria In- 
cluding Surface Ownership 5-190 

5-9 Federal Strippable Coal Deposits: Decker 
Birney Planning Unit, All Tested 
Suitability Except Surface 
Ownership 5-191 

C-l Coal Classification by Rank C-2 

C-2 The Three Types of Access Used 

in Underground Coal Mines C-4 

C-3 Room-and-Pillar Mining Techniques C-5 

C-4 Longwall Mining C-7 

C-5 Area Stripping with Draglines — 

Hypothetical Pit Arrangement C-8 

C-6 Contour Mining— Hypothetical Pit 

Arrangement C-9 

C-7 Cross-Section and Plan View of a 

Portion of a Strip Coal Mine C-10 

C-8 High-Btu Gasification: Carbon 

Dioxide Acceptor C-16 

C-9 Fluidized-Bed Gasification BCR 

Three-Stage Pressurized Proces C-l 7 

C-10 Liquefaction-Direct Hydrogenation H-Coal 

Process C-18 

C-l 1 Advanced Steam Cycle Atmospheric 

Fluidized Bed Combustion (FBC) C-20 

H-l Transportation Matrix-Methodology 

(Modal Splits) H-28 

H-2 Main Impact Estimation Module 

(Impact Factor Estimator) H-33 

H-3 Socioeconomic Estimation Module H-35 

H-4 Ecological Estimation Module H-36 



XVI 



CHAPTER 1 

INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND OF FEDERAL 
COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ENVIRONMENTAL 

IMPACT STATEMENT 



| 

1 



i 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



PAGE 



CHAPTER 1 - INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND OF 

FEDERAL COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM 
AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT 
STATEMENT 1-1 

1.1 INTRODUCTION 1-1 

1.1.1 Purpose of Final Environmental Impact 

Statement 1-2 

1.1.2 Summary of Program Alternatives 1-2 

1.1.3 Approach to Environmental Impact Statement ... . 1-3 

1.1.4 Relationship to Ongoing Regional Environmental 
Statements and Studies 1-5 

1.1.5 General Purpose of Coal Management Policy 1-8 

1.2 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND 1-8 

1.2.1 Mineral Leasing Act of'1920 1-9 

1.2.2 1971 Leasing Moratorium 1-9 

1.2.3 Short-Term Leasing Since 1973 1-9 

1 .2.4 1975 Federal Coal Leasing Environmental Impact 
Statement 1-10 

1.2.5 Sierra Club v.Kleppe 1-12 

1.2.6 NRDC v. Hughes 1-12 

1.2.7 NRDC v. Berklund 1-15 

1.3 FEDERAL CONSTRAINTS ON AND AUTHORITIES FOR 
COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM 1-15 

1.3.1 Laws Governing Development of Federal 

Coal 1-15 

1 .3.2 Interagency Relationships in Federal Coal 
Management 1-18 

1 .4 EXISTING FEDERAL ENERGY POLICIES 1-37 

1.4.1 Role of Coal in National Energy Policy 1-37 

1.4.2 Congressional Action 1-37 

1.5 STATE POLICIES AND CONSTRAINTS 1-39 

1.6 REFERENCES 1-55 



- 

J 

• ■ 



B^^a^H^HMnsHHae^&B 



--—:-..-■, 



CHAPTER 1 

INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND OF FEDERAL 

COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT 



1.1 INTRODUCTION 

This environmental impact statement comes at 
a critical juncture in a long history of starts and 
stops for a Federal coal management program 
administered by the Department of the Interior. 
The purpose of this impact statement is to meet the 
Department's responsibilities under the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), 83 
Stat. 852, and to help the Department address four 
major questions: (1) Should a new Federal coal 
management program be adopted by the Depart- 
ment of the Interior; (2) How should the program 
be designed; (3) Is Federal coal leasing necessary 
to meet the Nation's future energy needs; and (4) 
What environmental impacts might result from the 
adoption of alternative new Federal coal manage- 
ment programs? 

Why these questions need resolution at this 
time can be placed in a proper perspective through 
a brief review of the history of Federal coal policies 
and activities. From the beginning of Federal land 
ownership, a policy of disposal of public domain 
lands was followed. In the century and a half 
during which this policy held sway, 1.1 billion 
acres, or more than half of the public domain, was 
sold or granted to states and private owners. Until 
the early 1900's, the policy of disposal of Federal 
lands included the practice of transferring coal and 
other mineral resources to private owners. How- 
ever, with the passage of various mineral reserva- 
tion statutes and the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, 
41 Stat. 438, it became Federal policy to retain and 
lease rather than to sell Federally-owned coal. 
Under a leasing system, only the leased mineral, 
and not the land itself or other associated re- 
sources, becomes the property of the lessee. Even 
that property right is conditioned on lessee 
compliance with stipulations to protect the mined 
land, and requirements that the mineral be 
diligently developed. Particularly between 1955 
and 1970, large amounts of Federal coal were 
leased under the Mineral Leasing Act with little 



regard to the need for leasing, or when (or if) the 
leases would be developed. There was no enforce- 
ment of the Mineral Leasing Act's requirement 
that leases be diligently developed. 

A Bureau of Land Management (BLM) study 
[1] issued in 1970 reported that, while the amount 
of Federal coal under lease was rapidly increasing, 
production was declining. As a result of that study, 
the Department of the Interior, in May 1971, 
imposed an informal leasing moratorium in order 
to reassess its leasing policy. In February 1973, the 
Secretary of the Interior instituted a formal leasing 
moratorium and announced his intention to 
establish a new coal leasing policy. In the short 
term, the Department would issue leases only to 
avoid losing coal where it would be bypassed, to 
maintain existing coal operations, or to provide 
reserves for production needed in the near future. 

The newly designed long-term leasing program 
was presented in the Department of the Interior's 
May 1974 draft environmental impact statement 
on its proposed coal leasing program [2]. The heart 
of the program was the Energy Minerals Alloca- 
tion Recommendation System (EMARS I), under 
which the Department of the Interior would 
specify leasing needs on the basis of estimates of 
national energy requirements. The final environ- 
mental impact statement issued in September 1975 
modified the system to the Energy Minerals 
Activity Recommendation System (EMARS II)[3]. 
Under the revised program, the Department 
adopted procedures which made greater use of 
industry nominations of leasing tracts and placed a 
much stronger emphasis on market determination 
of the amounts and location of future Federal coal 
to be leased. 

The new Federal coal leasing program was 
short-lived. It was altered by statute and halted by 
litigation. From 1975 on, the development of a 
Federal coal management program has been 
significantly influenced by actions of each branch 
of government. Congress enacted four major 



1-1 



INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 



statutes with important consequences for Federal 
coal management. The first, the Federal Coal 
Leasing Amendments Act of 1976 (FCLAA), 90 
Stat. 1088, passed in August 1976 over President 
Ford's veto, is designed to correct the leasing 
problems that had been experienced under the 
Mineral Leasing Act of 1920. The Federal Land 
Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA), 90 
Stat. 2743, passed in October 1976, provides the 
Bureau of Land Management with a modern 
management mandate, including requirements for 
land use planning. The third major statute was the 
Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 
1977 (SMCRA), 91 Stat. 445, passed in August 
1977. SMCRA, a result of Congressional concern 
over the adverse environmental effects associated 
with the significant shift in technology from 
underground to surface coal mining methods, 
requires control over these effects by the Federal 
and state governments. Finally, the Department of 
Energy Organization Act (DOE Act), 91 Stat. 565, 
also passed in August 1977, transferred from the 
Department of the Interior to the Department of 
Energy several important coal-related responsibili- 
ties, including issuance of regulations governing 
diligent development and bidding systems. 

The Judiciary has provided guidance for the 
preparation of a new Federal coal management 
program, particularly in two recent decisions. The 
Supreme Court's 1976 decision, Sierra Club v. 
Kleppe, 427 U.S. 390, provided judicial instruction 
concerning what kind of environmental review 
must accompany major coal management deci- 
sions. Of more direct importance, however, is the 
decision in NRDC v. Hughes, 437 F.Supp. 981 
(D.D.C. 1977), amended, 454 F. Supp. 148 (D.D.C. 
1978), appeal pending. The court's order enjoined 
most Federal coal leasing activity until the Depart- 
ment of the Interior issues supplemental draft and 
final environmental impact statements on its coal 
management program. The Department has pre- 
pared this statement to comply with the environ- 
mental impact requirements of Section 102 (2)(C) 
of NEPA and that court order. 

This discussion provides a brief overview of the 
recent history of Federal coal management activi- 
ties. The background of Federal leasing, beginning 
with the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, is presented 
in more detail in subsequent sections of this 
chapter. 



1.1.1 Purpose of Final Environmental Impact 
Statement 

This statement addresses the overall national 
and inter-regional environmental impacts of a 
Federal coal management program administered 
by the Department of the Interior. 

1.1.2 Summary of Program Alternatives 

Seven broad Federal coal management pro- 
gram alternatives, including a preferred program, 
are analyzed in this statement. Unlike most impact 
statements prepared by the Department and other 
Federal agencies, a proposed "action" and its 
alternatives are not treated in separate chapters. 
Rather, the statement presents a series of alterna- 
tives, one of which is tentatively "preferred" by the 
Department. Major subalternatives are also de- 
scribed and analyzed. This is consistent with the 
Secretary of the Interior's desire that the Depart- 
ment critically evaluate its entire coal management 
process. An integral part of this evaluation is and 
will continue to be comments from interested 
parties, including other Federal agencies, state and 
local governments, private and public organiza- 
tions, and concerned individuals. Furthermore, 
additional public comments will be invited and 
considered during the program decision-making 
process which will follow issuance of this final 
statement. 

A brief overview of the program alternatives 
follows. A more detailed description is contained 
in Chapter 3. 

« Preferred Alternative. Decisions to lease 
Federal coal would be made as an integral 
part of the Federal land planning process. 
Federal lands would be considered for 
leasing which have not been found unsuit- 
able for coal mining or more valuable for 
resource protection or other development 
activities in the land use planning process of 
the Federal land management agencies. In 
the activity planning process, tracts would 
be delineated, ranked on the basis of coal 
quality, cost, and environmental, social, 
and economic effects and selected for sale 
by regional coal teams. Regional leasing 
targets, derived from production goals 
submitted biennially by the Department of 
Energy and comments received from the 
states, industry, and the public, would be 
applied during the activity planning process 



1-2 



,,::■'- . ■ ... ■■.:/ ;„ 



INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 



to ensure that sufficient tracts would be 
ranked and selected to meet national 
energy needs. The preferred alternative is 
similar to EMARS I as proposed in the 
Department's 1974 draft programmatic 
environmental impact statement on the 
Federal coal leasing program (see Section 
1.2.4) [2] in that both rely on national 
energy projections to establish how much 
coal is to be leased. The preferred alterna- 
tive, however, differs markedly from 
EMARS I by, among other things, placing 
greater emphasis on land-use planning and 
consultation with the states than did the 
earlier proposal. 

• No new Federal Leasing. No new Federal 
coal would be leased until at least 1985, 
including coal needed for by-pass situations 
or to maintain existing operations (see 
Section 1.2.6 for description of terms). 
Preference right lease applications (PRLAs) 
would be either rejected, not processed, 
exchanged for other mineral leases, or 
purchased. 

• Process Outstanding Noncompetitive Coal 
Lease Applications (PRLAs). Leasing until 
at least 1985 would be limited to PRLAs 
which meet the commercial quantities test. 

• Emergency Leasing. There would be limited 
competitive leasing and issuing of PRLAs 
to prevent coal from being bypassed and to 
maintain existing coal mining operations. 
The need for new competitive leasing would 
be reviewed in 1985. This option is a 
continuation of the status quo and would 
be similar to the type of leasing permitted 
under NRDC v. Hughes. (See Section 1 .2.6 
for a further explanation of this policy.) 

• Satisfy Industry Indications of Need. This 
alternative is effectively the Energy Miner- 
als Activity Recommendation System 
(EMARS II), as proposed in the Depart- 
ment's 1975 final programmatic environ- 
mental impact statement on the Federal 
coal leasing program (see Section 1.2.4) [3], 
and as adopted in regulations published in 
the Federal Register (42 Federal Register 
4422, corrected 42 Federal Register 12546 
(1977)). 

• State Determination of Leasing Levels. The 
states would have the responsibility to 



determine the timing and extent of new 
leasing. 
© Lease to meet Department of Energy (DOE) 
Production Goals. Under this alternative, no 
adjustments (as envisioned in the preferred 
alternative) would be made to the DOE 
production goals to reflect the Depart- 
ment's diverse responsibilities or the views 
received from consulting with the states, 
industry, and the public. Leasing decisions 
would be required to meet the DOE goals. 
In the implementation of any of these alterna- 
tives, the Department would assure compliance 
with all new statutory requirements including 
those for land use planning, lease terms, reclama- 
tion of mined lands, and payment of fair market 
value for competitive leases. 

1.13 Approach to Environmental Impact Statement 

This is a programmatic statement which 
assesses the national impacts of a Federal coal 
management program and related Federal coal 
policies. The statement covers all major national 
aspects of a preferred Federal coal management 
program and alternatives, and assesses the effects 
of the alternatives in twelve specific coal regions 
(see Figure 1-1). Thus, the issues analyzed are quite 
different from those discussed for a particular lease 
area. A broad statement of overall impacts of the 
program will allow the Department to make 
decisions concerning national and multiregional 
questions. 

The statement uses a general predictive ap- 
proach based on national and regional data and 
makes necessary assumptions where firm data are 
not available. Reasonable forecasting is implicit in 
NEPA. With 27 coal states and 12 regions which 
could be directly affected by coal extraction, and 
other states indirectly affected by the consumptive 
use of coal, data used in this statement must be 
generic and cannot be site specific; however, 
impacts are quantified, wherever possible, to 
display the differences between the various alter- 
natives. Nonquantifiable aspects (such as aesthet- 
ics, lifestyle changes, and cultural values) are also 
addressed. 

The impact analysis uses two principal models. 
One is the Department of Energy's National Coal 
Model, which predicts the high, moderate, and low 
coal demands for coal regions, in 1985 and 1990, 
under various demand scenarios and constraints. 



1-3 



I 
-e- 




Note: Shaded areas indicate 
coal regions described in this 
statement. The official Federal 
coal production regions follow 
county lines and are shown in 
Appendix H (Table H-6) . 



FIGURE 1-1 
TWELVE COAL SUPPLY REGIONS OF THE UNITED STATES 



■BSiMBBMHBi 



INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 



The second model used is the Department's Coal 
Impact Estimation Program which relates quantifi- 
able "environmental loading factors" to predicted 
coal production and use levels by region. This 
model was developed by the MITRE Corporation 
for the Department and is more fully explained in 
Chapter 5. 

This statement addresses the total national 
demand for coal, and impacts associated with 
Federal and non-Federal coal development. Con- 
sideration of non-Federal coal resources is neces- 
sary, first, to place impacts of the Federal coal 
management program in a broader perspective; 
and second, because Federal actions have the 
potential to shift production between private and 
public coal. Presentation of total coal demand 
establishes a base-line from which environmental 
analysis may proceed. 

The content and format of this statement, as 
outlined in the table of contents, represents a 
combination of approaches. It contains a modified 
standard format as required in the BLM Manual, 
Section 1792, revised to incorporate some of the 
principles of the Council on Environmental Quali- 
ty's (CEQ) recent NEPA regulations [4], with 
emphasis on the requirements of the NRDC v. 
Hughes court order. This chapter provides the 
background to this statement. Included is a 
discussion of prior and current coal policy direc- 
tives and applicable laws and regulations. The 
importance of coal as an energy resource is 
discussed in Chapter 2. Chapter 2 also describes 
the characteristics of coal development activities as 
well as how coal development might be affected by 
the development of other energy sources. Past and 
projected coal production levels and the need for 
additional Federal coal leasing are then addressed. 

Chapter 3 presents the issues and options 
identified during the course of the Department's 
review of its coal management responsibilities, the 
Secretary of the Interior's preferences among the 
options, and alternatives to that program. Chapter 
4 provides an overview of the existing environmen- 
tal conditions in each of the twelve regions. 

Chapter 5 assesses the environmental impacts 
related to the preferred and alternative coal 
management programs, including a comparative 
analysis of policy subalternatives. Chapters 6 and 7 
contain the summary analyses required by Section 
102(2)(C)(ii-v) of NEPA. Finally, the coordination 
activities involved in preparation of this statement 



are summarized in Chapter 8, including the 
Department's responses to comments on the draft 
environmental impact statement. 

1.1.4 Relationship to Ongoing Regional 

Environmental Statements and Studies 

The Department is currently preparing com- 
prehensive coal environmental impact statements 
on activities occurring in eight geographic areas. 
Under a policy formally adopted in 1976, this type 
of comprehensive analysis is called for whenever 
the Department is faced with multiple coal-related 
actions in a broad geographic area. 

The areas covered by these statements were 
chosen after consideration of coal basin bound- 
aries, drainage areas, areas of common reclama- 
tion characteristics, administrative boundaries, 
areas of economic interdependence, and other 
relevant factors. The regional statements include a 
broad, overview analysis of environmental impacts 
associated with current and potential coal develop- 
ment activities, as well as site-specific analyses of 
mine plans, and right-of-way permits for which 
administrative action is proposed. These state- 
ments also address related coal development 
activities not requiring specific Departmental 
approval, such as mine-mouth electrical generating 
or energy conversion facilities, and the expansion 
of existing or construction of new communities to 
accommodate coal-induced population increases. 
The eight areas covered by these statements are 
depicted in Figure 1-2. These areas are smaller 
than the twelve regions assessed in this statement. 
Table 1-1 summarizes pertinent coal development 
activities analyzed in the ongoing statements. 

The Department will complete these ongoing 
statements; initiation of new statements of this 
type is contingent on program decisions which 
may be made after this final programmatic 
statement is published. 

Additionally, for each individual coal lease and 
mining plan an environmental analysis is prepared 
to determine whether a detailed environmental 
impact statement is required. If associated impacts 
are significant within the meaning of NEPA, a site- 
specific statement is prepared, either separately or 
as part of a regional analysis. 

Current Departmental policy for preparing 
environmental assessments and impact statements 
thus covers generic (programmatic), regional, and 
site-specific considerations. Proposals to modify 



1-5 




NOTE: "BLM Lead" signifies that the Bureau of Land Management has 
lead agency responsibility for preparing the document. 
"GS Lead" signifies that the U.S. Geological Survey has lead 
agency responsibility for preparing the document. 



FIGURE 1-2 

REGIONAL AREAS COVERED BY 
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENTS OR STUDIES 



1-6 



MM— ■■lililHMIII n 



TABLE 1-1 

SITE-SPECIFIC PROPOSED ACTIONS 
IN THE ONGOING REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL STATEMENTS 





PROPOSED 


SITE-SPECIFIC ACTIONS 




MINING AND 


RIGHTS- 


REGIONAL STATEMENT 


RECLAMATION 


OF WAY 




PLANS 


APPLICATIONS 


Southwest Wyoming 


5 


13 


South Central Wyoming 


3 


9 


Eastern Powder River, 






Wyoming, Supplement 


1 





Southern Utah 


3 





Central Utah 


7 


15 


West Central Colorado 


6 





Star Lake-Bisti New 






Mexico 





2 


Northern Powder River, 






Montana 


_2 


_J_ 


TOTAL 


27 


40 



N0TE:Two additional Environmental Planning Studies, the Northwest 
Colorado Environment Planning Study and the West Central 
North Dakota Environmental Planning Study, are also underway. 



1-7 



BHBBBHSirai^U^^BBaHH 



INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 



this approach as part of a new coal management 
program are discussed in Chapter 3. 

1.1.5 General Purpose of CoaS Management Policy 

The need for a new look at the Federal coal 
management program is related to three broad 
conditions. The first is the Nation's serious energy 
problem, characterized by declining domestic oil 
and gas resources and limited alternatives. A 
national policy goal has been advanced to reduce 
reliance on imported oil. The National Energy 
Plan (NEP) [5] announced by President Carter in 
April 1977 presents detailed steps to be taken to 
achieve this goal. Salient features of the NEP 
include energy conservation, rational fuel pricing 
policies, and increased use of abundant domestic 
energy sources. Although coal comprises 90 per- 
cent of the country's fossil fuel reserve, only 18 
percent of the national energy needs are met by 
coal. A cornerstone of the NEP is the goal of 
correcting this imbalance between coal reserves 
and consumption by doubling 1977 annual pro- 
duction by 1985. Coal from mines under Federal 
leases has accounted and is expected to continue to 
account for a significant share in the expanding 
use of this resource. 

The second condition results from the failure 
of former coal management practices to address 
current concerns. Major concerns expressed both 
within and outside of the Department are the 
government's historically passive role in coal 
leasing decisions, lack of active control over 
production from Federal leases, absence of an 
effective system to ensure fair market return for 
the right to mine Federal coal, and the potential 
for serious social, economic, and ecological im- 
pacts of expanded coal production and use. 

Finally, as briefly discussed in the introduction 
to this chapter, a reassessment of the coal manage- 
ment program has been precipitated by recent 
critical reviews of management practices by the 
Executive, Judicial, and Legislative branches of the 
Federal government. 

1.2 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND 

The Federal coal management program is 
concerned with the development of coal resources 
on public domain lands and acquired lands. The 
public domain refers to those lands which are 
subject to the public land laws of the United 
States. These lands were obtained primarily by 



cession, treaty, and purchase from other countries. 
Acquired lands are purchased by the United States 
from private owners after the lands became part of 
the United States. 

Almost as fast as public domain was obtained, 
it was disposed of by the Federal government to 
further national goals. These dispositions provided 
rewards for soldiers and other deserving persons, 
encouragement for the rapid settlement and 
development of the western states, incentives for 
construction of railroads and canals, and many 
other purposes. Dispositions of public lands 
included more than 1.1 billion acres between 1781 
and 1963. 

Early development of Federal coal lands was 
governed by a law controlling land entry and sale 
[6]. Under this law a maximum of 160 acres could 
be granted to an individual; up to 640 acres were 
allowed to groups of four or more persons who had 
expended at least $5,000 in work and improve- 
ments, where mines were opened and improved, 
and when the group was in actual possession. Land 
payments ranged from $10 to $20 per acre, 
depending upon the distance from a railroad. A 
claimant who discovered minerals on public 
domain land received complete transfer of mineral 
ownership. 

Another factor of some importance is that 
Congress granted nearly 100 million acres of land 
to railroads in the West. To settle the West, the 
building of railroads was essential. But to build a 
railroad was a costly venture, and railroad compa- 
nies would not begin construction in what was 
then virtual wilderness without financial induce- 
ment. The grants of land by the government to the 
companies were that inducement. 

Typically, Congress granted the railroads the 
odd-numbered sections on both sides of the 
proposed railroad right-of-way extending back 
from the right-of-way some 10 or 20 miles on each 
side of the railroad. The even-numbered sections, 
which were not conveyed to the railroad, contin- 
ued to be in the public domain. By granting to the 
railroad the odd-numbered sections, and retaining 
the even-numbered sections, a checkerboard effect 
resulted. Although Congress probably expected 
that the granted land would be sold by the 
railroads to other citizens, and much of it has been 
conveyed, millions of acres of land or mineral 
interests have been retained by the original 
grantees. The resulting checkerboard land patterns 



1-i 



INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 



continue to influence western coal development, 
particularly in areas of Montana, Wyoming, and 
New Mexico. 

1.2.1 Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 

Enactment of the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 
provided a radical policy change for disposal of 
Federal coal lands. The new policy was to lease 
coal rather than sell it. Under the law, rights to 
explore, develop, and remove coal (and other 
specified minerals) were acquired through a lease 
or prospecting permit issued by the Bureau of 
Land Management. 

In areas with no known coal deposits, the 
Secretary of the Interior could issue prospecting 
permits which entitled the permittee to the exclu- 
sive right to prospect for coal. Each permit had an 
initial two-year term, but could be extended for an 
additional two years if the permittee was unable, 
with the exercise of reasonable diligence, to 
determine the existence or workability of coal 
deposits in the area to which the permit applied. 
Permittees were entitled to preference right leases 
if they could demonstrate that the lands contained 
coal in commercial quantities. 

Lands containing known coal deposits were 
not subject to prospecting permits. Instead, the 
lands were divided into leasing tracts and leases 
were awarded competitively. The competitive 
leasing system adopted by the Department was to 
award leases to the highest bidder. A lump sum 
cash bonus was collected at the time the lease was 
awarded. 

The Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 restricted the 
acreage that could be held by one party in one 
state. Originally, the law allowed only one lease per 
person in each state. The limits were raised several 
times until, in 1964, they allowed a holding by any 
person of up to 46,080 acres (72 square miles) in 
one state. 

Another feature of the Act was the require- 
ment that leases be issued for an indeterminate 
period as long as conditions of diligent develop- 
ment and continuous operations were satisfied. 
These conditions could be waived if operations 
were interrupted by strikes, the elements, or 
casualties not attributable to the holder of the 
lease. Lease terms and conditions became subject 
to readjustment at the end of 20-year periods. In 
addition, leases could not be assigned or sublet 



without the consent of the Secretary of the 
Interior. 

Other major provisions of the Mineral Leasing 
Act were: 

• Leases could be modified by an additional 
2,560 contiguous acres. 

• Additional tracts up to 2,560 acres could be 
leased if workable deposits of coal would be 
exhausted within three years. 

• Single leases could contain noncontiguous 
tracts. 

• Royalties were set at not less than five cents 
a ton of coal. 

• Annual rentals were set at not less than 25 
cents, 50 cents, and $1 for the first, third 
through fifth, and sixth year onward from 
lease issuance, respectively. 

• Limited licenses or permits could be issued 
to municipalities (without royalties) if the 
coal mined was sold without profit to local 
residents. 

1.2.2 1971 Leasing Moratorium 

Prior to 1970, the Department's coal leasing 
policy was reactive in nature. Lease requests were 
processed on a case-by-case basis. Particularly 
between 1955 and 1970, there was little consider- 
ation given to the total coal reserves under lease or 
to the need for additional leasing, and environ- 
mental impacts of leases were not addressed. 

A 1970 Bureau of Land Management (BLM) 
study [1] reported that leased coal acreage on 
public lands in six western states - Colorado, New 
Mexico, North Dakota, Montana, Utah, and 
Wyoming - rose sharply from roughly 80,000 acres 
in 1945 to about 788,000 acres in 1970, but that 
Federal lease production dropped from 10 million 
tons of coal to 7.4 million tons in those same years. 
Of the total acreage under lease, over 90 percent 
was not producing coal. Similar conclusions on 
leasing problems were reached in a 1974 report by 
the Council on Economic Priorities [7]. 

As a result of the 1970 BLM study, the 
Department took a series of informal actions that 
resulted in no leases being issued between May 
1971 and February 1973. 

1.2.3 Short-Term Leasing Since 1973 

The informal 1971 moratorium was replaced in 
February 1973 with a new coal leasing policy that 
embodied both short-term and long-term actions. 



1-9 



I 



INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 



The long-term actions were to develop a 
comprehensive planning system to determine the 
size, timing, and location of future coal leases and 
to prepare an environmental impact statement for 
the Department's entire Federal coal leasing 
program. 

The short-term actions included a complete 
moratorium on the issuance of new prospecting 
permits and a near-total moratorium on the 
issuance of new Federal coal leases. New leases 
would be issued only to maintain existing mines or 
to supply reserves for production in the near 
future. BLM issued instructions implementing this 
short-term policy in July 1973. The instructions 
stated that the decision to issue new leases would 
be based upon sufficient indications that a pro- 
spective lessee needs coal to satisfy an existing 
market and intends to begin development within 
three years. 

Between 1974 and April 1, 1978, ten leases, 
covering 30,246 acres, were issued; most were for 
extensions of existing operations (see Table 1-2). 
Seven of these leases were producing coal by the 
end of 1977. 

1.2.4 1975 Federal Coal Leasing Environmental 
Impact Statement 

As part of its long-term leasing policy, the 
Department, in May 1974, issued a draft program- 
matic environmental impact statement [2], 

The focus of the draft statement was on 
implementation of a new coal leasing system 
entitled the Energy Minerals Allocation Recom- 
mendation System (EMARS I). As described in 
the draft environmental statement, EMARS I was 
a three-part system: (1) allocation, (2) tract 
selection, and (3) leasing. During the allocation 
process, Federal agencies were to relate invento- 
ried Federal coal resources to projections of coal- 
related energy needs. Total national energy needs 
were to be disaggregated into regional demands for 
coal. In the tract selection phase, Federal coal 
leasing targets would be established in each coal 
region. These targets would be derived in part from 
total national projections for coal-based energy 
needs. Tracts would be selected to meet the leasing 
targets. The leasing phase was to begin with 
detailed pre-planning of the coordinated mining 
and rehabilitation factors required for reclamation 
and subsequent surface resource management. 
This last phase would conclude with pre-sale 



evaluations, lease sales, post sale evaluation proce- 
dures, and, finally, lease issuance. 

Approximately 2,100 sets of the two-volume 
draft statement were distributed to Federal and 
state agencies, U.S. Senators and Representatives, 
industry organizations, conservation groups, and 
others. Local public hearings were held and 117 
formal comments on the draft statement were 
received. 

Comments and testimony were received from a 
diverse group of individuals, organizations, com- 
panies, and agencies. Comments ranged from 
support of the statement to requests for a complete 
rewrite. However, two areas of major concern were 
readily apparent. These were the need (1) for a 
more detailed description of the proposed Federal 
coal leasing program, and (2) to further analyze 
whether additional Federal coal should be leased 
in light of the large acreage and coal reserves 
presently under lease but on which no develop- 
ment had taken place. 

The Department's final programmatic environ- 
mental impact statement [3] was released in 
September 1975. The proposed action in that 
statement was changed from that in the draft 
statement. EMARS I was modified and retitled the 
Energy Minerals Activity Recommendation Sys- 
tem (EMARS II). The three phases of this revised 
leasing system became: (1) nominations and 
programming, (2) scheduling, and (3) leasing. 
While the system envisioned in the draft statement 
emphasized Interior Department identification of 
coal reserves to be considered for leasing, the 
revised EMARS II program involved annual 
industry nominations and public identification of 
areas of concern. Nominations would be accepted 
for any area, with industry providing information 
on where and how much coal to lease. Based on 
these nominations, the Department would prepare 
land use plans and environmental analyses, resolve 
or mitigate resource conflicts, and hold lease sales 
if coal development was found to be compatible 
with the environment. The reasons behind the 
changes in the program between draft and final 
statements were not provided. 

The following points were offered in the final 
environmental impact statement to support contin- 
ued leasing: 

• Changing economic conditions made it 
probable that much of the coal under lease 



1-10 



I 

H 



DATE OF 


STATE/ 


METHOD OF 


ISSUANCE 


COUNTY 


MINING 


1974 


KY-McCreary 


Underground 


1974 


UT-Eroery 


Underground 


1974 


AL-Fayette 


Underground 


1974 


PA- Indiana 


Underground 




PA- Indiana 


Underground 


1975 


KY-Clay 


Underground 


1975 


CO- Routt 


Both 


1976 


WY- Sweetwater 


Both 


1977 


UT-Sevler 


Underground 


1978 


CO-Delta 


Underground 



TABLE 1-2 
LEASES ISSUED BETWEEN 1974 and 1978 



ACRES CURRENTLY 
UNDER LEASE 



1,544 

1,360 

2,388.24 

50.62 

29.66 

361.83 

474.93 

14,902.11 

8,823.88 

310.51 



BLM SURFACE 

CONTROL 

ACRES 



U.S. FOREST SERVICE 
SURFACE CONTROL 
ACRES 



14,822 
295 
311 



1,544 
1,360 



362 



8,528 



OTHER FEDERAL 


NON- FEDERAL 


SURFACE CONTROL 


SURFACE CONTROL 


ACRES 


ACRES 




2,388 


51 




30 









475 
80 



30,245.78 



15,428 



11,794 



81 



2,943 



Note: Does not include leases issued after April 1, 197E 



,^«— .1- ■ 



INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 



in 1975 was no longer suitable for develop- 
ment. 

• Diligence requirements extended to existing 
leases would cause production or relin- 
quishment over a period of a few years. 

• Additional leasing might be required to 
avoid increases in energy costs. 

• Some existing leases might be environmen- 
tally unsuitable for development, and leas- 
ing in new areas might be substituted for 
leases in unsuitable areas, thereby decreas- 
ing the relative value of the latter leases and 
possibly causing their relinquishment. 

• Additional leasing would provide access to 
Federal coal for firms interested in pene- 
trating new market areas but not currently 
holding Federal coal leases. 

Analysis of the environmental impacts associ- 
ated with the leasing program was quite brief in the 
final environmental impact statement. 

On October 21, 1975, the validity of the 
statement was challenged in NRDC v. Hughes in 
the U.S. District Court for the District of Colum- 
bia (see Section 1.2.6 for a discussion of this 
lawsuit). 

1.2.5 Sierra Club v. Kleppe 

The decision in Sierra Club v. Kleppe, All U.S. 
390 (1976), was the Supreme Court's first extensive 
treatment of NEPA's environmental impact state- 
ment requirements as they concern the Depart- 
ment's coal-related activities. As such, it provides 
constructive background to the discussion in 
Chapter 3 of this statement of the Department's 
policy options for incorporation of environmental 
analyses into the evolving Federal coal manage- 
ment program. 

The litigation began in July 1973. The plaintiffs 
contended that Federal agencies could not allow 
further coal development in the Northern Great 
Plains area (encompassing portions of four states - 
northeastern Wyoming, eastern Montana, western 
North Dakota, and western South Dakota) without 
preparing a comprehensive environmental impact 
statement for the entire region. The United States 
Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia 
Circuit found that there was no Federal regional 
plan or program for coal development in the 
Northern Great Plains area. Nevertheless, the 
court concluded that the involved Federal agencies 
"contemplated" such a regional plan. The agencies 



were ordered to inform the District Court of their 
role in the further development of the region; if 
they decided to control that development, an 
environmental impact statement would be re- 
quired. The Court of Appeals also enjoined the 
Department of the Interior from approving the 
four mining plans analyzed in the multiproject 
Eastern Powder River Coal Basin Regional Impact 
Statement, which covered only a two-county area 
in Wyoming. 

The Court further proposed a four-part balanc- 
ing test for determining when preparation of an 
environmental impact statement must begin dur- 
ing contemplation of a plan or action. Factors to 
be considered were: 

• Likelihood that the program would soon be 
initiated. 

• Extent to which information is available on 
the effects of program implementation. 

• Extent to which irreversible commitments 
of resources are being made or options 
precluded. 

• Severity of resultant environmental im- 
pacts. 

In reversing the Court of Appeals decision, the 
Supreme Court held that NEPA did not require a 
"regional" environmental impact statement for the 
Northern Great Plains area where no proposed 
action was pending. It also found that an environ- 
mental impact statement is not required until the 
time at which a Federal agency makes a recom- 
mendation or report on a proposal for Federal 
action. Mere contemplation of action does not 
trigger the need for a statement and, thus, the 
Court of Appeals balancing test had no statutory 
authority. The Court further indicated that NEPA 
may require comprehensive statements where 
several related projects are pending at the same 
time, although an individual project may proceed 
where covered by an adequate statement. Finally, 
the Court noted that the choice of a region to be 
covered is largely that of the agency. 

1.2.6 NRDC v. Hughes 

On September 27, 1977, the U.S. District Court 
for the District of Columbia ruled in NRDC v. 
Hughes (cited previously) that the 1975 final coal 
leasing programmatic environmental impact state- 
ment was inadequate and enjoined the Depart- 
ment from "taking any steps whatsoever directly or 
indirectly to implement the new coal leasing 



1-12 



INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 



program including calling for the nominations of 
tracts for Federal coal leasing and issuing any 
leases, except when the proposed lease is required 
to maintain an existing mining operation at the 
present levels of production or is necessary to 
provide reserves needed to meet existing contracts 
and the extent of the proposed lease is not greater 
than is required to meet these two criteria for more 
than three years in the future." The court stated 
that the standard should be applied to both 
noncompetitive preference right lease applications 
(PRLAs) and competitive leases. 

The court ordered the Department to issue an 
official press release, publish a notice in the 
Federal Register, and take other steps appropriate 
to receive additional comments on the 1975 
statement. The Department was further ordered to 
prepare a draft supplement to the 1975 statement, 
receive comments on the supplement, and prepare 
a new final statement. These documents were to 
discuss the issues which the court identified as 
being deficient. 

Prior to the entry of the order, the Department 
had already begun to review its coal management 
policies and activities and to determine what, if 
any, coal management program it should adopt. 
As a result of this internal review process, the 
Department prepared a series of option papers on 
the various elements which might comprise a coal 
management program. In a series of decisions 
beginning in October 1977 and concluding in 
November 1978, the Secretary and Under Secre- 
tary chose what is described in this statement as a 
preferred Federal coal management program. 
Because the Department's preferred program 
alternative is no longer the EMARS II program 
described in the 1975 statement and because there 
have been significant changes in statutory and 
Presidental policy and in available data, particu- 
larly as to the need for new coal leasing, the 
Department decided not to prepare a supplement 
to the original environmental impact statement but 
to write an entirely new statement. Both depart- 
mental and public review will be aided by this new 
statement. To the extent an entirely new integrated 
statement has been prepared instead of a supple- 
ment, the Department has exceeded the court's 
requirements by preparing an entirely new, com- 
prehensive statement instead of a supplement. This 
statement responds to all the major concerns 



expressed about and corrects the faults previously 
found in the 1975 statement. 

Following the decision in NRDC v. Hughes and 
in accordance with the court order, the Depart- 
ment, in November 1977, solicited comments on 
the final statement, including the following ques- 
tions: 

• Is there a need for renewed Federal coal 
leasing? 

• If there is a need, how should the leasing 
program be defined? 

• If new Federal leasing should be undertak- 
en, how would different types of Federal 
leasing programs affect the environment? 

Over 100 comments were received from Feder- 
al agencies, state and local governments and 
agencies, coal industry representatives, and private 
individuals and organizations. Comments included 
criticisms of the final environmental impact state- 
ment and suggestions on preparation of an 
improved statement, as well as responses to the 
three questions listed above. Major suggestions 
offered for an improved statement included: 

• Further analyses of the need for renewed 
Federal coal leasing and a clearer descrip- 
tion of the proposed leasing program. 

• Detailed analysis of potential environmen- 
tal, social, and economic impacts of re- 
newed leasing and alternative leasing pro- 
grams. 

• Consideration of current data and recent 
legislation (e.g., the Surface Mining Control 
and Reclamation Act of 1977, Federal Coal 
Leasing Amendments Act of 1976, and 
1977 Amendments to the Clean Air Act). 

• Consideration of the impacts of processing, 
transportation, and ultimate use of coal. 

• Improved consideration of alternative ener- 
gy sources (e.g., nuclear, solar, geothermal, 
wind, and conservation) 

o Consideration of state coal-related policies. 

• Definition of the role of more detailed 
regional and site-specific environmental 
impact statements. 

These comments were summarized in Chapter 
8 of the draft version of this environmental impact 
statement and responses to them were integrated 
into its text, as well as the text of this statement. 

Although the Department initially filed a 
notice of appeal of the court's decision, the District 
Court approved a settlement of the case on June 



1-13 



INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 



14, 1978. The amended order permitted substan- 
tially more leasing before issuance of this new 
programmatic environmental impact statement 
than would have been allowed under the court's 
initial standards. The standards will remain in 
effect until the Department files this programmatic 
statement and the Secretary decides whether to 
adopt a program. Utah Power and Light Company 
has appealed the order to the Court of Appeals for 
the District of Columbia. 

The agreement embodied in the amended 
order permits leasing under any of the following 
six standards: 

By-pass leases are permitted where Federal coal 
may be otherwise lost if it is not developed by an 
existing mine because subsequent costs (either 
economic or environmental) would be much 
higher. Up to five years of reserves may be 
included in a lease issued under this provision. To 
qualify for a lease, mining operations must have 
been in existence on September 27, 1977. 

Employment leases may be issued in order to 
maintain production and employment in existing 
mines on September 27, 1977, which are running 
short of reserves needed to maintain past produc- 
tion or where additional reserves are needed to 
meet existing contracts. Up to eight years of 
reserves may be included in a lease under this 
provision. 

ERDA project leases of no more than 500,000 
tons annual production may be issued to support 
Energy Research and Development Administra- 
tion (ERDA) projects authorized under Section 
908 of SMCRA. Leasing is allowed if the technolo- 
gy assessed cannot be demonstrated on existing 
leases or private coal holdings. 

Lease exchanges are permitted to implement 
exchanges for Federal leases in alluvial valley 
floors under Section 510(b)(5) of SMCRA. 

Hardship Leases involve seven particular lease 
applications specified in the agreement as being 
not subject to the injunction regardless of any 
other particular standard. The basis for these 
leases varies, but each has some special circum- 
stance or hardship which justified proceeding with 
lease issuance in advance of the completion of this 
statement. 

Noncompetitive (preference right) lease applica- 
tions may be processed but not issued for the 20 
PRLAs having the least environmental impact. 
Other than these 20 (and any applications which 



meet one of the court's other standards), the 
Department may not process any PRLAs. Prefer- 
ence is to be given to PRLAs for tracts containing 
90 percent of reserves which can be mined by deep 
mining and PRLAs for tracts which would not 
require substantial additional transportation facili- 
ties or water storage or supply systems, and would 
not involve substantial new industrial develop- 
ment, in the region. All activities, including 
completion of the commercial quantities test and 
necessary environmental analyses, are permitted 
under this standard. 

In addition to the six standards, the agreement 
allows the Department to process, but not issue, a 
lease based on an application by the Edison 
Development Corporation. 

Although the total amount of coal to be leased 
under all of these provisions cannot be stated 
precisely, the Department estimates as many as 35 
leases involving a total of 275 to 300 million tons of 
coal reserves could be involved. If these leases 
were granted, the increased annual production 
from Federal lands could be as much as 13 to 17 
million tons. By comparison, approximately 96 
million tons of coal were produced from mines on 
or including Federal leases in 1977. The original 
court order would have permitted the issuance of 
only six leases which would have resulted in 
approximately 10 million tons of production. As of 
April 1, 1978, 13 leases have been offered for sale 
under the amended order covering 6,442 acres and 
53 million tons. 

The modified order will enable the Department 
to achieve production in areas where needs are 
critical and to avoid unnecessary loss of Federal 
coal resources in by-pass situations. In addition, 
the settlement allows the Department to continue 
with the overview portion of the regional environ- 
mental impact statements. Although only lease 
proposals meeting the revised short-term standards 
will be studied on a site-specific basis, the regional 
environmental impact statements will address the 
social, economic, and environmental effects of 
increased coal production in particular areas, 
including impacts which could occur under various 
leasing levels. This information will be useful both 
to this programmatic environmental impact state- 
ment and to subsequent program decisions. 



1-14 



INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 



1.2.7 NRDC V. BERKLUND 

The rights of holders of PRLAs was recently 
addressed in related litigation. The issue in NRDC 
v. Berklund, 454 F. Supp. 925 (D.D.C. 1978), appeal 
pending, was whether the Secretary's duty to issue a 
noncompetitive lease to an otherwise qualified 
holder of a PRLA is mandatory or discretionary. 
The United States District Court for the District of 
Columbia ruled, on June 30, 1977, that the 
Secretary does not have discretion to reject PRLAs 
where coal has been found in commercial quanti- 
ties. It also affirmed the validity of the May 7, 
1976, regulations, 41 Federal Register 18848, and, 
in particular, the point that the cost of complying 
with lease terms is properly a part of a commercial 
quantities showing. However, if the issuance of a 
PRLA would constitute a major Federal action 
significantly affecting the quality of the human 
environment, an environmental impact statement 
must first be prepared. The plaintiffs (Natural 
Resources Defense Council and three other 
groups) and intervenor defendants (Utah Power 
and Light Company and Chaco Energy Company) 
have appealed this decision to the Court of 
Appeals for the District of Columbia. The Court is 
not expected to decide this case until late in 1979. 

1.3 FEDERAL CONSTRAINTS ON AND 
AUTHORITIES FOR COAL 
MANAGEMENT PROGRAM 

This section presents an overview of the major 
laws and regulations and the programs of Federal 
agencies which influence the development of 
Federal coal resources. Primary emphasis is on 
statutes which directly control leasing and mining 
activities. Other authorities are cited in less detail 
to provide a perspective on factors which may 
indirectly influence the demand for coal resources 
and the location and intensity of coal development 
and related activities. 

13.1 Laws Governing Development of Federal 
Coal 

1.3.1.1 Mineral Leasing Act and Federal Coal 
Leasing Amendments Act of 1976. The Depart- 
ment's concern in the early 1970's with the efficacy 
of its coal management program was shared by the 
Congress, particularly as it related to deficiencies 
in the coal provisions of the Mineral Leasing Act 
of 1920. Major deficiencies of the 1920 Act are 



discussed below [8,9]. (See also the discussion in 
Section 1.2.1). 

1 . Problems with 1 920 Act 

Speculation. While the 1920 Act provided for 
lease cancellation, no lease was ever cancelled for 
failure to develop. In addition, issuance of PRLAs 
made it possible to gain control of public resources 
for nominal payments to the Federal government. 
Slightly less than half of all Federal leases were 
issued with no competitive bidding [7]. Conse- 
quently, holding companies and energy resource 
speculators had entered the market for Federal 
coal in large numbers. 

Lease Concentration. In 1976, approximately 57 
percent of Federal acreage under lease was held by 
15 leaseholders [10]. 

Fair Return to the Public. Under preference 
right leasing procedures, no competitive sales were 
held and lessees who discovered commercial 
quantities of coal had only to pay minimum 
royalties and rentals. Also, although more than 50 
percent of all leases had been offered competitive- 
ly, 72 percent of the competitive sales had either no 
bidder or only one bidder [7]. 

Social and Economic Impacts. When areas were 
newly opened to large-scale mining, state and local 
governments had the responsibility of providing 
needed public services. The 1920 Act provided that 
monies returned to state government from lease 
sales were to be used only for schools and roads. 
This restriction made it difficult for affected areas 
to meet the needs of their new inhabitants. The 
attendant problems were exacerbated by the 
"boom-bust" economic cycle associated with rapid 
resource development in rural areas. 

Maximum Economic Recovery. Some lessees 
developed only the most easily reached surface 
deposits which yielded the highest profits. Other 
resources of coal less easily mined were sometimes 
left in place. 

2. Congressional Response 

The Congress responded to these problems 
with the passage, over President Ford's veto, in 
August 1976 of the Federal Coal Leasing Amend- 
ments Act (FCLAA). The broad purpose of the 
FCLAA is to provide a more orderly procedure for 
the leasing and development of coal presently 
owned by the United States. 



1-15 



INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 



Among the most significant requirements of 
the FCLAA governing the award and development 
of Federal leases are the following: 

© All leasing must be by competitive bidding; 
no bids can be accepted which do not equal 
or exceed fair market value. 

• Noncompetitive (preference right) leasing is 
abolished (subject to valid existing rights). 

• Leases may be consolidated into logical 
mining units (LMUs) when needed to 
insure maximum economic recovery of the 
coal deposit; 1 all LMU reserves must be 
mined within 40 years. 

• Diligent development and continuous oper- 
ation is required (except continuous opera- 
tion may be waived upon payment of 
advance royalties). 

• Leases to a single person are limited to 
100,000 acres nationwide (as well as 46,080 
acres in a particular state). 

Economic, social, and environmental deficien- 
cies inherent in the 1920 Act were also addressed 
in the FCLAA. The Congress ratified the BLM 
practice of doing land use plans prior to issuing 
competitive leases and a comprehensive land use 
plan or its equivalent was ordinarily required prior 
to leasing. State shares of royalties were raised 
from 37 1/2 percent to 50 percent with the new 
portion of the monies available not just for 
construction of roads and schools but also for a 
wide range of public services and facilities in 
impacted areas. Finally, public bodies were enti- 
tled to have reserved a reasonable number of 
leasing tracts for their own energy production. 

1.3.1.2 Federal Lands Policy and Management Act 
of 1976. Governing the activities of the Bureau of 
Land Management was a vast number of outmod- 
ed public land laws enacted when disposal and 
largely uncontrolled development of the public 
domain reflected then-current Federal policy. The 
Bureau's difficulty in carrying out its land manage- 
ment responsibilities under the statutes was exam- 
ined in detail in the late 1960's by the Public Land 
Law Review Commission. After five years of 

1 An LMU, simply stated, is an area of land that will be mined as a single 
unit. The statutory definition is "an area of land in which the coal resources can 
be developed in an efficient, economical, and orderly manner as a unit with due 
regard to conservation of coal reserves and other resources. A logical mining 
unit may consist of one or more Federal leaseholds, and may include 
intervening or adjacent lands in which the United States does not own the coal 
resource, but all the lands in a logical mining unit must be under the effective 
control of a single operator, be able to be developed and operated as a single 
operation, and be contiguous." 



extensive investigations, the Commission submit- 
ted its final report [11] to the President and the 
Congress. A major recommendation of the Com- 
mission was that the policy of large-scale disposal 
of public lands reflected by the majority of statutes 
then in force should be revised and that future 
disposal of public lands should be limited to only 
those lands which will provide maximum benefit 
for the general public in non-Federal ownership. 
Federal ownership should be retained for those 
lands whose values must be preserved so that they 
may be used and enjoyed by all Americans. The 
Commission also emphasized the need to develop 
a clear set of goals for the management and use of 
public lands. 

The Federal Land Policy and Management 
Act (FLPMA) enacted in October 1976 embodied 
many of the Commission's recommendations. The 
purpose of FLPMA is to provide the first compre- 
hensive statutory statement of purposes, goals, and 
authority for the use and management of the 
approximately 448 million acres of Federally- 
owned lands administered by the Secretary of the 
Interior through the BLM. 

Title II of FLPMA provides BLM with a 
statutory framework for land use planning for 
public lands. In the development of land use plans, 
BLM must: 

• Use the principles of multiple use and 
sustained yield 2 

• Give priority to the protection of areas of 
critical environmental concern (such as 
historic, cultural, or scenic values, fish and 
wildlife resources, etc.). 

• Consider present as well as future uses of 
public lands. 

• Coordinate planning activities with those of 
Federal, state, and local agencies. 

The Act also confirms that the BLM may continue 
to rely on existing plans. 

The Act further liberalized the use of mineral 
revenues by states and local governments by 
providing that the entire 50 percent of the funds 
received by the Federal government for the 

2 "Multiple-use" means the combination of resource values that consider 
changing needs and conditions, long-term needs for renewable and non- 
renewable resources, land productivity, environmental values, and economic 
return. "Sustained yield" means the achievement and maintenance in perpetuity 
of a high-level output of public lands natural resources consistent with multiple 
use. 



1-16 



INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 



development of leasable minerals on Federal land, 
which the FCLAA had provided to the states and 
local governments, could be used for any public 
purpose and by establishing a program to provide 
low interest loans to states and local governments 
to be impacted by Federal land mineral develop- 
ment activities. Proposed regulations to carry out 
the loan program were recently published, 43 
Federal Register 49018 (1978). 

FLPMA also requires the Department to 
review all BLM lands for potential designation as 
wilderness. The major steps in the process are 
inventory, identification of wilderness study areas, 
Presidential recommendations, and formal Con- 
gressional designation. Proposed procedures and 
requirements for interior management were pub- 
lished in 44 Federal Register 2699 (1979). 

1.3.1.3 Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act 
of 1977. The Surface Mining Control and Recla- 
mation Act (SMCRA) was passed in August 1977 
in response to concern over the extensive environ- 
mental damage caused by all coal mining and to 
technological and economic changes which now 
favor surface over underground mining. By 1976, 
over 60 percent of the coal produced nationally 
came from surface mines. 

Surface coal mining activities have imposed 
large social and environmental costs in many areas 
of the country in the form of unreclaimed lands, 
diminished agricultural productivity, water pollu- 
tion, erosion, floods, slope failures, loss of fish and 
wildlife resources, and a decline in natural beauty. 

In the western coalfields, many of which are in 
arid or semi-arid areas, the environmental prob- 
lems associated with surface mining are significant. 
Erosion rates on western range lands are among 
the highest in the United States for upland areas 
not under cultivation. The arid climate provides 
minimal moisture for a protective vegetative cover, 
and once this fragile vegetative cover has been 
disturbed, its restoration is difficult [12]. Further- 
more, in most of the western coalfields the coal 
beds which lie close to the surface are also aquifers. 
Removal of the coal by surface mining operations 
could intersect those aquifers which are the source 
of water for many wells. Flow patterns in such 
aquifers could be changed, resulting in reduced 
availability of water for other uses. 

In passing SMCRA, the Congress recognized 
that many states already had laws to regulate 



surface coal mining operations. However, most 
existing state laws and Federal regulations as well 
for surface mining and reclamation were inade- 
quate in that they were tailored to suit ongoing 
mining practices, and did not require modification 
of mining practices to meet established environ- 
mental standards. Regardless of the adequacy of 
state mining and reclamation laws, the Congress 
felt that they were not fully enforced, partly from a 
lack of funding and manpower to adequately 
ensure compliance. As a result, violations of the 
law and regulations were frequent. 

SMCRA, therefore, established uniform mini- 
mum Federal standards for regulating surface 
mining and reclamation activities throughout the 
country on Federal, state, and private lands, and 
for assuring adequate protection from the environ- 
mental impacts of surface mining in all states. The 
states can assume the primary responsibilities for 
administration and enforcement of the act under 
Federally-approved state programs. The Secretary 
must approve state programs; the Department will 
assume administrative responsibilities if a state 
program under the act is found to be inadequate. 
The Department is responsible for enforcing 
reclamation requirements on Federal leases 
through a Federal lands program. SMCRA also 
gives a state the right to enforce reclamation 
requirements on Federal land if it enters into a 
cooperative agreement with the Department. If 
this occurs, Federal lessees in that state will have to 
comply with those requirements rather than those 
which would be Federally-enforced in the Federal 
lands program. 

The Act has several features directly relevant 
to the coal management program. While FLPMA 
and FCLAA are applicable only to Federal coal 
and surface estates, SMCRA applies to all surface 
mining operations, whether Federal, state, or 
private. Thus, many of the prior advantages of 
developing private coal resources (such as reduced 
administrative burdens and related environmental 
and reclamation standards) have been eliminated. 
Of particular importance to this environmental 
impact statement are the Act's provisions regard- 
ing environmental protection performance stan- 
dards (Section 515) and designation of areas 
unsuitable for surface coal mining (Section 522). A 
synopsis of these sections follows. 

Section 515's performance standards are mini- 
mum standards applicable to all surface coal 



1-17 



INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 



mining and reclamation operations. These stan- 
dards include: 

• Maximum utilization and conservation of 
the solid fuel resource being recovered. 

• Restoration of disturbed land to support 
the same or better conditions. 

© Restoration of the approximate original 
land contour. 

• Stabilization and protection of all surface 
areas. 

® Protection of prime farmlands through 
specific reclamation techniques. 

• Minimization of disturbances to the exist- 
ing hydrological balance. 

® Limitation on mining of steep slopes. 

Section 522 of SMCRA establishes a procedure 
to designate lands unsuitable for all or certain 
types of coal mining operations. The Secretary of 
the Interior determines unsuitability on Federal 
lands. The states have authority to determine 
unsuitability for non-Federal lands. Areas on both 
Federal and non-Federal lands may be designated 
unsuitable if, upon petition, the Secretary deter- 
mines that reclamation of disturbed lands is not 
economically or technologically feasible. Areas 
may also be classified unsuitable if mining opera- 
tions will: 

• Be incompatible with existing land use 
plans. 

• Significantly affect important fragile or 
historic lands. 

• Result in substantial loss or reduction in the 
productivity of renewable resource lands 
which produce food or fiber. 

• Substantially endanger life and property in 
natural hazard lands. 

Unsuitability designations must be preceded 
by a report addressing an area's potential coal 
resources, the demand for these resources, and the 
impact of designation on the environment, the 
economy, and the supply of coal. In addition, as 
part of its obligation under Section 522 of 
SMCRA, the Department of the Interior must 
review all Federal lands for unsuitability for all or 
certain types of coal development, although no 
formal "designation" of unsuitability is made as 
part of this lands review. 

The environmental impact of unsuitability 
standards on a broad scale is discussed in the 
environmental impact statement prepared by the 
Department of the Interior's Office of Surface 



Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) in 
connection with its permanent program regula- 
tions [13,14]. Section 702 of SCMRA exempts the 
Federal Lands Program, including the Federal 
lands review required by Section 522, from 
compliance with the requirements of NEPA for 
preparation of an environmental impact statement. 
Since November 1977, the Department of the 
Interior has been developing unsuitability criteria 
for Federal lands. These are discussed in Chapters 
3 and 5 and are presented in the proposed 
regulations (Appendix A). Although these stan- 
dards are exempt from NEPA's environmental 
impact statement requirement, the effects of the 
proposed criteria are discussed in this statement. 
Other features of SMCRA relevant to the 
development of a Federal coal management 
program are: 

© Authority to exchange Federal lands al- 
ready under lease but which have been 
included in an alluvial valley floor and are 
subject to the grandfather clause in Section 
510(b)(5) of the Act. 
• A requirement for the consent of certain 
private surface owners before the Depart- 
ment can lease any Federal coal under 
privately-owned land. 

1.3.1.4 Mineral Leasing Act for Acquired Lands. 
The Mineral Leasing Act for Acquired Lands 
governs leasing on Federally-acquired lands for 
coal as well as other minerals covered by the 
Mineral Leasing Act. The Act requires the consent 
of the head of the Federal agency having adminis- 
trative jurisdiction over the lands before BLM can 
lease For coal. The Federal Coal Leasing Amend- 
ments Act grants similar veto authority to the 
surface managing agency with regard to non- 
acquired lands. Otherwise, leasing provisions are 
the same as those for nonacquired lands. 

1.3.1.5 Other Relevant Laws. Numerous other 
Federal laws regulate aspects of coal development 
and energy conversion. Most pertinent laws are 
summarized in Table 1-3. 

1.3.2 Interagency Relationships in Federal Coal 
Management 

The jurisdictional interrelationships in a Feder- 
al coal management program are complex. Many 
Federal departments and agencies are involved 
through their specific mandates or related authori- 



1-18 



V 



Wmsm 



PNb 



Popular Name 
Antiquities Act of 1906 



TABLE 1-3 
FEDERAL LAWS AFFECTING COAL DEVELOPMENT AND ENERGY CONVERSION 
Public Law/U.S. Code Citation Purpose 



59-209; 16 U.S.C. 431 



•Regulates antiquities 
excavation and collection 
(including fossil remains), 



Major Relevance 

'Mitigates potential harm 
to historical, archaeolo- 
gical, and paleontological 
resources. 



Archaeological and 
Historical Preservation 
Act of 1974; Archaeological 
Salvage Act 



93-291, 86-523; 16 U.S.C. 469 



I 

H 

o 



Bald Eagle Protection 
Act of 1969, as amended 



Clean Air Act 

Amendments of 1977 



86-70; 16 U.S.C. 668 



95-95; 42 U.S.C. 7401 



'Protects historical values 
on public land. 

'Provides for recovery of 
data from areas to be 
affected by Federal 
actions. 

'Provides for preservation 
of data (including relics 
and specimens) at every 
Federal construction 
project. 

'Protects bald and golden 
eagles. 



'Establishes requirements 
for areas failing to 
attain National Ambient 
Area Quality Standards 
(NAAQS). 

"Provides for prevention of 
significant deterioration 
of areas where air is 
cleaner than NAAQS. 

'■lay require a Federal permit 
where conflicts with coal 
development exist. 



'Mitigates potential harm 
to historical and archaeo- 
logical, and paleontolo- 
gical resources. 

'Mitigates potential harm 
to historical and archaeo- 
logical resources. 



'May make certain coal 
lands off-limits for 
development. 

'Limits industrial develop- 
ment within and adjacent 
to areas exceeding NAAQS 
and areas preserving clean 
air quality. 

'Reduces commercial attrac- 
tiveness of low-sulfur 
Western coal as new source 
standard changed to percent 
emissions reduction. 



TABLE 1-3 (Continued) 



FEDERAL LAWS AFFECTING COAL DEVELOPMENT AND ENERGY CONVERSION 



Popular Name 

Clean Air Act Amendments 
of 1977 (Con't.) 



Public Law/U.S. Code Citation 



Clean Water Act of 1977 



95-217; 33 U.S.C. 1251 



I 

o 



Purpose 

'Modifies 1970 air act provi- 
sions regarding Federal 
facilities; enforcement strat- 
egies; coal utilization im- . 
pacts; and interstate air 
pollution. 

"Establishes effluent limita- 
tions for new and existing 
industrial discharges into 
U.S. waters. 

"Limitations set for public 
treatment discharges; with 
pretreatment by industrial 
users. 

"Provides mechanism to 
restore and maintain 
integrity of the nation's 
waters. 



Major Relevance 



"May reduce development 
options in areas where 
anti-degradation policy 
restricts discharges into 
high quality waters. 

"Treatment facilities In 
areas with rapidly 
expanding infrastructures 
must meet water quality 
standards. 

"Effluent standards apply 
to coal mining point 
sources. 



Endangered Species Act 
of 1973, as amended 



93-205;16 U.S.C. 1531 



Fish and Wildlife 
Coordination Act of 1934 



85-624; 16 U.S.C. 661 



Protects endangered and 
threatened species and 
critical habitat from Federal 
activities. Requires prior 
consultation with Fish and 
Wildlife Service. 

Requires consultation about 
water resource development 
actions which might affect 
fish or associated wild- 
life resource. 



May make certain coal 
lands unsuitable for 
development. 



Mitigates potential 
Federal coal development 
impacts. 



mmm 



gWT^Pp 



■P 



WPPP 



NpM 



Popular Name 

Historic Preservation Act 
of 1966 



National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969 



H 
1 



Mining and Minerals 
Policy Act of 1970 



TABLE 1-3 (Continued) 
FEDERAL LAWS AFFECTING COAL DEVELOPMENT AND ENERGY CONVERSION 



Public Law/U.S. Code Citation 
89-665; 16 U.S.C. 



See also 94-429; 
U.S.C. 1609 



470 
16 



91-190; 42 U.S.C. 4321 



91-631; 43 U.S.C. 21 



Noise Control Act of 1972 92-574; 42 U.S.C. 4901 



Resource Conservation 
and Recovery Act of 1976 



94-580; 42 U.S.C. 6901 



Purpose 

'Establishes system of classi- 
fying properties on or 
eligible for inclusion on 
Historic Register. 

"Mandates Federal agency con- 
sultation with Advisory 
Council and State historic 
preservation officers. 

'Makes environmental protec- 
tion part of the mandate of 
every Federal agency. 

'Requires impact statements 
for major Federal actions 
with potentially signifi- 
cant impacts. 

'Declares Congressional 
Minerals Policy. 



'Requires publication of 
information on limits of 
noise required to protect 
public health and welfare. 

'Preempts local control of 
railroad equipment and yard 
noise emissions. 

'Establishes guidelines for 

collection, transport, 

separation, recovery and 

disposal of solid waste. 



Major Relevance 

'Mitigates potential harm 
to historical and 
archaeological values. 



'Provides legislative 
authority to control 
energy development on 
environmental grounds. 

"Impact statement process 
must be integral part of 
coal leasing system. 



'Provides broad, general 
principles for mineral 
resource development. 

'Regulations may be proposed 
to control coal mining 
areas and activities. 



'Mining locations may be 
affected by EPA regulations 
governing disposal of coal 
mining wastes. 



TABLE 1-3 (Continued) 



FEDERAL LAWS AFFECTING COAL DEVELOPMENT AND ENERGY CONVERSION 



I 



Popular Name 

Resource Conservation 
and Recovery Act of 
1976 (Cont.) 



Public Law/U.S. Code Citation 



Safe Drinking Water Act 
of 1977 



Soil and Water Resources 
Conservation Act of 1977 



Multiple-Use Sustained 
Yield Act of 1960 



95-190; 42 U.S.C. 300 



95-192; 16 U.S.C. 2001 



86-519; 16 U.S.C. 528 



National Forests 
Management Act of 1976 



95-233; 16 U.S.C. 472a 



Purpose 

'Creates major Federal 
hazardous waste regulatory 
program. 

'Provides assistance to 
establish state or regional 
solid waste plans. 

'Establishes mechanism for 
National Primary Drinking 
Water Standards. 



Major Relevance 

'Coal industry faced with 
stringent permit require- 
ments if coal wastes classi- 
fied by EPA as hazardous. 



'EPA conducting study of the 
impacts of pits, ponds, 
lagoons, etc. on underground 
water supplies for public 
water systems. 



'Requires appraisal by 'Provides opportunity for 
Secretary of Agriculture expanded data base, 
of information and expertise 
on conservation and use of 
soils, plants, woodlands, etc. 



Requires management of 
national forests under 
principles of multiple use 
so as to produce a sustained 
yield of products and 
services. 



'Mandates land management 
principles similar to those 
required under FLPMA. 



•Provides for a comprehensive »Key factor in the Depart- 

system of land and resource ment of the Interior's 

management planning for determination of where 

National Forest System coal leasing would occur. 

lands. 



rlhii i JHfrwft^^HMn 



~-w°m 



~*^ 



TABLE 1-3 (concluded) 
FEDERAL LAWS AFFECTING COAL DEVELOPMENT AND ENERGY CONVERSION 



Popular Name 

Department of Energy 
Organization Act of 1977 



Public Law/U.S. Code Citation 
95-91; 42 U.S.C. 7101 



Act of September 28, 
1976 



94-429; 16 U.S.C. 1908 



V 

S3 



Purpose 

•Transfers authority to 
issue some coal regulations 
from DOI to DOE, including 
production regulations. 

*D0E determines long-term 
national coal production 
goals. 

•Provides for the regulation 
of mining activity within, 
and to repeal the applica- 
tion of mining laws to, 
areas of the National Park 
System, and for other 
purposes. 



Ma jor Relevance 

•Limits coal management 
authority exercised by the 
Department of the Interior. 



'Requires program to establish 
proper coordination mechanisms. 



'Requires recognition and pro- 
tection of nationally signifi- 
cant natural areas as they 
relate to surface mining. 



INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 



ties. This section summarizes the major points of 
interaction both within and external to the Depart- 
ment of the Interior. 

1.3.2.1 Department of Energy Coal-Related Func- 
tions. While many agencies across the Federal 
structure are involved in coal management activi- 
ties, the Federal coal management program would 
be carried out principally by agencies in the 
Department of the Interior and the Department of 
Energy (DOE). The DOE was established in 
October 1977 following enactment of the Depart- 
ment of Energy Organization Act (DOE Act). The 
DOE Act was passed in response to the Nation's 
increasing shortage of nonrenewable energy re- 
sources and to the national security implications of 
increasing dependence on foreign energy supplies. 
Under the Act, many of the energy-related 
functions of a myriad of agencies were consolidat- 
ed under a single departmental organization. It 
was envisioned that the reorganization would 
foster cooperation among Federal, state, and local 
governments in the development of national 
energy programs. 

Prior to the passage of the DOE Act, the 
Department of the Interior had exclusive jurisdic- 
tion over Federal coal leasing decisions for public 
lands administered by the Department. However, 
the DOE Act transferred to the Department of 
Energy authority to promulgate regulations for: 

Fostering competition for Federal leases. 

Implementing alternative bidding systems 

for the award of Federal leases. 

• Establishing diligence requirements for coal 
development operations on Federal leases. 

• Setting rates of production for Federal 
leases. 

• Specifying procedures, terms, and condi- 
tions for the acquisition and disposition of 
Federal royalty interests taken in kind. 

Activities specified in the DOE Act for which 
the Secretary of the Interior will remain solely 
responsible are: 

• Issuance and supervision of Federal leases. 
© Enforcement of all regulations applicable to 

leasing of mineral resources, including but 
not limited to lease terms and conditions 
and production rates. 

• Issuance of all other kinds of regulations. 
The Department of the Interior is also required 

to provide DOE not less than 30 days in which to 



o 
o 



disapprove any newly proposed lease term or 
condition which relates to any matter upon which 
DOE has authority to promulgate regulations 
under the DOE Act. No such term or condition 
may be included in a lease if it is disapproved. 
Reasons for such disapproval and acceptable 
alternatives must be furnished in writing to the 
Department by DOE. 

The DOE is required to consider and establish 
energy production, use, and conservation goals, for 
periods of 5, 10, and 15 years, necessary to satisfy 
projected energy needs of the United States. These 
goals are considered as objectives for the national 
production of energy resources which are neces- 
sary to carry out national energy policy. These 
production goals are to be included in the 
proposed National Energy Plan (which is to be 
transmitted to the Congress no later than April 1, 
1979) and are to be reviewed biennially. Section 
802 of the Act provides procedures for the 
Congress to enact legislation regarding the Nation- 
al Energy Plan which may contain appropriate 
alternatives to, modifications of, or additions to 
the proposed Plan submitted by the President. 
Department of Energy and Department of the 
Interior production goal setting procedures for 
national energy resources, including coal, from 
Federal lands between the two Departments have 
been established in a September 1978 Memoran- 
dum of Understanding signed by the two Secretar- 
ies. This Memorandum is included in Appendix B. 

The Office of Leasing Policy Development 
manages DOE's responsibilities for participating in 
Federal energy leasing programs. This office has 
the responsibility for drafting regulations to imple- 
ment DOE's leasing responsibilities addressed in 
the prior section and for fostering close coordina- 
tion with the Department of the Interior and other 
agencies. 

The Department of Energy's Office of Coal 
Supply Development was established to monitor, 
from a broad viewpoint, restraints on coal supply. 
The office has no direct mandate in coal leasing, 
but has been reviewing coal supply as a system. Its 
aim is to isolate potential constraints and attempt 
to ameliorate them by alerting appropriate policy 
offices and by drafting corrective legislation. Some 
subjects currently under study by the office 
include: the effect of SMCRA on coal production; 
transportation problems (rising rates, equipment 
shortages); manpower demand in the mines; coal 



1-24 



INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 



leasing (or lack of it) as a potential constraint for 
competition; and constraints in supply from 
growing production costs. 

1.3.2.2 DOE-Interior Leasing Liaison. A Leasing 
Liaison Committee was authorized by the DOE 
Organization Act. This committee has been estab- 
lished and now serves as an executive level 
coordinating mechanism on Federal energy leasing 
and other interagency energy programs. Both DOE 
and Interior are represented by four policy level 
representatives on the Committee. The Committee 
meets quarterly and has been used to discuss major 
policy-level concerns of the two agencies. 

1.3.2.3 Department of the Interior's Coal Manage-. 
ment Functions. The division of the Department of 
the Interior's functions and responsibilities con- 
cerning management of Federal coal between the 
the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and 
Enforcement (OSM), the Geological Survey 
(USGS), and BLM was set forth in a memoran- 
dum signed by the Assistant Secretary, Land and 
Water Resources, and the Assistant Secretary, 
Energy and Minerals, in July 1978. Table 1-4 
presents the three agencies' extensive coal manage- 
ment responsibilities. The table is divided into 
three sections— Pre-leasing Functions, Post-leasing 
Pre-mining Functions, and Functions and Respon- 
sibilities During Mining Operations. It indicates 
the prime responsibility, joint responsibility, con- 
sulting, and concurrence requirements of the 
departmental agreement. 

Regulation of coal development on Federal 
leases is shared by the OSM and the USGS. OSM 
administers the Department's program to mitigate 
the adverse effects of surface coal mining and to 
reclaim land which has been adversely affected. 
OSM's jurisdiction extends to the surface effects of 
underground coal mining operations. 

SMCRA, OSM's enabling statute, establishes a 
two-tiered program for the regulation of surface 
coal mining and the surface effects of underground 
coal mining on both private and Federal lands. 
The first phase of this regulatory program went 
into effect on private lands on December 13, 1977, 
upon publication of OSM's interim program 
regulations (30 CFR Part 700, Subchapter B)[15]. 
These regulations, among other things, put into 
effect those of the statute's environmental perfor- 
mance standards which the Congress considered to 
be sufficiently critical to require almost immediate 



implementation. Examples of these standards are 
the requirement to return previously mined land to 
approximate original contours, to segregate top- 
soil, and to minimize the disturbance to the 
hydrological balance of both the mine site and 
associated off-site areas. These interim perfor- 
mance standards, as well as OSM's inspection and 
enforcement program, were applied to Federal 
lands on September 21, 1978, upon publication by 
the USGS of revisions to its coal mining operating 
regulations (30 CFR Part 21 1)[16]. 

Regulations governing OSM's permanent regu- 
latory program were published in the Federal 
Register on March 13, 1979, 44 Federal Register 
14902-15463 (1979). The permanent regulatory 
program implements the statute's remaining envi- 
ronmental performance standards, as well as 
permit application requirements, bonding provi- 
sions and provisions for the designation of lands 
unsuitable for mining on Federal lands. 

The USGS determines reserves present on 
Federal lease tracts, develops coal resource eco- 
nomic evaluations for lease tracts (recommenda- 
tions for bonus bids and royalty rates), and 
prepares development and mineral resource recov- 
ery requirements for Federal leases. Under its Part 
211 regulations, the USGS oversees coal explora- 
tion operations, reviews mine plans, and inspects 
mining operations for compliance with its re- 
source, conservation, development, and recovery 
requirements. The USGS is currently revising its 
Part 2 1 1 regulations to be consistent with OSM's 
permanent Federal lands regulations. 

In those instances where a mining operation 
occurs on Federal lands in a state which has 
concluded a cooperative agreement with the 
Department under Section 523 of SMCRA, regula- 
tory responsibility for Federal coal development, 
with respect to reclamation requirements, may be 
shared with that state. Both SMCRA and the 
Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, as amended, prohibit 
the Secretary's delegating to the states his responsi- 
bility for protection of the Federal government's 
proprietary interest in the development of coal 
resources on Federal lands. Under these coopera- 
tive agreements, the states may review and approve 
mining plans concurrently with the Federal review 
of those plans and inspect mining operations on 
Federal lands. To date, the Secretary has conclud- 
ed and formally proposed cooperative agreements 
with the States of Utah, Wyoming, and Montana. 



1-25 



TABLE 1-4 
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 



DIVISION OF FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES CONCERNING MANAGEMENT OF FEDERAL COAL 
BETWEEN THE OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING, THE U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY AND THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT (OSM, USGS, AND BLM) 



PRIME 
RESPONSIBILITY 



JOINT 
RESPONSIBILITY 



IN CONSULTATION 
WITH 



CONCURRENCE 
FROM 



I 



PRE-LEASING FUNCTIONS 

Evaluate coal resources 

Petition process for 
designation of Federal lands 
unsuitable for all or certain 
types of surface coal mining 
operations 

Federal coal lands review 



Preparation of regional EIS 
or site-specific pre-lease 
EIS concerning lease tract 
selection 



USGS 

OSM - Receives petitions 

- Conducts hearings 

- Issues decisions 



BLM - applies criteria in 
determination of 
suitability 



BLM lead agency (unless other 
agency designated lead agency) 
- Relating to lease tract 
selection 



Surface Management Agency 
and other appropriate State 
and local agencies 



OSM, USGS & other surface 
managing agencies 



OSM - establishes 
ground rules 
and criteria 
for Federal 
coal lands 
review 



OSM, USGS S. other appropriate 
agencies and state and local inter- 
ests 



Preparation, special lease 

terms and conditions 



Act as Secretary's official 
representative in dealing 
with lease applicants 

Surface owner consent 



BLM 



BLM (lease tract selection function) 



OSM (responsibilities under 
SMCRA - to administer protec- 
tion requirements of the act) , 
USGS (responsibilities under the 
MLA 



USGS, 
DOE 



_^-*l 



— — 



-*md 



*-- — 



TABLE 1-4 (Continued) 

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 

DIVISION OF FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES CONCERNING MANAGEMENT OF FEDERAL COAL 
BETWEEN THE OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING, THE U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY AND THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT (OSM, USGS AND BLM) 



FUNCTION 



PRIME 
RESPONSIBILITY 



JOINT 
RESPONSIBILITY 



IN CONSULTATION 
WITH 



CONCURRENCE 
FROM 



POST-LEASING PRE-MINING 
FUNCTIONS 



I 
^3 






Prepare recommendations on ap- 
plications for use of Federally 
owned surface over leased coal 
for rights net granted in 
Federal coal lease 



Delineation of "permit area" 



Review, approval of mining 
plans and major modifications 
lead agency for preparation 
of site specific EA/EIS and 
coordination with other 
agencies outside DOI 

Exploration on leased coal 
lands outside a permit area 



Exploration on leased coal 
lands within a permit area 

Responsibility for all non- 
lessee activity on lease land 
prior to operations 

Responsibility for deter- 
mining performance bond 



None until mining plan filed. 
Then OSM assumes responsibility 
with concurrence of BLM and USGS 

OSM has lead responsibility (for- 
merly assigned to USGS, 
became essential function of OSM 
under Sec. 201, SMCRA) 



USGS receives application and 
and supervises operations for 
all exploration outside a per- 
mit area 

OSM 



BLM 



OSM (BLM for interim period) 



OSM & USGS (BLM receives 
applications) - prior to re- 
ceipt of coal mining plan it 
is solely USGS responsi- 
bility to report on surface 
use application 



BLM and USGS 



USGS before mining plan; 
OSM after mining plan filed. 



OSM and USGS coordinate a 
a data exchange 



BLM regarding special require- 
ments relating to protection of 
natural resources; USGS re- 
garding responsibilities relating 
to development, production and 
resource recovery requirements 

OSM 



BLM and USGS 



USGS on produc- 
tion and recovery 
requirements 



USGS 



TABLE 1-4 (Continued) 
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 



DIVISION OF FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES CONCERNING MANAGEMENT OF FEDERAL COAL 
BETWEEN THE OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING, THE U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY AND THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT (OSM, USGS AND BLM) 



FUNCTION 



PRIME 
RESPONSIBILITY 



FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILI- 
TIES DURING MINING OPERATIONS 

Act as Secretary's representa- 
tive in dealing with lessees 
and/or operators during 
operations 



I 

CO 



Take necessary action in 
emergency environmental 
situation 



OSM (formerly USGS & BLM) 



JOINT 
RESPONSIBILITY 



IN CONSULTATION 
WITH 



CONCURRENCE 
FROM 



Conduct inspection prior to 
abandonment and specify and 
approve abandonment procedures 



OSM (formerly USGS & BLM) USGS retains production 

functions; OSM assumes envi- 
ronmental and enforcement 
functions; 

BLM retains non-mining func- 
tions, outside the permit area, 
including rights-of-way and 
ancillary activities related to 
mining. USGS & BLM inspec- 
tion in connection with USGS, 
BLM functions, are coordinated 
with OSM inspections (except BLM 
inspections otuside the permit 
area). USGS makes royalty 
audits and other nonfield inspec- 
tions independent of OSM. 

OSM has primary emergency authority; 

BLM & USGS have such authority 
when OSM inspectors are unable to 
take action before significant harm 
or damage will occur. 
USGS & BLM retain their present 
procedures for emergencies involving 
loss, waste, or damage to coal and 
other natural resources and to other 
MLA functions 

OSM (primary authority to approve OSM, USGS, BLM - all have Private surface owner 

abandonment procedures and approve abandonment inspection responsibility in case of private 
abandonment of operat ions ) surface . 



BLM concurrence in ap- 
proval of compliance, 
special requirements: 
protection of natural 
resources & post-mining 
land use of affected 
lands. USGS con- 
currence : compliance 
with production and 
coal resource recovery 
requirements . 



*^M 



> 



TABLE 1-4 (Conclusion) 

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 

DIVISION OF FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES CONCERNING MANAGEMENT OF FEDERAL COAL 
BETWEEN THE OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING, THE U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY AND THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT (OSM, USGS AND BLM) 



p RIHE JOINT IN CONSULTATION CONCURRENCE 

RESPONSIBILITY RESPONSIBILITY WITH WITH 



.„„ BLM & USGS con- 

Release of reclamation bond ObM currence 

(permanent program) 

„„ BLM & USGS con- 

Release of lease bond BLM 

currence . 



H 
I 

■vD 



NOTE: These agencies will also consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, both on a general basis such as during land-use planning and on a 
specific basis when required by laws such as The Endangered Species Act. 



INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 



Negotiations are in progress with the States of New 
Mexico, Colorado, and North Dakota. If these 
latter three states are unable to conclude successful 
negotiations with the Department to modify their 
cooperative agreements, their existing agreements 
will terminate. 

The BLM has the principal responsibility for 
carrying out the requirements of FCLAA. It 
prepares the required land use plans and does land 
use analyses where Federal interests are not 
sufficient to justify a land-use plan. It has the 
responsibility to delineate, rank, and select lease 
tracts and to consult with surface owners over 
Federal coal. The BLM also conducts hearings on 
leasing proposals and prepares the necessary 
environmental analyses. It also carries out certain 
functions under SMCRA including the initial 
review of Federal lands to determine which lands 
are unsuitable for all or certain types of coal 
mining. 

The Department's Office of Coal Leasing, 
Planning and Coordination serves as the focal 
point for developing and carrying out the Depart- 
ment's coal policy review and the development of a 
program for the management and leasing of 
Federally-owned coal resources in accordance 
with the President's directives in the National 
Energy Plan and Environmental Message (see 
Section 1.4.1). The Office is responsible for 
developing and coordinating Departmental poli- 
cies affecting Federal coal management. It assists 
the Secretary, through the Assistant Secretary for 
Land and Water Resources, in implementing the 
Federal coal management responsibilities vested in 
the Department under the Mineral Leasing Act of 
1920 and the Federal Coal Leasing Amendments 
Act of 1976. 

Other Interior Department agencies with lesser 
coal related responsibilities are the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, Bureau of Mines, Bureau of 
Reclamation, and Heritage Conservation and 
Recreation Service. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service conducts surface mining studies and 
monitoring work relating to impacts on wildlife in 
general and on endangered species in particular. 
These studies are used to assess and predict the 
affects of coal-related activities on fish, wildlife, 
and their habitats on Federal, state, and private 
lands. For particular requirements on Endangered 
Species Act consultation, see 50 CFR Part 402, 43 
Federal Register 870. The division of wildlife 



related responsibilities in coal management be- 
tween the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the 
Bureau of Land Management was established in a 
Memorandum of Understanding signed on Sep- 
tember 26, 1978, and is included in Appendix B. 
Coal activities in the U.S. Bureau of Mines 
include conducting advanced coal mine health and 
safety research and demonstration projects on 
backfilling and subsidence. 

1.3.2.4 Other Federal Agencies with Coal Related 
Responsibilities. Table 1-5 summarizes relevant 
coal management functions within the Federal 
structure. Policy and evaluation functions relating 
to coal, not previously addressed, are assigned 
within the Executive Office of the President to the 
Office of Management and Budget, the Council of 
Environmental Quality, the Domestic Policy Staff, 
the National Security Council, and the Office of 
Science and Technology Policy. 

The Forest Service in the Department of 
Agriculture has been given added responsibility 
relating to coal management functions through the 
FCLAA. Under the Act, the Secretary of Agricul- 
ture has consent authority for Federal leases under 
his jurisdiction, and may add terms and conditions 
to coal leases on these lands to protect resource 
and environmental values. This authority extends 
to approval of mining and reclamation plans for 
Federal leases on National Forest System lands. 

New responsibilities have also been given to a 
second Agriculture Department agency, the Soil 
Conservation Service, including assisting in the 
identification of prime farmlands within areas that 
may be surface mined in the future and reviewing 
and commenting on permits for surface mining 
which involve prime farmland. The Service is also 
authorized to review and comment on state 
reclamation plans. 

The FCLAA strengthened the Justice Depart- 
ment's role in preventing anticompetitive and 
monopolistic practices related to Federal coal 
leasing. FCLAA requires the Interior Department 
to consult Justice during rulemaking. It also 
requires the Justice Department to review whether 
the issuance, renewal, or readjustment of a coal 
lease would tend to create a situation inconsistant 
with the antitrust laws, and limits the Interior 
Department's authority to issue a coal lease once 
that finding has been made. Justice is also required 



1-30 



TABLE 1-5 



PRINCIPAL DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES INVOLVED IN ACTIVITIES 
AFFECTING THE PRODUCTION, TRANSFORMATION AND UTILIZATION OF COAL 



DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY 



ASSISTANT SECRETARY OR 
ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR 



MAJOR ORGANIZATION UNIT 

WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OR 

AGENCY (BUREAU, ETC.) 



PROGRAM OR FUNCTION 



1. Energy Department (including 

functions relating to coal from 
ERDA, FEA and FPC; and some from 
Interior) 



Ass' t Secretary, Energy Technology 



Fossil Energy Program Office 



Coal mining technology development 
Coal utilization R&D (e.g. , gasifi- 
cation; liquefaction) 
Coal cleaning technology 



Ass* t Secretary, Resource Application Fossil Energy Division 



I 
GO 



Ass' t Secretary, Environment 



Biomedical and Environmental 

Research Division 
Control Technology Division 
Division of Policy Analysis 
Division of NEPA Affairs 
Division of Operational 

Safety 
Division of Technology Assess- 
ment 
Division of Environmental Im- 
pact 



Coal utilization technology demon- 
strations 

Leasing of publicly-owned coal lands 
(with Interior) 

Forced use of coal by utilities and 
industry through regulation 

Coal loan guarantee program 

Section 302 of DOE Organization Act 

Biomedical and environmental effects 

research 
Environmental control technology 
NEPA compliance 
Evaluates policy conflicts 



Administrator, Energy Regulatory 
Administration 



Energy Regulatory Administra- 
tion 



Regulation, conversion to coal and use 

of coal 
Regulation of gas from coal 



Administrator, Energy Information 
Administration 



Energy Information Administra- 
tion 



Data collection and analysis relating 
to coal 



Director , Energy Research 



Coordinates all energy research, pre- 
sumably including coal 

Grants for University Coal Research 
Laboratories (title VIII of H.R. 2) 



TABLE 1-5 (Continued) 



PRINCIPAL DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES INVOLVED IN ACTIVITIES 
AFFECTING THE PRODUCTION, TRANSPORTATION AND UTILIZATION OF COAL 



DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY 



ASSISTANT SECRETARY OR 
ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR 



MAJOR ORGANIZATION UNIT 
WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OR 
AGENCY (BUREAU, ETC.) 



PROGRAM OR FUNCTION 



2 . Interior Department 



Ass't Secretary, Energy and Minerals Bureau of Mines 



Geological Survey 



I 

LO 



Ass't Secretary, Land and Water 



Ass't Secretary, Fish and Wildlife 
and Parks 



Office of Surface Mining 



Bureau of Land Management 



Office of Coal Leasing, Plan- 
ning and Coordination 

Bureau of Reclamation 



Developing mining technology 
Mine reclamation demonstrations 
Coal mine health and safety R&D 
Technology for cleaning coal 

Coal resource investigations 
Coal hydrology investigations 
Classification of publicly-owned lands 
Regulation of operations on leased coal 

lands 
Environmental studies related to coal 

Regulate surface mining 

Regulating surface effects of underground 
min ing 

Assistance to states for mining and recla- 
mation programs 

Assistance for state mining and mineral 
search institutes 

Reclamation of abandoned mined areas 

Develop mining technology, production, 
environment, health and safety 

Leasing and operations — publicly-owned coal 

lands (with DOE) 
Environmental studies relating to coal 

Policy and program development responsibi- 
lity 

Water project studies 
Water availability 



U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Surface mining studies relating to wildlife 



TABLE 1-5 (Continued) 



DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY 



3. Agriculture Department 



* 



PRINCIPAL DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES INVOLVED IN ACTIVITIES 
AFFECTING THE PRODUCTION, TRANSPORTATION AND UTILIZATION OF COAL 



ASSISTANT SECRETARY OR 
ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR 



Ass' t Secretary, Conservation, 
Research and Education 



MAJOR ORGANIZATION UNIT 
WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OR 
AGENCY (BUREAU, ETC.) 



PROGRAM OR FUNCTION 



Forest Service 



Land and resource management planning 
necessary for the administration of 
National Forest System lands and the 
management of renewable natural resources. 

The development of lease stipulations and 
the exercise of consent authority in lease 
issuance and mining and reclamation plan 
approval. 

The issuance of easements and permits for 
ancillary facilities off the lease area 

The administration of an abandoned mined 
land reclamation program 



H 

I 

Co 
LO 



4. Labor Department 



Soil Conservation Service 



Science and Education Admini- 
strat ion 



Ass't Secretary, Rural Development Rural Electrification Admini- 
stration 



Ass*t Secretary, Mine Safety and 
Health 



Technical assistance on conservation 
planning, soil surveys, plant materials, 
river basis surveys, and hydrological 
studies 

Mined land reclamation research 



Loans and loan guarantees for electrical 
generating, transmission and distribu- 
tion systems 



Mine Safety and Health Admini- Regulation of coal mine safety and health 
stration* 



Ass' t Secretary, Employment 



Office of Worker 7 Compensa- 
tion 



Pneuraocniosis benefits 



5. Transportation Department 



6. Commerce Department 



Ass't Secretary for Economic 
Development 



Federal Railroad Administra- 
tion 



Economic Development Admini- 
stration 



Railroad assistance programs, including 
revitalization, important to coal trans- 
portation 

Assistance for planning for socioeconomic 
planning for energy development 



*Formerly Mining Enforcement and Safety Administration (MESA) 



TABLE 1-5 (Continued) 



PRINCIPAL DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES INVOLVED IN ACTIVITIES 
AFFECTING THE PRODUCTION, TRANSPORTATION AND UTILIZATION COAL 



DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY 



ASSISTANT SECRETARY OR 
ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR 



7. Health, Education and Welfare 
Department 



8. Environmental Protection Agency 
(EPA) 



Ass't Secretary for Health 



Ass't Administrator Air and Waste 
Management 

Ass't Administrator, Water and 
Hazardous Materials 



MAJOR ORGANIZATION UNIT 
WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OR 
AGENCY (BUREAU, ETC.) 



PROGRAM OR FUNCTION 



National Cancer Institute 
National Institute for Environ- 
mental Health Sciences 
National Institute for Occupa- 
tional Safety and Health 



Office of Air Quality Planning 
and Standards 

Office of Water Planning and 
Standards 



Biomedical effects research 
Biomedical and environmental effects 

relating to coal 
Biomedical and environmental effects 
research (e.g., coal workers occupa- 
tional diseases) 

Air quality standards and regulations 



Water quality standards and regulations 



I 



Corps of Engineers 



10 . Interstate Commerce 

Commission 

11. Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) 



Ass' t Administrator, Enforcement 

Ass't Administrator, Research and 
Development 



(Reports to Secretary of the Army) 



Office of General Enforcement 
Office of Water Enforcement 

Office of Health and Ecologi- 
cal Effects 

Office of Energy, Minerals and 
Industry 



Civil Works 



Enforcement of EPA standards and regula- 
tions 

Biomedical and environmental effects 
research 

Environmental control technology develop- 
ment 
Coal utilization R&D 
Coal cleaning technology 

Waterways projects important to coal 
transportation 

Regulation relating to standards and cri- 
teria on design, location , construction, 
maintenance, enlargement, modification, 
removal and abandonment of new and 
existing coal mine waste piles 

Regulations of railroads 



Coal technology R&D (ammonia from coal) of 
activities (technology , economic assis- 
tance, etc. ) 

Purchases and uses large amounts of coal 






.jtt^^ x 



JUk 



TABLE 1-5 (Continued) 



PRINCIPAL DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES INVOLVED IN ACTIVITIES 
AFFECTING THE PRODUCTION, TRANSPORTATION AND UTILIZATION OF COAL 



DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY 



ASSISTANT SECRETARY OR 
ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR 



MAJOR ORGANIZATIONAL UNIT 
WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OR 
AGENCY (BUREAU, ETC.) 



PROGRAM OR FUNCTION 



12 . Treasury Department 

13. Justice Department 

14. Housing and Urban Development 



Tax policy and collection 

Litigation involving public lands 

Housing and development of new commu- 
nities 



15. Community Services Administration 



Assistance to solve economic problems 
in communities 



16. Small Business Administration 



Small business loans for coal-related 
facilities, machinery, equipment 



I 



17 . National Science Foundation 



18. Federal Trade Commission 



19. Securities and Exchange Commission 



20. Federal Energy Regulatory 
Commission 



Other Independent Commissions 



Promotes fair competition; prevents re- 
straint of trade, and price fixing 

Regulates public utility holding company 
systems; reviews mining disclosures 

Has regulatory authority over gasifica- 
tion in interstate sales of power; 
establishes and enforces rates and 
charges for electric energy transmis- 
sion and sale 



And also various water resources and regional agencies and commissions: 

Water Resources Council, Susquehanna River Basin Commission, Delaware River Basin Commission, 
Missouri River Basin Commission, Regional Action Planning Commissions: Coastal Plains, Four 
Corners, Old West, Appalachian Regional Commission, Ozarks and Upper Great Lakes Regions, 
involved with coal and mining planning water resources, environmental and economic impacts, 
reg iona 1 deve lopmen t s . 



TABLE 1-5 (Concluded) 

PRINCIPAL DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES INVOLVED IN ACTIVITIES 
AFFECTING THE PRODUCTION, TRANSPORTATION AND UTILIZATION OF COAL 



MAJOR ORGANIZATION UNIT 
ASSISTANT SECRETARY OR WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OR 

DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR AGENCY (BUREAU, ETC.) PROGRAM OR FUNCTION 



Activities of organizations and agencies within the Executive Office of the President such as: 

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 

The Domestic Policy Staff 

Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) 

Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) 

Activities of the Departments of Treasury (e.g., tax policy and collections, proposed tax rebates for coal utilization facilities) and 
Justice (e.g., litigation involving public lands) 

Activities of Ass't Secretaries and Administrators having major activities relating to coal but no in line program activities; e.g., 
those concerned with policy analysis, planning, management, budgeting, general counsel 

Activities of numerous additional agencies or elements of agencies that participate In or comment upon Environmental Impact Statements 
prepared by the organizations listed on the chart above 
t- 1 

Ijj Energy related basic research activities, such as that of the Energy Department, National Science Foundation, and Bureau of Standards 
C^ (Commerce Department) 

Agencies purchasing coal for their use, such as TVA and Department of Defense 

Activities — usually studies — of the agencies of the Legislative Branch: 

Library of Congress General Accounting Office (GAO) 

Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) Congressional Budget Office (CBO) 



Source: Developed from descriptions of various agency programs. 



INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 



to report to Congress annually on competition in 
the coal industry. 

Legislative organizations with coal manage- 
ment involvement are: 

• Library of Congress, Congressional Re- 
search Service. 

• General Accounting Office. 

• Congressional Budget Office. 

• Office of Technology Assessment. 

These organizations provide research, monitor- 
ing, and oversight capabilities for the Congress. 

1.4 EXISTING FEDERAL ENERGY 
POLICIES 

1.4.1 Role of Coal in National Energy Policy 

In April 1977, President Carter released the 
Administration's National Energy Plan (NEP), 
which combines legislative, administrative, and 
budgetary proposals aimed at solving the Nation's 
energy crisis. The following seven energy goals for 
1985 were announced: 

• Reduce total energy growth to below two 
percent a year. 

• Reduce oil imports below six million barrels 
a day. 

• Reduce gasoline consumption by 10 per- 
cent from 1977 levels. 

• Increase annual coal production by at least 
400 million tons over 1976 levels. 

• Insulate 90 percent of all buildings. 

• Use solar energy in 2.5 million homes. 

• Acquire a strategic oil reserve of one billion 
barrels of oil. 

An important element of the NEP is the belief 
that coal must be the fuel which makes possible a 
reduction in the U.S. economy's energy related 
uses of oil and gas. The NEP sets goals for 
replacing oil and gas with coal and other energy 
alternatives. Meeting those goals will require 
increases in the production of coal, with the 
predicted added production ranging from 400 
million more tons per year to 600 million more 
tons per year, or a possible doubling of 1977 
annual production by 1985. 

The President also stressed that projected 
increases in coal production can and must take 
place without increasing the damage caused by 
traditional coal mining and consumption practices. 
In his Environmental Message of May 23, 1977, 
the President said: 



"The newly enacted Coal Leasing Amendments and 
the Federal Land Policy and Management Act 
provide the Secretary of the Interior with the 
necessary authority to carry out environmentally 
sound, comprehensive planning for the public lands. 
His duty now is to implement an affirmative 
program for managing coal lands and associated 
resources in a manner that fully protects the public 
interest and respects the rights of private surface 
owners" [18]. 

Following this message, the President, by 
memorandum of May 24, 1977, instructed the 
Secretary of the Interior to "manage the coal 
leasing program to assure that it can respond to 
reasonable production goals by leasing only those 
areas where mining is environmentally acceptable 
and compatible with other land uses." 

The President further directed that the Depart- 
ment "scrutinize existing Federal coal leases (and 
applications for preference right leases) to deter- 
mine whether they show prospects for timely 
development in an environmentally acceptable 
manner, taking steps as necessary to deal with 
nonproducing and environmentally unsatisfactory 
leases and applications." The memorandum also 
contained the instruction to review the basis for 
granting or denying preference right leases and to 
propose legislation authorizing the Department to 
condemn outstanding leases upon payment of 
reasonable compensation, if necessary, to prevent 
unacceptable environmental damage. Implementa- 
tion of these Presidential directives are addressed 
in subsequent chapters of this statement, particu- 
larly in Chapter 3. 

1.4.2 Congressional Action 

Prior Congressional action on legislative pro- 
posals directly related to coal management was 
addressed previously (see Section 1.3). Last year, 
the Congress focused on the President's proposed 
National Energy Act. 

The National Energy Act was submitted to 
Congress on April 29, 1977, in response to the 
President's April 20, 1977, message to a joint 
session of Congress. The Act was then divided into 
five major legislative initiatives to correspond to 
the jurisdictions of appropriate standing commit- 
tees. On October 15, 1978, Congress passed five 
bills: 

• The National Energy Conservation Policy 
Act. 



1-37 



II. ■ ■ ■■■■■■■——■——. 



INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 



• The Public Utilities Regulatory Policy Act 
of 1978. 

• The Natural Gas Policy Act of 1 978. 

• The Energy Tax Act of 1978. 

o The Power Plant and Industrial Fuel Use 

Act of 1978. 
Summaries of these Acts, as passed by 
Congress and signed by the President follow. 

Conservation. The National Energy Conserva- 
tion Policy Act contains incentives to reduce 
residential energy use. The Act provide grants for 
weatherizing lower income homes and a $900 
million three-year grants program to states to 
improve the energy efficiency of schools, hospitals, 
and municipal buildings. Grants and government- 
backed loans are made available for low-income 
families. The Act also establishes mandatory 
efficiency standards for 13 major home appliances 
including water heaters and furnaces. These are to 
take effect in the mid-1980's. Finally, the Act 
establishes a program requiring utilities to inform 
their customers of suggested energy conservation 
and solar energy measures and to give loans to 
consumers to install conservation equipment. 
These measures could indirectly affect coal use by 
potentially reducing electrical demand from utili- 
ties. 

Utility Rate Reform. The Public Utility Regula- 
tory Policies Act of 1978 establishes several rate 
making standards to guide electric utility rate 
setting policies and practices. To the maximum 
extent practicable, rates charged by any electric 
utility should reflect the costs of providing that 
electric service and encourage conservation 
through time-of-day rates, seasonal rates, cost of 
service pricing, interruptible rates, lifeline rates, 
and prohibition of declining block rates. State 
regulatory authorities and utilities would be re- 
quired to formally consider standards within 
prescribed periods. The Act also requires the 
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to pre- 
scribe rules favoring industrial cogeneration facili- 
ties. 

Coal use could be affected by the Act through 
a leveling of electrical demand, thereby reducing 
the number and capacity of generating plants 
needed to supply peaking power. 

Natural Gas. The Natural Gas Policy Act of 
1978 is particularly significant in that it settles a 



39-year confrontation between natural gas produc- 
ers and consumers over the question of natural gas 
price controls. It provides continued controls 
through 1985 with appropriate safeguards beyond 
that period. The controlled, but escalating, price 
will substantially increase the incentives for new 
gas production. Most importantly, the Act will: (1) 
create a single national market for natural gas 
production; (2) increase production; and (3) 
increase producer revenues because of the ability 
of all producers to help satisfy the demand for 
natural gas in the interstate market. The one to two 
trillion cubic feet per year of extra gas that would 
flow into the interstate market would replace up to 
one million barrels per day of foreign oil imports. 

Coal Conversion. The Powerplant and Industri- 
al Fuel Use Act (FUA) of 1978 prohibits, the use of 
petroleum and natural gas by certain electric 
powerplants and industrial major fuel burning 
installations. Effective May 8, 1979, FUA would 
require the use of coal, synthetic gas derived from 
coal, or alternate fuels other than oil or natural gas 
in new utility generation facilities or new industrial 
boilers, gas turbines, and internal combustion and 
combined cycle units with a capacity greater than 
10 megawatts. For existing powerplants and 
industrial facilities, DOE can require conversion to 
coal, other fuels, or coal-oil mixtures. 

As with the Department's preferred program, 
FUA contributes an element to the NEP which 
advances the use of coal over oil and natural gas. 
The NEP requirement to increase usage of abun- 
dant domestic energy sources is addressed in a 
November 1978 FUA draft programmatic environ- 
mental impact statement prepared by the DOE. 
The DOE statement evaluates the national impact 
of the Act based on the assumption that coal will 
be the primary fuel substituted for oil and gas until 
1990. The level of coal production is based on the 
assumption that no economic exemption would be 
granted under the Act unless coal is 44 percent 
more costly than the use of imported oil. Base-case 
coal production estimates for 1985 and 1990 are 
indicated by DOE to be 1,098 and 1,255 million 
tons per year, respectively. These production 
estimates serve as the basis for the impact 
quantifications of the DOE statement. Coal con- 
sumption attributable to FUA implementation 
should be only seven percent (72 million tons) of 



1-38 



INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 



the total demand in 1985 and over 10 percent (129 
million tons) in 1990, according to the statement. 

Regional coal production estimates for 1985 
and 1990 differ slightly from those used in the 
Department's preferred program and DOE leasing 
alternative; however, they are within the high-low 
estimate range used as the Department's analytical 
basis. The most obvious reason for the differences 
is that DOE's coal regions differ somewhat from 
those in this final environmental impact statement. 

The FUA is expected to affect industries which 
consume large amounts of oil and gas in large 
boilers, such as food processing, paper and pulps, 
chemicals, refineries, and machinery. Utilities 
should be affected less, since new baseload 
facilities using fuels other than oil or gas are 
generally anticipated. 

According to the FUA draft programmatic ES, 
the Act will have a major impact in Texas, 
Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, 
which area accounts for 58 percent of the projected 
increased coal use in 1985 and 68 percent in 1990. 
Specific regional environmental impacts as evalu- 
ated in the draft programmatic environmental 
impact statement for the FUA are as follows: 

• Air Quality - "negligible impact" from 
transportation due to the FUA through 
1990; "little or no deterioration" in the 
Northern Great Plains states, northern New 
England, and Central Appalachia; and "no 
regional air degradation" from storage and 
onsite processing of coal". 

• Weather and Climate - ". . . not expected to 
affect the climatic process ..." 

• Water Resource Quality - With some 
exceptions, "Generally, the FUA will not 
greatly accelerate mining in areas where 
acid drainage is a major problem"; ". . . 
FUA will contribute incrementally to acid 
precipitation in the eastern United States."; 
"Acid precipitation is expected to be mini- 
mal in the East Texas Gulf area. . . "; and 
"minimal" increase in mobilization of trace 
elements. 

« Land Use - 328,000 acres of mostly range- 
land, cropland, and some forest land may 
be disturbed by mining by 2020 as a result 
of the FUA. Assuming total disposal of ash 
and sludge by landfill, an additional 
108,000 acres would be required for waste 
disposal; "minimal" land use impacts ex- 



pected from FUA-generated transporta- 
tion, storage, processing, and combustion. 

• Terrestrial Biota - Major impact in Texas, 
Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, 
and Iowa due to loss of deciduous for- 
est/grassland habitats, "increased combus- 
tion, emissions due to the FUA are not 
expected to be large enough to pose a major 
threat to terrestrial biota." 

• Aquatic Biota - ". . . the FUA may create 
local impacts. . . resulting from hydrologic 
alterations, sedimentation, acid mine drain- 
age, alkaline drainage, nutrient enrichment, 
acid precipitation, and trace metal precipi- 
tation." 

• Endangered Species "Increased demand for 
coal under the FUA can . . . increase the 
potential for deleterious impact upon en- 
dangered species and their habitats." 

• Social and Economic Impacts - Greatest 
impacts expected in the Northern Great 
Plains (25 percent coal production increase 
due to the FUA); 41 percent coal produc- 
tion increase in Texas. 

• Health Effects - 82 fatal and 2500 nonfatal 
injuries in 1990 expected from increased 
coal use due to FUA. 

Although the FUA draft environmental impact 
statement and this final environmental impact 
statement differ in scope and methodology, they 
are compatible. Both statements address aspects of 
the NEP which are consistent with increased 
importance of coal as a domestic energy source. 
Both statements are based on independently 
derived regional production estimates which are 
within close approximation of each other. More- 
over, neither program (or environmental impact 
statement) conflicts with the other because they 
are directed at distinct and independent phases of 
the coal cycle. 

1.5 STATE POLICIES AND 
CONSTRAINTS 

State policies and legislative actions could act 
as constraints to development of coal resources in 
the western coal regions. This section considers the 
principal potential constraints embodied in the 
laws and permitting requirements of Colorado, 
Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah, and 
Wyoming. No attempt has been made to compile a 
a comprehensive listing of those laws or permits. 



1-39 



INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 



Rather, the purpose has been to indicate the 
principal constraints to coal development in State 
legislation. Table 1-6 lists some of these laws and 
presents a brief statement of their purpose and the 
state office or agency responsible for their adminis- 
tration and enforcement. 

As can be seen from Table 1-6, potential 
legislative constraints to coal development are 
quite similar among the six states. Two of the 
states-Montana and New Mexico - have passed 
umbrella-type legislation similar to the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969. These 
laws establish state agencies to serve as general 
policy-making agencies of the state government. 
With or without these oversight agencies, however, 
all six states have developed legislation and 
established agencies to administer and enforce the 
legislation in key areas of environmental protec- 
tion such as air, water, and solid waste manage- 
ment. 

In many cases, the standards set at the state 
level have requirements more stringent than, or in 
addition to, the corresponding Federal standards. 
For example, the Wyoming ambient air quality 
standards are identical to the most stringent 
national standards except for the annual and 24- 
hour sulfur dioxide standards. (Wyoming's 60 
microgram per cubic meter (/xg/m 3 ) annual and 
260 jUg/m 3 24-hour standards are more stringent 
than the 80 jtig/m 3 annual and 365 /xg/m 3 24-hour 
National Ambient Air Quality Standards.) Also in 
the area of air quality, New Mexico has added 
standards for hydrogen sulfide, total reduced 
sulfur, and suspended particulate trace elements 
(beryllium, asbestos, and combined total of heavy 
metals). 

State responsibility for enforcement of these 
environmental standards is considerable. This 
responsibility is derived either directly from state 
enabling legislation or indirectly through Federal- 
ly-authorized transfers of enforcement responsibil- 
ity as provided by applicable Federal law. For 
example, Section 107(a) of the Clean Air Act states 
that, "Each State shall have the primary responsi- 
bility for assuring air quality within the entire 
geographic area comprising such State by submit- 
ting an implementation plan for such State which 
will specify the manner in which the national 
primary and secondary ambient air quality stan- 
dards will be achieved and maintained within each 
air quality control region in such State." 



More specifically applicable to coal develop- 
ment, the Surface Mining Control and Reclama- 
tion Act of 1977 (SMCRA) states in Section 523(c), 
"Any State with an approved State program may 
elect to enter into a cooperative agreement with the 
Secretary of the Interior to provide for State 
regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation 
operations on Federal lands within the State, 
provided the Secretary determines in writing that 
such State has the necessary personnel and funding 
to fully implement such a cooperative agreement in 
accordance with the provision of the Act." A 
listing of other relevant Federal legislation is 
contained in Table 1-3. 

Other areas of concern that resulted in Federal 
legislation have also been addressed by comple- 
mentary laws enacted by the western coal states. 
The states have passed antiquities or historic 
preservation laws to protect paleontological, ar- 
chaeological, or historic resources within their 
boundaries. All of the states have adopted a 
provision that no mining plans or rights-of-way 
will be approved until the Bureau of Land 
Management has coordinated professional surveys 
of cultural resources (including archaeological, 
architectural, and historical remains) with the 
appropriate State Historic Preservation Officer and 
the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and 
received their written review and comments. 

All of the states have expressed concern over 
the protection of wildlife and wildlife habitat. In 
some states, this concern is demonstrated in the 
legislative approach to reclamation plans. In other 
states, such as New Mexico (under State Regula- 
tion 563), the State Game Commission is specifi- 
cally authorized to be responsible for endangered 
species and sub-species in that State. 

None of the state legislative measures men- 
tioned thus far represent definite constraints to 
increased development of western coal resources. 
Rather, they can be interpreted more as extensions 
of Federal legislation. Given the high probability 
of increasing coal development activities through- 
out the coal regions of the United States in the 
near future, it is unlikely that state governments 
will attempt to block this activity unless the quality 
of the environment or the health and safety of their 
populations are in clear danger. Although some 
states have adopted somewhat more stringent 
environmental standards, a spirit of cooperation is 
apparent throughout state and Federal legislation. 



1-40 



^^^ 



TABLE 1-6 



STATE LEGISLATION 



COLORADO 

Lead State Agency 



Legislation 



Colorado Department of 
Health 
— Water Quality 

Control Commission 



Colorado Water Quality 
Control Act 



Purpose or Relevance 



Establishes and administers water 
quality standards in State waters. 
Requires site review and permit 
issuance for projects involving 
water, sewage, and waste disposal. 
Establishes criteria for erosion 
control dams. 



H 
I 
4> 



-Air Pollution Control 
Commission 



State Land Use Commission 



Colorado Air Pollution 
Control Act 



House Bill 1041 
Colorado Land Use Act 
of 1974 



Colorado Antiquities 
Act of 1973 



Establishes and administers air 
quality standards. Would require 
mines to employ dust preventive 
measures to all mining procedures 
including construction activities. 

Provides for the protection of the 
utility, value, and future of all 
lands within the State, including 
the public domain as well as privately 
owned land. Local governments have 
the duty to identify, designate, and 
administer such areas and activities 
of State interest, including mineral 
resource areas and mining activities. 

House Bill 1041 also establishes areas 
containing or having significant impact 
upon historical, natural, or archaeological 
resources as being of state interest. 
BLM must coordinate with State Historic 
Preservation Officer before approving 
mining plans or rights-of-way. 



TABLE 1-6 (Continued) 



COLORADO (Continued) 
Lead State Agency 



Legislation 



Purpose or Relevance 



Colorado Public Utilities 
Commission and State 
Highway Department 



Colorado Department of 
Natural Resources 
Division of Mines 



— Land Reclamation 
Board 



I 



Division of Labor 



Mining Employees Safety 

Act 
Colorado Open Mining 

Land Reclamation Act 
of 1973 



Concerned with construction of 
utility lines, highways and rail- 
road lines, especially where cross- 
ing of public roads by a railroad 
is concerned. 

Requires the filing of a Notice of 
Activity for any proposed mining 
exploration. 

Minitors mine safety practices. 

Provides for the reclamation of 
land subjected to surface disturbance 
by open mining and thereby conserve 
natural resources, protect wildlife 
and aquatic resources, and establish 
recreational, home and industrial 
sites to protect and perpetuate the 
taxable value of property. 

Issues permits to acquire, transport, 
and store explosives and other 
hazardous materials used in connection 
with construction or mining. 



■w 



TABLE 1-6 (Continued) 



MONTANA 

Lead State Agency 



Department of Natural Resources 
and Conservation 



Legislation 



Montana- Major Facility 
Siting Act 



Purpose or Relevance 



Vests in the department the authority to 
require and review long-range planning by 
by certain utilities, to give approval to 
energy generation and conversion plant sites 
and associated facilities, and to require 
preconstruction certification of such 
facilities. 



Environmental Quality Council 



■P- 
u> 



Montana Department of Health 
ana environmental Sciences 



Montana Department of 
Highways 



Montana Environmental 
Policy Act 



Montana Water Pollution 
Control Law 

Montana Water Quality 
Criteria 

Montana Pollutant Discharge 
Elimination System Permit 

Montana Solid Waste Manage- 
ment Act 

Montana Refuse Disposal 
Regulations 

Montana Clean Air Act 

Montana Air Quality 
Regulations 



The purpose of this act is to declare a 
state policy which will encourage produc- 
tive and enjoyable harmony between man and 
his environment; to promote efforts which 
will prevent or eliminate damage to the 
environment and biosphere and stimulate the 
health and welfare of man; to enrich the 
understanding of the ecological systems and 
natural resources important to the state; 
and to establish an environmental quality 
council. 

All laws and regulations designed to mini- 
mize contamination and pollution and 
maintain the quality of the environment by 
establishing standards and maximum amounts 
of deviation of pollutant substances. 



The Montana Department of Highways may 
approve or disapprove the relocation of 
roads and railroads across state lands or 
across existing highways. 



TABLE 1-6 (Continued) 



MONTANA (Continued) 
Lead State Agency 



Montana Department of 
State Lands 



H 

I 



Board of Land 
Commissioners 



Legislation 



Montana Strip and Underground 
Mine Reclamation Act 



Strip Mined Coal Conserva- 
tion Act 

State Antiquities Act 
Chapter 25 of Title 81, 
R.C.M. 1947 



Section 81-103, 

R.C.M. 1947 



Section 81-501, 
R.C.M. 1947 



Purpose or Relevance 



The Department of State Lands may 
grant or deny surface-mining permits. 

The Act and promulgated rules contain 
detailed standards regarding the 
method of mining, blasting, subsidence 
stabilization, water control, back- 
filling, grading, highwall reduction, 
topsoiling, and for the reclamation of 
lands affected by the proposed mining 
operations. 

The intent of the Coal Conservation Act 
is to prevent waste of marketable coal. 

Administered by the DSL and the Board 
of Land Commissioners and provides for 
the registration and protection of 
historic, prehistoric, archaeologic, 
palenontologic, scientific, or cultural 
sites and objects on State Lands. 

Requires that the Board of Land Commis- 
sioners and provides for the registration 
and protection of historic, prehistoric, 
archaeologic, palenontologic, scientific, 
or cultural sites and objects on State 
lands . 

Authorizes the Board to grant coal 
leases. 



■Al 



-*■■ 



a* ~— 



•mm 



TABLE 1-6 (Continued) 



NEW MEXICO 

Lead State Agency 



Legislation 



He'-' Mexico Environmental 
Improvement Agency 



Environmental Improvement 
Act of 1971 
NMSA 12-12 through 14 



Air Quality Control Act 






Water Quality Control 
Commission 



Water Quality Control Act 



Purpose or Relevance 



Responsible for environmental manage- 
ment and consumer protection programs, 
including food protection, water 
supply and pollution as provided in the 
Water Quality Act, liquid wastes and 
solid waste, air quality management as 
provided in the Air Quality Act, radiation 
control, noise control, nuisance abatement 
vector control, occupational health and 
safety, sanitation of public buildings. 

Establishes and enforces regulations to 
prevent or abate air pollution. Requires 
submission of plans, specifications, and 
other relevant information prior to 
issuing a permit for the construction or 
modification of any new source of air 
contaminant. 

Establishes and administers a comprehen- 
sive water quality program and develop a 
continuning planning process, including 
adoption of water quality standards as a 
guide to water pollution control. Also 
certifies permits to the U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency for the discharge of any 
water contaminant either directly or 
indirectly into water. Has groundwater 
regulations pertaining to strip or tunnel 
mines . 



TABLE 1-6 (Continued) 



NEW MEXICO (Continued) 
Lead State Agency 



Legislation 



State Engineer of 
New Mexico 



NMSA Section 75-2-1 



I 



State Game Commission 



State Historic Preserva- 
tion Officer 



Coal Surf acemining Commission 



Regulation 563 



Cultural Properties Act, 
as amended, 1969 



Coal Surfacemining Act 
of 1972 



Purpose or Relevance 



Empowered with general supervision, 
measurement, appropriation, and 
distribution of the State waters. 
Responsible for the safety of all 
State and private dams and providing 
guidelines to counties for the 
formulation of local regulations. 

Responsible for endangered species 
and sub-species of the State. 

Regulates antiquities excavation and 
collection, and protects historical 
values on public, Indian Trust, and 
State lands. 

Administers the Surfacemining Act, 
including the setting of standards for 
mining plans, the procedures for mining 
plan submission, approval and amendment, 
and the procedures for permitting and 
bonding. Issues the necessary permits 
and licenses to mine after the plan is 
approved. Responsible for developing 
reasonable regulations covering the pro- 
ductive reclamation of stripmined land, 
including grading and revegetation. 
Administers groundwater regulations 
pertaining to strip or tunnel mines. 



TABLE 1-6 (Continued) 



NEW MEXICO (Continued) 
Lead State Agency 



Legislation 



State Land Office 
Minerals Division 



Purpose or Relevance 



Responsible for leasing of all 
mineral rights, excluding oil and 
gas on State trust lands. Also 
responsible for issuing rights-of- 
way signed by the Commissioner of 
Public Lands, for utility lines or roads 
which cross State lands. 



Bureau of Mines and 
Mineral Resources 

Public Service Commission 



Studies oil, gas, and uranium on 
State lands. 

Requires certificates of Public 
Convenience and Necessity of any public 
utility plant or system or any 
extension thereof. 



I 

■P- 



TABLE 1-6 (Continued) 



NORTH DAKOTA 
Lead State Agency 



North Dakota State 
Department of Health 



-Environmental Health 
and Engineering Services 



— Environmental Control 



I 

00 



Legislation 



North Dakota Air 

Pollution Control Act 



Solid Waste Management and 
Land Protection Act 



North Dakota Water 

Pollution Control Act 



North Dakota Century Code 
(NDCC 23-25) 



NDCC 23-29 



NDCC 61-28 



Purpose or Relevance 



Requires plans to issue permit to 
construct, install, modify, use, or 
operate any air contaminant source. 

Required to approve or disapprove 
permits for solid waste disposal 
plans. Also enforces North Dakota 
New Source Performance Standards. 

Responsible for establishing and 
administering standards to prevent or 
abate pollution of State waters. 

Provides means of presenting signifi- 
cant deterioration of state air quality 
as related to energy development. 
Involves review of application for permit 
to construct or operate facilities and 
monitoring of facilities after operational, 

Requires permits for solid waste 
disposal facilities 

Responsible for establishing and 
administering standards to prevent or 
abate pollution of state waters. Requires 
application for and receipt of a permit 
to discharge mine water. 



dta»Jta 



TABLE 1-6 (Continued) 



NORTH DAKOTA (Continued) 
Lead State Agency 

Worth Dakota State Water 

Commission 



Legislation 



Purpose or Relevance 



I 



North Dakota State Industrial 
Commission - State Geologist 



North Dakota State Engineer 



North Dakota Land Development 



NDCC 61-04 



NDCC 61-02 
61-16 



NDCC 38-121 



NDCC 61-04 



NDCC 61-01 



NDCC 15-05 



Permit must be secured for all 
appropriations of water for 
industrial uses greater than 5000 
acre-feet . 

Permit must be obtained with the 
approval of the local water management 
district for construction of dikes 
or dams for water storage greater 
than 12.5 acre-feet. 

Requires a permit for coal explora- 
tion and requires the filing of basic 
coal exploration data with the State 
Geologist. 

Permit must be secured for all appro- 
priations of water for industrial use 
less than 5000 acre-feet. 

Permit must be obtained with the 
approval of the local water management 
district for drainage. 

Responsible for leasing of State coal. 
Also authorized to coordinate leasing 
activities with Federal leasing in 
order to prevent speculation. 



TABLE 1-6 (Continued) 



NORTH DAKOTA (Continued) 
Lead State Agency 



Legislation 



North Dakota Highway 
Commission 



NDCC 24-01 



North Dakota Industrial 
Commission 

North Dakota Public Services 
Commission 



I 
O 



North Dakota Surface Owners 
Protection Act NDCC 
Chapter 38-18 



NDCC 38-14 



NDCC 49-22 



North Dakota Coal Development 
Impact Office 



House Bill 1262, 
Section 15 



NDCC 57-62 



Purpose or Relevance 



Authorized to approve or disapprove 
granting rights-of-way for communi- 
cation or power lines, pipelines, 
etc., along or over state highways. 
Also controls placement of railroad- 
lines affecting state highways. 

Requires permits for drilling for 
purposes of coal exploration. 

Requires approval of surface owners 
prior to permitting of mining plans. 
Issues permits for surface mining 
activities. 



Requires application for and receipt 
of a permit for coal surface mining 
and reclamation activities. 

Regulates siting of conversion and 
transmission facilities through the 
North Dakota Facility Siting Act. 
Requires the application for and receipt 
of: 1. Certificate of site compatibility; 
2. Certificate of corridor compatibility, 
and 3. Route permit for transmission 
facility within corridor. 

Authorized to issue State funds to 
aid areas experiencing impacts due 
to coal development. 

Authorized to issue financial grants 
to impacted taxing districts which 
demonstrate extraordinary expenditures 
caused by coal development and the 
growth incidental thereto. 



TABLE 1-6 (Continued) 



l 
u. 



UTAH 

Lead State Agency 



Legislation 



Air Conservation Committee 



Utah Bureau of Water 
Quality 



Utah Air Conservation 
Regulations 



Water Quality Standards 
for Utah 



State Historic Preservation 

Officer 



Utah State Antiquities 
Act (HB 366, 1977) 



Purpose or Relevance 



These regulations do not officially 
adopt the NAAQS, but the NAAQS are 
enforceable in the state. Changes 
to the Utah regulations are presently 
under consideration. 

Important prescribed standards include 
those which specify maximum permissible 
concentrations of dissolved solids, 
minimum permissible concentrations of 
dissolved oxygen, and permissible 
temperatures of State waters. Also 
establishes anti-degradation policy and 
effluent standards. 

Requires a paleontological survey to be 
undertaken before mining activities 
can be begin. No mining or rights-of- 
way will be approved until the surface 
management agency has coordinated 
professional cultural resource (including 
archaeological, architectural, and histor- 
ical remains) surveys with the State 
Historic Preservation Officer. 



TABLE 1-6 (Continued) 



UTAH (Continued) 
Lead State Agency 



Legislation 



I 

LTL 



State of Utah 

— Division of Oil, 
Gas and Mining 



-Division of Health 



-Division of Lands 



-Division of Water 
Rights 



Department of Transportation 



Purpose or Relevance 



This division and the Office of 
Surface Mining are preparing rules 
and procedures to implement the 
applicable initial regulations of 
SMCRA. 

Reviews air pollution sources, 
culinary water sources, water 
treatment and solid waste disposal 
areas . 

Utility lines, roads, and railroads 
crossing state lands would require 
easements from the division. 

Authorizes diversion structures, 
channel modifications, slurry lines 
and water use. 

Requires authorization for relocation 
of highways, highway access, utility 
line crossings of State and Federal 
aid highways, and wide and heavy load 
requirements. 






TABLE 1-6 (Continued) 



WYOMING 

Lead State Agency 



Legislation 



Wyoming Department of 
Environmental Quality 

— Land Quality Division 

— Water Quality Division 

— Air Quality Division 



I 



Wyoming Environmental 
Quality Act of 1973 
— Land Quality Rules 

and Regulations, 1975 
— Water Quality Standard 

for Wyoming, 1973 
— Wyoming Ambient Air 

Quality Regulations 
— Solid Waste Management 

Rules and Regulations, 

1975 



Purpose or Relevance 



Has authority relating to air 
quality, solid wastes, water quality, 
and mining and mine-land reclamation. 
The Land Quality Division issues permits 
and licenses to mine upon approval of 
a mining and reclamation plan. Mined- 
land reclamation provisions of the 
mining and reclamation plan are administered 
and enforced by the Land Quality Division. 
The Air Quality Division issues permits 
to construct coal mines and permits to 
construct coal mines and permits to operate 
coal mines after approval of applications 
with regard to plans for monitoring and 
controlling air contaminants. The Water 
Quality Division issues permits to 
construct settling ponds and waste water 
systems. They also issue NPDES permits 
for discharing waste water. The Solid 
Waste Division issues construction fill 
permits and industrial waste facility 
permits for solid waste disposal during 
construction and operation of coal mines. 



TABLE 1-6 (Concluded) 



WYOMING (Continued) 
Lead State Agency 



Legislation 



Wyoming Industrial 

Siting Administration 



Industrial Development 
Information and Siting 
Act, 1975 



Commissioner of Public 
Lands 



Title 36 Wyoming Statute 
1977 



r- 1 
I 

Ul 

4^ 



Land Use Administration 



Wyoming Highway 
Department 



Land Use Flanning Act 



Wyoming State 
Engineer 



Purpose or Relevance 



Requires furnishing extensive 
information and a state permit 
before certain facilities can be 
constructed. Affects developments 
which include gasification or electric 
generation proposals. Control does not 
apply to public properties except as 
provided by law. 

The Commissioner is responsible for the 
administration, leasing, and management 
of lands owned by the State. Utility 
lines, roads, and railroad spurs 
crossing state land require easements 
from the Commissioner. 

The Act requires completion of county 
land use plans by 1978; these plans 
could conflict with or modify some 
energy development proposals. 

Relocation of highways and all utility 
line crossings of state and Federal aid 
highways require authorization. 

Any storage, impoundment, or use of 
surface or groundwater for mining and 
coal processing operations requires a 
permit from the State Engineer. Water 
pipelines and diversion structures that 
could affect other users also require a 
permit. 



A — 



■ " : ■ i : " '~ 



INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 



Difficulties are far more likely to arise at a 
local level where specific ecosystems and individu- 
al lives and lifestyles would be unavoidably 
affected by coal development. Conflict is possible 
between some of these laws and Federal authority. 
These laws must be veiwed in light of the 
Secretary's responsibility for coal leasing decisions 
and for making unsuitability determinations under 
Section 522 of SMCRA. In Colorado, for example, 
House Bills 1023 and 1041 give counties and 
municipalities authority and funding to develop 
plans for all lands within their boundaries. A key 
feature provides authority to designate areas or 
activities of "state interest" so that they may be 
maintained or protected to preserve specific 
values. This could include mineral resource areas, 
areas of historical significance, and areas around 
important facilities such as airports, utility facili- 
ties, and high- way interchanges. Relevant activi- 
ties that may come under this state interest 
category include site selection of arterial highways 
and collector highways, major facilities of a public 
utility, and development of new communities. 

Colorado's House Bill 1041 places primary 
responsibility for designation of areas and activi- 
ties of state interest at the local level of govern- 
ment. Permits to develop or undertake activities of 
state interest in these areas would have to be 
obtained from local county governments. In 
addition, Senate Bill 35 gives counties the authori- 
ty to approve or reject subdivision proposals. As a 
result, all subdivision plans must be submitted for 
review by designated agencies and affected munic- 
ipalities prior to approval. 

Colorado presents an unusual situation in that 
the State has delegated control of mineral re- 
sources to local governments. All of the states have 
authorized local governments to develop their own 
plans and zoning ordinances. In most of these 
states, however, localities are specifically denied 
control over state mineral resources, though 
individual communities still maintain control over 
development within their own jurisdiction through 
local zoning laws. 

In New Mexico, local planning and zoning 
control may extend three miles beyond the 
boundaries of all cities and five miles for cities with 
populations over 25,000. Given such a three-mile 
extension of local control, a small town of ten 
square miles could have state-authorized develop- 



ment control over an area as much as seven or 
eight times its actual incorporated area. 

Housing demands and the need for greater 
infrastructural capabilities that will result from 
increased population from coal development activ- 
ities could place considerable economic strain on 
communities and local governments. 

In North Dakota, the Coal Development 
Impact Office is authorized to distribute State 
funds to assist areas experiencing impacts as a 
result of coal resource development. Wyoming has 
passed a 50 percent tax on minerals royalties and 
an 8 1/2 percent severance tax on mining compa- 
nies. Some of these funds are to be redistributed 
for schools, water systems, highways, counties, and 
municipalities. But unless communities and local 
governments can be guaranteed that they will not 
suffer the ultimate cost of coal development, they 
are likely to take a more conservative position 
toward development than the states or the Federal 
government. State and Federal officials will have to 
coordinate closely with local representatives to 
assure the protection of both the ecological and 
human environments. 

1.6 REFERENCES 

1. U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of 
Land Management, 1970. Holdings and Develop- 
ment of Federal Coal Leases. Washington, D.C. 

2. U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of 
Land Management, 1974. Draft Environmental 
Impact Statement, Proposed Federal Coal Leasing 
Program (DES74-53). 

3. U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of 
Land Management, 1975 Final Environmental 
Impact Statement, Proposed Federal Coal Leasing 
Program (FES 75-80). 

4. U.S. Council on Environmental Quality, 1978. 
National Environmental Policy Act, Implementa- 
tion of Procedural Provisions; Final Regulations, 
43 Federal Register 55978 (November 29, 1978). 

5. Executive Office of the President, 1977. 
National Energy Program. The President's Ad- 
dress to the Congress. April 20, 1977. Presidential 
Documents Vol. 13, No. 17, pp. 556-583. 

6. Act of March 3, 1873, 17 Stat. 607, 30 U.S.C 
71, et seq. 



1-55 



INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 



7. Council on Economic Priorities, 1974. Leased 
and Lost. Economic Priorities Report, Vol. 5, No. 
1. 

8. U.S. House of Representatives, 1975. Federal 
Coal Leasing Amendments Act of 1975. Report of 
the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. 
Report No. 94-681. 94th Congress, 1st Session. 
U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, 
D.C. 

9. U.S. Senate, 1978. Federal Coal Leasing 
Policies and Regulations, 95-77. Committee on 
Energy and Natural Resources, Washington, D.C. 

10. U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of 
Land Management, 1976. Coal, An Analysis of 
Existing Federal Coal Leases. 

11. Public Land Law Review Commission, 1970. 
One Third of the Nation's Land: A Report to the 
President and the Congress. U.S. Government 
Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 

12. National Academy of Sciences, 1974. Reha- 
bilitation Potential of Western Coal Lands. Bal- 
linger, Cambridge, Mass. 

13. U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of 
Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 
1979. Final Environmental Statement, Permanent 
Regulatory Program Implementing Section 501(b) 



of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation 
Act of 1977. 

14. U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of 
Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 
1978 Draft Regulatory Analysis, Permanent Regu- 
latory Program of the Surface Mining Control and 
Reclamation Act of 1 977. 



15. 
16. 

17. 
18. 



43 Federal Register 62639 (1977). 

43 Federal Register 37181 (1978). 

43 Federal Register 41662 (1978). 

Executive Office of the President, 1977. The 
Environment. The President's Message to the 
Congress. May 23, 1977. Presidential Documents, 
Vol. 13, No. 22, pp. 782-794. 

19. U.S. Department of the Interior, Geological 
Survey, 1939. Boundaries, Areas, Geographic 
Centers. U.S. Government Printing Office, Wash- 
ington, D.C, pp. 249-251. 

20. U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of 
the Secretary, 1922. Areas of Acquisitions to the 
Territory of the United States. U.S. Government 
Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 

21. U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of 
Land Management, 1976. Public Land Statistics. 
Washington, D.C. 



1-56 



I 



CHAPTER 2 

THE NATIONAL ENERGY ROLE OF WESTERN 

AND FEDERAL COAL 



I 



i 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



CHAPTER 2 - THE NATIONAL ENERGY ROLE OF WESTERN 
AND FEDERAL COAL 2-1 

2.1 INTRODUCTION 2-1 

2.2 COAL RESERVES AND CHARACTERISTICS 2-1 

2.3 HISTORY OF THE NATIONAL COAL USE 2-5 

2.4 THE GROWTH IN WESTERN AND FEDERAL COAL 
PRODUCTION '. 2-11 

2.5 TRENDS IN OTHER SOURCES OF ENERGY 2-17 

2.5.1 Oil Production Trends 2-17 

2.5.2 Natural Gas Production Trends 2-21 

2.5.3 Nuclear Power Trends 2-21 

2.5.4 Hydroelectric Power Trends 2-25 

2.5.5 Nontraditional Energy Sources 2-25 

2.5.6 Energy Conservation 2-27 

2.6 EXPECTED FUTURE COAL USE 2-27 

2.6.1 Coal in the National Energy Plan 2-27 

2.6.2 Department of Energy Coal Projections 2-27 

2.7 WESTERN COAL SUPPLY SOURCES 2-35 

2.7.1 Production Potential of Federal Coal 2-35 

2.7.2 Coal Owned by Indian Tribes 2-40 

2.7.3 Non-Federal, Non-Indian Coal 2-43 

2.8 THE NEED FOR NEW FEDERAL COAL LEASING 2-48 

2.8.1 Leasing to Meet National Energy Objectives 2-50 

2.8.2 Leasing to Promote Motre Desirable Patterns of 

Coal Development 2-58 

2.8.3 Leasing for Legal and Administrative Purposes .. 2-60 

2.8.4 Leasing to Increase Competition in the Coal 
Industry 2-61 

2.9 OVERVIEW OF THE NEED FOR A FEDERAL COAL 
MANAGEMENT PROGRAM 2-61 

2.10 REFERENCES 2-65 



j 



J 

i 

I 



CHAPTER 2 



THE NATIONAL ENERGY ROLE OF WESTERN AND FEDERAL COAL 



2.1 INTRODUCTION 

Fifty-four percent of the coal reserves in the 
United States are located west of the Mississippi 
River. Until recently, these reserves played only a 
limited role as a source of the Nation's coal 
production, largely because demand for coal was 
primarily in regions of the East and Midwest 
which have substantial coal reserves, and which 
satisfied their demand with coal produced from 
Appalachian and midwestern coal mines. In the 
past few years, however, production of western 
coal has increased rapidly, rising from 60 million 
tons in 1972 to 166 million tons in 1977 (24 percent 
of total 1977 coal production in the United States). 
This upward trend is expected to continue as coal 
will make an increasingly important contribution 
to the Nation's energy supplies, especially for 
electric power generation, and as demand for coal 
increases in the western states. 

Federally owned coal is concentrated in the six 
key western coal producing states of Colorado, 
Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah, and 
Wyoming, which in 1977 accounted for 71 percent 
of the production of all western coal. Production of 
Federal coal in these states was 51.7 million tons in 
1977, or 43.7 percent of their total coal production 
and 7.5 percent of national coal production [5]. 

Other Federal coal is located in Oklahoma, 
Alabama, Washington, Kentucky, and in small 
amounts in other states. Production of Federal 
coal in these areas could be significant regionally 
or for specialized types of coal such as metallurgi- 
cal coal. 

Federal coal is expected to have a growing 
importance in national coal production. Of overall 
western coal reserves, approximately 60 percent is 
owned by the Federal government and an addi- 
tional 20 percent is dependent on the availability 
of complementary Federal coal for its production. 



2.2 COAL RESERVES AND 
CHARACTERISTICS 

In describing the production potential of coal, 
it is customary to distinguish between coal "re- 
sources" and "reserves." The term "resource" 
describes the estimated total amount of coal for 
which economic extraction could eventually be- 
come feasible. The coal "reserve" is that limited 
portion of the resource which is judged to be 
minable at a profit under existing market condi- 
tions [19]. The total identified coal resource of the 
United States is estimated to be 1.7 trillion tons [3]. 
Of this coal only 438 billion tons have thus far 
been identified with enough certainty and with 
sufficient economic prospects to be included in the 
reserve category. 

Reserve calculations for western coal are based 
in many cases on old geologic data and are 
probably considerably underestimated. The Unit- 
ed States Geological Survey has underway a coal 
exploration program which will generate improved 
reserve estimates over the next few years. 

For this programmatic environmental impact 
statement, twelve coal regions were selected as 
basic units for analysis (see Figure 1-1). The twelve 
regions contain over 92 percent of the reserve base 
of the United States and account for over 97 
percent of the Nation's current coal production. 
The regions shown in Figure 1-1 are used 
throughout this impact statement as the geograph- 
ic basis for identifying coal production levels and 
subsequent impacts. The regions were delineated 
based on similarities of coal characteristics (as 
shown on the 1960 USGS map of coal fields of the 
U.S. [1]) and on opportunities for and the likeli- 
hood of new or expanded coal production, both 
from Federal and non-Federal sources. 

As discussed further below, the Federal gov- 
ernment administers large amounts of coal in six of 
these coal regions: the Fort Union, Powder River, 
Green River-Hams Fork, Uinta-Southwestern 
Utah, San Juan River, and Denver-Raton Mesa 
Coal Regions. Smaller but still important amounts 



2-1 



ROLE OF WESTERN AND FEDERAL COAL 



of Federal coal are located in the Western Interior 
and Central and Southern Appalachian Coal 
Regions, particularly in the States of Alabama and 
Kentucky. It is within these geographic areas that 
the preferred Federal coal management program, 
described in Chapter 3, would function. 

Except for some limited Forest Service-ac- 
quired lands, the Federal government owns 
essentially no coal within the Northern Appala- 
chian, Eastern Interior, and Texas Coal Regions. 
These regions are included in order to fully present 
the impacts of Federal coal management actions 
which might cause coal production to shift from 
regions with significant Federal coal ownership to 
regions with high production potential for predom- 
inantly non-Federal coal. 

Certain areas of the Nation with coal, princi- 
pally eastern Pennsylvania, southern Michigan, 
central Texas, northern Montana, Arizona, Wash- 
ington, and Alaska, are not included in any of the 
twelve coal regions. Several of the areas - such as 
eastern Pennsylvania, Washington, and Alaska - 
were isolated from other regions and did not have 
enough expected coal production by themselves to 
form a separate region. Other areas - such as 
central Michigan and central Texas - are not 
expected to have any significant production in the 
near future. The San Juan River Coal Region does 
not include the State of Arizona because it has 
little Federal coal and it did not have enough 
projected production to be a separate region. 

Table 2-1 shows the estimated coal reserve 
base and 1976 production for each of the twelve 
coal regions. Of the total reserves in the West, a 
large proportion (66 percent) are located in the 
Powder River Coal Region. The next most impor- 
tant western coal regions are the Fort Union ( 1 1 
percent of western coal reserves), Western Interior 
(seven percent), and Green River-Hams Fork 
(seven percent) Coal Regions. In the East, reserves 
are divided almost equally between the Appala- 
chian (54 percent) and the Eastern Interior (46 
percent) Coal Regions. 

The proportion of surface minable coal re- 
serves in the West is significantly larger than for 
the Nation as a whole. Seventy-four percent (by 
weight) of the surface minable reserves shown in 
Table 2-1 are located west of the Mississippi River. 
Western surface minable reserves in many cases 
have less overburden and lie in thicker beds than 
eastern reserves. This generally results in relatively 



lower mining costs, although these lower costs 
historically were not enough to compensate for 
higher transportation costs to eastern coal markets. 
The Powder River Coal Region in northeast 
Wyoming and southeast Montana contains 40 
percent of the United States' surface minable 
reserves, and has an exceptionally high average 
seam thickness of 25 feet (eastern seams are 
typically four to eight feet thick). Another western 
region, the Fort Union Coal Region, contains 16 
percent of the national reserves of surface minable 
coal, although it is largely comprised of less 
valuable lignite. 

Coal produced by surface mining has increased 
steadily as a proportion of national production. In 
the nineteenth century, all mining was by under- 
ground methods. However, surface mining in the 
United States supplied 24 percent of overall 
production by 1950 and 56 percent by 1976. 

There are substantial variations in the heating 
value (Btus) of a unit of coal [19]. Eastern coal is 
almost entirely bituminous coal (94 percent) and 
anthracite, and has a higher heat content than 
most western coal. Of total western coal, 75 
percent is subbituminous and 15 percent lignite, 
and only 10 percent is the more desirable bitumi- 
nous. Although western coal reserves represent 54 
percent of the Nation's reserves by weight, on a 
Btu basis they represent only around 45 percent of 
total national reserves. The overall distribution of 
coal types by state is shown in Table 2-2. 

Sulfur content is a key factor in assessing the 
value of coal. The sulfur content of coal in the 
United States generally ranges from 0.2 to 7.0 
percent by weight. The presence of sulfur lowers 
the quality of coke and the resulting iron and steel 
products. Sulfur also contributes to corrosion and 
to the formation of boiler deposits. Sulfur com- 
pounds may react with water to form sulfuric acid, 
which is one of the major deleterious substances in 
acid mine waters contributing to stream pollution. 
Most importantly, sulfur compounds are a major 
source of air pollution, particularly in. the form of 
sulfur dioxide. 

The percentage of sulfur is highest in the 
Appalachian and Eastern Interior Coal Regions. 
Western Interior Coal Region coals are also 
relatively high in sulfur content. The sulfur 
percentage is relatively low in the subbituminous 
coals and lignite of the western states which 
contain large Federal coal reserves. Because of the 



2-2 



TABLE 2-1 



REGIONAL AND U.S. DEMONSTRATED COAL RESERVE BASE AND PRODUCTION LEVEL 





RESERVE BASE 


(b) 


(a) 
PRODUCTION v ' 


1976 


COAL REGION 


(mill 


ions of tons) 


(thousands of 


tons) 


UNDER- 






UNDER- 








GROUND 


SURFACE 


TOTAL 


GROUND 


SURFACE 


TOTAL 


Appalachian 
Northern 


59,266 


6,292 


65,558 


92,028 


83,931 


175,959 


Central 


27,321 


7,589 


34,910 


125,928 


80,889 


206,817 


Southern 


1,963 


250 


2,213 


8,605 


14,783 


23,388 


Subtotal 


88,550 


14,131 


102,681 


226,561 


179,603 


406,164 


Eastern Interior 


71,110 


17,801 


88,911 


55,366 


81,075 


136,441 


Western Interior 


10,125 


5,467 


15,592 


339 


11,111 


11,450 


Texas 





3,271 


3,271 





14,063 


14,063 


Powder River 


86,500 


56,024 


142,524 


119 


37,290 


37,409 


Green River-Hams Fork 


13,396 


2,147 


15,543 


768 


24,916 


25,684 


Fort Union 





23,101 


23,101 





11,414 


11,414 


San Juan River 


1,906 


2,258 


4,164 


17 


8,824 


8,841 


Uinta-Southwestern Utah 


6,915 


262 


7,177 


10,144 





10,144 


Denver-Raton Mesa 


3,865 


' 


3,865 


1,453 


409 


1,862 


Total of 12 Regions 


282,367 


124,462 


406,829 


294,767 


368,705 


663,472 


U.S. Total 


296,976 


141,361 


438,337 


294,771 


383,914 


678,685 


Regions as 
Percent of U.S. 


95.1 


88.3 


92.8 


100 


96.0 


97.8 



(a) Source: Reference Number 2,22,23 

(b) Source: Reference Number 3 



2-3 



TABLE 2-2 



» 



DEMONSTRATED RESERVE BASE V ' OF COALS IN THE UNITED STATES ON JANUARY 1, 1976 
POTENTIALLY MINABLE BY UNDERGROUND AND SURFACE METHODS ( b ) 
(million short tons) 



ANTHRACITE 

SURFACE 



BITUMINOUS 

SURFACE 



SUBBITUMINOUS 

SURFACE 



ro 
I 



Alabama 
*Alaska 
*Arizona 
*Arkansas 
*Colorado 

Georgia 
*Idaho 

Illinois 

Indiana 
*Iowa 
^Kansas 
Kentucky , East 
Kentucky, West 
Louisiana 
Maryland 
Michigan 
*Missouri 
*Montana 
*New Mexico 
North Carolina 
*North Dakota 
Ohio 

* Oklahoma 
*Oregon 
Pennsylvania 
*South Dakota 
Tennessee 
*Texas 
*Utah 
Virginia 
^Washington 
West Virginia 
* Wyoming 

Subtotal Western States 

Subtotal Eastern States 

TOTAL 



88 . 6 7 . 
25.5 



6,966.8 142. 7 



114.1 7.8 

7.106.6 142.7 

7.220.7 150.5 



1,724.2 


284.4 




- 




_ 




617.0 


80.4 


4 


,805.9 




640 


.7 


- 


325.5 




- 




- 




163.1 


107.0 




- 




_ 




8,467.9 


676.2 


3 


,972.1 




149 


.2 


0.5 


0.4 




- 




- 




4.4 


- 




- 




- 




53,128.1 


14,841.2 




- 




_ 




8,939.8 


1,774.5 




- 




- 




1,736.8 


465.4 




- 




_ 




- 


998.2 




- 




- 




9,072.5 


4,467.6 




- 




- 




8,510.4 


3,950.4 




- 




- 




913.8 


134.5 




- 




_ 




125.2 


1.6 




- 




- 




1,418.0 


3,596.0 




- 




_ 




1,385.4 


- 


69 


,573.5 


33 


,843 


.2 


1,258.8 


601.1 




889.0 


1 


,846 


8 


31.3 


0.4 




- 




- 




13,090.5 


6,139.8 




- 




_ 




1,192.9 


425.2 




- 




_ 




(c) 


- 




14.5 




2 


9 


22,335.9 


1,391.8 




- 




- 




627.2 


337.9 




- 




- 




6,283.8 


267.9 




1.1 




_ 




3,277.0 


888.5 




- 




- 




255.3 


_ 




835.3 




481 


5 


33,457.4 


5,149.1 




- 




_ 




4,002.5 


- 


27 


,644.8 


23 


724 


7 


26,785.9 


7,543.0 


107 


736.2 


60 


689 





155,251.8 


39,362.1 




- 




- 




182,037.8 


46,905.1 


107 


736.2 


60 


689 






LIGNITE 


UNDER 


SURFACE 


STATE 


SURFACE 


TOTAL 


TOTAL 


TOTAL 


1,083.0 


1,724.2 


1,367.4 


3,091.6 


14.0 


5,422.9 


735.2 


6,158.1 


- 


- 


325.5 


325.5 


25.7 


251.7 


140.5 


392.2 


2,965.7 


12,465.5 


3,791.1 


16,256.6 


- 


0.5 


0.4 


0.9 


- 


4.4 


- 


4.4 


- 


53,128.1 


14,841.2 


67,969.3 


- 


8,939.8 


1,774.5 


10,714.3 


- 


1,736.8 


465.4 


2,202.2 


- 


- 


998.2 


998.2 


- 


9,072.5 


4,467.6 


13,540.1 


- 


8,510.4 


3,950.4 


12,460.8 


(c) 


- 


(c) 


(c) 


- 


913.8 


134.5 


1,048.3 


- 


125.2 


1.6 


126.8 


- 


1,418.0 


3,596.0 


5,014.0 


15,766.8 


70,958.9 


49,610.1 


120,569.0 


- 


2,150.1 


2,447.9 


4,598.0 


- 


31.3 


0.4 


31.7 


10,145.3 


- 


10,145.3 


10,145.3 


- 


13,090.5 


6,139.8 


19,230.3 


- 


1,192.9 


425.2 


1 , 618 . 1 


- 


14.5 


2.9 


17.4 


- 


29,302.7 


1,534,5 


30,837.2 


426.1 


- 


426.1 


426.1 


- 


627.2 


337.9 


965.1 


3,181.9 


- 


3,181.9 


3,181.9 


- 


6,284.9 


267.9 


6,552.8 


- 


3,414.5 


888.5 


4,303.0 


8.1 


1,090.6 


489.6 


1,580.2 


- 


33,457.4 


5,149.1 


38,606.5 


- 


31,647.3 


23,724.7 


55,372.0 


32,533.6 


162,338.1 


100,773.5 


235,407.6 


1,083.0 


134,638.5 


40,587.8 


202,930.3 


33,616.6 


296,976.6 


141,361.6 


438,337.9 



Source: Reference Number 3. 

(a) Includes measured and indicated resource categories as defined by the USBM and USGS and represents 100% of the coal in place. 

(b) Figures have been rounded . 

(c) Quantity undetermined (basic resource data do not provide the detail required for delineation of reserve base). 

^Western states including Alaska 



a - 



ROLE OF WESTERN AND FEDERAL COAL 



different heating (Btu) values of coal, a given 
sulfur percentage by weight involves varying sulfur 
content by energy provided. Western coal is also 
typically low in sulfur content per Btu, although 
less so than the sulfur percentage by weight would 
suggest. 

Generally, coal with less than one percent 
sulfur by weight is considered "low sulfur" coal. 
Only 16 percent of eastern coal is considered low 
sulfur, compared with 71 percent of western coal 
(see Tables 2-3 and 2-4). Eighty-four percent of the 
Nation's low sulfur coal is located in the West. On 
a tonnage basis, there are nevertheless substantial 
low sulfur reserves in the East, much of it 
metallurgical coal. 

Within the six western states with major 
Federal coal ownership, coal mining will be 
concentrated in areas which are identified by the 
U.S. Geological Survey as Known Recoverable 
Coal Resource Areas (KRCRAs) (see Figure 2-1). 
The total area included within the KRCRAs 
defined as of March 1978 was 18 million acres (see 
Table 2-5). It is expected that about 25 million 
acres will be included in KRCRAs when mapping 
is completed. Around half of this acreage is 
expected to have coal of medium or high develop- 
ment potential. By comparison, the total land area 
of the six western Federal coal states is 396 million 
acres. 

The distribution of coal ownership within 
KRCRAs is shown in Table 2-5. In many cases, 
surface ownership differs from subsurface owner- 
ship. The largest single ownership category is 
private surface and Federal coal, which includes 34 
percent of the total KRCRA acreage. The second 
largest category is private surface and non-Federal 
(usually private) coal, covering 29 percent of the 
total acreage. Federal surface administered by the 
BLM with Federal coal and Federal surface 
administered by The Forest Service with Federal 
coal cover 21 percent and five percent of total 
KRCRA acreage, respectively, Finally, state sur- 
face and non-Federal (usually state) coal has five 
percent of the acreage. 

Of the total KRCRA acreage, 71 percent of the 
surface is non-Federally owned. For Federal coal 
alone, only 44 percent of the surface is owned by 
the Federal government. Federal subsurface own- 
ership of the coal, on the other hand, covers 66 
percent of the total KRCRA acreage. Mainly 
because the Federal ownership share is unusually 



high (80 percent) in the Powder River Coal 
Region, where coal seams are exceptionally thick 
and contain large amounts of coal per acre, 
Federal coal reserves in the West are estimated to 
be 72 percent of total western KRCRA reserves. 

2.3 HISTORY OF NATIONAL COAL USE 

Coal was the primary energy source upon 
which the Nation's early industrial and economic 
growth was based. Basic industries such as rail- 
roads, steel, and, later, electric power generation 
were developed and rapidly expanded through the 
production and use of coal. The coal industry 
reached a 100-million ton level of production by 
1880 and 212 million tons by 1900. Stimulated by 
World War I, coal production reached 579 million 
tons in 1918. Coal production declined after the 
war (particularly during the Depression), reaching 
a low in 1932 of 310 million tons. With World War 
II, production again rose to new heights, reaching 
a peak in 1947 of 631 million tons [20]. 

Once again, however, the coal industry went 
into decline and reached its post-war low of 392 
million tons in 1954. For the next 10 years, while 
major year-to-year fluctuations sometimes oc- 
curred, the basic level of coal use increased only 
slightly. But by the mid-1960's, the industry had 
begun an upward trend that by 1977 had reached 
an annual production level of 689 million tons, the 
highest ever. 

For many years the major coal use categories 
were railroads, manufacturing and mining indus- 
tries, retail dealer deliveries, coke plants, and 
electric utilities. In 1944, railroads consumed 132 
million tons of coal. The introduction of diesel 
locomotives and electrification, however, caused 
the railroad market for coal to virtually disappear 
by the early 1960's. Also, the use of coal by ships 
has been displaced almost entirely by oil. Retail 
coal deliveries for space heating declined steadily 
over the years, from more than 122 million tons in 
1944 to seven million tons in 1977. 

Consumption of coal by coke plants fell from 
107 million tons in 1955 to 77 million tons in 1977. 
The gradual decline in this use resulted from 
technological changes in the coking processes, 
including increased injection of supplemental fuels 
and modification of blast furnace practices. Never- 
theless, it is expected that the demand for coking 
coal will be reasonably steady over the near term, 



2-5 



TABLE 2-3 
THE DEMONSTRATED RESERVE BASE OF COALS OF THE WESTERN UNITED STATES 
ON JANUARY 1, 1974, BY MINING METHOD AND SULFUR CONTENT 
(million tons) 



STATE 


MINING 

MT7TTinrt 


SULFUR CONTENT, 


WEIGHT-PERCENT 






1 i£j 1 nUU 


<1.0 


1 


.1-3.0 




>3.0 


UNKNOWN 


TOTAL 


Alaska 


Underground 


4,080.8 




163.2 










4,246.4 




Surface 


7,377.8 




21.0 










7,399.0 


Arizona 


Surface 


173.2 




176.7 










350.0 


Arkansas 


Underground 


43.4 




310.3 




29.2 


19.1 


402.4 




Surface 


37.9 




152.9 




17.1 


55.2 


263.3 


Colorado 


Underground 


6,751.3 




640.0 




47.3 


6,547.4 


13,999.2 




Surface 


724.2 




146.2 










870.0 


Iowa 


Underground 


1.6 




226.7 


2 


,105.9 


549.2 


2,884.9 


Kansas 


Surface 







309.3 




695.6 


383.2 


1,388.1 


Missouri 


Underground 







134.2 


3 


,590.2 


2,350.5 


6,073.6 




Surface 







47.8 


1 


,635.8 


1,730.0 


3,413.7 


Montana 


Underground 63,464.4 


1 


,939.9 




456.2 





65,834.3 




Surface 


38,182.5 


2 


,175.4 




46.4 


2,166.7 


42,562.0 


New Mexico 


Underground 


1,894.4 




214.1 




0.8 


27.5 


2,136.5 




Surface 


1,681.1 




579.4 










2,258.3 


North Dakota 


Surface 


5,389.0 


10 


,325.5 




268.7 


15.0 


16,003.0 


Oklahoma 


Underground 


154.5 




238.4 




202.6 


264.3 


860.1 




Surface 


120.5 




88.2 




38.8 


186.2 


434.1 


Oregon 


Underground 


1.0 















1.0 




Surface 


0.5 




0.3 










0.9 


South Dakota 


Surface 


103.1 




287.9 




35.9 


1.0 


428.0 


Texas 


Surface 


659.8 


1 


,884.7 




284.1 


444.0 


3,271.9 


Utah 


Underground 


1,916.2 


1 


,397.6 




6.8 


460.3 


3,780.5 




Surface 


52.3 




149.2 




42.6 


18.0 


262.0 


Washington 


Underground 


431.0 




957.7 




13.2 


42.9 


1,445.9 




Surface 


172.5 




307.7 




25.8 


2.2 


508.1 


Wyoming 


Underground 20,719.1 


4 


,535.0 


1 


,275.6 


2,955.0 


29,489.8 




Surface 

tmderground 


13,192.9 


10 


,122.4 




425.5 


105.3 


23,845.3 


Total ( 


99,457.7 


10 


,757.2 


7 


,727.8 


13,216.2 


131,155.6 




Surface 


67,866.8 


26 


,774.3 


3 


,516.3 


5,106.8 


103,256.8 


Grand 
















Total 


167,324.5 


37 


,531.5 


11 


,244.1 


18,323.0 


234,412.4 



(a) 

Distribution may not add to total because of the rounding of individual 

figures . 
SOURCE: Reference Number 5. 



2-6 



TABLE 2-4 



THE DEMONSTRATED RESERVE BASE OF COALS OF THE 

EASTERN UNITED STATES ON JANUARY 1, 1974, 

BY MINING METHOD AND SULFUR CONTENT 

(million tons) 





MINING 
METHOD 


SULFUR CONTENT, WEIGHT-PERCENT 




STATE 


<1.0 


1.1-3.0 


> 3.0 


Unknown 


Total 


Alabama 


Jnderground 


589.3 


1,106.7 


14.8 


176.2 


1,887.0 




Surface 


35.4 


83.2 


1.6 


1,063.2 


1,183.4 


Georgia 


Jnderground 
Surface 


0.3 












0.2 
(b) 


0.5 



Illinois 


Underground 


1,034.7 


5,848.4 


33,647.6 


12,908.4 


53,439.1 




Surface 


60.4 


1,493.0 


9,321.3 


1,347.8 


12,222.5 


Indiana 


Underground 


443.5 


2,746.6 


4,355.1 


1,402.5 


8,947.7 




Surface 


105.3 


559.2 


907.3 


101.6 


1,673.4 


Kentucky, East 


Underground 
Surface 


5,042.7 
1,515.7 


2,391.9 
929.9 


212.7 
86.8 


1,814.0 
915.3 


9,461.3 
3,447.7 


Kentucky, West 


Underground 
Surface 



0.2 


386.0 
177.8 


7,226.4 
2,017.5 


1,107.1 
1,708.8 


8,719.5 
3,904.3 


Maryland 


Underground 
Surface 


106.5 
28.6 


623.9 
66.6 


171.2 
16.2 


34.6 


901.6 

146.0 


Michigan 


Underground 
Surface 


4.6 


84.9 

0.5 


20.8 
0.1 


7.0 


117.3 
0.6 


North Carolina 


Underground 
Surface 


- 


~ 


_ 


31.3 
0.4 


31.3 

0.4 


Ohio 


Underground 


115.5 


5,449.9 


10,109.4 


1,754.1 


17,428.9 




Surface 


18.9 


991.0 


2,524.9 


117.9 


3,652.7 


Pennsylvania 


Underground 
Surface 


7,179.7 
138.6 


16,195.2 
718.4 


3,568.1 
231.5 


2,864.8 
89.5 


29,807.8 
1,178.0 


Tennessee 


Underground 


139.3 


370.0 


101.4 


53.9 


664.6 




Surface 


65.5 


163.2 


55.2 


34.1 


318.0 


Virginia 


Underground 


1,728.5 


945.4 


12.0 


238.3 


2,969.2 




Surface 


411.6 


218.1 


2.1 


46.7 


678.5 


West Virginia 


Underground 
Surface 

Underground 


11,086.6 
3,005.5 


12,583.4 
1,422.8 


6,552.9 

270.4 


4,142.9 
509.6 


34,365.8 
5,208.0 




27,471.2 


48,732.3 


65,992.4 


26,545.7 


168,741.6 


TOTAL 


Surface 


5,385.7 


6,823.7 


15,434.9 


5,969.5 


33,613.8 


(a) 

GRAND TOTAL v ' 


32,856.9 


55,556.0 




81,427.3 


32,515.2 


202,355.4 



(a) 
(b), 



Distribution may not add to total because of the rounding of individual figures. 



Undetermined . 
Source: Reference Number 5. 



2-7 



■■ . ■ ■;■:;■ . ' ' : ■ ' .. :.\ : 



l^^^^^HH 




FIGURE 2-1 
KNOWN RECOVERABLE COAL RESOURCE AREAS (KRCRAs) 



2-8 



TABLE 2-5 



KRCRA COAL AND SURFACE OWNERSHIP 
(Acres) 



(a) 





PUBLIC 
DOMAIN 


PUBLIC 
DOMAIN 


PRIVATE 
SURFACE 


PRIVATE 
SURFACE 


STATE 
SURFACE 


STATE 
SURFACE 


FOREST 
SERVICE 


FOREST 
SERVICE 


OTHER 
SURFACE 


OTHER 
SURFACE 


GRAND 


REGION AND KRCRA 


SURFACE 
FEDERAL 
COAL(b) 


SURFACE 

NONFEDERAL 

COAL 


FEDERAL 
COAL 


NONFEDERAL 
COAL 


FEDERAL 
COAL 


NONFEDERAL 
COAL 


FEDERAL 
COAL 


NONFEDERAL 
COAL 


FEDERAL 
COAL(c) 


CONFEDERAL 
COAL 


TOTAL 


'ore Union Region 
























North Dakota KRCRAs 






























74,910 


131,680 


2,120 


2,240 


2,890 




50,730 


18,990 


283,560 








80,440 


310,520 


320 


2,240 






4,440 


1,000 


398,960 




640 




322,600 


802,890 


600 


27,960 






3,740 


4,610 


1,163,040 


New England-Mott 


40 




186,970 


346,680 


160 


9,040 






20,650 


1,280 


564,820 


Niobe 






880 


15,040 




120 










16,040 








3,200 


17,600 




120 










20,920 




120 
800 




42,160 
711,160 


18,840 
1,643,250 


440 
3,640 


2,880 
44,600 






300 
79,860 


290 
26,170 


65,030 


Total 





2,890 





2,512,370 


Montana KRCRAs 
























Burns Creek-I3 Mile Creek 


400 


320 


98,640 


120,480 


3,440 


15,360 














5,680 




181,240 


225,760 


3,360 


25,160 










441,200 




120 


1,460 


1,840 


8,280 




1,680 






6,000 


760 


20,140 


Lame Jones Creek 


1,640 




6,320 


25,320 




3,240 






5,720 


520 


42,760 


Pine Hills 


1,040 




6,200 


10,120 




600 












Sidney 


17,800 


480 


103,660 


159,660 


3,800 


18,160 










303,560 




4,200 
30,880 




96,680 
494,580 


70,600 


80 
10,680 


2,280 
66,480 










173,840 


Total 


2,260 


620,220 








11,720 


1,280 


1,238,100 


Fort Union Total 


31,680 


2,260 


1,205,740 


2,263,470 


14,320 


111,080 


2,890 





91,580 


27,450 


3,750,470 


'owder River Region 
























Montana KRCRAs 
























Powder River Basin 


193,430 


60 


1,046,895 


443,560 


21,190 


107,980 


434,515 


3,120 


2,470 


2,960 


2,256,180 


Wyoming KRCRAs 
























Powder River Basin 


390,901 
584,331 


1,831 


2,767,827 
3,814,722 


276,606 
720,166 


24,418 
45,608 


365,119 
473,099 


55,986 
490,501 


5,040 
8,160 


68,367 
70,827 


29,243 
32,203 


3,985,338 


Powder River Total 


1,891 


6,241,518 


ireen River-Hams Fork Region 
























Wyoming KRCRAs 
























Hanna-Carbon Basin 


85,493 


160 


6,454 


116,367 


760 


7,343 






6,649 




223,226 




105,260 




18,053 


125,751 


1,163 


14,004 






2,331 




266,562 


Rawlins 


49,863 


40 


16,155 


48,761 


480 


5,280 


160 




3,050 


40 


123,829 


Red Deseit 


453,267 


640 


7,834 


309,076 


80 


12,040 






880 




783,817 


Rock Springs 
Total 


430,487 
1,124,370 


120 
960 


7,739 
56,235 


312,905 
912,860 


249 
2,732 


18,467 
57,134 






4,973 
17,883 




774,940 


160 





40 


2,172,374 


Colorado KRCRAs 


























18,400 


240 


5,040 


15,120 


2,640 


4,640 






800 




46,880 


Yampa 


36,970 


3,640 


269,300 


101,675 


640 


40,990 


2,060 


640 


10,965 


120 


467,000 


Total 


55,370 


3,880 


274,340 


116,795 


3,280 


45,630 


2,060 


640 


11,765 


120 


513,880 


Green River-Hams Fork 
























Total 


1,179,740 


4,840 


330,575 


1,029,655 


6,012 


102,764 


2,220 


640 


29,648 


160 


2,686,254 


lintaSouthwestern Utah Region 
























Utah KRCRAs 
























Alton-Kanab 


48,040 


1,160 


27,380 


11,450 


280 


2,680 


25,040 








116,030 


Book Cliffs 


42,440 


280 


39,540 


38,960 


1,600 


6,560 










129,380 


Henry Mountains 


34,540 






40 




5,480 






400 




40,460 


Kaiparowits Plateau 


397,760 


2,520 


1,780 


1,160 


80 


46,320 


71,600 


200 


10,760 


400 


532,580 




12,120 
534,900 




36,640 
105,340 


47,320 
98,930 


2,720 
4,680 


5,360 
66,400 


192,650 
289,290 


840 
1,040 






297,650 


Total 


3,960 


11,160 


400 


1,116,100 



a) Includes Known Recoverable Coal Resource Areas (KRCRAs) defined as of March 1978. 

b) Includes BLM administered lands 

c) Includes Bankhead-Jones acquired lands, Federal withdrawn lands, and Indian lands. 



2-9 



TABLE 2-5 
(Concluded) 



KRCRA COAL AND SURFACE OWNERSHIP 
(Acres) 



(a) 



REGION AND KRCRA 



PUBLIC 


PUBLIC 


DOMAIN 


DOMAIN 


SURFACE 


SURFACE 


FEDERAL 


NONFEDERAL 


COAL(b) 


COAL 



PRIVATE 


PRIVATE 


STATE 


STATE 


SURFACE 


SURFACE 


SURFACE 


SURFACE 


FEDERAL 


NONFEDERAL 


FEDERAL 


NONFEDERAL 


COAL 


COAL 


COAL 


COAL 



FOREST 


FOREST 


SERVICE 


SERVICE 


SURFACE 


SURFACE 


FEDERAL 


NONFEDERAL 


COAL 


COAL 



OTHER 


OTHER 




SURFACE 


SURFACE 


GRAND 


FEDERAL 


NONFEDERAL 


TOTAL 


COAL(c) 


COAL 





Uinta-SW Utah (Continued) 
Colorado KRCRAs 
Danforth Hills 46,850 

Lower White River 152,320 

Paonia-Somerset 31,560 



,560 101,230 16,970 
40 13,200 4,700 
80 65,640 22,690 



Total 




230,730 


2,680 


180,070 


44,360 


Uinta Total 




765,630 


6,640 


285,410 


143,290 


San Juan River Region 












New Mexico KRCRAs 












La Ventana 




172,840 


3,420 


39,380 


8,200 


San Juan 


1 


007,140 


23,500 


165,200 


89,940 


Tsaya 


1 


5,320 
185,300 




40 

204,620 


240 


Total 


26,920 


98,380 


Colorado KRCRAs 












Cimaroon Ridge 




3,120 




10,400 


4,920 


Durango 




27,750 


120 


58,150 


70,680 


East Cortez 




1,720 




400 


6,160 


Nucla 




1,880 






3,080 


Total 




34,470 


120 


68,950 


84,840 


San Juan River Total 


1 


219,770 


27,040 


273,570 


183,220 


Denver-Raton Mesa Region 












Colorado KRCRAs 












Denver Basin 








94,800 


348,980 


Denver-Raton Mesa 










Total 










94,800 


348,980 


TOTAL - ALL WESTERN 


3 


781,151 


42,671 


6,004,817 


4,688,781 


REGIONS 













Southern Appalachian Region 
Alabama KRCRAs- 
North Central Alabama 

TOTAL - ALL EASTERN 
REGIONS 



520,088 



4,350 

3,840 

94,980 

8,190 94,980 

4,680 74,590 384,270 



1,200 



4,960 16,240 
19,320 115,960 7,040 
6,200 

7,040 



24,280 138,400 



2,000 
2,910 20,780 53,610 

1,440 



2,910 22,220 55,610 

27,190 160,620 62,650 



28,560 



1,200 28,560 

99,010 950,713 942,531 





1,040 



3,140 
3,140 



640 

2,920 

600 



4,160 
15,320 



640 





400 



172,600 
177,020 
215,550 

565,170 

1,681,270 



58,000 22,800 325,840 

331,980 75,280 1,835,360 

39,420 34,300 85,520 



429,400 


132,380 


2 


,246,720 


80 






20,520 


480 


1,120 




238,740 
9,720 


120 






5,080 


680 


1,120 


274,060 


430,080 


133,500 


2 


520,780 



474,18 



640 474,180 
12,980 638,105 193,713 17,354,472 



2,676 



Source: Reference Number 4. 



2-10 



ROLE OF WESTERN AND FEDERAL COAL 



with relatively small further declines resulting from 
technological changes. 

Industrial uses, other than electric power 
generation, include coal used for general manufac- 
turing and mining and for cement, steel, and 
rolling mills. Industrial coal consumption has 
declined from approximately 270 million tons in 
1945 to 60 million tons in 1977. 

As recently as 1943, coal contributed more 
than 50 percent of the Nation's total energy. By 
1977, it contributed only 18 percent. Except for 
coke ovens, the declines in the U.S. domestic coal 
markets following World War II resulted primarily 
from the rapid takeover of these markets by oil and 
natural gas. These fuels were cheap, easy to 
handle, and relatively clean, and thus provided a 
competition that coal was unable to meet. Table 2- 
6 shows the historical pattern of decline of coal in 
these markets. 

Compensating considerably for the loss or 
decline of all but one of its historical markets, and 
its exclusion from new markets by the rise of oil 
and gas consumption, has been the rapid growth in 
the use of coal for electric power generation. As 
recently as 1950, less than 100 million tons of coal 
were burned by utilities. By 1977, use of coal for 
electric power generation reached 475 million tons 
(producing 47 percent of the Nations's total 
electric power) and is expected to constitute the 
major source of future increases in coal use. 

The growth since World War II of coal exports 
has provided additional coal markets, particularly 
for coals of metallurgical quality. In 1957, during 
the Suez Crisis, exports reached more than 76 
million tons. In recent years, exports generally 
have been in the mid-50 million ton level, but rose 
to over 65 million tons in 1975. 

2.4 THE GROWTH IN WESTERN AND 
FEDERAL COAL PRODUCTION 

Before 1972, coal production in the six western 
Federal coal States (Colorado, Montana, New 
Mexico, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming) 
never exceeded 40 million tons or seven percent of 
national production. In 1962, as shown in Table 2- 
7, these states produced only 14 million tons, or 3.3 
percent of national coal production. Production 
from all western coal regions was still far lower in 
1976 than their proportionate share of the Nation's 
coal reserves, as seen in Figure 2-2. 



Production of Federal coal has been even more 
minimal. Although in the six western Federal coal 
states more than 70 percent of the coal is Federally 
owned, in 1972 the amount of Federal coal 
produced was only 9 million tons or 20 percent of 
the six states' total production. 

This situation has been changing rapidly. Total 
western production - including that of Texas, 
Arizona, and the Western Interior Coal Region - 
reached 165.4 million tons, or 24 percent of 
national production in 1977 (see Table 2-8). Coal 
production from the six western Federal coal states 
was 118.4 million tons in 1977, up from 39.3 
million tons in 1971 (see Table 2-7). Production of 
Federal coal has also been rising rapidly. In 1977, 
as shown in Table 2-9, Federal coal production in 
the six western states rose to 51.9 million tons, a 
five-fold increase over 1971. 

As seen in Table 2-9, Wyoming was the leading 
Federal coal producing state as of 1977. Produc- 
tion of Federal coal in Wyoming grew from only 
five million tons in 1973 to 28.3 million tons in 
1977. Federal coal production in Montana has also 
grown rapidly, from 1.9 million tons in 1973 to 10.5 
million tons in 1977. Almost all the recent growth 
in Federal coal production in Montana and a large 
share of it in Wyoming has been from the Powder 
River Coal Region. 

The increasing production of western and 
Federal coal is attributable to two key factors. The 
most important is the sharp rise in the price of oil 
and natural gas, which has made these fuels less 
economical to use in new utility boilers. Many new 
western power plants are coal burning, and are 
using coal mined in the West. In addition, some 
western plants now burning oil or gas are convert- 
ing to coal, and this coal is obtained from the 
western coal regions. 

In the East, there is a much greater traditional 
use of coal for power generation. Because trans- 
portation is a substantial portion of the overall cost 
of coal, eastern power plants traditionally used 
eastern coal. The economics of eastern power 
generation were significantly altered, however, by 
air quality control regulations under the 1970 
Clean Air Act Amendments, particularly with 
respect to sulfur dioxide emissions. Emission 
standards were set for new plants which were low 
enough to prohibit use of most eastern coal unless 
utilities invested in pollution control equipment, 
but high enough to permit most western coal, 



2-11 



TABLE 2-6 

CONSUMPTION AND EXPORTS OF BITUMINOUS COAL AND LIGNITE 
BY CONSUMER CLASS IN SELECTED YEARS 1933-1977 (a) 
(thousand short tons) 











STEEL 




MANU- 






BUNKER 












ELECTRIC 




AND 


RAIL- 


FACTURING 


TOTAL 


RETAIL 


FOREIGN 












POWER 


COKE 


ROLLING 


ROADS 


AND 


INDUS- 


DEALER 


& LAKE 


TOTAL 




GRAND 




YEAR 
1933 


UTILITIES 
27,088 


PLANTS 
40,089 


MILLS 
14,129 


CLASS II 
72,548 


MINING (c) 
84,137 


TRIAL 


DELIVERIES 


VESSEL 


U.S. 


EXPORTS 


TOTAL (b) 




170,814 


77,396 


2,298 


317,685 


9,037 


326,722 




1935 


30,936 


50,515 


16,585 


77,109 


98,054 


191,748 


80,444 


2,683 


356,326 


9,742 


366,068 




1940 


49,126 


81,386 


14,169 


85,130 


113,423 


212,722 


84,687 


2,989 


430,910 


16,466 


447,376 




1945 


71,603 


95,349 


14,241 


125,120 


130,765 


270,096 


119,297 


3,192 


559,567 


27,956 


587,523 




1947 


86,009 


104,800 


14,195 


109,296 


131,847 


255,338 


96,657 


3,087 


545,891 


68,667 


614,558 




1950 


88,262 


103,845 


10,877 


60,969 


103,785 


175,631 


84,422 


2,042 


454,202 


25,468 


479,670 


k; 


1955 


140,550 


107,377 


7,353 


15,473 


98,140 


120,966 


53,020 


1,499 


423,412 


51,277 


474,689 


1 

H 


1960 


173,882 


81,015 


7,378 


2,101 


84,703 


94,182 


30,405 


945 


380,429 


36,541 


416,970 


ro 


1965 


242,729 


94,779 


7,466 


- 


94, 487 (c 


)101,953 


19,048 


655 


459,164 


50,181 


509,345 




1970 


318,921 


96,009 


5,410 


- 


82,909 


888,319 


12,072 


298 


515,619 


70,944 


586,563 




1973 


386,879 


93,634 


6,356 


- 


60,837 


67,193 


8,200 


116 


556,022 


52,870 


608,892 




1975 


403,249 


83,272 


2,715 


- 


59,759 


62,474 


7,282 


24 


556,301 


65,669 


621,970 




1976 


447,021 


84,324 


2,743 


- 


57,750 


60,493 


6,900 


12 


598,750 


59,406 


678,685 




1977(d) 


474,818 


77,380 


3,243 


™* 


57,146 


60,389 


7,020 


9 


619,616 


53,687 


673,303 



(a) Sources: Reference Numbers 6 ar.d 7. 

(b) Differences between the total of consumption plus exports and total production accounted for 
principally by coal in transit between mines and consumer facilities and coal put into stockpiles. 

(c) Includes cement mills, all years, and railroad fuel after I960. 

(d) Preliminary 



l> **'- * : ~ J *hii 



TABLE 2-7 

COAL PRODUCTION FROM FEDERAL LANDS IN THE SIX MAJOR COAL-PRODUCING STATES 

OF THE WEST IN SELECTED YEARS, 1957-1977, 

AND COMPARISONS WITH TOTAL U.S. AND TOTAL STATE PRODUCTION 

(tons in millions) 







TOTAL U. 


S. PRODUCTION 


(a) 
TOTAL PRODUCTION SIX WESTERN STATES 


FEDERAL LANDS, SIX 


WESTERN STATES 


(b) 




YEAR 


SURFACE 


UNDER- 
GROUND 


TOTAL 


SURFACE 


UNDER- 
GROUND 


TOTAL 


PERCENT 
OF U.S. 


SURFACE 


UNDER- 
GROUND 


TOTAL 


PERCENT OF 
WESTERN 


PERCENT 
OF U.S. 




1957 


132.1 


360.6 


492.7 


4.6 


11.1 


15.7 


3.2 


n.a. 


n.a. 


4.4 


28.0 


0.9 




1960 


130.6 


284.9 


415.5 


5.1 


8.5 


13.6 


3.3 


n.a. 


n.a. 


5.4 


39.7 


1.3 




1962 


140.8 


281.3 


422.1 


6.3 


7.7 


14.0 


3.3 


n.a. 


n.a. 


4.9 


35.0 


1.2 




1965 


179.4 


332.7 


512.1 


10.3 


9.1 


19.4 


3.8 


n.a. 


n.a. 


5.9 


30.4 


1.2 


K> 


1967 


203.5 


349.1 


552.6 


12.6 


8.6 


21.2 


3.8 


n.a. 


n.a. 


6.5 


30.7 


1.2 


1 

I- 1 
00 


1971 


276.3 


275.9 


552.2 


30.2 


9.1 


39.3 


7.1 


n.a. 


n.a. 


10.1 


25.7 


1.8 




1972 


291.3 


304.1 


595.4 


35.0 


9.3 


44.3 


7.4 


n.a. 


n.a. 


8.8 


19.9 


1.5 




1973 


292.3 


299.4 


591.7 


43.0 


10.0 


53.0 


9.0 


n.a. 


n.a. 


12.9 


24.3 


2.2 




1974 


326.1 


277.3 


603.4 


53.9 


10.2 


64.1 


10.8 


n.a. 


n.a. 


21.5 


33.5 


3.6 




1975 


355.6 


292.8 


648.4 


66.9 


11.4 


78.3 


12.1 


n.a. 


n.a. 


31.0 


39.6 


4.8 




1976 


383.9 


294.8 


678.7 


82.8 


12.5 


95.3 


14.0 


31.7 


6.3 


38.0 


40.2 


5.6 




1977< c > 


416.9 


271.6 


688.6 


105.4 


13.4 


118.4 


17.2 


44.0 


7.6 


51.9 


43.8 


7.5 



(a)Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. 

(b)Total production from Federal lands is for "calendar" years covered; there are differences in some years from other 

reference data where the latter cover "fiscal" years, i.e., 4.2, 4.9, 9.1 and 10.2 million tons, respectively, in 

1960, 1965, 1971, and 1972. 
(c)Preliminary 



Sources: Reference Numbers 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10. 



OTHER 
U.S. 



I 



*- 



WESTERN 
INTERIOR 




TEXAS 



DISTRIBUTION OF COAL RESERVE BASE 
SOURCE: Table 2-1 



DENVER-RATON MESA 
UINTA 
SAN JUAN 
FORT UNION 



GREEN RIVER- 
HAMS FORK 




WESTERN 
INTERIOR 

TEXAS 

POWDER RIVER 



GREEN RIVER 
HAMS FORK 



OTHER U.S. 

DENVER-RATON MESA 
UINTA 
SAN JUAN 
FORT UNION 



DISTRIBUTION OF COAL PRODUCTION (1976) 



FIGURE 2-2 



DISTRIBUTION OF THE COAL RESERVE BASE AND OF 197 6 PRODUCTION 



TABLE 2-8 

COAL PRODUCTION FROM ALL LANDS IN SELECTED YEARS 

1957-1977 BY STATES 

Cthousand tons) 







1957 


1962 


1967 


1972 


1973 


1974 


1975 


1976 


1977(a) 




Six Major States: 
Colorado 


TOTAL 


TOTAL 


TOTAL 


TOTAL 


TOTAL 


TOTAL 


TOTAL 


TOTAL 


TOTAL 




3,594 


3,379 


5,439 


5,552 


6,233 


6,896 


8,219 


9,437 


11,920 




Montana 


413 


382 


371 


8,221 


10,725 


14,106 


22,054 


26,231 


29,320 




New Mexico 


137 


677 


3,463 


8,248 


9,069 


9,392 


8,785 


9,760 


11,255 




N. Dakota 


2,561 


2,733 


4,156 


6,632 


6,906 


7,463 


8,515 


11,102 


12,165 




Utah 


6,858 


4,297 


4,175 


4,802 


5,500 


5,858 


6,961 


7,967 


9,240 




Wyoming 


2,117 


2,569 


3,588 


10,928 


14,886 


20,703 


23,804 


30,836 


44,500 




Sub-total 


15,680 


14,037 


21,192 


44,353 


53,319 


64,418 


78,338 


95,333 


118,400 




Other West: 






















Arizona 


_ 


_ 


1,000 


2,954 


3,247 


6,448 


6,986 


10,420 


11,475 




Arkansas 


508 


256 


189 


428 


434 


455 


488 


534 


570 




Iowa 


1,312 


1,130 


883 


851 


601 


590 


622 


616 


525 




Kansas 


749 


915 


1,136 


1,227 


1,086 


718 


479 


590 


630 


NO 

1 


Missouri 


2,976 


2,896 


3,696 


4,551 


4,658 


4,623 


5,638 


6,075 


6,625 


Oklahoma 


2,195 


1,048 


823 


2,624 


2,183 


2,356 


2,872 


3,635 


5,345 


H 


Washington 


360 


235 


59 


2,634 


3,270 


3,913 


3,743 


4,109 


5,055 




Texas 
Total Other West 


- 


18 

6,498 


5 

7,791 


- 


6,944 
22,423 


7,684 
26,787 


11,002 
31,830 


14,063 
40,042 


16,765 
46,990 




8,100 


15,269 




Total West 


23,780 


20,535 


28,983 


59,622 


75,742 


91,205 


110,168 


135,375 


165,390 




Eastern States: 






















Alabama 


13,260 


12,880 


15,300 


20,814 


19,230 


19,824 


22,644 


21,537 


21,220 




Illinois 


46,993 


48,487 


65,200 


65,523 


61,572 


58,215 


59,537 


58,239 


53,880 




Indiana 


15,841 


15,709 


18,800 


25,949 


25,253 


23,726 


25,124 


25,369 


27,995 




Kentucky 


74,667 


69,212 


99,500 


121,187 


127,645 


137,775 


143,613 


143,972 


142,945 




Maryland 


748 


821 


1,250 


1,640 


1,789 


2,337 


2,606 


2,830 


3,290 




Ohio 


36,862 


34,125 


45,800 


50,967 


45,783 


45,409 


46,770 


46,582 


46,205 




Pennsylvania 


85,365 


65,315 


79,400 


75,939 


76,403 


80,462 


84,137 


85,777 


83,225 




Tennessee 


7,955 


6,213 


6,750 


11,260 


8,219 


7,541 


11,002 


9,283 


10,320 




Virginia 


29,506 


29,474 


37,900 


34,028 


33,961 


34,326 


35,510 


39,996 


37,850 




West Virginia 


156,842 


118,499 


152,500 


123,743 


115,448 


102,462 


109,283 


108,834 


95,405 




Total East 


468,035 


400,735 


522,400 


531,050 


515,303 


512,077 


540,226 


542,419 


522,335 




Grand Total U.S. 


491,815 


421,270 


551,383 


590,672 


591,045 


603,282 


650,394 


677,794 


687,725 



(a) 

Preliminary 

Source: Reference Number 5. 



TABLE 2-9 



COAL PRODUCTION FROM FEDERAL LANDS IN SELECTED YEARS 
1957-1977 BY STATES 
(thousand tons) 







1957 


1962 


1967 


19 72 


1973 


1974 


1975 


1976 


1977(a) 






FEDERAL 


FEDERAL 


FEDERAL 


FEDERAL 


FEDERAL 


FEDERAL 


FEDERAL 


FEDERAL 


FEDERAL 




Six Major States: 






















Colorado 


531 


500 


2,030 


2,386 


1,746 


2,300 


1,600 


2,650 


4,020 




Montana 


26 


156 


115 


82 


1,940 


4,500 


9,700 


10,500 


10,460 




New Mexico 


34 


104 


27 


206 


260 


1,000 


1,300 


1,290 


2,340 




N. Dakota 


412 


366 


590 


1,361 


1,535 


1,000 


300 


770 


750 




Utah 


2,957 


2,723 


1,649 


1,980 


2,416 


3,200 


3,800 


4,900 


5,800 




Wyoming 


442 


1,029 


2,112 


2,809 


4,991 


9,500 


14,300 


17,960 


28,290 




Sub-total 


4,402 


4,878 


6,523 


8,824 


12,888 


21,500 


31,000 


38,070 


51,660 




Other West: 






















Arizona 


_ 


_ 


_ 


_ 


- 


- 


- 


_ 


_ 


to 


Arkansas 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


1 


Iowa 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


_ 


(^ 


Kansas 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 




Missouri 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 




Oklahoma 


420 


249 


144 


410 


337 


- 


- 


300 


240 




Washington 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 




Texas 
Total Other West 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 




420 


249 


144 


410 


337 


- 


- 


300 


240 




Total West 


4,822 


5,127 


6,667 


9,234 


13,225 


21,500 


31,000 


38,370 


51,900 




Total East 
Grand Total U.S. 


764 


842 
5,969 


510 

7,177 


988 


367 


- 


- 


250 


250 




5,586 


10,222 


13,592 


- 


- 


38,620 


52,150 




(a) 

Preliminary 






















Source : Reference 


Number 5 . 



















ROLE OF WESTERN AND FEDERAL COAL 



which is lower in sulfur content, to be burned 
without the installation of control equipment. For 
many eastern and mid-western utilities, the added 
cost of building a scrubber was large enough that 
they preferred to substitute western coal even if its 
energy content was lower and transportation costs 
were relatively high. Greater ease of passing 
increased fuel costs through to customers may also 
have played a part in this utility preference. 

Changes in the emission standards for new 
power plants are required by the 1977 Clean Air 
Act Amendments. These new standards are ex- 
pected to reduce substantially the amount of sulfur 
which can be emitted. Most western coal, like most 
coal from the East and Midwest, contains enough 
sulfur to require that new coal-burning power 
plants use pollution control equipment to meet the 
expected new standards. The stricter air quality 
standards will diminish the economic advantage of 
western coal over eastern and midwestern coal, 
and will result in power companies in the East and 
Midwest using more coal from their own regions 
instead of transporting coal from the West. 
However, since power plants coming on line before 
1983 will largely be using the old air quality 
standards, it will be some time before the new 
standards affect western production. Overall de- 
mand for western coal will not be greatly affected 
by the new air quality standards, because most 
new demand for western coal will be from power 
plants and industries in the West. The growth in 
coal demand is expected to be higher in the West 
than in any other region of the country. An EPA 
computer analysis of alternative new source 
performance standards (published in 43 Federal 
Register No. 237, December 8,1978) indicated that 
new tighter controls would decrease western coal 
production by two to five percent, depending on 
the final standard selected. 

Western coal is used mainly for electric power 
generation, with small amounts used for metallur- 
gical and other purposes. Proportionately some- 
what greater amounts of eastern coal are used for 
metallurgical and other purposes than power 
generation. The use of western and eastern coal by 
consumer classification is shown in Table 2-10. 

In the eastern United States, the Federal 
government owns the coal rights to 916 thousand 
acres. Much of this coal lies within national forests. 
Around three percent of the coal in Alabama is 
Federally owned. A significant amount of this coal 



is interspersed with non-Federal coal and also has 
non-Federal surface ownership. 

Historically, production of Federal coal in the 
East has never exceeded one million tons per year. 
In 1977, total eastern production of Federal coal 
was only 250 thousand tons. However, there is a 
growing interest in developing Federal coal in the 
East, especially in Alabama where it could supply 
metallurgical needs. 

2.5 TRENDS IN OTHER SOURCES OF 
ENERGY 

Historically, the United States was able to 
supply its oil and gas needs largely from domestic 
sources. However, it now appears that, although 
world oil and gas supplies might be adequate for 
some time, continued reliance on these fuels will 
leave the United States very heavily dependent on 
foreign nations for its basic energy requirements. 
The undesirable national security, economic, and 
other implications of such heavy dependence on 
foreign energy sources have forced a major 
national reassessment of future energy directions. 

2.5.1 Oil Production Trends 

The production of oil in the United States 
peaked in 1970 and, despite the stimulus of sharply 
increased prices over the past five years, there has 
been a continuing domestic production decline. As 
shown in Table 2-11, the decline in domestic 
production had to be offset by a large increase in 
oil imports to meet rising demand. Although 
overall demand dropped in 1974 and 1975, it again 
increased in the past two years. 

The domestic production decline has been 
matched by a comparable decline in proven 
reserves. The discovery of the nearly 10-billion 
barrel Prudhoe Bay field in Alaska gave a large 
boost to reserves in the late 1960's. But, by 1975, 
U.S. crude oil reserves had fallen to a level largely 
equivalent to the level 10 years earlier (see Table 2- 
12). Reserves have continued to drop despite the 
large increase in the number of wells drilled. There 
were 44,982 completed wells in 1977, the highest 
level since 1960 [11,30,31]. 

Sustaining the existing level of domestic oil 
production will not be easy. At current production 
rates, more than 25 billion barrels of oil will have 
to be discovered by 1985 to keep the re- 
serves/production ratio from dropping further. 
While new discoveries are continually being made, 



2-17 



TABLE 2-10 

COAL SHIPMENTS FROM SELECTED WESTERN 

AND EASTERN STATES IN 1976 BY CONSUMER CLASSIFICATIONS 

(thousands of short tons) 





ELECTRIC 




RETAIL 








POWER 


COKE 


DEALER 








UTILITIES 


PLANTS 


DELIVERIES 


OTHER 


TOTAL 


Western States: 












Arizona 


10,258 


(a) 


(a) 


102 


10,360 


Colorado 


5,984 


2,583 


31 


806 


9,404 


Montana 


26,038 


(a) 


(a) 


397 


26,435 


New Mexico 


8,516 


858 


(a) 


345 


9,719 


North Dakota 


10,257 


(a) 


86 


748 


11,091 


Oklahoma 


2,497 


491 


4 


319 


3,311 


Utah 


3,915 


1,453 


243 


1,785 


7,396 


Washington 


4,087 


(a) 


(a) 


24 


4,111 


Wyoming 


28,282 


(a) 


109 


2,761 


31,152 


Subtotal 


99,834 


5,385 


473 


7,287 


112,979 


Eastern States: 






« 






Illinois 


48,385 


3,231 


5,970 


653 


58,239 


Indiana 


21,865 





3,333 


170 


25,368 


Ohio 


40,854 





4,369 


1,290 


46,513 


(a) 
Other Eastern States: 


248,714 


77,604 


33,868 


52,230 


412,416 


Subtotal 


359,818 


80,835 


47,540 


54,343 


542,536 


Grand Total 


459,652 


86,220 


48,013 


61,630 


655,515 



(a) Shipments not published on State basis for these states. 



2-18 



TABLE 2-11 

U.S. PETROLEUM SUPPLY AND DEMAND 
(thousands of barrels per day) 



YEAR 



PRODUCTION 



(a) 



IMPORTS 



(b) 



DEMAND 



(c) 



1965 
1970 
1971 
1972 
1973 
1974 
1975 
1976 
1977 



(d) 



9014 
11297 
11156 
11185 
10946 
10462 
10007 
9736 
9834 



2467 
3419 
3925 
4741 
6256 
6112 
6056 
7312 
8708 



11709 
14968 
15449 
16602 
17552 
16886 
16545 
17698 
18666 



(a) Crude oil, lease condensate and natural gas liquids 

(b) Crude oil and refined products 

(c) May not add up due to losses, changes in stock, and exports 

(d) Preliminary 



Source: Reference Number 7, 



2-19 



TABLE 2-12 

U.S. PROVEN RESERVES OF CRUDE OIL 
(billions of barrels) 



YEAR END 


RESERVES 


1965 


31.3 


1970 


39.0 


1971 


38.0 


1972 


36.3 


1973 


35.3 


1974 


34.2 


1975 


32.6 


1976 


30.9 


1977 


29.5 



RATIO 
RESERVES /PRODUCTION 



9.5 
9.5 
9.3 
8.9 
8.8 
8.9 
8.9 
8.7 
8.2 



Source: Reference Number 11, 



2-20 



ROLE OF WESTERN AND FEDERAL COAL 



they are more difficult and expensive to produce as 
the easier finds are exhausted. The greatest 
potential for new finds appears to be in costly 
offshore areas. Recent discoveries also suggest that 
the Overthrust Belt in the Rocky Mountains may 
contain major oil reserves. 

Stable or declining domestic oil production 
would have fundamental national security and 
economic implications. The U.S. payments for 
foreign oil imports rose from $2.0 billion in 1965 to 
$41.8 billion in 1977 (see Table 2-13). These 
payments were a principal factor in the U.S. 
foreign trade deficit in 1977 of $26.5 billion and 
the international decline in the value of the dollar. 
Projections of future oil imports indicate that U.S. 
payments for foreign oil could be as high as $60 
billion by 1985 [11, 30,31]. 

The huge Mexican oil and gas reserves offer 
the opportunity to widen the number of nations 
from which the United States imports oil and to 
reduce supply instability. The use of Mexican oil 
and gas of course will not solve balance of 
payments problems. 

The effect of increased coal production, even 
of modest magnitude, will be significant in terms 
of reducing dependence on imported oil. By 
increasing coal production from the 1976 level of 
679 million tons to a 1985 production level of 1.2 
billion tons as proposed in the President's Energy 
Plan [12], the importing of around 2.4 million 
barrels of oil a day, or 803 million barrels a year 
could be avoided. This would result in reductions 
in import payments of more than $10 billion. 

The problems of dependence on foreign oil 
supplies have been underscored by recent instabili- 
ty in Iran and the Middle East generally. Future 
oil supplies are reduced and prices appear uncer- 
tain at this time. If future supplies are reduced and 
oil prices rise substantially, it may prove necessary 
to call upon domestic coal production for an even 
larger energy role than has been expected. 

2.5.2 Natural Gas Production Trends 

The pattern of domestic production of natural 
gas has closely followed that of crude oil. Natural 
gas output peaked in 1973 and has since declined. 
The proven reserves of natural gas have declined 
since the mid-1960's, as shown in Table 2-14. 
Unlike petroleum, natural gas imports amounted 
to only about five percent of total U.S. consump- 
tion in 1977 and have not made up for domestic 



production declines. Falling gas supplies have 
caused gas distributors to curtail and/or interrupt 
deliveries to industrial customers, restrict the hook- 
up of new residential and commercial accounts, 
and limit boiler fuel usage. 

The extent to which natural gas will be 
available to meet future energy requirements is 
very uncertain at this time. Large foreign supplies 
of natural gas may be obtained from Mexico or 
could be transported in liquified form from more 
distant foreign supply areas. Major Canadian gas 
discoveries have recently been made in Alberta. 
Domestically, Alaskan gas could provide substan- 
tial supplies or exploration on the outer continen- 
tal shelf might result in discovery of significant 
amounts of gas. The recently enacted Natural Gas 
Policy Act of 1978 aims to stimulate greater 
production of domestic gas supplies by raising the 
regulated price and providing for deregulation by 
1985. In the short term, the act's most significant 
consequence has been to abolish the price differen- 
tial between interstate and intrastate gas. This has 
resulted in an unexpected increase in the supply of 
gas which at least temporarily is likely to delay 
some industrial and utility conversions to coal. 

The conversion of coal into synthetic gas is 
expected to have considerable importance at some 
time in the future. However, high costs and 
uncertain technology make it unlikely that large 
supplies of synthetic gas could be produced before 
the 1990's [7,30,32]. 

2.53 Nuclear Power Trends 

Nuclear power plants produced 1 1.8 percent of 
the Nation's electric power in 1977. At that time 
there were 68 nuclear power plants in operation or 
in the startup phase with a total capacity of more 
than 49,000 megawatts. As shown in Table 2-15, 
154 other nuclear plants with a total design 
capacity of 172,000 megawatts were being built, on 
order, or announced. If all these plants were to be 
in operation by 1990, they would provide as much 
as 27 percent of expected national power require- 
ments. 

Nuclear plants are currently cost competitive 
with coal plants and rapid expansion of nuclear 
power generation could significantly diminish 
future coal requirements. In recent years, however, 
the expected growth rate of nuclear energy has 
been sharply reduced by a number of concerns 
about its cost and safety. Safety concerns have 



2-21 



TABLE 2-13 

VALUE OF CRUDE OIL/PETROLEUM PRODUCT IMPORTS, 1965 TO 1977 
(millions of current dollars) 



YEAR 


CRUDE OIL 


1965 


$1,120 


1970 


1,260 


1971 


1,687 


1972 


2,369 


1973 


4,240 


1974 


15,253 


1975 


18,290 


1976 


25,456 


1977 (a) 


33,398 



PETROLEUM PRODUCTS TOTAL 



$ 924 $2,044 

1,483 2,743 

1,656 3,343 

1,989 4,358 

3,498 7,738 

11,013 26,266 

6,768 25,058 

6,646 32,102 

8,413 41,811 



(a) 

' Preliminary 



Source: Reference Number 7. 



2-22 



TABLE 2-14 

U.S. PROVEN RESERVES OF NATURAL GAS 
(trillion cubic feet) 



YEAR 



Source: Reference Number 11. 



RESERVES 



1965 286.5 

1970 290.7 

1971 278.8 

1972 266.1 

1973 250.0 

1974 237.1 

1975 228.2 

1976 216.0 

1977 208.9 



2-23 



TABLE . 2-15 
STATUS OF NUCLEAR POWERPLANTS, END OP 1977 



CAPACITY 
STATUS NUMBER (Megawatts) 



Order Placed for Plant 13 



Source: Reference Number 7. 



2-24 



In Operation or Startup 68 .49 000 

Construction Permit Granted 80 87 000 

Construction Started (67) (73 000) 

No Construction (13) (14,000) 

Construction Permit Pending 52 58 000 



16,000 



Announced 9 ii qqq 



222 221,000 



ROLE OF WESTERN AND FEDERAL COAL 



involved questions of nuclear proliferation, radia- 
tion hazards, spent-fuel storage, and radioactive 
waste management [7,29,33]. 

2.5.4. Hydroelectric Power Trends 

Hydroelectric plants in 1977 accounted for 
68,300 megawatts, or 12 percent of the total 
installed electrical generating capacity of the 
United States. This was about 25 percent less than 
in 1974 and 1975, due primarily to drought 
conditions in many western states. In the 1930's 
and 1940's, hydroelectric power provided as much 
as 30 percent of total domestic electricity needs. 
Although hydroelectric power is relatively safe, 
nonpolluting, low in cost, and does not consume 
fuels, its expansion in recent years has been limited 
by the lack of good new sites and opposition on 
environmental and cost grounds. The possibilities 
for expanding capacity at existing dams and for 
development of hydroelectric facilities on smaller 
rivers and streams for more local use are being 
investigated [7,34]. 

2.5.5 Nontraditional Energy Sources 

Although a number of nontraditional energy 
sources are under active investigation, these efforts 
are still mostly in their infancy and these sources 
are not expected to make a significant contribution 
to energy supplies by 1990. These sources are 
briefly described below. 

2.5.5.1. Unconventional Sources of Gas. There are 
four types of gas resources receiving the greatest 
current attention. The first is gas in geopressured 
zones of the Gulf Coast in the form of methane- 
rich waters at depths below 10,000 feet. Although 
estimated to encompass a vast resource base (3,000 
to 50,000 trillion cubic feet), there are numerous 
technical and environmental problems to be 
resolved before gas from this resource can be 
developed [7,36]. The second is gas in "tight" 
(impermeable) sandstone formations in the Rocky 
Mountain States. Again, the resource is consider- 
able but the recovery technology has yet to be 
developed. Gas is also found in Devonian Shales 
of the Appalachian States. This gas is currently 
being produced in local areas and efforts are 
underway to enhance production. Finally, recov- 
ery of methane from coal seams in advance of 
mining operations is technologically possible. 
Production of this resource would improve mine 



safety and make a regionally important impact on 
gas supply availability [7,37]. Uncertainty about 
legal ownership of coal seam methane and the 
right to produce it are currently inhibiting its 
production. 

2.5.5.2 Oil Shale. High grade deposits of oil shale, 
located primarily in Colorado, Utah, and Wyom- 
ing, may contain as much as 600 billion barrels of 
oil, and lower grade deposits may contain an 
additional 1.2 trillion barrels. Given favorable 
economic conditions, as much as 80 billion total 
barrels of shale oil could be extracted from this 
resource. A number of optimistic production 
forecasts were made in the 1973-74 period; it soon 
became evident, however, that production costs 
would be much higher than originally expected. 
Unless there are breakthroughs in technology, 
shale oil is not expected to be competitive with oil 
and gas until their prices rise considerably above 
current levels. Even then, shale development might 
not be competitive because historically increases in 
prices have tended to lag behind increases in cost 
[7,38]. 

In 1974, the Interior Department awarded four 
competitive oil shale leases. Construction of in situ 
experimental systems is now proceeding on two 
leases in western Colorado. 

2.5.5.3 Tar Sands. Although found in at least nine 
states, the largest known resource of bitumen- 
bearing rocks (tar sands) is located in Utah, 
encompassing a resource base roughly equivalent 
to 28 billion barrels of oil. Because of various 
constraints and high extractive costs, significant 
production from this resource is not expected in 
the United States in the near future [7]. There are 
much better prospects, however, for development 
of the major oil sand resources in the Canadian 
province of Alberta. 

2.5.5.4 Alcohol Fuel Uses. Alcohol fuels include 
methanol and ethanol. Most methanol traditional- 
ly comes from natural gas. However, methanol can 
also be produced from coal or biomass sources. 

Ethanol can be produced by the direct hydra- 
tion of ethylene gas and by the process of 
fermentation and distillation using various agricul- 
tural products such as grain or molasses as feed 
stock. Ethanol fuel may be a way to effectively use 
extensive food and grain surpluses in the United 
States and Canada. 



2-25 



ROLE OF WESTERN AND FEDERAL COAL 



Satisfactory engine operation is possible on 
existing automobiles that are fueled with up to 15 
percent methanol or ethanol gasoline blends and 
require no carburetor readjustment. Also, the 
present automobile engine can be retrofitted to run 
successfully on 100 percent methanol. Brazil has 
been producing ethanol from excess sugar and is 
using ethanol gasoline blends as an automobile 
fuel. However, there is a great deal of uncertainty 
about the prospects for a nationwide alcohol- 
gasoline fuel system based on alcohols derived 
from biomass resources. The principle disadvan- 
tages of alcohols are their toxicity, with ethanol 
being the least toxic. Methanol vapors are more 
toxic than gasoline vapors. Other methanol disad- 
vantages are its poor cold start capability, alde- 
hyde emissions, and a lower heat of combustion. 

An advantage to the use of alcohols in gasoline 
relates to fuel octane rating. When added to 
gasoline, both methanol and ethanol boost the 
octane value of the original gasoline in much the 
same way as tetra-ethyl lead and no-lead additives 
in gasoline [21]. 

2.5.5.5 Geothermal Energy. While it constitutes an 
enormous potential resource base, the heat of the 
earth has so far seen limited use as an energy 
source. Natural hot dry steam at Geysers, Califor- 
nia, is the fuel source for a series of plants 
generating 520-megawatts of electricity. Hot water 
in Oregon, Idaho, and other western states has 
been used for local space heating purposes. Other 
plans are currently being developed to employ hot 
waters for power production in certain western 
states and Hawaii and for space heating in several 
eastern states. However, there is still a great deal of 
uncertainty about reservoir longevity, since these 
hot waters are essentially nonrenewable. This 
feature, combined with technological difficulties 
and problems of corrosion, has tended to discour- 
age private investment thus far [7,29,39]. 

2.5.5.6 Solar Energy. The basic solar energy 
categories are solar heating and cooling of build- 
ings, agricultural and industrial process heat, wind 
energy conversion, photovoltaic conversion, solar 
thermal conversion, and biomass. Solar heating 
and cooling, agricultural and industrial process 
heat, wind energy, and biomass appear to have 
potential for significant uses between now and 
1990. Technologies need to be developed further 
for other solar energy sources to attain a reason- 



ably competitive level. On an overall basis, solar 
energy is not expected to contribute more than one 
to two percent of the total water and space heating 
energy requirements by 1990. Its impact is more 
likely to be felt in the period between 2000 and 
2020, when forecasts suggest that as much as 10 
percent of U.S. energy needs could be met by solar 
sources. Technological breakthroughs, major sub- 
sidy programs, or other developments could cause 
the earlier use of this resource [7, 29]. 

2.5.5.7 Energy from the Ocean. The renewable 
energy sources from the ocean include the follow- 
ing: 

» Ocean thermal energy conversion - based 
on harnessing the thermal differences of at 
least 17°C between warm surface water and 
cold deep sea water (found primarily 
between the Tropics of Cancer and Capri- 
corn). 
© Tidal energy conversion - plants proposed 
for two potential sites in the United States, 
one in Maine at the Bay of Fundy and the 
second in Cook Inlet, Alaska. The maxi- 
mum total capacity of these plants would 
be 3,600 megawatts and the annual energy 
output would represent about 1 percent of 
the electricity produced in the United 
States. 
® Other ocean energy forms that have been 
the subject of limited study are wave 
energy, ocean current energy, ocean wind 
energy, and salinity gradient energy conver- 
sion [7, 29]. 
These sources are not expected to provide signifi- 
cant amounts of energy until the 2000-2020 period 
at the earliest. 

2.5.5.8 Nuclear Fusion. Since it would use low cost, 
inexhaustible fuels, nuclear fusion is generally 
considered environmentally more desirable than 
nuclear fission plants. Although the feasibility of 
key design principles was recently verified in an 
important experiment at Princeton University, 
there are major engineering problems to be 
overcome before nuclear fusion is a reality. Even if 
problems are successfully resolved, nuclear fusion 
cannot be expected to make a major contribution 
for probably another 50 years [7,35]. 



2-26. 



ROLE OF WESTERN AND FEDERAL COAL 



2.5.6 Energy Conservation 

There are significant possibilities for reducing 
energy needs through conservation. In many cases, 
conservation measures might well be more cost 
effective than development of new energy sources. 

The National Energy Plan formally proposed 
by President Carter in 1977 [12] called for 
measures such as wellhead taxes on crude oil, 
phased deregulation of natural gas prices, taxes on 
industrial use of oil and gas, and selected electric- 
ity rate policies, all of which were designed at least 
in part to dampen and discourage wasteful energy 
consumption practices. Residential conservation 
possibilities include weatherization of homes, use 
of more efficient appliances, and installation of 
heat pumps. Transportation energy use could be 
reduced by improvements in operating procedures, 
new equipment, pumping technologies, and modi- 
fications of motor vehicle engine propulsion 
systems. Possible areas of savings in the industrial 
sector include waste heat utilization, industrial 
waste application and process changes. 

The various conservation measures could have 
a substantial impact on energy consumption, 
reducing it by perhaps as much as 10 percent by 
1990 if there are major technology advances. 
Whether such large scale energy savings will be 
achieved through conservation efforts still remains, 
however, an open question [7, 40]. 

2.6 EXPECTED FUTURE COAL USE 

While the precise rate is in considerable doubt, 
there is little question that the Nation's overall 
energy requirements will continue to grow. There 
is little likelihood of supplying that growth from 
domestic oil and natural gas (see discussion in 
Sections 2.5.1 and 2.5.2). New technologies and 
energy forms are still unproven, and cannot be 
relied on over the next decade or so. Nuclear 
power could supply large amounts of additional 
energy, but for the time being its growth is 
inhibited by concerns about its safety. Given these 
circumstances, in the next decade the United 
States will be forced to address the problem of 
growing energy demands largely through a combi- 
nation of three basic types of actions: (1) expand 
use of coal as a domestic energy source; (2) obtain 
increased foreign supplies of oil and gas; and (3) 
curb demands by greater energy conservation 
measures. 



2.6.1 Coal in the National Energy Plan 

The role of coal in the President's April 1977 
National Energy Plan [12] was previously dis- 
cussed in Section 1.4.1. The National Energy Plan 
included a reduction in the expected level of 
imports of foreign oil as a prime objective. It 
proposed to reduce foreign imports from a project- 
ed level of 11.5 million barrels per day in 1985 
without the plan, to 7.0 million barrels per day 
with the plan. This reduction was to be achieved 
by adoption of additional conservation measures 
(2.1 million barrels per day of oil saved) and by 
increased substitution of coal for oil and gas (2.4 
million barrels per day). 

Under the National Energy Plan, total coal 
production was expected to rise from 679 million 
tons per year in 1976 to 1.26 billion tons per year 
in 1985. This would represent an increase in coal 
production of about 200 million tons per year more 
than would have been expected without the plan. 

2.6.2 Department of Energy Coal Projections 

Projections of future energy production and 
consumption are based on many assumptions. 
Inevitably, these assumptions change, sometimes 
rapidly. Accordingly, it is necessary to use the best 
projections possible at a given time, while remain- 
ing ready to revise the projections as circumstances 
are altered. Already, the projections in the Nation- 
al Energy Plan are somewhat out of date and are 
being revised. 

In preparing this programmatic environmental 
impact statement it seemed desirable to have the 
most current projections of future coal production. 
A regional breakdown with a fairly high degree of 
geographic resolution was also needed for the 
analytical purposes of this statement. Accordingly, 
the Department of the Interior requested that the 
Department of Energy (DOE) provide a new set of 
coal production projections especially developed 
for use in the preparation of this statement. These 
projections for 1985 and 1990 were developed by 
the DOE Leasing Policy Development Office and 
submitted in a report to the Department of the 
Interior in June 1978 [13]. This report focuses on 
projections for the six key western Federal coal 
producing states. It is available upon request. 

The DOE energy and consumption projections 
incorporate assumptions on future electric power 
requirements, oil and gas prices, and nuclear 
power development. Other assumptions involve air 



2-27 



ROLE OF WESTERN AND FEDERAL COAL 



quality controls, transportation costs, and labor 
cost escalation. Different sets of assumptions were 
developed for low, medium, and high projections 
of western coal development. For example, the low 
oil price assumption for 1985 was $13 per barrel, 
the medium assumption $15 per barrel, and the 
high assumption $20 per barrel. The electric power 
annual growth rate, which is the single most 
important assumption, was 4, 4.8, and 5.8 percent 
for the 1985 low, medium, and high projections, 
respectively. (Electrical growth rates provide an 
example of the difficulty in selecting assumptions 
to make energy production projections. They have 
behaved erratically in recent years, making future 
rates difficult to predict. From 1969 to 1973, the 
average annual electricity growth rate was 7.1 
percent. Following the OPEC embargo, the growth 
rate declined to 0.2 percent in 1974 and 2.6 percent 
in 1975. In 1976 the electricity growth rate rose 
again to 6.3 percent but then declined to 4.6 
percent in 1977 and 3.7 percent in 1978. The 
average for the past three years was 4.9 percent, 
slightly above the medium assumption.) 

The low modeling assumptions were selected 
to favor energy sources other than coal and to 
favor eastern sources for coal produced. The high 
assumptions favor both higher coal use and 
western coal production. Low, medium, and high 
projections were generated for both 1985 and 1990. 

The DOE projections were obtained from a 
large linear programming model and were calculat- 
ed using a computer. For each coal model demand 
region, the model user specifies in advance electric 
power consumption, industrial coal use, and other 
types of coal use. The model then calculates the 
lowest cost way of providing for these electric 
power and coal use requirements for all the 
demand regions in the United States. Mining, 
transportation, and air quality control costs are 
among the costs considered. The model can make 
decisions to switch among alternative energy 
sources, to keep old plants operating or to build 
new ones, and to change the distribution between 
base, intermediate, and peak load plants. There is 
no distinction in the model between Federal and 
non-Federal coal reserves; essentially all reserves 
are considered available for production. 

The assumption that all western reserves are 
available provides a benchmark production level 
against which production levels under different 
policies can be compared. Thus, the impact of a no 



leasing policy is shown by comparing production 
levels likely if all coal reserves are assumed 
available with production levels likely if currently 
unleased Federal coal is assumed not available. 
This use of a with-and-without leasing comparison 
is similar to the with-and-without techniques 
commonly employed in benefit-cost studies. 

Certain of the assumptions specified by DOE 
in June 1978 will require revision in making future 
coal production projections, for example, with 
respect to predictions of national energy legislation 
that had to be made before it was actually passed. 
In addition, assumptions are modified and model 
refinements are made regularly to improve the 
predictive accuracy of the DOE projection model. 
New computer runs thus would show some 
differences compared with those obtained by 
DOE. However, the range provided by the use of 
low, medium, and high projections covers any 
likely outcome under the changed circumstances 
and model refinements since June 1978. 

Table 2-16 shows the DOE national coal 
consumption projections for 1985 and 1990, 
broken down by types of use. Under assumptions 
of medium use, consumption of coal by utilities is 
projected to rise by 60 percent between 1977 and 
1985, from 475 to 760 million tons a year. The 
other main increase in coal consumption is in the 
industrial sector, where coal use is projected to 
grow by 99 million tons, from 60 million tons in 
1977 to 159 million tons in 1985. 

Total coal consumption for 1985 is projected to 
be 1.11 billion tons under medium level assump- 
tions. This is a decline of about 150 million tons 
per year from the projected 1985 production level 
under the National Energy Plan, reflecting reduced 
projections especially for industrial coal use. 

The medium level increase in national coal 
production projected between 1985 and 1990 is 37 
percent. Most of this increase is due to greater use 
of coal by utilities. Industrial coal use has a more 
rapid rate of growth, but the increase is considera- 
bly less in absolute amount. 

The projections for synthetic uses of coal 
assign them a minor role in 1985 (23 million tons). 
By 1990, synthetics are projected to grow by two 
and one-half times, but would still not be major 
uses of coal. 

Table 2-17 shows the regional breakdown of 
total coal production projected by DOE. By 1985, 
coal production west of the Mississippi River is 



2-28 



mfmmmmm^mm 



wm^*mm^ 



w ■ v 



TABLE 2-16 

DOE NATIONAL COAL CONSUMPTION 
(million tons) 



to 

I 

<0 



— 


1977 




1985 




1990 




CONSUMING 
SECTOR 




LOW 


MEDIUM 


HIGH 


LOW 


MEDIUM 


HIGH 


Electric Utility 


475 


692.4 


759.5 


816.1 


772.4 


1,007.1 


1,276.7 


Industrial 


60 


109.1 


158.7 


158.1 


138.2 


279.4 


279.3 


Metallurgical 


77 


96.1 


96.2 


96.2 


100.0 


100.0 


100.1 


Residential/Commercial 


7 


1.5 


1.5 


1.5 


0.7 


0.7 


0.7 


Synthetics 


— 


13.1 


22.5 


41.3 


26.3 


56.2 


122.1 


Exports 


54 


72.5 


73.7 


73.6 


76.3 


77.2 


77.1 


Total 


673 


984.7 


1,112.1 


1,186.8 


1,113.9 


1,520.6 


1,856.0 



















Source: Reference Number 13. 



TABLE 2-17 

DOE DETAILED REGIONAL COAL PRODUCTION FORECASTS 

(million tons) 



AREA 



Northern Appalachian 
Central Appalachian 
Southern Appalachian 
Total 





Midwest 


to 

1 


Total 


o 


E. Northern Great Plains 




W. Northern Great Plains 




Total 



1977 



173.0 

195.5 

21.2 



389 


7 


132 


7 


132 


7 


12. 


5 


73. 


9 



Total 


86.4 


Central West 


13.7 


Gulf 


16.8 


Rocky Mountains 


20.7 


Southwest 


22.7 


Northwest 


5.0 


Total 


78.9 


TOTAL 


687.7 



LOW 




182.7 
182.7 




136.8 



1985 



MEDIUM 



213.0 

205.2 

21.4 



439 


.6 


204 


4 


204 


4 


21 


9 


305 


6 



327.5 

10.6 
57.7 
43.8 
28.3 
4.4 
144.8 



HIGH 



223.4 

209.7 

21.4 



454 


.5 


213 


4 


213 


4 


25 


3 


348 


9 



374.2 



10, 

57, 

44. 

28. 

4. 



146.1 



990.1 1,116.3 1,188.2 



LOW 



194.0 

188.4 

13.8 

396.2 

264.2 
264.2 

23.8 
267.7 
291.5 

9.6 
62.3 
43.7 
39.9 

7.0 
162.5 



1990 



MEDIUM 



225.3 

206.2 

13.8 

445.3 

312.3 
312.3 

22.5 
529.0 
551.5 

10.3 
79.6 
53.3 
65.0 
3.7 
211.9 



HIGH 



253.3 

211.6 

13.8 

478.7 

327.3 
327.3 

36.4 
763.7 
800.1 

9.6 

104.1 

53.1 

79.9 

3.7 

250.4 



1,114.4 1,521.0 1,856.5 



Source: Reference Number 13, 



ROLE OF WESTERN AND FEDERAL COAL 



projected to reach 42 percent of the national total 
(medium assumptions). By 1990, projected western 
production would reach 50 percent of the national 
total, corresponding roughly to the percentage of 
reserves located in the West. 

The Northern Great Plains (essentially Wyom- 
ing, Montana, and North Dakota in the DOE 
model) would become the largest single producing 
section of the country if the DOE projections are 
realized. By 1990, Northern Great Plains coal 
production would exceed both Appalachian and 
Midwestern production and would constitute 36 
percent of national production. By comparison, in 
1977 production from the Northern Great Plains 
was 13 percent of national production, much 
higher than only a few years earlier. 

In Table 2-18, DOE projections are shown for 
the western coal regions selected for assessment in 
this environmental impact statement. As might be 
expected, considering its huge reserves of low 
sulfur coal obtainable at low cost by surface 
mining, the Powder River Coal Region plays a 
central role in predicted western coal production. 
DOE projects coal production in the Powder River 
Coal Region to be 205 million tons per year in 
1985 and 396 million tons per year in 1990 under 
its medium projection. These amounts represent 43 
and 52 percent of total western coal production 
projected for those years, and 18 and 26 percent of 
national production. 

Other major producing regions after the Pow- 
der River Coal Region are the Green River-Hams 
Fork and San Juan River Coal Regions. Assuming 
medium consumption levels, production of 112 
million tons a year in 1985 and 150 million tons a 
year in 1990 is projected for the Green River-Hams 
Fork Coal Region, or 24 and 20 percent of total 
western production projected for those years. The 
San Juan River Coal Region is projected to have 
production of 23 million tons per year in 1985 and 
58 million tons per year in 1990, or five and eight 
percent of western production, respectively. 

Although not shown in Table 2-18, the great 
majority of the coal production projected by DOE 
is expected to be surface mined. In the Fort Union 
and Powder River Coal Regions, all the coal 
production is expected to be surface mined, except 
possibly for some limited production in the Bull 
Mountains in Montana. Underground mining 
represents a major share of projected production 
only in the Uinta-Southwestern Utah Coal Region 



(85-90 percent). Of overall western coal production 
projected for 1985 and 1990, only 6.9 percent and 
5.9 percent, respectively, are forecasted by DOE to 
be mined underground. This low forecast reflects 
the relatively lower costs of surface mining and the 
presence in a number of western coal regions of 
abundant surface minable reserves having low 
overburden and high seam thickness. 

The development of western coal has been 
stimulated by the greater ease with which low 
sulfur coal can meet air quality standards, creating 
a demand in the East for western coal. However, 
the most important sources of increased demand 
for western coal are in the West itself. In time, the 
West is expected to move from its traditional 
reliance on oil, gas, and hydropower to a new use 
of coal-fired plants for its electric power. In Table 
2-19, the DOE projected transportation of western- 
produced coal to eastern and western consumption 
regions is shown. Overall, both for 1985 and 1990 
medium forecasts, 18 percent of western produc- 
tion is projected to be consumed in the East and 
Midwest. While this is not a high percentage, 
substantial amounts of coal would nevertheless 
still be shipped east. Under DOE's 1990 high 
assumptions, which involve low transportation 
costs, less strict sulfur scrubbing requirements, 
higher labor costs, and other assumptions designed 
to promote western production, 299 million tons 
per year of western coal would move to the East. 
Table 2-20 provides a detailed breakdown of 
projected coal flows for the 1990 medium case. 

A certain amount of electric power and 
synthetics production would take place in western 
producing regions and then be shipped to consum- 
ing regions in the East. The consumption of 
western coal in the East shown in Tables 2-19 and 
2-20 thus does not exhaust the use of western coal 
for eastern energy supply purposes. Similarly, 
some coal produced in the East will be used to 
meet western energy consumption needs. The great 
majority of western production, however, is used to 
meet western energy needs. 

The traditional modeling of the energy sector 
of the economy, as reflected in the DOE coal 
model, relates energy use to macroeconomic 
variables such as income. A new alternative 
approach currently is being employed in California 
that projects energy consumption based on a 
detailed survey of households, businesses, and 
institutions. To complete the comprehensive inven- 



2-31 



TABLE 2-18 



I 



DOE PRODUCTION PROJECTIONS FOR WESTERN COAL REGIONS 

(million tons) 



COAL 
REGION 



Western Interior 

Fort Union 

Powder River 

Green River-Hams Fork 

Uinta-Southwestern Utah 
San Juan River 
Denver Raton Mesa 
Texas 

Total (a) 



1985 PROJECTION 



LOW 



MEDIUM 



HIGH 



8.9 
18.4 
140.4 
89.9 
25.7 
20.1 
5.3 
57.7 



10.6 

20.0 

204.6 

112.0 

26.4 

22.8 

5.3 

57.7 



366.4 459.4 



10.9 

23.4 

232.1 

128.8 

26.3 

22.9 

5.2 

57.7 

507.3 



1990 PROJECTION 



LOW 



MEDIUM 



HIGH 



9.6 

21.9 

173.7 

105.9 

25.1 

34.5 

5.4 

62.3 



10.3 

20.6 

396.1 

149.5 

28.3 

58.4 

6.8 

79.6 



9.6 

34.5 

602.9 

177.7 

27.9 

72.5 

6.6 

104.1 



438.4 749.6 1035.8 



(^Excludes production from Arizona, Washington, and Alaska. 
Note: The DOE estimates have been revised slightly for purposes of this 



table. 
Source: Reference Number 13. 



m*m-~^ ■■'•'• 'I '"P ■>■ 



I 



TABLE 2-19 

EASTERN AND WESTERN CONSUMPTION OF WESTERN COAL 

(million tons) 



Western' Coal Consumed 
in the East 

Western Coal Consumed 
in the West 



Total Western Coal 



1985 



LOW MEDIUM HIGH 



74.0 87.3 93.0 
306.4 384.7 426.9 



1990 



380.4 472.0 519.9 



LOW MEDIUM HIGH 



75.6 136.0 299.0 

378.2 627.3 750.4 



453.8 763.3 1049.4 



Source: Reference Number 13. 



TABLE 2-20 

1990 DOE MID-LEVFL 

REGIONAL COAL FLOWS 

PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION 

(millions of tons) 



CONSUMERS 

PRODUCERS 



NORTHERN CENTRAL SOUTHERN EASTERN WESTERN TEXAS POWDER FORT GREEN ™TA- DENVER/ SAN 
APPALACHIAN APPALACHIAN APPALACHIAN INTERIOR INTERIOR GULF RIVER UNION RIV ER/ S.W. RATON JUAN ; * '" EXPORTS TOTAL 

HAMS FORK UTAH MESA RIVER 01HtK 0THER 



Northern 

Appalachian 1M,5 27.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 58.8 0.0 31.6 222.3 

Central 

Appalachian 60.5 29.7 11.9 4.5 2.1 

Southern 

Appalachian 0.0 0.0 8.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 3.6 0.0 1 

Eastern 

Interior 30.0 20.0 74.5 105.1 30 3 



°-° °-0 0.0 0.0 0.8 0.0 44.8 0.0 50.8 205.5 

14.5 
0-0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 .0.0 0.0 53.2 0.0 0.4 312.5 



I Western 

£ Interl ° r °-° °-° °-° "- 1 3 - 6 2-0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 4.4 10.1 

Texas 
Gulf 0-0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 79.6 0.0 0.0 



0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0. 0.0 0.0 79.6 

7-3 0.2 3.7 33.9 48.9 0.0 396.1 

0.0 0.0 0.0 2.4 0.0 0.0 22.5 

21 - 5 0'° 0-0 0.1 2.0 22.7 1.7 0.0 9.3 0.0 149.5 

9.2 0.0 0.3 0.0 2.6 0.0 28.3 

7.5 

0.0 13.1 0.0 57.7 

0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 O.O 

2-1 0.2 1.9 0.0 4.0 0.0 8.3 



Powder 

Rlver O- 1 34-9 23.6 24.9 50.9 111.2 27.6 19.4 

Fort 

Unlon °-° 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 20.1 

Green River/ 

Hams Fork 0.0 0.0 0.0 7.2 85.0 

Uinta-South- 

western Utah 0.0 0.0 0.0 15.9 0.0 O.O 0.0 0.0 

Denver- 

Raton Mesa 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 1.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 3.5 0.0 0.0 2.4 0.0 

San Juan 

River °-° 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 35.6 0.0 0.0 0.1 1.6 1.5 

East 

Other 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 

West 

0cher 0-° 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 



157.7 172.0 251.8 27.6 39.5 10.1 22.2 28.9 13.4 196.7 80.3 89.0 1514.4 



■-*"■ —■■*'- - »~~~ . I,. ftjWuilh In 



ROLE OF WESTERN AND FEDERAL COAL 



tory on a nationwide basis with the survey method 
used in California would take considerable time 
and resources. But the preferred coal management 
program designed by the Interior Department 
contains a biennial examination of projections. If it 
should prove desirable, it will be possible for the 
Federal government to undertake the kind of end 
use modeling carried out in California or other 
alternatives to the DOE methods used for the 
current projections. 

2.7 WESTERN COAL SUPPLY SOURCES 

The DOE forecasts of future coal production 
were based on the assumption that Federal and 
non-Federal coal reserves would be fully available 
to meet demands for western coal. The forecasts 
did not address the questions of which particular 
reserves might be developed, and whether they 
were already producing or were likely to be able to 
enter into production. 

2.7.1 Production Potential of Federal Coal 

Future production of Federal coal reserves can 
come either from already issued Federal leases or 
from new leases. There are currently 534 outstand- 
ing Federal coal leases which are estimated to 
contain 17 billion tons of recoverable reserves (see 
Table 2-21). Sixty-seven percent of existing lease 
reserves are surface minable. The Powder River 
Coal Region contains 58 percent of existing lease 
reserves, most of which are surface minable and 
are located in the Wyoming part of the region. 
Leased surface minable reserves in the Powder 
River Coal Region represent 82 percent of all 
surface minable reserves in existing Federal leases. 
The Uinta-Southwestern Utah Coal Region has 
the second largest amount of reserves in existing 
leases, 4.5 billion tons. Sixty-nine percent of these 
reserves are underground reserves located in the 
Utah part of the region. The Powder River and 
Uinta-Southwestern Utah Coal Regions together 
account for 84 percent of existing lease reserves. 

Estimates of recoverable reserves from existing 
leases were made by U.S. Geological Survey 
(USGS) mining supervisors (75 percent of lease 
reserves), by USGS area or district geologists 
(eight percent), by the lessees (eight percent), or by 
unspecified parties (four percent). The General 
Accounting Office has criticized the Interior 
Department's lease reserve estimates as not suffi- 
ciently accurate, particularly on an individual lease 



basis [16]. The Department is currently undertak- 
ing to improve the accuracy of reserve informa- 
tion, and plans to request lessees to provide new 
reserve data in order to bring reserve estimates into 
conformance with the standards for reserves in GS 
Bulletin 1450B [17]. 

By 1977, annual production from existing 
Federal leases reached 51.9 million tons. Substan- 
tial further increases in production can be expected 
from these leases by 1986, both from leases already 
included in mine plans and from leases which are 
not currently included in mine plans. After 1986, 
further expansions in production of Federal coal 
would have to come either through greater produc- 
tion from already operating mines containing 
Federal coal or through new Federal leasing. If 
existing leases issued prior to 1976 are not in 
production by 1986, under current regulations they 
would be subject to cancellation for failure to meet 
diligent development requirements. The Depart- 
ment at present expects that the great majority, if 
not all, such existing leases would be cancelled if 
they are not producing by 1986. A few exceptions 
would be possible to complete work on an 
advanced technology process, to develop a very 
large mine, or where there is a firm contract to buy 
the coal later on (see discussion of diligence 
requirements for existing leases in Section 3.2.10 
and Appendix I). 

2.7.1.1 Planned Production from Existing Leases 
with Mine Plans. As of June 1978, the Department 
had received 1 19 mine plans that were approved or 
were pending approval. The 223 Federal leases 
included in these mine plans contain 9.3 billion 
tons of recoverable reserves, representing 54 
percent of the reserves in all existing Federal 
leases. In 1977, production from mines including 
Federal leases was 96.3 million tons, representing 
82 percent of total 1977 coal production in the six 
western Federal coal states. Only a little more than 
half of this production represented Federal coal, 
since a number of the mines also include non- 
Federal coal. Federal coal is expected to constitute 
a much larger share of future planned production 
from mines including Federal leases. 

In Table 2-22, planned production from 
approved and pending mine plans containing 
Federal leases is shown. These planned production 
estimates were reported in March 1978 by the U.S. 
Geological Survey on the basis of lessee an- 



2-35 



TABLE 2-21 



RECOVERABLE COAL RESERVES IN EXISTING FEDERAL LEASES 



(b) 









RECOVERABLE 


RECOVERABLE 


TOTAL 


COAL REGION 


NUMBER OF 


ACREAGE 


SURFACE 


UNDERGROUND 


RECOVERABLE 




LEASES 


LEASED 


RESERVES 


RESERVES 


RESERVES 








(million tons) 


(million tons) 


(million tons) 


Fort Union 












North Dakota 


17 


15,515 


(a) 


0.0 


(a) 


Montana 


3 


6,056 


(a) 


0.0 


(a) 


Total 


20 


21,571 


540.0 


0.0 


540.0 


Powder River 












Montana 


13 


30,161 


(a) 


(a) 


993.8 


Wyoming 


56 
69 


132,202 
162,363 


(a) 
9,471.2 


(a) 

410.9 


8,888.3 


Total 


9,882.1 


Green River-Hams Fork 












Wyoming 


38 


82,452 


374.6 


547.7 


922.3 


Colorado 


34 
72 


33,946 
116,398 


289.8 


198.3 
746.0 


488.1 


Total 


664.4 


1,410.4 


Uinta-Southwestern Utah 












Utah 


199 


271,326 


267.0 


3,089.3 


3,356.3 


Colorado 


67 


73,790 


168.9 


971.6 


1,140.5 


Total 


266 


345,116 


435.9 


4,060.9 


4,496.8 


San Juan River 












New Mexico 


25 


40,757 


273.1 


(a) 


(a) 
(a) 


Colorado 


7 


10,242 


0.0 


(a) 


Total 


32 


50,999 


273.1 


127.5 


400.6 


Denver-Raton Mesa 












Colorado 


6 


3,686 


25.6 


(a) 


(a) 


New Mexico 


3 


201 


0.0 


(a) 


(a) 


Total 


9 


3,887 


25.6 


22.8 


48.4 


Other Regions 


66 

534 


90,482 


74.2 


235.6 


309.8 


GRAND TOTAL 


790,816 


11,484.4 


5,603.7 


17,088.1 



(a) Cannot be disclosed because of confidentiality requirements. 

(b) Includes leases issued prior to March, 1978. 



2-36 



mmm 



TABLE 2-22 

PLANNED 1985 PRODUCTION FROM APPROVED AND PENDING MINE PLANS 
CONTAINING FEDERAL LEASES (a) 



to 

I 
u> 



COAL REGION 



NUMBER OF 
LEASES IN 
MINE PLANS 



Fort Union 
Powder River 
Green River-Hams Fork 
Uinta-Southwestern Utah 
San Juan River 
Deuver-Raton Mesa 
Other Regions 
Total 



4 

35 

49 

114 

8 

1 

12 

223 



RECOVERABLE FEDERAL 
RESERVES 
IN MINE PLANS 
(million tons) 



(b) 

6,025 
1,148 
1,859 

98 
(b) 

54 

I 
9,306 



.(c) 



1978 
PRODUCTION 



1985 PLANNED 
PRODUCTION 
(million tons/year) 



(d) 



10.2 

71.5 

18.5 

14.0 

8.3 


4.3 

126.8 



5. 


9 


201. 


5 


42 


9 


43 


3 


10 


.5 





.002 


4 


.5 



308.6 



(a) 



Estimates based on March 1978 Department of the Interior review of existing Federal leases, and 



.lessee announced plans 



( -'Cannot be disclosed because of confidentiality requirements. 

(c) Includes total recoverable reserve in mine plans in Fort Union and Denver-Raton Mesa Coal Regions. 



Production estimated made during 1978 



ROLE OF WESTERN AND FEDERAL COAL 



nounced plans, submitted mine plans, discussions 
with lessees, and other information. The total 
production planned for 1985 from mines including 
Federal leases is 308.6 million tons. Almost two- 
thirds of the planned production is expected from 
the Powder River Coal Region, which is consistent 
with the large supply of low cost, surface minable 
reserves in existing leases in this region. Although 
not shown in Table 2-22, 82 percent of the total 
production planned in the Powder River Coal 
Region would come from Wyoming and only 18 
percent from Montana. 

The production planned for approved and 
pending mine plans may not all occur. The most 
important potential constraint is lack of demand; 
the coal would only be produced if there is a 
market for it. Some pending mine plans may never 
be approved (for example, they could be located in 
an alluvial valley, or require a new transportation 
system with unacceptable environmental impacts). 
Planned production may also not materialize if 
other coal proves to be cheaper to mine or higher 
in quality. Nevertheless, total production planned 
from approved and pending mine plans provides a 
good indication of the production potential of 
these mines. 

2.7.1.2 Likely Production from Existing Leases 
Without Mine Plans. In addition to the 223 Federal 
leases included in mine plans, there are an 
additional 311 Federal leases, representing 46 
percent of existing Federal reserves under lease, for 
which no mine plans have been submitted to the 
Department. In order to obtain an estimate of the 
production potential of these leases, the U.S. 
Geological Survey was requested as part of the 
Department's coal policy review to give its best 
judgment as to whether such leases were "more 
likely than not" to be in production by 1986 in 
time to meet diligent development standards. 
These judgments were made in March 1978 by 
USGS mining supervisors, taking into account 
demand for the coal type, environmental problems 
of the lease site, transportation availability, mining 
costs, lease size, and other factors. Of the 7.8 
billion tons of total reserves in existing leases 
without mine plans, the USGS estimated that 
leases containing 1.7 billion tons of reserves would 
likely be in production by 1986 and leases 
containing 6.1 billion tons of reserves would not 
likely be in production by 1986. Reserves in leases 



believed likely to be producing by 1986 would be 
sufficient to sustain an annual production rate of 
57.3 million tons a year. Leases containing other 
reserves would be subject to cancellation in 1986 
for failure to be diligently developed. 

In Table 2-23 the likely regional production 
from Federal reserves under lease which are not 
now in mine plans but which are considered likely 
to be producing by 1986 is shown. The Uinta- 
Southwestern Utah Coal Region has the largest 
share, 41 percent of likely production. In other 
regions, there is only a small amount of likely 
production from Federal leases beyond that 
expected from already approved or pending mine 
plans. 

There are many possible reasons why an 
existing Federal lease might not be put into 
production by 1986. Many of the leases are small 
and would require additional Federal leasing or 
acquisition of other coal rights to form economi- 
cally viable, or logical, mining units. Others are 
located far from transportation routes or are in 
areas with environmental problems. Coal quality is 
poor and prospective mining costs high in some 
cases, and there may not be a sufficient demand 
for the types of coal contained in some leases. 

In the Uinta-Southwestern Utah Coal Region, 
for example, existing leases contain 4.5 billion tons 
of reserves, most of them for underground mining. 
These reserves would be sufficient to sustain mines 
with an annual production rate of 150 million tons 
per year. However, the DOE 1985 medium 
production projection for the Uinta-Southwestern 
Utah Coal Region is only 26.4 million tons (see 
Table 2-18), some of which would be provided by 
non-Federal coal. Even if the DOE projections are 
low, a large part of the reserves in the existing 
Federal leases in the Uinta-Southwestern Utah 
Coal Region have very little chance of entering 
into production by 1986. These nonproducing 
reserves are likely to be the reserves with higher 
mining costs, more distant from transportation 
routes, and with other problems. 

Similarly, in the Powder River Coal Region, 
the one other region with major reserve holdings in 
existing Federal leases, the 9.5 billion tons of 
surface minable reserves in existing leases could 
sustain production of 317 million tons per year. 
The DOE medium projection for this region in 
1985, however, is only 205 million tons and even 
the high projection is only 232 million tons. The 



2-38 



mm-mmmm 



TABLE 2-23 

(a) 

LIKELY 1985 PRODUCTION FROM EXISTING FEDERAL LEASES WITHOUT MINE PLANS 



to 

I 



COAL REGION 



NUMBER OF 

LEASES 

WITHOUT 

MINE PLANS 



Fort Union 16 

Powder River 34 

Green River-Hams Fork 23 

Unita-Southwestern Utah 152 

San Juan River 24 

Denver-Raton Mesa 8 

Other Regions 54 



RECOVERABLE RESERVES R EC0VERABLE RESERVES PRODUCTION IN 
RECOVERABLE ^KKVKj LEASES WITHOUT nnoc: „_,„ TFA c F c 
IN FEDERAL LEASES pT T tufty to 1985 FR LEASES 

WITHOUT MINE PLANS ^^ PLANS L t WITHOUT MINE PLANS d) 

WITHOU1 MINI fLANb BE p R0DUCING IN 1985 f ,,,, tons/vear) 

(million tons) (mi i liori tons) ( " llhon tons /y ear > 



(b) 
3,857 
262 
2,638 
303 
(b) 
256 



(b) 
210 
204 
700 
254 
(b) 
46 



(b) 

7.0 
6.8 
23.3 
8.5 
(b) 
1.5 



Total 



311 



7.782(c) 



1.718(c) 



57.3 



(a) Estimates based on March 1978 Department of the Interior review of existing Federal leases. 

(b) Cannot be disclosed because of confidentiality requirements 

(c) Includes total recoverable reserves in mine plans in Fort Union and Denver-Raton Mesa Coal Regions. 

(d) Assumes 30 year mine life. 



ROLE OF WESTERN AND FEDERAL COAL 



low 1985 projection is 140 million tons. Hence, a 
significant amount of existing lease reserves in the 
Powder River Region also are unlikely to be 
producing in time to meet the 1986 diligence 
standard. Nonproducing reserves here would also 
generally be the ones which are of relatively lower 
quality, mostly located in Wyoming, where the 
largest uncommitted reserves are found. 

2.7.1.3 Preference Right Lease Applications. Anoth- 
er important potential source of Federal coal 
production is contained in preference right lease 
applications (PRLAs). Until preference right leas- 
ing was ended administratively in the early 1970's 
(and statutorily by the Federal Coal Leasing 
Amendments Act of 1976), the government issued 
prospecting permits in areas where coal was not 
known to exist in economically valuable deposits. 
A holder of a prospecting permit discovering a 
high quality deposit could apply for and obtain a 
lease to mine the deposit by demonstrating that it 
contained commercially valuable coal. Such leases 
were called preference right leases and were issued 
on a noncompetitive basis. There are currently 172 
outstanding applications for preference right leases 
remaining from prospecting permits issued mostly 
in the late 1960's and early 1970's (see Table 2-24). 

Total recoverable reserves in PRLAs are 9.9 
billion tons, 3.5 billion surface minable and 6.4 
billion minable by underground methods. Sixty 
percent of PRLA reserves are located in the 
Powder River Coal Region, all in the Wyoming 
part. Seventy-three percent of Powder River Coal 
Region PRLA reserves are underground reserves. 
The Uinta-Southwestern Utah and San Juan River 
Coal Regions each contain more than one billion 
tons of PRLA reserves. The Uinta reserves are 
mostly suitable for underground mining, whereas 
55 percent of the San Juan River reserves are 
recoverable by surface mining methods. 

Some PRLA holders may be unable to obtain 
leases because they have failed to meet all the legal 
requirements for processing their applications. 
Initial showings for some PRLAs were never 
made, or were made after the legal deadline had 
passed. Other PRLAs were improperly filed in- 
cluding areas containing prior mining claims. 
PRLAs also may have little development potential 

'Indian coal is considered "non-Federal" coal in this environmental 
impact statement. This coal would not be governed by the Department's coal 
management program. Rather, the Department, through the Bureau of Indian 



because they are located in areas where coal 
development is now considered environmentally 
questionable and where the Department would 
want to exchange for or purchase any leases which 
PRLA holders are rightfully due. 

As part of the Department's coal policy review, 
all PRLAs were examined to assess compliance 
with filing deadlines and other legal requirements 
and to assess potential environmental problems. 
Table 2-25 shows PRLA production potential, 
after excluding PRLAs for which there are legal 
uncertainties and PRLAs in areas that are consid- 
ered environmentally questionable. 

Total PRLA production potential would be 
25 1 million tons per year. However, 63 percent of 
this production potential is for underground 
mining, which has limited prospects in the next 
decade except in the Uinta-Southwestern Utah 
Coal Region. Forty-four percent of total PRLA 
reserves and 57 percent of PRLA reserves without 
legal or environmental questions are underground 
reserves located in the Powder River Coal Region, 
where DOE projections show no underground 
mining occurring. There are also doubts as to the 
desirability or feasibility of production from many 
PRLA surface reserves. PRLAs in many cases are 
located outside the areas of highest coal develop- 
ment potential, because the Federal government 
originally issued prospecting permits, which have 
ripened into PRLAs, only in areas which were 
outside the known prime coal locations. There also 
was little attention given to environmental consid- 
erations in the issuing of prospecting permits. 

2.7.2 Coal Owned by Indian Tribes 1 

Indian owned coal reserves in the West are 
estimated to be 70 billion tons, 30 billion of which 
are surface minable. These reserves constitute the 
largest contiguous blocks of non-Federal coal and 
are a very important potential source of supply for 
future western coal production. Coal production 
from Indian lands was 22.9 million tons in 1977, 
13.8 percent of total western production. The 
largest amount of Indian coal production in 1977 
took place in Arizona, 11.5 million tons. Indian 
coal production was 11.4 million tons in the six 
western Federal coal states; 6.9 million tons in 
New Mexico, and 4.5 million tons in Montana. 

Affairs, exercises trust responsibility over coal development on Indian 
reservations. 



2-40 



TABLE 2-24 
OUTSTANDING PREFERENCE RIGHT LEASE APPLICATIONS 



COAL 
REGION 


NUMBER OF 
APPLICATIONS 


APPLICATION 
ACREAGE 


RECOVERABLE 

SURFACE 

RESERVES 

(million tons) 


RECOVERABLE 

UNDERGROUND 

RESERVES 

(million tons) 


TOTAL 

RECOVERABLE 

RESERVES 

(million tons) 


Fort Union 
North Dakota 
Montana 




4 



14,673 


0.0 
(a) 


0.0 
(a) 


0.0 

(a) 


Total 


4 


14,673 


(a) 


(a) 


(a) 


Powder River 
Montana 
Wyoming 




60 



96,149 


0.0 
1,604.3 


0.0 
4.308.3(d) 


0.0 
5,912.6 


Total 


60 


96,149 


1,604.3 


4,308.3 


5,912.6 


Green River-Hams Fork 
Wyoming 
Colorado 


14 

5 


43,401 
9,130 


(a) 
(a) 


100.5 
25.0 


(a) 
(a) 


Total 


19 


52,531 


25.2 


125.5 


150.7 


Uinta-Southwestern Utah 
Utah 
Colorado 


25 
10 

35 


75,591 
28,205 

103,796 


85.7 
22.2 

107.9 


989.4 

166.8 


1,075.1 
189.0 


Total 


1,156.2 


1,264.1 


San Juan River 
New Mexico 
Colorado 


28 
2 


77,590 
3,457 


(a) 

(a) 


(a) 
(a) 


(a) 

(a) 


Total 


30 


81,047 


824.3 


680.0 


1,504.3 


Denver-Raton Mesa 
Colorado 
New Mexico 


20 



42,118 



670.5 
0.0 


80.6 
0.0 


751.1 
0.0 


Total 


20 


42,118 


670.5 


80.6 


751.1 


Other Regions 


4 


5,954 


(a) 


(a) 


(a) 


GRAND TOTAL (c) 


172 


396,268 


3.540.2(b) 


6.366.4(b) 


9.906.6(b) 



(a) Cannot be disclosed because of confidentiality. 

(b) Includes Fort Union and Other Regions reserves. 

(c) Does not include four Alaska PRLAs. 

(d) Main potential for use at present is coal gasification. 



2-41 



-P- 



TABLE 2-25 
PRODUCTION POTENTIAL FROM OUTSTANDING PREFERENCE RIGHT LEASE APPLICATIONS 

(million tons) 



Cc) 



COAL REGION 



Fort Union 

Powder River 

Green River-Hams Fork 

Uinta-Southwestern 

Utah 
San Juan River 

Denver-Raton Mesa 

Other Regions 

TOTAL 



TOTAL PRLA RECOVERABLE 
RESERVES 



SURFACE 



DEEP 



(a) (a) 

1,604.3 4,308.3 

25.2 125.5 

107.9 1,156.2 

824.3 680.0 

670.5 80.6 



to 



(a) 



3,540. 2 (b) 6, 366. 4 (b) 



RECOVERABLE RESERVES WITHOUT 
LEGAL QUESTIONS (d) 



SURFACE 



DEEP 



(a) 


(a) 


1,604.3 


4,308.3 


25.2 


125.5 


107.9 


373.0 


361.6 


52.0 


670.5 


80.6 


(a) 


(a) 



3,077.5 (b) 4,955.2 



(b) 



RECOVERABLE RESERVES WITHOUT 
LEGAL OR ENVIRONMENTAL 
QUESTIONS (e) 



SURFACE 



DEEP 



(a) 


(a) 


1,454.0 


4,308.3 


8.1 


19.3 


55.4 


340.7 


337.8 


50.5 


549.4 


78.4 


(a) 


(a) 



2,712.7 (b) 4,813.0 



(b) 



ANNUAL PRODUCTION 
POTENTIAL (f) 



SURFACE 


DEEP 


(a) 


(a) 


48.5 


143.6 


0.3 


0.6 


1.8 


11.4 


11.3 


1.7 


18.3 


2.6 


(a) 


(a) 


on *(»•> 


lft n *0>> 



(a) Cannot be disclosed because of confidentiality requirements. 

(b) Includes Fort Union and Other Regions. 

(c) Estimates based on 1978 Department review of Preference Right Lease Applications. 

(d) Eliminates reserves under applications which have not met Department procedural or legal requirements — Initial showings not made, 

or filed past deadline, or the PRLA was filed for land already subject to a mining claim. 

(e) Eliminates both PRLA reserves with legal problems and reserves which lie in areas judged by Department personnel to be 

environmentally questionable for mining. 

(f) Based on estimates of reserves without legal or environmental questions. Assumes a 30-year mine life. 



ROLE OF WESTERN AND FEDERAL COAL 



The most important Indian coal owners are the 
Crow and Cheyenne Tribes in the Powder River 
Coal Region in Montana, the Navaho Tribe in the 
San Juan River Coal Region, and the Three 
Affiliated Tribes in the Fort Union Coal Region. 
Except for the Cheyenne, these tribes have indicat- 
ed an interest in developing their coal reserves. 
Coal development has the potential for generating 
a major infusion of income for these tribes. At 
present, development of the Crow coal is being 
delayed by a legal battle between the tribe and 
previous purchasers of leases and holders of 
prospecting permits. 

The Cheyenne Tribe is seeking designation of 
the Cheyenne Reservation as a Class I air quality 
area. Such a designation would probably prevent 
any further construction of power plants in the 
areas within or immediately adjacent to the 
reservation. Because of fugitive dust problems, 
coal mining could also be affected. 

In Table 2-26, approximate estimates of sur- 
face minable reserves owned by Indian tribes are 
shown including estimates of reserves not yet fully 
delineated. The 1977 production level, 1985 
planned production from existing and proposed 
mines, and maximum production potential on 
Indian lands are also shown. Planned production 
for 1985 from Indian lands in the six western 
Federal coal states is 25 million tons. Maximum 
production potential would be more than 800 
million tons per year. However, it would be 
extremely unlikely that anything like full maxi- 
mum potential production would occur at any one 
time. 

2.7.3 Non-Federal, Non-Indian Coal 

In addition to coal owned by Indian tribes, 
there are other substantial holdings of non-Federal 
coal in the West. The states have large reserve 
holdings, although typically scattered in isolated 
state sections. Railroads retain large holdings of 
coal in checkerboard areas which were originally 
railroad land grants. The Federal Government did 
not make it a general practice to retain coal rights 
in its land disposals until the early twentieth 
century, resulting in large-scale transfers of coal 
ownership to the private sector in earlier years. In 
Table 2-27, estimated non-Federal coal reserves 
and the percentage of total reserves they represent 
(excluding Indian coal) are shown for the western 
coal regions. In the six regions shown, which 



include 91 percent of western coal reserves, non- 
Federal reserves are 28 percent of total reserves. 
State governments have made large amounts of 
coal available for development through state 
leasing. States have issued 2,553 outstanding coal 
leases for 2.2 million acres of land, almost three 
times the Federal acreage currently under lease 
(see Table 2-28). The State of Wyoming has issued 
the largest number of leases for more than one 
million acres of state-owned coal. Little production 
has thus far come from state leases (see Table 2- 
28), partly due to their small sizes and scattered 
locations. State leases are most likely to be 
developed in the future when state coal is located 
amidst or adjacent to Federal or private coal that 
is being developed. 

Although there are substantial non-Federal 
reserves, the development potential of these re- 
serves generally is limited by the highly fragmented 
coal ownership pattern in the West. In checker- 
board areas, for example, development would have 
to proceed one section at a time if the intervening 
Federal sections were not available. This would 
impose a high economic cost and would also have 
undesirable environmental consequences. There- 
fore, non-Federal coal in checkerboard areas 
would have a poor development potential without 
the addition of Federal coal (and vice-versa). 

In order to assess the development potential of 
non-Federal reserves by themselves, these reserves 
were classified according to three categories: (1) 
blocks of non-Federal coal possibly large enough 
by themselves to support a viable mining operation 
(with the minimum cutoff size set at 2,560 acres); 
(2) non-Federal coal in checkerboard areas and 
probably not developable alone; and (3) non- 
Federal coal in scattered parcels probably too 
small to support a viable mining operation (less 
than 2,560 acres). The estimated distribution of 
non-Federal reserves among these three categories 
is shown in Table 2-29. Checkerboard areas alone 
contain more than one-third of all non-Federal 
reserves. In total, 55 percent of all non-Federal 
reserves are in fragmented parcels too small to be 
developed by themselves. 

The coal regions with the highest percentages 
of non-Federal reserves in large contiguous blocks 
are the Fort Union, Green River - Hams Fork, and 
Denver-Raton Mesa Coal Regions. The Uinta- 
Southwestern Utah and the Powder River Coal 



2-43 



TABLE 2-26 
INDIAN COAL RESERVES AND PRODUCTION PLANS, SIX WESTERN FEDERAL COAL STATES 



I 



COAL REGION 


SURFACE MINABLE RESERVES ^ 
(million tons) 


1977 PRODUCTION 


1985 PLANNED PRODUCTION FROM. 
EXISTING AND PLANNED MINES W 
(million tons/year) 


MAXIMUM ANNUAL PRODUCTION 
POTENTIAL . . 
(millions of tons) 


Fort Union ( d ) 

Powder River ^ e ^ 

San Juan River 

Other Indian holdings g ' 


3,000 

15,000 

4,000 

5,000-7,000 




4.5 
6.9 




14.0 
11.1 




100 

500 

133 

166-233 



(a) 
(b) 
(c) 
(d) 
(e) 
(f) 

(g) 



Recoverable reserve estimates based on Bureau of Indian Affairs Minerals Inventory Reports. 

Based on DOE Leasing Policy Development Office projections of production in 1985 (Reference Number 13). 

Assumes 30-year mine life. 

Coal owned by Three Affiliated Tribes. 

Coal owned by Crow and Cheyenne Tribes. 

Coal owned by Navaho Tribe, includes only New Mexico reserves. The Navaho also owns another 1 billion 

tons of surface reserves in Arizona. 

Includes coal owned by Southern Ute, Ute Mountain, Jicarilla, Flathead, and Blackfeet tribes. 



~- f ---^-...>^ . 



^m 



TABLE 2-27 
ESTIMATED NON-FEDERAL RESERVES 



COAL REGION 



NON- FEDERAL RESERVES 



ESTIMATED 



MAXIMUM ANNUAL 



AS PERCENT OF. ALL NON- FEDERAL RESERVES PRODUCTION POTENTIAL 
RESERVES (million tons) (millions of tons) 



I 
Ln 



Fort Union 61% 

Powder River 20 

Green River-Hams Fork 44 

Uinta - Southwestern Utah 17 

San Juan River 23 

Denver-Raton Mesa 82 

Total 28 



14,092 

28,505 

6,839 

1,014 

958 

3,169 

54,577 



470 

950 

228 

34 

32 

106 

1,820 



(a) Breakdown between Federal and non-Federal ownership made by examination of coal ownership 
rights in the six regions. Reserves are assumed to be distributed between Federal and non- 
Federal ownership in direct proportion to the acreages of Federal and non-Federal sub- 
surface coal ownership within Known Recoverable Coal Resource Areas (KRCRAs) located in 
each region. Estimates were made under 1978 Interior Department coal policy review study 
of coal ownership, as shown on BLM surface-subsurface minerals ownership maps ("color 
quads"). Data do not include Indian-owned coal not in KRCRAs. 

(b) Estimates based on Bureau of Mines reserve figures (see Table 2-1) (Reference numbers 2, 3). 

(c) Assumes 30-year mine life. 



TABLE 2-28 
STATE COAL LEASES 



i 



STATE 



Colorado 
Montana 
New Mexico 
North Dakota 
Utah 
Wyoming 

TOTAL 



LEASES 
(No.) 



147 

96 
218 

10 

514 

1,568 

2,553 



ACREAGE 
LEASED 
(Acres) 



252,199 

51,947 

106,860 

3,838 

543,557 

1,235,229 

2,193,630 



1977 

PRODUCTION 

(millions of tons) 

0.2 

5.1 



1.3 

0.3 

0.7 



7.i 



Source: Reference Number 14. 



TABLE 2-29 



ESTIMATED DISTRIBUTION OF NON-FEDERAL RESERVES 
BY OWNERSHIP CATEGORIES (a) 

(percent) 



SOLID NON-FEDERAL 
COAL RESERVES (POSSIBLY 
REGION DEVELOPABLE) ( b ^ 



NON -FEDERAL 
RESERVES IN 



NON-FEDERAL 
RESERVES IN 
SCATTERED 



CHECKERBOARD SMALL BLOCKS 



(c) 



FEDERAL 
RESERVES 



Fort Union 37.8% 

Powder 
River 6.8 

Green River- 
Hams Fork 23.3 

Uinta-Southwestem 6.9 

Utah 
San Juan 14 . 2 

River 
Denver-Raton 62.8 

Mesa 

TOTAL 12 . 1 



21.6% 



7.9 



1.7% 



5.5 



13.4 


7.0 





10.1 


Cd) 


8.5 





19.5 



9.3 



5.6 



39% 

79.8 

56.3 
82.9 
77.3 
17.8 

73.0 



^Estimates based on the distribution of subsurface coal ownership in Known 
Recoverable Coal Resource Areas (KRCRAs) in the regions shown. 

^ Solid ownership was defined as reserves under non-Federal ownership in 
contiguous blocks greater than or equal to 2,560 acres. In Regions 2 and 
3, a portion of the reserves are found in areas of checkerboard ownership, 
within which a number of 5-section blocks (3,200 acres) exist where the 
center section is state-owned and the surrounding sections are privately 
owned. These sections may be developable only if the center section (640 
acres) is leased by the state to a private owner holding development 
rights to the reserves in the surrounding sections. In Region 2, at least 
55 percent of the total solid non-Federal block is composed of these five- 
section blocks; in Region 3, at least 34 percent of the total solid 
non-Federal blocks fall in this category. 

Scattered small ownership blocks are defined as isolated sections of non- 
Federal coal ownership less than 2,560 acres in size, outside checkerboard 
areas. 



(d) 



Some railroad checkerboard lands are located in San Juan River Region. 
However, as of March 1978 KRCRAs had not yet been defined for these lands, 



2-47 



ROLE OF WESTERN AND FEDERAL COAL 



Regions have relatively much smaller proportions 
of non-Federal coal contained in large blocks. 

Because of the importance of the Powder River 
Coal Region in future coal production projections, 
ownership patterns in this region are particularly 
significant. In the Wyoming part of the region, the 
areas along the Wyodak seam which are surface 
minable and which have the highest coal develop- 
ment potential contain almost entirely Federally- 
owned coal. Other than Indian coal, the Montana 
part of the Powder River Coal Region is composed 
of a large checkerboard area and a large area of 
Federally-owned coal. Only 6.8 percent of the 
Powder River Coal Region reserves are non- 
Federal and appear possibly large enough to be 
efficiently developed. 

Most of the coal included in the "possibly 
developable" category in Table 2-29 is in fact not 
likely to be developed in the near future. Much of 
the non-Federal coal is outside the areas of lowest 
production costs. A large part is suitable only for 
underground mining. The alluvial valleys of the 
West are typically privately owned and contain 
sizeable non-Federal reserves which it may not be 
desirable to develop. Non-Federal reserves may 
also have other environmental problems. Even 
though non-Federal blocks may be of sufficient 
size to form a viable mining unit, these blocks may 
have several different non- Federal owners. There 
is no assurance that all owners would want their 
coal developed or that it would be possible to 
assemble the non-Federal coal into a developable 
package. Finally, non-Federal coal owners may 
not be able to gain surface owner consent in those 
cases where there is a different surface owner and 
consent is needed under state law. 

Planned production from mine plans that 
included Federal leases was shown earlier in Table 
2-22. There are also a number of planned mines 
which do not involve any Federal coal. In 1977, 
excluding Indian lands, mines with no Federal coal 
produced 10.7 million tons, or nine percent of total 
production in the six western Federal coal states. 

In Table 2-30, production planned for 1985 
from mines that do not involve any Federal leases 
is shown for the six western coal regions. Total 
1985 production planned from these mines is 35.7 
million tons. Forty-five percent of this planned 
production would occur in the Fort Union Coal 
Region, where there is extensive non-Federal coal 
ownership. 



2.8 THE NEED FOR NEW FEDERAL 
COAL LEASING 

The Department of the Interior imposed a 
moratorium on further leasing of Federal coal in 
1971 (see Chapter 1). At that time, a Department 
study indicated that Federal reserves under lease 
were rising rapidly, while production of Federal 
coal was remaining at low levels. Most previous 
acquisitions of Federal leases appeared to have 
been largely for speculative purposes. 

Subsequent efforts by the Department to 
resume Federal coal leasing, including the decision 
in 1973 to develop a leasing program and the 
adoption of a leasing program in 1976, were widely 
criticized on the grounds that the need to resume 
Federal leasing had not been demonstrated. The 
failure of the Department to show the need for 
leasing was cited by the court in NRDC v. Hughes 
as a principal defect in the previous coal leasing 
programmatic environmental impact statement. 
(See Chapter 1 for a more detailed discussion of 
the recent history of Federal coal leasing.) 

Certainly, a Federal coal management pro- 
gram is required to govern a range of coal activities 
other than competitive leasing: the application of 
planning and land unsuitability requirements to 
existing leases; the consideration of preference 
right lease applications; the processing of lease 
readjustments, relinquishments, cancellations, ter- 
minations, and assignments and other transfers; 
and the exchange of Federal coal and other 
mineral leases and lease bidding rights for environ- 
mentally unacceptable Federal leases and of 
Federal coal for alluvial valley floor coal. Competi- 
tive leasing would be only one, albeit critically 
important, component of a Federal coal manage- 
ment program. This component would be imple- 
mented only if a resumption of competitive leasing 
is determined to be necessary. 

Resumption of Federal coal leasing would 
have a number of both beneficial and adverse 
impacts. If the Secretary of the Interior decides to 
resume leasing, his decision would reflect a 
determination that the need for leasing and the 
associated benefits outweigh the adverse impacts. 

Resuming leasing would provide to the Nation 
four important benefits: 

• The most important benefit is that it would 
give the Nation greater assurance of being 
able to meet its national energy objectives. 



2-48 



TABLE 2-30 

1985 PLANNED PRODUCTION PROM EXISTING AND PLANNED MINING 
OPERATIONS INVOLVING ONLY NON-FEDERAL, NON INDIAN COAL (a) 



REGI0N 1985 PLANNED PRODUCTION 

(million tons/year) 



15 9 
Fort Union ±J,:7 

3 6 

Powder River 

ft 9 
Green River-Hams Fork D ' 7 

O Q 

Uinta - Southwestern Utah J • ^ 

/ 

San Juan River 

Denver-Raton Mesa 3.0 



Total 



35.7 



(a) Based on DOE Leasing Policy Development Office compilations of 
planned mine production in 1985 (Reference Number 13) . 



2-49 



ROLE OF WESTERN AND FEDERAL COAL 



• New leasing would also provide a means to 
promote a more desirable pattern of coal 
development. It may be possible to lower 
overall production costs and reduce the 
adverse environmental impacts resulting 
from coal mining by altering coal develop- 
ment patterns. 

® A resumption of leasing would offer signifi- 
cant legal and administrative advantages 
for the Department of the Interior. 

• Finally, the state of competition in the 
western coal industry would be improved 
by new leasing. 

These benefits must be weighed against ad- 
verse environmental consequences of new leasing 
which are analyzed in Chapter 5. 

2.8.1 Leasing to Meet National Energy Objectives 

In leasing to meet national energy objectives, 
the Department is not leasing to meet today's 
needs but those many years in the future. Fore- 
casts of future energy demands and supplies are 
subject to many uncertainties. The uncertainties 
increase the further in the future the forecast is 
made. It is difficult to predict how energy users 
and suppliers would respond to greater energy 
scarcity, new energy and environmental legisla- 
tion, and changing energy prices, or to what extent 
users would adopt conservation measures or be 
willing to change their previous behavior patterns. 
Information about current and expected future 
energy reserves often is not very accurate or 
reliable. Changes in technology may substantially 
alter the relative economics of different energy 
sources. The most important factor determining 
coal demand, electric power demand, is itself 
subject to great uncertainty. Changes in govern- 
ment regulations can also cause important shifts in 
the relative desirability of one energy source 
compared with another. For these and other 
reasons, when examining the need for western coal 
it is important to examine a range of possible 
demand and supply levels, as was done by the 
Department of Energy (DOE) in the generation of 
high, medium, and low western coal production 
projections. 

Consideration of forecasts for a range of future 
years is also required in energy planning. Thus, in 
evaluating the need for new Federal leasing, 
western coal production forecasts for 1985 and 
1990 were prepared. 



After a lease is issued, it would typically be 
another one to three years before a mine plan is 
submitted to the government. A government 
decision on approval of the plan is likely to take up 
to another year, and in some cases more. From the 
point of approval, two to three years would then be 
required to move a major western surface coal 
mine into full operation. All told, actual produc- 
tion of coal appears likely to occur four to seven 
years after the sale is held and a lease is issued. 

At each of these steps, the potential coal mine 
could be found infeasible and have to be aban- 
doned because of environmental, geologic, or 
economic factors. Thus, not only the uncertainty 
surrounding future levels of demand, but also the 
uncertainty of any given tract passing through the 
steps from potential tract to fully operational mine 
must be taken into account in assessing leasing 
needs. 

If the decision is made to resume Federal 
leasing, about one to two years would be required 
to accomplish the full land use and environmental 
planning for the first round of lease sales under the 
preferred program. (Some earlier sales could be 
held under special start-up procedures and later 
sales would be able to make use of the planning for 
the first sales.) Taking into account the time after 
lease issuance, a decision at this time to hold a 
lease sale is not likely to result in coal production 
before 1985 to 1990. The planning horizon for this 
programmatic environmental impact statement 
includes decisions on whether or not to lease up to 
as late as 1985. A decision in 1985 to hold a lease 
sale is not likely to result in coal production until 
the early 1990s and possibly as late as 1995. Hence, 
the time horizon for a current assessment of the 
need for a resumption of Federal coal leasing 
extends as far as meeting coal production needs in 
1995. DOE did not make production projections 
beyond 1990 and such distant projections would 
be subject to many uncertainties. The primary 
focus in assessing leasing needs is on the year 1990. 
It is unlikely that Federal leasing decisions 
following completion of this programmatic envi- 
ronmental impact statement could, or need to, 
have a major influence on 1985 western coal 
production levels. 

Under current regulations, existing Federal 
leases issued prior to 1976 and not in production 
by 1986 would be subject to cancellation for failure 
to be diligently developed. It is expected that, with 



2-50 



ROLE OF WESTERN AND FEDERAL COAL 



a few possible exceptions (see 43 CFR 3520.2-5), 
existing leases not producing in 1986 will in fact be 
cancelled. Hence, increases in production of 
Federal coal after 1986 would essentially have to 
come either from new Federal leasing or from 
expansion of mines containing Federal coal which 
are already operating by 1986. It is hard to know 
precisely what the expansion potential of these 
mines would be, or whether rapid expansion would 
introduce inefficiences in their operation. But 
beyond this expansion potential, if Federal coal is 
to have .a role in increases in western coal 
production after 1986, it would have to be through 
development of Federal coal that is not now under 
lease. 

In Section 2.7 above, estimates were made of 
planned and likely western production in 1985 
from a number of possible sources. Table 2-31 
summarizes these estimates. Total planned produc- 
tion in Table 2-31 includes: (1) planned production 
from non-Federal, non-Indian mines which do not 
involve any existing Federal leases; (2) planned 
production from Federal mine plans currently 
approved or submitted to the Department; and (3) 
planned production from mines on Indian lands. 
Production already planned for 1985 from these 
sources is 365 million tons. This estimate is 
reasonably consistent with estimates of 1985 
planned production within the six coal regions in 
Table 2-31 previously compiled by the National 
Coal Association and DOE's Leasing Policy 
Development Office. The 1985 planned production 
estimates obtained by these sources were 420 
million tons and 357 million tons, respectively. For 
comparison, total production in the six coal 
regions in 1977 was 118 million tons. 

As seen in Table 2-31, planned 1985 produc- 
tion is more than the DOE low projection for 1985 
of 300 million tons for the six regions located in the 
six western Federal coal states. On the other hand, 
planned production is less than the 1985 medium 
and high production projections of 391 millon tons 
and 439 million tons, respectively. 

The addition of likely 1985 production from 
existing leases currently without mine plans brings 
the total for 1985 planned and likely production to 
422 million tons, above the medium 1985 DOE 
projection, although still below the high DOE 1985 
projection. 

As shown in Table 2-31, achievement of any of 
the DOE 1985 projected production levels appears 



unlikely in the Green River-Hams Fork Coal 
Region. The total of already planned production 
and likely production from existing leases without 
mine plans in this region is only half the DOE 
medium 1985 projected production. As seen in 
Figure 2-3, the Green River-Hams Fork Coal 
Region is the only region in which achieving 1985 
DOE projected production levels appears to be a 
substantial problem. 

For 1990, which is the more important year 
than 1985 in assessing the need for new Federal 
leasing, currently planned production is less than 
the DOE low, medium, or high projected produc- 
tion levels (see Table 2-32). However, for low 1990 
projections, which are actually less than the 
medium 1985 projections, planned production is 
just short of projected production. With the 
addition of likely production from existing Federal 
leases not now included in mine plans, there would 
appear to be little difficulty in achieving the DOE 
low 1990 projected production levels without 
further Federal leasing if all planned production 
occurs. As is the case for 1985, there would be 
major problems in reaching any of the projected 
production levels in one region, the Green River- 
Hams Fork Coal Region (See Figure 2-4). 

The fact that currently planned and likely 
production exceeds 1990 low production projec- 
tions does not resolve the question of the need for 
new leasing in the low case. Current company 
production plans are based on demand assump- 
tions that in many cases are undoubtedly more 
optimistic than the assumptions used by DOE for 
the low projections. If DOE low assumptions prove 
accurate, some part of currently planned produc- 
tion would very likely not occur. There would not 
be enough demand by 1985 to support it, which is 
the time frame toward which most current plans 
are oriented. If the planned production does not 
occur by 1986, plans based on mining of Federal 
leases would have to be abandoned entirely 
because of failure to meet diligent development 
requirements. 

Even under low demand assumptions, in- 
creases in western coal production would be 
expected between 1986 and 1990. Significant 
contributions to this growth in production could 
not come from Federal coal without new leasing 
because undeveloped leases would in all likelihood 
have already been cancelled. In short, the only 
forecast that leads to a wholly unambiguous 



2-51 



TABLE 2-31 

SUMMARY OF PLANNED AND PROJECTED PRODUCTION, 1985 
(million tons) 







TOTAL 
1985 
PLANNED 
PRODUCTION (a) 


LIKELY 

PRODUCTION 

FROM EXISTING 

LEASES WITHOUT 

MINE PLANS (b) 


TOTAL 
PLANNED AND 

LIKELY 
PRODUCTION 




1985 


DOE PROJECTIONS 






LOW 
PROJECTION 


MEDIUM 
PROJECTION 


HIGH 
PROJECTION 




Fort Union 


21.8 


(c) 


21.8(d) 


18.4 




20.0 


23.4 




Powder River 


219.1 


7.0 


226.1 


140.4 




204.6 


232.1 


1 


Green River-Hams Fork 


49.8 


6.8 


56.6 


89.9 




112.0 


128.8 




Unita- Southwestern 
Utah 


47.2 


23.3 


70.5 


25.7 




26.4 


26.3 




San Juan River 


24.0 


8.5 


32.5 


20.1 




22.8 


22.9 




Denver-Raton Mesa 


3.0 


(c) 


3.0(d) 


5.3 




5.3 


5.2 




TOTALS 


364.9 


57.3(e) 


422.2(e) 


299.8 




391.1 


438.7 



(a) Includes planned production for mine plans including Federal leases (Table 2-22). planned production from 
Indian Lands (Table 2-26) and planned production from wholly non-Federal mines (Table 2-30) 

(b) See Table 2-23. 

(c) Cannot be disclosed because of confidentiality requirements. 

(d) Does not include likely production. 

(e) Total includes likely production in Fort Union and Denver-Raton Mesa Coal Regions that is not disclosed on a 
regional basis. 

Source: Reference Number 13. 






___ 



mm 



to 

I 



232.1 



L 


M 


H 




1985 DOE PROJECTION 
(L=L0W; H=MEDIUM; H=HIGH) 

LIKELY PRODUCTION FROM EXISTING LEASES 
WITHOUT MINE PLANS 



y//////\ TOTAL 1985 PLANNED PRODUCTION 



FORT UNION 



POWDER RIVER 



GREEN RIVER- 
HAilS FORK 



UINTA-SOUTHWESTERN 
UTAH 



SAN JUAN RIVER 



WESTERN COAL REGIONS 



(a) LIKELY PRODUCTION FROM EXISTING LEASES WITHOUT MINE PLANS CANNOT BE DISCLOSED BECAUSE OF CONFIDENTIALITY. 

(b) DOES NOT INCLUDE LIKELY PRODUCTION. 



C |'^ 5.35.35.2 



DENVER-RATON MESA 



SOURCE: TABLE 2-31 



FIGURE 2-3 
SUMMARY OF PLANNED AND PROJECTED PRODUCTION, 1985 



TABLE 2-32 

SUMMARY OF PLANNED, POTENTIAL, AND PROJECTED PRODUCTION, 1990 

(million tons) 





COAL REGION 


TOTAL 1985 
PLANNED 
PRODUCTION 1 ' 


LIKELY PRODUCTION 
FROM EXISTING LEASF 
WITHOUT MINE PLANS 


S 

(b) 


TOTAL PLANNED 
AND LIKELY 
PRODUCTION 


PRODUCTION POTENTIAL 

PRLA (c) 
SURFACE RESERVES K ' 


TOTAL 
PRODUCTION 
POTENTIAL 


1990 


DOE PROJECTIONS 




LOW 


MEDIUM 


HIGH 




Fort Union 


21.8 




(d) 






21.8 (e) 


(d) 


41.5(g) 


21.9 


20.6 


34.5 




Powder River 


219.1 




7.0 






226.1 


48.5 


274.6 


173.7 


396.1 


602.9 




Green River-Hams 
Fork 


49.8 




6.8 






56.6 


0.3 


56.9 


105.9 


149.5 


177.7 




Uinta-Southwestern 
Utah 


47.2 




23.3 






70.5 


1.8 


72.3 


25.1 


28.3 


27.9 




San Juan River 


24.0 




8.5 






32.5 


11.3 


43.8 


34.5 


58.4 


72.5 




Denver-Raton Mesa 
TOTALS 


3.0 




(d) 






3.0 (e > 


(d) 


23.6fg) 


5.4 


6.8 


6.6 


1 


364.9 


57.3 (£) 


422. 2^ f ' 


90.5 


512.7 


366.5 


659.7 


922.1 



production from i^E^"-*!^.!^^^ l^T^ ^^ ^^ 2 ~ 22) ' pla "" ed P"*-*- **» «•• 1— i (Table 2- 

(b) Figures obtained from Table 2-23. 

(c) Figures obtained from Table 2-25. 

(d) Cannot be disclosed because of confidentiality requirements. 

(e) Does not include likely production. 

2 Total incurs sg ?s££z ™ s2PM.ar22si.r- °° al Regions that is not disciosed - a re « i<mai b - ie - 

Source: Reference Number 13. 



rife* 



— ' 



600 



550 - 



400 



300- 



250 



200 



150- 



50 



(a.b) 
41.5 



602.9 



7*3 



396.1 



274.6 
48. 5 r 



7.0 
219.1 



::::21.9 



20.6 



34J, 



FORT UNION 



1 



M H 



POWDER RIVER 



177.7 



149.5 



105.9 



0.3 

6.8 
49.8 



56.9 

1 



M 



,72.3 



H 



I , l M | u I 1990 DOE PROJECTIONS 

I l|M |H 1(1-1 nu- M-MEDIUM; H-HIGH) 

L«AAg8 LIKELY PRODUCTION FROM EXISTING 
QUS&ZU LEASES WITHOUT MINE PLANS 

P : | PRODUCTION POTENTIAL 

I: : ■:•.•■■■ 4 ppi a SURFACE RESERVES 

Y///A TOTAL 1985 PLANNED PRODUCTION 



72.5 




58.4 



24. 



34.5 



GREEN RIVER- UINTA-SOUTHWESTERN 

HAMS FORK UTAH 

WESTERN CCAL REGIONS 



1 



SAN JUAN RIVER 



M 



(a.b) 
23.6 



5 4 6.8 6.6 
-I - ITI H I 



DENVER-RATON MESA 



(a) LIKELY PRODUCTION FROM EXISTING LEASES WITHOUT MINE PLANS AND PRODUCTION POTENTIAL PRLA SURFACE RESERVES 
CANNOT BE DISCLOSED BECAUSE OF CONFIDENTIALITY. 

(b) TOTAL INCLUDES LIKELY PRODUCTION AND PRLA SURFACE PRODUCTION POTENTIAL. 

SOURCE: TABLE 2-32 

FIGURE 2-4 
SUMMARY OF PLANNED, POTENTIAL, AND PROJECTED PRODUCTION, 1990 



2-55 



ROLE OF WESTERN AND FEDERAL COAL 



conclusion that there is no need for new leasing is 
achievement of 1985 medium or high production 
projections, followed by a sharp downturn in 
demand resulting in little if any further increases in 
production to 1990. If low projections are realized 
in 1985 as well as 1990, production increases would 
still be needed between 1985 and 1990 and the 
only way for Federal coal to make a major 
contribution to these increases would be through 
new leasing in the 1980 to 1983 time frame. 

Unlike the low 1990 case, currently planned 
production is far less than the DOE medium 1990 
projected production of 660 million tons. The 
addition of likely production from existing Federal 
leases without mine plans does little to alter this 
conclusion. The only regions which would be able 
to meet 1990 DOE medium projections from 
currently expected production are the Fort Union 
and Uinta-Southwestern Utah Coal Regions. 
These regions have only seven percent of 1990 
medium production. The Powder River Coal 
Region has expected production totaling 226 
million tons, far less than the DOE medium 1990 
projected production of 396 million tons. 

To achieve the DOE 1990 high production 
projections for all western regions of 922 million 
tons would require a level of production more than 
two and one-half times currently planned 1985 
production. In the Powder River Coal Region, the 
1990 high projection is 603 million tons, compared 
with 219 million tons in planned production. 
Planned production is less than the 1990 high 
projection in all regions except the Uinta-South- 
western Utah Coal Region. 

There is not a great likelihood that western 
coal production would actually reach DOE's high 
projected levels in 1990. However, the high 1990 
production projection represents a reasonable 
approximation of medium production projections 
for 1995. Although DOE did not prepare 1995 
projections for the purposes of this statement, such 
projections have been made in the course of other 
studies. In making an assessment of the need to 
resume Federal leasing, as indicated above, the 
time horizon extends beyond 1990 to consideration 
of coal requirements expected as late as 1995. 

It is unlikely that many PRLAs could be 
processed, leases issued, and production begun 
from these leases by 1985. The production poten- 
tial of PRLAs is of importance mainly in consider- 
ing 1990 production projections. In Table 2-30, 



production potential of PRLA surface minable 
reserves is shown. Because western mining is 
expected to be almost entirely surface mining 
except in the Uinta-Southwestern Utah Coal 
Region, underground PRLA reserves are likely to 
make an insignificant contribution to reaching 
1990 production projections other than in this 
region. In the Uinta-Southwestern Utah Coal 
Region, there appears to be little problem in 
reaching any of the DOE projected production 
levels. 

The addition of PRLA production potential 
provides a source of new Federal coal development 
between 1986 and 1990, when current Federal 
leases either would have already been developed or 
would have been cancelled. This potential produc- 
tion could play a key role if new Federal coal 
production is needed during this period to meet 
1990 low production projections. Issuance of 
preference right leases would still leave total 
production potential from already indicated 
sources far below medium and high 1990 projected 
production. Only in the less critical Fort Union 
and Denver-Raton Mesa Coal Regions does the 
addition of PRLA production potential raise total 
production potential above the 1990 medium or 
high projected production. 

An assessment of the need for new Federal 
leasing based on projections of demand and supply 
levels thus does not produce an unambiguous 
picture. For 1985, there appears to be little need 
for new leasing, except in one region, the Green 
River-Hams Fork Coal Region. For 1990, there 
could be some, but probably not a large, need for 
new leasing to reach low projected production 
levels. On the other hand, achievement of medium 
and high 1990 production levels would require 
extensive development of new sources of western 
coal production, especially in the Powder River, 
Green River-Hams Fork, and San Juan River Coal 
Regions. Because more than 70 percent of the coal 
in the six western Federal coal states is owned by 
the Federal Government, new Federal leasing 
would make a major contribution in achieving 
such development. 

The absolute need for new leasing to meet 
national energy objectives thus depends on which 
assumptions about future energy demands and the 
role of western coal in supplying those demands 
prove to be most accurate. Uncertainty also exists 
about planned production estimates. How assured 



2-56 



ROLE OF WESTERN AND FEDERAL COAL 



is production currently planned or considered 
likely and how much production in fact is likely to 
occur but may not have been included in planned 
production estimates? Since it is impossible to 
know at this time which assumptions and estimates 
are actually correct, government policy must be 
flexible. An assessment must be made of the costs 
of leasing too much Federal coal if current need 
estimates prove too high, versus the costs of leasing 
too little Federal coal if higher estimates should 
turn out to be more valid. 

In the past, the cost of leasing too much 
Federal coal has been to fail to obtain full value 
for the Federal coal, while also rewarding specula- 
tive behavior. Without effective enforcement of 
diligent development requirements, purchasers of 
Federal coal leases could hold on to these leases 
for long periods without developing them. Because 
expected development was still far off and still 
uncertain, sales of leases did not obtain prices 
commensurate with the leases' later development 
values. Moreover, the Federal Government lost 
control over the land use and environmental 
impacts of Federal coal development because the 
location and timing of such development became 
largely a matter for private initiative. 

These problems would still exist in the future, 
although in somewhat moderated form, if the 
Federal Government were to lease too much coal 
in relation to need. Strict enforcement of diligent 
development requirements, mandated under the 
Federal Coal Leasing Amendments Act of 1976, 
would prevent any future speculative holding of 
leases for long periods. However, issuance of more 
leases than can be developed would still act to 
depress lease sale prices because of the resulting 
uncertainty about development prospects within 
the allowed diligent development period. Although 
more leases would be sold, the lowered prices per 
lease would probably more than compensate, 
resulting in reduced overall leasing revenues. The 
land use and environmental impacts of Federal 
leasing would depend on which of the excess 
number of issued leases are developed, making 
Federal control of these impacts less secure. 
Finally, a new problem would be introduced, in 
that strict enforcement of diligent development 
requirements might cause significant distortions 
and inefficiencies if many leases were threatened 
with cancellation. Coal companies might rush 
leases into production prematurely, offering high 



discounts and realigning coal shipments to find a 
place to ship the early production from the leases. 
In considering the possibility of overleasing, it 
should be recognized that the amount of Federal 
coal offered is not necessarily the same as the 
amount actually leased. Fair market value require- 
ments are likely to allow operators, especially the 
more efficient ones, a certain degree of leeway in 
their bid levels, but nevertheless would act to 
discourage marginal operators from acquiring 
tracts without sound market prospects. By insisting 
on full fair market value, the Federal Government 
could end up offering many more leases than are 
actually issued if there is not much demand. To 
some extent, the fair market value requirement 
thus minimizes the risk of the government leasing 
amounts of coal greatly in excess of market 
requirements. 

In order to assess the impact of no further 
leasing of Federal coal, a special computer study 
was made in which future western coal develop- 
ment was limited to non-Federal coal and coal in 
already issued Federal leases. In addition, non- 
Federal coal dependent on unleased Federal coal 
for its development was considered unavailable for 
future mining. This study can be obtained on 
request [25]. 

According to the study, the greatest impact of 
no further Federal leasing would be experienced in 
the Powder River Coal Region in 1990. Under 
medium assumptions, production in this region in 
1990 is projected to decline by 27 percent if there is 
no further Federal leasing. The Wyoming portion 
of the Green River-Hams Fork Coal Region 
showed a projected decline of 54 percent under a 
no leasing policy. Other western regions were 
either not greatly affected or showed production 
increases due to displacement of coal production 
from the Powder River and Green River-Hams 
Fork Coal Regions to these regions. Nationally, 
coal production in 1990 was projected to decline 
by 4 percent under a no leasing policy. For 1985, 
the study concluded that a no leasing policy would 
cause only minor impacts nationally and within 
the West. 

National oil and gas consumption was project- 
ed to rise in 1990 by 300,000 barrels per day if 
there were no further Federal leasing (medium 
assumptions). According to the study, utilities 
would experience on average an eight percent 
national increase in delivered coal prices. This 



2-57 



ROLE OF WESTERN AND FEDERAL COAL 



would cause a 1.7 percent average national. rise in 
electric utility rates. The estimated total resource 
cost to the Nation in 1990 of no further Federal 
leasing was projected to be $800 million per year. 

The regions most adversely affected by a no 
leasing policy would be in the West, reflecting the 
fact that western coal supplies primarily western 
markets. According to study projections, the 
Rocky Mountain, West North Central, and Pacific 
regions would experience increases in delivered 
coal prices in 1990 of 29, 17, and 27 percent, 
respectively, if there were no further Federal 
leasing (medium assumptions). These coal price 
increases would cause overall electric power rates 
to rise by 6.4 percent in the Rocky Mountain 
region, 5.9 percent in the West North Central 
region and 1 percent in the Pacific region. 

The principal consequences of leasing less 
Federal coal than is needed to meet national 
energy objectives would likely be to alter patterns 
of coal development, both at national and regional 
levels. At least on the basis of computer projec- 
tions, it appears improbable that total national 
coal production would be greatly reduced. 

2.8.2 Leasing to Promote More Desirable Patterns 
of Coal Development 

The fact that currently planned and likely 
production, together with the production potential 
from PRLAs, is not sufficient to reach medium 
and high 1990 DOE production projections does 
not mean that these projected levels could not be 
attained without new Federal coal leasing. As 
shown in Tables 2-26 and 2-27, there are large 
amounts of Indian and other non-Federal coal 
reserves in western regions sufficient to meet 
almost any conceivable 1990 production require- 
ments. 

It is probably not desirable or feasible to 
emphasize development of this non-Federal coal. 
Large amounts of it have high production and 
environmental costs, due to uneconomically small 
parcel sizes (see Table 2-27), high stripping ratios, 
distances from transportation, and many other 
factors. Non-Federal underground coal reserves 
are not likely to make much of a contribution to 
western coal for some time, since most western 
coal is expected to be surface mined. Non-Federal 
coal is of varying quality, some of it having less 
desirable chemical composition or a low heat 
content. The large supplies of non-Federal lignite 



in the Fort Union Coal Region, for example, 
would not experience rapid development without a 
major expansion in coal use for gasification and 
liquifaction. Some non-Federal coal is located in 
less environmentally desirable locations such as 
alluvial valleys, which were the first areas to be 
acquired by early settlers. Indian tribes may 
oppose major coal development on their reserva- 
tions or choose to develop their coal gradually over 
a lengthy period. Private surface owners above 
non-Federal coal may refuse consent under state 
surface owner consent laws or owners of non- 
Federal coal simply may not want to develop it at 
this time. 

The difficulty of relying on non-Federal coal 
for expanded future production varies from region 
to region (see Tables 2-27 and 2-28). In the Powder 
River Coal Region, there is not much potential for 
production of non-Federal coal alone. In the 
Wyoming part of the Powder River Coal Region, 
the high quality, surface rninable reserves are 
almost entirely Federally owned. In the Montana 
part, the better quality coal is divided among areas 
of solid Federal ownership, checkerboard owner- 
ship, and Indian ownership. It would be difficult to 
develop non-Federal coal in checkerboard areas 
without new Federal leasing. The Indian coal 
reserves would be sufficient for a large expansion 
of non-Federal coal production (see Table 2-24). 
However, the Cheyenne Tribe does not currently 
favor development of its coal reserves and there 
are many uncertainties about the future develop- 
ment of coal owned by the Crow Tribe. 

The Green River-Hams Fork Coal Region 
contains a large checkerboard area in Wyoming in 
which expanded production beyond planned levels 
would be difficult without new Federal leasing. 
Because coal in the Uinta-Southwestern Utah Coal 
Region is largely owned by the Federal Govern- 
ment, this region is also relatively more dependent 
on Federal leasing for expanded production 
beyond already planned or committed levels. On 
the other hand, there are major holdings of non- 
Federal coal which could be developed without 
Federal leasing in the Fort Union Coal Region. 
The Denver-Raton Mesa Coal Region similarly 
has extensive non-Federal deposits. The San Juan 
River Coal Region appears somewhat less depen- 
dent on new Federal leasing because of the 
presence of Indian coal and some substantial 
blocks of developable non-Federal coal. 



2-58 



ROLE OF WESTERN AND FEDERAL COAL 



A decision by the Federal government not to 
lease Federal coal could have a number of impacts 
on future patterns of coal development. Produc- 
tion might simply be shifted from Federal to non- 
Federal coal within each region. The western 
regions more dependent on Federal leasing, espe- 
cially the Powder River Coal Region, could 
experience declines in production which are 
displaced to other western regions less dependent 
on new Federal leasing, although a similar level of 
coal development might result in the West as a 
whole. It is also possible that western coal 
production would decline significantly, eastern 
production would rise correspondingly, and there 
would be little change in overall national coal 
production. Finally, there could be some declines 
in total national coal production, with the losses 
made up either by greater national energy conser- 
vation or by greater production from other energy 

sources. 

It is impossible to predict with great confi- 
dence to what extent these possibilities would 
actually materialize. However, it appears that if 
there were no further leasing of Federal coal by 
1990 there would probably be a significant decline 
in coal production below medium and high DOE 
projected levels from the Powder River Coal 
Region in Wyoming and Montana. This could be 
avoided only by large scale increases in production 
from Indian lands in that region. Less dramatic 
declines below projected levels would probably be 
experienced in the Green River-Hams Fork Coal 
Region. In other regions, production would be 
more likely to be displaced from Federal to non- 
Federal lands within the region, or there would be 
already adequate production potential for 1990 
from mines — some including Federal leases — 
currently producing or expected to be producing. 
If new production within a given region is 
forced to take place on the more limited non- 
Federal lands, it becomes likely, although it does 
not have to be the case, that some non-Federal 
sites would be devoted to coal production that are 
inferior to unleased Federal sites in their environ- 
mental and economic suitability for coal mining. 
Simply because the universe of sites to select from 
would be much smaller, one would automatically 
expect that it would be harder to find non-Federal 
sites with the lowest environmental and economic 
costs. Historically, purchasers of Federal lands and 
settlers under the Homestead Acts naturally 



gravitated toward the better and more productive 
lands, leaving the least wanted lands to remain m 
the public domain. Because of this, non-Federal 
lands are more likely to be used for farming or 
urban purposes and generally would have a higher 
current use value and thus a higher opportunity 
cost for coal mining. 

If Federal coal is not available within a region, 
mines of inefficient sizes and configurations would 
likely have to be formed from non-Federal coal 
alone. For example, in areas of checkerboard 
ownership, pressures would be generated for 
development of the alternating non-Federal sec- 
tions and of the five-section non-Federal blocks 
centered on state sections. If such development 
occurred, the normal pattern of mining would be 
distorted, mining costs would increase, and it 
generally would not represent the most efficient or 
environmentally satisfactory pattern of coal mm- 

ing. 

Without new Federal leasing, inefficient devel- 
opment patterns could also result from bypassing 
of unleased Federal tracts which lie in the path of 
ongoing mining operations (operating on existing 
Federal leases or non-Federal lands). Because it 
would usually be easy for an existing operation to 
mine a tract in its path, the bypassing of such coal 
foregoes the opportunity to produce relatively low 
cost coal. The coal bypassed would then generally 
be uneconomical to produce and would effectively 

be wasted. 

If Federal coal is not available, some existing 
operations would very likely have to shut down 
because they could not obtain needed coal. In 
addition to being socially disruptive, this result 
might well cause coal development to move 
elsewhere in the region at higher cost and, by 
requiring new roads and other mining facilities and 
new housing and public services, increase the 
overall area in the region adversely affected by 
coal mining. 

New Federal leasing would be expected to 
displace development of some existing leases and 
PRLAs. Existing leases were issued with a mini- 
mum of attention to land use planning and 
environmental considerations. The locations of 
PRLAs similarly reflect an absence of planning. 
Displacement of coal development from the sites 
of existing leases and PRLAs to sites of new 
Federal leases which would be selected on the 
basis of comprehensive land use and environmen- 



2-59 



ROLE OF WESTERN AND FEDERAL COAL 



tal planning almost certainly would result in an 
economically and environmentally improved pat- 
tern of development within a region. 

A decision not to lease Federal coal would 
alter development patterns by significantly increas- 
ing the pressure to develop Indian lands, offering 
both potential benefits and costs of coal develop- 
ment to Indian tribes. 

If Federal coal is unavailable, interregional 
shifts in coal development patterns, as well as 
intraregional shifts, would be expected to occur. 
The resulting altered pattern of coal development 
would have different environmental consequences 
and would represent a different interregional 
economic efficiency in coal production. For 
example, because of the unusual thickness of 
Powder River coal seams, on average more than 
five acres of land in the East and 3.5 acres in the 
Southwest would need to be mined and reclaimed 
in order to obtain the same amount of coal that 
could be obtained from one acre of land in the 
Powder River Coal Region. On the other hand, 
expanded production in the Denver part of the 
Denver - Raton Mesa Coal Region would mini- 
mize socioeconomic impacts, because this area, 
alone among the western coal regions, already has 
a large population with a highly capitalized public 
service base in place. 

A decision not to lease could also result in 
somewhat less total coal production for the 
Nation. If national energy use is not correspond- 
ingly reduced, there would be greater demands on 
nuclear power, oil imports, and other energy 
sources. The foreign trade balance would be 
adversely affected by increasing oil imports and 
possibly by falling coal exports. The resulting 
overall national pattern of energy development 
might be less efficient and environmentally desir- 
able than would the pattern which would result 
from new Federal leasing. 

The discussion thus far has been qualitative. 
For some of the effects of Federal leasing on 
development patterns, there is little possibility of 
making precise quantitative estimates of their 
magnitude. It would be very difficult, for example, 
to predict how many bypass situations involving a 
need for Federal coal might arise or how many 
existing operations might have to shut down for 
lack of Federal coal. Shifts within regions to non- 
Federal coal if Federal coal would not be available 
are also very hard to predict. The precise manner 



in which such shifts would occur would depend on 
many site specific considerations and the particu- 
lar requirements of proposed mines. This program- 
matic environmental impact statement does not 
attempt to predict exactly how intraregional shifts 
from Federal to non-Federal coal would occur 
without new Federal leasing or what the precise 
effects on coal production costs and environmental 
impacts within a region would be. An analysis of 
this nature would require a detailed examination of 
each region which is more appropriate to land use 
planning and an environmental impact statement 
at the regional level. Future Department regional 
lease sale environmental impact statements would 
closely examine intraregional impacts of Federal 
leasing actions. 

In general, however, the clear expectation is 
that new Federal leasing would improve intrare- 
gional patterns of development. New leasing will 
be undertaken only after comprehensive land use 
and environmental planning is conducted. The 
much greater availability of lands for development, 
if Federal coal is available, offers much greater 
scope for finding the least costly and least 
environmentally damaging sites for coal develop- 
ment. 

In keeping with its focus on interregional 
concerns, this programmatic environmental impact 
statement assesses the consequences of Federal 
coal management policy for the interregional 
pattern of coal development. In Chapter 5, 
estimates are shown of coal production in each 
region under different Federal coal management 
policies, including no new leasing. The environ- 
mental impacts of different interregional produc- 
tion patterns are analyzed. New Federal leasing 
may be needed if interregional patterns of coal 
development which result under a policy to resume 
leasing are judged to be preferable to those which 
would result if no leasing occurred. 

2.8.3 Leasing for Legal and Administrative Purposes 

As previously noted, new competitive leasing, 
whether conducted or not, would be only one 
component of a Federal coal management pro- 
gram. The Department has little choice legally but 
to process PRLAs and, for those applicants able to 
show commercial quantities of coal under appro- 
priate environmental controls, either to issue a 
noncompetitive lease or to offer an exchange, 
purchase, or other suitable compensation. A 



2-60 



ROLE OF WESTERN AND FEDERAL COAL 



resumption of Federal leasing, at least to the extent 
of issuing noncompetitive leases for appropriate 
PRLAs thus appears necessary. A formal leasing 
program would be required at a minimum to 
process the PRLAs, conduct land use planning 
that is statutorily mandated before leases can be 
issued, assess environmental impacts of PRLA 
leasing, and consider whether exchange (where 
permitted by statute, see discussion in Section 
3.2.10 and Appendix I), purchase, displacement 
through new competitive leasing or other ap- 
proaches are most appropriate for dealing with 
environmentally unsatisfactory PRLAs. 

As part of its preferred coal management 
program, the Department would take steps such as 
exchange or purchase to prevent development of 
existing leases as well as PRLAs in environmental- 
ly unsuitable areas. As has been mentioned, many 
existing leases and prospecting permits were 
granted without much attention to their environ- 
mental impacts. The pressures for development of 
both existing leases and PRLAs would be height- 
ened if new Federal leasing does not take place. 
The likely administrative and financial burdens on 
the Department to acquire leases in unsuitable 
areas could therefore be reduced by new leasing. 

Federal and state governments would benefit 
from the added bonuses and royalties which could 
be obtained from sales of new Federal leases. The 
Federal Government is under no obligation to 
preserve private rents and profits by refraining 
from making alternative Federal coal supplies 
available to the market. 

2.8.4. Leasing to Increase Competition in the Coal 
Industry 

There are certain conditions which must exist 
in order for private markets to function in the most 
socially beneficial manner, making the best coal 
available at the lowest prices. A particularly 
critical requirement is that there should be a 
sufficient number of buyers and sellers that the 
markets are genuinely competitive and that no one 
or few buyers can influence prices in a monopson- 
istic or oligopsonistic fashion. 

The national importance of the coal industry 
has generated considerable concern about its 
competitiveness. Studies of competition in the coal 
industry have been issued in the past two years by 
the Antitrust Division of the Department of 



Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and the 
General Accounting Office [15, 26, 27]. 

A decision not to lease Federal coal would 
tend to inhibit competition in the western coal 
industry. Coal purchasers would have to obtain 
coal from those companies holding existing Feder- 
al leases or possessing non-Federal sources. In 
regions such as the Powder River Coal Region, 
where the great majority of mining sites are 
dependent on the availability of Federal coal, new 
entry into coal mining could be achieved only by 
purchases of already existing leases from their 
current holders. Because of such considerations, 
the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department, 
in a 1978 report, Competition in the Coal Industry 
[15], recommended resumption of Federal leasing 
to promote greater competition in the western coal 
industry. The report concluded that: "Resumption 
of the Federal leasing program with all deliberate 
speed will have beneficial competitive effects." 

2.9 OVERVIEW OF THE NEED FOR A 
FEDERAL COAL MANAGEMENT 
PROGRAM 

The Federal Coal Leasing Amendments Act of 
1976, and other recent legislation for the public 
lands, lay a legal and policy foundation for the 
Department of the Interior's management of coal 
owned by the United States Government. The act 
expresses the intent of the Congress that, through a 
process of competitive lease sales, Federally owned 
coal be sold for a fair price from the public domain 
to coal operators at a rate meeting market needs 
for new supplies. 

The President, in his Environmental Message 
of 1977 [12], directed the Secretary of the Interior 
to take certain steps to improve the management of 
Federal coal reserves, and to operate a coal leasing 
program capable of responding to reasonable 
production goals. The President's National Energy 
Plan, which sets forth the national interest in the 
substitution of coal for oil and gas as an energy 
source, and the Power Plant and Industrial Fuel 
Use Act of 1978 reflect the judgement of the 
President and the Congress that the Federal 
Government should encourage and foster the use 
of coal [22]. The increased demand resulting from 
the 1978 act would be felt most strongly in the 
years between 1985 and 1990. The Department, in 
considering the need for leasing, must plan for the 
often considerable delay between the time when a 



2-61 



ROLE OF WESTERN AND FEDERAL COAL 



mining company acquires a coal reserve and the 
time when production begins. Designing a mine 
plan, assembling equipment and constructing the 
mine, and studying and designing modifications 
required to comply with state and Federal laws 
takes from four to seven years. In some cases, 
production from new leases may not begin for up 
to 10 years, which is the maximum delay between 
leasing and production allowed under the Federal 
Coal Leasing Amendments Act of 1976. 

Because of these time requirements, a leasing 
program which results in some lease sales in 1980 
could not be relied on to have a significant impact 
on production until after 1985. Existing leases 
provide an alternative to new leases as a source of 
coal to meet demand for 1985, because on these 
leases mining companies can begin now the 
technical and economic work required to develop 
production capacity. The consequences of this 
planning are reflected in production plans reported 
by those companies (see Table 2-22). Industry 
plans for development of existing leases and of 
non-Federal reserves help account for the general- 
ly low level of new leasing assessed by the 
Department's studies as needed to meet 1985 
production targets. 

To aid in considering alternative programs to 
implement the President's directive that Federal 
coal leasing be a tool to help achieve coal 
production objectives, the Secretary has directed 
that the Department's Federal coal policy review 
include an analysis of the demand for Federal coal, 
and a review of the probable production from 
existing leases. As was explained, analysis of 
potential production and analysis of probable 
demand can not be done with precision because of 
uncertainties and variables within both the broad- 
er economy and the coal industry. 

Almost all demand forecasts, however, point to 
significant increases in the use of coal, with both 
demand and production increasing at a faster rate 
in the western United States than in other areas. 
Such forecasts are reinforced by recent experience. 
The rate of growth in production of coal in the 
western states (see Table 2-7) has increased 
suddenly and substantially over production growth 
rates in the midwestern and eastern coal fields 
during the past few years. The rate of growth for 
production of coal from Federal leases, due in part 
to diligence requirements, is even higher than the 
overall western increase, making Federal reserves 



the most rapidly growing source of coal in the 
Nation. 

After 1986, however, the Nation would not be 
able to count on significant additional production 
from existing Federal leases. The Department's 
diligent development regulations under the Feder- 
al Coal Leasing Amendments Act of 1976 require 
that pre-act existing leases not in production by 
1986 be cancelled, with a few possible exceptions. 
This means that the presently existing leases not in 
production by 1986 will revert to Federal owner- 
ship, and again become part of the general body of 
unleased Federally- owned coal reserves. 

Because actions taken by the Department now 
will affect the potential for production of Federal 
coal in 1990 and beyond, the Department must 
consider present actions in terms of these uncer- 
tain future demands. It is clear that, to whatever 
degree existing Federal coal leases must be 
considered as an alternative to new leasing in 
meeting coal production needs, this alternative, 
already made uncertain by the environmental and 
economic weaknesses of earlier leasing, virtually 
disappears when the Department meets its respon- 
sibilities to both enforce diligent development and 
to recognize that today's resource management 
decisions would determine how much coal is 
available for production in 1986 and years after. 
Currently planned coal production appears 
likely to be sufficient to meet most 1985 projected 
needs in the West. However, there is not much 
additional capacity to meet the considerably larger 
1990 expected coal requirements. Unless the DOE 
low projections for 1990 turn out to be the correct 
ones, and the DOE medium or high projections for 
1985 are met in 1985, a substantial expansion in 
western coal production would occur between 
1985 and 1990. 

Because of the dominant Federal share in 
western coal ownership, it is natural to expect that 
Federal coal would play a major role in expanding 
western coal production between 1985 and 1990. 
As noted, the enforcement of diligent development 
requirements would mean that, aside from expan- 
sions in already operating mines, increases in 
production of Federal coal after 1986 will have to 
come from new Federal leases. Because of the 
substantial time lag between the decision to hold a 
lease sale and actual coal production, Federal 
leases expected to come into production from 1986 
to 1990 should be issued soon. 



2-62 



ROLE OF WESTERN AND FEDERAL COAL 



It is true that a resumption of significant 
Federal leasing in the near future runs the risk 
that, if low 1990 production projections are borne 
out, there would be more coal under lease than 
could be developed. However, the Nation's energy 
and coal leasing policies cannot be predicated on 
the assumption that future western coal production 
would be lower than is currently considered likely. 
The time lags between the decision to lease and the 
occurence of actual production are such that an 
assumption of this nature could well be self- 
fulfilling. 

Besides helping to meet national energy objec- 
tives, new Federal leasing is needed to ensure that 
future western coal development is carried out as 
efficiently and with as little damage to the physical 
and human environment as possible. Because of 
the large Federal ownership of western coal, a 
major expansion of western production without 
the availability of Federal coal, even if it were 
possible, would result in a distorted pattern of coal 
development, almost certainly a less efficient and 
environmentally satisfactory one. In many cases, 
the key consideration in mine site selection would 
become the ability to avoid the need for Federal 
coal, rather than the basic economic and environ- 
mental desirability of the site. 

In many areas, patterns of land and mineral 
ownership caused by early settlement policies have 
created a complex division of ownership and 
jurisdiction, with tracts of Federal coal inter- 
spersed with private, state, and Indian coal. 
Because individual tracts are often not large 
enough to justify investments, development oppor- 
tunities for non-Federal coal in many of these 
areas would be limited unless adjacent Federal 
coal could also be mined. These ownership 
patterns add to the uncertainties about production 
potentials, because theoretical production of much 
non-Federal coal may not in fact be achievable 
without development of Federal coal and, con- 
versely, a decision favoring the leasing and 
development of specific amounts of Federal coal 
may in fact lead to production of greater non- 
Federal reserves. 

In addition to the planning and resource 
management requirements of the Federal Coal 
Leasing Amendments Act of 1976, future manage- 
ment decisions about Federal coal would be 
governed by the Federal Land Policy and Manage- 
ment Act of 1976 and the Surface Mining Control 



and Reclamation Act of 1977. These acts, in 
combination, create a management and regulatory 
framework which provides detailed requirements 
for determining where, and under what circum- 
stances, Federal coal may be leased and mined. 
Taken as a whole, these laws and related regula- 
tions require that the Department of the Interior's 
decisions about the management of Federal coal 
reserves conform to, and be integrated with, a 
broader public land planning and resource man- 
agement process. The overall planning process 
considers all Federally-managed resources, and the 
interests of institutions and people who use the 
resources or are affected by resource use decisions. 
Consideration of these other resources and 
interests has the effect of placing prohibitions or 
limitations, some mandatory and some discretion- 
ary, on the production of Federal coal. These 
limitations, designed to protect human communi- 
ties, agricultural resources, private property rights, 
wildlife, natural habitats, recreation areas, and 
diverse other resources and resource uses, are 
reasonable and flexible enough to assure that 
Federal coal can, in fact, be produced while the 
other interests are protected. Most of the protec- 
tive standards and procedures were put in place 
within the last two years or less, long after almost 
all existing Federal coal leases were issued. 

This means that all future leasing must not 
only conform to, but be a product of, a planning 
and regulatory process designed to be protective of 
the environment and of other resources and 
interests. Coal production decisions resulting from 
this process would be made in compliance with 
agreed-on land use planning and environmental 
protection requirements. However, there is no such 
assurance that past Federal leasing decisions made 
prior to the adoption of these new standards 
would, if the leases were produced, meet the 
planning and environmental requirements. 

Hence, the Department, in trying to assess the 
potential of existing leases to serve as an alterna- 
tive to unleased Federal coal in meeting future 
demand, must assign more uncertainty to produc- 
tion potential from existing leases than would be 
assigned to new leases. It is clear that, from an 
environmental standpoint, existing leases cannot 
be presumed to be a preferable alternative to 
prospective new leases. Neither, of course, can the 
Department assume that existing leases would fail 
to meet present environmental standards. To 



2-63 



ROLE OF WESTERN AND FEDERAL COAL 



measure the possible contribution of coal from 
existing leases toward future energy needs, the 
Department must receive and review specific lease 
development proposals, determine if the proposed 
mines could be operated in conformance with 
present standards, and forecast the production 
from existing leases to compare that, and other 
expected production, with predicted demand for 
coal. A similar but, in many cases, less comprehen- 
sive analysis by state and Federal agencies would 
precede decisions allowing production of coal from 
non-Federal reserves. As in the case of already- 
leased Federal reserves, the Department cannot 
assume that the production of non-Federal coal 
would cause less (or more) environmental damage 
than would be caused by development of new 
Federal leases. 

The decision before the Secretary at this time is 
whether to adopt the preferred Federal coal 
management program, or an alternative, as de- 
scribed in this programmatic environmental im- 
pact statement, which would be capable of consid- 
ering specific leasing options, as a part of the 
Department's responsibility for management of 
Federal coal resources, within a process which 
assures that both the need for and environmental 
impacts of such leasing options are adequately 
considered prior to a decision to hold lease sales. 
Should the Secretary adopt such a program, 
the need for leasing would be continually assessed 
through an open, publicly accountable process 
which compares likely production to likely de- 
mand, determines where and when production 
may fall short of demand, and decides how much 
Federal coal should, within the limitations of 
resource management and environmental stan- 
dards, be leased to assure production sufficient to 
meet demand. Evaluation of demand would 
include the use of the best available techniques for 
analysis of energy use. Evaluation of anticipated 
production would include all information available 
to the Department about the production plans for 
Federal and non-Federal coal reserves. 

Such a process would assure that individual 
proposals for specific coal leasing would be 
reviewed to determine their consistency with the 
coal production objectives of the coal management 
program. While such an assessment at this time 
shows that some new leasing should be considered 
now, and that the need for leasing would increase 
significantly in a few years if coal production 



forecasts for 1990 are to be achieved, the need to 
operate a Federal coal management program does 
not rest on the current assessment of future coal 
supply and demand. Forecasts of energy consump- 
tion and of available energy sources are based on 
assumptions which are subject to change. Discov- 
ery of additional or alternative energy sources, 
advances in technology, successes in energy con- 
servation programs, variations in the rate of 
growth of electric power use, and many other 
factors could cause coal demand forecasts to be 
significantly revised, up or down. Sound long run 
government policy must acknowledge this uncer- 
tainty, and not assume that today's forecasts must 
inflexibly govern resource production decisions of 
the future. 

The Federal coal management program de- 
scribed in Chapter 3 is capable of such flexibility. 
The process of analysis and review, which incorpo- 
rates sound land use planning and environmental 
protection with the identification of those coal 
reserves most suitable for development, provides 
both industry and the Department sufficient 
opportunity to plan for increases in coal demand. 
Should demand be significantly lower than was 
projected, diligent development regulations would 
assure that leases not put into production are 
returned to Federal ownership. Moreover, regular 
biennial reassessments of leasing needs as pro- 
posed in the preferred program and several other 
alternatives would allow frequent adjustments in 
the amount of Federal coal under lease in response 
to these needs. Any under-leasing or over leasing 
which results from erroneous facts or assumptions 
would be compensated by more or less leasing in 
the next reassessment cycle. And, as the amount of 
Federal coal under lease increases or decreases in 
response to local, regional, and national demand 
for coal, the preferred program would assure that 
both site-specific and cumulative environmental 
impacts of Federal coal production are adequately 
considered. 

As important as the consideration of any 
particular leasing options is the need for the 
Department to put a coal management program 
into operation, so decisions about the management 
of Federal coal can be incorporated into the land 
use planning systems of the Bureau of Land 
Management and Forest Service. Just as decisions 
about Federal coal can not be wisely made in 
isolation from decisions about wildlife manage- 



2-64 



r I 



ROLE OF WESTERN AND FEDERAL COAL 



meat, grasslands, water, community development, 
and the many other resource management issues 
which must be considered by the Department, so 
those other decisions cannot be responsibly made 
in isolation from consideration of how Federal 
coal would be managed. As previously noted, these 
management decisions concern many other actions 
besides competitive coal leasing. They include 
decisions on administration of existing leases; the 
issuance of PRLAs; and the readjustment, relin- 
quishment, cancellation, termination, assignment, 
and any other transfer of leases. 

The preferred coal management program 
described in this programmatic environmental 
impact statement, while largely the product of 
intensive development during the past 18 months, 
has been in the preparation and review stage for 
five years. The operation of a complex program 
designed to integrate Federal coal management 
decisions with other Federal, state, and local 
resource decisions is not a simple matter. If the 
Nation is to be assured of meeting its future energy 
objectives in the most efficient and environmental- 
ly satisfactory way possible, a program for the 
management of the Federal coal resource is 
essential. 

2.10 REFERENCES 

1. U.S. Department of the Interior, 1960. Coal 
Fields of the United States, Geological Survey, 
Reston, Virginia. 

2. U.S. Department of the Interior, 1977. Miner- 
al Industry Surveys-Coal - Bituminous and Lignite 
(preliminary), Bureau of Mines, Washington, D.C. 

3. U.S. Department of the Interior, 1977. Dem- 
onstrated Coal Reserve Base of the U.S. as of 
January 1, 1976, Mineral Industry Surveys, Bureau 
of Mines, Washington, D.C. 

4. U.S. Department of the Interior, 1978. 
KRCRA Surface/Subsurface Ownership Patterns, 
BLM Coal Task Group 130 Report, Bureau of 
Land Management, Washington, D.C. y 

5. U.S. Department of the Interior, 1977. Miner- 
als Yearbook 1975, Volume I. Metals, Minerals, 
and Fuels, Prepared by Bureau of Mines, Wash- 
ington, D.C. 



6. U.S. Department of the Interior, 1933 through 
1976. Mineral Industry Surveys-Coal - Bituminous 
and Lignite, Bureau of Mines, Washington, D.C. 

7. U.S. Department of Energy, 1977. Statistics 
and Trends of Energy Supply, and Demand, and 
Prices, Volume II and Volume III, Annual Report 
to Congress, Energy Information Administration, 
Washington, D.C. 

8. National Coal Association, 1973. Bituminous 
Coal Data, 1973 Edition, Washington, D.C. 

9. U.S. Department of the Interior, 1975. Final 
Environmental Impact Statement Proposed Feder- 
al Coal Leasing Program, Bureau of Land Man- 
agement, Washington, D.C. 

10. U.S. Department of the Interior, 1976. 
Projected Coal Production for Six Western States, 
Division of Minerals Program Development and 
Analysis, Bureau of Land Management, Washing- 
ton, D.C. 

11. American Gas Association, 1978. Annual 
Report - December 31, 1977 Year-end Reserves of 
Crude Oil and Natural Gas. 

12. Executive Office of the President, 1977. The 
Environment, The President's Message to the 
Congress, April 23, 1977, Presidential Documents 
Vol. 13, No. 22, pp. 782-794, 803-808. 

13. U.S. Department of Energy, 1978. Federal 
Coal Leasing and 1985 and 1990 Regional Coal 
Production Forecasts, Leasing Policy Develop- 
ment Office, Washington, D.C. 

14. Cannon, J.S., 1978. Final Report: Western 
State Coal Leasing Programs, Submitted to the 
Department of Interior Under Contract AA-140- 
4110-1127 on April 27, 1978. (Not for release until 
August 30, 1978.) 

15. U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Divi- 
sion, 1978. Competition in the Coal Industry, 
Washington, D.C. 

16. Comptroller General of the United States, 
July 1978. Inaccurate Estimates of Western Coal 
Reserves Should Be Corrected, EMD-78-32, Re- 
port to the Congress, Washington, D.C. 

17. U.S. Department of the Interior, 1976. Coal 
Resource Classification System of the United 



-65 



ROLE OF WESTERN AND FEDERAL COAL 



States Bureau of Mines and United States Geologi- 
cal Survey, G.S. Bulletin 1450B, Washington, D.C. 

18. U.S. Department of the Interior, 1976. 
Bituminous Coal and Lignite Distribution Calen- 
dar Year 1976, U.S. Bureau of Mines, Washington, 
D.C. 

19. Averitt, P., 1975. Coal Resources of the 
United States-January 1, 1974, U.S. Department 
of Interior, Geological Survey, Washington, D.C. 

20. McNeal, W.H. and G.F. Nielsen, 1974. 1974 
Keystone Coal Industry Manual, McGraw-Hill 

Inc., N.Y., N.Y. 

21. C.F. Clark, J.P. Henry, Jr., M.A. Moore, 
E.L. Capener, RG. Murray, A.J. Moll, J.B. 
Kopelman, E.M. Kinderman, and C.W. Marynow- 
ski, 1973. Energy Supply and Demand Situation in 
North America to 1990, Volume 9: Energy 
Technology. Stanford Research Institute, Menlo 
Park, California. 

22. Executive Office of the President, 1977. 
National Energy Program. The President's Ad- 
dress to the Congress, April 20, 1977, Presidental 
Documents Vol. 13, No. 17, pp. 556-583. 

23. U.S. Department of the Interior, 1975. The 
Reserve Base of U.S. Coals by Sulfur Content, IC 
860, U.S. Bureau of Mines, Washington, D.C. 

24. U.S. Department of the Interior, 1975. The 
Reserve Base of U.S. Coals by Sulfur Content, IC 
8693, U.S. Bureau of Mines, Washington, D.C. 

25. ICF, Inc., 1979. Effects of No Further 
Federal Leasing on the Nation's Coal Markets, 
Prepared for the Departments of the Interior and 
Energy, Draft Report, January 1979. Washington, 
D.C. 

26. Federal Trade Commission, 1978. Staff 
Report on the Structure of the Nation's Coal 
Industry 1964-1974. Washington, D.C. 

27. General Accounting Office, 1977. The State 
of Competition in the Coal Industry. Washington, 
D.C. 

28. Hall, E.H., D.B. Peterson, J.F. Foster, K.D. 
Kiang, and V.W. Ellzey, 1975. Fuels Technology - 
A State of the Art Review, Prepared for the U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency by Battelle 
Columbus Laboratories, Columbus, Ohio. 



29. Subcommittee on Energy and Power, Com- 
mittee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, U.S. 
House of Representatives, 1977. Project Indepen- 
dence: U.S. and World Energy Outlook Through 
1990. Washington, D.C. 

30. American Petroleum Institute, 1977. Re- 
serves of Crude Oil, Natural Gas Liquids, and 
Natural Gas in the Unitd States and Canada as of 
December 31, 1976, Volume 31, Washington, D.C. 

31. Council on Environmental Quality, 1974. 
OCS Oil and Gas - An Environmental Assessment. 
A Report to the President by the Council on 
Environmental Quality, Volume 1. Washington, 

D.C. 

32. Potential Gas Committee, 1976. Potential 
Supply of Natural Gas in the United States, 
Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado. 

33. Congressional Research Service, 1978. Na- 
tional Energy Transportation , Volume III. Issues 
and Problems. Washington, D.C. 

34. U.S. Department of Energy, 1978. Draft 
Environmental Readiness Document - Small Scale 
Low Head Hydro Commercialization Phase III 
Planning, Washington, D.C. 

35. Congressional Research Service, 1978. U.S. 
Energy Demand and Supply 1976-1985 - Limited 
Options, Unlimited Constraints, Washington, D.C. 

36. U.S. Department of Energy, 1978. Working 
Draft Environmental Impact Statement - Eastern 
Gas Shale Project and Possible Ensuing Commer- 
cialization of the Devonian Gas Shale Resource, 
Washington, D.C. 

37. Potential Gas Committee, 1977. A Compari- 
son of Estimates of Ultimately Recoverable Quan- 
tities of Natural Gas in the United States, 
Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado. 

38. U.S. Department of the Interior, 1973. Final 
Environmental Statement for the Prototype Oil 
Shale Leasing Program. Volumes I-VI. Washing- 
ton, D.C. 

39. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 
1977. Western Energy Resources and the Environ- 
ment: Geothermal Energy, EPA 600/9-77-010, 
Office of Energy, Minerals and Industry, Washing- 
ton, D.C. 



2-66 



"^-•• , "'™~"~"~~ - ^ - ~"~'^^ - ^~^ ,, ~ ,-, ~» M^n^MBB^BM MMllllrf" ' 



ROLE OF WESTERN AND FEDERAL COAL 



40. National Energy Conservation Policy Act, 3206, Titles III, IV, VI. 
Public Law 95-619, November 9, 1978, 91 STAT. 



2-67 



: ., ■-■ : 



—Tj^^^rsz^j^- 



HOUHBHaHHHH 



CHAPTER 3 

THE PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM 

AND ALTERNATIVES 



i 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



CHAPTER 3 - THE PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT 

PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 3-1 

3.1 DESCRIPTION OF THE ALTERNATIVES 3-2 

3.1.1 The Preferred Program 3-2 

3.1.2 No Federal Leasing 3-10 

3.1.3 Processes Outstanding Preference Right Lease 
Applications 3-10 

3.1.4 Emergency Leasing 3-11 

3.1.5 Lease to Satisfy Industry's Indications of 

Need 3-12 

3.1.6 State Determination of Leasing Levels 3-12 

3.1.7 Lease to Meet DOE Production Goals 3-12 

3.1.8 Other Alternatives Not Considered 3-13 

3.2 DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF CERTAIN COMPONENTS 
OFTHE PREFERRED PROGRAM AND ITS 
DEVELOPMENT 3-13 

3.2.1 Development of the Preferred Program 3-13 

3.2.2 Land Use Planning 3-17 

3.2.3 Activity Planning 3-54 

3.2.4 Setting Regional Production Goals and Leasing 
Targets 3-57 

3.2.5 Pre-Sale and Sale Procedures 3-60 

3.2.6 State, Local, and Industry Participation 3-65 

3.2.7 Special Leasing Opportunities 3-67 

3.2.8 Emergency Leasing System 3-67 

3.2.9 Post Programmatic Environmental Analysis 3-68 

3.2.10 Administration of Existing Leases and PRLAs ... 3-68 

3.2.1 1 Special Start-Up Considerations 3-72 

3.2.12 Other Aspects of the Preferred Program 3-73 

3.3 REFERENCES 3-74 



CHAPTER 3 

THE PREFERRED FEDERAL COAL 

MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



The National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969 requires the preparation of an environmental 
impact statement on "any major Federal action 
significantly affecting the quality of the human 
environment". A principal task of the one and a 
half year old interagency Federal coal policy 
review has been the selection of the proposed 
action for this programmatic environmental im- 
pact statement. A series of issue option papers was 
prepared on the alternatives and subalternatives 
which would affect the substance and procedures 
of a Federal coal management program. Prefer- 
ences for specific policy options among those 
presented in the issue option papers were expressed 
by the Secretary of the Interior or the Under 
Secretary between October 1977 and March 1979. 
The procedures followed in the coal policy review 
to determine the policy option preferences are 
described in Section 3.2.1 and the various options 
presented to the Secretary and Under Secretary, 
the pros and cons associated with each option, and 
the preferences expressed by the Secretary or 
Under Secretary are summarized in Table 3-2 
accompanying Section 3.2.1. These numerous 
policy option preferences have been integrated into 
a complete proposed Federal coal management 
program which is the proposed major Federal 
action in this statement. This proposed program, 
composed of the preferred policy options, is 
termed the preferred program and is presented in 
Section 3.1.1 and discussed in greater detail in 
Section 3.2. 

The principal policy options not preferred by 
the Secretary form the six major alternatives to the 
preferred program: 

• No new Federal leasing until at least 1985. 

• Process and lease only outstanding prefer- 
ence right lease applications. 

e Lease only bypass coal and coal needed to 
maintain existing operations (emergency 
leasing). 



o Lease to meet the coal industry's indica- 
tions of need. 
• Allow state determination of leasing levels. 
© Lease to meet Department of Energy coal 
production goals. Other policy options not 
preferred by the Secretary form the major 
subalternatives analyzed in Chapter 5, 
Section 5.4. 
Each alternative focuses on a different admin- 
istrative and policy limitation on the determination 
of the level of Federal coal leasing to be achieved. 
They were selected to bracket the range of leasing 
activity that could result from a Federal coal 
management program. Because of the stringent 
statutory and policy restrictions under which the 
Federal coal policy review is being conducted, any 
alternative to the preferred program which might 
be adopted would be similar in most of its details 
to the structure described for the preferred pro- 
gram. Some of the alternatives would remove 
certain components of the preferred program (i.e., 
eliminate new competitive leasing fully for the first 
two alternatives and effectively for the third 
alternative), while others would merely shift the 
responsibility, in whole or in part, for the final 
decision on how much and which coal will be 
offered for lease sale (from the Department to the 
industry in the fourth alternative, to the states in 
the fifth alternative, and to the Department of 
Energy in the sixth alternative). Various alterna- 
tives also differ from the preferred program in the 
sequence of, and extent of data required for, 
decisions in a coal management program. Each of 
the alternatives is_ described in Sections 3.1.2 
through 3.1.7. Other alternatives not analyzed in 
this statement and the reasons for excluding them 
are briefly discussed in Section 3.1.8. The descrip- 
tions of the six major alternatives are not as 
detailed as the description of the preferred pro- 
gram since, as previously noted, most of the 
components of the preferred program would be 
incorporated in the various alternatives. The more 



3-1 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



detailed description of the preferred program in 
Section 3.2 contains an explanation of which 
components of the preferred program are compat- 
ible or incompatible with the other major alterna- 
tives. 

In order to accommodate the reader with a 
complete visualization of the Federal coal manage- 
ment program, and provide insights on Depart- 
mental policy and planning, this document pro- 
vides in Appendix A, the proposed regulations for 
that program. If the Secretary upon review of this 
statement, decides that a program is needed, and 
actually selects a Federal coal management pro- 
gram that reflects his earlier policy preferences 
(i.e., preference for the preferred program), then 
the later regulations that were officially proposed 
on March 19, 1979 (44 Federal Register 16800- 
16845) would govern the operation of that pro- 
gram. Both the detailed discussion of the preferred 
program in Section 3.2 and the proposed regula- 
tions in Appendix A should permit the reader to 
make more specific the comments he or she may 
wish to offer on this statement and the proposed 
action. All comments received by the Department 
on this statement will be considered in the 
selection by the Secretary of the coal management 
program the Department will establish and the 
development of the program's final regulations. 

Adoption of any one of these alternatives as 
the new Federal coal management program would 
likely result in coal leasing, coal production, and 
coal-related development activity levels for each 
coal region different from those which would occur 
under the preferred program. Taken together, the 
preferred program and the six major alternatives 
are intended to cover a full range of coal leasing, 
coal production, and coal-related development 
possibilities. The estimated levels of leasing, 
production, and development which would result 
from these alternatives are presented in Chapter 5 
of this statement and are the basis of that chapter's 
assessment of the environmental impacts from coal 
development under each alternative. Chapter 5, 
Section 5.4 also discusses the impacts of the series 
of subalternatives which, if adopted, could be 
incorporated into one or more of the major 
alternatives. 



3.1. DESCRIPTION OF THE 

ALTERNATIVES 
In this section, the preferred program and 
other alternatives are described. 

3.1.1. The Preferred Program 

At the outset of the Federal coal policy review, 
the Secretary established four primary goals the 
Department must meet for management of the 
Federal coal resource. These primary goals are: 
® Employ land-use planning and effective 
enforcement of environmental laws to 
assure that Federal coal is committed to 
production and produced in an environ- 
mentally acceptable manner which is re- 
sponsive to local communities and land 
owners affected by Federal coal develop- 
ment. 
® Assure that sufficient quantities of Federal 
coal are produced to help meet the objec- 
tives of the National Energy Plan. 
• Assure that Federal coal is produced in an 
economically efficient manner, with a fair 
economic return to the United States for all 
coal produced. 
© Emphasize consultation and cooperation 
with state governments in planning the 
leasing and development of Federal coal. 
The preferred Federal coal management pro- 
gram would incorporate these goals; the expres- 
sions of preference for certain policy options by 
the Secretary and Under Secretary; the require- 
ments of the appropriate statutes, principally the 
Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, the Federal Coal 
Leasing Amendments Act of 1976, the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969, the Federal 
Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, and 
the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act 
of 1977; and the direction provided by the 
President in his 1977 Energy and Environmental 
Messages to the Congress. 

The preferred program includes eight major 
elements: 

® A planning system, involving close consul- 
tation with state and local governments, 
industry, and the public (1) to decide which 
areas of Federal coal reserves would be 
considered acceptable locations for coal 
production, and (2) to delineate, rank, and 
select for sale specific tracts of coal. 



■ 



3-2 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



• A system for evaluating the national de- 
mand for coal and for determining produc- 
tion which should be stimulated by the 
leasing of Federal coal. 

• Procedures for conducting sales and issuing 
leases. 

• Post-lease enforcement of terms and condi- 
tions. 

• Procedures for management of existing 
leases issued prior to implementation of the 
new program. 

• Procedures for processing existing prefer- 
ence right lease applications. 

• A strategy to integrate the environmental 
analysis requirements of the National Envi- 
ronmental Policy Act of 1969 in the new 
program. 

• Procedures to start-up the new program 
and to offer lease sales in emergency 
situations. 

Set forth below is a general overview of the 
eight major elements of the preferred alternative 
for a Federal coal management program. Figure 3- 
1 displays a simple flow chart for the preferred 
alternative. 

The draft version of this statement published 
on December 15, 1978, contained in its Appendix 
A a set of example regulations for the preferred 
program. The example regulations were meant to 
indicate to the reader what type of regulations the 
Department might propose if the Secretary, after 
reviewing this final statement, were to select the 
preferred program. Example regulations were 
provided in order to respond to one of the 
principal public and judicial criticisms of the 1975 
final environmental impact statement for the last 
proposed Federal coal management program (see 
Sections 1.2.4 and 1.2.6), namely, that the pre- 
ferred program was not adequately described. 

Simultaneous with the publication of the draft 
version of this statement, the Department gave 
notice of intent to propose rules (43 Federal 
Register 58776). The example regulations were 
modified after review of the testimony and written 
comments received on the draft statement and 
were published as proposed rules on March 19, 
1979 (44 Federal Register 16800-16845). By sched- 
uling the proposed rulemaking between the publi- 
cation dates for the draft and final environmental 
impact statements, the Department sought to 
provide the public with sufficient time to comment 



on the proposed rules without the burden of being 
asked to address simultaneously the varied issues 
discussed in either the draft or final statement. The 
lengthy overview of the preferred program in this 
section, the more detailed discussion of certain 
aspects of the program in Section 3.2, and the 
proposed rules set forth in Appendix A should 
provide the reader with a complete picture of how 
the preferred program would operate. 

For a similarly detailed understanding of all 
the Department's coal-related activities, the reader 
may wish to review the regulations of the United 
States Geological Survey under 30 CFR Part 211, 
as revised by rulemaking published in 43 Federal 
Register 37181-37196 on August 22, 1978; the final 
regulations of the Office of Surface Mining 
Reclamation and Enforcement under 30 CFR 
Chapter VII published in 44 Federal Register 
14902-15463 on March 13, 1979, and proposed 
planning regulations for the Bureau of Land 
Management under 43 CFR Part 1600 published 
in 43 Federal Register 58764-58774 on December 
15, 1978. Finally, the reader may also wish to 
consult the Forest Service's proposed planning 
regulations under 36 CFR 219 published in 43 
Federal Register 39046-39059 on August 31, 1978. 

3.1.1.1 Planning Systems. In the preferred program, 
the Department would rely on the land manage- 
ment agencies' land use planning processes and the 
Bureau of Land Management's activity planning 
process to provide the initial forums for the 
making of the principal decisions in the Federal 
coal management program. Activity planning 
would then take place through an entirely new 
structure. 

Land Use Planning. The critical decision during the 
land use planning process of the land management 
agencies (prinicipally the Bureau of Land Manage- 
ment and the Forest Service) would be, under the 
preferred program, the identification of areas 
acceptable for further consideration for coal 
leasing. The areas acceptable would be identified 
by screening out areas that: 

• Are considered not to contain coal reserves 
of high to moderate development potential. 

• Are considered unsuitable for leasing under 
the provisions of Section 522 of the Surface 
Mining Control and Reclamation Act 
(SMCRA) and the President's Environmen- 



3-3 



LAND USE PLANNING: 

a) Identify Coal Lands 

b) Unsuitability Findings 

c) Resource Tradeoffs 

d) Surface Owner Consultation 





MANAGEMENT OF: 




ACTIVITY PLANNING: 


a) 


Existing Leases 




a) 


Preliminary 


b) 


PRLAs 






Tract Identi- 


c) 


Emergency Leases 


«-► 




fication 


d) 


Exploration 


b) 


Tract Ranking & 




Licenses 






Proposed Tract 


e) 


Exchanges 




c) 


Selection 
Scheduling 
within Regions 
Regional Sale 
EISs 



REGIONAL PRODUCTION 
GOALS AND 
LEASING TARGETS 





SALES: 


a) 


Decision by Secretary on Selection 




and Scheduling of Tracts for Sale 


b) 


Notice of Sale 


c) 


Lease Sale 



(See Figures 3-2, 3-4 and 3-5 for more detailed presentations 
of the preferred program.) 



FIGURE 3-1 
SUMMARY OF THE PREFERRED PROGRAM 



3-4 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



tal Message through the application of 
lands unsuitability criteria. 

• Are considered to be of higher value for 
other uses as determined by multiple-use, 
resource management trade-off decisions. 

• Include split estate lands where the coal 
would be recovered by surface mining 
methods and a significant number of 
surface owners (as defined in SMCRA) 
have indicated a preference against surface 
mining of their land, except in the rare case 
in activity planning where the Bureau of 
Land Management determines that no 
other areas acceptable for further consider- 
ation for coal leasing could produce suffi- 
cient tracts for lease sale to meet the 
regional leasing target. The Department is 
also considering a procedure which would 
permit an individual surface owner to 
remove his particular land from further 
consideration for leasing by means of 
expressing a firm intent not to provide 
consent to mine during the lifetime of the 
land use plan (up to 15 years). 

The land use plan could also limit development 
levels or rates within the areas identified as 
acceptable for further consideration for coal 
leasing. This use of development levels or rates is 
called the threshold concept; it would be an 
integral part of the land use planning process. As 
examples of the manner in which this concept 
could be employed, in acceptable areas a maxi- 
mum threshold for mining employment might be 
established in response to state government re- 
quests for planning to affect community growth 
rates, or a minimum threshold on the area of 
habitat for a particular wildlife specie might be 
established for resource conservation reasons. 
Then, the Federal land manager or the responsible 
official would not lease coal if the additional 
development could be expected to push total mine 
employment in the area over, or the total area of 
the particular species' habitat under, the specified 
threshold levels. Thresholds would be used to 
control impacts which depend on an overall 
development level rather than on site-specific 
effects. 

All potential resource users would be invited 
and expected to participate actively in the land use 
planning process. Each potential user — whether a 
coal company, a livestock operator, or an environ- 



mental organization — should voice its opinion 
concerning the uses to which the land should be 
put and should provide sufficient information to 
support that opinion. The land use planning 
process provides numerous opportunities for such 
participation. The expertise of, and information 
available to, the potential users is needed by the 
land management agency to ensure that an 
adequate land use plan is prepared. For example, 
coal company data may show coal which can be 
regarded as high or medium potential of which the 
land use planner is not aware; an environmental 
organization may know of a situation, not dis- 
closed in the planning data, which requires the 
application of an unsuitability criterion; or the 
coal company may be able to demonstrate condi- 
tions or potential mining techniques, not known to 
the planner, which qualify for an exception to the 
application of an unsuitability criterion. 



Activity Planning. Activity planning for each 
Federal resource — coal, timber, forage, etc. — in 
the planning area follows completion of the land 
use plan. Under the preferred program, coal 
resource activity planning would be conducted by 
the Bureau of Land Management and would 
involve the delineation, ranking, selection, and 
scheduling of tracts for lease sale from the land 
identified in the land use plan as areas acceptable 
for further consideration for leasing. 

The first step in activity planning would be to 
delineate preliminary tracts from within the ac- 
ceptable areas. Delineation efforts could take place 
beginning about 30 to 60 days after a land use plan 
is filed. The boundaries of the preliminary tracts 
would be drawn primarily on considerations of 
technical coal data, resource conservation consid- 
erations, and surface ownership patterns. Read- 
justments of boundaries to reflect environmental 
or social considerations would occur as the tract 
ranking and selection process proceeds. 

Before tracts are delineated, the Bureau of 
Land Management would publish a call for 
submissions by industry of expressions of interest 
in leasing possible tracts. In addition to the request 
for industry expressions of leasing interest, the 
states would be encouraged to suggest possible 
tracts, particularly tracts of importance to the 
leasing of state-owned coal. These submittals 
would be the critical element in the decisions on 
delineation and subsequent ranking of tracts, since 



3-5 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



the interest of companies or the states in those 
areas would normally reflect important data 
collected by both parties and market judgements 
by the companies. 

Once the land management agency has identi- 
fied preliminary tracts, it would begin analyzing 
the potential environmental impacts and geology 
related to each tract. The agency would work 
closely with other Federal agencies, state and local 
governments, and other interested parties during 
this process. 

All three of the above steps - submission of 
expressions of leasing interest, tract delineation, 
and site-specific analysis - are designed to follow 
the completion of individual land use plans and to 
be conducted in the land use plan areas. The 
following steps are designed to precede the setting 
of a four-year lease sale schedule and to be 
conducted in multistate regions. 

As the next section discloses, the Department 
has divided the country into coal regions to 
develop regional leasing targets. In cooperation 
with all involved land management agencies and 
the affected state and local governments, the 
Department would rank all delineated Federal 
coal tracts within a production region. Generally, 
ranking would take place every four years. Select- 
ed from these ranked tracts would be those tracts 
to be included in a proposed four-year lease sale 
schedule. The number of tracts selected and the 
proposed timing of their sale would be determined 
by considering the leasing target for the region 
established by the Department. Should the region- 
al leasing target appear to exceed greatly the 
producible coal in the more highly ranked Federal 
tracts, the target itself could be reevaluated and 
modified. The tract delineation, ranking, and 
selection decision would be discussed in an 
environmental impact statement which would 
consider the site specific impacts and cumulative 
regional impacts which would ultimately result 
from the sale of leases for all the selected tracts in 
the region over the four-year period. 

The participation of state and local govern- 
ments would be sought actively during the tract 
ranking and selection process, particularly to 
ensure consideration of social and economic 
impacts and problems associated with potential 
coal development. State participation would be 
ensured by the establishment of regional coal 
teams composed of BLM personnel and state 



governors' representatives to oversee the tract 
ranking process, to conduct the tract selection and 
scheduling procedures, and to make the lease sale 
recommendations to the Secretary. The public 
would also participate in this process. Regardless 
of any additional public participation procedures 
which may be employed, public hearings would be 
held on the environmental impact statement 
prepared on the regional tract delineation, ranking, 
selection, and scheduling process. 

From among the tracts selected for lease sale, 
the Secretary would designate, where appropriate, 
specific tracts to be offered for sale only to small 
businesses and to public bodies (Federal and state 
agencies, municipalities, and rural electric cooper- 
atives and similar organizations, and nonprofit 
corporations controlled by any of those entities). 
The decision on these two types of set-aside sales 
would be made after the Secretary reviews the 
information provided by public bodies through 
submissions of expressions of interest in the 
activity planning process and consults with the 
Small Business Administration. 

Stipulations would be attached to the proposed 
leases for the tracts selected for lease sale to 
mitigate adverse environmental and social impacts. 
These stipulations would incorporate measures 
which the Department considers necessary as a 
result of the general environmental analyses 
conducted in the land use planning and site- 
specific activity planning processes. It is expected 
that many of these stipulations would be based on 
the application of the unsuitability criteria and 
their exceptions. The leases would also require 
compliance with the Surface Mining Control and 
Reclamation Act of 1977. 

No tract of Federal coal which includes a 
surface estate owned by a private surface owner as 
defined in SMCRA and which, if leased, would be 
mined by surface mining methods would be 
offered for lease sale unless that owner has given 
his or her consent to mine. It would also be 
removed from any activity planning procedures 
until the governing land use plan is revised if the 
surface owner files with the local BLM office a 
written notice of refusal to give consent. 

Before making a final decision on which, if 
any, tracts to offer for lease sale, the Secretary 
would formally consult with the governors of states 
in which tracts are being proposed for sale. Should 
a governor object to the offering of any proposed 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



. . 



' 



\ 



tract within his state, he would be given a period of 
time in which to prepare and present his arguments 
to the Secretary. 

3.1.1.2 Production Goals and Leasing Targets. The 
major coal bearing areas of the country have been 
divided into 12 coal regions. Eight of these regions 
contain significant reserves of Federal coal and the 
six westernmost of these regions are expected to 
play the principal role in any Federal coal leasing 
scenario. In the preferred Federal coal manage- 
ment program, each region would be managed 
largely as a separate coal production unit with 
many of the management responsibilities delegated 
to regional Department/state teams. Within each 
of these eight regions, a total regional production 
goal and, based on an assessment of new leasing 
needs, a regional leasing target for new logical 
mining units containing Federal coal leases would 
be formulated. 

Regional production goals and leasing targets 
would be derived every two years through the 
following procedure: 

1. The Department of Energy would circulate 
proposed national and regional production goals. 

2. The Secretary would provide DOE with his 
comments, emphasizing possible conflicts between 
the proposed goals and the Interior Department's 
missions. 

3. The Department of Energy would promulgate 
its final regional production goals. 

4. The regional Department/state coal teams 
established for activity planning would recom- 
mend to the Secretary adjustments to the goals and 
possible preliminary regional leasing targets after 
receiving public comments from within their 
respective regions. 

5. On the basis of the teams' recommendations 
and other information and comments available to 
the Department and with consideration for the 
missions of the Department, the Secretary would 
adjust the DOE goals as necessary and adopt the 
adjusted goals for the long-term planning guidance 
of the Department and for the use of states and 
other agencies. He also would propose the four- 
year regional leasing targets to be used by the 
regional coal teams in the formulation or revision 
of a schedule of sales. (Each schedule would be set 
for four-years with a revision considered during 
the second year of its term.) 



6. The Secretary would publish his determina- 
tions and request comments from the public. He 
also would consult with the governor of each state 
to acquire his views of appropriate leasing target 
levels for the state and region. 

7. Finally, on the basis of the comments he 
receives, the Secretary would adopt regional 
leasing targets, expressed as tonnages of coal 
reserves, for the guidance of the regional coal 
teams. These targets would be made available to 
the regional coal teams at about the time they 
begin their task of selecting tracts to propose to the 
Secretary for lease sale. 

In developing its four-year lease sale proposal, 
a regional coal team may propose a lease sale 
schedule that does not meet the regional leasing 
target, but at least one of their alternative sched- 
ules should be for the Secretary's regional leasing 
target. Any recommended divergence from a 
regional leasing target would not become official 
unless and until the Secretary formally accepts the 
recommendation at the time he decides on the 
lease sale schedule for that region (after comple- 
tion of the regional lease sale environmental 
impact statement). Thus, the process of adopting 
production goals and establishing leasing targets 
would include consideration of the full range of 
Federal land management responsibilities and 
applicable statutory requirements and policies of 
the states. In considering new regional production 
goals and leasing targets, the Department would 
review the analyses in this programmatic environ- 
mental impact statement (updated when neces- 
sary) and any post-programmatic lease sale envi- 
ronmental impact statements for each region. It 
would also assess the success of the previous tract 
delineation, ranking, and selection process in each 
region; industry surveys; and information devel- 
oped by other institutions and organizations. 

Although the final regional production goals 
adopted by the Secretary would not be used 
directly in making Federal leasing decisions during 
the tract selection process, these regional goals 
would guide both the Federal and state govern- 
ments in setting data gathering and planning 
priorities. These priorities would be established to 
ensure that a sufficient number of tracts are 
delineated and enough site-specific information is 
generated to make the regional tract ranking and 
selection process workable and to enable the 



3-7 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



Department to meet the regional leasing targets 
derived from those production goals. 

The analysis completed on the tracts available 
but not selected in the previous ranking and 
selection process for the regions would assist the 
Department in projecting cumulative impacts of 
future lease sales. These impacts could then be 
considered when the Department again considers 
regional leasing targets. Using this process, the 
setting of regional leasing targets would supply 
guidance to the tract ranking and selection process 
which, in turn, would supply guidance for the next 
update of the targets. 

3.1.1.3 Lease Sales. Each tract selected by the 
Secretary for lease sale would be analyzed to 
determine the appropriate fair market value of the 
coal and the maximum economic recovery require- 
ments. Comments on the fair market value and 
maximum economic recovery would be taken 
before the sale. 

The method for conducting the sales could 
vary from sale to sale. One of the main sale 
differences would be between single tract and 
intertract sales. In intertract sales, more tracts are 
offered for sale than would be awarded. The 
intertract sale is designed to encourage competi- 
tion over all the tracts when competition for each 
tract viewed individually may be lacking. At a 
minimum, this form of sale would be employed for 
sales involving tracts which would be mined by 
surface mining methods and which contain a 
surface estate owned by a surface owner as defined 
by SMCRA who gave nontransferable consent to 
mine prior to the enactment of SMCRA. 

The responsibility for promulgating regulations 
concerning the bidding systems to be employed in 
lease sales belongs to the Department of Energy. 
In no case would bids for less than fair market 
value be accepted. 

Particular tracts may have been set aside in 
activity planning for public body or small business 
special lease sale opportunities. These tracts would 
be sold in separate sales with only qualified public 
body and small business firms permitted to bid. In 
these set-aside lease sales, no bids for less than fair 
market value would be accepted and no special 
variation in calculating fair market value would be 
used. Set aside tracts on which no successful bids 
are received would be released for the subsequent 
general sale, if one is scheduled. 



The Attorney General would review all suc- 
cessful high bidders for antitrust implications 
before the leases could be issued. Each lease issued 
would contain provisions in accordance with 
regulations promulgated by the Department of 
Energy to ensure diligent development of the coal 
and continued operation of the mine. 

3.1.1.4 Post-Lease Enforcement of Terms and 
Conditions. After a lease has been issued, the Office 
of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 
or, if a cooperative agreement has been signed with 
the state, the appropriate state agency, would 
largely be responsible for enforcing the environ- 
mental stipulations set forth in the lease and in the 
mining permit. The mining permit would have to 
be issued to the lessee jointly by the state agency 
and the Department of the Interior before mining 
operations begin. To obtain the permit, the lessee 
would be required to have a mining plan approved 
by the Secretary. The lessee would have to file 
bonds both to ensure that certain financial com- 
mitments to the Federal Government are met and 
to cover the cost of reclamation by the Federal 
land management agency should the lessee fail to 
meet all his reclamation requirements. The general 
post-lease program is discussed in the Final 
Environmental Statement for the Permanent Reg- 
ulatory Program under SMCRA [1] and set forth 
in the permanent regulations of the Office of 
Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (44 
Federal Register 14902-15463, March 9, 1979). 

3.1.1.5 Management of Existing Leases. The De- 
partment would apply the same land use planning 
and unsuitability standards to existing nonproduc- 
ing leases as would be applied to new leases. Such 
application would respect valid existing rights and 
substantial financial and legal commitments and 
other exemptions in SMCRA and other laws. 
Criteria would be applied to nonproducing existing 
leases during land use planning. If, however, 
criteria have not been applied to a nonproducing 
existing lease prior to submission of a mine plan, 
they would be applied directly to the lease tract in 
the mine plan review process. 

Under this approach, except where land use 
planning is conducted, leases on which there is no 
attempt to achieve production would lapse for 
failure to meet diligence requirements without the 
application of criteria. When a mining plan is 
submitted, the Department would review both 



■ 



3-8 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



whether the plan is consistent with the reclamation 
standards of SMCRA and whether coal develop- 
ment is consistent with current planning and 
unsuitability requirements and stipulations. 

Should the review indicate no major problems, 
the Department would process the mining plan 
under normal procedures. If major problems exist, 
however, the Department would seek to work them 
out with the lessee or reject the mining plan for 
failure to comply with SMCRA. 

Finally, as part of the process of determining 
the need for new leasing, and in setting the 
regional production goals and leasing targets, the 
Department has evaluated, and would continue to 
evaluate, the production potential from existing 
producing and nonproducing leases. This evalu- 
ation, however, is not as detailed as, nor can it 
substitute for, the mining plan review for consis- 
tency with current planning and unsuitability 
requirements and reclamation standards. 

3.1.1.6 Processing of Preference Right Lease Appli- 
cations. As with existing leases, the Department 
would adopt a policy of applying to preference 
right lease applications the same unsuitability and 
planning requirements as those applied to new 
leases. The Department would integrate the deter- 
mination of consistency with current requirements 
in the process for determining lease entitlement in 
which the applicant must show the existence of 
commercial quantities of coal. 

Needed environmental stipulations would be 
derived after the applicant submits the initial 
commercial quantities showing. If the final com- 
mercial quantities showing is then successfully 
made, the Department would issue the lease. If 
not, the application would be rejected. 

3.1.1.7 Meeting the Requirements of the National 
Environmental Policy Act. A regional environmen- 
tal impact statement would be prepared on a four- 
year schedule of lease sales in each coal production 
region shown in Figure 1-1 for which sales of 
Federal coal are projected. Each regional lease sale 
statement would include analysis of both the site- 
specific and intraregional cumulative impacts of 
the proposed leasing actions. Additionally, mine 
plan reviews, coal lease exchanges, and other 
Federal coal management actions might be includ- 
ed where timely and appropriate. The regional 
leasing target, the tract delineation and ranking 
process, the proposed selection of tracts to be 



leased, and the proposed lease sale schedule would 
be discussed and analyzed. The tract rankings and 
sales schedule would be reconsidered two years 
later when the next biennial process of establishing 
new regional production goals and leasing targets 
is completed. If, during this reconsideration in any 
region, substantial differences are found in tract 
ranking (because of the preparation of additional 
land use plans or changed environmental, social, 
or economic conditions) or if there is a new 
regional leasing target requiring a major change in 
the tracts proposed for sale, a two-year supplement 
to the regional lease sale statement would be 
prepared. At the time of the second consecutive 
biennial consideration of regional leasing targets 
and ranking of tracts, new four-year regional lease 
sale environmental impact statements would be 
prepared. 

National and interregional impacts of the 
Federal coal management program are analyzed in 
this programmatic environmental impact state- 
ment. The document would be updated when 
conditions change sufficiently to require new 
analyses of those impacts. 

It is expected that additional environmental 
impact statements would also be prepared on the 
individual land use plans of the Bureau of Land 
Management and Forest Service. As each land use 
plan addresses all public land resources and uses, 
not just coal and coal development, the environ- 
mental impact statement on the plan would be 
comprehensive. Concerning coal, the statement 
would include an environmental impact analysis of 
any decision in the plan to identify lands as 
acceptable for further consideration for coal 
leasing, including the application of the unsuitabil- 
ity criteria and the resource trade-offs which led to 
the decision. 

Presently, the Department is preparing envi- 
ronmental impact statements on eight regions with 
high coal development potential. These regions are 
considerably smaller than the coal regions for 
which the regional coal lease sale environmental 
impact statements would be prepared under the 
preferred program (compare Figures 1-1 and 1-2). 
These ongoing regional statements discuss mining 
plans for existing leases and related developments. 
They do not address any renewed competitive 
leasing which would result from the determination 
of a need for leasing under the preferred program. 
Where, however, the analyses in these regional 



3-9 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



statements would be applicable to analyses needed 
in the new regional lease sale statements, they 
would be incorporated in the new statements. 

3.1.1.8 Emergency Leasing and Start-up of the 
Program. Should any leasing be contemplated in 
the near future the entire program would be 
phased in gradually during the first few sales 
schedules. This phasing -in would be necessitated 
by budgetary constraints and personnel ceilings. 
The principal differences between a mature pro- 
gram and start-up procedures would be that, first, 
the unsuitability criteria would be applied directly 
to lands which have already been found acceptable 
for further consideration for coal leasing in 
existing land use plans and, second, the regional 
lease sale environmental impact statements would 
not necessarily include a full four-year sales 
schedule. 

Once the program is in full operation (which 
could be as early as 1985), situations might arise in 
which the full planning-through-sale cycle of 
decisionmaking could not respond quickly enough 
to avoid causing unfair losses for existing coal 
operations or the economies of certain locations. 
To meet these situations, an emergency leasing 
system, which would develop leases for sale 
individually, would be a component of the pro- 
gram. This system would use existing land use 
plans or land use analyses where appropriate and 
shorten greatly the activity planning stage. No 
tract, however, would be offered for lease sale 
under this system that had not been the subject of 
an environmental assessment, including the appli- 
cation of unsuitability criteria. Emergency lease 
applications would be considered in cases where 
Federal coal would be by-passed, where Federal 
coal is needed to continue existing production or 
meet existing contract requirements, where failure 
to lease Federal coal would create a hardship, or 
where Federal coal would be mined to gain access 
to other coal deposits. It is expected that the need 
for emergency leasing would diminish over time. 
Emergency leasing would not be permitted to 
substitute for the procedures required in the full 
preferred program decisionmaking cycle. Emer- 
gency applications which are not compatible with 
existing land use plans would be rejected. 



3.1.2 No Federal Leasing 

Under this alternative, no new Federal coal 
would be leased until at least 1985. All preference 
right lease applications would be rejected where 
cause for rejection exists, not processed during this 
period, exchanged for leases for other minerals, or 
purchased. There would be no leasing for bypass 
situations or to maintain existing operations. The 
supply of Federal coal available for development 
would consist of that coal already under lease, 
including coal which may have been previously 
leased under the consent agreement in NRDC v. 
Hughes . 

Selection of this alternative implies that the 
government has decided that leasing is not needed 
within the planning horizon to 1985. The produc- 
tion under this alternative could reach the same 
levels as the preferred program or the alternative of 
leasing to meet DOE production goals since these 
programs could have outcomes of no leasing in one 
or more of the study regions. 

Compared to the preferred program and other 
alternatives, the no leasing alternative would likely 
stimulate the largest number of proposals for 
development of existing leases for which no mining 
plans have been submitted. In each such proposal, 
and after the mining plan is filed, the leasehold 
would be examined in light of the lands unsuitabil- 
ity criteria. This examination would be carried out 
through the land use planning system in a fashion 
similar to that previously described for determin- 
ing areas acceptable for further consideration for 
coal leasing. Those leases which are found unsuit- 
able would be revoked using the appropriate, 
available legal tools. This alternative would also 
stimulate the largest number of proposals for 
development of non-Federal coal. 

3.1.3 Process Outstanding Preference Right Lease 
Applications 

Under this alternative, the Federal government 
would process preference right lease applications 
(PRLAs) and issue leases for those applications 
which meet the commercial quantities test. How- 
ever, no other Federal leasing would occur until at 
least 1985. 

Existing leases would be managed as described 
under the no leasing alternative. The PRLAs 
would be processed as rapidly as would be 
administratively feasible. If it were necessary to set 



3-10 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



priorities in the processing of PRLAs, the follow- 
ing general guidelines would be applied: 

• First, PRLAs in the least environmentally 
damaging areas. 

• Second, PRLAs in areas where coal devel- 
opment needs are greatest as determined by 
a regional coal needs analysis. 

• Third, PRLAs which have been on file for 
the longest period. 

Choice of this alternative would require that 
those PRLAs in areas which are determined 
environmentally unacceptable, but which still meet 
the commercial quantities test (with proper envi- 
ronmental stipulations applied), would either have 
to be purchased or otherwise acquired (e.g., 
through lease exchanges permitted by statute). 

As with the no leasing alternative, this alterna- 
tive is not necessarily inconsistent with the pre- 
ferred program or with the alternative of leasing to 
meet DOE production goals; leasing level targets 
under those alternatives could be met with coal 
from PRLAs. 

The surface owner consent provisions of 
SMCRA do not apply to PRLAs. Environmental 
analysis to comply with NEPA could be done on a 
case-by-case basis. 

3.1.4 Emergency Leasing 

This alternative would provide for limited 
competitive leasing. Emergency leases would in- 
clude the relatively small amounts of Federal coal 
which could be leased to avoid bypassing Federal 
coal or to maintain existing operations. Bypass 
situations arise where Federal coal occurs in small 
blocks which adjoin areas where mines are already 
operating and which, if not leased, are not likely to 
be mined at all. Leasing of PRLAs would be 
permitted only if they meet either the bypass or 
existing operations criteria. These limited leasing 
criteria would be similar to current criteria for 
short-term leasing under the modified order in 
NRDC v. Hughes . The maximum amount of 
bypass coal eligible for any single lease under this 
alternative would be that agreed to under the court 
order (i.e., five years of production at existing 
rates). Similarly, the maximum amount of coal that 
would be leased to maintain an existing operation 
would be defined by that order (eight years of 
production at existing rates). As with the two 
previous alternatives, this alternative precludes 
other new competitive Federal coal lease sales, at 



least until 1985, with a review of the need for new 
leasing anticipated then. Existing leases would be 
managed as described under the no leasing 
alternative. 

In specifying this alternative, the elegibility of 
existing operations to lease additional Federal coal 
to maintain production would have to be restrict- 
ed. The restrictions decided on were that the 
mining operation must have been in existence at 
least five years and must not have previously 
obtained a new Federal lease in order to maintain 
the existing operations. This decision, however, 
will have to be reviewed if the Secretary elects this 
alternative. It should be noted that these restric- 
tions in some respects are tighter than the 
comparable short-term leasing criteria under the 
NRDC v. Hughes order, wherein mines must only 
have been operating by September 1977 to be 
eligible to lease Federal coal on a short-term basis. 

The surface owner consent provisions of 
Section 714 of SMCRA would apply and, where 
appropriate, lands unsuitability criteria and gener- 
al planning analysis would be required. Site 
specific environmental analysis would be carried 
out separately and not included in any regional 
environmental impact statements. 

3.1.5 Lease to Satisfy Industry's Indications of 
Need 

This alternative is effectively the Energy 
Minerals Activity Recommendation System 
(EMARS II), as proposed by the Department in 
the September 19, 1975, final environmental 
impact statement on the Federal coal leasing 
program. Certain changes must be made to bring 
the program into compliance with the Federal 
Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, the 
Federal Coal Leasing Amendments Act of 1976, 
and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation 
Act of 1977. 

Under this alternative, during the early stages 
of land use planning industry would first be asked 
to nominate those tracts it is interested in leasing. 
At the same time, the public would be asked to 
indicate those areas where leasing should be 
restricted. Coal demand estimates formed from the 
sum of the industry nominations would serve as a 
development restriction. Such information would 
then be processed through the land management 
agencies' planning systems to determine whether 
the specific tracts are environmentally acceptable 



3-11 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



and whether coal development represents an 
efficient and proper use of the land. Tracts which 
are judged acceptable would then be offered in a 
future lease sale. Each tract receiving a high bid 
equal to or above fair market value as determined 
by the Department would be leased to the high 
bidder. 

Major differences between this alternative and 
the preferred program are that land use planning 
would not be required to precede tract delineation, 
regional environmental and socio-economic con- 
cerns would not weigh as heavily in the location of 
tracts for sale, and more leasing than needed by 
the market might take place because of speculative 
interest in leases. 

Existing leases and PRLAs would be managed 
as described earlier. This alternative would also 
include procedures for emergency leasing of small 
tracts as described earlier. NEPA compliance 
could proceed as under the preferred program. The 
surface owner consent provisions of Section 714 of 
SMCRA would apply. Regional environmental 
impact statements would not be prepared, and the 
tracts would be analyzed in the environmental 
impact statements on land use plans. 

3.1.6 State Determination of Leasing Levels 

Under this alternative, the states would have 
the responsibility to determine the timing and 
extent of new Federal leasing. There are many 
procedural structures that could be used to 
implement this alternative. The states, rather than 
the Secretary with state consultation, could select 
and rank tracts from areas acceptable for further 
consideration for coal leasing as determined 
through the Federal land management agencies' 
land use planning systems. States would determine 
a lease sale schedule; thereafter, the appropriate 
BLM state office would conduct the sale. The 
states would have veto power over which leases 
would finally be issued. 

A second possible structure would be to 
transfer all land use planning and environmental 
analysis functions to the appropriate state plan- 
ning office. The Department would retain only the 
responsibility to conduct lease sales and to issue 
leases. Both structures would require Congressio- 
nal action to amend the governing statutes, 
especially FLPMA and SMCRA. 

Existing leases and PRLAs would be managed 
as described before, but the states could have a 



final veto on the acceptability of any area for coal 
mining and could have responsibility for approval 
of mining plans for Federal coal. Furthermore, it is 
assumed that this alternative would include an 
emergency leasing component. States would be 
delegated the responsibility to obtain appropriate 
surface owner consents. 

The Department chose this alternative and its 
variations for analytical purposes only. The alter- 
native and its variations have not been formally 
requested by the states themselves, although they 
were consulted to assess the comparative impacts 
of the alternative. To conduct an environmental 
impact analysis of this alternative it was necessary 
to solicit statements of present preferences for 
leasing levels from the states. The Department 
requested each western state with substantial 
reserves of unleased Federal coal to specify what 
production levels it would like to see analyzed for 
1985 and 1990. All but two states provided their 
own production levels to be used for the analytical 
purposes of this environmental impact statement. 
The State of Colorado chose to specify production 
levels equivalent to the DOE mid-level estimates. 
The State of Utah preferred not to specify any 
production levels and indicated that the DOE 
estimates for Utah are extremely suspect. 

3.1.7 Lease to Meet DOE Production Goals 

Under this alternative, DOE regional produc- 
tion goals would drive the tract selection system. 
DOE would select the regional leasing targets. 
Although the same amount of leasing might result 
from some of the previously described alternatives, 
this alternative would focus specifically on the 
DOE national production projections and would 
not allow for any adjustment in those projections. 
Areas acceptable for further consideration for coal 
leasing would be defined in the land use planning 
processes as described in the preferred program. 
New leasing needs in a region would be calculated 
by first estimating for a future period the differ- 
ence between DOE production goals and currently 
committed coal production. Estimates would then 
be made of the amount of coal needed to fill 
potential production gaps that could be supplied 
from existing Federal leases and non-Federal coal. 
Estimates of the potential production from existing 
leases and non-Federal coal would take into 
account the application of unsuitability criteria to 
existing leases and the relative costs of mining both 



3-12 



MiriMimiiiMiTiWBTiMiiioiiManiWMrriiiiF 



iMiMiiiriaimmiMiMiiiBiniinirinHtflMirr 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



sources of production. The remainder of the gap 
would then have to be met by coal production 
from new Federal leases. 

Under this alternative, PRLAs would be 
processed as described under the preferred pro- 
gram. The amount of new competitive leasing 
planned for regions would be adjusted for the 
amount of reserves in PRLAs expected to be 
leased. The adjustment would take into account 
whether PRLA reserves were the least costly to 
mine, the type of coal needed, environmentally 
acceptable locations, and other factors. 

This alternative would include an emergency 
leasing component. Environmental impact state- 
ments would be prepared as under the preferred 
program. The surface owner consent provisions of 
Section 714 of SMCRA would apply. 

3.1.8 Other Alternatives Not Considered 

The EMARS I proposal is not separately 
analyzed as an alternative in this statement. The 
basic principal of EMARS I, that coal develop- 
ment on Federal lands should stem from govern- 
ment interests, is a primary factor in the lease to 
meet DOE production goals alternative and in the 
preferred program, which relies on both coal need 
projections and ways to modify these projections 
in response to environmental, state government, 
and other concerns. Other EMARS I elements 
were either never articulated or superceded by 
subsequent legislative changes. 

The alternative of development of Federal coal 
resources by the Federal government is not 
discussed in this statement. Although such an 
alternative was mentioned in the 1975 program- 
matic environmental impact statement, it is unlike- 
ly the Congress would approve legislation remov- 
ing the responsibility for developing coal on 
Federal lands from the private sector. The alterna- 
tive is unreasonable and does not need to be 
analyzed. 

3.2. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF 

CERTAIN COMPONENTS OF THE 
PREFERRED PROGRAM AND ITS 
DEVELOPMENT 

This section provides a more detailed presenta- 
tion of certain components of the preferred 
Federal coal management program. It also in- 
cludes a discussion of the process of developing the 
preferred program and certain statutory require- 



ments which have affected the program's design. 
Figures 3-2, 3-3 and 3-4 display fully the major 
steps in the preferred program. 

Each discussion of a component of the pre- 
ferred program in this section notes where the 
component is unique to the preferred program and 
where it is compatible with other alternatives. 

3.2.1. Development of the Preferred Program 

Shortly after assuming the post of Secretary of 
the Interior, Secretary Andrus requested a review 
of the status of Federal coal leasing, including the 
lack of new leasing, the 1975 proposed leasing 
program, the new statutory base for leasing, and 
the NRDC v. Hughes suit. The reviewers found that 
the 1975 program had been outdated by the new 
statutes and, furthermore, was not compatible with 
the policy objectives of the new Administration; 
that the plaintiffs' arguments in the law suit were 
likely to prevail; and that significant, new Federal 
leasing probably could not and, moreover, should 
not begin until a new Federal coal management 
program which complies with the law and meets 
Presidential and Departmental policy objectives is 
prepared and the need for renewed leasing is 
assessed. 

Responding to these findings, the Secretary 
ordered a full-scale interagency coal policy review 
which, among other things, would assess the need 
for leasing and initiate the development of a new 
Federal coal management program. A review 
committee, composed of the Solicitor and Assis- 
tant Secretaries of the Department was formed. 
The Office of Coal Leasing, Planning, and Coordi- 
nation was established at the Departmental level to 
coordinate the review. Three events in 1977 gave 
impetus to the review: the April 29 publication of 
the National Energy Plan which emphasized coal 
as the principal domestic fuel to reduce our 
dependence on imported oil and gas and called for 
a doubling of coal production by 1985; the 
President's May 23 Environmental Message to the 
Congress and May 24 Memorandum to the 
Secretary which called upon the Secretary to 
develop an environmentally sound coal manage- 
ment program; and the September 27 decision in 
NRDC v. Hughes enjoining the Department from 
engaging in major leasing activity until certain 
conditions were met (see Chapter 1 for a discussion 
of these events). 



3-13 













1 






PREPLANNING 
ANALYSIS 




REGIONAL PRODUCTION 

TARGETS 

(solely to schedule planning 

activities—not to affect 

substance of plans) 


^ 




















IDENTIFICATION OF HIGH AND 
MEDIUM POTENTIAL COAL LANDS 














APPLICATION OF 
UNSUITABILITY CRITERIA 






1 


f + Jr 








LAND 

USE 

PLANS 


A 






RESOURCE TRADEOFF 
DECISIONS 




^ 












■ 


k f 




SURFACE OWNER 
CONSULTATION 


















THRESHOLD SETTING AND LEASE 
AREA PRIORITIES RECOMMENDATIONS 












1 


r 










AREAS ACCEPTABLE 

FOR FURTHER 

CONSIDERATION 

FOR COAL LEASING 






(T( 


] ACTIVIT 
(FIGUR 


Y PL/5 
E 3-4 


NNING 
) 







PREFERRED PROGRAM: 



FIGURE 3-2 

BLM LAND USE PLANNING PROCESS 



3-14 



.... :i^_^ i: :: ,:: 



(LAND USE PLANNING PROCESS) 
(FIGURE 3-2) 



I 



PRELIMINARY TRACT 
DELINEATION 



COAL DATA 



PROGRAMMATIC IMPACT 
STATEMENT DETERMINATIONS 



EXISTING REGIONAL PRODUCTION 
GOALS AND LEASING TARGETS 



EXPRESSIONS OF 
INTEREST 



GEOGRAPHIC COAL REGIONS 




BIENNIAL DOE NATIONAL 
PRODUCTION GOALS 



REGIONAL TEAMS TO ASSESS 
DOE GOALS AND PROPOSE 

LEASING TARGETS BY 
COMPARISON WITH KNOWN 
FEDERAL/NON- FEDERAL 
MINING PLANS, SURVEYS, ETC. 



SECRETARY ASSESSMENT OF 
COAL POLICY AND 
RECOMMENDATIONS 



SECRETARY ADOPTS GOALS AS 
MODIFIED, ESTABLISHES 
PRELIMINARY REGIONAL 
LEASING TARGETS 



TRACT SITE 
SPECIFIC ANALYSIS 



REGIONAL RANKING 
BY TRACT 



PROPOSED TRACT 
SELECTION AND SALES 
SCHEDULING 



RANKING 
PROCEDURES 



SECRETARY ADOPTS 
FINAL REGIONAL 
LEASING TARGETS 



REVIEW WITH STATES THE 

PRELIMINARY REGIONAL 

LEASING TARGETS 



COMMENTS FROM INDUSTRY 
AND PUBLIC ON GOALS AND 
TARGETS 



REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL 
STATEMENT 



PUBLIC HEARING 



(TO SALES PROCEDURES) 
(FIGURE 3-5) 



FIGURE 3-3 
PREFERRED PROGRAM: ACTIVITY PLANNING PROCESS 



3-15 



(FROM ACTIVITY PLANNING (FIGURE 3-4) 



J 


1 






CONFIRMATION OF 
WRITTEN SURFACE 
OWNER CONSENT 








' 








1 


r^ 


FORMAL CONSULTATION 
WITH STATE GOVERNORS 


APPROVAL BY SECRETARY 
OF TRACTS 


, 


















SURFACE MANAGEMENT 
AGENCY CONSULTATION 









SECRETARY'S DECISION 
TO LEASE 



NOTICE OF LEASE SALE 

CONTAINS: DATE AND PLACE OF SALE 
DESCRIPTION OF LANDS 

REQUEST FOR COMMENTS ON FAIR MARKET VALUE 
STATEMENT ON AVAILABILITY OF SUPPLEMENTAL 

INFORMATION 
REQUEST FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL INFORMATION 
BIDDER QUALIFICATIONS 
BOND INFORMATION 



ECONOMIC EVALUATION 



SALE 





CONVENE SALE REVIEW 
PANEL 






1 


' 






REVIEW BIDDER 
QUALIFICATIONS 






1 


f 




CONSULT WITH ATTORNEY GENERAL 
ON ANTITRUST PROVISIONS 




J 


7 






ISSUE LEASE 





FIGURE 3-4 



PREFERRED PROGRAM: SALES PROCEDURES 



3-16 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



The process of selecting the preferred new 
Federal coal management program began in 
October 1977 and continued through March 1979. 
The first step in the process was the convening of 
task forces assigned to specific issue areas. These 
task forces were staffed with coal, land use 
planning, and other specialists drawn mostly from 
the Bureau of Land Management, the Geological 
Survey, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the 
Office of Policy Analysis. Each task force pro- 
duced a background issue paper which was made 
public and continues to be available from the 
Bureau of Land Management upon request. The 
Office of Coal Leasing, Planning, and Coordina- 
tion reviewed these papers and from them pre- 
pared concise issue option papers which were 
submitted to the Secretary or Under Secretary. 
(These issue option papers, listed in Table 3-1, 
were also made public and continue to be available 
from the Bureau of Land Management upon 
request.) The Secretary or Under Secretary circu- 
lated the issue option papers to the Assistant 
Secretaries and the Solicitor for comments and 
recommendations on which issue options should 
be selected. After all comments and recommenda- 
tions were also circulated among the Assistant 
Secretaries and the Solicitor, they or their repre- 
sentatives met and discussed the comments and 
recommendations with the Secretary or Under 
Secretary. The Secretary or Under Secretary 
subsequently selected the option he preferred 
under each issue presented to him in the issue 
option paper or papers then under consideration. 
On October 26, 1977, the Secretary considered 
the general question of when in the planning 
process should the Department solicit information 
from the coal industry regarding where they would 
prefer to have leases offered. On June 30, 1978, the 
Secretary addressed numerous issues of which the 
principal one was how should the need for leasing 
and the levels of leasing be determined and by 
whom. The six options not preferred by the 
Secretary became the basis of the six alternatives 
to the preferred program which are analyzed in 
this statement. Also selected on that date were 
options under issues concerning single tract and 
intertract sale methods, bidding systems, state and 
public participation procedures, site specific analy- 
sis and lease stipulations requirements, the defini- 
tion of "maximum economic recovery", regulation 
of the end uses of Federal coal, a program for 



public body leasing, and the management of non- 
producing existing leases and preference right lease 
applications. The Under Secretary selected options 
on issues concerning procedures in land use and 
activity planning on July 28, 1978, and on issues 
concerning the preparation of environmental 
impact statements and the implementation of the 
statutory surface owner consultation and consent 
requirements on September 15, 1978. On October 3 
and November 2, 1978, the Under Secretary 
selected preferred criteria (and exceptions) for 
designating Federal coal lands unsuitable for 
mining. Finally, on March 2, 1979, in response to 
public comment on the draft version of this 
statement and further analysis in the coal policy 
review, the Under Secretary expressed a preference 
for the use of Department/state regional coal 
teams in activity planning and for certain changes 
in surface owner consultation and consent proce- 
dures. (The issues and options considered by the 
Secretary and the Under Secretary, the benefits 
from and the detriments to each option, the issue 
option papers which set forth the options and 
contain the discussion of the benefits and detri- 
ments, the option preferred, and the date the 
preference decision was made are summarized in 
Table 3-2.) 

The preferred program described in Section 
3.1.1. and discussed in greater detail below was 
developed by the Office of Coal Leasing, Planning 
and Coordination from the policy options per- 
ferred by the Secretary or the Under Secretary. 
Further work in determining procedural details for 
the preferred program and several of the other 
alternatives is being accomplished by 23 task 
forces composed of representatives of various 
agencies of the Department and of the Office of 
Leasing Policy Development of the Department of 
Energy. These task forces were established shortly 
after the publication of the draft version of this 
statement on December 15, 1978, and most of their 
work is already reflected in the proposed regula- 
tions set forth in Appendix A and in changes in the 
text of this chapter from Chapter 3 in the draft 
statement. 

3.2.2. Land Use Planning. 

As previously noted, in the preferred program 
the land management agencies' land use planning 
systems and The Bureau of Land Management's 
coal activity planning process are to provide the 



3-17 



TABLE 3-1 

ISSUE OPTION PAPERS PREPARED TO IDENTIFY 
PREFERRED PROGRAM ALTERNATIVE 



Issue Option Papers' 



Paper Date Decision Date 



Option Paper for the Secretary: 
Departmental Approach for the Long- 
Term Coal Leasing Program 

Need for Leasing/Leasing Systems 
Choice 

Bidding Systems 

Setting of Environmental Conditions 
and Lease Terms 

State and Local Government 
Participation 

Public Participation 

Maximum Economic Recovery 

Coal Leasing: Surface Owner Consent 

Leasing for Limited End Uses 

Public Body Leasing 

Management of Preference Right 
Lease Applications 

Management of Existing Leases 

Intraregional Matters Affecting 
Design of a Leasing Process 

Environmental Analysis Strategy 

Split Estate Leasing Implementation 

Land Unsuitability Criteria 

Proposed Additional Unsuitability 
Criteria 

State Participation in Activity 
Planning in Preferred Coal Management 
Program 

Surface Owner Consent Procedures 



Sept. 20, 1977 Oct. 26, 1977 



June 23, 19 78 June 30, 1978 



June 23, 1978 
June 23, 1978 



June 30, 1978 
June 30, 1978 



June 23, 1978 June 30, 1978 



June 23, 1978 

June 23, 1978 

June 23, 1978 

June 23, 1978 

June 23, 1978 

June 23, 1978 

June 23, 1978 
July 18, 1978 

Aug. 31, 1978 
Aug. 31, 1978 
Sept. 22, 1978 
Oct. 30, 1978 



June 30, 19 78 
June 30, 1978 
June 30, 1978 
June 30, 1978 
June 30, 1978 
June 30, 1978 

June 30, 1978 
July 28, 1978 

Sept. 15, 1978 
Sept. 15, 1978 
Oct. 3, 1978 
Nov. 2, 1978 



Feb. 27, 1979 March 2, 1979 



Feb. 27, 1979 March 2, 1979 



All issue option papers are available from the Department upon request. 



3-18 



TABLE 3- 2 
POLICY OPTIONS - SECRETARY'S PREFFHFNCE 



ISSUES AND OPTIONS (a) 



When during the planning process should the Department 
solicit information from the coal Industry regarding 
where thev would nrefer to have leases offered? 



1. before multiple-use tradeoff 
decisions are made. 



□t solicit any information. 



3. no not use industry information until areas 
acceptable for further consideration for leasing 
have heen Identified, then use industry information 
in tract delineation, ranking, and selection process- 



Is new coal leasing needed; if so. what should 



the flfneral structure of a new Federal coal 
management program? 

1. No Federal leasing until at least 1985. 



2. Vo Federal leasing, hut process preference 
right lease applications. 



3. Fmergencv leasing only (bypass and maintain 
existing production) (Suboption would allow 
limited new mine leasing). 



it. Lease D 



gptiflfv industrv needs 



PROS AND CONS (h) 



PAPER AND DATE/COMMENTS 



land 



(+) Incorporates market information int 
use planning. 

(+) Incorporates industry's resource Informa- 
tion into land use planning. 

(-) Eliminates some coal resource areas which 
otherwise would pass unsultahility and 
tradeoff screens hut in which industry is 
not interested 

C-) Overbalances tradeoff decision in favor of coal. 

(_) Government would have to seek out resource 

and market information Industry has already. 
(-) Mines likely to he located at sites that are 

not efficient for the industry. 
(-) Could bias BLH planning toward noncoal 

surface resources. 

(+) Industry will have strong voice in selection 
of tracts, hut only in areas known to he 
acceptable for further consideration for 



Paper: "Option Paper for the Secretary: 
Departmental Approach for the Long-Term 
Coal Leasing Program," September 26, 1977. 
Decision: Option 3; October 26, 1977. 



le 



sing. 



(+) Incorporates market information into activity 

planning. 
(-) BLM multiple-use resource decision cannot he 

made for coal without coal "demand" estimate. 



(+) Low administrative hurden. 
(-) Low assurance of meeting M, \P goals. 
<-) Low assurance of leasing least-cost coal. 
(-) Shifts environmental impacts to non- 
Federal lands. 
(c)(0) Shifts coal production to East. 

(+) Moderate to low administrative burden. 
(-) Low assurance of meeting W EP goals. 
(-) Low assurance of leasing least-cost coal. 
(-) Low capability to incorporate environ- 
mental considerations. 
(c)(0) Shifts coal production to East. 

(+) Moderate to low administrative hurden. 
(-) Low assurance of meeting HEP goals. 
(-) Low assurance of leasing least-cost coal. 
(-) Low capability of incorporating regional 

environmental considerations. 
(-) Restricts new-entrants to coal industry. 

(+) High assurance of meeting NEP goals. 

(+) "igh assurance of leasing least-cost coal. 

(+) Low administrative burden. 

{-) Low capability to incorporate regional 

environmental considerations. 
(-) Low capability to mitigate social ard 

fiscal Impacts. 



Secretary Indicated, however, that BLM 
should accept Industry comment at any 
time in process. 



Paper: "Heed for Leasing Systen. Choices, 
June 23, 1978. 

Decision: Option 7; June 30, 1978. 
(See also Sections 2-7, 2-8, and 2-9 of 

this statement.) 



e-, where an advantage of one option is a disadvantage 
e Assistant Secretaries developed pros or cons which 



(a) The options have heen edited to clarify their presentation in this Tahle. 

(b) Note the pros and cons have, in some cases, been reduced by deleting repttious arguments 
nf nrher options because it is lacking from them. Also in a few cases where the comments o 

of the Interior. 

(c) Neutral, neither pro nor con from a national perspective. 



3-19 



TABLE 3-2 
(Continued) 



POLICY OPTIONS - SECRETARY'S PREFERENCE 



ISSUES AND OPTIONS 



5. Let States determine level of leasing directlv 
through final veto. 



6. Lease to meet or exceed HOE productio 
prelections. 



7. Merge DOE production projections with Inputs 
from States, local governments, industry, and 
interest grouns to derive HOI regional productio; 
targets. 



What sale system should the Department adopt? 

1. Lease using single tract system ("require 
separate sales for each tract). 



2. Lease using intertract system (offer 
several tracts in a sale, lease only those 
with highest hid) . 



3. Retain discretion to use either. 



Should 


the 


current 


def erree 


h. 


nus hidding 


svsten 


be 


jsed exc 


usivelv 


or 




DeDartment 


experim 


•nt with 


ott 


er honus 



hidding systems? 



1. Continue to use deferred honus bidding 
system exclusivelv. 



2. Experiment with alternative bidding 
systems and adopt those successful. 



What form of final pre-sale State consultation 
should the system adopt (cho ices in addition to 



consultation o ccurring during planning and tract 
election) ? 



1. Only consult if tract is for surface mining 
In National Forest (statutory requirement). 



2. Consult on all tracts with an optional 
response period of from 30 to 60 days except 
for mandatory period on National Forest. 



PROS AND CONS 



(-) High administrative hurden. 

(-) No assurance of meeting national priorities without 

central decision maker. 
(-) Secretary abandoning resource responsibilities. 
(0) High weight on mitigating local fiscal and social 

(+) High assurance of meeting NEP goals. 

(+) High assurance of leasing least-cost coal. 

(-) Moderate ability to mitigate social, fiscal, and 

environmental impac ts . 
(-) Secretary abandoning resource responsibilities. 

(+) High assurance of meeting national NEP goals. 
(+) High assurance of leasing least-cost coal . 
(+) High ability to mitigate social, fiscal, and 

environmental impac ts . 
(-) Moderate-to-high administrative burden. 



(+) Easiest system to administer. 

(+) Allows for more definitive activity planning and 

sale schedule proposal. 
(■+•) Creator assurance of leasing where the Department 

feels is best. 
(-) Where little competition involved, puts heavv 

reliance on fair market value. 

(+) Maximizes revenue by maximizing competition. 
(+) Offering large numher of tracts lessens chance 

of appearing to favor anv nnr partv, 
(+) Greater opportunity for operation of industry 

preference- 
(-) More complex to administer. 
(-) Proposal action difficult to define for EIR. 
(-) Time, monev, and manpower spent on tracts not 

sold, but these tracts can be used in later sales. 

(+) Allows Department to gain experience with 
intertract concept. 

(+) Clves Department means to deal with various owner- 
ship patterns. 

(-) Department expends effort on developing two 
systems rather than one, complicates program. 



(+) Administratively simple. 

(+) Department has experience with system. 

(+) Risk factor in coal not as great as in ncs. 

(-) Might increase front end cost hurden on coal 

companies. 
(-) Deferred honus bidding mav favor large over 

small companies. 

(+) Allows greater flexibility to meet varving 

situations. 
(-) Complicates administration of program. 



(+) Easiest option to administer. 

(+) Follows letter of statute. 

(-) Would reduce consultation from current 

practice. 
(-) Artificially stresses National Forest coal. 

(+) Allows Secretary to respond when serious 
concern seems likely, but otherwise to 
proceed with timely sale. ' 

(+) Assures States will be allowed to present 
case to Secretary. 

(-) Greater administrative burden then #] , 

(-) Introduces delay into sales. 



PAPER AND DATE/COMMENTS 



Paper: "Bidding Svst 
June 21, 1978. 
Decision: Option 3; 
June 30, 1978. 



Paper: "Bidding Systems, 
June 23, 1978. 
Decision: Option 2; 
June 30, 1978. 



Paper: "State and Local 
Government Participation,' 
June 23, 1978. 
Decision: Option 2; 
June 30, i«78. 



3-20 



TABLE 3- 2 
(Continued) 



POLICY OPTIONS - SECRETARY'S PREFERENCE 



ISSUES AND OPTIONS 



Extend statutory privilege to all lands. 



'■That should he the role and, scope of the site 
spcci f i c analys i s and t he resulting stipulations? 

1. Analysis and stipulations based onlv on 
planning data should he included at the time of 
lease sale. Rely on mining clan to develop 
specific site stipulations. 



2. develop sufficient information prior to 
leasing to answer basic environmental and 
economic questions (i.e., reasonable certainty 
that tract will meet SMCRA standards) but may 
proceed with less Information than needed for 
mining plan. Stipulations are to be detailed, 
must reauire compliance with" SMCRA, and he sub- 
ject to change in response to new information 
from mining plan. 

3. All lease stipulations should be formulated 

at the time of lease sale and detailed data must he 
available then. 



When should mandatory public hearings occur in 
system? 

1. Prior to adoption of land use plan, 
and /or 

2. After draft regional environmental assessment, 
and/or 

3. After final environmental impact analysis and 
before sale. 

j*ow should the Department define and apply the 
phrase "Maximum frconomi c Re covery" ( MER) ? 



PROS ANT) CDNS 



1 . Calculate maximum economic recovery on a 
seam-by-seam basis (If seam is profitable it 
must be mined) . 



2. Calculate maximum economic recovery on basis 
of all seams in land (all seams which collectively 
are profitable must he mined) with consideration 
for social and environmental costs. 



3. Use engineering practice to guide determinatio 



Should stipulations on the end uses for the coal be 
part of the process? 

1. Use stipulations to restrict technology or 
location of final use permitted for coal mined from 
Federal tracts. 



2. Use end-use stipulations only in support of 
special opportunity bidding programs. 



3. Defer for furtht 



(+) Maximizes state opportunity for participation. 
(-) Potential to introduce delay into system great 

(up to H months) and would have delayed even if 

States did not desire it. 



(+) Applicant bears data cost. 

(+) May shorten time to go from land use plan to sale 

(-) Increases risk to bidder of non-operable or 

expensive lease. 
(-) Could result in PIS heing needed for mining plan. 

(+) Reduces risk of offering for sale deficient 

tract. 
(+) Clarifies pre-lease and mining plan analysis 

objectives. 
(-) Imposes additional cost and time on system. 
(-) May inhibit mining plan manager from adding 

needed additional stipulations. 



(+) Gives industry greatest assurance that mining 
will be permitted under lease without new costs 
to meet later stipulations. 

(_) very high data costs before certain tract 
will be sold, 

(-) Lengthens time for tract selection significantly. 



Generally, the Department should maximize public 
comment opportunity. However, effectiveness of 
public hearings decreases as more hearings are 
held. Probability of comments causing change in 
material presented declines the further into the 



PAPER AND/DATE COMMENTS 



uring i! 



held. 



(+) Bonus bids will be higher than for Option 2 since 

less cost to operate. 
+) Lower suceptibil ity to coal price decrease. 
-) May "lose" marginal seams from supply. 
-) More acreage leased. 

-) Increases potential for double opening of same 
ground. 

+) Less acreage disturbed. 

+) C.reater conservation of resource. 

) Potential for subsidence is high because of 
deep mining that may he required. 

) Increased economic cost to society. 

) High administrative hurden- 

'+) Uses expertise of mining suoervisor. 
+) Pre-lease analysis is simplified. 

-) Could result in lower production rates. 

■) Could result in litigation. 

■) Judgments could be of varying quality and probably 
not consistent. 



(+) Gives program additional means to mitigate social/ 
fiscal /environmental impacts. 
) Legal basis has not heen adequately researched. 
) Greater administrative burden. 

+) Strengthens statutorily required program without 
extending Into new areas of regulation. 
) Legal basis has not been adequately researched. 

+) Allows for more study needed of this question. 
i) Poses some risk to programmatic EIS. 



Paper: 


'Setting of Environmental 


Conditio 


ns for Lease Terms , 


June 23, 


1978. 


Decision 


: Option 2 


June 3D, 


1978- 



Paper: "Public Participation, 
June 23, 1978. 
Decision: Options 1 and 2; 
June 30, 1978. 



Paper: "Maximum Economic Recovery. 
June 23, 1978. 
Decision: Option 2; 
June 30, 1978. 



Paper: "Leasing for Limited End 
Uses," June 23, 1978. 
Decision: Option 3; 
June 30, 1978. 



3-21 



TABLE 3- 2 
(Continued) 



POLICY OPTIONS - SECRETARY'S PREFERENCE 



ISSUES AND OPTIONS 



What policy posture should the Department take toward 
public bodv leasing? 

1. Keep "public body" leasing program to the minimum 
size possible while still satisfying the Federal Coal 
Leasing Amendments Act of 1976. 



2. Treat "public body" leasing as a major component 
of the system and encourage "public body" participa- 
tion, but do not modify fair market value requirements 
or provide other financial incentives. 



3. Treat "public body" leasing as a major component 
of the coal leasing program and encourage use- 



PROS ANn C ONS 



How sho uld the Department manage pr efer ence right 
lease appli cations; (P RLAs)? 

1. Continue current practive (no review for 
consistency with land use plans or unsuitability 
criteria) . 



2. Reprocess PRLAs in J ight of land use 
planning and unsultahi] ity criteria prior to en- 
gaging in commercial quantities determination. 



3. Reprocess PRLAs and determine ' commercial 
quantities simultaneously. Review each 
application to decide whether it meets current 
planning and unsuitability criteria. Use 
appropriate tools CO avoid undesirable 
development. 

How should the Department manage no n-producing 
existing leases? " 

1. Review all non-producing leases 
(regardless of production plans) to decide if 
the leases could be operated In an environ- 
mentally acceptable manner. Use appropriate 
tools to avoid undesirable development. 



2. The Department would await the fulfillment by 

the lessee of the legal obligations required to 
initiate mining (submission of a mining plan) 
before reviewing the desirability of lease 
development. (This does not preclude evaluation 
as part of the normal planning process.) The 
new planning requirements and unsuitability criteria 
would be applied to all non-producing leases. The 
mine plan would be reviewed in light of the unsuit- 
ability criteria to determine which, if any, apply. 
If any criterion applies, the specific criterion and 
any exception to it which the conditions permit to 
be applied would be identified. If a criterion does 
not apply and the conditions do not permit an excep- 
tion, a further decision would be made on whether 
the land is exempt from the criterion because of the 
source of the authority for the criterion. 



(+) Least program cost and complexity. 

(+) The larger operations of private 

coal operators are easier to adopt to 
environmentally desirahle operations. 

(-) Lose benefits of "public body" 
participation. 

(+) Presents competition for private coal 

operators. 
(+) Can be accomplished without any major 

adjustments to system timing. 
(-) BLM would have to maintain two separate 

leasing systems and continually audit 

public bodv coat use. 



(+) Ensures relatively low cost coal to 

"public bodtea." 
(-) Risks appearance of favoring "public 

body" leasing without adequate mandate. 
(-) Higher administrative costs. 



(+) Least administrative hurdeti. 
(+) Avoids possible controversy. 
(-) Could result in mining in areas that 

would be unsuitable under new coal 

management program . 
(-) Postpones desirability auestion to 

mining plan stage. 
(-) Roes not satisfy President's 

request to scrutinize PRLAs. 

(+) Uould develop better understanding 

of how much coal would he forthcoming 

from PRLAs. 
(+) Meets President's request. 
(+) Assures consistent review. 
(-) Faces probable legal challenge bv 

present holders of applications. 
(-) Adds to administrative complexity of 

coal management program. 
(-) May study applicants that cannot make 

showing. 



(+) Meets President's request. 

(+) By combining work should be less costly 

than under Option 2. 
(+) Offers increased chance of timely production. 
(-) Open to possible legal challenges. 
(-) Adds to administrative complexity of program. 



(+) Gives the Department best estimate of how 
much coal might be produced and need for 
new leases. 

(-) High administrative costs. 

{-) May process some leases that would not be 
developed . 

(-) Uncertain legal environment. 

(+) Maintains consistency with new leasing where 
possible. 

(+) Moderate administrative costs. 

(-) Does not resolve planning uncertainty sur- 
rounding existing leases. 

(-) High cost to lessee. 



PAPER AND DATE /COMMENTS 



Paper: "Public Rodv 
June 23, 1978. 

Decision: Option 2; 
June 30, 1978. 



Paper: "Management of Prefe 
Right Lease Applications," 
June 23, 1978. 
nocision: Option 3; 
June 30, 3978. 



(The Secretary also indicated that 

the Department should proceed to identify 
the least harmful twenty PRLAs and pro- ' 
ceed to process them under the NRDC v. 
Hughes agreement.) 



Paper: "Management of Existing 

Leases", 

June 23, 1978. 

Decision: Option 2; June 30. 1978. 

Expanded by: 

Paper: "Land Unsuitability Criteria" 

September 22, 1978. 

Decision: October 3, 1978. 



3-22 



TABLE 3-2 
(Continued) 



POLICY OPTIONS - SECRETARY'S PREFERENCE 



ISSUES AND OPTIONS 



How will regional targets be used In the management 
system? 

1. Targets enter planning process at MFP stage and 
serve as constraint for resource tradeoffs. 



2. Targets used at point of regional tract 
selection. 



3. Targets with safety factor multiplier enter at 
land use plan level and goals used at regional 
level. 



How should industry tract interest information be used? 



PROS AND CONS 



1. Used to delineate tra 
areas are identified. 



boundaries only after "best 



2. Used to select "best" leasing tracts from areas 
acceptable for further consideration for leasing. 

Should lands unsuitability criteria be adopted by 
Department? 

1. Criteria should be adopted by Department. 



2. Criteria should not be adopted so that maximum 
discretion is exercised at field level. 



Should regional comparisons be based on areas or 
specific lease tracts? 

1. Rank by areas. 



Rank by tracts- 



3. Rank by both areas and tracts "Ranking factors 

will include many values, including environmental". 



PAPER AND DATE/COMMENTS 



(+) Provides explicit guidance for tradeoff planning 

decisions. 
(+) Makes coal consistent with planning for other 

resources being managed. 
(-) No flexibility for regional tradeoffs. 
(-) Makes least use of Industry information. 
(-) Might require more frequent cycling of land use 

plans. 
<-) Intertract sales would not be possible. 

(+) Allows maximum flexibility for intraregional 
tradeoff. 

(+) Does not require frequent recycling of land use 

plans. 
(+) Allows intertract bidding. 
{-) Places heavy emphasis on untried unsuitability 

concept . 
(-) Changes BLM resource decision process- 

(+) Target available for guiding land use plan decision 
(+) Develops pool of possible tracts for possible use in 

intertract sales. 
(-) Could be seen as developing unneeded tracts- 
(-) Disaggregation of targets to planning unit level 

difficult. 



(+) Department could not be seen as reacting to 

industry. 
(-) Ignores opportunity to use valuable Industry 

information. 
(-) Hay result in development of tracts that are 

not least cost or that are of no interest to 

Industry. 

(+) Allows the party who ultimately will be mining 
a bigger role in Identifying areas for lealse. 



(+) Assures consistency among field units. 

(+) Provides local land managers a standard. 

(+) Provides a mechanism for assessing cumulative 

Impacts of statutory regulation and policy. 
(+) Higher level of public visibility. 
(+) Provides greater compatibility with State 

programs. 
(-) Decreases flexibility at local level. 
(_) May require administrative changes and costs. 
(-) Rigid application might restrict tract 

availability. 

(+) No changes needed in existing planning pro- 
cedure. 

(+) Risks of new system avoided. 

(-) Secretary has less assurance lrcal land trade- 
offs reflect major national preferences. 

(-) No consistent mechanism for use on PRLAs and 
existing leases. 



(+) Ranking process is more meaningful with larger 

geographic area . 
(+) Less open to charges of favoritism to any one 

company. 
(-) More diverse information to assess. 
(-) Requires all plans on same schedule. 
(+) Allows use of Industry information. 

(+) Ranking should cost less. 
(-) Requires all plans on same schedule. 
(-) Closer Identification with specific coal 
companies . 

(+) Does not require all planning to be on same 

schedule. 
(+> More flexibility to field managers. 
(-) Some loss in consistency of ranking- 



Paper: "Intraregional Matters 

Affecting Design of a Coal Leasing 

Process", 

July 18, 1978. 

Decision: Option 2; 

July 28, 1978. 



Paper: "Intraregional Matters 

Affecting Design of a Coal Leasing 

Process", 

July 18, 1978. 

Decision: Option 2; 

July 28, 1978. 

(See also decision of October 26, 1978) 



Paper: "Intraregional Matters 
Affecting Design of a Coal Leasing 
Process" 



July 18, 1978. 
Decision, Optio 
July 28, 1978. 
(See October 3, 



1978, Decision). 



Paper: "Intraregional Matter 
Affecting Design of a Coal 
Leasing Process," 
July 18, 1978. 
Decision: Option 3; 
July 28, 1978. 



3-23 



TABLE 3-2 
(Continued) 



POLICY OPTIONS - SECRETARY'S OPTIONS 



ISSUES AND OPTIONS 



Should coal leasing be restricted to areas identified 
in CRO/CDP maps? 

1. Require only that coal leases be Issued within KRCRAs. 



2. Lease only in areas identified as high or medium 
coal development potential by the CRO/CDP maps. 

3. Require only that coal leases be issued within KRCRAs 
but retain coal quality as a ranking factor and use CRO/ 
CDP maps for information. 

Should the Department adopt a policy of preferring either 
clustered or dispersed leasing patterns within a region? 

1. Adopt policy preference prior to leasing for either 
(a) clustered lease pattern or (b) dispersed lease 
pattern. 



PROS AND CONS 



2. Leave decision to local land managers, requiring 
only that social impacts be one of the factors con- 
sidered in ranking tracts and that local land managers 
consider interdependence of tracts on ranking. 



Should assured access to Federal lease tracts be 
obtained prior to sale? 

1. Lease only those tracts with known assured access. 



2. Adopt full-scale access acquisition program. 



3. Status quo (access responsibility of winning bidder), 



4. Offer assured access on an experimental basis. 



5. Attempt to "acquire" access together with surface 
owner consent, otherwise proceed as for Option 1. 



(+) Would make the widest area available for con- 
sideration. 

(-) Department might end up trying to lease tracts 
with inadequate knowledge of value of coal 
deposit. 

(+) Ensures consistent coal data. 

(-) Pressure would be applied to increase CRO/CDP 
effort, increasing costs. 

(+) Makes widest area available for consideration. 
(+) Encourages use of CRO/CDP data for consistency. 
(-) Possibility for inconsistency in coal data use. 



(+) Ensures Secretary that possibility for 

strategic arrangements of tracts will be 

studied. 
(+) Ensures Secretary regional and local "carrying 

capacity" will be studied. 
(-) Does not allow for dynamic approach and reduces 

state and local Input. 
(— ) Concerns mentioned in the two "pros" above 

can be met In ranking process and, therefore. 

flexibility is surrendered without gain, 

(+) Maximum flexibility for local land managers. 
(+) Maintains integrity of ranking system design 

and of leasing process. 
(-) Moves this decision from programmatic EIS to 

regional EIS, lowering visibility. 



(+) Avoids manpower and dollar costs of new access 
program. 

(+) Fosters competition. 

(+) Confines access to existing corridors or 

corridors government has strong control over. 

(-) May be seen as unfair to companies Interested 
In areas that would not qualify and to con- 
senting surface owners. 

(-) Eliminates an unknown number of tracts. 

(+) Likely to increase the number of bidders and 

level of bids on certain tracts. 
(+) Would allow better job of planning for 

environmental impacts of access. 
(-) Would involve new program and new costs. 
(-) Benefits of guaranteed access are not clear yet. 
(-) Could add time to leasing schedule and lower 

number of available tracts. 

(+) No additional manpower or costs. 
(+) No risks of untried new program. 
(-) May lower competition on certain tracts. 
(-) May risk post-sale failure to mine where access 
blocked. 

(+) Department could ascertain benefits of program 

without committing manpower and costs. 
(-) Adds to complexity of program management. 

(+) Gives lessees assurance of access. 
(+) Would Integrate with split-estate program, 
taking advantage of conceptual similarities. 

("' BLM may not be party selected to directly 

acquire surface owner consents. 
(-) Adds complexity to very delicate split-estate 

program, 



PAPER AND DATE/COMMENTS 



Paper: "Intraregional Matters 
Affecting Design of a Coal 
Leasing Process," 
July 18, 1978. 
Decision: Option 3; 
July 28, 1978. 



Paper: "Intraregional Matters 
Affecting Design of a Coal 
Leasing Process," 
July 18, 1978. 
Decision: Option 2; 
July 28, 1978. 



Paper: "Intraregional Matters 
Affecting Design of a Coal 
Leasing Process," 
July 18, 1978. 
Decision: Option 3; 
July 28, 1978. 



3-24 



TABLE 3- 2 
(Continued) 



POLICY OPTIONS - SECRETARY'S PREFERENCE 



ISSUES AND OPTIONS 



What approach should the Department adopt for an ongoing 
environmental analysis strategy? 

1. Prepare a national coal sale EIS covering all proposed 
sales to occur in a specified period of time in all 
production regions. The one EIS would cover all potential 
site-specific, regional. Interregional, and national 
impacts'. 

2. A regional, site-specific EIS would be prepared on a 
four year schedule of lease sales in each region 
delineated In the programmatic EIS. Each regional E15 
would include analysis of both the site-specific and 
intraregional cumulative impacts of the proposed leasing 
actions. Lease sales schedule would be reconsidered two 
years later when the next biennial process of establishing 
new regional production targets is completed. If, in any 
region, substantial differences are found in tract ranking 
(because of the preparation of additional land use plans 
or the updating of existing plans or because of changes 

in environmental, social, or economic conditions) or the 
relevant new regional production target which requires 
a change in the tracts proposed for sale, a supplement 
to the regional statement would be prepared. National 
and interregional impacts of the Federal coal management 
program would be analyzed in the programmatic EIS. The 
document would be updated when conditions change suf- 
ficiently to require new analysis of those Impacts, 
(Suboption: Include all pending mining plan approval 
actions in regional statement.) 

Should the Secretary condi t ion his decision to proceed 
with leasing based on exis ten ce of split estate 
(surface/minerals under dif feren t ownership) In lease 
area? 

1. Do not lease where "surface owner" restrictions 
of Section 714 of'SMCRA apply. 



2. Same as Option 1, but encourage coal companies to 
purchase split estates. 



3. Attempt to lease all coal regardless of ownership but 
decline to lease where compensation payments exceed a 
Standard amount. 

4. Attempt to lease all coal regardless of surface 
ownership with passive compensation safeguards through 
fair market value computation, 



5. Lease all coal regardless of surface ownership and 
compensation. 

Who should acquire surface owner consents and when? 



PROS AND CONS 



(+) No update of programmatic needed. 
(+) All possible levels of impact in one document. 
(-) Administratively complex. 

(-) Dilutes capability to make specific comments. 
(-) If statement challenged entire program may 
be delayed. 

(+) Better compatibility with existing BLH 

organization. 
(+) Takes maximum advantage of existing analysis 

in programmatic. 
(+) Regional schedules could be adopted to 

regional situations. 
(-) Several statements would have to be prepared 

instead of one. 
(-) Possible controversy over when a programmatic 

update is needed. 



PAPER AND DATE/COMMENTS 



Paper : "Environmental 
Analysis Strategy," 
August 31, 1978. 
Decision: Option 2; 
September 15, 1978. 



1. Industry would acquire consent or options during the 
development of their expressions of interest and file 
them with these expressions. Options would be trans- 
ferable. Terms of the consent options would have to be 
presented to the Department with the expressions of 
interest in an area. 



2. Industry would have the responsibility in the Federal 
coal management program of acquiring surface owner consent. 
Consents would have to be filed with the BLM prior to the 
sale announcement. The consents would be required to 
be transferable. If no filing of consent is made on a tract 
priot to the sale announcement, the tract would be removed 
from the sale schedule (and, if necessary, another tract sub- 
stituted for it), unless the BLM determines that the tract 
should nevertheless be offered for lease sale. Should 
such a determination be made, the successful bidder on that 
tract in the sale would be given a period of time after 
the sale to obtain consent. 

NOTE: Under Secretary added option to have consent acquired 
after sale. 



(+) Avoids adverse social impact. 

(+) Implementation easy- 

(0) Shifts location of environmental damage away 

from Northern Great Plains. 
(-) By restricting supply of coal may raise cost 

to consumer. 

(Same as Option 1, moderated somewhat) 

(-) Outright purchase costs may raise price of 

coal. 
(-) Dislocates surface owner permanently. 

(+) Minimizes cost to consumer. 
(-) Difficult implementation. 
(-) Subject to legal challenges. 

(+) Tend to minimize cost to consumer. 

(+) Implementation straightforward. 

(+) Should not inhibit development of split estate 

coal significantly. 
(-) Fair market value not easily determined. 

(+) Minimal cost for implementation. 
(-) Possibly raises cost to consumer. 
(-) Loss of government income. 



(+) Direct government involvement not required. 

(+) Leasing can proceed without risk of surface 
owner consent refusal. 

(-) High cost burden on Industry, not all con- 
sents will result In leasing. 

(-) Surface owner faces possible long period of 
uncertainty regarding use of his land. 

(-) Surface owner does not have full information 
available to assist him in making decision. 

(+) Direct Government involvement not required. 

(+) Gives industry most time to negotiate. 

(+) Allows Industry to judge better degree of 
risk involved in financing consents because 
of information developed from tract analysis 
is available. 

(-) Government bears risk of going through site- 
specific analysis without surface owner 
consent. 

(-) Puts cost burden on industry. 



Paper: "Coal Leasing: Surface 
Owner Consent," 
June 23, 1978. 

Decision: Option 4; 
June 30, 1978 



Modified by: 

Paper: "Split Estate Leasing 

Implementation , " 

August 31, 1978. 

Decision: Option 4; 

September 15, 1978. 



(Subject to Solicitor's review.) 
(Suboption considered would 
have reduced cost allowed for 
split estates compensation In 
fair market value computation to 
zero.) 



Paper: "Split Estate Leasing 
Implementation," 
August 31, 1978. 
Decision: Option 2; 
September 15, 1978. 



3-25 



TABLE 3-2 
(Continued) 



POLICY OPTIONS - SECRETARY'S PREFERENCE 



ISSUES AND OPTIONS 



3. Industry would acquire consents after lease sale announce- 
ment but consents must be filed before the actual sale. Con- 
sents would be transferable to a third party and consent pay- 
ments would be contingent on successful sale. Date of actual 
sale may be held up pending receipt of indication of consent 
on tract to be offered. 



4. Company would acq 
lease sale; the conse 
is executed. 



re consent after it is successful in 
would have to be filed before lease 



5 At the time the surface owner is consulted by BLM in the 
planning process, he or she would be offered the opportunity 
to agree to a written consent to surface mining or to agree 
to an option for such a consent. The Department would bind 
the eventual successful bidder to the terms of the consent, 
including all payments at the time of lease execution. If 
consent were not forthcoming the area would be dropped from 
further consideration until the next round of planning — 
5 to 10 years later. Alternatively, if consent were not 
forthcoming, but the surface owner indicated a preference 
for allowing surface mining, the area would remain in the 
leasing process and a second opportunity would be given the 
surface owner by 8LM prior to offering the tract for lease 
sale. 

6. BLM would begin to directly seek surface owner consents 
at the time of tract ranking and would continue to acquire 
consents through completion of site-specific analyses. Pay- 
ment would be by the successful bidder at time of lease 
execution. Third party consents would be negotiated. 

7. BLM would negotiate surface owner consents following 
completion of site-specific analyses and before tracts 
are offered for sale. 



WhaL should the Department's policy be toward pre-existing 

consents? 

1. Offer tracts which are covered by nontransferable con- 
sents in intertract sales only. 



2. Decline to lease tracts with pre-existing consents that 
are not transferable. 



3. (Combination of 1 and 2) Tracts which are selected 
for lease sale and which include areas covered by pre- 
existing consents would be offered for sale if the consents 
are determined to be transferable. If any pre-existing 
consent is determined to be nontransferable the tract 
would not be offered for sale unless it is included in an 
intertract sale. 

Should the Department require compensation be paid to 
companies for consents they acquire? 

1. A surface owner consent agreement would be considered 
transferable only if it provides that (1) the payment for 
the consent is to be made by the successful bidder after the 
lease sale in which the lease for the tract to which the 
consent applies is sold or (2) after the lease sale, the suc- 
cessful bidder is permitted to reimburse the company which 
first obtained the consent for the purchase price of the 
consent. 

2. Foster the sharing of risk of losing consent costs by 
encouraging the development of industrial groups for the 
purpose of acquiring consent options. 



3. Take the position chat loss of consent costs is a 
normal business risk in which the government should not 
be involved. 



PROS AND CONS 



(■+■) Direct government Involvement not required. 
(+) Industry will be aware of terms of sale 

before paying for consent. 
(-) Short time allowed for negotiation. 
(-) Continues uncertainty regarding consent for 

tract to last moment, putting all government 

at risk. 
(-) Puts cost burden on industry. 

£+) Direct government involvement not required. 

(+) Avoids question of who should negotiate. 

(+) Avoids unneeded consents. 

(+) Surface owner has full information. 

(+) Minimizes direct administrative expenses. 

(-) Puts previous expenditures of time and funds in 

preparing tract in jeopardy. 
(-) Surface owner in very strong bargaining 

position. 
(-) Uncertainty of acquiring consents may reduce 

competitiveness of sale. 
(-) Puts cost burden on Industry. 
(-) Government would not know If split-estate 

tracts would be mined until after costs of 

sale. 

(+) Possible reduction in costs of program. 
{+) Leasing program could proceed without 

uncertainty caused by consent power. 
(-) May be seen as unfair to split estate owners. 
(-) Makes consultation more complex, 
(-) Relatively lower chance of successfully getting 

consent. 
(-) Government bears cost of consent. 



Same as Option 2 except government bears cost of con- 
sent acquisition, 
(+) Government could keep program more in phase with 

tract ranking process. 
(-) May require new authority to pay for consent. 

Same as Option 3 except government bears cost of con- 
sent acquisition. 

(+) Surface owner gets maximum Information. 
(-) BLM would be in difficult negotiating position 

because of costs sunk in tract analysis and 

selection. 



{+) Meets Secretary's policy regarding transfer- 
ability of consents. 
(-) Requires BLM to institute new program. 

(+) Minimizes administrative cost of pre-existing 

consent process. 
(-) Subject to possible legal challenge. 

(+■) Processes greatest number of consents. 
(-) Greatest administrative burden. 



PAPER AND DATE/COMMENTS 



(+) Low administrative costs. 

(+) Encourages companies to acquire consents by 

ensuring they would not be bound to pay cost or 
consent On the tr.icts they do not obtain. 

(-) Complicates negotiations between coal 
companies and surface owners. 



(+) Reasonably low administrative costs. 
(-) May be seen as anti-competitive by 

encouraging grouping of would-be lessees 

in future sales. 

(+) No administrative costs. 

{-) Would discourage industry from acquiring 

consent unless they had competitive edge. 
(-) One company might end up paying for another' 

consent acquisition. 



Paper: "Split Estate 
Leasing Implementation, 
August 31, 1978. 
Decision: Option 3; 
September 15, 1978. 



Paper; "Split Estate 
Leasing Implementation, 
August 31, 1978. 
Decision: Option 1; 
September 15, 1978. 



3-26 



TABLE 3-2 
(Continued) 



POLICY OPTIONS - SECRETARY'S PREFERENCE 



I SSUES AND OPTIONS 



Where will the unsuitability criteria be appl ied? How will 
the unsuitability criteria be applied? 

(nATE: Paper presented application procedure that appears in 
Section 3.1 of this statement.) 

1. Accept 

2. Defer 

3. Reject 

4. Modify 

Wha t specific criteria should the Secretary adopt? 
Criteria in the following areas were considered: 

1. Federal land systems. 

2. Right-of-way and easements. 

3. Buffer zones along rights-of-way and adjacent to 
communities and buildings. 

4. Wilderness study areas. 

5. Scenic areas. 

6. Land used for scientific study. 

7. Historic lands and sites. 

8. Natural areas. 

9. Federally-listed endangered species. 

10. State listed endangered species. 

11. Bald and golden eagle nests. 

12. Bald and golden eagle roost and concentration areas. 

13. Falcon cliff nesting sites. 

14. Migratory birds. 

15. State resident fish and wildlife. 

16. Wetlands. 

17. Floodplains. 

18. Municipal watersheds. 

19. National resources. 

20. Alluvial valley floors. 

21. Prime farm lands. 

22. Reclaimability. 

23. State lands unsuitable. 

24. State-proposed criteria. 

25. Rare vegetation. 



PROS AND CONS 



No pro/con analysis developed. 



No pro/con analysis developed. 
(Development and analysis of the 
criteria are described in the final 
report of Task Force 2 available 
from the Department.) 



PAPER AND DATE/COMMENTS 



Paper: "Land Unsuitability 
Criteria," September 22, 1978. 
Decision: Option 1; 
October 3, 1978. 



Paper: "Land Unsuitability 
Criteria," September 22, 1978. 
Decision: Accept 19 criteria; 
October 3, 1978. 

Reject criterion on rare vege- 
tation (25), defer state lands 
unsuitable and state-proposed 
criteria, and accept all others. 
Additionally, Assistant Secre- 
tary Energy and Minerals was 
asked to recommend criteria for 
alluvial valley floors, 
reclaimability, and prime 
farm lands. 



Paper: "Proposed Additional 
UnsuitabiJ ity Criteria," 
October 30, 1978. 
Decision: Accept Criteria 20 
through 24; November 2, 1978. 

(Accepted criteria are set 
forth in Table 3-7.) 



3-27 



TABLE 3-2 

(Concluded) 

POLICY OPTIONS - SECRETARY'S PREFERENCE 



ISSUES AMD OPTIONS 



Should the Department establish Federal/State teams 
to review all tract delineation and site specific 
analysis work and be responsible for the tract 
ranking, selection, and scheduling processes 
and to serve as the forum for federal - State 
discussions ? 

1. Concur 

2. Do not concur. 

3. Concur, but with changes. 

4. Defer. 



Should the exception allowing continuation of 
tracts past sales notice without prior evidence 
of written surface owner consent be deleted ? 

1. Delete the exception. 

2. Retain the exception. 

3. Modify the exception. 

4. Defer. 



Should the Department adopt the following policy? 
If, after publication of a land use plan, a surface 
owner on land acceptable for further consideration 
for coal leasing submits a statement that he has not 
previously given consent to mine and will not give 
such consent in the foreseeable future, the Federal 
f.oal underlying tha t surfa ce would no t be considered 
further in the ongoing activity planning process 
or any such processes conducted in the future until 
the land use plan is revised or until the ownership 
of the surface estate changes. 

1. Concur. 

2. Reject. 

3. Modify. 

4. Defer. 



Should the discretion granted the local land manag er 
to continue an area in the process if a firm preference 
against leasing is expressed during consultation be 
dropped and the exclusion of such lands from further 



PROS AND CONS 



(+) 



(+) 



(+) 



<-) 



(+) 
(+) 



(-) 



<-) 



(-) 



consideration be made mandatory? The owner would have 
to indicate on the consultation form that he has not 
given an earlier consent and will not consent for the 
life of the plan . 

1. Agree. 

2. Agree as modified. 

3. Disapprove. 

4. Defer. 



(-) 



(+) 



(+) 



C-) 



Enhances major program 

goal of federal-state 

coordination 

Allows state governors less 

formal input to program than 

the required consultation process. 

Would provide citizens of state 

with authoritative forum for 

airing interests. 

Possibly confuses where decision 

authority resides in Department 



Exception is valid under law. 

Good public policy from efficient 

land use management standpoint. 

Perceived by many commenters as 

potentially placing undue pressure 

on surface owners- 

May have appearance of putting BLM 

and coal company in tandem against 

surface owner. 

Arguably violates "spirit" of Section 

714. 



Allows a surface owner to give a definite 
no, a feature not previously in the process. 
Surface owner would not be forced to continue 
to submit to exploration and other tract 
preparation work and would not continue to 
receive consent purchase overtures even if 
he firmly does not want to consent. 
Advances "spirit" of Sec. 714. 
Makes the activity planning processes 
more efficient. 

Converts consent pressure to sales pressure 
for the surface owner. 



PAPER AND DATE/ COMMENTS 



Paper: "State Participation in Activity 
Planning", February 27, 1979. 
Decision: Option }; March 2, 1979 



Paper: "Surface Owner Consent Proce- 
dures", February 27, 1979. 
Decision: Option 1; March 2, 1979 



Paper: "Surface Owner Consent Proce- 
dures", February 27, 1979. 
Decision: Option 1; March 2, 1979 



Answer argument advanced by many commentors 

that discretion at this point was not 

intended. 

Extends the coverage of the "definite no" 

process set out in issue above. 

Confuses consultation and consent processes. 

Presents possibility of having to process plan 

amendments when ownership changes. 

Introduces rigidity into process by going from 

a policy preference to firm direction to local 

land manager. 



Paper: "Surface Owner Consent Proce- 
dures", February 27, 1979. 
Decision: Option 4 (but publish in 
preliminary rulemaking and request 
comments); March 2, 1979. 



3-28 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



initiative and the forums for making decisions in 
the Federal coal management program. This 
emphasis on planning is fully consistent with 
statutory requirements. Section 3(A)(i) of the 
Federal Coal Leasing Amendments Act of 1976, 
amending Section 2 of the Mineral Leasing Act of 
1920, directs that "no lease sale shall be held unless 
the lands containing the coal deposits have been 
included in a comprehensive land-use plan and 
such sale is compatible with such plan." The 
Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 
established the basic planning authority for the 
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the 
Multiple-Use Sustained- Yield Act of 1960 and the 
National Forest Management Act of 1976 provid- 
ed planning guidance for the Forest Service. The 
guidelines for planning in the Federal Land Policy 
and Management Act include: 

• Inventory public lands, their resources, and 
other values. 

• Apply an interdisciplinary approach. 

• Give priority to the designation and protec- 
tion of areas of critical environmental 
concern. 

• Consider present and potential uses of the 
land. 

• Consider the relative scarcity of the values 
involved and alternative means and sites for 
realization of those values. 

• Consider both long-term and short-term 
benefits. 

• Provide for compliance with applicable 
pollution control laws. 

• Coordinate inventory, planning, and man- 
agement with other Federal agencies and 
state and local governments. 

The products of both the Bureau of Land 
Mangement's and Forest Service's land use plan- 
ning processes are comprehensive, multiple-use 
land use plans for discrete areas of Federal lands. 
These plans are now called Management Frame- 
work Plans (MFPs) by the Bureau and Unit Plans 
by the Forest Service. The planning systems of the 
two land management agencies are broadly similar 
and are expected to be even more closely related 
when new planning regulations under the Federal 
Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 and the 
National Forest Management Act of 1976 are 
promulgated. 

The Forest Service's proposed National Forest 
System Land and Resource Management Planning 



Rules were published on August 31, 1978 (43 
Federal Register 39046-39059). The BLM's pro- 
posed planning regulations were published on 
December 15, 1978 (43 Federal Register 58764- 
58774). Under the proposed regulations, the unit 
plans of the Forest Service would be renamed 
National Forest Plans and the Management 
Framework Plans of the BLM would be termed 
Resource Management Plans. 

Both sets of proposed regulations would permit 
the continued use of existing plans as bases for 
resource development decisions until new plans 
are developed under the new procedures. There- 
fore, both existing plans under present procedures 
and new plans under changed procedures may be 
used in future coal management decisions. How- 
ever, as a matter of practice and program policy, 
the Department of the Interior will give consider- 
able priority to preparation of new Resource 
Management Plans in the most critical high value 
coal areas. Some Resource Management Plans 
may be finished as soon as late 1984. In the 
meantime, existing Management Framework Plans 
would be examined closely and modified as 
necessary to ensure compliance with the proposed 
unsuitability criteria and surface owner consulta- 
tion procedures (see Sections 3.2.2.2 and 3.2.2.4). 
The results of this examination and modification 
would be published in supplements to the Manage- 
ment Framework Plans. 

The BLM planning system, under the proposed 
regulations, will call for the completetion of nine 
required steps. These are the same steps prescribed 
in the proposed Forest Service planning system. 
This should enhance common understanding of 
these processes. There will be substantial differ- 
ences in how these steps are accomplished and 
documented, both between the BLM and Forest 
Service and from plan to plan within each agency, 
based on variations in issues, concerns, data, and 
legal authorities. 

The required steps in each agency's proposed 
new land use planning system are listed in the left- 
hand column below, in the general sequence they 
are to be initiated. The existing BLM planning 
system components are listed in the right-hand 
column below to indicate which components of the 
existing system include the same general objectives 
and scope as the steps in the proposed system. The 
new steps are designed to improve substantially the 
quality of land use plans and are explained in 



3-29 



"■-..■:- . ■/■•"/-■ ■ . ; ...-. ... m .- 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



detail in the proposed planning regulations. (The 
existing BLM system procedure was described in 
more detail in the draft version of this statement.) 



Steps in the. New ELM 

Planning System Presented 

In the Proposed 

Regulations 



1. Identification of issues, 

concerns, and 
opportunities. 



2. Development of planning 
criteria. 



Existing BLM Planning 

System Components 

Including the Sams General 

Objectives and Scope as the 

Steps In the Proposed 
Regulations 



Portions of the Planning 
Area Analysis 



3. Inventory data and 
information collection 



4. Analysis of the 

management situation. 



5. Formulation of 
Alternative Plans. 



6. Estimation of the 
effects of 
alternatives. 



Selection of 
Preferred Alternative 
and filing the draft EIS. 



8. Selection of preferred 
plan and filing 
the final EIS. 



Portions of the 
Preplanning Analysis. 



No comparable requirement, 
since existing system uses 
available information. 



Portions of Unit Resource 
Analysis, Planning Area 
Analysis, and first step 
of the Management 
Framework Plan. 



Management Framework 
Plan Step Two. 



Management Framework 
Plan Step Two. 



MFP Step Two (no 
requirement in existing 
system for preparation 
of an EIS). 



9. Monitoring and 
evaluation of plan. 



MFP Step Three (no 
requirement in existing 
system for preparation 
of an EIS). 



No similiar requirement 
in existing system. 



The manner in which the Forest Service's 
planning process will relate and contribute to the 
coal management program will be set forth in 
Memoranda of Understanding now being negoti- 
ated by the Forest Service and the BLM. The first 
of these is to be on unsuitability criteria. (As the 
Secretary is required by section 522 of the Surface 
Mining Control and Reclamation Act to make the 
determination of which land is unsuitable for 
surface coal mining on all Federal lands, in order 
for the Forest Service to conduct the application of 



unsuitably criteria on national forest system 
lands, the Secretary must delegate the authority to 
do so to that agency.) It is expected that the Forest 
Service will adopt the unsuitability criteria which 
the Secretary selects when he makes his program 
decisions except where modifications are necessary 
to reflect the Forest Service's missions and pro- 
grams and the Secretary approves such modifica- 
tions. The land use plans which are the products of 
both the existing and proposed land use planning 
systems identify preferred land uses, or combina- 
tions of uses, for the planning areas and serve as 
guides to the Federal land managers. The land use 
plans establish the nature, extent, and objectives 
for future actions and programs on lands adminis- 
tered by the two agencies. Under the Secretary's 
preferred alternative, the principal coal resource 
decision in the land use plans would be the 
determination of which areas are acceptable for 
further consideration for coal leasing (see Figure 3- 
2). These areas would be identified after placing all 
lands in a planning area through four screens, 
integral to the planning process: 

1. Areas would be eliminated from any further 
coal development consideration if they do not have 
high to medium coal potential (see Section 3.2.2.1). 

2. Additional coal areas would be eliminated if 
they are judged unsuitable under the Department's 
unsuitability criteria (see Section 3.2.2.2). 

3. Additional coal areas may be eliminated on 
multiple use grounds if other Federal resource 
values are determined to be superior to coal (see 
Section 3.2.2.3). 

4. Additional coal areas where the Federal 
government owns the coal, the coal would be 
surface mined, and the surface is owned by 
ranchers or farmers may be eliminated after 
consultation with those surface owners (see Section 
3.2.2.4). 

The remaining areas after application of these 
screens would be identified in the land use plan as 
areas acceptable for further consideration for coal 
leasing, subject to areawide constraints and multi- 
ple use coordination requirements to guide coal 
program activities. (Note: Any leasing which is 
conducted would not involve all the land in these 
areas. Those lands not leased would, of course, 
continue to be available for any other uses, (e.g., 
livestock grazing) permitted by the land use plan.) 
These constraints and requirements could include 
such actions as: (a) establishment of threshold 



3-30 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



development levels over the planning area (see 
Section 3.2.2.5); (b) identification of unique stipu- 
lations to be placed in any potential coal lease on 
an area which the land use plan might identify as 
acceptable for further consideration for leasing; 
and (c) recommendations of preferred coal leasing 
areas if the areas acceptable for further consider- 
ation for coal leasing clearly are larger than may 
be needed for leasing (see Section 3.2.2.6). The 
proposed planning regulations would require 
review of a plan every five years, and full revision 
of a plan in 15 years, or earlier if necessary. 

All potential resource users — ranchers, coal 
companies, timber purchasers, environmental or- 
ganizations, etc. — should participate actively in 
the land use planning process if the process is to 
allocate uses of the Federal lands in the best 
possible manner. For example, the coal industry 
would be expected to help identify high and 
medium potential coal resources and no area 
would be excluded in the first screen that is shown 
by a company to contain coal which possesses a 
medium or high potential for development. Indus- 
try would also be expected to argue forcefully in 
favor of coal development over other uses in the 
resources trade-off screen and provide any data it 
might have which would permit the making of 
exceptions to the application of unsuitability 
criteria. Environmental organizations would be 
expected to assist the planning team in identifying 
situations which require the application of unsuita- 
bility criteria, critique information which suggests 
exceptions may be made, and advocate non- 
commodity uses of the land. Ranchers, timber 
purchasers, and other users should voice their 
desire to see sufficient land allocated to their 
respective uses, provide the planning team with 
information as to their needs, and argue forcefully 
for the allocation to their uses of specific areas for 
which other users are competing in the resources 
trade-off screen. Throughout the land use planning 
process, opportunities are provided for this type of 
participation and public participation is given 
special emphasis in the proposed new planning 
regulations of the Bureau of Land Management 
(43 Federal Register 58764-58774) and the Forest 
Service (43 Federal Register 39046-39059). 

3.2.2.1 Coal Potential. Only a portion of the coal 
resources within a land use planning area is likely 
to be potentially economic to mine or to become so 



over the life of the land use plan. Rather than 
apply all the screens in the land use planning 
process to uneconomic coal, the first screen to be 
applied would identify high or moderate develop- 
ment potential coal. Lands with less than moderate 
development potential would be dropped from 
further consideration until their potential for 
development is judged to be higher, perhaps the 
next land use planning cycle. 

The major source of information for this 
screening would be the coal resource occur- 
rence/coal development potential (CRO/CDP) 
maps and other related coal potential analysis of 
the U.S. Geological Survey. Where CRO/CDP 
maps are not available, other sources of informa- 
tion such as information from the Geologic Survey 
of the states and other available U.S. Geological 
Survey data would be used. It should be empha- 
sized that this screen is only the first of four in the 
land use planning process and its application does 
not have as its result the designation of any land as 
an area to be included in a lease sale (a decision 
taken only later in activity planning after land use 
planning has been completed) or even to be 
determined acceptable for further consideration 
for possible leasing (a decision to be made at the 
end of land use planning after all four screens have 
been applied). With this in mind, coal companies, 
the states, or members of the public may submit 
non-confidential coal geological and economic 
data during the earlier inventory phase of plan- 
ning. Where such information is determined to 
indicate significant development potential for an 
area not shown to be of medium or high potential 
in the CRO/CDP maps, the area would not be 
excluded from further consideration and applica- 
tion of the remaining screens in the land use 
planning process. 

3.2.2.2 Unsuitability Criteria. The key activity 
added to the land use planning process as a result 
of the requirements of Section 522 of SMCRA and 
other policy directives is the application of lands 
unsuitability criteria. It is the second of four 
screens applied to Federal coal lands in the land 
use planning process. 

The President, in a May 24, 1977 memoran- 
dum implementing his Environmental Message of 
May 23, 1977, instructed the Secretary of the 
Interior to lease "only those areas where mining is 
environmentally acceptable and compatible with 



3-31 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



other land uses." The President further directed 
that the Department "scrutinize existing Federal 
coal leases (and preference right lease applications) 
to determine whether they show prospects for 
timely development in an environmentally accept- 
able manner, taking steps as necessary to deal with 
nonproducing and environmentally unsatisfactory 
leases and applications." 

In addition, on August 3, 1977, the President 
signed into law the Surface Mining Control and 
Reclamation Act (SMCRA). Section 522 of this 
Act requires the Secretary to review Federal lands 
to determine whether they contain areas which are 
unsuitable for surface coal mining operations. 
SMCRA also contains a requirement for the states 
to undertake a similar program for non-Federal 
lands if they wish to assume primary regulatory 
authority under the Act. A list of standards to be 
used by the states is identified in Section 522(a)(3) 
of the Act. These same standards are also required 
to be applied to Federal lands (private surface 
lands overlying Federal coal are considered to be 
Federal lands for the purposes of the application of 
the standards). 

Under the preferred program, unsuitability 
criteria have been developed in response to Section 
522 of SMCRA and the directives in the Presi- 
dent's Environmental Message. The criteria are to 
be applied to medium and high potential coal 
lands in the land use planning process to identify 
those areas with key features, principally environ- 
mental, which make them unsuitable for all or 
certain methods of coal mining and thus should 
not be leased for that purpose. Accordingly, these 
areas would be removed from the activity planning 
process of delineation, ranking, selection and 
scheduling of tracts for lease sales or continued for 
only certain stipulated methods of mining. A 
principal purpose of the unsuitability criteria is to 
ensure that the responsibility of determining 
Federal lands unsuitable for coal mining is fulfilled 
in as consistent, uniform, and objective a manner 
as possible so that all parties— public officials, coal 
companies, environmentalists, and the public— can 
have confidence in the unsuitability decisions. As 
Federal land planners have not had to follow any 
such national standards before, their very existence 
would fulfill the purpose of limiting the incidence 
of divergent, subjective land use decisions. Cer- 
tainly, because of the vast differences in topogra- 
phy and other conditions in Federal coal lands, no 



set of criteria can be designed to eliminate entirely 
the necessity, or indeed the advisability, of subjec- 
tive, site-specific decisions by the planners. How- 
ever, the proposal to include the procedures for 
applying the criteria and the criteria themselves in 
regulations (see Appendix A), and the proposed 
application procedures which emphasize public 
accountability for application decisions and limit 
the situations in which exceptions to criteria are to 
be considered, would greatly reduce the range and 
number of subjective judgments the planners 
might otherwise make lacking firm policy guid- 
ance. 

Section 522 does not require that the Federal 
lands unsuitability review be completed prior to 
leasing or even prior to issuance of a mining 
permit, although several individual criteria selected 
by the Under Secretary incorporate mandatory 
requirements of section 522 of SMCRA and other 
statutes and would have to be applied prior to 
permit issuance. However, the Department has 
proposed to apply all the criteria at the mining 
plan stage. In addition, the Secretary chose to 
apply the criteria not just at the mine plan stage 
late in the coal management decision making 
process but also at the beginning of the process in 
land use planning. He expressed this preference for 
several reasons: to provide greater predictability 
for all interested parties in the coal management 
program, to ensure that lands which clearly should 
not be mined are excluded from leasing consider- 
ation as promptly as possible, and to avoid the 
costly situation for both a coal company and the 
Federal government of taking a tract all the way 
through lease sale and mine plan development 
only to find it is either unminable or would require 
such restrictive stipulations in the mine plan or 
mining permit as to make mining uneconomic. 

An intensive Department-wide effort was 
made to develop the 24 unsuitability criteria and 
their exceptions selected by the Under Secretary 
for inclusion in the preferred program and set forth 
in Table 3-3. Between November 1977 and March 
1978, a task force representing ten agencies and 
offices in the Department of the Interior and the 
Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, con- 
ducted a comprehensive review of existing legisla- 
tion, Presidential and Secretarial Orders, and 
Departmental policy and prepared a set of draft 
unsuitability criteria with, in many cases, alterna- 
tive criteria and exceptions. These criteria (set 



3-32 



TABLE 3-3 

PROPOSED CRITERIA FOR ASSESSING 
AND DESIGNATING FEDERAL LANDS UNSUITABLE FOR 
ALL OR CERTAIN TYPES OF COAL MINING OPERATIONS* 



(a) Federal Land Systems 



(b) Rights-of-Way and 
Easements 



CRITERION 

All Federal lands Included in the 
following land systems or categories 
and an appropriate buffer zone, if 
necessary, as determined by the 
land management agency, shall be con- 
sidered unsuitable for coal mining: 
National Park System, National Wild- 
life Refuge System, National Systems 
of Trails, National Wilderness Pre- 
servation System, National Wild and 
Scenic Rivers System, National Re- 
creation Areas, lands acquired with 
money derived from the Land and 
Water Conservation Fund, Custer Na- 
tional Forest, and Federal lands in 
incorporated cities, towns, and 
villages. All Federal lands which 
are recommended for inclusion in 
any of the above systems or cate- 
gories by the Administration in 
legislative proposals submitted to 
the Congress or which are required 
by statute to be studied for in- 
clusion in such systems or cate- 
gories shall be considered 
unsuitable. 

Federal lands that are within 
rights-of-way or easements or 
within surface leases for resi- 
dential, commercial, industrial, 
or other public purposes, or for 
agricultural crop production on 
Federally owned surface shall be 
considered unsuitable. 



EXCEPTIONS & EXEMPTIONS 

Exception : A lease may be 
issued and mining operations 
may be approved within the 
Custer National Forest with 
the consent of the Depart- 
ment of Agriculture as 
long as no surface coal 
mining operations are 
permitted. 

Exemptions : The application 
of this criterion to lands 
within the listed land 
systems and categories 
is subject to valid existing 
rights. The application of 
the buffer zone portion of 
this criterion does not 
apply to lands: to which 
substantial financial and 
legal commitments were made 
prior to January 4, 1977; on 
which operations were being 
conducted on August 3, 1977; 
or which include operations 
on which a permit has been 
issued , 

Exceptions : A lease may be 
issued, and mining operations 
approved, in such areas if 
the surface management 
agency determines that : 

(i) all or certain types of 
coal development (e.g., 
underground mining) will 
not interfere with the 
purpose of the right-of- 
way or easement; or 
(ii) the right-of-way or 

easement was granted for 
mining purposes; or 
(iii) the right-of-way or 
easement was issued 
for a purpose for which 
it is not being used; 
or 
(iv) the parties involved in 
the right-of-way or 
easement agree to 
leasing; or 
(v) it is impractical to 
exclude such areas due 
to the location of coal 
and method of mining and 
such areas or uses can 
be protected through 
appropriate stipulations. 

Exemption : This criterion 
does not apply to lands on 
which mining would result in 
substantial loss or reduction 
of long-range productivity 
of food or fiber products, 
and it does not apply to 
lands: to which the operator 
made substantial financial 
and legal commitments prior 
to January 4, 1977; on which 
operations were being con- 
ducted on August 3, 1977; or 
which include operations on 
which a permit has been issued. 



*See Table 5-88 for the draft unsuitability criteria field-tested in the summer of 1978. 



3-33 



TABLE 3-3 (continued) 



(c) Buffer Zones Along 
Right s-of -Way and 
Adjacent to Commu- 
nities and Buildings 



(d) Wilderness Study 
Areas 



(e) Scenic Areas 



CRITERION 

Federal lands affected by section 
522(e) (4) and (5) of the Surface 
Mining Control and Reclamation 
Act of 1977 shall be considered 
unsuitable. This includes lands 
within 100 feet of the outside 
line of the right-of-way of a 
public highway or within 100 
feet of a cemetery, or within 
300 feet of an occupied public 
building, school, church, com- 
munity or institutional building 
or public park or within 300 feet 
of an occupied dwelling. 



Federal lands designated as 
wilderness study areas shall be 
considered unsuitable while 
under review by the Admini- 
stration and the Congress for 
possible wilderness designa- 
tion. For any Federal land 
which is to be leased or mined 
prior to completion of the 
wilderness inventory by the 
surface management agency, the 
environmental assessment or 
impact statement on the lease 
sale or mine plan must con- 
sider whether the land possesses 
the characteristics of a wil- 
derness study area. If the 
finding is affirmative, the land 
shall be considered unsuitable. 

Scenic Federal lands designated 
by visual resource management 
analysis as Class I or II (an 
area of outstanding scenic qual- 
ity or high visual sensitivity) 
but not currently on the 
National Register of Natural 
Landmarks shall be considered 
unsuitable. 



EXCEPTIONS & EXEMPTIONS 

Exceptions : A lease may be issued 
and mining operations approved for 
lands: 

(i) used as mine access roads or 
haulage roads that joing the 
right-of-way for a public road; 
(ii) for which the Office of Surface 
Mining Reclamation and Enforce- 
ment has issued a permit to 
have public roads relocated; 
(iii) for which owners of occupied 
buildings have given per- 
mission to mine within 300 
feet of their buildings. 

Exemption : The application of this 
criterion is subject to valid 
existing rights. 

Exception : A lease may be issued 

and mining operations approved if 

authorized by the Federal Land 

Policy and Management Act of 1976. 

Exemption : The application of this 
criterion to lands for which the 
Bureau of Land Management is the 
surface management agency is sub- 
ject to valid existing rights. 



Exception : A lease may be issued 
and mining operations approved if 
the surface management agency 
determines that mining operations 
will not significantly diminish or 
adversely affect the scenic quality 
of the designated area. 

Exemption : This criterion does not 
apply to lands: to' which the 
operator made substantial financial 
and legal commitments prior to 
January 4, 1977; on which opera- 
tions were being conducted on 
August 3, 1977; or which include 
operations on which a permit has 
been issued. 



3-34 



TABLE 3- 3 (continued) 



(f) Lands Used for 

Scientific Studies 



(g) Historic Lands and 
Sites 



(h) Natural Areas 



CRITERION 

Federal lands under permit by 
the land management agency for 
scientific studies involving 
food or fiber production, 
natural resources, or tech- 
nology demonstrations and 
experiments shall be con- 
sidered unsuitable. 



All districts, sites, build- 
ings, structures, and objects 
of historic, architectural, 
archaeological, or cultural 
significance which are in- 
cluded in or eligible for 
inclusion in the National Re- 
gister of Historic Sites, and 
an appropriate buffer zone 
around the outside boundary 
of the designated property 
(to protect the inherent 
values of the property that 
make it eligible for listing 
in the National Register) as 
determined by the land manage- 
ment agency, in consultation 
with the Advisory Council on 
Historic Preservation or by 
procedures approved by the 
Advisory Council, shall be 
considered unsuitable. 



Federal lands designated as 
natural areas or as National 
Natural Landmarks shall be 
considered unsuitable. 



EXCEPTIONS & EXEMPTIONS 

Exceptions : A lease may be issued 
and mining operations approved: 

(i) with the concurrence of the 
principal scientific user or 
agency ; or 
(ii) where it would be stipulated 
that the mining would be done 
in such a way as not to jeo- 
pardize the purpose of the 
study as determined by the 
surface management agency. 

Exemption : This criterion does not 
apply to lands: to which the operator 
made substantial financial and legal 
commitments prior to January 4, 1977; 
on which operations were being con- 
ducted on August 3, 1977; or which 
include operations on which a permit 
has been issued. 

Exceptions : A lease may be issued 
and mining operations approved if 
the surface management agency 
determines : 

(i) with the concurrence of the 

state, that the site, structure, 
or object is of regional or local 
significance only; or 
(ii) in consultation with the 

Advisory Council on Historic 
Preservation, that the direct 
and indirect effects of all or 
certain stipulated methods of 
coal mining on a property in 
or eligible for the National 
Register of Historic Sites will 
not result in significant ad- 
verse impacts to the site, 
structure, or object. 

Exemption: The application of this 
criterion is subject to valid 
existing rights. 

Exceptions : A lease may be issued 
and mining operations approved in an 
area or site if the surface manage- 
ment agency determines that : 

(i) with the concurrence of the state, 
the area or site is of regional or 
local significance only; 
(ii) the use of appropriate stipulated 
mining technology will result in 
no significant adverse impact to 
the area or site; or 
(Hi) the mining of the coal resource 
under appropriate stipulations 
will enhance information 
recovery (e.g., paleontological 
sites) . 
Exemption : This criterion does not 
apply to lands: to which the operator 
made substantial financial and legal 
commitments prior to January 4, 1977; 
on which operations were being 
conducted on August 3, 1977; or which 
include operations on which a permit 
has been issued. 



3-35 



TABLE 3-3 (continued) 



CRITERION 



(i) Federally Listed 
Endangered Species 



(j) State Listed 

Endangered Species 



(k) Bald and Golden 
Eagle Nests 



Federally designated critical ha- 
bitat for threatened or endangered 
plant and animal species, and 
habitat for Federal threatened or 
endangered species which is 
determined by the Fish and Wild- 
life Service and the surface manage- 
ment agency to be of essential 
value and where the presence of 
threatened or endangered species 
has been scientifically documented, 
shall be considered unsuitable. 

Lands containing habitat deemed 
critical or essential for plant or 
animal species listed by state 
pursuant to state law as endan- 
gered or threatened shall be con- 
sidered unsuitable. 



A bald or golden eagle nest that 
is determined to be active and a 
buffer zone of land in a 1/4 
mile radius from a nest area 
which shall be considered 
unsuitable. Consideration of 
availability of habitat for prey 
species shall be included in the 
determination of buffer zones. 



EXCEPTIONS & EXEMPTIONS 

Exception : A lease may be 
issued and mining operations 
approved if, after consultation 
with the Fish and Wildlife Ser- 
vice, the surface management 
agency determines the species 
and its habitat will not be 
adversely affected by all or 
certain stipulated methods of 
coal mining operations. 



Exception : A lease may be issued 
and mining operations approved 
if, after consultation with the 
state, the surface management 
agency determines that the 
species will not be adversely 
affected by all or certain 
stipulated methods of coal 
mining. 

Exemption : This criterion does 
not apply to lands: to which 
the operator made substantial 
financial and legal commit- 
ments prior to January 4, 1977; 
on which operations were being 
conducted on August 3, 1977; or 
which include operations on 
which a permit has been issued. 

Exceptions : 

(i) A lease may be issued and 

mining operations approved 

if: 

(A) they can be conditioned 
in such a way, either 
in manner of period of 
operation, that eagles 
will not be disturbed 
during breeding season; 
or 

(B) golden eagle nest sites 
will be moved with the 
concurrence of the Fish 
and Wildlife Service. 

(ii) Buffer zones may be de- 
creased if the surface 
management agency deter- 
mines that the active 
eagle nests will not be 
adversely affected. 



3-36 



TABLE 3-3 (continued) 



(1) 



Bald and Golden Eagle 
Roost and Concentra- 
tion Areas 



(m) Falcon Cliff Nesting 
Sites 



(n) Migratory Birds 



(o) State Resident Fish 
and Wildlife 



CRITERION 

Bald and golden eagle roost and 
concentration areas used during 
migration and wintering shall be 
considered unsuitable. 



Federal lands containing falcon 
cliff nesting sites with active 
nests and a buffer zone of Fed- 
eral land in a 1/4 mile radius 
from the nest to provide needed 
prey habitat shall be considered 
unsuitable. Consideration of 
availability of habitat for prey 
species shall be included in the 
determination of buffer zones. 



Federal lands which are high pri- 
ority habitat for migratory bird 
species of high Federal interest 
on a regional or national basis, 
as determined jointly by the 
surface management agency and 
the Fish and Wildlife Service, 
shall be considered unsuitable. 



Federal lands which the land 
management agency and the state 
jointly agree are fish and wild- 
life habitat for resident 
species of high interest to the 
state and which are essential 
for maintaining these priority 
wildlife species shall be con- 
sidered unsuitable. Such lands 
may Include appropriate buffer 
zones as determined jointly by 
the surface management agency 
and the state. Such lands shall 
include: 

(i) active dancing and strutting 
grounds for sage grouse, 
sharp-tailed grouse, and 
prairie chicken; 
(ii) the most critical winter 
ranges for deer, antelope, 
and elk; and 
(ill) migration corridors for 
elk. 



EXCEPTIONS & EXEMPTIONS 

Exception : A lease may be issued 
and mining operations approved if 
the surface management agency 
determines that all or certain 
stipulated methods of coal 
mining can be conducted in such 
a way, and during such periods of 
time, to ensure that eagles shall 
not be adversely disturbed. 

Exception : A lease may be issued 
and mining operations approved 
where the land management agency, 
after consultation with the Fish 
and Wildlife Service, determines 
that all or certain stipulated 
methods of coal mining will not 
adversely affect the migratory 
bird habitat during the periods 
when such habitat is used by the 
species. 

Exception : A lease may be 
issued End mining operations 
approved where the surface 
management agency, after con- 
sultation with the Fish and 
Wildlife Service, determines that 
all or certain methods of coal 
mining will not adversely affect 
the migratory bird habitat during 
the periods when such habitat is 
used by the species. 

Exceptions : A lease may be 
issued and mining operations 
approved if the surface manage- 
ment agency, in consultation 
with the state wildlife agency, 
determines that: 
(i) complete mitigation is 

possible; or 
(ii) the species being protected 
will not be adversely af- 
fected by all or certain 
stipulated methods of coal 
mining. 

Exemption : This criterion does 
not apply to lands : to which the 
operator made substantial finan- 
cial and legal commitments prior 
to January 4, 1977; on which 
operations were being conducted 
on August 3, 1977; or which 
include operations on which a per- 
mit has been issued. 



3-37 



TABLE 3-3 (continued) 



(p) Wetlands 



CRITERION 

Federal lands containing: 

(1) Inland lakes, impound- 
ments, and associated 
wetlands; 
(ii) inland shallow, predo- 
minantly vegetated wet- 
lands; or 
(ill) riverine wetland systems, 
lower and upper peren- 
nial systems with flow 
greater than 5 cubic 
feet per second, and 
riparian zones in a 
"relatively undisturbed" 
state that are larger 
than one linear mile 
along a riverine system 
shall be considered 
unsuitable. 



(q) Floodplains 



Riverine, coastal, and special 
floodplains (100-year recur- 
rence interval) shall be con- 
sidered unsuitable. 



EXCEPTIONS & EXEMPTIONS 

Exceptions : A lease may be issued 
and mining operations approved 
where the surface management agency 
determines that: 

(i) the use of appropriate stip- 
ulated mining or reclamation 
technology will not signifi- 
cantly affect the wetlands or 
will provide for complete 
restoration; 



(ii) the welands contain no signi- 
ficant values for groundwater 
recharge, fish and wildlife 
habitat, recreation, or 
scientific study. 

Exemption : This criterion does not 
apply to lands to which the 
operator made substantial financial 
and legal commitments prior to 
January 4, 1977; on which opera- 
tions were being conducted on 
August 3, 1977; or which include 
operations on which a permit has 
been issued. 

Exception : A lease may be issued 
and mining operations approved 
where the surface management 
agency determines that : 

(i) leasing a particular tract 
and approval of mining opera- 
tions is the only practicable 
method of access to coal lands 
outside the floodplain which 
are not unsuitable under any 
other criterion; and 
(ii) potential for harm to people 
or property and natural and 
beneficial values of flood- 
plains can be minimized 
through stipulated use of 
demonstrated and available 
mining and mitigation 
measures. 

Exemption : This criterion does not 
apply to lands: to which the 
operator made substantial financial 
and legal commitments prior to 
January 4, 1977; on which opera- 
tions were being conducted on 
August 3, 1977; or which include 
operations on which a permit has 
been issued. 



3-38 



TABLE 3-3 (continued) 



(r) Municipal Watersheds 



CRITERION 

Federal lands which have been 
committed by the land manage- 
ment agency to use as municipal 
watersheds shall be considered 
unsuitable. 



(s) National Resource 
Waters 



(t) Prime Farm Lands 



Federal lands with National 
Resource Waters, as identified 
by states in their water 
quality management plans, and 
a buffer zone of Federal lands 
1/4 mile from the outer edge 
of the far banks of the water, 
shall be unsuitable. 

When the surface management 
agency, with the concurrence 
of the Secretary of Agricul- 
ture (Soil Conservation 
Service), identifies Federal 
lands having prime farmland 
soils, such lands shall be 
considered unsuitable. 



EXCEPTIONS & EXCLUSIONS 

Except ion : A lease may be issued 
and mining operations approved 
where : 

(i) the surface management agency 
determines that all or certain 
stipulated methods of coal 
mining will not adversely 
affect the watershed to any 
significant degree; and 
(ii) the municipality or water 

users concur in the Issuance 
of the lease. 

Exempt ion : This criterion does not 
apply to lands: to which the opera- 
tor made substantial financial 
and legal commitments prior to 
January 4, 1977; on which opera- 
tions were being conducted on 
August 3, 1977; or which include 
operations on which a permit has 
been issued. 

Exception : The buffer zone may be 
eliminated or reduced in size 
where the surface management 
agency determines that it is not 
necessary to protect the National 
Resource Waters. 



Exceptions : A lease may be issued 

when: 

(i) conditions such as soil rocki- 
ness, angle of slope or his- 
toric or other conditions 
leading to a negative deter- 
mination under the permanent 
regulations of the Office of 
Surface Mining Reclamation 
and Enforcement are present; or 
(ii) scientific studies show that 

crop yields equivalent to pre- 
mining crop yields on non- 
mined prime farmlands in the 
surrounding area under equi- 
valent levels of management 
could be obtained and that an 
operator or potential operator 
could meet the soil recon- 
struction standards in section 
515(b)(7) of the Surface 
Mining Control and Reclamation 
Act of 1977 (30 U.S.C. 1265 
(b)(7)), and the permanent 
regulations of the Office of 
Surface Mining Reclamation and 
Enforcement. 



3-39 



TABLE 3-3 (continued) 



(u) Alluvial Valley Floors 



(v) Reclaimability 



(w) State Lands 
Unsuitable 



Federal lands identified by 
the surface management agency, 
with the concurrence of the 
State in which they are lo- 
cated, as alluvial valley 
floors according to the de- 
finition and standards in 
the permanent regulations 
under the Surface Mining Con- 
trol and Reclamation Act of 
1977, and the final alluvial 
valley floor guidelines of the 
Office of Surface Mining Re- 
clamation and Enforcement, 
and approved state programs 
under the Surface Mining 
Control and Reclamation Act 
of 1977, where mining would 
interrupt, discontinue, or 
preclude farming, shall be 
considered unsuitable. 
Additionally, when mining 
Federal land outside an al- 
luvial valley floor would 
materially damage the quan- 
tity or quality of water in 
surface or underground water 
systems that would supply 
alluvial valley floors, the 
land shall be considered 
unsuitable. 

As information regarding 
reclaimability on a local or 
regional basis becomes avail- 
able, the surface management 
agency shall use such informa- 
tion to determine if areas of 
Federal land are reclaimable 
to the standards of the Surface 
Mining Control and Reclamation 
Act of 1977, the regulations, 
and approved state programs. 
Examples of information on 
reclaimability would be soil 
studies, hydrologic studies, 
and studies concerning reve- 
getation. If any area is 
determined not to be so re- 
claimable, such area shall be 
considered unsuitable. 

Federal lands in a state to 
which is applicable a cri- 
terion (i) proposed by the 
state, and (ii) adopted by 
rulemaking by the Secretary 
of the Interior, shall be 
considered unsuitable for 
coal mining. 



Exception : A lease may be issued 
where all or certain methods of 
coal mining would not interrupt, 
discontinue, or preclude farming 
on land to which the first sentence 
of the criterion applies. 



Exception : A lease may be issued 
upon presentation of information 
which contains results of studies 
showing that reclamation is 
possible to the standards in the 
permanent regulations of the Office 
of Surface Mining Reclamation and 
Enforcement, and an approved state 
program, including state regula- 
tions. 



Exceptions : 
when: 



A lease may be issued 



(i) such criterion is adopted by the 
Secretary less than 6 months 
prior to the publication of the 
draft land use plan, or sup- 
plement to a land use plan, for 
the area in which such land is 
included, or 
(ii) the surface management agency, 
in consultation with the state, 
determines that, although the 
criterion applies, mining will 
not adversely affect the value 
which the criterion would 
protect. 

Exemption : This criterion does not 
apply to lands: to which the opera- 
tor made substantial financial and 
legal commitments prior to 
January 4, 1977; on which operations 
were being conducted on August 3, 
1977; or which Include operations 
on which a permit has been 
issued. 



3-40 



TABLE 3-3 (concluded) 



(x) State Proposed A buffer zone of Federal lands Exception : The buffer zone may be modi- 
Criteria necessary to provide protection fied or eliminated where the surface 

for any adjacent area designated management agency, in consultation with 
as land unsuitable for mining the state, determines that all or parts 
by the state shall be con- of the zone are not necessary to protect 
sidered unsuitable. the designated area. 

Exemption : This criterion does not apply 
to lands: to which the operator made 
substantial financial and legal commit- 
ments prior to January 4, 1977; on which 
operations were being conducted on 
August 3, 1977; or which include 
operations on which a permit has been 
issued. 



3-41 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



forth in Table 5-88) were then field tested by three 
task force teams on Federal lands in four test areas 
in Montana, Utah, and Wyoming during the 
summer of 1978. After completion of the field tests, 
the task force reconvened to review the field test 
results and, on the basis of those results, to 
recommend to the Department which criteria and 
exceptions should be altered, added, or deleted. 
The field test results and recommended criteria 
and exceptions appear in the task force's Septem- 
ber 12, 1978, final report, Land Unsuitability 
Criteria (available upon request from the Depart- 
ment) [2]. The Under Secretary expressed a 
preference for the twenty-four criteria and their 
exceptions set forth in Table 3-3 after extensive 
discussions in the manner described in Section 
3.2.1. with the Assistant Secretaries for Land and 
Water Resources; Fish, Wildlife and Parks; Ener- 
gy and Minerals; and Policy, Budget and Adminis- 
tration; and the Solicitor. Each Assistant Secretary 
and the Solicitor proposed new language for many 
of the task force's recommended criteria and 
exceptions and either deletions or additions to 
those criteria and exceptions. Certain criteria and 
exceptions were more tightly drawn to ensure that 
their application would not result in the screening 
out of lands not necessary for the protection of the 
values reflected in the criteria. On the other hand, 
a number of new criteria were added by the Under 
Secretary to provide protection to values other 
than those which the task force's recommended 
criteria were intended to protect. Finally, one 
criterion recommended by the task force was 
deleted by the Under Secretary. (See Section 5.4.8 
and Table 5-89 for a discussion of field test results 
and changes made in the draft field test criteria 
(Table 5-88) before their adoption as the proposed 
criteria for the preferred program (Table 3-3).) 

Because the criteria and exceptions selected by 
the Under Secretary for the preferred program are 
changed significantly from the criteria and excep- 
tions originally field tested by the task force, the 
Department determined that they should be field 
tested anew before any final decision on them is 
made by the Secretary. Furthermore, the Depart- 
ment designed procedures for these field tests to 
ensure that the criteria and exceptions would 
receive attention not only from the land manage- 
ment agencies' planners, but also from interested 
user groups and the public. The field tests are 
being conducted in a four-county area in Alabama 



and on 540,000 acres in nine planning units in 
Colorado, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming. The 
preliminary results have been made available to 
the public in the form of draft supplements to 
existing land use plans and public meetings have 
been held on the documents. The draft supple- 
ments and public comments on them will be fully 
considered by the Secretary prior to making any 
final decision on a Federal coal management 
program. Any changes in the preferred criteria and 
exceptions adopted by the Secretary would be 
subsequently incorporated in the final supplements 
which would be published after the Secretary's 
decision. (The procedures for conducting the field 
tests and preparing the supplements were pub- 
lished on December 8, 1978, in 43 Federal Register 
57662-57670.) 

These 24 preferred unsuitability criteria can be 
divided into four categories: those which are 
required under Section 522 of SMCRA (e.g., 
Federal land system, buffer zones along rights-of- 
way and adjacent to communities and buildings, 
and reclaimability criteria), those which are discre- 
tionary under Section 522 (e.g., land used for 
scientific studies, municipal watersheds, and flood- 
plains criteria); those which embody requirements 
under other statutes which the Department 
chooses to enforce through the application of 
unsuitability criteria (e.g., federally-listed endan- 
gered species and bald and golden eagle criteria); 
and those which are not required by statute but 
which the Department has decided to apply in its 
discretion as good public policy (e.g., scenic areas, 
state resident fish and wildlife, state lands unsuit- 
able, and state proposed criteria). In short, some of 
the criteria involve interpretation of legal require- 
ments within circumscribed limits; others repre- 
sent an attempt to set broader limits on field-level 
resource management judgments that have previ- 
ously been entirely discretionary. (Table 3-4 sets 
out the authorities for each unsuitability criterion.) 
Each criterion in all four categories of criteria, 
including the two discretionary categories, would 
be fully applied during land use planning; the 
responsible official would not have the discretion 
to refrain from applying any criterion. The only 
remaining discretion, either permitted by law in 
the required criteria or inherent in the discretion- 
ary criteria, is incorporated in the exceptions and 
the decision whether to apply an exception. The 
combination of, first, taking issues that have been 



3-42 



TABLE 3-4 

PROPOSED UNSUITABILITY STANDARDS: 
THEIR SOURCES AHD LIMITATIONS 





CRITERION 
(Proposed Rule Section) 


STATUTORY 
SOURCE 1/ 


NATURE OF 
CRITERION 


EXEMPTIONS 


DERIVATION OF 
EXCEPTIONS 




1-1. 


Lands in federal land 
preservation systems 
(National Parks, 
Wildlife Refuges and 
Trails 


a. 522(e)-SMCRA; 

b. 16-FCLAA 


a. mandatory 

b. mandatory 


a. valid existing 
rights; surface 
coal mining opera- 
tions existing on 
8-3-77 

b. none 






1-2, 


Buffer zones around 
such land 


522(a)(3)- 

SMCRA 

Clean Air Act 


discretionary 


522(a) (6 )-SMCRA 2/ 




1 


1-3. 


Lands in Custer 
National Forest 
[3461.2(a)] 


522(e)-SMCRA 


mandatory 


valid existing 
rights; existing 
surface coal 
mining operations 


operations that 
involve no sur- 
face coal mining 
operations 
(522(e)(2)(B) 
proviso-SMCRA ) 



V 



2/ 



Statutory sections are cited if clear. SMCRA means the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act 
of 1977, 30 U.S.C. § 1201 et setj.; FCLAA means the Federal Coal Leasing Amendments Act of 1976; 
FLPMA means the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, 43 U.S.C. § 1701, et seq . 

Section 2 of the Mineral Leasing Act, as amended, 30 U.S.C. S 201, contains the Secretary's ultimate 
discretion to lease or not to lease in the public interest. It applies to all the criteria. Similarly, 
sections 201 and 202 of FLPMA, the Secretary's resource inventory and land use planning authorities, 
apply to all criteria on all lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management. These sections are 
cited only when they are relied on as authority for the criterion. 

In every case, section 522(a)(6) exempts: (a) operations approved under SMCRA; (b) surface coal 
mining operations existing on August 3, 1977; and (c) operations to which substantial legal and 
financial commitments were made prior to January 4, 1977. 



3/ The general authority for the exception is found in the coverage or limitations on the coverage of 
~~ the statutory policies and protections. 



TABLE 3-4 (CONTINUED) 



I 



CRITERION 
(Proposed Rule Section) 

Lands in federal 
leases, permits or 
rights-of-way for 
other purposes 
[3461.2(b)] 



Lands within certain 
distances of ceme- 
taries, public 
buildings, public 
roads 
[3461.2(c)] 

Lands in wilderness 
study areas 
[3461.2(d)] 



Class I or II 
scenic lands 
[3461.2(e)] 



Lands used for 
scientific study 
(crops, resources, 
technology) 
[3461.2(f)] 



STATUTORY 
SOURCE V 

a. 715-SMCRA; 

b. 522(e)(4)- 
SMCRA 



a. 522(e)(4) and 
(5)-SMCRA 



b. 522(a)(3)(B) 
a. 603(c)-FLFMA; 



b. 522(a)(3)(B)- 
SMCRA; 

c. National Forest 
Management Act; 

d. Wilderness Act 

a. 522(a)(3)(B)- 
SMCRA; 

b. 201-202-FLIMA 



a. 522(a)(3)(C)- 
SMCRA; 

b. 715-SMCRA 



NATURE OF 
CRITERION 

a. mandatory 

b. mandatory 



a. mandatory 



b. discretionary b. 

a. mandatory a. 
in most cases 



b. discretionary 

c. discretionary 



EXEMPTIONS 



b. valid existing 
rights; surface 
coal mining 
operations exist- 
ing on 8-3-77 



valid existing 
rights; surface 
coal mining 
operations exist- 
ing on 8-3-77 
522(a) (6 )-SMCRA 2/ 



operations in 
manner and degree 
of existing 
operations; valid 
existing rights 
522(a) ( 6 )-SMCRA 2/ 



DERIVATION OF 
EXCEPTIONS 

discretion when 
section 715 
satisfied by 
consent or 
otherwise 



522(e)(4) and (5)- 
SMCRA 



a. if nonimpairment 
of wilderness 
suitability 
— 603(c)-FLPMA; 



c. Wilderness Act 3/ 



discretionary a. 522(a) (6)-SMCRA 2/ discretion 



b. valid existing 
rights 

a. discretionary a. 522(a) (6)-SMCRA 2/ 

b. mandatory 



discretion when 
section 715 satis- 
fied by consent or 
otherwise 



*m^m 



TABLE 3-4 (CONTINUED) 



CRITERION 
(Proposed Rule Section) 

7-1. Lands containing 
listed or eligible 
National Register 
sites 



7-2. Buffer zones for 
such lands 
[3461.2(g)] 

8. Lands in national 
natural landmarks 
[3461.2(h)] 

9. Lands in designated 
critical habitat for 
or documented as 
habitat for federal 



STATUTORY 
SOURCE 1/ 



NATURE OF 
CRITERION 



EXEMPTIONS 



a. 522(e) (3) -SMCRA, mandatory a. valid existing 

rights; surface 



b. National Historic discretionary 
Preservation Act 



522(a)(3)(B)- 
SMCRA 



522(a)(3)(B)- 
SMCRA; 
Antiquities Act 

Endangered 
Species Act 



mandatory 



1 
■p- 

Ln 




threatened or en- 
dangered species 
[3461. 2(i)] 








10. 


Lands in designated 
critical habitat 
for state threatened 
or endangered 
species 
[3461.2(D)] 


201, 202 and 
302(b)-FLPMA 


discretioi 




11. 


Lands containing 
bald or golden 
eagle nest, and 
buffer zone 
[3461. 2(k)] 


a. Eagle Protec- 
tion Act 

b. Endangered 
Species Act 


a. mandatory 

b. mandatory 



DERIVATION OF 
EXCEPTIONS 

National Historic 
Preservation Act 3/ 



mining operations 
existing on 8-3-77 



discretionary 522(a) (6)-SMCRA 2/ 



discretionary ' 522(a) (6) -SMCRA 2/ discretion 



none 



Endangered Species 
Act 3/ 



valid existing 
rights 



discretion 



none 



Eagle Protection 
Act 3/ 

Endangered Species 
Act 3/ 



TABLE 3-4 (CONTINUED) 







CRITERION 
(Proposed Rule Section) 




STATUTORY 
SOURCE 1/ 


NATURE OF 
CRITERION 


EXEMPTIONS 


DERIVATION OF 
EXCEPTIONS 




12. 


Lands containing 
bald or golden 
eagle migration or 
wintering roost, and 
buffer zone 
[3461.2(1)] 


Eagle Protection 
Act; 

Endangered 
Species Act 


mandatory 


none 


Eagle Protection 
Act 3/ 

Endangered Species 
Act 3/ 




13. 


Lands with falcon 
cliff nesting site, 
and buffer zone 
including prey 
habitat 
[3461. 2(m)] 


a. 
b. 


Migratory Bird 
Treaty Act; 
201, 202-FLPMA 
Endangered 
Species Act 


mandatory 
mandatory 


none 


Migratory Bird 
Treaty Act 3/ 
Endangered Species 
Act 3/ 


(jO 

1 

0-v 


14. 


Lands that are high 
priority habitat 
for migratory birds 
of high federal 
interest 
[3461. 2(n)] 


a„ 
b. 


Migratory Bird 
Treaty Act; 
Fish and Wild- 
life Coordina- 
tion Act 


a. mandatory 

b. discretionary 


none 


a. Migratory Bird 
Treaty Act 3/ 

b. discretion 




15. 


Lands that are 
habitat for high 
interest resident 
wildlife in state 
[3461. 2(o)] 


a, 

b„ 


Fish and Wild- 
life Coordina- 
tion Act; 
201, 302(b)- 
FLPMA 


both 
discretionary 


a. none 

b. valid existing 
rights 


discretion 



m 



TABLE 3-4 (CONTINUED) 





CRITERION 
(Proposed Rule Section) 


STATUTORY 
SOURCE V 


NATURE OF 
CRITERION 


] 


SXEMPTIONS 


DERIVATION OF 
EXCEPTIONS 




16. Lands that are 


a. 522(a)(3)(C)- 


all 


a„ 


522(a)(6)- 


discretion 




inland wetlands 


3*CRA; 


discretionary 




SMCRA 2/ 






[3461. 2(p)] 


b. Fish and Wild- 
life Coordina- 
tion Act; 

c. E.O. 11990 
(May 1977), 
National Environ- 
mental Policy Act; 

d. Federal Water 
Pollution Control 
Act 




b. 

Co 

do 


none 
none 

Environmental 
Protection Agency 
or Corps of 
Engineers per- 
mitted activities 






17. Lands in 100-year 


a. 522(a)(3)(C)- 


all 




522(a) ( 6 J-SMCRA V 


discretion 




floodplains 


SMCRA; 


discretionary 








UJ 


[3461. 2(q)] 


b. 522(a)(3)(D)- 
SMCRA; 














C E.O. 11988 
(May 1977) 












18. Lands used as 


a. 522(a)(3)(C)- 


discretionary 


a, 


522(a) (6 )-SMCRA 2/ 


discretion 




municipal water- 


SMCRA; 












sheds 


b. Safe Drinking 












[3461. 2(r)] 


Water Act; 
c. Federal Water 
Pollution Control 
Act 




c 


, Environmental 
Protection Agency 
or Corps of 





Engineers per- 
mitted activities 



TABLE 3-4 (CONTINUED) 



I 
00 



CRITERION 
(Proposed Rule Section) 

19. Lands containing 
National Resource 
Waters, and buffer 
zones 
[3461. 2(s)] 



20. Lands containing 
prime farm land 
soils 
[3461.2(f)] 

21. Lands in alluvial 
valley floors, where 
mining would inter- 
rupt or preclude 
farming, or 
materially damage 
water systems 
[3461. 2(u)] 



STATUTORY 
SOURCE V 

a. Federal Water 
Pollution Control 
Act; 



b. 522(a)(3)(C)- 
SMCRA 

522(a)(3)(C)- 
SMCRA 



a. 510(b)(5)- 
SMCRA; 



b. 522(a)(3)(C)- 
SMCRA 



NATURE OF 
CRITERION 

discretionary 



discretionary 



mandatory 



DERIVATION OF 
EXCEPTIONS 

discretion 



EXEMPTIONS 

a. Environmental 
Protection Agency 
or Corps of 
Engineers per- 
mitted activities 

b. 522(a) (6)-SMCRA 2/ 



522(a) (6)-SMCRA 2/ 515(b) (7)-SMCRA; 

discretion 



a. 



b. 



operations pro- 
ducing or per- 
mitted in year 
before 8-3-77 
limited to a. 
above 



510(b) (5 )-SMCRA 



22. Lands not re- 
claimable in 
conformity with 
SMCRA 

[3461. 2(v)] 

23. Lands subject to a 
criterion suggested 
by a state and 
adopted by rulemaking 
[3461. 2(w)] 



510(b)(2)- 
SMCRA 



522(a)(3)(A)- 

SMCRA; 

522(a) (5) -SMCRA 



mandatory 



none 



none 



discretionary 522(a) (6) -SMCRA 2/ discretion 



MflttH 



^gtaAunAmfea^^^ 



TABLE 3-4 (CONCLUDED) 



CRITERION 
(Proposed Rule Section) 

24. Lands needed as buffer 
to lands designated 
unsuitable by a state 
[3461. 2(x)] 



STATUTORY 
SOURCE 1/ 

522(a)(3)(A)- 

SMCRA; 

522(a) (5 )-SMCRA 



NATURE OF 
CRITERION 

discretionary 



DERIVATION OF 
EXEMPTIONS EXCEPTIONS 

522(a) (6)-SMCRA 2/ discretion 



I 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



considered within varying degrees of specificity at 
various stages of Federal coal management and 
requiring that they receive some attention at the 
earliest stages of planning, and, second, providing 
that attention through a process that requires site- 
specific, for-the-record determinations of the appli- 
cability of those criteria would, the Department 
believes, have two beneficial results. It would make 
all land use planning decisions more sensitive to 
the resource values covered by the unsuitability 
criteria and would permit a level of public review 
and accountability not previously associated with 
that kind of field-level decision. 

The unsuitability criteria would, in some form, 
be applied to all new leases, including emergency 
leases and preference right lease applications. The 
criteria would be applied directly to the tract areas 
for emergency and preference right lease applica- 
tions. For all other new leases, the procedures set 
forth below would be followed. 

The responsible official of the Federal land 
management agency would describe in the land 
use plan the results of the application of each of 
the unsuitability criteria to the medium and high 
potential coal lands in the planning area. He would 
state each instance in which a criterion is found to 
be applicable and show the area which is excluded 
from further coal development consideration or, 
should he determine that the conditions for an 
exception exist, describe the area to which the 
exception applies and discuss in detail the reasons 
why the exception is made and what type of 
stipulations will be required in the lease or mining 
permit to assure compliance with the exception. In 
applying the criteria and exceptions, the responsi- 
ble official would first publish a composite map 
showing full application of all criteria prior to 
consideration of any of the exceptions. The map 
would be part of the formal documentation to be 
made available to the public. Only after the map 
has been prepared and made public would the 
exceptions be applied; however, the responsible 
official would consider using an exception only 
when a small area: (1) has applicable to it a 
criterion; (2) is in a larger area to which no criteria 
otherwise apply; and (3) would likely preclude the 
designing of any lease tracts within the larger area. 
This procedure deters aggressive application of the 
exceptions and places a distinct burden of proof on 
the responsible official to carefully and forcefully 



document any application of exceptions which he 
would make. 

Where the quality of the data available for the 
application of a particular criterion or exception is 
high, the responsible official would decide on the 
basis of that data whether the area is unsuitable as 
set out above. Where data are unavailable or 
where the best available data are not of sufficient 
quality to allow a decision on the application of 
the criterion or exception to be reached with 
reasonable certainty, the responsible official would 
continue the land affected in the process and state 
in the land use plan when in activity planning, 
lease sale, or post-lease activities the additional, 
necessary data might be obtained. At such time as 
the data become available, the responsible official 
would be required to make public his determina- 
tion concerning unsuitability, and the reasons 
therefore, and provide opportunity for public 
comment before that determination is made. Any 
changes which either result from petitions for 
designating lands unsuitable or for removing 
unsuitability designations or are warranted by 
additional data acquired in the activity planning, 
lease sale, or mine plan review process would be 
made without formally revising the plan. 

All lands not identified unsuitable for coal 
mining would be considered further in the land use 
planning process. Lands with coal that would be 
mined by underground mining methods would not 
be considered unsuitable for coal mining where the 
mining would result in no hydrologic or surface 
effects. Where underground mining of Federal 
coal would produce hydrologic or surface effects to 
which an unsuitability criterion applies, those 
lands would be considered unsuitable unless the 
conditions exist to permit an exception. In predict- 
ing surface effects, the responsible official would 
consider surface occupancy and the potential for 
subsidence, fire, or other environmental impacts of 
underground mining which may be manifested on 
the surface. 

As previously mentioned, the Secretary's deci- 
sion to apply unsuitability criteria at the land use 
planning stage, as well as the post-leasing mine 
plan stage, was based on both public policy and 
economic considerations. By this policy prefer- 
ence, the Secretary hopes to avoid the unfortunate 
and possibly frequent occurrence of the following 
scenario: the Federal government expends consid- 
erable sums of money on a site-specific analysis for 



3-50 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



lease sale preparation; a mining company also 
incurs large expenditures to determine whether it 
wishes to bid on the tract and (if successful in 
purchasing the lease) to prepare a mine plan; 
application of the criteria at the time of mine plan 
submission may suddenly make the foregoing 
tract unmineable or require the insertion of so 
many stipulations in the mine plan or mining 
permit as to make mining of the tract uneconomi- 
cal. This scenario could be almost entirely avoided 
by the application of criteria first in the land use 
planning process. Although the criteria would be 
applied again at the mine plan stage, the applica- 
tion of most of them in the land use planning 
process could be done with a degree of certainty 
which makes any changes as a result of the second 
application unlikely. However, certain criteria, 
most notably the reclaimability and alluvial valley 
floor criteria, would require so much costly, site- 
specific data— data which would not be collected 
until after the land use planning is finished (in 
activity planning or prior to submission of the 
mine plan)— that the application of them in the 
land use planning process could only serve to 
screen out the most obvious areas. In the case of 
these few criteria, there would remain an unavoid- 
able possibility that significant changes could 
occur when the criteria would be applied again 
after the lease has been issued at the time of mine 
plan submission. Note also that there are other 
potential criteria that might be applied at the mine 
plan stage but not earlier, most specifically criteria 
related to geologic hazards. 

The unsuitability criteria would also be applied 
to each existing non-producing lease upon submis- 
sion of a mine plan by the lessee (should an 
existing lease be within a land use plan area to 
which unsuitability criteria are being applied in 
land use planning the criteria would be applied to 
the lease at that time if a mine plan has not already 
been submitted.) The mine plan would be reviewed 
in light of the unsuitability criteria to determine 
which, if any, apply. If a criterion applies, the 
Department would evaluate whether, under an 
exception to the criterion, the plan could be 
changed to eliminate the harmful effects to the 
value which the criterion is designed to protect. If 
no change could be made and some or all types of 
mining could not take place consistent with the 
criterion, a decision would be made whether the 
Department has the authority to apply that 



criterion to the lease. If the lessee has valid existing 
rights and has made substantial legal and financial 
commitments, he may be exempted, by statute, 
from complying with certain of the criteria de- 
pending on the source of authority for the criteria 
and the dates of his commitments. If the Depart- 
ment is found to possess the authority to apply the 
criterion, the mining would not be permitted. For 
some criteria, the Department would have to 
formally designate the lands as unsuitable to 
prevent mining; for others, formal designation 
would not be needed. 

Section 522(b) of SMCRA mandates the 
Secretary of the Interior to review all Federal lands 
for unsuitability and it allows citizens to petition 
for and against designation of lands as unsuitable. 
Consequently, under SMCRA, the Department 
must have procedures to apply unsuitability 
criteria both as part of a comprehensive Federal 
lands review and as part of a petition process. 

Section 522(b) requires the Secretary to review 
all Federal lands even though many local areas are 
under the land managing jurisdiction of another 
agency, principally the Forest Service or the Corps 
of Engineers. By expressing a preference for the 
application of the unsuitability criteria to Federal 
lands in the land use planning conducted by each 
Federal surface management agency, the Depart- 
ment has proposed a course for the Federal lands 
review that would allow other surface management 
agencies to enter into cooperative agreements with 
the Department to carry out the Federal lands 
review on lands they administer just as the Bureau 
of Land Management will on land it administers. 
(The BLM is presently negotiating a memorandum 
of understanding with the Forest Service on how 
the latter agency would apply the criteria on 
national forest system lands.) For any agency that 
does not have the resources to accomplish such a 
review for lands under its jurisdiction, the Secre- 
tary would remain obligated to conduct a review 
on those lands. 

With respect to lands administered by BLM, 
the Under Secretary on July 5, 1978, approved a 
delegation of authority that gives BLM the 
responsibility to administer the Federal lands 
review through its land use planning system and 
the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and 
Enforcement (OSM) the responsibility to adminis- 
ter the statutory petition process. (Appendix B to 



3-51 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



the Federal Register Notice of December 8, 1978; 
43 Federal Register 57662, 57666-57668). 

The Federal lands review under Section 522(b) 
of SMCRA would be conducted in accordance 
with the procedures discussed above for applica- 
tion of the unsuitability criteria during land use 
planning or upon submission of a mine plan. The 
Federal lands review is not a program for the 
designation of lands as unsuitable for mining. 
Formal designation of Federal lands as unsuitable 
would occur only in response to a petition to 
designate under Section 522(c) of SMCRA. Peti- 
tions would be filed with OSM under the division 
of responsibility established on July 5. Section 
522(c) requires the petitioner to be adversely 
affected by potential mining of the lands in 
question, and requires each petition to "contain 
allegations of facts with supporting evidence" to 
establish the truth of the allegations. Because of 
these threshold requirements, it is assumed that the 
public lands will not be blanketed by petitions. On 
those petitions that do pass the threshold require- 
ments, designation as unsuitable, rejection of the 
petition, or termination of a prior designation 
would have to occur within one year. The year 
provides the time in which the BLM (or other land 
management agency) would substantively review 
the petition and, if necessary and possible, exam- 
ine the tract, and in which a public hearing on the 
petition would be held and a written decision 
rendered. The OSM would refer each petition to 
the BLM or other appropriate land management 
agency for its review and the results of that review 
would be presented at or before the hearing. The 
BLM or other agency would also be able to 
petition OSM on its own behalf to designate 
Federal lands as unsuitable. 

While the criteria applied in the Federal lands 
review and the petition process are the same, it is 
important to note that OSM, not the land manage- 
ment agency, controls the outcome of the petition 
process. It may be that certain lands which would 
not be found to be unsuitable in land use planning 
might be designated unsuitable upon petition, and, 
conversely, lands deemed unsuitable by the land 
management agency might not be designated 
unsuitable upon petition. This is possible because 
the unsuitability criteria themselves, and their 
exceptions, are, in origin and function, designed to 
ensure environmental protection and establish 
mitigation of adverse impacts, while the formal 



designation process requires consideration of coal 
demand and the socio-economic impacts in carry- 
ing out the environmental purposes served by the 
criteria. Section 522(d) of SMCRA requires OSM 
to prepare, prior to designating Federal land 
unsuitable, a "detailed statement on (i) the poten- 
tial coal resources of the area; (ii) the demand for 
coal resources, and (iii) the impact of such 
designation on the environment, the economy, and 
the supply of coal." In order to assure the greatest 
consistency between OSM's unsuitability designa- 
tions and BLM's or other land management 
agency's land use planning unsuitability assess- 
ments, the BLM's proposed coal management 
regulations (Appendix A, Section 3461.4-3) require 
that the same "detailed statement" be made by 
BLM to document its unsuitability assessments 
when it adopts a land use plan. 

3.2.2.3 Multiple Use Resource Management Deci- 
sions. Although it is likely that most major conflicts 
between coal and other resources would be 
addressed during the application of the unsuitabili- 
ty criteria, significant resource balancing decisions 
could remain. These other resource trade-offs 
would be considered and acted upon after applica- 
tion of the unsuitability criteria. The adjustments 
at this stage in the land use planning process would 
be made to accommodate unique, site-specific 
resource values clearly superior to coal but which 
are not included in the criteria. A prime recreation 
site or campground might be an example. The 
responsible official would balance these values 
against the value of possibly offering additional 
coal from the planning unit. 

3.2.2.4 Surface Owner Consultation. Section 714 (d) 
of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation 
Act of 1977 requires the Secretary to consult 
during the planning process with certain owners of 
the surface estate overlying Federal coal resources 
being considered for leasing. This forms another 
screen for identifying lands that should not be 
leased. 

In order to minimize disturbance to surface 
owners from surface coal mining of Federal coal 
deposits and to assist in the preparation of 
comprehensive land use plans required by Section 
2(a) of the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, as 
amended, the Department would consult with any 
surface owner as defined in Section 714(e) of 
SMCRA whose land might be included in a leasing 



;; 



... 



. ii 



. 



3-52 



• \ 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



tract and ask the surface owner to state his 
preference for or against the offering of the deposit 
under his land for lease. It would also request 
disclosure of any consent for mining already given 
by the surface owner. The Department would, to 
the maximum extent practicable, refrain from 
leasing coal deposits for development by methods 
other than underground mining in areas where a 
significant number of qualified surface owners 
state a preference against the offering of the 
deposits for lease. Although portions of these areas 
might still be designated as acceptable for further 
consideration for coal leasing, the land use plan 
would contain the recommendation that no leasing 
take place in the areas unless there are no 
acceptable alternative local areas available to meet 
the leasing target for the entire coal region. 

The Department is considering an additional 
policy applicable to the surface owner consultation 
process and is soliciting public comment on that 
policy, in particular comments on the proposed 
regulations (see Section 3420.2-3(d) in Appendix 
A). Under this policy, the Department would 
provide on the consultation form a place for the 
qualified surface owner to register not only his 
preference for or against surface mining of his land 
but also whether he has a firm intent not to 
consent to such mining during the life of the land 
use plan (a maximum of 15 years in the BLM's 
proposed planning regulations). After the surface 
owner consultation screen has been applied and 
the local land manager (1) has determined each 
general area in which a significant number of 
qualified surface owners has expressed a prefer- 
ence against leasing and (2) has made a determina- 
tion concerning the removal of those preference 
areas from the areas which the land use plan will 
identify as acceptable for further consideration for 
leasing for the surface mining of coal, the disclo- 
sures of firm intent not to consent would be 
considered. Those specific lands covered by firm 
intent disclosures would be removed from any 
further consideration for leasing for the surface 
mining of coal in the land use plan. 

As a consequence of these procedures, any 
land covered by a firm intent disclosure on the 
consultation form would not be considered for 
leasing again if the coal were to be developed by 
surface mining methods for the life of the land use 
plan even if a preference area encompasses it and 
the BLM decides to lease in that area under the 



limited exception discussed above. The only 
exception would be when the ownership of the 
land changes and the new owner either is not a 
qualified surface owner or is willing to file a 
written consent to surface mining, and the land 
management agency elects to amend the land use 
plan. 

Should the surface owner not be willing to 
make a decision at this point, he would still be able 
to exercise his surface owner protection rights 
under the subsequent consent acquisition proce- 
dures of the preferred program (see Section 
3.2.5.1). 

3.2.2.5 Threshold Development Levels. Although 
many land use decisions can be made on a site 
specific basis (as previously suggested, such a 
decision might be that a particular area should be 
developed as a recreation site rather than leased 
for coal), other decisions may be oriented more 
toward impacts dependent on levels or rates of 
development. Although any one of several given 
potential coal development sites under consider- 
ation might have an acceptable impact by itself, 
the total impact to the area of developing all sites 
could be intolerable. As an example, the crucial 
habitat area for a particular species might have 
been removed from further consideration for 
leasing. The species do, however, use additional 
areas within the land use planning unit. Coal 
development in these areas might adversely affect 
the species' population. During the land use 
planning process, a decision might be made that a 
10-percent decrease in the population would be an 
acceptable trade-off. Given the protection of the 
crucial habitat area, it might not make a difference 
what other areas would be temporarily lost to coal 
development as long as the total would not exceed 
a certain acreage or decrease the population more 
than the agreed upon amount. In this situation, no 
additional land would be removed from further 
consideration for coal leasing. Instead, a threshold 
constraint would be established in the land use 
plan to specify the total level of habitat reduction 
within the acceptable areas identified in the plan. 
This threshold concept is particularly appropri- 
ate when considering socio-economic impacts. The 
social and economic infrastructure which coal 
development in the land use planning area would 
affect might, over a certain time period, only be 
able to support a particular developmental level. 



3-53 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



Also, the rate of development might be critical. If 
this information is available, a recommended 
threshold leasing or development level and rate 
could be specified in the plan. 

It is not necessary to establish thresholds in the 
land use plan. The later steps in the activity 
planning process supply opportunity for the 
Department, other Federal agencies, state and 
local governments, and others to discuss and agree 
upon regional and subregional thresholds. If, 
however, the land use planning process reveals the 
need for a particular threshold on the scale of a 
planning unit, then the decision could and should 
be made at that point. 

In a March 8, 1979, memorandum to the 
Director of the Bureau of Land Management, the 
Assistant Secretary, Land and Water Resources, 
requested that the Bureau undertake as a high 
priority task the further intensive development of 
the threshold concept. The study is to be conduct- 
ed in the context of the Bureau's land use planning 
system, and is to consider use of the threshold 
concept not just for the coal resource but also for 
the other resources addressed in the planning 
process. The Bureau was further requested to 
incorporate the threshold concept into its final 
planning regulations. 

3.2.2.6 Preferred Coal Leasing Areas. Within the 
areas identified as acceptable for further consider- 
ation for coal leasing, the land use plan could 
delimit preferred coal leasing areas. This would be 
done only when available coal demand data 
suggest that the areas acceptable for further 
consideration for coal leasing clearly could yield 
more coal than would be needed for leasing before 
the land use plan would be reviewed (five years in 
the BLM's proposed planning regulations). Pre- 
ferred areas would be identified by employing 
available socio-economic, environmental, and eco- 
nomic data. These preferred area identifications 
would be advisory only to the regional coal teams 
and not a plan commitment. 

All of the land use planning steps in the 
preferred program could be made a part of any of 
the alternatives since land use planning must be 
done even if the Department decides not to adopt 
a coal management program. This component is 
least compatible with the lease to meet industry 
needs alternative particularly as it requires the land 
use planners to set threshhold development levels. 



Under the lease to meet industry needs alternative, 
the Department would rely on the market place to 
set the various thres hold levels. Application of the 
unsuitability criteria would be postponed until the 
mine plan stage. Planning would focus only on 
those areas for which there had been nominations. 

3.2.3 Activity Planning. 

Two consecutive processes would be undertak- 
en in activity planning in the preferred program: 
tract delineation and tract ranking, selection, and 
scheduling (see Figure 3.3). The first process would 
take place in each land use plan area; the second 
would be conducted over the entire coal region 
encompassing many land use plan areas. 
3.2.3.1 Tract Delineation and Industry Expressions 
of Interest. As previously noted, the land use plans 
would disclose areas which are considered to be 
acceptable for further consideration for coal 
leasing. These areas would not be lease tracts and 
would be much larger than any acreage which 
might be needed for leasing over the next 10 years 
(the lengthiest period which would be used for 
setting regional leasing targets (see Section 3.2.4)). 
The purpose of activity planning is to delineate 
and select a sufficient number of tracts for sale 
from the areas designated in the land use plans as 
acceptable for further consideration for leasing to 
meet the regional leasing target. The first step after 
publication of the land use plan is to preliminarily 
delineate potential lease tracts. In delineating the 
preliminary tracts, the land management agencies 
would consider the following factors: 

• Expressions of interest and existing or 
planned operations on adjoining lands. 

• Technical coal data, including reserve 
tonnage, rank, sulfur content, seam 
thickness, and ratio of recoverable coal to 
reserves. 

• Conservation considerations, including cal- 
culation of preliminary maximum economic 
recovery, land ownership patterns, and the 
formation of logical mining units. 

• Surface ownership, including the results of 
surface owner consultation, and the exis- 
tence of surface owner consents and their 
terms. 

• Prior regional leasing targets and guidance 
from the regional coal teams. 

Although preliminary tract delineation would 
be done by the Department, the first step in the 



:■ 



3-54 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



delineation process would be to request submis- 
sions by industry of expressions of interest for 
leasing. As previously discussed, a call for expres- 
sions of leasing interest would be made only after 
areas acceptable for further consideration for coal 
leasing have been identified in the Bureau of Land 
Management or Forest Service land use plans. In 
areas where state or other agency plans have been 
adopted, unsuitability criteria would be applied 
before a call would be made. The call would be 
made before any tract boundaries would be 
delineated and the expressions of leasing interest 
would be the most significant information em- 
ployed in delineating the tracts. It is expected that 
any tract proposed in expressions of leasing 
interest would be preliminarily delineated as 
proposed, unless it was necessary to not delineate 
it, delineate it differently, or delineate other tracts 
to ensure competitive interest in the eventual lease 
sale, conserve Federal coal, or meet other largely 
economic objectives in the coal management 
program. 

In addition to industry, any individual, state, 
or public body would be able to respond when the 
Secretary issues a call for expressions of leasing 
interest. All calls would provide a description of 
the kind of information required, including but not 
limited to location and quantitites of coal desired, 
date lease would be desired, proposed use of coal, 
technical coal data, commitments with private 
surface owners and adjacent landowners or lessees, 
and basic development proposals. Expressions of 
interest against leasing which were possible under 
the 1975 proposed program (EMARS II) would 
not be accepted; however, a similar purpose would 
be served by unsuitability petitions in the present 
preferred program. Public inspection and copying 
of information submitted with the expressions of 
leasing interest would be permitted in accordance 
with Departmental regulations. 

Notice of each request for expressions of 
leasing interest would be published in the Federal 
Register and in the general circulation newspa- 
pers) in the coal region. This notice of request 
would specify the area or areas involved, informa- 
tion required, the period of time within which 
expressions may be submitted, where to write for 
further information, and where to submit the 
expressions. 

The fact that a specific request for expressions 
of interest would be part of the activity planning 



system would not preclude industry, the states, or 
other parties from participating in the earlier land 
use planning efforts. General comments and 
interests could be submitted during the planning 
process or whenever any party might wish to 
indicate an interest in Federal coal in a particular 
area. Such general comments and interests could 
be in the form of a letter or public testimony. The 
Department would use this information for plan- 
ning purposes or to aid in setting the regional 
production goals and leasing targets. 

Tracts would not be identified as special 
opportunity lease sales for public bodies or small 
businesses during tract delineation. However, if 
special leasing opportunity sales are contemplated 
in the region, an effort to identify tracts of an 
appropriate size and location would be made at 
this stage of the process. In order to initiate 
Departmental action to identify potential public 
body lease sale tracts, interested public bodies 
would have to submit formal expressions of leasing 
interest in response to the notice calling for 
expressions of leasing interest. Although potential 
small business candidates would be encouraged to 
submit formal expressions of leasing interest, they 
would not have to initiate tract identifications for 
small business special leasing opportunities. Rath- 
er, in consultation with the Small Business Admin- 
istration, the Department would delineate tracts to 
go into the ranking process which could meet the 
needs of small businesses. The Small Business 
Administration proposed a definition of a small 
business for Federal coal lease sale set-aside 
purposes on March 14, 1979 (44 Federal Register 
15513-15514). 

In the months before the schedule is establish- 
ed, all available preliminary tracts would be 
reviewed for the adequacy of the tract information 
profile. Data insufficiencies would be noted and, 
where time permitted, remedied so that each tract 
would have as complete a coal resource, socioeco- 
nomic, and environmental profile as possible. 
Also, unsuitability questions left unresolved in 
general planning would be analyzed and tract- 
specific stipulations written at this time. 

3.2.3.2 Regional Tract Ranking, Selection, and 
Scheduling. If a regional leasing target established 
for any given region suggests the need for Federal 
coal leasing over the up-coming two or four years, 
a proposed lease sale schedule would be prepared. 



3-55 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



Every two or four years, the Director of the BLM 
would formally begin the regional tract ranking 
and selection process. Ranking would be on a coal 
region-wide basis and not separately within each 
land use planning area. In the ranking process, 
factors relating to coal economics, ease of reclama- 
tion, proximity to existing transportation facilities, 
class of surface ownership (Federal or non-Feder- 
al), and socioeconomic and other environmental 
concerns would be employed. Ranking would be 
for general levels of acceptability only. The 
regional coal team would be expected to emphasize 
those factors of importance to the region. The 
ranked tracts would be compared with the regional 
leasing target and a set of tracts would be selected 
for a proposed lease sale schedule. Since the 
potential environmental and social impacts result- 
ing from development of any tracts in the same 
area would be cumulative, the selection of the first 
tract might preclude selection, or lower the priority 
of, other highly ranked tracts. Accordingly, as 
selections are made of individual tracts, the 
original rankings of the remaining tracts might be 
altered and the final, selected tracts would not 
necessarily directly correspond to the relative 
order in which the individual tracts were originally 
ranked. The number of tracts proposed would be 
dependent on the type of bidding system to be 
used (intertract or single tract bidding) and the 
tonnage targetted for lease. The selected tracts 
would be placed in a proposed regional lease sale 
schedule. 

The tract ranking and selection process would 
be conducted in close coordination with the 
governors of the states comprising the region and 
in consultation with all affected Federal land 
management agencies and other Federal and state 
agencies with expertise of relevance to the process. 
To facilitate this coordination and consultation, a 
Department/state regional coal team would be 
established for each of the major multi-state coal 
regions. The team would consist of a BLM field 
representative and a state government representa- 
tive from each state within the region. An addition- 
al member appointed by, and directly responsible 
to, the Director of the BLM would be assigned to 
each team and serve as its director. In addition, 
procedures would be established to ensure that the 
Federal land management agencies and the other 
Federal and state agencies with expertise would 
participate during the ranking process. 



Each regional coal team would consider and 
suggest policy for regional production goal and 
leasing target setting, tract delineation, and site- 
specific analysis in the coal region. It would guide 
and review tract ranking, and conduct the tract 
selection and sale scheduling procedures that 
develop the alternatives which are analyzed in the 
regional lease sale environmental impact statement 
and are recommended to the Secretary. If any state 
representative should disagree with the Federal 
team members' ranking decisions or selection and 
scheduling recommendations and a compromise 
could not be reached, his opinions would be 
documented and his alternative recommendation 
would be treated equally in the regional lease sale 
environmental impact statement sent through the 
Director, BLM, to the Secretary for his decision. 
The ultimate decision-making authority for the 
selection and scheduling of tracts for lease sale 
resides in the Secretary. 

A notice of intent to rank and select tracts to 
be included in a proposed regional lease sale 
schedule would be published in the Federal 
Register and selected general distribution newspa- 
pers within the coal region not less than 30 days 
before the ranking process begins. The notice 
would contain a description of the tracts to be 
ranked and procedures under which any interested 
parties are to be involved in the process. Also a 
final call for surface owner consent filings would 
be made for the tracts to be ranked. 

Detailed profile information on each of the 
tracts ranked would be available for inspection in 
the Bureau of Land Management offices in the 
coal region. Those parties interested in comment- 
ing on the results of the tract ranking and selection 
process would have the opportunity to do so in the 
regional lease sale environmental impact statement 
process before any final decision would be made 
by the Secretary to accept the proposed lease sale 
schedule or hold a lease sale encompassing any of 
the selected tracts. It is the intent of the Depart- 
ment that the development of the regional sale 
schedule and the environmental impact statement 
for the regional sale be closely integrated. This 
would be done by integrating the decision and 
analyses documents used for sale schedule devel- 
opment with the statement. Some special efforts 
will be needed for the statement alone after 
preliminary identification of a sale schedule, but 
this work would be limited. This procedure would 



3-56 



I 



^^^I^^^^IH^ ■.....,....".'■ 



"■"""Mn i w i 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



be in accord with the new Council on Environmen- 
tal Quality regulations for preparation of environ- 
mental impact statements. 

The tract ranking and selection decisions 
would normally be reconsidered every two years in 
accordance with the updating of the national and 
regional production goals and leasing targets. The 
Secretary might, in consultation with the governors 
of the affected states, intiate or postpone the the 
tract ranking and selection process to respond to 
considerations such as major planning updates, 
new preliminary tract delineations, and increases 
or decreases in the level of leasing. 

To establish planning and inventory-related 
priorities, the Secretary might include in the 
ranking process areas recently identified in new 
land use plans or plan updates, or recently 
designated, as areas acceptable for further consid- 
eration for coal leasing which have not yet been 
delineated as preliminary lease tracts. All tracts 
subsequently identified for lease consideration 
would be formally entered into the ranking and 
selection process before they are included in a 
lease sale proposal. 

Activity planning would not occur under the 
no new leasing alternative and would have rela- 
tively little importance under the preference right 
lease application and the emergency lease only 
alternatives. Under the lease to meet industry 
indications of need alternative, activity planning 
would take place only in response to industry 
nominations, and regional tract ranking and 
selection would not occur. The process described 
here would be consistent with the lease to meet 
DOE production goals alternative. Under the state 
determination of leasing levels alternative, the 
control over activity planning would be transferred 
from the Bureau of Land Management to the 
states. 

3.2.4. Setting Regional Production Goals and 
Leasing Targets. 

Over the past several years the question of the 
need for leasing has been a focal point of much of 
the controversy surrounding the Department's 
efforts to manage the Federal coal resource. 
Considering the several years' lead time needed for 
developing mines to the point of production and 
the similar time frames for planning and construct- 
ing coal-consuming power plants, precise determi- 
nations now of the tonnage of Federal coal which 



should be leased to meet the Nation's future 
energy requirements are not feasible, although 
estimates can be made on the basis of available 
information and projections. 

Chapter 2 of this document provides an 
examination of the national energy role of Federal 
coal, including an assessment of the need for 
leasing. The need for leasing involves both meeting 
national energy objectives and improving coal 
development patterns for a given amount of coal 
production. This analysis, together with the over- 
riding consideration that the Department requires 
a coal management system in place to respond 
promptly to leasing needs when they are deter- 
mined, is the basis for the Secretary's preference 
for a Federal coal management program which has 
the capability to initiate new competitive lease 
sales. However, the Secretary realizes that, no 
matter how good the analysis of need for leasing 
may be in Chapter 2, circumstances seldom remain 
sufficiently constant, and forecasts are not often 
precise enough to permit the competitive leasing 
component of a coal management program to 
function continuously on the basis of a single 
assessment of leasing needs. Accordingly, the 
Secretary chose to make a continual reassessment 
of leasing needs an integral and very public part of 
the preferred program. The preference is for a 
process which merges DOE production goals with 
advice from state and local governments, the coal 
industry, and other interest groups to determine 
leasing levels. This process of continual reassess- 
ment of future regional coal needs would permit 
modification of leasing activity in response to 
changes in projected demands for coal. 

The major coal bearing areas of the continental 
United States have been divided into 12 coal 
regions as shown in Figure 1-1. Eight of these 
regions contain significant reserves of Federal coal 
(see Appendix H). Under the preferred program, 
these eight coal regions would serve as the basic 
units both on which the assessment of desired 
levels of leasing would be centered and in which 
tracts would be ranked, selected, and scheduled 
and lease sales conducted. The Department of 
Energy (DOE), pursuant to the responsibilities 
assigned to it by the Department of Energy 
Organization Act, would establish and biennially 
update five, 10, and 15-year regional coal produc- 
tion goals which would guide the Department of 



3-57 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



• ■; 



the Interior in its decisions on the number and 
timing of lease sales. 

Under the terms of the Memorandum of 
Understanding between the Departments of the 
Interior and Energy set out in Appendix B, the 
Secretary of Energy would submit proposed DOE 
regional production goals to the Secretary of the 
Interior. The supporting material for these pro- 
posed goals might include an indication of proba- 
ble need for coal by major type; however, in 
determining regional goals for specific types of 
coal, the Secretary of the Interior would be guided 
mainly by industry indications of interest submit- 
ted at the start of the activity planning process. 
The Secretary of the Interior would, within 60 
days, comment to the Secretary of Energy on any 
potential conflicts or problems which the Interior 
Department foresees in the DOE regional produc- 
tion goals as proposed. These comments would be 
based on the Interior Department's responsibilities 
for the management, regulation, and conservation 
of natural resources; the capabilities of Federal 
lands and Federal coal resources to meet those 
goals; and the national need for the coal balanced 
against the environmental consequences of devel- 
oping it. 

These comments would, of necessity due to the 
short comment period, focus on immediately 
perceivable problems and conflicts and would not 
include in-depth analyses of issues which can only 
be undertaken after consultation with field person- 
nel, the states, industry, and the public. It is 
expected that, during the preparation of the 
regional production goals, the Department of 
Energy would focus mostly on macroeconomic 
issues concerning the energy needs of a healthy 
national economy and would consider comments 
from diverse sources on the formulation of nation- 
al energy goals and the role of coal production in 
meeting those goals. Within 30 days after receiving 
the Secretary of the Interior's comments, the 
Secretary of Energy would transmit to him final 
DOE national and suggested regional production 
goals. 

The Secretary of the Interior would then look 
to the expertise and viewpoints of the regional coal 
teams (see Section 3.2.3.2) as the major source of 
information and comment on the final DOE 
regional production goals and how they might 
affect leasing strategies and decisions. The Secre- 
tary would transmit the relevant DOE goal to each 



team. The team, in turn, would analyze the goal on 
the basis of its tract ranking and selection 
experience, its detailed knowledge of the region, 
and public comments it receives on the goal from 
publication in the Federal Register and a hearing 
in the region. The team would report back to the 
Secretary any adjustments it feels are necessary in 
the relevant DOE regional production goal and the 
reasons for those adjustments. The team would 
also provide the Secretary with its suggestion for a 
regional leasing target (on a reserve tonnage basis) 
for the next four year period. 

Based on the recommendations of the teams 
and other information available to him, the 
Secretary of the Interior would adopt the final 
DOE regional production goals either without 
change or after making adjustments to them. He 
would transmit the final DOE goals, as adopted 
with or without adjustments, to the Secretary of 
Energy and publish them in the Federal Register. 
The goals adopted would be used by the Depart- 
ment for long range coal management program 
planning and would be made available to the 
states, local governments, and other bodies for 
their use. 

The Secretary of the Interior would also adopt 
preliminary regional leasing targets for logical 
mining units which would be composed of or 
include Federal leases, again after consideration of 
the teams' recommendations and other informa- 
tion available to him. 

These preliminary regional leasing targets 
would reflect primarily the difference between 
desired levels of production in the region and the 
estimated production without new Federal leasing. 
They would include the Federal and non-Federal 
coal that enters production because of Federal 
leasing. Among other factors which might be 
affected by leasing decisions and which the 
Secretary would consider in establishing prelimi- 
nary regional leasing targets would be competition 
within the industry and environmental problems 
associated with the existing pattern of leases and 
mines in the regions. 

The Secretary would publish the preliminary 
regional leasing targets in the Federal Register and 
transmit them to the regional coal teams. 

Among the sources of information which the 
Secretary would consider in making any adjust- 
ments to the final DOE regional production goals 
and in establishing the preliminary regional leasing 



' : } 



3-58 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



targets would be statutory requirements; Depart- 
mental policies; land management requirements in 
land use and activity plans; the analyses in this 
programmatic environmental impact statement; 
environmental impact statements on the delinea- 
tion, ranking, and selection of tracts; and reports 
and studies by governmental agencies, trade 
associations and companies, universities, and other 
institutions and organizations. The Secretary might 
also call a national conference of the regional coal 
teams to discuss their individual recommendations 
and the sum effect of those recommendations. 
After publishing the final DOE regional produc- 
tion goals and the preliminary regional leasing 
targets, the Secretary would consult directly with 
the governors of the affected states to learn their 
views, particularly with respect to the relationship 
between the preliminary regional leasing targets 
and potential social and economic effects on the 
states and regions. Based on the information he 
receives through all of the above procedures, the 
Secretary would publish in the Federal Register 
and transmit to the regional coal teams, final 
regional leasing targets. 

The final DOE regional production goals, as 
adopted by the Secretary, and the preliminary and 
final regional leasing targets would be used by the 
Federal and state governments to set data gather- 
ing and planning priorities to ensure that a 
sufficient number of tracts would be delineated in 
the future, and that adequate site-specific informa- 
tion would be available, to make the coal manage- 
ment process workable. The final regional leasing 
targets would specifically guide the regional coal 
teams in the selection and scheduling of ranked 
tracts for the four-year proposed lease sale pro- 
grams in their respective regions. 

The regional tract ranking and selection 
process would consistently indicate the optimum 
tracts for the desired level of development and lead 
to thorough analyses of the impacts of at least one 
but usually several alternative lease sale schedules 
at the target level. These analyses could include an 
alternative or alternatives of choosing a combina- 
tion of tracts for leasing which would result in a 
leasing level above or below the level called for in 
the final regional leasing target for a particular 
region. Among the reasons for proposing leasing 
above or below the final target during the sched- 
uling process might be the results of the analysis 
contained in the regional lease sale environmental 



impact statement; expressed industry interests not 
taken into account earlier; the interest of commu- 
nities or regions in promoting or avoiding coal 
development in the near future; interest in special 
opportunity sales; sales experience with the ongo- 
ing regional lease schedule; or an expressed desire 
on the part of a state to shift or disperse coal 
development patterns. Any proposed divergence 
above or below the final regional leasing target 
would be discussed and explained in detail by the 
regional coal team in the draft regional lease sale 
environmental impact statement, and public com- 
ment would be specifically requested on the 
proposal in the public participation process on the 
draft statement. The Secretary would specifically 
consider the analyses and comments on the 
proposed divergence from the leasing target at the 
time he makes his decision on a lease sale schedule. 

In the regional tract ranking and selection 
process, the possibility of trade-offs in production 
goals and leasing targets between regions could not 
be adequately analyzed. This must be considered 
during the next biennial process in which the 
production goals and leasing targets are set or 
revised. The first time the process of determining 
regional leasing targets would be conducted, the 
interregional analysis included in this program- 
matic environmental impact statement would be 
used as a basis for the decisions on the targets after 
providing for state consultation and public com- 
ment. 

In the subsequent biennial revisions of regional 
production goals and leasing targets, the informa- 
tion and analyses generated in the preceding 
regional tract ranking and selection process would 
provide useful information for the goal and target 
decisions. In the previous tract ranking and 
selection process, alternative tracts to the ones 
finally chosen would have been analyzed. Those 
highly rated but previously unselected tracts would 
most likely serve as an important pool of tracts for 
the selection of tracts to meet the new regional 
production goals and leasing targets. If the 
unchosen tracts remaining in one region are clearly 
superior to most of those remaining in another, 
consideration of interregional trade-offs in the 
setting of the new regional production goals would 
be appropriate. This overall interregional analysis 
of the tracts makes the development or update of 
the regional production goals at this stage quite 
important. The biennial regional leasing targets 



3-59 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



derived from the production goals would be used 
for either guiding new four-year lease sale sched- 
ules at the end of the existing schedules or 
amending existing lease sale schedules after the 
first two years of their four-year terms. 

These procedures for setting regional produc- 
tion goals and leasing targets would be followed 
only under the preferred program. Under the no 
new leasing, preference right leasing, and emergen- 
cy leasing alternatives, the procedures would not 
be needed. They are incompatible with the lease to 
meet industry indications of need alternative 
which relies on industry nominations to resolve the 
question of leasing levels. Similarly they are 
unneeded with the lease to meet DOE production 
goals and the State determination of leasing levels 
alternatives which rely on DOE and the states, 
respectively, to set the levels of development for 
Federal coal. 

3.2.5. Pre-Sale and Sale Procedures 

From the time a tract is selected for sale at the 
conclusion of the activity planning stage, until a 
lease can be issued, a series of actions would be 
required to meet various statutory and administra- 
tive requirements (see Figure 3-4). 

3.2.5.1 Split Estate Leasing and Surface Owner 
Consent. Under the original homestead laws, 
ranchers and farmers were granted both the 
surface and mineral rights to their land, but later 
homestead laws provided for retention of the 
mineral estate by the Federal government. The 
majority of split estates involving federally-owned 
mineral rights originated out of entries made under 
these later homestead laws. The retained mineral 
estate included the right to enter and mine at any 
time in the future. The private owner of the surface 
estate did not have the power to prevent mining, 
though he or she was guaranteed some degree of 
indemnification for damage. The most important 
of these homestead laws is the Stock-Raising 
Homestead Act (30 U.S.C. 299) which states at 
section 9: 

Any person who has acquired from the United States 
the coal ... in any such land, or the right to mine and 
remove the same, may reenter and occupy so much 
of the surface as may be required for all purposes 
reasonably incident to the mining or removal of the 
coal . . . first, upon securing the written consent . . . 
of the homestead . . . patentee; second, upon 
payment of the damages to crops or other tangible 



improvements . . . ; or, third, . . . upon the execution 

of a good and sufficient bond. 

Section 714 of the Surface Mining Control and 
Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA) provides that, 
in cases where Federal coal is overlain by private 
surface owned by a special class of owners, the 
Secretary may not issue a coal lease for surface 
mining purposes unless the surface owner has 
granted, in writing, valid consent to conduct such 
mining operations. Members of this special class of 
surface owners are defined as persons who: 

• Hold legal or equitable title to the land 
surface; and 

• Have their principal places of residence on 
the land or personally conduct farming or 
ranching operations on the land or receive a 
significant portion of their income from 
farming or ranching the land; and 

• Have met these two conditions for at least 
three years prior to granting their consent. 

The section further provides that valid con- 
sents granted prior to the date of the Act (August 
3, 1977) will be deemed sufficient for complying 
with the section regardless of the consent terms. 
Section 714 also requires that surface owners 
be consulted during land use planning. The 
provision reads: 

In order to minimize disturbance to surface owners 
from surface coal mining of Federal coal deposits 
and to assist in the preparation of comprehensive 
land-use plans required by section 2(a) of the 
Mineral Lands Leasing Act of 1920, as amended, the 
Secretary shall consult with any surface owner whose 
land is proposed to be included in a leasing tract and 
shall ask the surface owner to state his preference for 
or against the offering of the deposit under his land 
for lease. The Secretary shall, in his discretion but to 
the maximum extent practicable, refrain from leasing 
coal deposits for development by methods other than 
underground mining techniques in those areas where 
a significant number of surface owners have stated a 
preference against offering the deposits for lease. 
This consultation requirement differs sharply 
from the consent requirement. Whereas the con- 
sent requirement is related to the activity planning 
process, is mandatory, and concerns an individu- 
al's authority to prevent surface mining on his 
specific land, the consultation requirement is 
related to the land use planning process, provides 
limited discretion to the responsible Federal 
official, and concerns the authority of a group of 
individuals to influence surface mining on a wider 
area encompassing their individual properties. The 



3-60 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



consultation step under the preferred program is 
described in Section 3.2.2.4. 

Several issues were raised in considering how 
Section 714 might affect the structure and imple- 
mentation of a Federal coal management program. 
The questions are not trivial; of the 9.7 million 
acres of Federal lands classified as containing 
technically recoverable coal in the six principal 
western coal states, 6 million acres are overlain by 
private surface (see Table 2-5). Of course, the 
amount of private surface owned by surface 
owners as defined by Section 714 will be much less 
than the full 6 million acres, but is still expected to 
be significant. 

The legislative history of Section 714 was 
stormy. The measure was proposed to protect the 
property of farmers and ranchers who face the risk 
of being moved off their land to make way for 
surface mining. The Congress considered amend- 
ments expressly limiting compensation paid for 
surface owners' consents, and the Senate version of 
SMCRA empowered the Secretary to override the 
surface owner if leasing would be in the national 
interest. The provision agreed to by the conference 
committee, and signed by the President, however, 
included no compensation limitation or override. 

SMCRA does stipulate that Federal coal 
underlying the private surface is to be leased in 
accordance with the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, 
as amended. This law prohibits the government 
from accepting any bid which is less than the fair 
market value of the coal, as determined by the 
Secretary, and requires, with only minor excep- 
tions, that all Federal coal be sold competitively. 
According to the Department's Office of the 
Solicitor, "... the conflicts between surface owner 
consent and the Secretary's obligations under the 
Mineral Leasing Act are ... subject to reasonable 
regulation under the terms of Section 32 . . ., 30 
USC 189, which provides, 'The Secretary ... is 
authorized to prescribe necessary and proper rules 
and regulations and to do any and all things 
necessary to carry out and accomplish the pur- 
poses of this (Act) "[3]. The Act, therefore, is 
interpreted as giving the Secretary the authority to 
regulate the leasing process to meet the two 
purposes of ensuring that leases are sold on a 
competitive basis and that fair market value is 
received for the coal. Specifically, the Secretary 
may monitor surface owner consents to ensure 
their form and financial terms do not substantially 



affect fair market value or the competitive nature 
of the lease sale and, should these terms threaten 
the public interest, decline to proceed with that 
lease sale or to execute the lease. 

Therefore, the guiding principal in interpreting 
the possible consequences of Section 714 is that, 
even if consent has been given, the section does not 
prohibit the Secretary from exercising his discre- 
tion not to lease. 

Tracts would be delineated and ranked regard- 
less of the ownership of the surface. In the 
selection of tracts for sale, a preference would be 
accorded tracts where the surface is federally 
owned in favor of tracts where the surface is in 
private ownership (other factors being nearly 
equal). For tracts where the surface is owned by 
qualified surface owners, a preference would be 
given to those tracts where BLM has received 
evidence of consent by the time of ranking over 
tracts which still require consent. 

Two interrelated issues considered by the 
Secretary in selecting issue options for the design 
of the preferred program were when during the 
tract delineation, ranking, and selection process 
surface owner consents would be acquired, and 
who should acquire consents — the Federal govern- 
ment or industry. These two questions are set out 
below in a matrix of possible program choices: 



WHEN 



1. Contemporaneous with 

surface owner 
consultation (planning) 

2. Adjunct to obtaining 
industry expressions 
of interest 

3. Beginning with tract 
ranking and continuing 
through tract analysis 

4. Prior to offering for sale 

5. After sale, but before 
executing lease 



Not feasible 



INDUSTRY WH ° BLM 



Yes, passively for 
those willing 
to volunteer 



Yes, as part Not applicable 
of interest 
submission 

Feasible Feasible 



Feasible Feasible 

Feasible Not feasible 



In studying these two issues, the following 
factors were considered: 

« The later in the process surface owner 
consent is obtained, the less would be the 
administrative costs of obtaining consent 



3-61 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



no matter who acquires it. Administrative 
costs would be somewhat mitigated by 
tying them to steps in the coal management 
program where contact must be made for 
reasons other than surface owner consent: 
that is, during suface owner consultation in 
land use planning and during submissions 
of industry expressions of leasing interest at 
the beginning of activity planning. 

o The later in the process, the more informa- 
tion the surface owner would have available 
to make his decision and, presumably, the 
stronger would be his bargaining position. 

o The later in the process, the greater would 
be the risk to the government of loss of the 
time and money spent on evaluating and 
analyzing coal leasing tracts. 

• The less direct involvement the BLM has, 
the agency's administrative costs would be 
lower and its vulnerability to charges of 
government interference would be less. 

• The less direct involvement the BLM has, 
the less capable would be government to 
monitor compensation for the purposes of 
complying with the fair market value 
requirements of the Mineral Leasing Act of 
1920. 

The Secretary preferred that industry be 
responsible for acquiring surface owner consent 
for the surface mining of tracts of Federal coal 
whenever such consent is required by Section 714 
of the SMCRA before a lease can be executed. 
Consents would be required to be filed with the 
BLM prior to the sale announcement. Industry (as 
well as the states and the public) would be supplied 
with the preliminary tract ranking to give potential 
bidders an indication of the likelihood certain 
tracts would be scheduled for sale in the coming 
four years. Industry would be encouraged to 
advise the BLM when consent negotiations fail so 
that unnecessary site specific analyses would not 
be undertaken. If no filing of consent is made on a 
tract before the notice of sale, the tract would be 
removed from the sale schedule (and, if necessary, 
another tract substituted for it). 

If a qualified surface owner who firmly intends 
not to provide consent to surface mine his land 
could prevent the leasing of his land for surface 
mining only by withholding his consent, the result 
could be unnecessary interference in his life and 
unnecessary costs for the Federal government. If 



the surface owner simply withholds his consent, no 
lease could be sold; but he might have to watch a 
tract containing his land go entirely through tract 
delineation, ranking, and selection and scheduling 
for sale. This would certainly result in continued 
presence on his land of Federal and perhaps, 
private company, employees conducting site-spe- 
cific analyses and might cause him to continue to 
receive unwanted overtures from potential consent 
purchasers. The Federal government would con- 
tinue to expend time and resources in fruitlessly 
planning that surface owner's land for leasing for 
coal surface mining. 

In order to avoid this situation, a qualified 
surface owner who owns land in an area identified 
in the land use plan as an area acceptable for 
further consideration for leasing and, if leased, 
would be surface mined, could submit a statement 
to the local office of his refusal to provide consent. 
The statement would have to be in writing and 
confirm that the surface owner has not previously 
given consent to mine and that he will not for the 
expected future life of the land use plan (a 
maximum of 15 years under the BLM's proposed 
planning regulations). Upon receipt of that state- 
ment, the BLM would remove the Federal coal 
underlying the surface owner's land from further 
consideration in the ongoing activity planning 
process or any such processes conducted in the 
future until the land use plan is revised or until the 
ownership of the surface estate changes. Upon 
revision of the land use plan, the surface owner 
would be notified that his prior written submission 
has expired and he would be given the opportunity 
to submit another statement. Also, whenever 
industry or other groups notify the BLM of a 
suface owner who has refused to provide his 
consent to a potential consent purchaser, that 
owner would be given an opportunity to submit a 
statement of refusal to consent. 

If the price of surface owner consent remains 
unlimited and the government makes no effort to 
receive fair payment for its coal, the cost of 
obtaining consent could easily reduce the amount 
which a lessee is able and willing to pay the 
government for the opportunity to recover coal. If 
the cost of consent is sufficiently large, bids 
submitted for Federal coal leases arguably would 
not provide the fair return which the Congress 
intended to flow to the public from the develop- 
ment of the coal. To ensure receipt of fair market 



•|v 



'. ■' 



( : 



■ 



3-62 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



value for Federal coal, the Department, in calcu- 
lating the fair market value figure above which 
bids must be made if the lease is to be sold, would 
assume a ceiling cost of obtaining surface owner 
consent based on losses and costs to the surface 
estate and operation. This procedure could indi- 
rectly limit the amount paid to a surface owner for 
consent to mine underlying coal unless the compa- 
ny can find other ways to absorb the cost of 
exceeding the ceiling. 

Requiring industry to negotiate consents not 
only transfers the negotiation costs to industry 
from the government, but also imposes on one 
company (the holder of the consent) the risk of 
bearing the surface owner consent costs for the 
lease of another (the successful bidder). The effect 
of this policy would be to discourage coal compa- 
nies from negotiating consents except in cases 
where they felt they might have a strong competi- 
tive edge. This problem would be resolved by 
requiring that any tract containing an area to 
which applies a surface owner consent negotiated 
after the enactment of SMCRA could be placed in 
the sale only if the consent is transferable to a third 
party. A surface owner consent agreement would 
be considered transferable only if it provides, in 
part, that after the lease sale (1) the payment for 
the consent is to be made by the successful bidder 
directly to the qualified surface owner or (2) the 
successful bidder is automatically permitted to 
acquire the consent by reimbursing the company 
which first obtained the consent for its original 
purchase price. 

Consents given prior to the enactment of 
SMCRA (often under state laws) were validated 
under Section 714 regardless of the consent terms. 
Therefore, the Department cannot require that 
these consents contain provisions which provide 
for their transferability. To ensure competitive 
sales, the Secretary expressed a preference for an 
issue option which provides that tracts which are 
selected for lease sale and which include areas 
covered by consents given prior to the enactment 
of SMCRA would be offered for sale individually 
only if the consents are determined to be transfera- 
ble. If the consents are determined to be non- 
transferable, the tract would not be offered for sale 
unless it is included in an intertract sale (see 
section 3.2.5.4). 



3.2.5.2 Environmental Analysis and Lease Stipula- 
tions. The BLM would conduct an environmental 
analysis for each tract proposed for lease sale to 
develop and refine lease terms and stipulations. In 
general the information on which this report would 
be based must be sufficiently detailed so that the 
Department could be reasonably certain that the 
lease would be economically and environmentally 
acceptable, but in less detail than would be 
required of a lessee at the time a mining plan 
would be approved. 

Certain environmental considerations, such as 
hydrology, archaeology, and reclamation require 
intensive drilling or field surveying which are more 
easily and cheaply conducted as part of a lessee's 
pre-mining plan permit approval activities. The 
Department would make preliminary decisions on 
these environmental considerations at the time of 
lease sale based on modelling or less intensive 
surveys and would stipulate the detailed data 
which would be collected as part of the mining 
plan approval process. 

3.2.5.3 Fair Market Value. The Mineral Leasing 
Act of 1920, as amended by the Federal Coal 
Leasing Amendments Act of 1976 (FCLAA), 
specifically mandates that, "No bid shall be 
accepted which is less than the fair market value, 
as determined by the Secretary, of the coal subject 
to the lease." 

The basic methods for evaluating fair market 
value would be comparable sales analyses and 
discounted cash flow analysis. The discounted 
cash flow analysis involves calculating annual 
costs and income resulting from the development 
of a property under realistic conditions. This 
method is currently being used by the Department 
to determine fair market value for those tracts 
being leased under the NRDC v. Hughes agree- 
ment. 

Before the Department makes any determina- 
tion on fair market value on a tract, the public 
would be given the opportunity to comment. 
Comments would be solicited on fair market value 
consideration for any tract being offered (especial- 
ly on the values that should go into the fair market 
value determination), as well as on the related 
decision of maximum economic recovery. 

3.2.5.4 Sale and Bidding Methods, Due Diligence 
Requirements. For the preferred program, the 
Secretary has recommended that sale and bidding 



3-63 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



method regulations be kept flexible, permitting the 
choice of method to be on a case-by-case basis. 
Coal leases would usually be sold using the 
individual tract sale method in which bidders 
compete against one another for any given tract. 
The Department would choose which tracts it feels 
are the best tracts, both economically and environ- 
mentally, and which cumulatively contain the 
amount of coal reserves desired for lease. These 
tracts would be offered for sale over the four year 
period of the regional sale schedule. The highest 
bidder in any sale would be offered the tract 
provided his bid meets fair market value, passes 
the Attorney General's anti-trust review, and 
meets all other requirements of the laws and 
regulations. 

Coal leases could also be sold using the 
intertract sale method in which bidders compete 
between tracts as well as over individual tracts. 
Competition would be enhanced because more 
tracts would be offered than are intended to be 
awarded. The high bids for each tract would be 
compared, and only those tracts with the highest 
bids above fair market value which are needed to 
meet cumulatively the sales's target would be 
awarded. As under individual tract bidding, the 
tracts for the sale offering would be selected on the 
basis of land use planning, site specific analysis, 
and tract ranking. The intertract sale method 
would be used at least in all cases where tracts are 
offered for sale which would be mined by surface 
mining methods and which involve non- transfera- 
ble surface owner consents given before the 
enactment of SMCRA. 

Regardless of whether the individual tract or 
intertract sale method is used, the type of bidding 
method must also be determined. Optional meth- 
ods tentatively identified by the Department of 
Energy as acceptable include: 

• Direct or deferred bonus bidding: cash 
payment is offered for the lease. (Note, the 
Federal Coal Leasing Amendments Act of 
1976 requires half of all sales to be by 
deferred bonus bid.) 
© Variable royalty bidding: bids are placed in 
the form of royalty rates based on a 
percentage of the value of the coal recov- 
ered (usually a small cash down payment is 
also required). 
@ Sliding scale royalty bidding: cash payment 
is offered for the lease, but the amount of 



the royalty paid is varied in proportion to 
the value of the coal produced. 

In addition, DOE has stated it intends to study 
very closely possible use of a profit sharing method 
(British system). Here the government essentially 
becomes a partner in the coal enterprise and 
receives a bid offering a percentage of profits, if 
any. 

The potential bidder in the lease sale will wish 
to know what diligence and continued operations 
requirements he will have to meet if he purchases 
the lease. The current regulations (43 CFR 
3500.05), which have been carried over to the new 
proposed regulations, define diligent development 
for any coal lease issued after August 4, 1976, as 
the timely preparation for, and initiation of, coal 
production from a logical mining unit (LMU) of 
which the lease is a part so that the coal is actually 
produced at the rate of one percent of the reserves 
in the LMU by the end of the tenth year from the 
effective date of the lease. Diligent development 
for any lease issued prior to August 4, 1976, is 
defined as the timely preparation for, and initia- 
tion of, coal production from the LMU so that the 
coal is actually produced at the rate of one-fortieth 
of the LMU reserves before June 1, 1986. Under 
the regulations, the period of time for the latter 
leases may be extended. 

Timely production of coal is further assured 
through the current "continued operation" regula- 
tions. Under these regulations, coal equal to one 
percent of the reserves of the logical mining unit 
must be produced for each of the first two years 
following achievement of diligent development. 
Thereafter, an average amount of one percent of 
the reserves associated with the lease must be 
produced. The average amount is computed over a 
three-year period consisting of the year in question 
and the preceding two years. 

Although the authority to promulgate regula- 
tions concerning bidding methods, diligent devel- 
opment, and continued operations was transferred 
to the Department of Energy in the Department of 
Energy Organization Act, should DOE not pro- 
mulgate new regulations before a Federal coal 
management program is established, the current 
regulations would remain in force until superseded 
by DOE regulations. 

3.2.5.5 Consultation with the Governors. Prior to 
setting a regional coal lease sale schedule, the 



! 



. ;;: 



3-64 



- 



i 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



Secretary would consult with the governor of each 
state in which tracts to be leased are located. The 
Secretary would ask each governor to comment in 
a specified period of time, not less than 30 days nor 
more than 60 days, before issuing the final 
schedule of sale. Section 3 of the Federal Coal 
Leasing Amendments Act of 1976 provides a 
specific procedure for consultation with a state 
when a lease proposal would permit surface mining 
within the boundaries of a National Forest within 
that state. The governor would be notified by the 
Secretary. If the governor fails to object to the 
lease proposal in 60 days, the Secretary could issue 
the lease. If, within the 60-day period, the governor 
notifies the Secretary, in writing, of an objection to 
the lease proposal, the Secretary would not 
approve the lease for six months from the date the 
governor objects to the lease. The governor could, 
during this six-month period, submit a written 
statement of the reasons why the lease should not 
be issued, and the Secretary would, on the basis of 
this statement, reconsider the lease proposal. 

These pre-sale and sale procedures are compat- 
ible with all alternatives, although they would have 
no applicability to the no new leasing and 
preference right leasing only alternatives. 

3.2.6 State, Local, And Industry Participation. 

A variety of methods have been developed to 
provide state, local, and industry participation in 
the preferred alternative Federal coal management 
program. 

3.2.6.1 State Participation. The preferred program 
is designed to offer as significant a role for the state 
governments in the Federal coal management 
process as possible short of providing them with 
veto power over Federal decisions. The states 
would be offered the opportunity to sign coopera- 
tive agreements to enable them to participate 
directly in the land use planning process. The 
States could nominate unsuitability criteria to be 
added to the list of Federal unsuitability criteria. 
They could also submit expressions of interest in 
potential coal tracts. The states would be expected 
to participate actively and directly through mem- 
bership on regional coal teams in the activity 
planning procedures of tract ranking, selection, 
and scheduling . Furthermore, a special consulta- 
tion step would be provided to the states in setting 
regional production goals and leasing targets. The 



governor would also be informally consulted prior 
to any final decision to offer a tract for sale. 
Although the states would be expected to provide 
their views over the full spectrum of issues, the 
Department would particularly need the states' 
comments on the interregional and cumulative 
regional social and economic impacts of coal 
development in the regional leasing target - setting 
process and on intraregional and site-specific 
social and economic impacts in the tract ranking 
and selection process. The states would also have 
the lead for many post-sale lease management 
actions. 

Whenever possible, the regional coal teams 
(see Section 3.2.3.2) would serve as the general 
forums in which state participation would occur. 
In particular, as noted in Sections 3.2.3.2 and 3.2.4, 
these teams would be the focal points for develop- 
ing proposals for Secretarial decision on the tracts 
selected and scheduled for sale and on regional 
production goals and leasing targets. 

The activities of these teams would provide the 
state governors with an opportunity to discuss any 
potential significant Federal decisions before they 
are made and not just in the formal consultation 
which occurs after the decision-making and would 
provide to the citizens of each state, through their 
elected officials, an authoritative forum for the 
airing of their interests and concerns. 

3.2.6.2 General Public Participation. The public 
would have several opportunities to participate 
directly throughout the coal management decision 
making process. Hearings would be held on the 
land use plan recommendations before the final 
land use plan decisions would be made. Comments 
would be solicited from the public at the beginning 
of the regional tract ranking, selection, and sale 
scheduling process. The public would have the 
opportunity to submit written comments and to 
participate in a hearing on the regional sale 
environmental impact statement. The Secretary 
could also hold additional hearings in the area of 
the proposed sale if there were a general interest in 
the proposed sale and any issue existed which had 
not been throughly discussed at previous hearings. 
Besides the general public participation steps, 
there would be opportunities for participation 
during the surface owner consultations, surface 
owner consent, and indications of leasing interest 
stages of the coal management program. 



3-65 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



In addition to these formal opportunities for 
public participation, anyone could submit general 
comments at any time in the process. The 
Department would schedule meetings for public 
comment whenever it has reason to believe that it 
would serve the public's interest. 

3.2.6.3 Industry Participation. Industry is a critical- 
ly important actor in the preferred program not 
only because it supplies the bidders in the lease 
sales and the technology and capital to extract the 
coal, but also because it provides the information 
needed in the determinations leading to the 
delineation of tracts. The three principal sources 
for coal information in the United States are the 
Federal government, through the Geological Sur- 
vey and other agencies; the state governments, 
through the state geological surveys or mining 
bureaus; and the coal industry. Industry is in a 
special position to make the Federal government 
aware of the type, quality, quantity, and location 
of coal which it believes should be considered for 
leasing. 

Industry would be able to participate in the 
land use planning and regional production goal 
and leasing target setting processes through all the 
same formal and informal channels available to 
the general public. During land use planning, 
industry could contribute information on existing 
operations and on the location of resources. 
During the setting of regional production goals 
and leasing targets, industry could supply informa- 
tion on the overall demand for coal and the 
production potential from previously leased Feder- 
al reserves and non-Federal reserves for meeting 
that demand. In addition to these general partici- 
pation opportunities, industry would continue to 
have the opportunity to indicate tracts it would 
like to see leased and supply site-specific data. 
Indeed, such industry indications are critical to the 
functioning of the leasing component of a Federal 
coal management program. In the preferred 
program, this step would be scheduled to occur as 
the first formal step in the activity planning 
process. 

As previously noted, the activity planning 
process for coal would involve the delineation, 
ranking, and selection of tracts within areas 
identified as acceptable for further consideration 
for coal leasing in the land use plan. Information 
derived from industry data would be required to 



assist in determining need and to facilitate lease 
tract delineations and economic evaluations. To 
obtain these data, industry would be requested 
through formal notices to submit expressions of 
leasing interest for coal within the areas acceptable 
for further consideration for leasing set out in the 
land use plans. To the extent these indications 
define potential tracts, they would be relied on for 
the preliminary delineation of tracts, unless it is 
determined that different tracts or different tract 
boundaries would be necessary to ensure competi- 
tive interest in the eventual lease sale, conserve 
Federal coal, or meet other largely economic 
objectives in the coal management program. The 
types of information which might be requested and 
used in the tract delineation and ranking process 
would be: 

• Written descriptions of land by legal subdi- 
vision and a map with a scale of one-half 
inch to the mile or larger. 

• Amount of coal desired including such 
geologic data on the area as bed thickness, 
overburden depth, and thickness of coal 
seam(s). 

• Method of mining anticipated, with pro- 
posed mining sequence and rate of produc- 
tion. 

• Relationship, if any, between the antici- 
pated mining operations and existing or 
planned mining operations or supporting 
facilities on adjacent Federal or non-Feder- 
al lands. 

• Anticipated method(s) of transportation 
and status of existing or proposed transpor- 
tation system. 

• Evidence of qualifications. 

• Intended "end use" of coal. 

• Consent certification if the surface is not 
owned or controlled by the Federal govern- 
ment. 

• Description of adjacent coal reserves under 
ownership or control of the company 
providing the expression of leasing interest. 

These participation components would not be 
compatible with the no leasing or preference right 
leasing only alternatives and would be used only to 
a limited extent under the emergency leasing 
alternative. Under the lease to meet industry 
indications of need alternative, greater emphasis 
would be placed on obtaining, at an early stage, 



3-66 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



industry nominations and less emphasis would be 
placed on state consultation. Under the state 
determination of leasing levels alternative, the role 
of the states would obviously be pre-eminent. On 
the other hand, in the lease to meet DOE 
production goals alternative, the roles of industry 
and the states would both be reduced. 

3.2.7 Special Leasing Opportunities. 

In response to the requirements in the Federal 
Coal Leasing Amendments Act of 1976 and the 
Small Business Act of 1953, as amended, the 
Department would reserve and offer a reasonable 
number of coal lease tracts as special leasing 
opportunities. The special opportunities would be 
provided through special lease sales where public 
bodies would bid only against other public bodies 
and small businesses only against other small 
businesses. No special determinations of maximum 
economic recovery or other possible financial 
incentives would be proposed. 

Public bodies are non-profit consumer-owned 
utilities, principally rural electric cooperatives, 
municipally owned utilities, and Federal agencies. 
The Secretary would designate and schedule one 
or more coal lease tracts for special opportunity 
lease sales for public bodies after the ranking and 
selection process only if a public body has, through 
submission of an expression of leasing interest, 
requested that a special opportunity lease sale be 
held. With the of submission of this request, the 
public body would have to provide evidence of its 
qualifications to participate in a special opportuni- 
ty sale. 

Small business would be required to meet the 
qualifying standards set forth in 13 CFR 121. The 
Small Business Administration proposed qualifica- 
tion requirements for small businesses to partici- 
pate in Federal coal lease special opportunity sales 
on March 14, 1979 (44 Federal Register 15513- 
15514). To qualify, the business would have to be 
independently owned and operated, not be domi- 
nant in its field, and, together with its affiliates, 
employ not more than 250 employees. Although it 
would be advisable and to its advantage to do so, a 
small business would not be required to notify the 
Department of its desire for a special opportunity 
sale. The Secretary's decision to hold a small 
business special opportunity sale would be made in 
consultation with the Small Business Administra- 
tion. 



The Department has under consideration 
various methods of encouraging minority business 
participation in the Federal coal management 
program. This could be accomplished administra- 
tively or through legislation and by means of a 
separate set-aside sale or through the assistance of 
the Small Business Administration in the small 
business set-aside sales. 

These special leasing opportunity procedures 
would be employed in all but the no leasing and 
preference right leasing only alternatives. 

3.2.8 Emergency Leasing System. 

The preferred program would contain an 
emergency leasing system which would enable the 
Department to provide for urgent needs for 
Federal coal when those needs could not be met in 
a timely manner through the general, long-term 
leasing process (by pass, production maintenance, 
or hardship situations). The emergency leasing 
system would differ from the general, long-term 
leasing process only with respect to (1) the method 
of tract identification and (2) the breadth and 
scope required in the planning and environmental 
assessment process. This system would be adminis- 
tered tightly, so as to maintain the integrity of the 
general, long-term leasing process. 

To qualify for production maintenance or 
bypass emergency leases, an operation that has 
been producing for at least two years prior to the 
application would be required to show that: 

• The Federal coal is needed within three 
years to maintain an existing mining opera- 
tion at the average annual level of produc- 
tion or new contracted level of production 
on the date of application, as substantiated 
by the proposed production levels stated in 
a mine plan or a complete copy of the 
supply or delivery contract, or both; or 

• If the coal deposits are not leased they will 
be bypassed for the reasonably foreseeable 
future, and if leased, some portion of the 
tract applied for will be utilized within three 
years, as substantiated by the proposed 
production levels stated in a mining se- 
quence plan; and 

• The need for the coal deposits resulted from 
circumstances that were beyond the control 
of the applicant or for which he could not 
have reasonably foreseen and planned. 



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PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



The extent of coal reserves covered by bypass 
and production maintenance emergency leases 
could not be more than that which could be mined 
over eight years at the average annual production 
level or new contracted level of production on the 
date of the application. 

An applicant not qualifying for an emergency 
lease under the above conditions could still qualify 
as a hardship case if his operations are: 

• Outside of a coal region; 

• Inside a coal region in which activity 
planning has not yet begun; or 

• Of a size, quality, or end use that is not 
significantly related to meeting the regional 
leasing target. 

The applicant would also be required to show a 
hardship of the following type: 

• A locality has lost or will lose its alternative 
sources of domestic coal supply; 

• A mine which has been closed will be 
reopened, and local unemployment will be 
aleviated; 

® The mine will test new technology support- 
ed by a Federal agency; 

• Mining and reclamation of the tract will 
promote a program or policy of another 
surface management agency, such as reha- 
bilitation of lands scarred by past uses; or 

• Similiar reasons that the Secretary, after 
holding a hearing, determines are substan- 
tially in the public interest. 

The terms of hardship emergency leases would 
be determined on a case-by-case basis. 

The tract to be offered for the emergency lease 
sale would only be so much of the land applied for 
as would be necessary to meet the emergency need 
of the applicant without violating the integrity of 
the general, long-term leasing process. 

No coal lease would be issued unless a 
comprehensive land use analysis has been con- 
ducted on, and the Department's unsuitability 
criteria have been applied to, the land to be 
included in the lease. All emergency leasing 
decisions would have to be consistent with the 
appropriate land use plan or analysis and the 
unsuitability criteria. 

Before a lease sale would be held in response to 
an emergency lease sale application, an environ- 
mental analysis would be completed on the 
potential effect of such a coal lease on the 
resources of the area and its environment, includ- 



ing fish and other aquatic resources, wildlife 
habitats and populations, and visual, recreation, 
cultural, and other resources in the affected area. 
Should the Department determine an environmen- 
tal impact statement is required, one would be 
completed. 

The pre-sale and sale procedures, including 
public participation procedures, of the general, 
long-term leasing process would be followed in all 
emergency leasing situations. 

This would be the major component of the 
emergency leasing alternative. It could also remain 
a component of the lease to meet DOE production 
goals, lease to meet industry indications of need, 
and state determination of leasing level alterna- 
tives. 

3.2.9 Post-Programmatic Environmental Analysis 

The National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969 requires each Federal agency proposing a 
major action which might significantly affect the 
quality of the human environment to prepare a 
statement of the environmental impacts of that 
action and its reasonable alternatives. The Depart- 
ment, in formulating the preferred coal manage- 
ment program, considered which key leasing 
decision points could represent major Federal 
actions within the meaning of the Act. 

The preferred option is to maintain two 
separate levels of environmental impacts analysis, 
one to consider interregional and national impacts 
and one to consider site-specific and cumulative 
intraregional impacts. The first level of analysis 
would be contained in this programmatic environ- 
mental impact statement, updated when necessary, 
and the second level of analysis would be made in 
environmental impact statements for each region 
covering the four-year sales periods and discussing 
the tract delineation, ranking, and selection pro- 
cess. These environmental analyses procedures in 
the preferred program are discussed in greater 
detail in section 3.1.1.7 and set forth in Section 
3420.3-4 and 3420.4-5 of the proposed coal 
management regulations in Appendix A. 

3.2.10 Administration of Existing Leases and 
PRLAs 

A significant element of the Department's 
federal coal management program is the adminis- 
tration of existing coal leases and preference right 
lease applications. The amount of coal involved is 



3-68 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



considerable. As of October 1978, there were 533 
federal coal leases estimated to contain 17 billion 
tons of coal and 172 preference excluding Alaska 
right lease applications which cover land estimated 
to contain 9.9 billion tons of coal. 

Because the United States owns a large 
percentage of coal in the United States (nearly 60 
percent in the West) and because demand for coal 
is expected to increase significantly, Federal 
policies toward coal and, specifically, toward 
existing leases and preference right lease applica- 
tions will have a significant impact on energy 
production in the United States. In 1977, 50 
million tons of coal were produced from existing 
leases. The Department calculates, however, from 
data chiefly supplied by lessees themselves, that 
they are likely to produce 360 million tons 
annually from Federal leases by 1985. The Depart- 
ment uses this data in setting the regional leasing 
targets for coal leasing, taking into account 
environmental, social, and economic impacts in 
each region. The following discussion of issues 
summarizes the matters set forth in depth in the 
memorandum of March 20, 1979, from the 
Director, Office of Coal Leasing, Planning and 
Coordination to the Under Secretary (Appendix I 
in this statement). 

The proposed coal management program is the 
major program for conducting the Federal lands 
review to identify lands unsuitable for coal mining 
pursuant to Section 522(b) of the Surface Mining 
Control and Reclamation Act, 30 U.S.C. 1272. 
There are 24 criteria set forth in Table 3-3 and 
Section 3461.2 of the proposed regulations (Ap- 
pendix A) which may result in the assessment or 
designation of certain lands as being unsuitable for 
mining. 

There are, however, certain limitations on 
assessing or designating lands involving existing 
leases or preference right lease applications as 
unsuitable for coal mining. First, under many 
criteria even if the criterion were otherwise 
applicable, if mining operations were being con- 
ducted on an existing lease on August 4, 1977, the 
lands are exempt from the criterion. Second, if 
substantial financial and legal commitments had 
been made to a mining operation before January 4, 
1977, those lands are also exempt. Finally, under 
other criteria any unsuitability designation may 
not prejudice valid existing rights. The memoran- 
dum of March 20, 1979 (Appendix I) discusses the 



issues arising out of the exemptions from the 
application of unsuitability criteria to existing 
leases and preference right lease applications. 
Table 3-4 in this environmental impact statement, 
which is taken from the memorandum, sets out in 
detail the sources of authority for each criterion 
and the exemptions attached to its application. 

The process of applying these criteria is also 
significant. The Director of the Bureau of Land 
Management has instructed Bureau offices how to 
incorporate the criteria into existing and future 
land use plans. Essentially, the 24 criteria will be 
applied to all coal lands. Lands in existing leases 
and preference right applications will be checked 
for exceptions (that is, any possible alternative 
mining method which is not unsuitable in the 
particular area, or any method of mitigating the 
adverse impact) and exemptions (that is, where the 
substantial commitments and valid existing rights 
provisions of SMCRA prohibit application of 
specific criteria.) All of the studies conducted for 
unsuitability will include public hearings before 
final assessments are adopted as part of a land use 
plan or environmental analysis on a mine plan. 

The possibility of exchanging coal lands and 
leases to shift the impacts of operations from 
unacceptable to acceptable lands has always 
interested the makers of Federal coal development 
policy. One complex of issues discussed at length 
in Appendix I is the Secretary's authority to 
exchange coal leases or lease interests, and the 
Secretary's policies toward implementing that 
authority to prevent or mitigate unacceptable 
adverse social or environmental impacts of coal 
mining. Two propositions stand out from the 
discussion in Appendix I. First, the Secretary's 
authority to exchange coal leases is quite limited. 
Second, the Secretary, consistent with the Depart- 
ment's stance on S. 3189 in the 95th Congress, does 
not currently intend to consummate exchanges in 
cases where the unsuitability criteria or other 
provisions of the Surface Mining Control and 
Reclamation Act, or other Federal law, lawfully 
apply to prevent or adequately mitigate the 
threatened adverse impacts. 

The first proposition can be quickly document- 
ed. To start with, what authority the Secretary does 
have is entirely voluntary; both the Secretary and 
the lessee or preference right lease applicant must 
be satisfied by the terms of the exchange. The 
Secretary does not have condemnation authority, 



3-69 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



nor does he have purchase authority even if a 
lessee were willing to relinquish a lease for value. 
Prior to the Federal Coal Leasing Amendments 
Act of 1976, the Secretary did have the authority to 
exchange coal leases, but that Act repealed that 
authority. The Congress reestablished such author- 
ity in Section 510(b)(5) of the Surface Mining 
Control and Reclamation Act, 30 U.S.C. 
1260(b)(5), only for a limited class of holders of 
coal leases in alluvial valley floors. In addition, the 
Department has provided by regulation, under its 
general authority in the Mineral Leasing Act, that, 
in exchange for voluntary relinquishment of a coal 
lease, a lessee may receive 1) a lease for certain 
minerals other than coal, (2) bidding rights to 
future coal leases, or 3) additions to other existing 
coal leases. The Department is not now seeking to 
broaden its authorities in this area, but it does 
appear that eventually the Department may 
reconsider asking Congress for new, broader, or 
more clarified coal exchange authority. 

The second proposition above, that exchanges 
should not be consummated where mining opera- 
tions on lands in the lease or preference right lease 
application can be lawfully prevented or adequate- 
ly mitigated, states present Departmental policy. 
That policy is derived from three principles 
discussed at greater length in Appendix I. First, the 
existing exchange authority should not be exer- 
cised for the purpose of relieving lessees of their 
diligent development obligations under the lease. 
If a lessee has violated the diligent development 
requirements or appears not to have made any 
effort toward development, the lease should expire 
under its own terms or be cancelled rather than be 
exchanged. Second, exchanges should not be used 
to undermine the proper implementation of the 
environmental and reclamation standards newly 
established by and under the Surface Mining 
Control and Reclamation Act. If unsuitability 
criteria derived from Section 522(a) of that Act or 
from the statutory mining prohibitions in Section 
522(e) of that Act can lawfully prevent the mining 
of a certain area or prevent mining an area in a 
certain manner, then the would-be exchange 
proponent has no property right to mine that area 
or to mine it in a certain manner that required 
recognition or "compensation" through an ex- 
change. Third, if mining an area can lawfully be 
prevented, then there must be deducted from the 
value of the lease that includes that area for 



purposes of an exchange any value that would 
have been attributed to the unsuitable or otherwise 
unmineable acreage. If the Department used the 
value of the coal the lessee could not mine in 
finding a tract of equal value to lease in exchange, 
the Department might be giving something for 
nothing; coal with little or no economic value for 
coal with substantial economic value. These three 
points are all important in understanding that the 
exchange concept may not be easily converted into 
a viable management tool, and that the Depart- 
ment may have to seek Congressional clarification 
or resolution of these issues before exchanges 
become a significant component of the Federal 
coal management program. 

The Department intends vigorously to enforce 
the diligence provisions, the provisions requiring 
diligent development and continued operation, 
applicable to existing coal leases. Such an effort 
will be a major impetus toward the timely 
development of the federal coal reserves already 
under lease. Under the regulations promulgated in 
May 1976 that apply to existing leases, production 
is to begin by June 1, 1986 or ten years after lease 
issuance, whichever is later. In order to be ready 
for that date, and in order to have firm diligence 
enforcement policies for the interim, the Depart- 
ment is examining a series of questions on this 
subject to determine (1) whether there are any 
enforcement actions that could or should be taken 
prior to 1986 for violations of any lease terms 
related to diligence, and (2) whether there are any 
limitations in the Mineral Leasing Act or the 
existing leases themselves that might in any way 
limit the complete application of the May 1976 
regulations and their June 1, 1986, production 
requirement to all existing leases. 

The Federal Coal Leasing Amendments Act of 
1976 (FCLAA) generally applies only to leases 
issued after August 4, 1976. The diligence stan- 
dards for new leases in the FCLAA are in many 
ways derived from the Department's own regula- 
tions on diligence which were published in May 
1976, so the Department's December 1976 regula- 
tions to implement the FCLAA contain many 
parallel requirements for leases issued after the 
FCLAA was passed on August 4, 1976. Each lease 
is by regulation automatically a logical mining unit 
LMU. Production in commercial quantities (2.5 
percent of the reserves for pre-FCLAA leases, one 
percent of the reserves for post-FCLAA leases) 



3-70 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



must be achieved by the tenth lease year. The 
lessee must also continue operations at the rate of 
one percent of the reserves per year. Finally, upon 
application by the lessee, the Department may 
consider private lands or separate Federal leases to 
be part of a logical mining unit. Extensions in the 
period for achieving production or suspensions of 
the continued operation obligation of leases can be 
ordered by the Secretary to accommodate events 
not within the control of the lessee, including 
strikes. 

All existing leases are also subject to readjust- 
ment every 20 years after their issuance. In 
addition to expressly imposing due diligence 
requirements at the time of readjustment, the 
Department will also raise royalties to at least 12.5 
percent for coal mined by surface methods and 
eight percent for coal mined by underground 
methods. Current rates are as low as 5<P per ton 
with the rates of 10<P to 150 per ton being fairly 
common. Prior to the enactment of the FCLAA, 
51 leases had had their 20-year anniversary, but 
had not yet been readjusted. More leases are now 
subject to readjustment, and the Department is 
now aggressively moving to readjust those leases to 
bring them into conformity with its May 1976 
regulations and the FCLAA. On March 16, 1979, 
the Under Secretary endorsed the policy of 
systematically readjusting leases which are now 
pending readjustment or will become due for 
readjustment prior to June 1, 1979, to the pre- 
scribed minimum royalties, rather than attempting 
to establish possibly higher royalties on a case-by- 
case basis. This policy was adopted in order to 
complete the backlog of readjustments promptly. 

The sale and sublease of existing leases 
presents a potential opportunity for the Depart- 
ment to impose the policies and requirements 
discussed above on existing leases. Up to this 
point, proposed assignments have been examined 
only to check the assignee's qualifications to hold 
the lease or to determine whether the assignor had 
been fully complying with the terms of the lease. 
Partially in response to assertions that there is an 
undesirable speculative market in the resale of coal 
leases, the Department is examining whether, in 
exercising its authority to approve assignments, the 
lease may be readjusted by the express imposition 
of due diligence requirements, consent to a plan of 
development, or other stipulations. A further 
question is whether the proposed lease assignment 



should be referred to the Attorney General for 
antitrust review. 

Another important set of questions with regard 
to existing leases concerns the strategy to pursue in 
performing environmental studies. After the De- 
partment completed its programmatic environ- 
mental statement on the Energy Minerals Activity 
Recommendation System in 1975, it divided 
Federal coal areas into eight regions for the 
purpose of preparing environmental impact state- 
ments. Each regional statement was designed to 
study the site-specific impact of both operations on 
existing leases and new leases, in the framework of 
an analysis of the regional, cumulative impacts of 
the specific proposals. As a result of the decision in 
NRDC v. Hughes , 437 F. Supp. 981 (D.D.C. 1977), 
modified , 454 F. Supp. 148 (D.D.C. 1978), appeal 
pending , the Department stopped considering 
possible new leasing, and continued specific study 
only of the 27 mine plan approval and other coal- 
related applications then pending. The Depart- 
ment is now studying all possible options on a 
regional level, including a no new leasing alterna- 
tive. If no new leasing is found to be necessary, the 
Department will then consider site-specific mine 
plans for existing leases. These studies would be 
keyed into the completed regional environmental 
statements. If new leasing is found to be necessary, 
the Secretary's preferred alternative is to establish 
the need for leasing region by region, and then 
proceed to study and rank tracts within each 
affected region. While specific new environmental 
studies would have to be prepared for approval of 
mine plans for existing leases, specific environmen- 
tal studies for new leases will be performed as part 
of the regional tract delineation, ranking, and 
selection, and sale scheduling processes. 

Most of the program requirements and policy 
issues just discussed apply to both existing leases 
and preference right lease applications. However, a 
few additional points should be made with respect 
to preference right lease applications. In determin- 
ing whether a preference right lease applicant has 
discovered coal in commercial quantities and is 
thus entitled to a lease, the Department must take 
into account quantifiable environmental costs and 
must consider what stipulations should be imposed 
to mitigate environmental damage. (See Natural 
Resources Defense Council, Inc. v. Berklund , 458 F. 
Supp. 925 (D.D.C. 1978), appeal pending .) While a 
preference right lease applicant has a valid existing 



3-71 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



right to have his lease application adjudicated even 
though the law has changed, he does not necessari- 
ly have a valid existing right to mine, as the term is 
used in applying unsuitability criteria. It is, rather, 
the right to have his application fairly acted upon 
by the Department. In addition to considering the 
provisions of the National Environmental Policy 
Act, the Department must, when adjudicating an 
application, also consider the provisions of the 
Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act and 
the Federal Coal Leasing Amendments Act of 
1976. 

The Department has the same authority, and 
the same problems, with exchanges involving 
preference right lease applications as it does with 
existing leases, with one added twist. Does the 
Secretary have to make the crucial determination 
of discovery of commercial quantities of coal 
before he can make an exchange? If the applicant 
is found to be entitled to the lease, he may have no 
incentive to complete the exchange. If the determi- 
nation is not made, the Secretary risks exchanging 
something of value for nothing. A task force in the 
Office of the Assistant Secretary, Land and Water 
Resources, has been formed to consider this and 
other issues related to exchanges. 

Another likely problem occurs because coal 
prospecting permits could be issued only on lands 
which are unclaimed and undeveloped. Some 
study has been done by the Bureau of Land 
Management indicating that the land in some of 
the preference right lease applications is covered 
by mining locations. Thus, these conflicts will have 
to be eliminated; the procedures for the resolution 
of these conflicts have yet to be fully defined. 

Another issue in the adjudication of the 
pending applications concerns the proper royalty 
rate to be charged on leases issued to preference 
right lease applicants. Section 7 of the Mineral 
Leasing Act, as amended , 30 U.S.C. § 207 (1976), 
sets a minimum royalty, but not a maximum. Thus, 
the royalty rate can apparently be varied to 
capture the fair market value of the coal, and 
prevent a lessee from garnering undue profits. At 
the same time, however, the royalty rate in many 
private leases that can only be developed in 
conjunction with Federal lands is tied to that of the 
adjoining Federal leases. Therefore, a boost in the 
Federal rate may well boost the private rate on 
significant quantities of coal. 



Finally, the due diligence requirements of the 
December 1976 regulations implementing the 
Federal Coal Leasing Amendments Act of 1976 
will be imposed on every new lease issued to 
preference right applicants. While the preference 
right applicant may have the right to a lease, he is 
not entitled to any particular terms that he may 
specify, but rather those required by law and 
policy in effect at the time of lease adjudication 
and issuance. 

Appendix I to this environmental impact 
statement discusses these issues in depth. As that 
Appendix and this summary make clear, the 
administration of existing leases and preference 
right lease applications will require a significant 
share of the Department's coal management 
efforts. While the discussion in Appendix I can 
serve in part as a guide in the administration of 
certain matters, especially application of the 
unsuitability criteria, the rest of that Appendix sets 
out the significant legal and policy issues which the 
Department will have to resolve before routine 
administration of existing leases and PRLAs is 
realized and before the Department can predict 
with full confidence future production from exist- 
ing leases and PRLAs without relying primarily on 
lessees' intentions. 

3.2.11 Special Start-up Considerations 

The preferred program, if adopted, would be a 
major effort for the Department. The administra- 
tive tasks would begin with pre-planning inventory 
efforts and proceed all the way through post- 
mining land use monitoring. The program would 
touch on a myriad of other Federal and state 
programs with a degree of interrelationship vary- 
ing from slight to mutual dependence. To put such 
a program in place without causing severe disrup- 
tions either to the management of Federal coal 
resources or to other important programs requires 
careful and prudent planning. This section pre- 
sents the major considerations that will control the 
start-up of the Federal coal management program 
if the preferred program is selected. Assuming that, 
upon review of this statement, the Secretary, first, 
decides that a new Federal coal management 
program is needed; second, selects a program 
substanatially similar to the preferred program 
described in this statement; and third, determines 
that lease sales should be held in one or more 
regions during 1980 or 1981, the new program 



3-72 






PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



would be established and integrated into existing 
programs, most notably the land use planning 
process, as follows: 

• Much of the general resource inventory and 
land use planning required under the 
procedures described above would be 
adopted from work already completed or 
work that is underway at the time of the 
publication of this final environmental 
impact statement. 

• In all areas for which plans have never been 
prepared, the inventory process, the first 
step in land use planning, would begin 
under the normal scheduling for BLM. It is 
estimated that about 15 percent of the coal 
areas are in this class. The proposed BLM 
planning regulations would be applied to 
these areas. Planning areas would be 
selected for inventorying based on the 
anticipated need for the leasing of coal in 
the particular areas or on other high 
resource demands. 

• In certain priority areas for which land use 
plans have been completed, the land use 
decisions would be reexamined on areas 
identified in the existing plans as appropri- 
ate for coal development. This reexamina- 
tion would be in the form of application to 
these areas of the unsuitability criteria that 
are selected by the Secretary as a result of 
his decisions on the program. Also, if 
surface owner consultation had not taken 
place earlier, this step would be taken. 
Those areas which remain acceptable for 
further consideration for leasing after appli- 
cation of the criteria and consultation with 
qualified surface owners would, following 
opportunity for public comment, be identi- 
fied in a published supplement to the 
existing plan. These areas would then be 
entered in the activity planning process and 
could be considered for lease sale. A call for 
industry expressions of leasing interest in 
the areas identified in the supplement as 
acceptable for further consideration for 
leasing would be the first step taken in 
activity planning after publication of the 
supplement. 

• As discussed in Sections 3.2.2 and 5.4.10. 
the Department would use land use plans 
supplemented as necessary until new plans 



could be prepared under proposed BLM 
regulations (43 Federal Register 58764- 
58774). 

• The first lease sales may not be conducted 
in all regions for which the regional leasing 
targets suggest leasing is needed and might 
be insufficient to fully meet the targets for 
the regions in which they are held. 

o Notice of intent to rank tracts would be issued 
immediately prior to initiation of ranking. 

• The first regional lease sale environmental 
impact statements would likely address a 
two-year rather than a four-year lease sale 
schedule. 

• The regional targets, if any, for the first 
sales would be selected by the Secretary 
after reviewing all the comments received 
as a result of the publication of this 
statement and after consulting with the 
state governors and with the Secretary of 
the Department of Energy. 

The Department anticipates that, should the 
Secretary elect to start up the preferred program as 
quickly as possible, a lease sale schedule would be 
prepared for 1980-1981 under these start-up 
considerations. Subsequent schedules would be 
prepared substantially as set out in the preferred 
program. However, land use plans prepared wholly 
under the proposed BLM planning regulations 
would not begin to appear in the process until 1984 
or 1985. It might be several more years before a 
sufficient number of new land use plans are 
prepared to identify enough areas acceptable for 
further consideration for leasing to permit coal 
leasing decisions to be based entirely on land use 
plans which fully conform with the proposed 
planning regulations. 

3.2.12 Other Aspects of the Preferred Program 

Two other aspects of the preferred program 
considered by the Secretary were maximum eco- 
nomic recovery and end use controls. 
3.2.12.1 Maximum Economic Recovery. In Section 3 
of the Federal Coal leasing Amendments Act of 
1976 (FCLAA), the Congress introduced the 
concept of Maximum Economic Recovery (MER). 
The Congress has indicated that MER is of 
considerable importance and should be treated in 
a consistent and formal manner. The statute 
requires MER to be considered at two stages - - 
lease issuance and mine plan approval. Specifical- 



3-73 



PREFERRED COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND ALTERNATIVES 



ly, Section 3 of FCLAA, requires that: "Prior to 
issuance of a lease, the Secretary shall evaluate and 
compare the effects of recovering coal by deep 
mining, by surface mining, and by any other 
method to determine which method or methods or 
sequence of methods achieves the maximum 
economic recovery of the coal within the proposed 
leasing tract. This evaluation and comparison by 
the Secretary shall be in writing but shall not 
prohibit the issuance of a lease; however, no 
mining operating plan shall be approved which is 
not found to achieve the maximum economic 
recovery of the coal within the tract." 

The issue forwarded for the Secretary's expres- 
sion of preference was what definition of MER 
should be adopted. Five different definitions were 
considered; the Secretary prefers that MER be 
calculated so as to require that all coal seams 
which are collectively profitable be mined, taking 
into consideration social and environmental costs. 
For any scale of development (annual production 
rate), this definition would tend to minimize the 
area disturbed from surface mining; deeper seams 
would be substituted for the broadening of areas of 
operation. 

An interagency task force is presently devising 
the methods for determining MER in accordance 
with the Secretary's preference and at least two 
other alternatives. At the request of the Council of 
Economic Advisers, the task force will conduct an 
economic analysis of the Secretary's preference 
and other alternatives to determine their cost of 
administration and their effects on individual 
lessees and the overall coal market. 

3.2.12.2 End-Use Considerations. Another issue 
considered by the Secretary was whether the 
Department should condition new coal leases with 
stipulations which specify how, where, or by whom 
coal would be consumed. The goals of such 
restrictions would be to: 

• More actively control the location and 
extent of environmental degradation. 

• Promote the entry of economically and 
socially disadvantaged groups to the coal 
industry. 



• Allow more active integration of Federal 
actions with state and local government 
planning, and otherwise control socioeco- 
nomic impacts. 

• Encourage new energy technologies. 

Coal leases have not in the past limited how 
lessees could dispose of mined coal. A lessee can 
sell the coal for a minemoufh power plant, ship 
coal short or long distances, or use the coal for 
gasification. Specifying the end-use of coal from 
new leases could give the Department greater 
control over the environmental and economic 
effects of mining and could be used to encourage 
new technologies. There is, however, a very real 
possibility end use conditions could infringe upon 
other agencies' responsibilities, such as state 
regulation of power plant siting and the Environ- 
mental Protection Agency's Clean Air Act regula- 
tions. In addition, the Department's legal authority 
to regulate end-uses is unclear. 

Options for resolution of this issue ranged from 
not adopting end-use stipulations (except as 
mandated in the FCLAA for public bodies and as 
required for railroads in the Mineral Leasing Act 
of 1920) to an active policy of conditioning leases 
to meet all the goals specified above. The Secretary 
preferred not to adopt end-use stipulations pend- 
ing a Solicitor's opinion on the Department's 
authority for such action. The Solicitor's opinion is 
being developed. 

3.3 REFERENCES 

1. U.S. Department of the Interior, 1979. Final 
Environmental Statement, Permanent Regulatory 
Program Implementing Section 501(b) of the 
Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 
1977, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and 
Enforcement, Washington, D.C. 

2. U.S. Department of the Interior, 1978. Land 
Unsuitability Criteria, Office of Coal Leasing, 
Planning, and Coordination, Washington, D.C. 

3. U.S. Department of the Interior, 1977. Memo- 
randum: Surface Owner Consent Provision of P.L. 
95-87, Office of the Solicitor, Washington, D.C. 



3-74 



CHAPTER 4 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



I 



■ 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



CHAPTER 4 - DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL 

ENVIRONMENTS 4-1 

4.1 THE APPALACHIAN COAL REGION 4-1 

4.1.1 The Environment 4-1 

4.1.2 The Environment and Man 4-4 

4.2 EASTERN INTERIOR COAL REGION 4-9 

4.2.1 The Environment 4-9 

4.2.2 The Environment and Man 4-11 

4.3 WESTERN INTERIOR COAL REGION 4-12 

4.3.1 The Environment 4-12 

4.3.2 The Environment and Man 4-16 

4.4 TEXAS COAL REGION 4-18 

4.4.1 The Environment 4-18 

4.4.2 The Environment and Man 4-21 

4.5 POWDER RIVER COAL REGION 4-24 

4.5.1 The Environment 4-24 

4.5.2 The Environment and Man 4-27 

4.6 GREEN RIVER-HAMS FORK COAL REGION 4-31 

4.6.1 The Environment 4-31 

4.6.2 The Environment and Man 4-35 

4.7 FORT UNION COAL REGION 4-37 

4.7. 1 The Environment 4-37 

4.7.2 The Environment and Man 4-40 

4.8 SAN JUAN RIVER COAL REGION 4-41 

4.8.1 The Environment 4-41 

4.8.2 The Environment and Man 4-45 

4.9 UINTA-SOTHWESTERN UTAH COAL REGION 4-47 

4.9.1 The Environment 4-47 

4.9.2 The Environment and Man 4-50 

4.10 DENVER-RATON MESA COAL REGION 4-53 

4.10.1 The Environment 4-53 

4.10.1 The Environment and Man 4-56 

4.1 1 REFERENCES 4-59 



.. 



CHAPTER 4 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



This chapter contains descriptive discussions 
of the environments of the twelve coal regions 
specified in Chapter 1 (see Figure 1-1). The 
components of each region are discussed cumula- 
tively due to their physical continuity and their 
similar environments. Each regional description is 
subdivided into a discussion of the environment 
and a discussion of the environment and man. The 
sections on the environment contain descriptive 
information on the regions' topography, geology, 
resources, climate, air quality, water quality, and 
biota. Supportive ecological descriptive data are 
contained in Appendices D and E. The sections on 
the environment and man contain descriptive 
information on history, resource development, 
economics, infrastructure, and demography. The 
descriptions are limited to only those environmen- 
tal features which are pertinent to the environmen- 
tal impact analyses described in Chapter 5. For a 
list of counties that are contained either totally or 
partially within each region's respective bound- 
aries, refer to Appendix J. 

4.1 THE APPALACHIAN COAL REGION 

The Appalachian Coal Region is in the 
Appalachian Mountain range of the eastern 
United States. The region encompasses 111,637 
square miles in two Maryland, 31 Ohio, 49 West 
Virginia, 32 Pennsylvania, 34 Kentucky, 21 Ten- 
nessee, seven Virginia, 24 Alabama, and four 
Georgia counties. For purposes of discussion, this 
region has been divided into three regions: the 
Northern Appalachian, Central Appalachian, and 
Southern Appalachian Coal Regions. The North- 
ern Appalachian Coal Region covers 53,120 square 
miles in 94 counties of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West 
Virginia, and Maryland. The Central Appalachian 
Coal Region covers 35,292 square miles in 69 
counties of West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, 
and Virginia. The Southern Appalachian Coal 
Region covers 23,225 square miles in 39 counties 
of Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama. 



4.1.1 The Environment 

The dominant topographical feature of the 
region, the Appalachian Mountain Range, reaches 
elevations of up to 5,000 feet in the Central 
Region. Elevations in the Northern and Southern 
Regions are much lower, although large changes in 
relief do exist. The steepsided plateaus of sand- 
stone bedrock on the eastern side of the range give 
way to broad open folds dipping gently to the west. 
This difference in the topography of the 
eastern and western sides of the Appalachians 
reflects the two different physiographic provinces 
involved. The Valley and Ridge Province to the 
east consists of rocks that have been greatly 
disturbed by faulting and folding. The Appala- 
chian Plateaus to the west have not been subject 
to such severe disturbance and the gently folded 
rocks are nearly flat. Unique or significant geologic 
features, such as caverns and karst areas, are 
numerous. 

Sandstones, shales, limestones, conglomerates, 
and beds of coal are characteristic of the three 
Appalachian Coal Regions. Coal-bearing rocks are 
of Pennsylvanian age and include the Monongahe- 
la, Conemaugh, Allegheny, and Pottsville Forma- 
tions. The total estimated coal reserve base for the 
entire Appalachian Coal Region is 103 billion tons. 
The rank of coal in the Appalachian Coal 
Region varies with physiographic provinces, re- 
flecting the differing amounts of deformation the 
rocks received. The coal in the Appalachian 
Plateaus (on the western edge) is high-volatile 
bituminous, with some coal being as high in grade 
as anthracite. 

In general, the Appalachian Coal Region has 
moderate to hot, humid summers and moderate to 
cold, humid winters with an average annual 
precipitation of 40-50 inches. Growing seasons 
(periods of frost-free temperatures) vary from 120 
to 210 days. The mean annual relative humidity is 
about 70 percent. The most distinctive climatic 
difference between the subregions is the monthly 
distribution of precipitation. 



4-1 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



The Northern Appalachian Coal Region has 
coldest temperatures; the average annual tempera- 
tures are 54°F, with minimum January tempera- 
tures of 20°F and maximum July temperatures of 
over 70° F. Summer is the season of maximum 
precipitation. Light wind speeds are common, with 
an average of 9.5 miles per hour (mph) at ridge 
level and 6 mph in the valleys. 

The Central Appalachian Coal Region has a 
more moderate climate with mild, damp winters 
and hot, humid summers. The mean annual 
temperature is 57°F. The annual precipitation is 
45-50 inches, though some sheltered valleys receive 
less than 40 inches and higher elevations in some 
areas of Tennessee receive over 55 inches. The 
Central Appalachian Coal Region has two seasons 
of maximum rainfall, spring and summer; fall 
brings the least precipitation. The winds are similar 
to those in the Northern Appalachian Coal 
Region: 8-9 mph on the ridges, 50-60 percent less 
in the valleys. 

The Southern Appalachian Coal Region has 
mild, wet winters and hot, humid summers. The 
annual mean temperature reaches 65 °F, while 
precipitation averages 54 inches annually. The 
maximum precipitation is received in late winter 
and early spring. Fall has the least rainfall. 

In none of the regions do extremes in meteoro- 
logical conditions occur often enough to restrict 
habitation, land use, or physical resource develop- 
ment. Seasonal flooding along river, stream, and 
creek banks, occasional hurricanes in the southern 
areas and more rarely in the northern areas, severe 
winter storms ("northeasters" in the Northern 
Appalachian Coal Region), and infrequent 
droughts or tornadoes may have temporary local 
adverse effects on land use. 

Land use, however, can affect local climates. 
Large quantities of heat and moisture or disruption 
of surface features can alter temperatures and 
moisture conditions, and thus affect local growing 
seasons. Major surface disturbance can also lead to 
loss of ground cover (which provides shade and 
soil stability), which could result in changes in 
relative humidity, soil temperature, soil moisture, 
and susceptibility to flash flooding. Solid particu- 
lates in the air can weaken intensity of solar 
insulation, while sulfur dioxide in the air can lead 
to acid rain which will corrode limestone, marble, 
etc. 



Various meteorological parameters, such as 
speed, persistence, and direction of winds, can 
affect the significance of the negative impacts of 
land uses on air quality. Frequency and persistence 
of atmospheric inversions can be considered a 
limiting factor to pollution-creating land uses in 
the Appalachian Coal Region. In the Northern 
Appalachian Coal Region, surface-based inver- 
sions occur 35-45 percent of the time in winter and 
up to 70 percent of summer mornings. Poor 
dispersion also occurs frequently in late summer 
and fall in the other regions. This creates a high 
potential for stagnation of poor quality air 
throughout the region, particularly in the summer. 
This combination of particular types of land 
use and climatic conditions had obvious effects on 
air quality in some parts of the Appalachian Coal 
Region. In heavily industrialized and mined areas 
in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia, such as 
the Steubenville-Weirton-Wheeling Interstate Air 
Quality Control Region (AQCR), the national 
primary ambient air quality standards for sulfur 
dioxide and suspended particulate matter are not 
being attained. In most other counties and AQCRs 
in the Appalachian Coal Region, however, the air 
quality is good. In Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, 
Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama, measurements 
of sulfur dioxide and suspended particulate matter 
are generally better than the national standards. 
Unlike most of the other regions to be 
discussed in this statement, the Appalachian Coal 
Region has an abundant supply of surface water. 
Severe droughts are uncommon and, in fact, many 
areas are flood prone. The Ohio River and its 
tributaries are major streams in the Northern 
Appalachian Coal Region, and the average annual 
stream flow from the Upper Ohio River Basin (as 
measured at Sewickley, Pennsylvania) is 23.3 
million acre-feet. In the Central Appalachian Coal 
Region, the Big Sandy and Kanawha Rivers 
provide the upper Ohio and upper Tennessee River 
systems with the most abundant surface water flow 
of the three regions — 49.7 million acre-feet. 

Use of surface water is constant throughout the 
year in all the regions, with industry and municipal 
entities being the dominant consumers. Annually, 
1.3 million acre-feet is used in the Northern 
Appalachian Coal Region, 1.5 million in the 
Central Appalachian Coal Region, and only 23,000 
in the Southern Appalachian Coal Region. Agri- 
cultural use of surface water is unimportant. 



4-2 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



Topography has an important influence on 
both quantity of runoff and quality of surface 
water. Runoff is higher in the steep areas of the 
Valley and Ridge Province to the east than in the 
more gently sloping Appalachian Plateaus in the 
west. Likewise, sediment load and total dissolved 
solid content are greater in the eastern areas than 
in the western ones. Average sediment load ranges 
from 250-280 milligrams per liter in the western 
areas, and can jump to 2500 mg/liter in high 
runoff areas on the eastern rim. Likewise, total 
dissolved solids can vary from 100-350 mg/liter in 
the west to over 1200 mg/liter in small areas of the 
east. Surface water quality is also significantly 
influenced by land uses. Many of the nation's acid- 
mine drainage pollution problems are in the 
Northern Appalachian Coal Region. Other indus- 
trial and municipal wastes also plague surface 
water quality throughout the region. 

Groundwater in the Appalachian Coal Region 
is most prevalent in some carbonate rocks, sand- 
stones, and shoestring deposits of sand and gravel 
occupying flood plains along the principal streams. 
Well yields range from only a few gallons per 
minute to 500 gal/min., depending on the perme- 
ability of the rock. Groundwater quality is general- 
ly poor in the Appalachian Coal Region, with 
hardness and local excesses of iron, manganese, 
and hydrogen sulfide being the primary problems. 
Mining, industrial, and municipal wastes cause 
local adverse effects on groundwater quality. 

Due to an abundance of surface water in the 
Appalachian Coal Region, groundwater does not 
play as significant a role in the survival of man, 
plants, and animals as it does in much of the West. 
Groundwater use is relatively low with a high of 
190,000 acre-feet per year in the Central Appala- 
chian Coal Region and a low of 1 1,500 acre-feet in 
the Southern Appalachian Coal Region. 

Geology, topography, and climate are impor- 
tant factors in determining soil type. Generally, the 
soils in the Appalachian Coal Region are a mix 
with weakly differentiated horizons that exhibit the 
alteration of various parent materials. Soils are low 
in organic matter with subsurface horizons of clay 
accumulations. Most of the soils in the Appala- 
chian Coal Region are well-drained with low 
natural fertility. Moderate to severe erosion hazard 
is common. 

There are two major native vegetation commu- 
nities in the Appalachian Coal Region, the eastern 



deciduous forest (primarily in the Northern and 
Central Appalachian Coal Regions) and the 
southeastern mixed forest (Southern Appalachian 
Coal Region). The wide variety of forest and 
understory vegetation, good interspersion of terres- 
trial and aquatic habitat types, and the abundance 
of water resources give the region the cover, water, 
space, and forage needed to accommodate a 
multitude of wildlife species. Over 300 species of 
fish, 96 species of reptiles and amphibians, 110 
species of birds, and 200 species of mammals, as 
well as innumerable invertebrates, inhabit the 
region on either a permanent or seasonal basis. It 
is impractical to identify all the plant and animal 
species in the subregions so only some of the major 
or characteristic species will be noted. 

In the Northern and Central Appalachian Coal 
Regions (from Ohio and Pennsylvania south to 
West Virginia and Kentucky, and along lower 
slopes of mountains extending into the Southern 
Appalachian Coal Regions), beech and maple are 
the predominant species. Closely associated oaks, 
sweetgum, tulip, hornbean, basswood, wild cherry, 
dogwood, hedge maple, hawthorne, and alder are 
also present. From Tennessee south into the 
Southern Appalachian Coal Region, the character 
of the eastern deciduous forest changes somewhat, 
with oak becoming the dominant species. Tulip, 
sweetgum, and shagbark hickory are common. 
Typical animal species in these areas of the 
deciduous forest include such game and furbearing 
species as the whitetail deer, black bear, wild 
turkey, eastern cottontail, raccoon, opossum, gray 
squirrel, and gray and red fox, and such birds as 
woodpeckers, thrushes, warblers, vireos, and owls. 
The Southern Appalachian Coal Region con- 
tains some immature sandy soils overlain by pine 
forests. Lobolly, shortleaf, pitch, Virginia, longleaf, 
and slash pines are the most widespread varieties. 
Typical animals in these forests include such game 
species as black bear, whitetail deer, and ruffed 
grouse, and such birds as nuthatches, chickadees, 
woodpeckers, and warblers. 

Aquatic and riparian vegetation throughout 
the Appalachian Coal Region includes such 
species as loosestrife, arrow arum, pondweed, 
water lilies, plaintains, and cattails. The rivers, 
streams, and lakes in the region support many 
aquatic insects and mollusks, as well as game fish 
such as bass, trout, crappie, bluegill, pike, pickerel, 
muskellunge, and catfish, and non-game fish such 



4-3 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



as carp, shad, shiners, chubs, and sculpins. These 
same water sources and the riparian habitat near 
them accommodate turtles, lizards, muskrat, otter, 
beaver, and many species of snakes, frogs, and 
salamanders. 

Agricultural crops are varied and numerous in 
the region. The animal species which prefer 
agricultural land habitat and can live in relatively 
close association with man are whitetail deer, 
robin, crows, mourning dove, bobwhite, red fox,' 
raccoon, hawks, and owls. 

Currently, there are at least 26 species of 
animals within the Appalachian Coal Region that 
are listed as endangered under the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973. These include the bald eagle, 
peregrine falcon, Bachman's warbler, red-cockad- 
ed woodpecker, eastern cougar, gray bat, Indiana 
bat, watercress darter, and 17 species of mussels. 
Although there are no Federally listed threatened 
or endangered plants within the region, there are a 
large number proposed for listing. These are 
presently under consideration by the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service. 

There are numerous local variations (due to 
topography, soil, and climate) in vegetation and 
wildlife that will require site-specific assessments 
to identify exact distributions of vegetative species. 
In the coal basin region of Alabama, the uplands 
plantlife is dominated by Virginia, shortleaf, 
longleaf, and loblolly pines; turkey and red oak; 
sweetgum; and winged elm, because they are 
tolerant of shallow, dry, nutrient-poor soils. Lower 
slopes, however, are occupied by larger, deciduous 
hardwoods and a great variety of shrubs that 
require more water. The valley bottoms with deep 
soils are lush with an even wider variety of 
vegetation including agricultural crops. The wild- 
life species present vary according to the habitat 
preferences defined earlier. 

Land uses have reduced vegetative quantity 
and diversity in the past few hundred years, but of 
the various coal regions, the Appalachian Coal 
Region maintains the highest diversity. Natural 
primary productivity is moderate to high (8.9 tons 
per acre per year in forests to 17.8 tons per acre per 
year in floodplain areas). Forest cover can return 
naturally within 10 to 30 years after severe 
disturbance. This natural productivity, combined 
with excellent climatic conditions, gives the Appa- 
lachian Coal Region higher potential for reclama- 
tion than the western coal areas. Currently, coal 



mining rehabilitation can rapidly establish a 
ground cover of grasses and legumes and restore 
suitable fish and wildlife habitat for many species. 
Research has not been oriented towards recreating 
original composition and diversity of native for- 
ests, and therefore it is not yet possible to evaluate 
whether current reclamation will be able to restore 
land to original or better productivity for tree 
growth in this region. Harvesting of forest products 
is possible within 30 years after reclamation. 

4.1.2 The Environment and Man 

The history of mankind in the Appalachian 
Coal Region can be divided into the Paleo-Indian 
period (prior to 8000 B.C.), the Eastern Archaic 
tradition (8000 to 1200 B.C.), the Woodland 
tradition (1200 B.C. to 900 A.D.), the Mississippi- 
an period (900 A.D.-1650 A.D.), and the proto- 
historic and historic cultures. 

The Paleo-Indian occupation is reflected in the 
Meadowcroft Rock Shelter site in Washington 
County, Pennsylvania, dated at 14,200 B.C. These 
Indians were nomadic hunters who used hunting 
implements, pebble-choppers, hand axes, and 
scrapers. 

The loss of traditional food sources at the end 
of the Pleistocene is thought to have led to the 
development of the Archaic tradition. Hunting 
continued, but fishing and plant gathering became 
more common. Populations increased and life 
became more sedentary. Earliest pottery in the 
southeastern U.S. is thought to have been made in 
Georgia in approximately 2000 B.C. 

During the Woodland tradition, pottery manu- 
facturers flourished, villages grew in size, and 
social organization became more formal; burial 
mounds were a distinctive feature of this tradition. 
The Mississippian culture, with large, permanent 
villages, riverine agriculture, and ceremonial 
mounds, was the next major influence, most 
evident in the Southern Appalachian Coal Region. 
During the proto-historic period, riverine agricul- 
ture, hunting, and fishing continued to provide 
subsistence. The dominant aboriginal groups 
included the Chickasaws, Choctaws, and Creeks. 
Approximately 40 archaeological sites through- 
out the Appalachian Coal Region, remnants of 
prehistoric and proto-historic cultures, are listed 
on the National Register of Historic Places. The 
potential remains for discovery of more values 



4-4 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



during future site-specific surveys, particularly in 
sparsely inhabited areas near lakes and streams. 
The beginning of the historic period is com- 
monly defined by the arrival of Hernando deSoto 
(who explored parts of the Appalachian and Gulf 
of Mexico areas in the 1500's), but the major influx 
of Europeans did not start until the early 1700's. 
The first white settlements were built in the early 
1800's as the British and French competed for 
land. The settlers were primarily farmers (raising 
corn, hogs, cattle, cotton, and tobacco) with 
secondary occupations as blacksmiths, cobblers, 
and millers. Slavery was important in the Southern 
Appalachian Coal Region and parts of the Central 
Appalachian Coal Region. Railroads, wagon 
trains, and steamboats helped the settlers penetrate 
into the frontier and displace the native Ameri- 
cans. 

As early as the 1830's, coal mining had begun 
to rival the cotton industry in some areas. By 1 860, 
factories (producing lumber, carriages, cotton and 
wool products, and machinery) and coal mines 
were active throughout the Appalachian Coal 
Region. 

The Civil War sparked mineral activity (smelt- 
ing and casting furnaces) throughout the Appala- 
chian Coal Region. During the War, many indus- 
tries, particularly in the Central and Southern 
Appalachian Coal Regions, were damaged. Cotton 
production gave way to new industries such as iron 
and steel manufacturing in the late 1800's. As these 
industries grew, so did the need for coal. 

There was steady economic progress after the 
turn of the century. Coal production was booming 
in the 1920's. Other industries that began to grow 
included steam, natural gas, oil, and electricity. 

Over 600 historic sites (houses, covered 
bridges, iron furnaces, railroad buildings, battle- 
fields, land-mark oil wells, and other structures), 
reminiscent of the Appalachian Coal Region's 
varied and colorful history, are listed on the 
National Register of Historic Places. This com- 
prises one third of all the National Register sites in 
the coal regions. 

There is wide variance in the socio-economic 
characteristics of the three regions. The Appala- 
chian Coal Region, as a whole, is very distinct 
from the Western regions. Tables 4-1, 4-2, and 4-3 
show population, employment, and other socio- 
economic characteristics of the three regions. 



The Northern Appalachian Coal Region is the 
most densely populated with a population of over 
8,019,000 in 1975 and a density of over 150 people 
per square mile. The Central and Southern 
Appalachian Coal Regions both have populations 
over 2,000,000, but the density in the Central 
Appalachian Coal Region is slightly less than 60 
people per square mile, while in the Southern 
Appalachian Coal Region it is almost 100 people 
per square mile. All three regions experienced high 
out-migration rates during the 1960's. In the 
1970's, out-migration in the Northern Appalachian 
Coal Region slowed considerably and the other 
two regions gained population. 

In the region as a whole, manufacturing and 
wholesale and retail trade have replaced agricul- 
ture and mining, important occupations in earlier 
history, as the major employment sectors. In 1975, 
these sectors employed from 36 to 53 percent of 
the populations of these regions. 

In 1975, coal mining employment ranged from 
only 1 percent in the Southern Appalachian Coal 
Region to 12 percent in the Central Appalachian 
Coal Region. Development of other minerals 
employed less than 4 percent of the regions' 
populations, while agriculture employed 4 to 10 
percent. In small localized areas throughout the 
region, however, minerals development or agricul- 
ture may provide the dominant employment 
opportunity. 

Land uses are varied. Most farms are small 
(averaging less than 160 acres each), and the major 
crops include cotton, soybeans, corn, wheat, 
sorghum grain, hay, and fruit. Some of the best 
farm land is along the Ohio River, as it was in 
prehistoric and historic times. Beef cattle, sheep, 
and hogs remain important products of the 
agricultural sector. 

As mentioned previously, there is active min- 
ing throughout the region. Federal leasable miner- 
als include oil, gas, and coal. The greatest potential 
for development of federally owned oil, gas, and 
coal is found in the Southern Appalachian Coal 
Region. Saleable minerals in the Appalachian Coal 
Region include sand, gravel, shale, and clay. The 
most important hardrock minerals are iron, zinc, 
and copper. 

Most of the federally-owned coal reserves of 
the Appalachian Coal Region are located in 
various National Forests, which are scattered 
throughout Alabama, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylva- 



4-5 



TABLE 4-1 

POPULATION AND ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS IN THE 
NORTHERN APPALACHIAN REGION^) 



1975 Total Population 3 




8,019,531 




Total Area (square 


miles) a 




53,120 




Population per square mile (1975) 




151.0 




Per Capita Personal 


Income (1975) 




$5,035 




Per Capita Personal 


Income as a 








Percent of National Average (1975) 




99 




ECONOMIC SECTOR 


EMPLOYMENT 


PERCENT 
OF 

TOTAL 


EARNINGS 
(in thousands 
of dollars) 


PERCENT 
OF 
TOTAL 


Livestock 


17,757 


1 


99,503 


0-1 


Other Agriculture 


74,931 


3 


279,375 


1 


Metal Mining 


2,981 


0-1 


880 


0-1 


Coal Mining 


53,274 


2 


896,422 


3 


Oil and Gas 


12,982 


0-1 


154,875 


0-1 


Other Mining 


7,377 


0-1 


52,430 


0-1 


Construction 


116,867 


4 


1,760,699 


6 


All Manufacturing 


934,034 


33 


12,125,795 


40 


Transportation, 










Communication, 










and Public 










Utilities 


129,432 


5 


2,311,325 


8 


Wholesale and 










Retail Trade 


547,078 


20 


4,433,231 


14 


Finance, Insurance, 










and Real Estate 


97,113 


3 


988,438 


3 


Other Services 


378,951 


14 


3,927,846 


13 


Federal Govt. 


46,496 


2 


685,095 


2 


State and Local 










Govt. 


376,057 


13 


2,868,185 


9 


TOTAL 


2,795,330 


30,584,099 





(a) Demographic information which is based on all 
or partially within regional boundaries. 



counties either totally 



4-6 



TABLE 4-2 

POPULATION AND ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS IN THE 
CENTRAL APPALACHIAN REGION ( a ) 



a 
1975 Total Population 


2 


,069 


,980 




, a 
Total Area (square miles) 




35 


,292 




Population per square 


mile (1975) 






58.65 




Per Capita Personal Income (1975) 




$4 


,009 




Per Capita Personal Income as a 






79 




Percent of National 


Average (1975) 






„ 






PERCENT 




EARNINGS 


PERCENT 


ECONOMIC SECTOR 


EMPLOYMENT 


OF 

TOTAL 


(in thousands 
of dollars) 


OF 
TOTAL 


Livestock 


12,750 


2 




24,726 


0-1 


Other Agriculture 


44,855 


8 




93,889 


2 


Metal Mining 


- 


- 




■"" 




Coal Mining 


71,304 


12 




1,262-,813 


21 


Oil and Gas 


3,310 


1 




31,195 


0-1 


Other Mining 


2,765 


0-1 




9,008 


0-1 


Construction 


22,804 


4 




409,618 


7 


All Manufacturing 


112,632 


19 




1,250,226 


20 


Transportation , 












Communication , 












and Public 
Utilities 


19,959 


3 




494,300 


8 


Wholesale and 
Retail Trade 


101,901 


• 17 




837,525 


14 


Finance, Insurance, 
and Real Estate 


17,936 


3 




174,169 


3 


Other Services 


66,858 


11 




735,106 


12 


Federal Govt. 


13,886 


2 




206,263 


3 


State and Local 
Govt. 


92,803 


16 




622,461 


10 


TOTAL 


583,763 


6,151,299 





(a) Demographic information which is based on all counties either totally 
or partially within regional boundaries. 



4-7 



TABLE 4-3 

POPULATION AND ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS IN THE 
SOUTHERN APPALACHIAN REGION ( a ) 



1975 Total Population 3 

Total Area (square miles) a 

Population per square mile (1975) 

Per Capita Personal Income (1975) 

Per Capita Personal Income as a 
Percent of National Average (1975) 



2,289,614 
23,225 

98.6 
$4,551 

90 



ECONOMIC SECTOR 

Livestock 
Other Agriculture 
Metal Mining 
Coal Mining ■ ■ 
Oil and Gas 



EMPLOYMENT 



PERCENT 

OF 

TOTAL 



EARNINGS 

(in thousands 

of dollars) 



8,713 
46,610 

6,299 



1 
6 



38,269 

132,660 

124,581 



PERCENT 

OF 

TOTAL 



0-1 

1 



utner Mining 


3,972 


0-1 


12,401 


0-1 


Construction 


47,836 


6 


592,107 


7 


All Manufacturing 


260,722 


30 


2,656,267 


30 


Transportation , 










Communication , 










and Public 










Utilities 


29,965 


3 


602,998. 


10 


Wholesale and 










Retail Trade 


165,260 


19 


1,445,685 


16 


Finance, Insurance, 










and Real Estate 


39,359 


5 


433,204 


5 


Other Services 


93,809 


11 


1,232,646 


14 


Federal Govt. 


48,520 


6 


799,721 


9 


State and Local 










Govt. 


106,450 


12 


782,012 


9 


TOTAL 


861,545 


8,852,551 





(a) Demographic information which is based on all counties either totally 
or partially within regional boundaries. 



4-8 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



nia, Virginia, and West Virginia. National Forest 
coal reserves total approximately 679,000 acres. 
The largest concentration of Federally-owned coal 
on both Federal and private surfaces occurs in 
Alabama, where about 40 percent of all Federal 
reserves of the Appalachian Coal Region are 
located. Federal coal reserve acreages on state 
surface, private surface, and National Forests are 
80,878; 91,980, and 506,126 respectively. 

In the Appalachian Coal Region, coal is 
transported by waterway, railroad, conveyer belt, 
and truck. There are no coal slurry lines. The 
Appalachian coal is closer to demand centers, and 
transportation costs are lower than those involved 
in development of western coal. Some problems in 
transport of coal in the region exist, however. 
Inadequate lock systems and congestion in the 
waterway system (which includes the Mississippi, 
Ohio, Greer, Warrior, and other rivers) are causing 
bottleneck delays in some areas. Abandonment 
and deterioration of railway lines are making 
transport by rail more difficult in areas like West 
Virginia. The use of trucks is growing as coal 
production increases. This results in increased 
noise and air pollution, road congestion, and safety 
hazards. Some counties have resorted to levying 
taxes to correct environmental damage caused by 
coal trucks. 

Other land uses include urban and suburban 
development, communication sites, powerlines, gas 
pipelines, sand and gravel pits, and sanitary 
landfills. Access to most federally owned coal is 
afforded by county or state owned and main- 
tained, all-weather, paved or gravel roads of 
varying quality. 

Recreation is an important land use to be 
considered. The Appalachian Coal Region has 
over 138 state parks, 10 state forests, and 10 other 
state-owned recreational facilities, covering over 
511,000 acres and attracting over 56 million 
visitors a year. Camping, hunting (deer, turkey, 
and small game are most popular), fishing (bass, 
blue gill, trout, and catfish primarily), boating, 
spelunking, hiking, rockhounding, and skiing are 
just a few of the opportunities available. 

The region contains many rivers presently 
included in the Wild and Scenic Rivers System 
(e.g., 45 miles of the Obed River in Tennessee, 33 
miles of Little Beaver River in Ohio). Others are 
being considered for inclusion (e.g., parts of Pine 
Creek in Pennsylvania; Sipsey Fork River in 



Alabama). There are also four wilderness areas, 
totaling nearly 48,000 acres, in the Central and 
Southern Appalachian Coal Regions. Three trails 
(North Country, Kittanning, and Potomac Heri- 
tage) are being considered for inclusion in the 
National System of Trails. 

About 23 billion tons of coal had been 
extracted from the beginning of mining in the 
region until 1965. One-third of this was from the 
Pittsburgh coal bed, making it one of the most 
valuable beds in the U.S. The number of coal beds 
in the region varies from 10 in Pennsylvania to 62 
in West Virginia. 

4.2 EASTERN INTERIOR COAL REGION 

The Eastern Interior Coal Region is located 
within the Central Lowland and Interior Low 
Plateaus of the United States. This region encom- 
passes approximately 59,000 square miles in 85 
Illinois, 23 Indiana, 18 Kentucky, and two Iowa 
counties. 

4.2.1 The Environment 

The Eastern Interior Coal Region is a combi- 
nation of smooth and irregular plains within the 
Mississippi and Ohio River watersheds. The 
Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa portions of the plains 
are smooth almost to Kentucky, due to the 
influence of the Illinois glacier. The remainder of 
the region is unglaciated and its topography is 
therefore hilly. In this portion of the region, local 
relief varies from 100 to 500 feet with steep bluffs 
occurring along many of the rivers. The elevation 
of the entire region does not exceed 1,000 feet 
above sea level. 

The region's geological formations are primari- 
ly sedimentary rocks from the Upper Paleozoic 
Era of approximately 300,000,000 years ago. Rock 
strata are dominated by sandstones, limestones, 
conglomerates, and shales. Various paleontological 
formations are associated with these strata, as well 
as the region's coal deposits. 

The principal coal bearing formations are the 
Lower Pennsylvania, Pottsville, and Allegheny 
Formations. The coal deposits are composed 
almost entirely of low- volatile bituminous. A three- 
county area of southern Illinois, however, contains 
high-volatile bituminous deposits. In addition to 
coal, the mineral resources of the region include 
petroleum, clay, crushed stone, gravel, and sand. 



4-9 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



The region's total reserve base is estimated to be 
88.9 billion tons. 

To a great extent, soils in the northern half of 
the region have derived from glacial drift and 
windblown deposits. Soils from two to five feet 
deep predominate in this portion of the region. 
Top soil is generally black, friable, and high in 
organic content. The unglaciated southern portion 
of the region has soils with a thinner layer of top 
soil. Soils in this area are derived from windblown 
deposits overlaying glacial till. These soils have a 
gray-brown surface layer that is medium to highly 
basic. This surface soil often overlies an imperme- 
able clay pan that produces poor internal drainage. 
Soils of the entire region are fertile. Those in the 
northern portion are the more productive. 

A temperate climate prevails throughout the 
region. Annual mean temperatures range from 
48°F in the north to 60°F in the south. Seasonal 
extremes range from -20°F to 1 10°F. 

Precipitation volumes also increase from north 
to south; the northern areas receive about 30 
inches a year, while the southern areas receive 40 
inches per year. The region has snowfall, although 
it is generally less than 10 inches annually. Storms 
are most frequent in the winter and spring months. 
Summer storms generally track from the north and 
are weaker. Autumns are often dry with little storm 
activity until November. Although short dry 
periods do occur, the region is not vulnerable to 
sustained droughts. 

The region is subjected to a variety of winds 
from Canada, the Great Plains, and the Gulf 
Coast. Wind speeds average approximately 10 
miles per hour, which is above the nation's 
average. The lack of topographic barriers permits 
continual ventilation and air quality is good. There 
are generally less than 20 days a year during which 
the region is subjected to high levels of air 
pollution. These episodes are generally short-lived. 
Certain urban centers do create some localized air 
quality problems. These problems are restricted to 
Evansville, Indiana, where high particulate and 
moderate sulfur dioxide levels occur; Terre Haute, 
Indiana, where high particulate levels occur; 
Springfield, Illinois, where moderate particulate 
levels occur; and Peoria, Illinois, where moderate 
particulate levels occur. 

With its precipitation patterns and two major 
waterways, the Eastern Interior Coal Region 
generally has plentiful supplies of water. A dendri- 



tic drainage pattern is formed by the Mississippi 
and Ohio Rivers, their major tributaries such as the 
Illinois and Wabash Rivers, and the smaller 
tributaries of these. During heavy rains and spring 
thaws, these rivers are prone to damaging floods. 
Water quality varies throughout the region. 
For most uses, it is generally satisfactory or can be 
treated. Agricultural runoff causes localized prob- 
lems with bacterial contaminants, nitrogenous 
pollutants, and suspended solids. Additionally, 
various industrial pollutants are found in the 
region's scattered urban centers. 

It is estimated that 42.3 million acre-feet of 
fresh to slightly saline groundwater is in storage in 
the region, and some towns and cities have had 
difficulty obtaining wells yielding good water at 
reasonable costs. Over most of the region, how- 
ever, fresh groundwater, at least in small to 
medium quantities, is not difficult to develop. 
Some local overpumping has resulted, since only 
about 4. 1 million acre-feet of fresh groundwater is 
recharged to the system each year. Some munici- 
palities have found it less expensive and more 
satisfactory to discontinue their poor groundwater 
sources and develop treated surface waters. Over 
most of the region, the depth to saline groundwater 
is less than 500 feet. 

The above-described environmental aspects 
have created an ecotone-type ecology in the 
region. This means that the region is situated in the 
transition zone between the eastern deciduous 
forest and the Great Plains grasslands. An oak- 
hickory forest dominates the natural vegetation of 
the Kentucky, Indiana, and southern Illinois 
portion of the region. The remaining portion is 
dominated by farmland and an oak savannah 
ecosystem. Intensive agricultural practices occur in 
the region, so much of the natural vegetation has 
been removed. Only about 15 percent of the region 
is now forested. 

Where natural forests exist, dominant tree 
species include fir, white and swamp oaks, hickory, 
ash, poplar, and sweet gum. Associated ground 
cover includes shrubs (such as mountain laurel, 
rhododendron, dogwood, wisteria, sumac, buckt- 
horn, alder, and hawthorn), numerous forbs, and 
grasses (such as winged pigweed, bishopcap, love 
grass, panic grass, and morning glory). Net 
primary productivity for forested areas is about 8.9 
tons per acre per year. 



4-10 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



Relict prairie areas exist in limited portions of 
the oak savannahs that have not been disrupted by 
agriculture. They are vegetated by mixed grasses, 
legumes, and other herbaceous species. Typical 
species are bluestem, switchgrass, and Indian grass 
(representative of tall grass prairie); little bluestem, 
needlegrass, and western wheat-grass (representa- 
tive of mid-grass prairie); and buffalo grass, blue 
grama, and side-oats grama (representative of 
short grass prairie). There is a general tendency for 
the short grasses, more typical of western prairies, 
to push eastward onto the heavier soils of this 
region, and the tall grasses (typically eastern) to 
push westward onto the lighter soils. Net primary 
productivity of the remaining prairie in the region 
is about 6 tons per acre. 

Typical vegetation of the wetlands and bottom 
areas includes spike rush, sedges, milkweed, water 
primrose, cattails, pondweeds, and lizardtails. 
These wet areas are highly productive and are 
valuable habitat to waterfowl using the Mississippi 
fly way. 

The forests and prairies of the region serve as 
habitat for a wide variety of other wildlife species. 
Due to extensive farming, most wildlife within the 
region is compatible with man's activities. Some 
even depend on the farmer's fields for food and 
cover. Typical forest mammals include whitetail 
deer, eastern cottontail, gray squirrel, gray fox, and 
raccoon. Species typical of the prairie areas and 
edge habitat between forest and prairie include 
whitetail deer, woodchuck, red fox, and coyote. 
Small mammals, such as mice, shrews, and bats are 
numerous in both prairie and forest areas. Fur- 
bearers, such as mink, beaver, and muskrat, occur 
along waterways and in marshy habitats. 

Major upland game birds found in the region 
include ring-necked pheasant, ruffed grouse, 
mourning dove, bobwhite, and wild turkey. Wet- 
lands and waterways provide habitat for waterfowl 
using the Mississippi flyway, such as bluewinged 
and greenwinged teal, pintails, wood ducks, lesser 
scaup, black ducks, mallards, and lesser snow and 
Canada geese. Among the principal non-game 
birds are redtailed hawk, turkey vulture, great 
horned owl, green heron, chimney swift, cardinal, 
indigo bunting, crow, bluejay, brown thrasher. 

Among the 15 species of game fish in the 
region, largemouth bass is the most popular. Other 
gamefish of local importance include bluegills, 



crappie, northern pike, catfish, yellow perch, white 
bass, and yellow bass. 

Reptiles and amphibians found within the 
region include box turtles, soft-shelled turtles, 
snapping turtles, copperhead snakes, king snakes, 
cricket frogs, bull' frogs, and a variety of lizards 
and salamanders. 

Although most species have adapted to man, a 
few have not. Their habitats have diminished with 
agricultural advancement to the point where 
populations are very restricted and are threatened 
or in danger of extinction. Federally listed endan- 
gered species of wildlife within the region include 
the Indiana bat, bald eagle, tuberculated-blossom 
pearly mussel, Sampson's pearly mussel, and 
peregrine falcon. There are no Federally listed 
endangered plants within the region's boundaries, 
but numerous plant species are presently under 
consideration for threatened or endangered desig- 
nation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The 
plants in the relict prairies are not endangered, as 
they are common in other prairies in the West. 

The ecosystems within the Eastern Interior 
Coal Region are capable of recovery after human 
disturbances. With proper soil conditions, natural 
succession can return a grassland to a near original 
state within a decade. Forest lands require much 
longer to return to a stage similar to virgin timber. 
Natural succession, however, can return a cleared 
forest to an immature forest in less than 50 years, 
given proper conditions. With adequate manage- 
ment, the lands of this region could be reclaimed 
after coal mining operations. 

4.2.2 The Environment and Man 

The agricultural opportunities of the Eastern 
Interior Coal Region have historically been its 
major attraction for human beings. Timber and 
other natural resources have also been attractive 
but to a lesser degree. Original Indian populations 
were primarily village farmers. Tribes of Illinois, 
Miami, and Shawnee Indians produced maize and 
grains from the fertile soil. White men did not 
arrive until 1672, when two French explorers, 
Joliet and Marquette, led an expedition up the 
Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. Their journey 
initiated the education of the European colonists 
to the region's abundant agricultural opportunities. 
Eventually, settlers were drawn westward from the 
deciduous forests of the original 13 colonies to the 
agricultural advantages of the prairie fringe. The 



4-11 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



acquisition of the Northwest Territory by the 
United States in 1787 provided for this colonial 
expansion. In 1820 settlement was limited to the 
Ohio Valley, but shortly thereafter settlements 
were found scattered throughout the entire region. 
In 1 836 a blacksmith's apprentice named John 
Deere was drawn to Grand Detour, Illinois, from 
Vermont. In 1837 he built the world's first steel 
moldboard plow. His invention became famous as 
"the plow that broke the plains." Thereafter 
farming became the primary regional activity and 
most of the land was cleared. Agriculture is still the 
primary land use over the entire region and is a 
significant contribution to the area's economic 
base. Most farmers grow corn, soybeans, grains, 
and hay for export or livestock feed. Individual 
farms vary in size up to 500 acres. 

The timber production of the southern portion 
of the region has added to the region's economy. 
Oil is another natural resource that was found in 
moderate abundance in the region. It also contrib- 
utes to the area's economic base. 

Twentieth century industrial development has 
added greatly to the region's economy, but is 
essentially limited to urban centers. The major 
cities that support most of the industry are Peoria, 
Springfield, and Decatur, Illinois; Burlington, 
Iowa; Evansville, Indiana; and Owensboro, Ken- 
tucky. Coal production has played an important 
role in the region's industrial development; togeth- 
er with oil, it provides most of the energy supply. 
Manufacturing is the major contributor to employ- 
ment, involving 26 percent of the total workforce. 
Table 4-4 provides additional economic data, 
illustrating the relative importance of specific 
sectors of the economy. 

Surface transportation via water and rail was 
instrumental in urbanization. Water carrier service 
is available on the Mississippi, Ohio, and Illinois 
Rivers.Major railways serving the region include 
the Chessie System, Norfolk and Western, Illinois 
Central Gulf, Louisville and Nashville, Southern, 
and ConRail. In addition to these modes, a 
modern highway network is used for commercial 
and private transportation. The primary highways 
used for bulk commodity transportation are the 
interstate highways. The region is traversed by 
Interstate Highways 24, 64, 70, 74, 55, and 57. Oil 
and gas pipelines are also located in the region. 
Coal slurry pipelines are not present. 



Historic agricultural development and recent 
community development have been instrumental 
in creating a large population growth in the 
Eastern Interior Coal Region. Presently, there are 
over 5 million inhabitants within the region. The 
1975 population density was approximately 85 
persons per square mile. The rural sector of the 
region is fairly stable, while the urbanized centers 
are experiencing mild growth. The area has never 
been exposed to any major boom town phenome- 
na. Cultural development within the region is 
highly varied. Indian artifacts from cultures dating 
to 2000 B.C. have been discovered in Greene 
County, Illinois. Remnants of the Wabash and 
Erie Canals of the mid 1800's still remain. 
Historical sites relating to Abraham Lincoln's past 
are found in numerous locations. Over 200 
individual historic sites within the region are 
identified for preservation by the National Regis- 
ter of Historic Places. 

Most federally-owned coal reserves are located 
in the National Forests within the boundaries of 
the Eastern Interior Coal Region. National Forest 
coal reserves for this region total nearly 117,000 
acres. The region's largest concentration of Feder- 
al coal ownership under Federal and private 
surface occurs in Illinois, where some 95,499 acres 
are located. Federal coal reserve acreages for 
private surface and National Forests are 7,645 and 
1 16,809 respectively. 

4.3 WESTERN INTERIOR COAL REGION 

The Western Interior Coal Region is in the 
central plains of the United States. This region 
encompasses approximately 98,000 square miles in 
eight Arkansas, 53 Iowa, 36 Kansas, 56 Missouri, 
nine Nebraska, and 25 Oklahoma counties. 

43.1 The Environment 

The Western Interior Coal Region contains a 
wide variety of topographic features, from irregu- 
lar glaciated plains in the north to steep-sided 
ridges and mountains in the south. Elevations vary 
from 500 feet in the northeast portion of the region 
to 2,000 feet in the southern highlands. The region 
is situated within the Central Lowland physio- 
graphic province and has a generally flat to rolling 
topography. There are some eroded mountains in 
eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas known as 
the Ouachita and Boston Mountains. 



4-12 





TABLE 4- 


4 








1 

I POPULATION 


AND ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS IN THE 






EASTERN INTERIOR REGION ( £ 


i) 




1975 Total Population 3 


5, 


191 


,721 




Total Area (square miles) 




65 


,153 




Population per square 


mile (1975) 






79.7 




Per Capita Personal Income (1975) 




$5 


,316 




Per Capita Personal Income as a 










I Percent of National Average (1975) 






105 








PERCENT 




EARNINGS 


PERCENT 


ECONOMIC SECTOR 


EMPLOYMENT 


OF 

TOTAL 


( 


in thousands 
of dollars) 


OF 
TOTAL 


_ . 

Livestock 


51,897 


3 




344,185 


2 


Other Agriculture 


148,825 


8 




1,659,599 


8 


Metal Mining 


- 


- 




- 


- 


Coal Mining 


25,870 


1 




300,128 


2 


Oil and Gas 


4,500 


0-1 




100,193 


0-1 


Other Mining 


9,579 


0-1 




63,118 


0-1 


Construction 


70,692 


4 




1,124,798 


6 


All Manufacturing 


507,948 


26 




5,980,049 


30 


Transportation , 












Communication, 












and Public 
Utilities 


77,306 


4 




1,240,601 


6 


Wholesale and 
Retail Trade 


376,103 


19 




2,896,369 


15 


l 

Finance,. Insurance, 












and Real Estate 


65,538 


3 




655,676 


3 


Other Services 


239,895 


12 




2,165,833 


11 


Federal Govt. 


84,849 


4 




1,007,967 


5 


State and Local 
Govt. 

TOTAL 


293,538 


15 




2,193,087 


11 


1,956,540 


19,731,603 


(a) Demographic information which is bas 


ed on a 


11 


counties either totally 


or partially within 
i 

i 


regional boundar 
4-12 


ies. 









DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



Present topography and land forms are largely 
a result of surface rocks. Resistant rocks, such as 
granite, sandstone, and limestone, generally form 
high ridges, hills, and mountain peaks, whereas 
nearby outcrops of shale and other easily eroded 
rocks form valleys and lowland areas. 

In the past, forces within the earth have caused 
portions of the region to alternately sink below and 
rise above sea level. Large areas were often 
covered by shallow seas, and thick layers of 
sediments were deposited and subsequently lithi- 
fied into shales, limestones, and sandstones. Later, 
these areas were uplifted and the sedimentary 
rocks were exposed and eroded. 

The gently sloping hills of the northern portion 
of this region are composed of alluvium, glacial 
drift, and loess, underlain by Paleozoic sandstones, 
limestones, shales, and coal seams in horizontal or 
nearly horizontal beds with isolated faulting and 
gentle folding. The east-west trending ridges and 
valleys of the Ouachita province were formed 
during the early Paleozoic Age through extensive 
folding and faulting. 

The coal beds of the region are Upper 
Carboniferous (Pennsylvanian) in age and mostly 
high-volatile bituminous in rank. They are general- 
ly of better quality than the coals of the West, but 
are also higher in sulfur content. The principal 
coal-bearing formations throughout most of the 
region are the Lower Pennsylvanian, Pottsville, 
and Allegheny Formations. They comprise a lower 
series, that contains most of the coal, termed the 
Des Moines Group, and an upper series termed the 
Missouri Group. The region's estimated reserve 
base is 16 billion tons. 

Most of the Federal coal in the region is in the 
southern part, in Oklahoma. In this area, and in 
western Arkansas as well, mountain-building 
forces of the Ouachita disturbance sufficiently 
devolatilized the coal beds to raise their rank to 
low-volatile bituminous and some localized sem- 
ianthracite deposits. The coal is mostly of coking 
quality and is contained in rocks of the Hartshorne 
Sandstone and the McAlester Shale. The most 
important beds are the Lower Hartshorne, 2.5 to 6 
feet thick; the Upper Hartshorne, 1.75 to 5.5 feet; 
and the McAlester Shale, 1.75 to 4 feet thick. 

Most hard rock minerals are formed as a result 
of igneous activity. Ore mineral such as silver, lead, 
and zinc occur within the tri-state area of Arkan- 
sas-Missouri-Oklahoma. "Common variety" min- 



eral materials, such as sand and gravel, building 
stone, crushed stone, and common clay, are 
abundant in most of the region. Building stone and 
crushed rock are quarried from sandstone and 
limestone. Sand and gravel are obtained from river 
alluvium, and clay is obtained from shale. 

Coal is plentiful in the region, but production 
is principally in eastern Oklahoma. Oil and gas 
producing horizons occur principally in Oklahoma 
and Kansas in several different formations at a 
wide range of depths. Fossil-bearing strata occur 
throughout the region. The only ones of signifi- 
cance in the Federal coal reserves are those 
associated with coal seams of the Middle Pennsyl- 
vanian Hartshorne, McAlester, Savanna, and 
Boggy Formations. 

The climate of the Western Interior Coal 
Region is characterized by hot summers and cold 
winters. Ranges in temperature and precipitation 
are pronounced. The area tends to be dominated 
by cold air from the Canadian arctic in winter and 
warm air from the southwest in summer. Tempera- 
tures in the southern portion average 40° F in 
January and 80° F in July. In the northern portion, 
they average 20°F in January and 70°F in July. 
The mean annual freeze-free days range from 150 
in the north to 210 in the southwest. 

Most of the area receives between 32 and 48 
inches of precipitation per year. Months with the 
highest precipitation are March, April, May, and 
June, at the start of the growing season. Parts of 
the area receive over 4 inches per month during 
this time although they are also exposed to 
occasional short-lived droughts. Fall rains may 
average over 2 inches per month. Winter snows, 
particularly in the north, are common. The 
humidity averages between 60 and 70 percent most 
of the year, with some portions having a higher 
average in the fall and winter. The relatively high 
amounts of rainfall and seasonally warm tempera- 
tures combine to provide very favorable conditions 
for plant growth. 

The area is generally windy. Average speeds 
near the ground are 11-14 mph. When precipita- 
tion has been sparse fugitive dust and dust storms 
are common. The winds are typically out of the 
west and northwest in the winter and out of the 
south the rest of the year. This area is subject to 
many tornadoes every year. 

Air quality, in terms of particulate, sulfur 
dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide content, is good in 



4-14 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



most areas of the region. Some variation does exist, 
particularly in urbanized areas of the region. These 
variations are located in Kansas City, Missouri, 
where moderate particulate matter and sulfur 
dioxide levels occur; Omaha, Nebraska, where 
moderate particulate matter and sulfur dioxide 
occur; and Tulsa, Oklahoma, where low particu- 
late matter and moderate nitrogen dioxide occur. 
Most of this region has abundant supplies of 
water, including a considerable number of lakes 
and reservoirs. However, most industries and 
municipalities must treat surface water and some 
groundwater before use. The quality of surface 
water ranges from low dissolved solids and high 
sediment concentrations during high flow periods 
to high dissolved solids and low sediment content 
during low flows. 

Surface-water runoff averages about 7 inches 
over most of the region, ranging from 3 inches in 
the northwestern to extremes of 30 inches in the 
southern mountains. Where standing bodies of 
water exist in the region, evaporation ranges from 
about 36 inches in the north to 54 inches in the 
southwest. Devastating floods resulting from thun- 
derstorms are not uncommon. 

The quality of the surface water is generally 
good, especially in the east where the total 
dissolved solids are generally moderate. In the 
western part of the region, particularly in the 
northwestern and southwestern areas, the rivers 
not only carry a greater concentration of total 
dissolved solids but a much heavier load of 
suspended solids. The Des Moines, Iowa, Missou- 
ri, and Arkansas Rivers have the poorest quality 
water. In some streams, oil-field wastes and other 
industrial and municipal wastes have created 
serious problems. 

Groundwater conditions vary widely with 
respect to quantity and quality. In the Iowa and 
northern Missouri portion of the region, well yields 
vary, but wells are generally less than 250 feet 
deep. Groundwater supplies in the unglaciated 
southern portion of the region can be obtained 
from river alluvium, shale, sandstone, limestone, 
and dolomite aquifers. The river alluvium general- 
ly yields moderate to large supplies of water of 
good quality. The shallow sandstone and limestone 
bedrock aquifers generally yield less than 25 
gallons per minute of medium to poor quality 
water. In some parts of the area wells over 1,000 
feet deep which penetrate the Cambrian and 



Ordovician carbonate aquifers underlying the coal 
bearing strata yield over 500 gallons per minute of 
good to medium quality water. The dense slaty 
shale and hard sandstone that largely make up the 
Ouachita Mountains yield a poor supply of 
groundwater in that area. 

The soils of the region vary considerably but 
are mostly sedimentary in origin. Soils range from 
organic rich bottomland to sandy hillside loams. 
The dominant soils in the northern part of the 
region are black organic rich soils that often have a 
brown clay subsoil. These soils developed from 
glacial till or loess and are generally quite fertile. 
The prevailing soil in the south is a dark red loam, 
made up of decomposed sandstone and limestone. 
The river valleys often have rich deposits of 
alluvium. 

The Western Interior Coal Region includes a 
portion of the continent where the eastern decidu- 
ous forests merge with the prairies and plains of 
the west. Accordingly, there is a transition between 
the vegetative communities typical of both biomes. 
The deciduous forest, tall-grass prairie, and transi- 
tional zones, including the savannahs, make up the 
major habitat types. This mixture of habitats 
within the region provides suitable food, shelter, 
and cover for a variety of wildlife. 

The mixed oak-hickory forest association is 
common in the eastern portion of the region, 
grading to oak-hickory-pine forest in the south- 
eastern portion. Associated understory vegetation 
includes dogwood, redbud, holly, sassafras, winged 
elm, wild grape, spicebush, sumac, and numerous 
native grasses and forbs. On well-shaded slopes, 
mosses, liverworts, and fruticose lichens form a 
continuous mat over the surface of the ground. 
Few mammalian species develop large populations 
in these forest associations. Whitetail deer, rac- 
coon, red fox, gray fox, eastern gray squirrel, fox 
squirrel, brush mouse, eastern woodrat, eastern 
cottontail, striped skunk, and opossum are typical 
mammals. Typical birds include those that prefer 
the upper canopy layers, such as vireos and 
warblers, and those occupying the lower canopy 
and the forest floor, such as thrashers, wood 
pewee, rufous-sided towhee, cardinal, wild turkey, 
and ruffed grouse. 

The bottomland forest association occupies 
fertile bottomland soils of alluvial origin. This 
vegetative association is found along water bodies 
and stream courses. The more common species are 



4-15 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



willow, cottonwood, American elm, sycamore, and 
sweet gum. Boggy areas support a heavy cover of 
herbs and ferns. Understory vegetation consists of 
numerous small trees, shrubs, and lichens. As the 
forests diminish to the west, and the prairies 
become extensive, the relative amount of grassland 
and woodland varies greatly in different parts of 
the region. For the most part, grassland vegetation 
consists of a mixture of such dominants as big 
bluestem, little bluestem, Indian grass, silver beard 
grass, and switch grass. Wildlife typical of prairie 
areas and agricultural lands within the region 
include whitetail deer, eastern cottontail, red fox, 
and coyote. Typical birds in these open habitats 
include horned lark, crow, cowbirds, grasshopper 
sparrow, bobwhite, mourning dove, and ring- 
necked pheasant. The greater prairie chicken may 
be found in the savannah type. 

Distribution of water plants usually is not 
controlled in the same way as occurrence of the 
plants growing in adjacent terrestrial habitats. 
Many aquatic species rely on the various lakes, 
ponds, or streams throughout the region. Some are 
restricted to small areas or special types of lakes. 
Species which are common to the aquatic vegeta- 
tion community of the region include water willow, 
cattails, spikerushes, duckweeds, watervelvet, wa- 
ter chinquapin, waterlilies, spatterdock, smooth 
water primrose, and a wide variety of submerged 
aquatic aggregations. 

Water bodies within the region are generally 
highly productive and support a variety of fish 
including bullheads, yellow perch, bluegills, large 
mouth bass, crappie, shiners, and minnows. Fur- 
bearers associated with these aquatic habitats 
include mink, muskrat, beaver, otter, and raccoon. 
Typical birds include red-winged blackbird, her- 
ons, gulls, wood ducks, mallards, scaup, snow and 
Canada geese, and bald eagle. 

Some of the amphibians and reptiles common 
in the region include cricket frog, bullfrog, collared 
lizard, sixlined race runner, box turtle, spiny soft- 
shelled turtle, ringnecked snake, kingsnake, gar- 
tersnake, and ground snake. 

There are 10 species of animals occurring 
within the Western Interior Coal Region that now 
have protected status as endangered species: These 
include the red wolf, Indiana bat, gray bat, 
peregrine falcon, Eskimo curlew, bald eagle, red- 
cockaded woodpecker, and Bachman's warbler. 
Presently, there is only one plant species in this 



region listed as endangered. This is the northern 
wild monkshood, with known distribution in Iowa. 
However, there are numerous other plants under 
consideration for designation as endangered or 
threatened. These may be given protection by the 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

The above-described ecosystems within the 
Western Interior Coal Region's boundaries are 
capable of natural reoccurrence after human 
disturbance. Prairie grasses can reoccur through a 
natural succession process within a few years of 
disturbance. Oak-hickory forests, however, require 
a much longer period to regenerate, although they 
too can naturally reoccur. These ecosystems would 
be reclaimable following coal mining operations; 
however, proper attention would be necessary to 
assist the reclamation process. 

4.3.2 The Environment and Man 

Evidence has been found that man existed in 
the Western Interior Coal Region more than ten 
thousand years ago. Artifacts reveal that wander- 
ing tribes of hunters and gatherers were the first 
inhabitants of the region. Gradually, some of the 
tribes became sedentary and agricultural commu- 
nities developed. The region is rich in archeologi- 
cal sites dating from many periods. Over 60 of 
these sites are included in the National Register of 
Historic Places. 

Recorded history began in 1541 when Francis- 
co Vasquez de Coronado crossed the region in his 
search of the fabled city of Cibola. In the 
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, French 
trappers and hunters wandered down the Missouri 
River and settled on its tributaries. The Missouri 
River was the principal travel route for the 
explorers of the early 1700's, and became the 
standard route for the traders travelling between 
St. Louis and the Mandan Indian villages in the 
northern Great Plains during the 1780's and 
1790's. By 1800 some towns and forts were 
established and some areas in the eastern part of 
the region along the Missouri were settled. 

A new era in the development of the region 
commenced with the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. 
Expeditions were sent by the U.S. Government to 
explore this newly acquired territory for its 
resources. Following further explorations, impor- 
tant trade routes and eventually cattle trails 
became established during the nineteenth century. 
The Texas Road, the Butterfield Stage Line, the 



4-16 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



Chisolm Trail, and the California Road stimulated 
the founding of trading posts and then settlements 
along these routes. 

At present, there are over 450 sites or districts 
from this region included in the National Register 
of Historic Places. These listings include sites 
similar to those in the other eastern regions 
(houses, churches, and courthouses), together with 
a range of sites associated with early travel in the 
area, new settlers, contacts with the American 
Indians, and events of the Civil War. 

The region has a long history related to 
agriculture as the dominant land use. Present day 
agriculture in the region includes the enormously 
productive feed-grain and livestock producing 
areas of central Iowa, much less productive general 
farming in eastern Oklahoma, and poultry produc- 
tion in the Arkansas portion. In the northern 
portion of the region, over 75 percent of the land 
area is in cropland, and a substantial part of this 
area is prime farm land. In the Kansas and 
Missouri portions, cropland represents from 50 to 
70 percent of the land area. In the Oklahoma and 
Arkansan portions, only 15 to 30 percent of all 
land is used for crops but a higher percentage of 
farm land is used as pastures. Principal crops are 
corn, soybeans, peanuts, cotton, grain sorghums, 
hay, and fruit. Along the Arkansas River, the 
cropland is devoted to commercial vegetable 
production for local canneries because of a 
plentiful year-round water supply and excellent 
soil for pasture. 

Although cropland is decreasing in many areas 
and improved pastures are increasing, the size of 
farms shows a decided increase in acreage as 
mechanized farming is now the rule and better 
fertilizers and land management give greater yields 
with less labor. 

In the southern part of the region, where the 
climate is warm and humid, timber is an important 
resource. In recent decades, much of the cleared 
land has been replaced by second and third 
generation forests. Presently, trees are harvested 
for timber and wood products, furniture and 
fixtures, and paper and allied products. 

The presence of coal in the region has been 
known since the 1820's. Mining was not done on a 
commercial scale until the Missouri, Kansas, and 
Texas Railroad was built through McAlester, 
Oklahoma, in 1872. At first, the coal was mined for 
use as domestic and locomotive fuels. As branch 



lines were built out into the various coal fields of 
the region, mining expanded and began producing 
coal for shipment to distant markets. The steadily 
rising production continued and reached an all- 
time high in 1920. However, annual production 
declined after 1920 as railroads began using diesel- 
powered locomotives. Production rose again in the 
late 1940's and 50's, then declined rapidly again as 
industry switched to oil and natural gas for fuel. 
The energy problems of the 1970's triggered a new 
increase in production, with present production 
nearing the production figures of 1920. 

The first natural gas in the region was 
discovered in the Arkansas portion of the Arkoma 
Basin in 1902. The first productive well in the 
Oklahoma portion of the Arkoma Basin was 
drilled near Poteau, in 1910. This discovery 
spurred the drilling of numerous shallow wells in 
the 1910's and 1920's. Many of the zones are still 
productive or are being used for gas storage. 
Presently, the only oil and gas producing States in 
the Western Interior Coal Region are Arkansas, 
Oklahoma, and Kansas. In 1955, rising natural gas 
prices encouraged a new wave of drilling activity. 
Development was hampered at first by the absence 
of an adequate pipeline network, but new pipelines 
were built and drilling activity boomed through the 
mid-1960's. By the late 1960's, however, rapidly 
increasing drilling costs coupled with stagnant or 
slowly rising gas prices discouraged new, large- 
scale drilling activity. In 1973, the energy crisis 
forced natural gas prices upward and drilling 
activity increased again. Higher gas prices and 
steadily advancing drilling technology have en- 
couraged drillers to seek pay zones at ever 
increasing depths, and new wells in a number of 
fields are more than 12,000 feet deep. 

The tourist and recreation industry is of 
moderate economic importance, but the region has 
always been an area of high recreational use. Good 
roads, proximity to population centers, and publi- 
cized recreation resources result in heavy tourist 
traffic. Two national wilderness areas are located 
in national forests that are partially in this region. 
They are Caney Creek with 14,344 acres in the 
Ouachita National Forest, and Upper Buffalo, 
encompassing 10,182 acres of the Ozark National 
Forest. In addition, more than 66 state parks, 40 
state recreational areas, 26 state forests and 
preserves, and 20 other recreation areas lie within 
the region. Combined annual attendance for these 



4-17 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



facilities is over 1 9 million and their present area is 
260,850 acres. 

Principal manufacturing, retail and wholesale 
trade centers in the region are in Des Moines, 
Iowa; Omaha, Nebraska; Kansas City, Missouri; 
Kansas City, Kansas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Fort 
Smith, Arkansas; and Topeka, Kansas. These large 
cities are also executive centers for large business 
such as major oil companies, large corporations, 
financial and banking institutions. Total employ- 
ment and earnings in each employment class 
during 1974 is presented in Table 4-5 along with 
percentage distribution. 

Transportation systems have historically been 
an influential factor in the development of the 
region. The Missouri River provided the principal 
means of access to the west during the early 
portion of the nineteenth century. Later that 
century, development was spurred by the advent of 
the railroads. Today the region is served by eight 
major railways, barge lines, and by truck service 
over a widespread highway network including six 
Interstate Highways. Major air terminals are 
located in all major population centers and several 
cities around the region within relatively easy 
driving distances. Various electrical transmission 
lines, water lines, microwave paths, telephone 
lines, gas lines, and oil lines form a network 
throughout the region. There are no coal slurry 
pipelines in the region. 

Socioeconomic data for the Western Interior 
Coal Region are presented in Table 4-5. The 
population totaled over 5.8 million in 1975 with a 
density of 55 persons per square mile. Farm 
populations vary from 11.3 to 28.1 percent among 
the counties of the region, with urban dwellers 
comprising another 58.5 percent of the total. The 
population was relatively stable during the 1960's 
with a slight gain between 1970 and 1976. 

Land use development and settlement in the 
region occurred in such a manner that there are no 
major tracts of land under the Bureau of Land 
Management's jurisdiction. The only significant 
Federal lands in this region are the Ouachita and 
Ozark National Forests, which are under the 
jurisdiction of the U.S. Forest Service; the DeSoto, 
Squaw Creek, Swan Lake, Flint Hills, and Sequoy- 
ah National Wildlife Refuges, which are under the 
jurisdiction of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 
and scattered reservoirs and military bases, which 



are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department 
of Defense. 

In summary, the region can be described as 
predominately rural, with numerous farms and 
ranches; a variety of second growth timbered areas 
varying from small farm woodlots to managed 
forest tracts; numerous small rural communities 
and large metropolitan industrial centers; and an 
extensive road network which permits mobility 
and accessibility between them. 

4.4 TEXAS COAL REGION 

The Texas Coal Region is located entirely 
within the Gulf Coastal Plain. The region encom- 
passes 37,000 square miles in 51 Texas, four 
Louisiana, and one Arkansas counties. 

4.4.1 The Environment 

The Texas Coal Region has major resources, in 
the form of natural resources, agriculture, and 
industry. Topographically, it consists of gently 
sloping, irregular plains and tablelands. Elevation 
does not exceed 1,000 feet above sea level. The 
area is underlain with sedimentary rock of the 
early Cenozoic Era of about 70 million years ago. 
The soils have never been glaciated. These prehis- 
toric conditions have enabled the preservation of 
numerous fossil formations which are scattered 
throughout Texas. Many formations are closely 
associated with the lignite deposits. 

In terms of historical geology, lignite consti- 
tutes an early stage of development. It is a low 
grade coal and contains separable pieces of plant 
material. The relatively low value of the coal is 
directly correlated with its recent geologic occur- 
rence. Today's lignite deposits resulted from 
accumulations of plant material in river deltas, 
flood plains, and lagoons in the early and middle 
Cenozoic Era. Subsequent sedimentation compact- 
ed this organic matter to its present state. 

The region's lignite reserves are estimated to be 
3.3 billion tons. Both surface and subsurface 
deposits exist in most counties. Generally lignite is 
associated with three major seams which parallel 
the northeast-southwest boundaries of the region. 
Surface lignite is associated with the Wilcox or the 
Yegua- Jackson Group, while subsurface lignite is 
associated with a seam commonly referred to as 
the Texas Deep-Basin deposit. Surface deposits are 
usually less than 90 feet deep and are often found 
in seams that are 10 to 20 feet thick. Many seams, 



4-lt 



TABLE 4-5 

POPULATION AND ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS IN THE 
WESTERN INTERIOR REGION (a) 



1975 Total Population 




5,883 


,113 




Total Area (square mi] 


es) a 


106 


,957 




Population per square 


mile (1975) 




55.0 




Per Capita Personal Income (1975) 


$5 


,209 




Per Capita Personal Income as a 








Percent of National 


Average (1975) 




103 




— ' 




PERCENT 


EARNINGS 


PERCENT 


ECONOMIC SECTOR 


EMPLOYMENT 


OF 

TOTAL 


(in thousands 
of dollars) 


OF 
TOTAL 


Livestock 


120,941 


5 


695,712 


3 


Other Agriculture 


148,071 


6 


1,189,313 


5 


Metal Mining 


- 


- 


— 


" 


Coal Mining 


4,398 


0-1 


24,330 


0-1 


Oil and Gas 


7,000 


0-1 


351,942 


1 


Other Mining 


9,950 


0-1 


56,561 


0-1 


Construction 


100,263 


4 


1,509,177 


6 


All Manufacturing 


453,746 


19 


4,963,749 


21 


Transportation, 










Communication, 










and Public 
Utilities 


121,222 


5 


2,276,548 


10 


Wholesale and 
Retail Trade 


499,512 


21 


4,330,842 


18 


Finance, Insurance, 
and Real Estate 


122,726 


5 


1,326,721 


6 


Other Services 


326,544 


14 


3,305,990 


14 


Federal Govt. 


120,799 


5 


1,458,612 


6 


State and Local 
Govt. 


330,042 


14 


2,338,467 


10 


TOTAL 


2,365,214 


23,827,964 





( a ) Demographic information which is based on all counties either totally 
or partially within regional boundaries. 



4-19 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



however, are thinner and are thus presently 
unattractive for development. Texas Deep-Basin 
coal is found up to 5,000 feet below the surface. 
Most of the subsurface deposits are found in the 
northeastern half of the region. 

Other significant mineral resources are located 
within this area of Texas and Louisiana. This 
region is a very major contributor to the nation's 
petroleum and natural gas production. In addition, 
ample iron ore, clay, sand, and gravel reserves are 
available to supply regional construction needs. 

Soils of sandy, silty, or clay loams overlay the 
mineral deposits throughout the region. Soil 
conditions vary from acidic to basic at varying 
locations. The soil's organic content also varies 
among locations, depending not only on natural 
conditions but also on the particular land use. Soil 
moisture and consequently soil productivity varies 
extensively from northeast to southwest according 
to the degree of precipitation and irrigation. 

Climatic conditions are such that the region 
receives about 48 inches of precipitation in the 
northeast but only 16 inches in the southwest. This 
variance is due largely to the variability in the 
influence of the Gulf of Mexico. The northeastern 
area is more heavily influenced by the sub-tropical 
winds from the Gulf. The result is a more humid 
climate. Proceeding southwesterly, the Gulfs 
influence diminishes and the region is subjected to 
the wind currents from interior Mexico and the 
Southwest. The result is thus an increasingly arid 
climate in the southwestern portion of the region. 
These conditions create periodic droughts in the 
southwestern portion. They do not, however, 
permit any measurable quantities of snowfall. 

Winters are cool with daily mean temperatures 
ranging from 64°F in the northeast to 70°F in the 
southwest. Summers are hot. Record temperatures 
throughout the region exceed 100°F. Temperatures 
in excess of 100°F occur every summer. 

Average wind speeds are approximately 10 
miles per hour and are generally southerly or 
southeasterly. An outstanding characteristic is 
their steadiness and persistence. The region is 
continually and consistently ventilated so that no 
major concentrations of air pollutants (sulfur 
dioxide, nitrogen dioxides, and particulates) are 
found within its boundaries. Minor concentrations 
of particulates do, however, occur at Waco, Tyler, 
Austin, and San Antonio, Texas. 



Like the climate, the region's water characteris- 
tics change from northeast to southwest. Runoff is 
substantial in the northeast (up to 16 inches a 
year), but is essentially nonexistent in the south- 
west (down to 1 inch a year). Potential evapotran- 
spiration in the area is highest of all the regions, 
averaging 42 inches a year over most of the region 
and exceeding 54 inches a year in the extreme 
southwest. 

Numerous streams, including the Sabine, 
Brazos, Red, Neches, Trinity, Colorado, and 
Nueces Rivers, drain the region and empty into the 
Gulf of Mexico. The combined flow of these rivers 
and their tributaries is 61.5 million acre-feet per 
year. Stream sediment levels decrease to the 
northeast as precipitation and runoff increase. 
Total dissolved solids range from 270 to over 1,900 
milligrams per liter in streams in the western part, 
and from less than 350 to over 1,200 milligrams per 
liter in eastern parts of the region. Streams in the 
area may carry up to several thousand milligrams 
per liter in areas affected by salt seeps and oil-field 
activities. Of the total surface water withdrawn, 
15.5 million acre-feet are consumptively used each 
year, primarily for irrigation and industry. 

Groundwater is abundant and of good quality. 
Very high yields, over 1,000 gallons per minute, 
have been reported from both bedrock and alluvial 
aquifers. The water generally contains less than 
500 milligrams per liter of total dissolved solids, 
but quality deteriorates with increasing depth. In 
the southwestern part of the area, some natural 
groundwaters contain high levels of trace metals 
and fluoride. Additionally, groundwater quality 
has been affected in some areas by oil-field 
activities. Groundwater use in the region is 
approximately 75,000 acre-feet per year, primarily 
for public and industrial water supply. 

The interplay of these environmental factors 
contributes to considerable ecological diversity 
within the region. From northeast to southwest 
there is a transition in natural vegetation from oak- 
hickory-pine forest, to oak-hickory forest, to 
mesquite-oak savannah, and lastly to mesquite- 
acacia savannah. Of the deciduous forest species, 
blackjack oak, post oak, and shagbark hickory 
associations are the more prevalent. Much of the 
natural vegetation is presently thriving, as approxi- 
mately 30 percent of the total region is forested. 
The primary tree species in the coniferous 
forests are loblolly pine, shortleaf pine, and 



4-20 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



longleaf pine. The vegetation of the region's flood 
plains differs, however. Cypress, sweetbay, mai- 
dencane, cattails, pondweeds, alligator weed, and 
watermilfoil are dominant plant species in these 
locations. Mixed shrubs and grasses are the most 
common types of flora in the mesquite savannahs. 
In addition to mesquite and acacia, major species 
include yucca, juniper, little bluestem, gramma, 
wheatgrass, needlegrass, and buffalograss. 

The diverse associations of flora serve as 
habitats for a variety of wildlife populations. For 
example, populations of raccoon, fox squirrel, wild 
turkey, and red-eyed vireo thrive in the forests 
while populations of bobwhite, ringtail cat, eastern 
cottontail, and fulvous harvest mouse thrive in the 
savannahs. Species common throughout the region 
include armadillo, coyote, peccary, and whitetail 
deer. Major fish include catfish, minnows, shiners, 
and various gamefish such as black bass, crappie, 
spotted bass, and sunfish. 

Most of the species that exist in the region have 
proven to be somewhat compatible with man. 
Some species, however, are more adaptable to 
human habitation. They are, therefore, common in 
areas that border agricultural, natural resource, or 
community developments. Other species are more 
sensitive to human activity. Their populations have 
diminished to the point where they are rare or in 
danger of extinction. Federally listed endangered 
species of wildlife include the Houston toad, 
Mexican duck, whooping crane, peregrine falcon, 
bald eagle, red wolf, American alligator, and 
fountain darter. Presently, there is only one species 
of plant listed as endangered by the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service. This is Texas wild rice. Numerous 
other plants are under consideration for designa- 
tion as endangered. They may eventually be listed 
as threatened or endangered. 

The ecosystems within the Texas Coal Region 
are not particularly fragile. The forests and 
savannahs can sustain a degree of disruption and 
eventually return to a natural state. This is 
presently being demonstrated in areas where there 
was earlier widespread clear-cutting of deciduous 
and coniferous forests. Within decades these lands 
became reforested through natural successions. 
Disturbed vegetation may take many years to 
mature to an oak-hickory climax forest similar to 
original virgin timber. Nevertheless, immature 
oak-hickory-pine associations can reoccur natural- 
ly within 50 years. Mesquite savannahs can 



regenerate even more quickly. Additionally the 
gently rolling topography is not overly vulnerable 
to erosion, although localized erosion problems 
exist, paricularly in the southwestern portion of the 
region. In summary, the ecosystem within the 
Texas Region could be reclaimed with proper 
management, should the surface be disturbed by 
coal mining. 

4.4.2 The Environment and Man 

The natural resources of the Texas Coal 
Region have historically attracted man. Prior to 
the European colonization of North America, the 
region supported Indian populations from the 
Caddo, Wichita, Tonkawa, Lipan, and Desert 
Tribes. Hunting was the main means of survival. 
Bison, deer, and smaller birds, mammals, and 
reptiles were primary food sources. 

The land was not visited by Europeans until 
the sixteenth century. In 1542 a Spaniard named 
Mosoco, who had been a member of de Soto's 
party, entered the Texas Region from the north- 
east, proceeded southwesterly to about the center 
of the region, and then returned by the same route. 
Mosoco's exploration initiated Spanish coloniza- 
tion of the area. 

Over the next three centuries Spanish colonists 
settled the area and missions and small farms were 
established. By the nineteenth century, the produc- 
tivity of the land also proved attractive to the 
westward expanding states. English speaking peo- 
ple began migrating to the area. Conflicts resulted 
between the Spaniards from Mexico and the 
citizens of the United States. War eventually 
resulted with troops lead by Sam Houston and 
Santa Anna. The Mexicans were defeated, and the 
U.S. obtained possession of the land. After 10 
years as an independent republic, Texas joined the 
Union in 1845. 

By 1850, the northeastern half of the region 
had been settled by westward migrating pioneers. 
The area's flood plains were settled first because of 
their agricultural productivity and proximity to 
water. Timber and clay resources were more than 
adequate to supply all needs for construction 
materials. By 1890 cities and towns were scattered 
throughout the region. The region proved especial- 
ly attractive to ranchers and farmers. The vast 
grasslands of the southwestern portion could 
readily support cattle or sheep, and extensive 
ranches were developed in this area. In the wooded 



4-21 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



territory of the northeast, some of the land was 
cleared for pasture or the cultivation of cash crops. 
The central ecotone between the grassland and 
forestland (mesquite-oak savannah) supported 
both farming and ranching. Environmental condi- 
tions permitted the widespread cultivation of 
cotton in the northeastern central areas. Much of 
the land still supports cattle and sheep production 
and the cultivation of cotton and other cash crops. 
Currently, approximately 70,000 persons, or about 
10 percent of the total regional work force are 
employed in the agricultural sector. 

The vast stands of virgin timber in the 
northeast continue to be highly productive. Exten- 
sive lumbering operations began about 1880. The 
economics of the industry, at that time, required 
the harvesting of only large diameter trees. Within 
decades, however, construction material and paper 
demands grew with the population, and all timber 
stands became valuable. By 1930, all virgin timber 
stands had been harvested. Presently, timber 
demand still is high particularly for pulpwood 
production in the northeast; however, primarily 
second and some third generation timber is being 
harvested. 

In addition to timber, numerous other re- 
sources were developed for use as twentieth 
century construction material. Clay for brick 
manufacturing is plentiful in the area. Ample sand 
and gravel supplies are available for use as cement 
for buildings or concrete for highways. Large 
deposits of iron ore are found throughout the 
northeastern portion. The ore is a low grade brown 
ore, but is being actively mined for use as a 
highway construction material. 

Perhaps the most attractive natural resources 
within the Texas Coal Region are the energy 
minerals. In addition to lignite, oil and gas are 
abundant. Texas became the leading State in the 
country for production of both oil and gas. Much 
of these resources are produced within the bound- 
aries of the Texas Coal Region. The region is 
presently producing more oil and gas than it 
consumes, and contributes significantly to the 
country's energy demands. The low grade lignite 
found within the region has not been economically 
competitive with oil and gas. Until recently, the 
higher grade bituminous and anthracite coals were 
of greater economic value to industry. According- 
ly, no major development of the region's lignite 
deposits has occurred to date. Scattered localized 



development of lignite, however, is occurring for 
intraregional industrial use. Industries are, never- 
theless, becoming interested in lignite develop- 
ment. 

The demand for the region's numerous re- 
sources also created a demand for a transportation 
network with the capacity to accommodate the 
movement of bulk commodities, as well as people 
and their necessities. The entire region is cris- 
scrossed by a diversified network of rail main lines 
and branch lines operated by the Missouri Pacific, 
Southern Pacific, St. Louis Southwestern, Atchison 
Topeka and Santa Fe, Louisana and Arkansas, 
Texas and Pacific, and Missouri-Kansas-Texas 
railways. The region's highway network is com- 
posed of numerous county, State, and Federal 
highways, all of which can lead eventually to 
access to the major Interstate Highways. The 
pipeline system is composed of oil and gas lines. 
No coal slurry pipelines are located in the region. 
Natural resource development has led to 
dramatic socioeconomic changes for the region 
during the twentieth century. Table 4-6 presents 
pertinent socioeconomic data which provides 
information on the relative importance of specific 
sectors of the region's economy. In addition to 
rural development, community and urban growth 
has been inspired by resource-dependent industry. 
Industrial growth has been and still is a dynamic 
phenomenon in the region. Currently, approxi- 
mately 150,000 workers, or about 17 percent of the 
total regional labor force, is in the manufacturing 
sector. Industrial growth concentrations include 
Tyler, Longview, Bryan, and San Antonio, Texas, 
and Shreveport, Louisiana. These cities are absorb- 
ing growth in a relatively organized manner. 

The resource-oriented economic base of the 
region has brought prosperity to the Texas Coal 
Region. Surplus resources are exported, thereby 
resulting in an influx of revenues. Regional capital, 
together with an adequate labor pool, has been 
capable of supporting industrial development. 
They are available for continued resource develop- 
ment. 

Cultural development within the Texas Coal 
Region provides the area with an interesting 
history. Indian artifacts can be found throughout 
the region. Historical sites from the Alamo to 
Lyndon Baines Johnson's boyhood home are 
located within its boundaries. Approximately 150 
such sites are listed on the National Register of 



4-22 



TABLE 4-6 

POPULATION AND ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS IN THE 
TEXAS REGION ( a ' 



1975 Total Population 




2,526,616 




Total Area (square miles) 




45,900 




Population per square 


mile (1975) 




55.1 




Per Capita Personal Income (1975) 




$4,398 




Per Capita Personal Income as a 

Percent of National Average (1975) 




87 




ECONOMIC SECTOR 


EMPLOYMENT 


PERCENT 
OF 
TOTAL 


EARNINGS 

(in thousands 

of dollars) 


PERCENT 
OF 
TOTAL 


Livestock 


28,613 


3 


126,314 


2 


Other Agriculture 


52,818 


6 


167,179 


2 


Metal Mining 


270 


0-1 


2,623 


0-1 


Coal Mining 


672 


0-1 


3,149 


0-1 


Oil and Gas 


14,191 


2 


231,256 


3 


Other Mining 


1,657 


0-1 


5,099 


0-1 


Construction 


52,274 


6 


533,911 


7 


All Manufacturing 


149,330 


17 


1,471,359 


18 


Transportation, 










Communication, 










and Public 
Utilities 


31,239 


3 


524,726 


6 


Wholesale and 
Retail Trade 


182,096 


20 


1,381,368 


17 


Finance, Insurance, 
and Real Estate 


35,398 


4 


349,263 


4 


Other Services 


113,792 


13 


1,164,056 


14 


Federal Govt. 


104,125 


12 


1,275,904 


16 


State and Local 
Govt. 


130,791 


15 


914,083 


11 


TOTAL 


897,266 


8,150,290 





(a) Demographic information which is based on all counties either totally 
or partially within regional boundaries. 



4-23 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



Historic Places. The Chisholm and Old Cattle 
Trails, currently proposed for the National System 
of Trails, are being considered for protection and 
preservation. 

The region's population growth and settlement 
patterns have been such that no surface land 
ownership is presently under the Bureau of Land 
Management's jurisdiction. The major Federal 
lands in the region are Camp Swift and the Sam 
Rayburn Reservoir and the Sommerville Reser- 
voir, which are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. 
Department of Defense and portions of the Sabine, 
Davy Crockett, Sam Houston, and Angelino 
National Forests, which are under the jurisdiction 
of the U.S. Forest Service. 

4.5 POWDER RIVER COAL REGION 

The Powder River Coal Region is the south- 
west portion of the Northern Great Plains. The 
region encompasses about 31,300 square miles in 
eight Montana and eight Wyoming counties. 

4.5.1 The Environment 

The region is on a broad plain bordered by the 
Rocky Mountains on the west, the Black Hills 
uplift on the east, and the Missouri River on the 
north. The area is covered primarily with the thin 
stony deposits characteristic of a semi-arid area, 
with recent alluvial deposits and terrace gravels in 
the floodplains. These alluvial deposits of sand and 
silt with lenses of gravel usually occur in thick- 
nesses up to 15 feet along the major rivers of the 
area and 10 to 15 feet along the tributaries. 

Rocks are mostly sedimentary, and rest nearly 
horizontal except along the flanks of the Bighorn 
Mountains where they turn up sharply. The 
sedimentary rocks consist of several thousand feet 
of sandstone, shale, limestone, conglomerate, and 
beds of sub-bituminous coal. Some of these beds 
were deposited on the floors of ancient seas that 
extended across the continent; others were depos- 
ited in deltas or tidal areas along the margins of the 
seas or inland in broad basins. Coal formed in tidal 
swamps and marshes along the marine shores, and 
also in swamps and lakes on the flood plains of 
major drainage systems of inland basins which 
developed after the continents were uplifted and 
the seas retreated. Coal of commercial interest is 
contained in the Tongue River member of the Fort 
Union Formation and the overlying Wasatch 
Formation. 



In general, the coal beds are thickest in the 
northern parts of the region and across the gently 
dipping northern and eastern sides of the Powder 
River basin in Wyoming. A large proportion of 
this coal lies in near-surface beds that are readily 
available to surface mining. The region contains 
approximately 142.5 billion tons of sub-bituminous 
coal resources. 

The thickness of these beds is unsurpassed 
anywhere in the U.S. The Wyodak seam in the 
Wyoming portion of the basin is as much as 120 
feet thick, and contains 212,400 tons of coal per 
acre within a few feet of the surface. In the central 
parts of the region, south of the Yellowstone River 
in Montana, there are several beds with equally 
abundant coal in near-surface seams. 

In addition to coal, extensive deposits of oil 
and gas are found in the Wyoming portion of the 
region and in Montana around the Bull Moun- 
tains. Uranium is also found in the Wyoming 
portion. Underlying the entire Powder River Coal 
Region south of the Yellowstone is the Madison 
Group, which is considered the top part of the 
major aquifer of the basin. This aquifer dips very 
steeply off the flanks of the Bighorn Mountains to 
a point about 15,000 feet below the surface. The 
Madison Group rises gently from this point toward 
the Yellowstone River and the Black Hills where it 
outcrops. The Madison Group is about 200 feet 
thick near the south end of the basin and gradually 
thickens toward the Yellowstone where it is up to 
1,400 feet thick. 

The regional climate, is continental and semi- 
arid. Frontal systems from the Pacific regularly 
cross the area, but have dropped most of their 
moisture on the western slopes of the Rocky 
Mountains. About a dozen times a year, winter 
storms from the north swing through the area, 
bringing windy and often intensely cold weather 
with rarely significant moisture. These cold waves 
are often modified by periods of milder weather 
created by "chinook" winds. These winds, warm 
and dry, frequently reach 25-50 mph and may 
persist for several days. Spring and summer bring 
some moisture; however, the area is considered 
dry. 

The average annual temperature varies little 
throughout the area, with most points averaging 
45 °F. Maximum temperatures occur in July when 
100°F temperatures are recorded. The arctic 
outbreaks in winter bring extreme cold in January 



4-24 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



and February, with record lows in many areas of - 
50°F. 

Seventy-five percent of the average annual 
precipitation of 14 inches falls between April and 
September. At least half occurs during late spring 
and early summer, at the start of the growing 
season. Despite the region's aridity, flooding is 
common in the spring when rapid snow melt 
produces heavy runoff. 

Perhaps the most important climatic feature in 
shaping the region is the recurrence of drought 
cycles. Though this region is characterized as semi- 
arid, it varies from humid in some years to arid in 
others and is never predictable. 

The region is windy, with average speeds of 12 
mph. The prevailing direction is westerly, but 
directions near terrain features may vary consider- 
ably. Surface-based inversions occur on 75-85 
percent of the mornings, summer and winter; and 
on winter afternoons, surface based inversions 
occur about 35 percent of the time. Stable 
conditions are prevalent in spite of generally windy 
conditions, and these circumstances contribute to 
the high summertime afternoon mixing heights. 

Air quality in the region is generally good. 
Some variations do exist around populated areas 
and even more so in areas where coal surface 
mining is presently taking place. In Montana, the 
particulate air quality is very good except for the 
Colstrip area in Rosebud County and the Billings 
area in Yellowstone County. The Colstrip area, 
where surface mining and electric generation are 
taking place, is not meeting the primary standard 
for particulates. The Billings area is not meeting 
the secondary standard. Particulate air quality in 
the Wyoming counties is better than the national 
standards. However, in areas where substantial 
coal surface mining is taking place (such as 
Campbell and Converse counties in Wyoming), the 
air quality in the immediate area of the mine site 
may not be as good. Sulfur dioxide air quality is 
better than the national standard throughout the 
region, with the exception of Billings. 

The major streams of the region are the 
Yellowstone, Big Horn, Powder, Tongue, Belle 
Fourche, and Musselshell Rivers. Surface reser- 
voirs for regulation of streamflow have a combined 
capacity of about 2.5 million acre-feet. Surface 
water runoff is low, about half an inch per year. 
Potential evapotranspiration over most of the area 



is less than 24 inches a year, but in the Yellowstone 
River lowlands it rises to as much as 36 inches. 
Surface water quality is variable. The Powder 
and Big Horn Rivers commonly carry concentra- 
tions of dissolved solids in excess of 1,000 mg/liter. 
Streams with heavy sediment load are the Powder 
and the Yellowstone, ranging from a low of about 
270 mg/liter to a high 1,900 mg/liter. Over the 
remainder of the area, the sediment loads are 
variable and can exceed 1,900 mg/liter. 

The occurrence of groundwater in the region is 
far from uniform. In Montana, there are large 
areas where shallow wells will yield only 2 to 4 
gpm, but wells drilled into the bedrock aquifers, 
such as the Hell Creek and Fox Hills Formations 
(Cretaceous) or the Fort Union (Paleocene) may 
yield more than 50 gpm. Many wells drilled in the 
Powder River and Yellowstone River Valleys flow 
under artesian pressure, but lowering of artesian 
pressures sometimes necessitates pumping. Much 
of the southern and southeastern region is under- 
lain by several thousand feet of non-productive 
shales. Groundwater can be produced at a rate of 
up to several hundred gpm from wells in permea- 
ble valley fills along major streams. The greatest 
development of these alluvial deposits is along the 
Yellowstone River and its tributaries. 

The Madison Limestone Formation underlies 
the region at considerable depths, and is currently 
being tested by the U.S. Geological Survey as a 
potential source of water supply for the coal 
industry. Recent studies indicate that the water is 
chemically suitable, but the quantity available for 
withdrawal is unknown. 

Groundwater quality is variable. Generally, at 
depths greater than 500 feet, all groundwater has 
more than 1,000 mg/liter of total dissolved solids. 
The amount of groundwater withdrawn in 1975 for 
consumptive uses was about 124,000 acre-feet, of 
which about 34,000 acre-feet was actually con- 
sumed. The largest use was for irrigation, and the 
second largest use for self-supplied industries. 

Groundwater in storage is about 1.4 million 
acre-feet in the near-surface alluvial aquifer mate- 
rial. Estimated reserves from the deep Madison 
limestone, however, are unknown, although esti- 
mates range up to over one billion acre-feet. 

Topographically, the region can be divided 
into three general areas: the Powder River drain- 
age in Wyoming, the Tongue River drainage in 
Montana, and the area north of the Yellowstone 



4-25 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



River. The Wyoming area drained by the Powder 
River has gently undulating topography with clay 
and loam soils that have a large amount of sodium 
in the clays. These soils are dry much of the year 
and their relative productivity is poor. Exceptions 
are the locally important and more productive soils 
associated with flood plains of the Powder River, 
Little Powder River, and lesser tributaries. These 
flood plains with alluvial soils are often broadly 
terraced and have high water tables. Typical flood 
plain vegetation includes cottonwood, willow, 
green ash, boxelder, chokecherry, greasewood, salt 
grass, and western wheatgrass. Wildlife ranging 
over many miles of the adjacent plains rely on 
these flood plains for critical resource needs. 

The remainder of the Wyoming portion of the 
region can be generally classed short-grass prairie, 
grassland-sagebrush, and sagebrush steppe. These 
vegetation types may seem monotonous and 
unproductive. They are, however, a complex 
assemblage of plants that are well adapted to the 
extremes of weather which occur in the area. Lying 
dormant during periods of drought, they are 
capable of quick response to precipitation, produc- 
ing significant quantities of foliage of high nutrient 
value. Besides the common grasses and sagebrush, 
there is an abundance of forbs that increase the 
species diversity and resilience of the vegetative 
community, which in turn supports a diverse 
assemblage of animals. 

North of the Wyoming border in the Tongue 
River basin and the lower reaches of the Powder 
River there is a change in topography and an 
associated change in soils, vegetation, and wildlife. 
The dominant soil in the Tongue River basin is 
loam with fair to very good productivity. The area 
is highly dissected by numerous small drainages 
dominated by two major vegetation types, grass- 
land-sagebrush and ponderosa pine. The pondero- 
sa pine type occurs on uplands, ridges, and north 
slopes that have shallow loam soils. Prominent 
species of plants are ponderosa pine, snowberry 
bluegrasses, fescues, and June grass. 

North of the Yellowstone, the Powder River 
Coal Region is dominated by soil types not found 
south of the river. The undulating to hilly land has 
shallow to moderately deep loamy soils that are 
nearly always dry and hence have low productivi- 
ty. These lands are vegetated by the mid-to-short- 
grass prairie type, characterized by such species as 
western wheatgrass, needle-and-thread grass, and 



blue grama grass. On the northern border of the 
region along the Missouri River are the "Breaks", 
highly dissected land forms similar to the Badlands 
in North and South Dakota. 

In general, the region can be considered part of 
the short-grass prairie. The high annual turnover of 
net primary production in its grasslands and 
sagebrush steppe communities provides a food 
base for a wide variety of mammals. Grazing 
animals, burrowing mammals, and ground-nesting 
birds are characteristic of the grasslands. Insect life 
is abundant, varied, and heavily utilized as food 
for many secondary consumers. Sagebrush is 
prominent in the vegetation composition in parts 
of the grassland, especially in the southern part of 
the region, and is important to pronghorn antelope 
and Brewer's sparrows and virtually essential to 
sage grouse. Large herbivores such as bison and 
antelope were present in great number during 
presettlement times. Today, bison have been 
replaced as the primary grazing animals by 
domestic livestock as horses, cattle, and sheep 
often compete with herbivores. 

Practices used in livestock production have 
sometimes disrupted the grassland ecosystem to 
the detriment of various wildlife species. Examples 
are predator and rodent control programs and 
sagebrush eradication in antelope or sage grouse 
wintering areas. Antelope are still numerous in the 
grasslands; investigations have shown that they are 
highly dependent on the brush and forb compo- 
nents of the grassland for survival. Typical smaller 
mammals include the masked shrew, white-tailed 
jackrabbit (northwest), black-tailed jackrabbit 
(southeast), desert cottontail, black-tailed prairie 
dog, northern pocket gopher, the plains pocket 
gopher (south), coyote, long-tail weasel, badger, 
and prairie spotted skunk. Reptiles include the 
prairie rattlesnake and eastern short-horned lizard. 
Birds include the ferruginous hawk, sharp-tailed 
grouse, mountain plover, burrowing owl, horned 
lark, western meadowlark, lark bunting, savannah 
sparrow, grasshopper sparrow, vesper sparrow, 
and McCown's longspur. Drought and severe 
winter storms occur periodically, and some animal 
populations can fluctuate widely from year to year. 
In the ecotone area between the montane 
coniferous forest and the grasslands, animal 
species characteristic of the coniferous forest and 
of the forest edge will often be found. Some of 
these animals, such as mule deer and elk, also 



4-26 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



occur in extensions or scattered islands of conifer- 
ous forest and related subtypes within the grass- 
land. Typical mammals of the coniferous forest 
and forest edge include the golden-mantled ground 
squirrel, least chipmunk, red squirrel, bushy-tailed 
wood rat, boreal redback vole, porcupine, mule 
deer, elk, and bobcat. Birds include the golden 
eagle, Clark's nutcracker, mountain chickadee, 
mountain bluebird, and pygmy nuthatch. 

The deciduous forest edge extends into the 
shortgrass plains along stream drainages. As the 
interior of the continent grew arid in prehistoric 
times, many species of deciduous trees together 
with their associated animals were able to persist 
along the stream. These tongues of forest greatly 
extend the forest edge, increasing the number of 
species that can live in the grasslands. Some 
species are common to the deciduous forest edge 
over most of its range, and others are found only in 
the western portion of this type. Typical mammals 
in these areas include the fox squirrel, eastern 
cottontail, whitetail deer, red fox, striped skunk, 
and raccoon. Reptiles include the blue racer, milk 
snake, and red-spotted garter snake. Birds include 
the turkey vulture, sharp-shinned hawk, Cooper's 
hawk, red-tailed hawk, Swainson's hawk, mourn- 
ing dove, common nighthawk, red-shafted flicker, 
violet-green swallow, common crow, black-billed 
magpie, loggerhead shrike, and Brewer's blackbird. 
Aquatic wildlife includes a variety of inverte- 
brates, fishes, birds, mammals, reptiles, and am- 
phibians associated with the stream, lake, and 
pond-marsh communities. Typical inhabitants of 
stream riffles and sand-bottom pools are caddisfly 
larvae, mayfly naiads, stonefly naiads, crayfish, 
and snails. Characteristic species include the 
longnose dace, flathead chub, goldeye, river 
carpsucker, black bullhead, channel catfish, stone- 
cat, plains topminnow, plains killfish, and white 
sucker. Rainbow and brown trout are found in 
suitable larger streams. Other stream-associated 
wildlife include the tiger salamander, plains spade- 
foot toad, great plains toad, leopard frog, and 
snapping turtle. Muskrats use burrows in stream 
banks and feed on streamside vegetation. Beaver 
feed on the aspen, willow, and cottonwoods along 
stream courses and in some localities build dams 
creating pools. 

Species characteristic of the few lakes in the 
region include yellow perch, largemouth bass, 
black crappie, and carp. In deeper, cooler lakes 



rainbow trout are often planted and maintained by 
man. A number of birds commonly inhabit the 
lakes and subsist mainly on fish. Common mergan- 
sers, California gulls, bald eagles, white pelicans, 
and osprey are among them. Swallows consume 
great numbers of emerging midges and other 
insects. 

Wildlife species in this region that are classified 
as endangered are the black-footed ferret, whoop- 
ing crane, bald eagle, and American peregrine 
falcon. Some species, while not endangered 
throughout their range, have remnant populations 
in danger of being eliminated in local areas. This 
has prompted some states to develop "rare and 
endangered" species lists. Wyoming's list includes 
such species as the shovelnose sturgeon, sturgeon 
chub, kit fox, upland plover, and western smooth 
green snake, all of which occur within this region. 
There are no plant species currently listed as 
endangered or threatened; however, some species 
found in this region currently are being considered 
for inclusion. 

4.5.2 The Environment and Man 

The earlier dwellers of the plains are believed 
to have been the Paleo Indians of the Big-Game 
Hunting Tradition. 

Although not well documented within this 
region, the Paleo-Indian big game hunting tradi- 
tion of the pre-8000 B.C. period can be character- 
ized by sites such as Brewster and Hell Gap 
immediately to the east and southeast of the 
region. The Hell Gap site in Niobrara County, 
Wyoming, produced evidence of several occupa- 
tion levels to approximately 9000 B.C. This region 
is in the transition area from the Eastern Archaic 
to the western Desert Culture, occupied in the pre- 
1000 B.C. period by the Middle Prehistoric cultural 
complex. The final cultural development produced 
the Plains Bison Hunter complex that was ances- 
tral to the tribal groups encountered by early 
European explorers. The most common evidence 
are the piles of buffalo bones found at the base of 
small cliffs. The area is rich in archeological 
resources but remains largely uninvestigated with 
no major systematic program having been under- 
taken. Most identified sites were found by accident 
or were attempts to salvage sites being developed 
for mining, industrial, or urban uses. 

The first non-Indians to enter the region were 
seeking beaver. Men like Jim Bridger and Will 



4-27 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



Sublette came into the land as explorers and 
trappers and became trail blazers who led pioneers 
across the great American Desert to the California 
gold fields and the lush Willamette Valley in 
Oregon Territory. Most of the early pioneers 
passed through the region believing that it was 
unsuitable for their agrarian culture. Settlers 
headed for California and Oregon passed through 
during this period. The gold rush to California 
started in 1849 and persisted until 1870. The 
Montana gold strike was in 1865 and it attracted 
more people through the area. 

The influence of the non-Indian culture in the 
plains grew rapidly. The development of the 
telegraph, railroads, cattle drives, and the passage 
of the first Homestead Act in 1862 began the 
process which eliminated the vast buffalo herds. 
Two tribes, the Crow and Northern Cheyenne, 
occupied the region beginning in the 17th Century. 
Both tribes were a mobile society depending on the 
buffalo for a significant part of their consumptive 
needs. Both tribes signed the Friendship Treaty of 
1825 and the Ft. Laramie Treaty of 1851, both of 
which were violated by non-Indians. These viola- 
tions led to conflict. The most famous of this 
period is the 1876 Battle of the Little Big Horn 
where General Custer and his troops were killed. 
Many historic remnants of this period have been 
preserved. In addition to the Custer Battlefield, 
there are many U.S. Army Forts still found in the 
area. 

The Northern Cheyenne and Crow were 
unsuccessful in their attempts to retain the lands 
granted to them in the earlier treaties and eventu- 
ally agreed to move onto their present reservations. 
The Northern Cheyenne Tongue River Reserva- 
tion, consisting of 371,200 acres, was established in 
1884. The name of this reservation has been 
changed to the Northern Cheyenne Indian reserva- 
tion and has been expanded by Tribal land 
purchases to 444,308 acres. 

The treaty of Ft. Laramie granted the Crows a 
hunting reservation of 38,883,174 acres in Mon- 
tana and Wyoming. In 1868 the Federal Govern- 
ment reduced this to 9 million acres which lie 
primarily in Big Horn County, Montana. Sales by 
the Crows and further reductions by the U.S. 
Government reduced the Crow reservation to 
1,569,288 acres. 

Stock raising in the Powder River Coal Region 
became a booming business which grew rapidly 



between the civil war and the 1880's. At first it was 
based on a free open range with the only constraint 
being the number of head a group could put 
together and the availability of stock water. The 
scarcity of water was immediately evident. Devel- 
opment of springs, small retention dams on 
intermittent streams, and the windmill are still the 
critical links in the chain that makes the region's 
grazing lands useful. Conflicts over the use of 
western water continue to this day even at the 
national level. 

In the early days of ranching most cattle were 
left on the range year round. Although winter feed 
was limited, most cattle survived and reproduced 
in sufficient numbers to maintain a viable econo- 
my. Records show that the period from the end of 
the civil war until the end of the 1880's was a 
period of unusually high precipitation. The condi- 
tion of the range and the availability of winter 
forage were significantly higher than could be 
normally expected. However, in the late 1880's, 
particularly the winter of 1886-87, the growing 
cattle empires suffered devastating losses. Severe 
cold and high winds killed hundreds of thousands 
of animals. 

Cattlemen partially addressed this problem by 
insuring a good supply of winter feed. They 
accomplished this by converting bottomlands to 
irrigated hay meadows, the mainstay of the 
industry yet today. Simple one-man stream diver- 
sions grew to cooperative efforts between neigh- 
bors to large ditch companies that not only built 
and maintain diversion and delivery facilities but 
also reservoirs to store the spring runoff for use 
during the summer and late fall. By the 1890's 
irrigation systems could be found in most of the 
areas where their development was practical and 
economical. The opportunity to develop irrigated 
haylands was not as available in the southern part 
of the region. Therefore, many ranchers in this 
region still depend on the range for winter feed 
often supplemented by hay purchased from other 
areas. 

The cattle industry of today is essentially the 
same as it was at the turn of the century. The 
ranches as they now exist in the area are large. 
Average size for Campbell and Converse Counties, 
Wyoming, is over 7,000 acres. Most of these 
ranches are self-contained, but some ranchers 
move cattle and sheep from their base ranches to 
summer ranges on public lands located some 



4-28 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



distance away. Most units utilize some state or 
Federally owned surface rights. Machinery has 
replaced much of the hand labor; smaller outfits 
have been absorbed by larger ones; and local 
owners have in some instances been bought out by 
corporations. For those people on the land their 
life is much the same as those of their grandfathers 
and grandmothers who settled the land. Hay is 
irrigated and cut and stacked in the summer and 
fall. Cattle are rounded up in the fall, fed on the 
home place over winter, and transferred to the 
range for the summer where they feed and grow on 
native vegetation. 

Many of the settlers who began to enter the 
region after the turn of the century came to farm. 
As a result, much of the land in the region has been 
used to produce dryland crops, particularly wheat. 
However, the soils and the rainfall are marginal at 
best and, except for those farms that are irrigated, 
like those along the Yellowstone River. A cycle of 
boom and bust has been the rule. During periods 
of drought, wind erosion starts and tons of soil, 
developed over thousands of years, are lost in a 
matter of days. 

The last few decades have shown a variability 
in amount of dryland farming, crop yields, and 
crop failures. During the 1920's, drought drove 
many homesteaders off the land. The Federal 
Government, operating under the National Indus- 
trial Recovery Act of 1933, Emergency Relief Act 
of 1935, and the Bankhead Jones Act of 1937, 
reacquired many of these eroded lands and 
replanted them with forage plants. Some of these 
lands have been included in the Thunder Basin 
National Grasslands in the southern part of the 
region. 

Many of the above described events are being 
preserved for posterity's sake by historic designa- 
tions. Sheridan and Johnson Counties alone, for 
example, contain more than 65 historic sites 
eligible for or enrolled in the National Register of 
Historic Places. 

Although ranching and farming are the life 
style, and constitute the economic activity general- 
ly associated with the region, the exploitation of 
oil, gas, and uranium have made significant 
economic contributions, particularly in the Wyom- 
ing portion of the region. Table 4-7 presents an 
overview of comparative data for the various 
sectors of the region's economy. 



Oil and/or natural gas have been discovered in 
more than 200 fields within the Wyoming portion 
of the region, and active exploration continues. 
Most of the fields produce from either the Muddy 
Sandstone of Cretaceous age or the Minnelusa 
Formation of Pennsylvanian age. The Cloverly 
Formation of early Cretaceous age is also an 
important producing horizon and lesser amounts 
of oil and/or natural gas come from Sundance, 
Morrison, Mowry, Turner, Niobrara, Shannon, 
Sussex, Parkman, Ferguson, and Teapot Sand- 
stones. 

From the first significant oil discovery at Big 
Muddy Field in 1916 until January 1, 1973, 
production has been more than 400 million barrels 
of oil and about 400 billion cubic feet of gas. The 
remaining recoverable reserves in the region are 
conservatively estimated at more than 200 million 
barrels of oil and more than 500 billion cubic feet 
of natural gas. 

Of the known fields, 66 are actively producing 
and 44 are classified as temporarily nonproductive. 
A majority of the nonproductive fields are shut in, 
waiting for secondary or tertiary recovery proce- 
dures or reactivation to be implemented. 

The average area used by oil well facilities 
including pumper, separator, ponds, pipelines, and 
access roads, does not exceed 15 acres per square 
mile. Where several wells share land facilities or 
are developed with spacing, the area required is 
less than 5 acres per square mile. 

Uranium ore occurs in two mining districts in 
the Wyoming portion of the region: the Pumpkin 
Buttes district in Campbell, Converse, and John- 
son Counties, and the Southern Powder River 
Basin district in Converse County. Host rocks for 
uranium ore in the Pumpkin Buttes district are 
sandstones in the Wasatch Formation. In the 
Southern Powder River Basin district the ore 
occurs in sandstone in the upper part of the Fort 
Union Formation and in the sandstones in the 
Wasatch Formation. 

The uranium industry of Wyoming began m 
the Pumpkin Buttes district with the discovery of 
ore-grade uranium in 1951, and the first commer- 
cial production began in 1953. Early mining was 
for high-grade deposits at or near the surface, from 
pits generally less than 100 feet deep and less than 
5 acres in extent. Between the years 1953 and 1967, 
36,737 tons of ore containing 208,143 pounds of 
uranium were mined from 55 mines in Campbell 



4-29 



TABLE 4-7 



POPULATION AND ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS IN THE 
POWDER RIVER REGION ( a ) 



1975 Total Population 3 

Total Area (square miles) 3 

Population per square mile (1975) 

Per Capita Personal Income (1975) 

Per Capita Personal Income as a 

Percent of National Average (1975) 



228,418 
49,424 

4.6 
$5,648 

111 



ECONOMIC SECTOR 


EMPLOYMENT 


PERCENT 

OF 

TOTAL 


EARNINGS 

tin thousands 

of dollars) 


PERCENT 
OF 
TOTAL 


Livestock 


6,175 


7 


49,958 


5 


Other Agriculture 


2,606 


3 


36,911 


4 


Metal Mining 


246 


0-1 


4,081 


0-1 


Coal Mining 


590 


1 


13,013 


1 


Oil and Gas 


3,385 


4 


79,644 


8 


Other Mining 


636 


1 


4,380 


0-1 


Construction 


5,145 


6 


104,924 


10 


All Manufacturing 


6,379 


7 


103,766 


10 



Transportation, 
Communication, 
and Public 



Utilities 


4,422 


5 


117,568 


11 


Wholesale and 










Retail Trade 


22,541 


26 


188,883 


18 


Finance, Insurance, 










and Real Estate 


3,058 


4 


35,714 


3 


Other Services 


13,105 


15 


143,799 


14 


Federal Govt. 


3,713 


4 


49,145 


5 


State and Local 










Govt. 


14,314 


17 


106,469 


10 


TOTAL 


86,315 


1,038,255 





(a) Demographic information which is based on all 
or partially within regional boundaries. 



counties either totally 



4-30 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



County. By the late 1960's accelerated exploratory 
activity resulted in discovery of significant ore 
bodies in the Southern Powder River Basin 
district. 

Uranium is not presently being mined in the 
Pumpkin Buttes district, but three mines are 
producing in the Southern Powder River Basin 
district from open pits. One company has begun 
development of underground mines. 

The Powder River Region is surrounded by 
recreational resources of unique national signifi- 
cance. The Black Hills, Teton Park, the Bridger 
Wilderness, the Dakota Badlands, and Yellow- 
stone Park annually attract millions of people. 
These tourists frequently travel through the Pow- 
der River Coal Region and experience its natural 
resources. Its primary attributes are clean air, open 
vistas and a kind of solitude not found in many 
areas. The region is sparsely populated; population 
density is about 5 people per square mile. Many of 
these are concentrated in major trade centers like 
Billings, Sheridan, Gillette and Casper. The low 
population levels enhance the quality of the 
recreational activities of camping, fishing, and 
hunting. Many farmers and ranchers become 
guides and this kind of part-time tourist industry 
has had small but important economic benefits to 
ranchers. The major economic benefits, however, 
accrue to the motel and restaurant operators who 
provide services to the tourists as they pass through 
the region to the parks and forests on the edges of 
region. 

The lifestyle of the area is clearly western; 
cowboy boots, pick-up trucks, and big hats are the 
practical symbols of this lifestyle. As the rest of the 
nation is characterized by the mobility of the 
people, this area's common attribute is the stability 
of large segments of the population. A ranch, drug 
store, or farm equipment dealership may have 
been operated by the same family for several 
generations. 

Overall population growth has been very slow 
during the last several decades. There have been 
local booms in towns like Gillette and Sheridan 
and some counties have experienced population 
losses, but overall the population can be consid- 
ered stable. The influx of oil and gas developers 
has disrupted this stability in certain local areas, 
such as Gillette in the late 1960's and early 1970's, 
but the net regional effect has been relatively 
minor. 



In recent years, coal and uranium develop- 
ments have begun to accelerate. These types of 
development activities are much more extensive. 
They require more people, more land, and more 
water. New mines have opened around Gillette 
and increased its population. In addition to coal 
mining, coal conversion plants are being built, like 
those at Colstrip, Montana. With this kind of 
population influx the stability of the old structure 
is being radically changed. 

Control of the political and economic system is 
shifting from the rural citizens to the new urban 
population. Many new private and public facilities 
are being constructed, increasing the opportunities 
and services available, but for the established 
residents of the area they are different and they are 
controlled by a new establishment. Regional 
development has occurred in such a manner that 
most of the land is in Federal ownership, with the 
Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest 
Service being the primary administering agencies. 
Within Federal land areas, some state and private 
lands occur. Of particular interest are the tracts of 
alternating private and Federal lands (interspered 
with some state-owned sections), which create a 
checkerboard pattern of land ownership. These are 
scattered in various locations throughout the 
region. 

4.6 GREEN RIVER - HAMS FORK COAL 
REGION 

The Green River - Hams Fork Coal Region is 
in the Middle Rocky Mountain Province of the 
western United States. This region encompasses 
approximately 37,500 square miles in five Colora- 
do, 12 Wyoming, five Idaho and three Utah 
counties. 

4.6.1 The Environment 

The Green River-Hams Fork Coal Region is 
part of the Middle Rocky Mountain province, 
characterized by complex mountains with many 
inter-mountain basins and plains. The area is a 
series of parallel mountain ranges and valleys. 
Local relief may be as much as 2,000 feet, but is 
more commonly less than 1,000 feet. 

The Green River subregion encompasses an 
area of about 17,000 square miles in southwestern 
Wyoming and northern Colorado, and includes 
several separate structural units. The Green River 
basin occupies the western section, separated from 



4-31 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



the Great Divide basin to the east by the large 
Rock Springs anticline. Coal-bearing rocks here 
are the Mesaverde group, including the Rock 
Springs and the Lance Formations; the Fort 
Union Formation; and the Wasatch Formation. In 
the Colorado portion of the field, the lies and 
Williams Fork Formations contain the Mesaverde 
Group coal beds. The coal-bearing section of rocks 
is several thousand feet thick and is composed 
mainly of sandstone with beds of siltstone, shale, 
and coal. 

Coal beds range in thickness from a few inches 
to 42 feet and rank from sub-bituminous C to high- 
volatile bituminous C, with coals of higher rank 
occurring locally in areas of igneous intrusives and 
intense structural deformation. In past years, the 
high quality coals of the Mesaverde Group have 
been the most extensively mined and the most 
important in the area. Coal beds in most parts of 
the region are deeply buried and may never be of 
economic potential. 

A total of 130 coal beds has been mapped in 
the coal-bearing Mesaverde and Medicine Bow 
Formations, the Ferris Formation, and the Hanna 
Formation. The beds are sub-bituminous C to 
high-volatile bituminous C in rank. They range in 
thicknesses from 8 feet in discontinuous beds in 
the lower formations to 35 feet in the Hanna 
Formation. The Hanna Basin area is characterized 
by rugged surface features. The Rock Creek coal 
field adjoins the Hanna Basin field on the 
southeast and contains coal beds ranging in 
thicknesses of 9.5 feet in the Hanna Formation and 
8 feet in the Mesaverde Formation. Large areas of 
the surface are covered with gravel, and the coal- 
bearing rocks are difficult to trace. 

The Hams-Fork portion of the region is in the 
extreme western part of Wyoming and includes 
small parts of Utah. The coal-bearing rocks crop 
out in long narrow belts extending from the 
mountainous region in the north to the less rugged 
southern region near the Utah- Wyoming border. 
The area lies in the highly complex Wyoming 
overthrust belt, an area of current interest for its 
high potential for oil and gas development. The 
coal-bearing formations exposed in the region are 
the Bear River Frontier, Adaville, and the Evan- 
ston. The Frontier Formation, the main coal- 
bearing unit, forms north-trending outcrop bands 
generally less than two miles in length. 



The coal beds in the Hams Fork portion range 
in rank from high volatile bituminous A in the 
Frontier coals to sub-bituminous B in the Adaville 
Formation. Thicknesses greater than 100 feet are 
reported for coal beds in the Adaville Formation. 
The higher quality Frontier coals attain thick- 
nesses as great as 20 feet. The steep dips make 
mining difficult in most parts of the region. The 
total coal reserve base is estimated to be 15.5 
billion tons. 

Coal is presently produced in several counties 
in this region, but is the leading mineral commodi- 
ty in only three of these counties. Other important 
commodities include oil, gas, phosphate rock, 
stone, cement, vanadium, and trona (sodium 
carbonate). Sweetwater County, Wyoming, is the 
nation's principal source of trona. In addition, the 
area is endowed with paleontological and archaeo- 
logical remains. 

Of major geological interest in the region are 
the Como Bluff Fossil Area and the Petrified Fish 
Cut, areas of dinosaur and fish fossils, respectively. 
The Como Bluff Fossil Area is located in the 
northeastern section of the region, on the bound- 
ary line between Carbon and Albany Counties, 
Wyoming. This designated natural landmark is the 
site of the famous "Dinosaur Graveyard", where 
paleontological excavations since the 1870's have 
uncovered a great number of dinosaurs of various 
types. In the Kemmerer area of Lincoln County, 
Wyoming, the famous Petrified Fish Cut was 
discovered when the Union Pacific Railroad cut 
through the shale hills west of Green River in the 
late 1860's. Middle Eocene fish fossils from this 
area are in museum collections throughout the 
world. Principal fossiliferous formations in the 
region which contain paleontological resources are 
the North Park, Bridges, Green River, Hanna, 
Ferris, Fort Chrion, Lance, Lewis, Almond, Rock 
Springs, and Morrison. 

The region has a primarily continental climate. 
Fronts generally originate in the Pacific and 
deposit moisture in the mountains as wind currents 
pass over increased elevations. Average annual 
precipitation is more evenly distributed in the 
mountains than in the basin areas. General 
flooding potential is low, although flash floods do 
result from intense summer thunderstorms. Evapo- 
ration potential far exceeds the total precipitation 
usually received. 



4-32 






DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



The average annual temperatures range from 
37°F to 46°F, with variations due mostly to 
differences in elevation and exposure. Growing 
seasons range from 28 days at Steamboat Springs, 
Colorado, to 130 days at Rawlins, Wyoming. 

Prevailing winds for most of the area are 
generally out of the southwest. Most of the harsh 
winter storms are out of the northwest. The wind 
patterns are typically funneled through some of the 
mountain passes and canyons. The winter winds 
out of the north typically bring cold dry air with 
velocities sometimes exceeding 40 mph. Wind 
directions change regularly, and tend to be less 
persistent in any one direction than in many other 
portions of the U.S. The region has surface-based 
inversions on 85 percent of the mornings, during 
both summer and winter. They tend to be intense, 
but not particularly deep. 

Overall regional air quality is very good. Areas 
not meeting the national standard for particulates 
are Craig, Colorado and the trona industrial area 
of Sweetwater County, Wyoming. The entire 
region is better than the standard for sulfur dioxide 
air quality. 

Major drainage basins in the region are the 
Green and Yampa Rivers. Average annual runoff 
varies from less than 1 inch to over 30 inches in 
some of the high mountains. Many of the large 
streams in the area are perennial, obtaining most 
of their runoff from the higher mountainous areas; 
however, most of the tributaries originating in the 
lower area are intermittent. The region is vulnera- 
ble to droughts. 

The quality of surface waters in the region 
ranges from good in the higher elevations to poor 
in the lower elevations. During low-flow periods 
many tributary streams have over 1,000 milligrams 
per liter of dissolved solids. The suspended-sedi- 
ment content of surface waters is generally high, 
and during high flows exceeds 30,000 parts per 
million in many tributaries. 

The average annual stream flow in the Green 
River Basin is 5.26 million acre-feet. Fontenelle 
and Flaming Gorge reservoirs are the largest in the 
region, storing about 4.3 million acre-feet. Such 
stored water is used to satisfy current water rights. 
About 2.5 million acre-feet of surface water is 
withdrawn per year, of which about 1.1 million 
acre-feet is consumptively used, primarily for 
irrigation. 



Groundwater is found in the aquifers of 
alluvial deposits and bedrock strata. Alluvial 
deposits are good aquifers and are capable of 
yielding moderate amounts of groundwater. 
Pumping from alluvial aquifers is restricted in 
some States because of effects on appropriated 
water rights or nearby stream flow. Water in the 
alluvium aquifers has generally acceptable quality 
for most uses, but in some areas is highly 
mineralized. 

Yields of most sandstone aquifers are low to 
moderate, while the highly variable limestone 
aquifers may yield up to 1,000 gallons per minute 
in wells. In general, where the aquifers are highly 
permeable, good quality water is obtained to 
depths of 1,000 feet or more. However, where the 
aquifers have low permeability, highly mineralized 
water is obtained even at shallow depths. Water 
quality throughout the region has not been fully 
explored. 

The most common soils throughout this region 
have a sandy loam, loam, or silty surface and a 
calcium carbonate accumulation at depths usually 
greater than four feet. Permeability is moderate to 
low and, due to climate conditions, these soils 
seldom retain moisture for three consecutive 
months. Shallow, poorly developed soils consisting 
mainly of rock fragments occur along the moun- 
tains of the region. Dominant soil limitations of 
the region are shallowness, erosion, stoniness, and 
salinity. 

The Green River-Hams Fork Coal Region is 
part of the cold desert biome, and is comprised 
primarily of sagebrush or saltbush-greasewood 
dominated communities. Other communities of 
local importance include mountain shrub, ever- 
green, and broadleaf forest, and barren areas. 
Approximately 24 percent of the total regional 
land area is forest. 

The sagebrush community is composed of a 
mixture of low-growing shrubs dominated by 
sagebrush with a variable understory of perennial 
grasses and forbs. Understory vegetation includes 
bluebunch wheatgrass, thick wheatgrass, Indian 
ricegrass, prairie junegrass, cheatgrass, brome, 
lupines, rabbitbrushes, broom snakeweed, and 
golden weeds. 

Where the salt content of the soil is relatively 
high, sagebrush dominated communities are re- 
placed by saltbush-greasewood associations. Dom- 
inant species are Nuttal saltbush, shadscale salt- 



4-33 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



bush, fourwing saltbush, and black greasewood. 
Associated understory includes Alkali sacaton, 
bottlebrush, squirreltail, and thickspike wheat- 
grass, in addition to many of the same understory 
species of the sagebrush community. 

Shrub communities of the higher elevation are 
dominated by serviceberry-snowberry-mahogany 
associations with understories that include thick- 
spike wheatgrass, prairie junegrass, bluegrasses, 
western yarrow, asters, and milkvetch. On well 
drained, poorly developed, shallow, gravelly soils, 
shrub woodlands, dominated by rocky mountain 
and Utah juniper, predominate. Associated species 
include big sagebrush, low sagebrush, rabbit- 
brushes, mountain mahogany, prickly pear, and a 
variety of grasses, phloxes, and goldenweeds. 

Depending upon slope, aspect, and elevation, 
forested mountain areas may contain associations 
of pinyon-juniper, spruce-Douglas fir, ponderosa 
pine-lodgepole, or a mixture of evergreen-aspen. 
Understory species include snowberries, blueber- 
ries, mountain mahogany, pine readgrass, lupines, 
mountain brome, and various grasses. Broadleaf 
forest, consisting principally of willow and cotton- 
wood with grass understories, are limited primarily 
to floodplains along perennial streams. Barren 
areas associated with rock outcrops have a limited 
vegetation cover provided by mountain mahogany, 
serviceberry, wild buckwheats, big sagebrush, 
saltbushes, and prairie junegrasses 

Primary productivity estimates for the major 
vegetative communities of the region range from 
about 1.8 tons per acre per year for sagebrush to 
approximately 5.4 tons per year for forested areas. 
The region has 53 species of mammals includ- 
ing big game such as elk, mule deer, pronghorn 
antelope, moose, and Rocky Mountain bighorn 
sheep; and small game and non-game species such 
as whitetail jackrabbit, red squirrel, whitetailed 
prairie dog, longtail weasel, badger, coyote, and 
red fox. Twenty percent of the world's pronghorn 
antelope population and a major portion of the 
world's sage grouse population may be found 
within the sagebrush-grassland areas of this region. 
These areas also provide critical winter habitat for 
elk and mule deer, particularly in the northern 
section of the region. In addition to these mam- 
mals, the sagebrush biome is a winter concentra- 
tion area for golden and bald eagles. 

Species found in the conifer-aspen forest 
include the Canada lynx, snowshoe rabbit, red 



squirrel, porcupine, and the great horned owl. The 
Shiras moose occurs in the conifer-aspen forest 
and along the willow-dominated river bottoms. 
Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep prefer higher 
elevations where the coniferous forests are broken 
by alpine openings. 

In the woodland-bushland communities, mule 
deer, mountain lion, and coyote commonly occur 
in the woodlands during the fall, winter, and spring 
and range into adjacent habitats during summer. 
Rocky hillsides and cliffs within the woodland- 
bushland community provide habitat for the 
bobcat, rock squirrel, cliff chipmunk, desert and 
bushytailed woodrats, and pinyon mouse. Com- 
mon birds of the woodland area include pinyon 
and scrub jay and bandtailed pigeon. Rattlesnakes, 
lizards, and horned toads may invade from 
adjacent desert areas, but are not particularly 
characteristic of woodland communities. 

A number of game and non-game fish species 
are typical of the region's waterways. Principal 
game fish native to the region include mountain 
whitefish and cutthroat trout. Fish introduced into 
some lakes of the region include largemouth bass, 
smallmouth bass, and crappie. Non-game species 
found in the region include speckled dace, moun- 
tain sucker, Utah chub, redsided shiner, and 
longnose dace. Pond-marsh biotic communities are 
limited in extent, but have local significance. The 
most widespread type of aquatic or semi-aquatic 
situation is provided by beaver ponds which are 
numerous on small mountain streams throughout 
the region. Also found in the pond marsh commu- 
nities are mallards, pintails, teal, Barrow's golden 
eye, Great Basin Canada goose, marsh hawk, bald 
eagle, and osprey. 

In the region one species of fish (the Kendall 
Warm Springs dace), three species of birds (the 
peregrine falcon, bald eagle, and whooping crane), 
and two species of mammals (the black-footed 
ferret and Rocky Mountain wolf) are presently 
officially listed as endangered species. There are no 
endangered plants listed for the region, although 
18 species are proposed for such listing. 

Wild horses are found in several parts of the 
region. Herds of approximately 4,500 are estimated 
to exist in Wyoming and in northwestern Colora- 
do, and are estimated to increase between 15 
percent and 30 percent annually. 

The potential for reclamation of disturbed 
areas varies considerably within the region. By 



4-34 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



using the best available technology for reclama- 
tion, many of the limitations of soil and precipita- 
tion can probably be overcome. Each specific 
location for disturbance will require separate 
evaluation. 

4.6.2 The Environment and Man 

The earliest cultural traditions of this region 
were divided between big-game hunting in the 
eastern half of the region and gathering and 
hunting activities of the desert. During later 
periods, the entire region was under the influence 
of the Desert Culture, which persisted with little 
basic change up to the end of the historic period. 
The Desert Culture was predominated by hunter- 
gatherers who inhabited caves from about 9,000 
B.C. to 4,000 B.C. 

Astorians returning to St. Louis passed through 
the northern part of this region in 1812, but it was 
not until the mid-1820's that this area was 
extensively traveled. This was the era of the 
American fur traders, the mountain men who 
opened up the area of the central Rockies. 
Jedediah Smith in 1824 rediscovered the South 
Pass through the Rockies which was later used by 
thousands of immigrants heading for Oregon and 
California. By 1835, the Oregon Trail was well 
established and the reconnaissance work of Fre- 
mont and other Army explorers helped to map the 
land west of South Pass. The Union Pacific 
Railroad was built across southern Wyoming in 
1868-1869. By 1890, one-fourth of the area was 
settled, and the Pony Express, the Overland Stage, 
and the railroad had established routes through the 

area. 

There are approximately 50 listings from this 
region in the National Register of Historic Places, 
including stage line stations, Army forts, Oregon 
Trail sites, and a variety of buildings and historic 
districts. 

Today, the region is still typically western with 
a low population covering vast areas of public 
lands and large ranches. The primary source of 
employment in the region is wholesale and retail 
trade. The construction industry accounts for five 
percent of the employment. Agricultural employ- 
ment in the region is 10 percent, and mining and 
mineral industry in the region is 12 percent of the 
employment. The Government employs 23 percent 
of the workforce. Table 4-8 shows a breakdown by 



each economic sector for employment and earn- 
ings. 

While agriculture is not large in terms of the 
number of people employed or the total income, it 
is the most visible activity throughout the region. 
The agricultural economy has developed in the 
area since the 1800's and continues to play a major 
role. To some extent, farming and, to a large 
extent, grazing of domestic livestock persist 
throughout the region. Farming is limited by 
rainfall and temperature. Cattle and sheep ranch- 
ing are the leading agricultural activities. 

This region has an array of recreational 
resources. Parts of Rocky Mountain National 
Park, the Mt. Zirkal and Rawah Wilderness areas, 
and the Denver and Rio Preservation Areas within 
Routt and Roosevelt National Forests, are located 
within the region. Five National Wildlife Refuges 
(National Elk Refuge, Seedskadee, Pamforth, 
Hutton Lake, and Arapahoe) with a combined 
area of approximately 37,600 acres, are also 
located here. The Fossil Butte National Monu- 
ment in Wyoming is in the area. The Mormon, 
Oregon, and Continental Divide Trails are under 
consideration for the National System of Trails. 
Three state recreational areas, three state parks, 
and twelve state historical sites are in the region. 
These facilities have a total area of over 76,200 
acres and have an annual attendance of more than 
693,000. Camping, fishing, and hunting are the 
most popular recreational activities. 

Counties in the region are characterized by 
sparse population with densities of about 2.6 
persons per square mile. The total population is 
approximately 126,900. The decade of the 1960's 
recorded high rates of out-migration ranging from 
8 to 34 percent. This trend reversed, however, 
between 1970 and 1976 when over 33,000 persons 
in-migrated. Population and general economic 
data are shown on Table 4.8. 

Major transportation in the Colorado section 
of the region is provided by the east-west Denver 
and Rio Grande Western railroad. The southern 
Wyoming region is served by Interstate 80 and by 
the Union Pacific railroad. There are many other 
paved highways and unpaved roads existing 
throughout the region which provide access into 
the major areas of economic development. 

Adequate housing is in short supply, especially 
in the larger communities such as Craig, Colorado, 
and Rock Springs, Green River, and Rawlins, 



4-35 



TABLE 4-8 

POPULATION AND ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS IN THE 
GREEN RIVER- HAMS FORK REGION (a) 



1975 Total Population 

Total Area (square miles) a 

Population per square mile (1975) 

Per Capita Personal Income (1975) 

Per Capita Personal Income as a 

Percent of National Average (1975) 



126,938 
48,764 

2.6 
$5,475 

108 







PERCENT 


EARNINGS 


PERCENT 




EMPLOYMENT 


OF 


(in thousands 


OF 


ECONOMIC SECTOR 




TOTAL 


of dollars) 


TOTAL 


Livestock 


3,590 


7 


26,118 


5 


Other Agriculture 


1,310 


3 


10,863 


2 


Metal Mining 


566 


1 


8,279 


2 


Coal Mining 


1,122 


2 


24,324 


5 


Oil and Gas 


3,911 


8 


66,201 


13 


Other Mining 


371 


1 


1,994 


0-1 


Construction 


2,616 


5 


50,669 


10 


All Manufacturing 


2,001 


4 


18,972 


4 


Transportation, 










Communication, 










and Public 










Utilities 


2,079 


4 


45,344 


9 


Wholesale and 










Retail Trade 


10,318 


21 


82,464 


16 


Finance, Insurance, 










and Real Estate 


1,737 


4 


17,179 


3 


Other Services 


7,776 


16 


74,392 


14 


Federal Govt. 


1,589 


3 


20,351 


4 


State and Local 










Govt. 


9,771 


20 


69 , 603 


13 


TOTAL 


48,757 


516,753 





(a) Demographic information which is based on all counties either totally 
or partially within regional boundaries. 



4-36 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



Wyoming. Many smaller communities within the 
region such as Meeker, Colorado, are experiencing 
housing problems. The number of mobile homes 
and mobile home parks has increased in many 
communities. Increased population in many com- 
munities has also produced increased school 
enrollments, resulting in overcrowded classrooms 
in understaffed schools. 

Health care facilities are generally adequate for 
the region, although some areas are experiencing a 
shortage of physicians. Mental health care facili- 
ties, where they exist within the region, are 
receiving a disproportionate number of cases from 
energy related rapid growth. Fire protection 
service is generally provided by the volunteer 
departments, and only Rawlins, Sinclair, Rock 
Springs, Green River, and Evanston, Wyoming, 
have fire insurance ratings which are considered 
adequate. Expansion of water and sewer systems 
are of highest priority for most local officials. 
Nearly all water systems are publicly owned. 
Telephone, electricity, and natural gas systems are 
generally adequate for the region, with some 
exceptions where local shortages may occur. 

Prior to the current industrial development of 
both coal and trona, the region's lifestyle was 
primarily ranching with very little industrial 
development. In the last six years, rapid develop- 
ment of coal and trona, and expanding oil and gas 
exploration have brought about higher prices, 
more crime, housing shortages, and other boom- 
town characteristics which have altered and are 
continuing to alter this rural lifestyle. 

Most of the land is Federally owned and 
administered by the Bureau of Land Management 
and the U.S. Forest Service. Within the Federal 
land area, some state and private lands occur. Of 
significant interest in the southern portion of 
Wyoming is the checkerboard pattern of alternat- 
ing private and Federal lands interspersed with 
some state-owned sections. 

4.7 FORT UNION COAL REGION 

The Fort Union Coal Region is in the 
Northern Great Plains of the western United 
States. This region encompasses about 60,214 
square miles in 12 Montana, 26 North Dakota, and 
seven South Dakota counties. 



4.7.1 The Environment 

The sedimentary rocks of the Fort Union Coal 
Region were deposited in the Williston basin, a 
sedimentary and structual depression that lies in 
western North Dakota and extends into Canada, 
Montana, and South Dakota. The combined 
thickness of the sedimentary rocks exceeds 15,000 
feet in the deepest part of the basin southeast of 
the city of Williston, North Dakota. The surface 
formations generally dip toward the basin's center 
at rates of 10 to 20 feet per mile, but dips may 
decrease to about one degree near large structures, 
such as the Nesson anticline. Local departures 
from the regional dip, especially in the coal beds, 
may be the result of differential compaction of the 
underlying sediments rather than a deep-seated 
earth movement. 

Most of the coal is contained in the Lebo, 
Tongue River, and Sentinel Butte (in North 
Dakota), members of the Fort Union Formation of 
Paleocene age. The coal beds are discontinuous 
and vary greatly in thickness. More than a 
hundred coal beds have been identified by the 
North Dakota State Geological Survey, but in any 
one section no more than three beds of commercial 
thickness have been found. The Fort Union 
Formation ranges from 425 to 775 feet thick m 
South Dakota to 1,500 feet thick in Montana and 
contains an estimated 440 billion tons of lignite. 
The coal throughout most of the Fort Union 
region is lignite in rank; however, westward from 
the Montana-North Dakota state line, the rank of 
the coal increases to subbituminous C near Miles 
City, Montana and subbituminous B further to the 
west. Estimated subbituminous reserves in the 
aforementioned areas total approximately 23 
billion tons of surface-mineable coal. 

The Fort Union Coal Region is within the 
glaciated and the unglaciated Missouri Plateau 
sections of the Great Plains Physiographic Prov- 
ince, except for a small area at the northeastern 
boundary which is part of the Central Lowland 
Province. The Missouri Escarpment which is the 
eastern boundary of the Great Plains Province is a 
northeastward facing escarpment, commonly 200 
to 300 feet high. It extends from the northeast 
corner of North Dakota diagonally to near the 
center of the south boundary and beyond into 
South Dakota. 

The Drift Prairie section of the Central 
Lowland east of the escarpment includes a large 



4-37 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



part of eastern North Dakota. Glacial deposits, 
such as ground moraine and outwash plains, are 
characteristic of the gently undulating land sur- 
face. They may be as much as 200 feet thick, but 
generally, the relief is 20 feet or less. In the part of 
the area north and east of the Missouri River, 
channels cut into the glacial drift by meltwater 
from the ice are common. They are generally 20 to 
50 feet deep, and range in width from 100 feet to as 
much as one-half mile. Most are partly filled by 
glacial outwash and alluvial material. Some coin- 
cide with deep preglacial valleys. 

Southwest of the Missouri River, glacial depo- 
sits are thin or absent, natural ponds are absent, 
and the boundary of the Glaciated Missouri 
Plateau is poorly defined. The maximum extent of 
glaciers is marked by the locations of glacial 
erratics. The major streams and their tributaries 
are in preglacial or interglacial valleys. The general 
character of the terrain is similar to that of the 
unglaciated region to the south. 

The unglaciated Missouri Plateau in southwest 
North Dakota, northwest South Dakota, and 
eastern Montana, is a gently sloping plateau. The 
present surface consists of rolling prairie, isolated 
buttes and mesas, and badlands. It has been 
mostly carved since the ice age by intermittent 
erosion of the nearly flat-lying easily-eroded rocks 
at the surface. 

Clinker, formed when heat from the natural 
burning of coal baked the overlying rocks, has 
been a factor in the formation and development of 
badland topography. The level of the surface 
above the burned coal bed is lowered by a number 
of feet equal to the thickness of the burned coal 
bed. The clinker strongly resists weathering and 
erosion, and it forms a cap-rock that adds to the 
irregularity and roughness of the land surface. 

Badlands are found along the Little Missouri 
River, along the lower reaches of the Powder 
River, and the area surrounding Fort Peck Reser- 
voir on the Missouri River. 

The Fort Union Coal Region has a semi-arid 
continental climate. Winters are long and cold; 
summers are short and warm. Considerable frontal 
activity passes through the area, but being distant 
from major sources of moisture, precipitation is 
not plentiful. A dozen to 15 times a year, arctic air 
breaks into the region, causing severe winter cold. 
The extreme cold is often moderated in the western 
and southern portions of the area by chinook 



winds that develop on the eastern slopes of the 
Rocky Mountains. 

The mean annual temperature varies from 
38°F in some locations in the northeast part of the 
region to 45 °F in the southeast portion. This area 
is subject to the dominant path of arctic generated 
storms crossing the Canadian-U.S. border, as well 
as the chinook winds that moderate the cold 
temperatures in the western portion of the region. 
Annual precipitation varies from slightly less 
than 12 inches in northeastern Montana to 16 
inches in the eastern portion of the region. A few 
points near prominent terrain features cause slight 
aberrations in the otherwise smooth increase in 
average precipitation from west to east. Most 
precipitation occurs in the growing season, occur- 
ring as showers or thunderstorms. Rainfall, there- 
fore, tends to be spotty and local flooding may 
occur not far from places that are enduring 
drought. 

Floods along the main stem of the Missouri 
River are generally caused by spring snow-melt 
and are aggravated by ice jams. Major rainstorms 
sufficient to cause widespread flooding are rare. 
Drought effects usually appear in this semi-arid 
region soon after the precipitation drops much 
below the long-term mean. The windy, sunny 
conditions that prevail in the area cause evapora- 
tion to exceed normal precipitation by a factor of 
two or more. 

The region is windy; average speeds for the 
year are 10 mph. The prevailing direction is 
northwest, but southerly winds are common during 
warm months. 

Surface-based inversions occur on about 65 
percent of winter mornings and 80 percent of 
summer mornings. Forty to 50 percent are accom- 
panied by winds of 5 mph or more. On summer 
afternoons, surface-based inversions are rare; on 
winter afternoons, they occur 25-30 percent of the 
time. Morning mixing depths tend to be lowest in 
summer in the eastern part of the region and in the 
winter in the western part. 

The Fort Union Coal Region's air quality is 
very good for both particulates and sulfur dioxide. 
This holds true for all portions of the region. 

Surface water resources are very limited in the 
Fort Union Coal Region except for those areas 
adjacent to the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers. 
The Little Missouri River, which runs north 
through the middle of the region to the Missouri, 



4-38 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



and all of the tributaries to the Missouri down- 
stream from that point have highly variable flows. 
Surface water runoff is very low (less than one 
inch over most of the area) and quality is poor. 
Total dissolved solids exceed 350 million parts per 
liter nearly everywhere. Hardness levels are mostly 
within the 180-240 mg/1 range. These tributaries 
generally carry a sediment load in excess of 1,900 
mg/1. Sediment loads have been greatly reduced in 
the Missouri River since it has been extensively 
dammed, with each reservoir acting as a sediment 

trap. 

Groundwater is available in small to moderate 
quantities almost everywhere, but only in large 
amounts locally, particularly in the alluvial valley 
fills along the perennial streams. The greatest 
potential for groundwater development in the 
region is from glacial outwash sands and gravels 
and valley alluvium, particularly along the Missou- 
ri River and, in lesser amounts, along the Yellow- 
stone River. Groundwater may also be developed 
in dependable supplies from the Fort Union 
Formation and the deeper Fox Hills and Hills 
Creek Formations. Most of these deeper ground- 
waters are moderately mineralized at depths of less 
than 500 feet. 

Soils in the northeastern half of the region have 
been derived from glaciated materials. These soils 
are generally loamy soils with good productivity 
and stability. The area northeast of the Missouri 
escarpment is rolling mid-tall grass prairie charac- 
terized by wheat grass, big and little bluestem 
grasses, and needle grass. The remainder of the 
region is dominated by the mid grass and mid- 
short grass prairie type, except for the floodplains 
along the major streams and the badlands on the 
Little Missouri, Lower Powder, and around Fort 
Peck Reservoir. 

The mid-grass prairie which covers the mid- 
section of the region is characterized by loamy to 
clayey loamy soils from east to west. Dominant 
plants are needle grass, wheat grass, and blue stem 
grasses. No short grasses are dominant. The mid- 
short grass type is found in the extreme western 
portion of the region north of the Yellowstone 
River. These rolling prairies have loam to clay 
loam soils and are dominated by western wheat 
grass, needle-and-thread grass, and blue grama 

grass. 

Badlands are characterized by breaks along 
rivers and streams with steep south-facing slopes of 



exposed shales, sandstones, scoria, and clays. Soils 
are dry much of the year. Dominant plant species 
are arid-land shrubs and grasses associated locally 
with scrubby ponderosa pine forests. 

The floodplains have alluvial soils with high 
water tables. Vegetation is predominantly hard- 
wood trees and shrub species. 

With proper soil and vegetative management, 
most lands can be reclaimed to a near-original 
state following surface mining. It should be noted, 
however, that much of the prime farmlands, 
alluvial valley floors, and natural areas would 
require a high degree of attention during reclama- 
tion. 

Wildlife occurring in the Fort Union Coal 
Region is similar in composition to that of the 
Powder River Region. The various habitats sup- 
port 87 species of birds, approximately 70 species 
of mammals, 200 species of fish, and 20 species of 
amphibian and reptiles, as well as numerous 
insects and other invertebrates. 

Principal big game animals include mule deer, 
whitetail deer, and pronghorn antelope. While 
ranges may occasionally overlap, each is associ- 
ated with a preferred habitat. Primary mule deer 
habitat is provided by the rough breaks and 
badlands where browse species, such as buck- 
brush, skunkbrush, yucca, chokecherry, and mixed 
grasses occur. Whitetail deer, while widespread 
throughout the region, prefer river bottoms and 
other areas where dense vegetation provides 
adequate cover. Preferred food items include 
buckbrush, chokecherry, rose, cottonwood, willow, 
aspen, and green ash. Prime pronghorn antelope 
range occurs on the rolling or broken grasslands 
interspersed with large sagebrush flats. Where 
available, big sagebrush and silver sagebrush 
provide critical winter browse. 

Principal small game animals within the region 
include eastern cottontail, desert cottontail, snow- 
shoe hare, gray squirrel, and fox squirrel. 

The eastern cottontail is widely dispersed 
through the area, while the desert cottontail prefers 
shrubland habitat. Snowshoe hare, fox and gray 
squirrels are typically associated with woodlands. 
Furbearers and other small mammals associ- 
ated with this region include typical grassland 
species such as Richardson ground squirrel, thir- 
teen-lined ground squirrel, blacktailed prairie dog, 
western harvest mouse, deer mouse, meadow vole, 
prairie vole, and blackfooted ferret; woodlands 



4-39 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



and shrubland species, such as gray fox, raccoon, 
badger, skunk, bobcat, opossum, least chipmunk^ 
wood rat, and southern red backed vole; and 
wetland and semi-aquatic species, such as beaver, 
mink, and muskrat. 

Gamebirds of the region include sharp-tailed 
grouse, ring-necked pheasant, Hungarian par- 
tridge, and wild turkey. Both sharp-tailed grouse 
and the introduced pheasant prefer large expanses 
of undisturbed native grasslands interspersed with 
brush for food, cover, and nesting. The Hungarian 
partridge is widely dispersed but prefers areas of 
limited agriculture where shelterbelts are available 
for cover. Wild turkey are more limited in 
distribution and tend to be associated with river 
botton woodlands, or around ranches and farms 
where they have become accustomed to human 
activity. 

Wetlands, occurring primarily as scattered 
potholes along the Missouri River and other 
drainages within the region, are of primary value 
as nesting and feeding habitat for waterfowl of the 
Central Flyway. Breeding species include mallards, 
green-winged and blue-winged teal, pintail, red- 
head, canvasback, gadwall, American widgeon, 
shoveler, and wood duck. Shorebirds and other 
non-game birds associated with these wet areas 
include cranes, grebes, sandpipers, terns, and gulls. 
The large areas of open terrain found through- 
out much of this region provide both seasonal and 
year round habitat for a variety of predator birds. 
These include golden and bald eagles, osprey, 
marsh hawk, sharp-shinned hawk, rough-legged 
hawk, Swainson's hawk, Cooper's hawk, red-tailed 
hawk, prairie and peregrine falcon, barn owl, long- 
eared and short^eared owl, burrowing owl, and 
great horned owl. 

Open areas, woodlands, and edges are utilized 
by a wide variety of song birds, warblers, and 
woodpeckers. At least 145 species of non-game 
birds occur within the region, including black- 
billed cuckoo, belted kingfisher, red-headed and 
red-bellied woodpeckers, catbird, robin, eastern 
and mountain bluebirds, yellow warbler, tree and 
chipping sparrows, cowbird, and cardinal. Princi- 
pal species of game fish stocked in reservoirs and 
lakes include walleye, Sanger, northern pike, white 
bass, yellow perch, largemouth bass, channel 
catfish, and black bullheads. Non-game species 
common to most streams and rivers include a 
variety of minnows, shiners, and suckers. 



There are at least seven species of endangered 
animals that occur or have been reported in the 
region. These include the northern kit fox, pereg- 
rine falcon, black-footed ferret, whooping crane, 
bald eagle, and Tule white-fronted goose. Presently 
there are no endangered or threatened plants in the 
region, although a number are proposed for 
inclusion in the Federal list. They may eventually 
be given protection under the Endangered Species 
Act of 1973. 

4.7.2 The Environment and Man 

The Fort Union Coal Region has experienced 
many changes in climate since the Paleo-Indian 
crossed a land or ice bridge from Asia to the 
Western Hemisphere. There is evidence that the 
region has a prehistory much like the Powder 
River Coal Region. The distinctive culture of the 
Fort Union Coal Region was agriculturally orient- 
ed along both sides of the Missouri River in North 
Dakota. The region's history is marked with 
Indian-settler interactions both peaceful and non- 
peaceful. Evidence of these events still remain such 
as Fort Union Trading Post and Fort Dilts. 

The historical development of the region left 
most of the land in Federal ownership, with the 
Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest 
Service being the primary administering agencies. 
Within Federal land areas, some state and private 
lands occur. Of particular interest are the scattered 
tracts of alternating private and Federal lands 
(interspered with some state-owned sections), 
which create a checkerboard pattern of land 
ownership. 

Agriculture in this region consists primarily of 
spring wheat farming in the northern and eastern 
portions, and cattle ranching with some irrigated 
crop production in the southern and western 
portions. Farms tend to be large, averaging over 
1,000 acres in commercial wheat growing areas in 
the region. 

Cropland constitutes over 75 percent of the 
total land area along the northeastern border of 
the region decreasing to under 5 percent in the 
southern portion (Montana and South Dakota). 
Irrigated cropland represents less than 1 percent of 
the farmland over most of the region, with some 
counties in Montana and North Dakota having 
from 1 to 4 percent of cropland irrigated. 

Principal agricultural crops grown within the 
region include soybean, hay, wheat, oats, barley, 



4-40 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



flaxseed, and sugarbeets. Yields per acre for these 
crops are 17.3 bushels for soybeans, 1.4 tons for 
hay, 24.6 bushels for wheat, 42.1 bushels for oats, 
and 19.3 tons for sugarbeets. Cash-grain farms, 
along with livestock farms and general farms, are 
found in the northern and eastern portions of the 
region, while livestock operations predominate in 
the other areas of the region. 

Table 4-9 shows the employment and earnings 
for the Fort Union Coal Region. Federal, state, 
and local governments employ 28 percent of the 
population. This is significantly higher than the 
national average which is 17 percent. Federal 
employment is 3 times greater than the national 
average. Agricultural employment is the second 
strongest sector, employing 25 percent of the 
population. This is five times the national average. 
This statistic emphasizes the dependence of the 
region's people on the biological productivity of 
the region. 

The region's transportation network is com- 
posed primarily of railroads and highways. The 
Burlington Northern is the primary rail carrier of 
the region, although the Soo Line and Chicago, 
Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Pacific also provide a 
degree of service. The area's access to the interstate 
highway network is provided by 1-94. A variety of 
U.S., state, and county roads connect with 1-94. 
There are no coal slurry pipelines in this region. 
The infrastructure of the region is similar to 
most of the rural West. Businesses that supply the 
needs of farmers and ranchers are located in trade 
centers across the region. These trade centers are 
small and, along with the rural population, are 
relatively stable. Public services in these towns are 
limited and not usually amenable to significant 
expansion. Medical facilities are limited and those 
in need of special care usually travel to Denver, 
Colorado, or Rochester, Minnesota. Bismarck, 
North Dakota is the exception to the rule. It is a 
growing urban center that is developing many of 
the social and cultural services not found in the 
smaller towns of the region. 

Due to the rural nature of the region most of 
the recreation is outdoor oriented. Fishing, hunt- 
ing, and site-seeing are common activities. Hunting 
also draws people from outside the region. 

4.8 SAN JUAN RIVER COAL REGION 

The San Juan River Coal Region is in the 
Colorado Plateau of the southwestern United 



States. The region encompasses approximately 
57,000 square miles in one Utah, seven Colorado, 
and 1 1 New Mexico counties. 

4.8.1 The Environment 

This region is part of the Colorado Plateau 
physiographic province with high plateaus of 
stratified rock cut by deep canyons. Elevations 
generally range between 5,000 and 7,500 feet. 
Topographically, it is a basin with mesas, rolling 
plains, badlands, and canyons that are lower than 
the surrounding mountain ranges: the San Juan 
Mountains to the north, the San Pedros to the east, 
the Zunis to the south, and the San Francisco 
Peaks to the west. 

The region's variety of landforms has resulted 
from its geology and the forces of erosion. Mesas 
and ridges are held up by caps of sandstone, 
whereas the adjacent lowlands have formed by 
erosion of the softer shales. The Menefee Forma- 
tion, which is mostly shale, lies beneath relatively 
thick sandstone and forms the lowlands and 
valleys. Steep-walled canyons form where the 
resistant sandstone is thick. Badlands form in thick 
shale sequences imbedded with thin lenses of 
sandstone. The Fruitland Formation, which is 
composed of shale, minor amounts of sandstone, 
and some coal, has been carved by water and wind 
into distinctive badland shapes. 

The San Juan River Coal Region contains 
sedimentary rocks ranging in age to 500 million 
years. The Paleozoic formations, chiefly marine 
limestones, sandstones, and shales, do not crop out 
in the region, although they underlie it. In places 
along the southern part of the region, this forma- 
tion forms an aquifer capable of yielding water for 
irrigation, industrial, and municipal use. The 
Triassic and Jurassic formations are chiefly non- 
marine sandstones, and claystones. The Entrada 
Sandstone and the Westwater Canyon Member of 
the Morrison Formation form important aquifers 
that may be utilized for coal development. 

The formations of greatest interest are those of 
Upper Cretaceous age. In addition to containing 
coal, some form important aquifers, and many 
contain important fossil assemblages. When these 
formations were deposited, the shoreline of a large 
interior sea was moving back and forth in a general 
northeast to southwest direction through the 
region, so the deposits vary considerably in 
thickness and lithology. Most of the coal formed in 



4-41 



TABLE 4-9 

POPULATION AND ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS IN THE 
FORT UNION REGION ( a ) 



1975 Total Population 3 




324 


,399 




Total Area (square 


miles) a 




60 


,214 




Population per square mile (1975) 






5.4 




Per Capita Personal 


Income (1975) 




$5 


,083 




Per Capita Personal 


Income as a 










Percent of National Average (1975) 






100 




ECONOMIC SECTOR 


EMPLOYMENT 


PERCENT 

OF 

TOTAL 


1 


EARNINGS 

(in thousands 

of dollars) 


PERCENT 
OF 
TOTAL 


Livestock 


8,753 


7 




78,798 


6 


Other Agriculture 


21,833 


18 




318,424 


25 


Metal Mining 


- 


_ 








Coal Mining 


256 


0-1 




7,019 


1 


Oil and Gas 


1,678 


1 




22,051 


2 


Other Mining 


437 


0-1 




1,763 


0-1 


Construction 


3,798 


3 




85,081 


7 


All Manufacturing 


4,759 


4 




49,210 


4 


Transportation, 












Communication, 












and Public 












Utilities 


4,098 


3 




94,538 


7 


Wholesale and 












Retail Trade 


23,754 


19 




212,002 


16 


Finance, Insurance, 










■ 


and Real Estate 


3,651 


3 




34,074 


3 


Other Services 


15,964 


13 




147,154 


LI 


Federal Govt. 


11,741 


9 




129,261 


10 


State and Local 












Govt. 


22,912 


19 




120,228 


9 


TOTAL 


123,634 


1,299,603 





(a) 'Demographic information which is based on all 
or partially within regional boundaries. 



counties either totally 



4-42 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



backshore swamps along the seacoast. The Crevas- 
see Canyon, Menefee, and Fruitland Formations 
are the principal coal-bearing units. 

Coals within the region rank from high-volatile 
A to B bituminous, to discontinuous and dirty 
coals that are high-volatile C to B bituminous with 
high ash content. Most coals are sub-bituminous. 
The region's estimated reserve base is 4.2 billion 

tons. 

The region lies south of the major storm belt 
from the Pacific across the Rockies. The general 
climate is semi-arid, with variations resulting from 
elevation and topography. The Pacific fronts that 
trail across the region deposit most of their 
moisture on the mountains to the west. In the 
colder season, storms that develop off southern 
California move through the region once or twice a 
year and produce some precipitation, mostly on 
higher terrain as snow. During the summer, widely 
scattered showers and thunderstorms occur but 
coverage is spotty and erratic, often leading to 
drought in many areas of the region. 

Annual mean temperatures vary from 48 °F to 
52°F. Temperatures exceeding 100°F occur 
throughout the region, while subzero temperatures 
are uncommon except in the mountains. A 
distinctive feature of the climate is the large 
variation in the daily high-low temperatures. 

Annual precipitation averages less than 10 
inches for most of the region, though points in 
northern New Mexico and southwestern Colorado 
receive 20 inches or more. At lower elevations, 
about half the precipitation falls between May and 
August. At higher elevations, a greater proportion 
is received from winter storms. Summer rainfall is 
mostly from intense local thunderstorms that 
frequently cause flash floods. Potential evapora- 
tion exceeds normal precipitation by a factor of 6 
or more. 

Wind direction tends to show the effect of local 
topography. Generally, winds are westerly during 
the day and easterly during the night, but terrain 
features complicate the wind field and cause 
significant deviations. For example, uneven cool- 
ing of the air results in downslope drainage of cold 
dense air during calm, clear nights; and the 
heating of valley walls and hills causes air to flow 
upslope and out of the valleys on calm,fair days. 
These terrain-induced circulations are common 
with the complex topography in all sections of the 
region. 



Mixing heights and transport winds in the 
region have seasonal and diurnal variation. Gener- 
ally, mixing heights are higher in the afternoon 
than in the morning. Seasonally, morning mixing 
heights are lowest during winter months, due to 
radiation inversions and afternoon mixing. Sur- 
face-based inversions occur 80-90 percent of the 
mornings throughout the year but are uncommon 
during afternoons. Stagnations are very prevalent. 
Ventilation values are highest in the spring because 
of the strong transport winds and lowest during the 
winter because of long nights, short days, snow 
cover, and persistent high-pressure systems. These 
various conditions result in a rather poor potential 
for pollution dispersion during certain periods of 
the year. 

Nevertheless, for the most part, the region's air 
quality is considered good and better than the 
national standards. High winds can pick up dust 
which can cause or result in high particulate 
content in local areas for several days at a time. 
Areas generally not meeting the standards for 
particulate content include the industrial areas 
around the Four Corners and San Juan generating 
stations in San Juan County, New Mexico. Sulfur 
dioxide air quality is generally better than he 
national standards except near the generating 
stations about 15 miles west of Farmington, New 
Mexico. The region is now primarily rural except 
for the towns of Gallup and Farmington, New 
Mexico and Durango, Colorado. Most industrial, 
commercial, and population growth is expected to 
be in these urban areas. As this occurs, the air 
quality will probably deteriorate. 

Major rivers draining the region are the San 
Juan, the Colorado, and the Little Colorado. The 
region encompasses headwaters of the San Juan, 
the only stream that receives flow from outside the 
area. Potential evapotranspiration ranges from less 
than 24 to about 35 inches per year. Runoff in the 
Little Colorado and its numerous dry washes is 
almost nil. Average annual stream flow for the 
region measured at the confluence of the San Juan 
and Colorado Rivers is approximately 2.6 million 
acre-feet. Surface reservoirs of the region store 27.1 
million acre-feet. 

Only in the upper reaches of the higher 
tributaries of the San Juan, in Colorado, is the 
sediment concentration low or medium. Over most 
of the San Juan River Coal Region the sediment 
concentration exceeds 1,000 milligrams per liter. 



4-43 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



Summer thunderstorms and spring snowmelt often 
create floods of damaging proportions that carry 
tremendous loads of sediment. During such high- 
flow periods, the suspended-sediment content of 
the San Juan River and many of its tributaries may 
exceed 50,000 parts per million. Hardness of the 
surface water throughout most of the region 
exceeds 240 mg/liter, and all three major streams 
average at least 1,000 mg/liter of total dissolved 
solids. Approximately 1 million acre-feet of surface 
water is withdrawn each year for consumptive use, 
mainly irrigation. 

Groundwater in the region is generally good 
where it is available. Nearly all sandstone forma- 
tions in the region yield water, which is generally 
sufficient for livestock and domestic purposes. 
Wells developed in riparian deposits or in sand- 
stone aquifers deliver 50 to 500 gallons per minute. 
Groundwater withdrawals for consumptive use in 
the region are approximately 50,000 acre-feet per 
year. The heaviest groundwater pumping is in the 
Gallup, New Mexico, area, which is part of the 
Little Colorado drainage. There pumpage to meet 
the demands of industry associated with coal and 
uranium is removing more water from the aquifers 
than can naturally be replaced. 

In general, the San Juan River Coal Region is 
characterized by steep slopes covered with only 
sparse vegetation and a semi-arid climate with an 
extremely variable precipitation. Formation of top 
soil is slow because parent materials are predomi- 
nately sandstone and shale for all soils in the 
region. Permeability is slow to moderate, and the 
soils are used primarily for grazing. Rich alluvial 
soils occur along the floodplains and alluvial fans, 
but these make up only a small percentage of the 
region. The major limitations of the region's soils 
are shallowness, salinity, and erodability. 

The region contains three major vegetative 
communities: grassland and grassland-shrub (low- 
er altitudes), pinyon-juniper (5,000-7,000 feet), and 
montane coniferous forest (above 7,000 feet). 
Wildlife within the region includes at least 100 
species of mammals, 116 species of birds, and 28 
species of amphibians. Several species are unique 
to this region. 

Many of the grassland-shrub areas in the 
region have been severely overgrazed by livestock. 
Dominant plant species within this habitat type 
include green joint fir at higher elevations and 
rubber rabbitbrush, greasewood, and pale wolfber- 



ry along the dry washes and arroyos. Fourwing 
saltbush and snakeweed may be locally abundant. 
Typical grasses include galleta, blue grama, sand 
dropseed, and Indian ricegrass. Russian thistle and 
cheat grass are common on overgrazed areas. 
Much of the region is dominated by big sagebrush. 
Common mammals in these areas include prong- 
horn antelope, black-tailed jackrabbit, desert 
cottontail, sagebrush vole, northern grasshopper 
mouse, Ord's and Great Basin kangaroo rats, 
prairie dog, badger, coyote, and western spotted 
skunk. Common birds include Gambel's quail, 
sage grouse, mourning dove, loggerhead shrike, 
sage thrasher, sage sparrow, Brewer's sparrow, red- 
tailed hawk, ferruginous hawk, and great horned 
owl. Reptiles, particularly lizards and snakes, are 
well represented. Common species include sage- 
brush lizard, leopard lizard, side-blotched lizard, 
bullsnake, plateau whiptail, racer, and western 
rattlesnake. This habitat is heavily populated by 
rodents adapted to dry conditions. 

The woodland-bushland community supports 
wildlife from grassland and grassland-shrub asso- 
ciations plus some additional species. Typical trees 
and shrubs include pinyon pine, juniper, big 
sagebrush, Utah serviceberry, oak, fourwing salt- 
bush, antelope bitterbrush, mountain mahogany, 
and cliffrose. Characteristic mammals include 
mule deer, rock squirrel, cliff chipmunk, desert 
woodrat, pinyon mouse, bushytailed woodrat, 
coyote, and bobcat. Birds include the ash-throated 
flycatcher, scrub jay, pinyon jay, blue-gray gnat- 
catcher, western bluebird, and acorn woodpecker. 
Typical species of coniferous forest and forest 
edge communities include Douglas-fir, blue 
spruce, Englemann spruce, aspen, and oak. Typi- 
cal mammals include mule deer, elk, snowshoe 
rabbit, red squirrel, golden-mantled ground squir- 
rel, deer mouse, porcupine, black bear, marten, 
and cougar. Birds include the mountain bluebird, 
varied thrush, western tanager, common raven, 
gray jay, blue grouse, pygmy owl, flammulated 
owl, saw-whet owl, great horned owl, and golden 
eagle. 

Numerous plant species proposed for endan- 
gered or threatened status exist in the San Juan 
River Coal Region. Presently, however, no plant 
species in the region are classified as endangered. 
Endangered fauna includes the whooping crane, 
Mexican duck, bald eagle, peregrine falcon, thick- 
billed parrot, and gray wolf. 



4-44 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



All areas within the region can probably be 
reclaimed after disturbance, provided that topsoil 
is replaced as a plant medium and adequate 
moisture is available for plant germination and 
emergence. The fragile nature of the area's soil and 
the relatively low precipitation, however, would 
require a high degree of attention during reclama- 
tion. 

4.8.2 The Environment and Man 

The San Juan River Coal Region is one of the 
most interesting historical and archaeological 
regions in North America. The earliest known use 
of the region, dating back as far as 10,000 B.C., 
was by mobile hunter-gatherers. This subsistence 
pattern continued until about two and three 
thousand years ago, when the Anasazi people 
began a more settled existence and started raising 
domestic plants, such as squash, corn, beans, 
amaranth, and chili. Large multi-storied pueblos 
developed, reaching a peak of elaboration at about 
1,000 to 1,100 A.D. Their locations appear to have 
been determined primarily by the availability of 
water for floodwater farming and controlled 
irrigation. Recent evidence indicates that major 
pueblos were linked by a complex road network; 
and it is possible that the entire San Juan River 
Coal Region was organized into a regionwide 
economic and political system. During the 1300's 
the area along the San Juan River was abandoned 
for unknown reasons. 

The earliest Navajo materials are found in the 
north-central part of the region, along the Colora- 
do-New Mexico border. After acquiring sheep 
from the Spanish, the Navajos spread quickly, and 
by about 1800, herding and limited agriculture 
were dominant economic patterns throughout the 
region. 

Spanish explorers and missionaries ventured 
into the northern Southwest in the 16th, 17th, and 
18th Centuries, but it was not until the early 1800's 
that non-Indians arrived with any frequency. 
Trappers, miners, and traveling merchants began 
arriving regularly during the early to mid-1800*s. 
During the period between 1850 and 1890, Army 
expeditions extensively mapped the region, re- 
stricted Indian activities, and established forts; 
and traders greatly increased the level of Indian 
contact when the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad 
crossed the southern portion of the region. By 
1890, about one-fourth of the area was settled. At 



present, there are approximately 30 listings in the 
National Register of Historic Places for this region, 
many associated with Indian tribes. 

The economic patterns of the region are closely 
related to energy development. The three econom- 
ic sectors that supply the majority of jobs are 
commercial and professional services, wholesale 
and retail trade, and mining. These three sectors 
accounted for 75 percent of all employed workers 
as of 1974. Table 4-10 provides an overview of 
pertinent economic and demographic data for the 
San Juan River Coal Region. Economic develop- 
ment has been relatively orderly, although some 
localized problems have resulted. 

Commercial and professional services are 
largely limited to the population centers. Most 
services are related to the oil, gas, and mining 
industries. The expansion of urban areas, as 
distribution, transportation, and communication 
service centers, has been simultaneous with the 
growth of light industry. The expansion of govern- 
ment services is related to the vast holdings of 
Federally controlled lands within the region. 
Approximately 42,803 workers, or about 43 per- 
cent of the total work force is involved in services. 
Mining has been important to all the states in 
the region. Much of the growth of the transporta- 
tion, communication, and utilities sectors of the 
economy has stemmed from mining activity. Coal 
has been mined historically in all states of the 
region, but only recently have these reserves 
received national interest. Oil and gas are pro- 
duced in half of the counties and are the leading 
commodities in one-quarter of the counties. The 
most common mineral produced in the region is 
sand and gravel, but a wide variety of metals 
(uranium, copper, zinc, lead, vanadium, gold, 
silver, and iron) and nonmetallic (crushed stone, 
clay, gypsum, lime, potassium salts, and salt) are 
also mined. 

Historically, agriculture was the principal 
employment sector until the early 1950's, when 
energy-related development started to increase. 
With population increases, urban expansion 
moved to the prime agricultural valleys. 

Agriculture in this area consists of irrigated 
farming along water courses and the grazing of 
cattle and sheep. Dryland farming is important 
locally, especially in the Colorado portion of the 
basin. The value of farm products sold is less than 
$1 per acre of land throughout the region; most 



4-45 



TABLE 4-10 

POPULATION AND ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS IN THE 
SAN JUAN RIVER REGION (a) 



1975 Total Population 3 

Total Area (square miles) a 

Population per square mile (1975) 

Per Capita Personal Income (1975) 

Per Capita Personal Income as a 

Percent of National Average (1975) 



351,143 
57,047 

6.2 
3,753 

74 







PERCENT 


EARNINGS 


PERCENT 




EMPLOYMENT 


OF 


(in thousands 


OF 


ECONOMIC SECTOR 




TOTAL 


of dollars) 


TOTAL 


Livestock 


3,957 


4 


23,374 


3 


Other Agriculture 


3,805 


4 


17,707 


2 


Metal Mining 


3,495 


4 


37,169 


5 


Coal Mining 


283 


0-1 


7,478 


1 


Oil and Gas 


3,887 


4 


29,205 


4 


Other Mining 


445 


0-1 


2,585 


0-1 


Construction 


4,649 


5 


65,362 


8 


All Manufacturing 


6,331 


6 


46,679 


6 



Transportation , 
Communication , 
and Public 



Utilities 


3,567 


4 


59,822 


7 


Wholesale and 










Retail Trade 


21,551 


22 


136,141 


17 


Finance, Insurance, 










and Real Estate 


3,344 


3 


28,623 


4 


Other Services 


14,082 


14 


121,665 


15 


Federal Govt. 


6,991 


7 


78,495 


10 


State and Local 










Govt. 


21,730 


22 


147,222 


18 


TOTAL 


98,117 


801,527 





(a) Demographic information which is based on all counties either totally 
or partially within regional boundaries. 



4-46 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



income is derived from sales of cattle and sheep. 
Principal agricultural crops grown within the 
region include corn, hay, wheat, cotton, and 
sugarbeets. 

Relatively low population, remoteness, and 
breathtaking scenery combine to make recreation- 
al opportunities almost unlimited. Two rivers in 
Colorado, the Dolores and Los Pinos, are under 
consideration for inclusion in the Wild and Scenic 
Rivers System. There are six National Monuments 
in the region and twelve state recreational facili- 
ties. The most popular recreational activity in this 
region is camping, followed by fishing, picnicking, 
and hunting. Recreation is showing significant 
economic growth in all areas. 

Land ownership throughout the region is 
primarily Federal. Federal lands are National 
Forest and public lands (administered by BLM). 
Indian land also is prevalent. Only a small 
percentage of the land is private. This has made 
urban expansion expensive and difficult. 

The region is well supplied with energy by the 
Colorado River Storage Project of the Bureau of 
Reclamation, by municipal, private, and coopera- 
tive power companies, and by natural gas distribu- 
tors. Recent growth in demand for electricity has 
been rapid. Demand for natural gas has been 
increasing at a lesser rate, due to rising prices. 
Transportation facilities are best developed in 
urban areas. The major transportation network 
within the region are highways, but neither 
construction nor maintenance has kept up with the 
expanded use. Railways are almost non-existent, 
although an east-west main-line of the Santa Fe 
Railway traverses the region. 

Water may be one of the most stringent limits 
on future growth. Water supply and wastewater 
treatment require advanced technologies in what is 
essentially a desert environment. Few rural com- 
munities in the region possess the water supply 
systems and wastewater treatment facilities that 
are features of urban areas. Surface water is 
scarce; groundwater often has a large quantity of 
minerals and salts and must be processed. 

4.9 UINTA-SOUTHWESTERN UTAH 
COAL REGION 

The Uinta-Southwestern Utah Coal Region, is 
in the Colorado Plateau and Uinta Basin of the 
southwestern United States. This region encom- 



passes about 57,000 square miles in six Colorado 
and 14 Utah counties. 

4.9.1 The Environment 

The general area is characterized by extremes 
in both topography and climate. The higher peaks 
and plateaus rise above the adjacent lowlands 
which, in turn, are from about 3,000 to over 5,000 
feet above sea level. Extremely steep slopes and 
narrow, vertically walled canyons prevail through- 
out much of the region. Many of the coal deposits 
are in the flanks of the major peaks and plateaus at 
intermediate elevations. 

The Uinta portion of this region, the northern 
majority of the region in Utah and Colorado which 
contains the south slope of the Uinta mountains, is 
a structural basin with rocks on the southern flanks 
of the basin dipping gently toward the center. 
Rocks on the northern and northeastern flanks are 
steeply dipping with overturned beds and major 
faults. The remaining Southwestern Utah portion 
of the region includes a series of plateaus in a 
shallow structural basin. Many of those areas are 
separated by a series of major faults, including the 
Hurricane, Sevier, and Paunsaugunt Faults. A 
number of geologically significant areas within this 
region have been included in the National Park 
System as parts of Zion, Bryce Canyon, and 
Capitol Reef National Parks, and Cedar Breaks 
National Monument. A number of areas, less 
known to the general public but almost equally 
spectacular and geologically unique, have been 
designated by the Bureau of Land Management as 
outstanding natural areas. For examples, the 
canyons of the Escalante River and its tributaries 
contain numerous natural bridges and arches, 
towering rock monoliths, and sheer sandstone 
cliffs. 

Principal minerals are coal, petroleum, natural 
gas, copper, zinc, lead, vanadium, gold, silver, and 
iron. Oil shale and tar sands, as well as convention- 
al petroleum sources, are extensive. 

The geological age of the coal deposits date 
back to the Cretaceous and Paleocene ages. Coal 
seams are primarily deep deposits of medium to 
high volatile A and B bituminous. The region's 
coal reserve base is estimated to be approximately 
6 billion tons. 

Fossils of prehistoric plants and animals are 
widespread. One of the nation's major concentra- 
tions of dinosaur remains is in the Utah portion of 



4-47 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



Dinosaur National Monument. Other deposits 
occur throughout the region. 

Prevailing southwest winds, that move across 
the Colorado and Mohave Deserts, give most of 
the region an arid climate with a very high 
evapotranspiration rate. However, rugged topogra- 
phy and great differences in elevation and orienta- 
tion cause great variations in temperature and 
moisture within short distances. The result is a 
mosaic of microclimates with significant differ- 
ences between north and south facing slopes, and 
between sheltered canyon bottoms and exposed 
ridges. At higher elevations subzero winter temper- 
atures are common. Summers are cold and 
growing seasons are short. The higher peaks and 
mountain ranges are covered with snow, often 
several feet deep, several months of the year. 

The lower elevations are characterized by hot 
summers, with temperatures frequently exceeding 
100°F, especially in southern portions of the 
region. Even at lower elevations subfreezing 
temperatures occur frequently in the winter. 

The clear, dry air typical of much of the area is 
conducive to rapid temperature changes. It is not 
unusual to have temperatures in the eighties at 
midday and frost at night within the same 24-hour 
period. 

In spite of the prevailing general movement of 
air from west to east many local wind variations 
result from the rugged topography. Warm air rises 
from the valley floors and plains during the day 
and cold air drains down from the higher eleva- 
tions at night. Local wind flows created by these 
factors can be quite strong. As a rule, however, 
their persistence is not great. 

Throughout rural portions of this region, air 
quality is generally very good. There are no major 
concentrations of particulates, sulfur dioxide, or 
nitrogen dioxide. Occasionally, however, air quali- 
ty problems occur in the closed valleys where 
temperature inversions trap and hold urban and 
industrial emissions. 

Because of the high evapotranspiration rate 
during summer months, winter precipitation is 
usually more effective in providing soil moisture 
and groundwater recharge. 

Water from much of the region drains east and 
south into tributaries of the Colorado River. 
Principal Colorado tributaries include the Green, 
White, Duchesne, Price, Dirty Devil, Escalante, 
Paria, and Virgin Rivers. The Yampa River, 



though just outside the region, contributes signifi- 
cantly to flows of the Green. The remainder of the 
region, including the Provo and Sevier Rivers, is in 
the Great Basin hydrologic region. 

Most precipitation occurs on the high moun- 
tains and plateaus. Watersheds at lower elevations 
contribute little to base stream flows because of 
low precipitation and high evapotranspiration 
rates. Therefore, most streams diminish rather than 
grow in size after leaving the mountains. This 
natural tendency is intensified by extensive diver- 
sions and consumptive use of water by man. The 
Sevier River is subjected to extremely heavy use 
with much of the water rediverted and reused 
several times along its course, and is largely 
depleted by the time the river reaches Sevier Dry 
Lake. 

Most streams originate in the high timbered 
country of the headwaters. As they descend, they 
accumulate sediments and salts from the highly 
erosive watersheds at lower elevations. This natu- 
ral trend is intensified by diversion of water, 
primarily for irrigation. Water returning to the 
stream as drainage from irrigated agriculture 
carries an increased loading of salts and sediments. 
Tributaries originating at lower elevations are 
usually intermittent. Stream flows and surface 
water use have not been quantified for this region 
specifically, and flows are probably less than 6 
million acre-feet per year. 

Dissolved solids in streams of the region range 
from 120 to 350 milligrams per liter in the western 
base of the Wasatch Mountains, and tributaries to 
the Upper Strawberry, which drain the south face 
of the Uinta Mountains. Over the remainder of the 
region, total dissolved solids values are greater 
than 350 mg/1. In some basins total dissolved 
solids exceed 1800 mg/1. Sediment concentrations 
are variable, but are greater than 1900 mg/1 in the 
larger perennial rivers. Suspended sediment con- 
centrations vary extensively throughout the region. 

The region is underlain by low permeability 
rocks that generally yield less than 50 gallons per 
minute to wells. However, in some of the alluvial 
valley fills, particularly those containing gravels 
and sands, yields of several hundred gallons a 
minute can be obtained. The quality of bedrock 
water supplies is generally poor. 

Over much of the region soils are poorly 
developed. The combination of steep slopes and 
semi-arid to arid climate, with highly variable 



4-48 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



precipation, results in a naturally high rate of 
erosion. Wind erosion is significant in southern 
portions of the region. Formation of top soil is 
quite slow. In the geologic past, much of the region 
was covered by a shallow sea which contributed 
salts to the land. In much of the region the high 
evapotranspiration rate has caused further concen- 
tration of salts in many areas. Salts are generally 
more concentrated in soils of flat valley floors and 
closed basins. The more productive soils frequently 
occur on benches, alluvial fans and gentle slopes, 
where there is sufficient drainage to minimize the 
accumulation of salts. 

In addition to soil problems inherent to the 
topography, climate, and geological history of the 
region, severe range and watershed abuse by the 
early settlers caused loss or degradation of much of 
the limited and fragile original top soil. Continued 
heavy grazing has limited recovery of damaged 
areas in many cases. 

Soils of the eastern part of the region generally 
are sandy loam, loam, or silty loam with a calcium 
carbonate accumulation usually occurring at 
depths greater than four feet. The soils of the 
central portion of the region are generally steep, 
shallow, and poorly developed, often with many 
rock fragments. In the southern portion of the 
region, the soils are a mix of the rocky soils found 
in the central part of the region and soils with 
sandy loam to silty clay loam texture with a 
calcium carbonate zone at one to three feet. 

Vegetation is largely a manifestation of climate 
and soils. Plantlife within the region forms a 
mosaic closely conforming to the pattern of 
climates caused by the rugged topography. In this 
arid environment, moisture is by far the most vital 
factor in determining what vegetation will grow in 
a given site. Native flora ranges from cold desert 
through pinyon-juniper woodland to montane 
coniferous forest often within a few miles. Narrow 
belts of streamside vegetation transect all the 
major vegetal communities. 

Numbers and kinds of wildlife present are, in 
turn, determined primarily by the habitat created 
by existing vegetation. The great diversity of 
vegetation supports a corresponding diversity of 
wildlife including approximately 90 different mam- 
mals, 270 birds, 26 reptiles, 9 amphibians, and a 
great many insects and other invertebrates. 

The montane forests of the higher elevations 
contain ponderosa and lodgepole pine, Douglas- 



fir, and spruce. Aspen is interspersed throughout 
much of the conifer forests. 

Wildlife representative of the montane conifer- 
ous forests include small mammals such as 
snowshoe rabbit, red squirrel, flying squirrel, and 
porcupine; game species such as elk, black bear, 
mule deer; and predators such as bobcat, cougar, 
and marten. Moose have recently been trans- 
planted into the region. Characteristic birds in- 
clude Clark's nutcracker, grayheaded junco, 
mountain bluebird, mountain chickadee, hairy 
woodpecker, ruffed grouse, blue grouse, goshawk, 
great horned owl, pygmy owl, and flamulated owl. 
Wild turkey occur in limited areas. 

The woodland-brushland, at intermediate ele- 
vations consists of juniper, piny on pine, mountain 
mahogany, and oakbrush with interspersions of 
sagebrush and grasses. 

Representative mammals of the pinyon-juniper 
woodland-bushland communities include rock 
squirrel, cliff chipmunk, desert woodrat, pinyon 
mouse, bobcat, bushy-tailed woodrat, mule deer, 
and elk. A free-roaming bison herd occurs in this 
vegetal type on the Henry Mountains of Utah. 
Birds include the ash-throated flycatcher, gray 
flycatcher, pinyon jay, plains titmouse, western 
bluebird, and the black-throated gray warbler. 

Vegetation of the cold desert is dominated by 
salt-bush and greasewood, indicating saline soil, in 
lower, poorly drained areas. Sagebrush with 
associated grasses and forbs predominate on slopes 
and benches that are better drained and less saline. 
In cold desert communities, typical mammals 
are the black-tailed jack rabbit, desert cottontail, 
Nuttall's cottontail, desert woodrat, least chip- 
munk, Great Basin pocket mouse, Ord's kangaroo 
rat, northern grasshopper mouse, pronghorn ante- 
lope, coyote, kit fox, skunk, and desert bighorn 
sheep. Characteristic reptiles are the leopard lizard, 
sagebrush lizard, side-blotched lizard, short- 
horned lizard, bullsnake, plateau whiptail racer, 
and western rattlesnake. Birds include red-tailed 
hawk, Gambel's quail, sage grouse, mourning 
dove, great-horned owl, loggerhead shrike, sage 
thrasher, sage sparrow, and Brewer's sparrow. 

Streamside vegetation consists mainly of Cot- 
tonwood, willow, and herbaceous wetland plants. 
The narrow belts of riparian woodlands are vital to 
many wildlife species and support a greater 
diversity of wildlife than any other single habitat 
type. This is especially true in lower and more arid 



4-49 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



areas where the riparian vegetation is literally an 
oasis in the desert. The cottonwoods and other 
trees often provide the only nesting and perching 
sites in many miles for raptors and other birds. 
Throughout the region, much of the vegetal 
cover has changed considerably since the coming 
of settlers and the grazing of domestic livestock. 
Prior to this time, grasslands were more extensive 
and sagebrush and pinyon-juniper more limited in 
area. Heavy grazing of grasses favored an increase 
in shrubs and woodland. This caused an increase 
in numbers of deer and a decrease in numbers of 
elk, antelope, and desert bighorn. 

Reclamation of land, to the point where it 
supports the same vegetation and fauna that was 
there before disturbance, is a slow process in much 
of the region. In the more arid areas, the probabili- 
ty of seeding success without irrigation is approxi- 
mately one year out of three. In a drought cycle 
several years may pass before suitable moisture 
conditions occur for reseeding success. Proper soil 
management and irrigation practices may, how- 
ever, mitigate the adverse reclamation effects of 
droughts. Transplanting of seedlings is sometimes 
required for some desirable shrub species. Trees 
grow slowly, and 100 years or more may be 
required to replace a mature stand of timber. 

In some cases, predominant existing vegetation 
represents a deteriorated watershed condition 
resulting from longterm overuse by livestock and 
big game animals. Therefore, restoration of the 
exact existing vegetation might not always be 
desirable. 

The numerous habitat areas isolated from one 
another by barriers of terrain and climate have 
encouraged the evolution of a number of unique 
plant species. Eighty-four plants in the region have 
been proposed for Federal endangered or threat- 
ened status; however, only the Rydberg milk- vetch 
has been designated as threatened. None are 
Federally considered to be endangered. The 
remaining 83 may not eventually receive this 
status. 

A number of Federally-listed endangered or 
threatened animals inhabit the region either year- 
round or seasonally. These include the bald eagle, 
peregrine falcon, Utah prairie dog, black-footed 
ferret, and whooping crane. Endangered and 
threatened fish include the endangered Colorado 
squawfish, humpback chub, and woundfm. The 
Virgin River spinedace and Virgin River roundtail 



chub have been recommended for endangered 
classification. The razorback sucker is on the 
Colorado endangered list. Additionally, Colorado 
cites the river otter as endangered and Utah cites 
the spotted bat as unique. 

4.9.2 The Environment and Man 

The prehistory of the region includes several 
distinct archeologically defined cultural periods: 
the Paleo Indians (big game hunters- 12,000 B.C. to 
500 B.C.), Archaic (hunter/gatherers- 12,000 B.C. 
to 500 B.C.), Desert Anasazi (sedentary agricultu- 
ristic-A.D. 700 to A.D. 1250), and Paiute (hun- 
ter/gatherers-A.D. 1250 to the historic period). 
Numerous small groups of cliff dwellings and other 
archeological sites are scattered throughout ca- 
nyons, mainly in southern portions of the region. 
Indian artifacts are scattered throughout the 
region. Modern Indians still occupy considerable 
areas. 

The first documented non-Indian passage 
through southern Utah and western Colorado was 
by the Dominguez-Escalante expedition of 1776- 
77. The somewhat later, trade-oriented Spanish 
Trail also passes through the region. The region 
was visited in the earlier 1 800's by the government 
explorer John C. Fremont, the famed trapper 
Jedediah Smith, and other trappers, fur traders, 
and mountain men. 

Very soon after their arrival in the Salt Lake 
Valley in 1847, the Mormons initiated exploration 
and colonization missions on a substantial scale. 
Initial thrusts were along the western base of the 
Wasatch Plateau and in the Sevier River Valley 
where snow-fed streams from the mountains 
provided water for irrigation. The region was 
originally settled primarily for agriculture and 
stock raising. However, discovery of minerals soon 
brought about considerable mining activity in 
some areas. The Mormons established settlements 
as rapidly as possible in almost every location 
which the resources could conceivably support. 
The Colorado portion was settled in a more typical 
fashion. The White River Basin, somewhat isolated 
from the main travel routes through the moun- 
tains, was occupied by white settlers later than 
much of the region. 

Mining of coal began in numerous locations at 
an early date. The coal enterprise prospered for 
many years supplying primarily the railroads and 
local domestic and industrial needs. Replacement 



4-50 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



of coal-burning railroad locomotives with diesel- 
electric engines and conversion from coal to 
natural gas and fuel oil for home heating and 
industrial use caused a drastic decline in coal 
mining activity. Many mines were inactive until 
recently when the construction of several large 
coal-fired power plants created a greatly increased 
demand. 

The uranium boom following World War II 
brought thousands of prospectors and miners into 
the more rugged and remote areas of southern 
Utah and western Colorado. This influx was 
temporary and most uranium seekers left after the 
market for uranium declined. Roads and jeep trails 
established or improved during the uranium boom 
have had a lasting impact by increasing accessibili- 
ty to many areas. 

Uranium mining and processing, which have 
been at a low level for a number of years, are 
beginning to accelerate in response to the increase 
in nuclear power plants. 

Coal is produced in almost half the region's 
counties and is the leading value mineral in six of 
them. Of those counties reporting actual dollar 
volume of production, 60 percent had total 
production valued at greater than $1 million; and 
45 percent had values greater than $10 million. 

Petroleum, natural gas, and natural gas liquids 
were produced in half of the counties and were the 
leading commodities in one-quarter of the coun- 
ties, including two counties that had a total 
mineral production of $340 million. Although sand 
and gravel were the most common minerals in the 
region, being produced in 95 percent of the 
counties, production value was low, accounting for 
only one percent of Utah's total mineral produc- 
tion. A wide variety of metallic minerals were 
produced in the region, the most common being 
uranium. Other metallic minerals included copper, 
zinc, lead, vanadium, gold, silver, and iron. In 
addition to sand and gravel, the nonmetallic 
minerals produced in the region included crushed 
stone, clay, gypsum, lime, potassium salts, and salt. 
The demand for limestone and lime is increasing 
as these materials are used for dust suppression in 
coal mines and in wet scrubbers for emission 
control at power plants. 

Even though much of the region is sparsely 
populated and rural in nature, it supports localized 
urban centers. Price, Richfield, Vernal, St. George 
and Cedar City, Utah, and Grand Junction and 



Montrose, Colorado, are some of the principal 
trade centers within the region. Page and Fredonia, 
Arizona, and Salt Lake City and Provo, Utah, are 
within the area of economic influence. Nearly all 
communities are dependent on Salt Lake City or 
Denver for some goods and services. 

Total population for the Uinta-Southwestern 
Utah Coal Region was approximately 406,600 in 

1975, with a density of approximately seven 
persons per square mile. Forty-four thousand 
persons migrated into the region between 1970 and 

1976. Public school enrollments totaled over 
100,000 students in 1975. Table 4-11 provides an 
overview of pertinent demographic and socioeco- 
nomic information. 

Approximately 26,400 workers, or about 19.2 
percent of total regional employment, are in the 
service sector. Combined with 29,900 workers in 
the wholesale and retail trade sector and 16,700 
workers in the manufacturing sector, these three 
sectors represent over 52 percent of total employ- 
ment. Approximately 13,460 persons are employed 
in the agricultural sector in the region. 

Livestock grazing in some form occurs over 
much of the region. The limited area of farm land, 
less than 5 percent of the land area, is largely used 
for production of hay and feed grains in conjunc- 
tion with range livestock operations. 

Pastureland represents more than 75 percent of 
farmlands. Over 75 percent of harvested cropland 
is irrigated. In some counties, as much as 20-29 
percent of the total farm land and most of the 
irrigated land was used for the production of hay 
to support livestock operations. 

Cultivated crops produced within the region 
include hay, wheat, sugarbeets, and corn. Average 
yields per acre for these crops are 2.5 tons for hay, 
23.3 bushels for wheat, 18 tons for sugarbeets, and 
96 bushels for corn. 

Military and other U.S. government installa- 
tions and operations in and adjacent to the region 
make a significant contribution to the economy. In 
recent years the service sector related to tourism 
and outdoor recreation has become important. 
Hunting, fishing, camping, plus other recreation- 
oriented out-of-doors activities are significant 
elements of the regional economy. Five national 
parks, five national monuments, one national 
recreation area, one wilderness area, one national 
forest primitive area, several BLM outstanding 
natural areas, numerous ski resorts, and river- 



4-51 



TABLE 4-11 

POPULATION AND ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS IN THE 
UINTA-SOUTHWESTERN UTAH REGION(a) 



1975 Total Population 3 

Total Area (square miles) a 

Population per square mile (1975) 

Per Capita Personal Income (1975) 

Per Capita Personal Income as a 

Percent of National Average (1975) 



406,626 
56,271 

7.2 
$3,950 

78 



ECONOMIC SECTOR 


EMPLOYMENT 


PERCENT 
OF 
TOTAL 


EARNINGS 

(in thousands 

of dollars) 


PERCENT 
OF 
TOTAL 


Livestock 


6,243 


5 


31,887 


3 


Other Agriculture 


7,218 


5 


35,786 


3 


Metal Mining 


1,893 


1 


13,714 


1 


Coal Mining 


2,167 


2 


51-, 511 


5 


Oil and Gas 


2,611 


2 


24,109 


2 


Other Mining 


1,423 


1 


15,998 


1 


Construction 


6,608 


5 


106,707 


2 


All Manufacturing 


16,755 


12 


149,799 


13 


Transportation, 










Communication , 










and Public 










Utilities 


4,504 


3 


73,969 


7 


Wholesale and 










Retail Trade 


29,898 


22 


198,023 


18 


Finance, Insurance, 










and Real Estate 


4,168 


3 


36,770 


3 


Other Services 


26,397 


19 


190,401 


17 


Federal Govt. 


3,559 


3 


40,077 


4 


State and Local 










Govt. 


23,687 


17 


143,562 


13 


TOTAL 


137,131 


1,112,313 





(a) Demographic information which is based on all counties either totally 
or partially within regional boundaries. 



4-52 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



running opportunities on the Colorado River, all 
within or immediately adjacent to the region, draw 
recreationists from throughout the nation. 

A significant characteristic of the region is that 
existing population centers are far apart and often 
considerable distances from the natural resources 
that are being developed. Also, availability of land 
suitable for expanded municipal and residential 
development is sometimes physically limited by 
rugged terrain or inadequate water supply. 

School districts range from over 13,000 stu- 
dents in 34 schools at Grand Junction, Colorado, 
to less than 100 students and one school in some 
smaller rural communities. 

In many communities little vacant housing is 
available to accommodate any substantial popula- 
tion increase. In towns currently experiencing 
rapid growth there has been a marked increase in 
mobile homes. 

Most towns have small administrative staffs 
which have few resources for planning future 
developments. Also, land use control mechanisms 
to manage growth are frequently lacking. 

Police and fire protection range from full time 
professional departments to part time services of 
the county sheriffs departments in the smaller 
communities. 

Except for the few major highways most roads 
were designed a number of years ago to handle 
relatively light traffic and would require upgrading 
to accomodate heavy coal hauling. Some coal 
deposits are accessible only by primitive roads and 
major road construction would be required if coal 
were developed. Only a few active railroads exist in 
the region. Interstate Highway 15 skirts the 
western edge of the region linking the major trade 
centers of Utah with Las Vegas and Los Angeles to 
the southwest and with Boise, Portland, and 
Seattle in the northwest. Interstate 70 links central 
Utah with Grand Junction and Denver on the east. 
Interstate 80, just outside the region, links the 
Wasatch Front population centers of Utah with 
the San Francisco Bay area and industrial centers 
of the Great Lakes and northeastern regions. 

Major railroads are the Union Pacific and 
Denver and Rio Grande Western (D&RGW). The 
D&RGW begins at Ogden, Utah, passes through 
Salt Lake City and Provo, crosses the Wasatch 
Plateau and parallels US 6 to Grand Junction and 
Denver, Colorado. A segment of the D&RGW 
extends southward through the region to Richfield, 



Utah. The Union Pacific links the region to other 
population centers of the nation. 

A preponderance of the land is in public 
ownership. Portions of nine National Forests are 
included in the higher, timbered portions of the 
region. These are the Wasatch, Uinta, Ashley, 
Fishlake, and Dixie National Forests in Utah and 
the White River, Routt, Grand Mesa, and Uncom- 
pahgre National Forests in Colorado. The Uintah- 
Ouray Indian Reservation is located in the Uinta 
Basin portion of the region. Lands at lower 
elevations are largely public lands administered by 
the Bureau of Land Management. Typically, 
bottom lands and gentle slopes suitable for 
agriculture are privately owned and the more 
rugged terrain is in public ownership. 

4.10 DENVER - RATON MESA COAL 
REGION 

The Denver-Raton Mesa Coal Region is in the 
Colorado Piedmont and Great Plains of the west 
central United States. This region encompasses 
approximately 24,000 square miles in 14 Colorado 
and one New Mexico counties. 

4.10.1 The Environment 

The Denver Basin occupies a north-south 
trending basin characterized by gently dipping 
strata to the east and by steeply dipping upturned 
beds along the foothills to the west. Except along 
the foothills where crystalline rocks outcrop, the 
surface rocks are sedimentary. The Laramie 
Formation contains coal beds of sub-bituminous B 
and C rank. Although these beds range up to 17 
feet thick, most are thinner, lenticular, and discon- 
tinuous. A number of small mines have extracted 
coal from this formation, particularly in Boulder 
and Weld Counties, Colorado, and near Colorado 
Springs. In addition, the Denver Formation con- 
tains extensive beds of sub-bitumnous coal in an 
area about 75 miles long by 25-35 miles wide. 
Placer gold was recovered from portions of the 
area in the latter part of the nineteenth century, 
but gold is not actively mined now. Numerous 
producing oil and gas wells are located in the 
region. Production is from the Dakota Sandstone 
and is spread over a number of small scattered 
fields. 

The Raton Mesa area of this region occupies a 
broad trough that runs north-south from northern 
New Mexico into southern Colorado. This basin is 



4-53 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



also characterized by gently dipping rocks on the 
eastern flank and steeply dipping to overturned 
rocks along the flanks of the Sangre De Cristo 
Mountains to the west. The area contains many 
igneous intrusions that alter the coal beds. Coal 
occurs throughout the sandstones and shales of the 
Vermejo Formation and the conglomerate, sand- 
stone, and shale of the Raton Formations. The 
entire region is estimated to contain 3.9 billion tons 
of demonstrated coal reserves. The coal is high- 
volatile A to B bituminous and of coking quality 
throughout most of the region, except in the 
Walsenburg Field in the northern part. The 
coalbearing rocks are up to 2,400 feet thick and 
contain coal beds mostly 2 to 5 feet thick, but 
ranging up to 15 feet thick in the New Mexico 
section of the region. Much of the coal outcrops at 
the surface on hillsides and along hogbacks. Some 
surface-mineable coal reserves are reported, but a 
number of major coal beds of the Vermejo 
Formation are buried by overburden as thick as 
1,000 to 3,000 feet. Sand and gravel are extracted 
in all counties of the region. 

The climate of the Denver-Raton Mesa Coal 
Region is highland continental. It is characterized 
by low relative humidity, light rainfall, abundant 
sunshine, moderate to high wind movement, and a 
large daily range in temperature. Precipitation 
generally ranges from 13 to 18 inches a year, the 
greater amounts falling at the higher elevations. 
Precipitation is heaviest in spring and early 
summer and lowest in the winter months. 

Prevailing storm patterns across the region are 
west-to-east. The storms provide little moisture to 
the area, however, because they deposit most of it 
on the western slopes of the Rockies. Similarly, 
storms from the north that bring some of the 
coldest weather are rarely accompanied by signifi- 
cant precipitation. In spring, when storms tend to 
develop in the panhandle of Texas and Oklahoma, 
moisture is deposited on the eastern slopes of the 
mountains and the area receives the heaviest and 
most general rains. These taper off to shower and 
thunderstorm activity in the summer period. 

The mean annual temperature in the region 
ranges between 48° and 52° F. However, daily 
temperatures vary by 27°F to 39°F, indicative of 
the high, semi-arid nature of the area and climate. 
Surface wind speeds average 10 miles per hour. 
However, winds through the vertical mixing zone 
are less than average for the nation as a whole. 



Frequent night-time surface inversions and rela- 
tively high afternoon mixing heights are prevalent 
features of the region. The terrain and the 
considerable daily range in temperature tend to 
create local valley-mountain circulations, so that 
winds are not very persistent in direction except 
when chinooks occur. There is a tendency for 
regular reversals of flow, a situation that is not 
conducive to dispersing pollutants. 

In spite of these factors, overall regional air 
quality is quite good. However, in the more heavily 
populated areas along the Front Range, and 
particularly in the South Platte River Valley, air 
quality frequently fails to meet national standards. 
The principal cause is automobile emissions 
coupled with atmospheric temperature inversions. 
These conditions are more frequent in the fall and 
early winter though they may occur at any time of 
the year. 

The region is part of three major drainage 
basins: the Upper Missouri, the Upper Arkansas 
Red, and the Western Gulf. The major rivers 
draining the region include the South Platte and its 
tributaries, and tributaries to the Arkansas River. 
Headwaters of these streams lie to the west in the 
Rocky Mountains where most of the runoff 
originates as winter snows. Streams originating 
within the region are ephemeral; any runoff in 
them is generally from spring and summer thunder 
showers. Surface-water flow in the region is about 
5.4 million acre-feet per year, of which over 4.5 
million acre-feet are consumptively used, primarily 
for irrigation and self-supplied industry. 

Aquifers are found both in the alluvial deposits 
of the Denver and Raton Basins and in the 
underlying sandstones. Wells drawing from alluvi- 
um in the Denver Basin primarily supply water for 
irrigation and yield 400 to 2000 gallons per minute. 
The Foxhill Sandstone is the most notable bedrock 
aquifer in the Denver Basin; it lies at the base of 
the coal zone of the Laramie Formation. Most 
wells in the sandstone yield water under artesian 
pressure, although heavy pumping has lowered the 
artesian head about 600 feet in some areas. 
Recharge areas of this aquifer are in the foothills to 
the west and the Black Forest area near Colorado 
Springs. In the Raton Basin, the Dakota Sandstone 
is the principal bedrock aquifer, though water is 
recovered from other sandstones also. Wells into 
these sandstones generally yield 10 to 100 gpm, 
and some yield over 200 gpm. 



4-54 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



Water quality in the perennial streams entering 
the region is quite good, with total dissolved solids 
averaging less than 100 milligrams per liter. 
However, ephemeral tributary streams often add 
water containing 1800 mg/liter or more. Due to 
this and to return flows water quality deteriorates 
progressively downstream. For example, the South 
Platte contains about 1000 mg/liter of dissolved 
solids where it leaves the region. Similarly, the 
perennial streams entering the region start with 
little sediment, but tributary streams, particularly 
during peak flows, contribute very heavy loads, 
with the result that, in the eastern part of the 
region, sediment loads may exceed 1900 mg/liter. 
Groundwater quality in alluvial aquifers also 
tends to deteriorate downstream, increasing from 
1300 mg/liter of total dissolved solids near Denver 
to about 1800 mg/liter near the state line. Quality 
of water from the sandstone varies but generally is 
lightly mineralized with a high floride concentra- 
tion and some is slightly corrosive. 

Due to a shortage of available water to meet 
municipal, irrigation, and industrial needs of the 
region, extensive importation of water from west- 
ern Colorado has been undertaken. 

Within the Denver section of this region, the 
soils generally have an organic-rich surface hori- 
zon and are high in bases. These gently sloping 
soils usually have a thin clay accumulation in the 
subsurface horizon and are intermittenly dry for 
long periods during the summer. This portion of 
the region is on the western edge of the prairie 
biome and the predominant vegetation is buffalo 
grass and blue grama. Associated vegetation 
includes yucca, western wheatgrass, needlegrass, 
fringed sage, and prairie globemallow. Other 
plants of local importance include cottonwood, 
willows, and fourwing saltbush along drainage 
systems; saltgrass on saline or alkaline soils; and 
prairie sand reed and plains prickly pear in sandy 
areas. Ponderosa pine is found in areas southeast 
of Denver generally on northerly and easterly 
aspects, in the Black Forest north of Colorado 
Springs, and where the grassland grades to a 
coniferous forest of ponderosa pine and Douglas 
fir along the southwest border of the region. 

The predominant soils of the Raton Mesa 
section have a grey to brown surface horizon with 
a subsurface accumulation of clay, and are 
medium to high in bases. These soils are usually 
moist but have steep slopes and many areas with 



rock outcrops. Soil limitations in this section 
include erosion, shallowness, and slope. Vegetation 
is primarily montane coniferous forest of pondero- 
sa pine, Douglas-fir, and Englemann spruce. 
Pinyon-juniper stands grading into short-grass 
prairie similar to that in the Denver section are 
found in the eastern portions of the Raton section. 
A high annual turnover and production in the 
grasslands of the Denver section provide a food 
base for large variety of animals. Populations of 
many wild animals can fluctuate widely because of 
periodic droughts and severe winter storms. Ripa- 
rian habitats along drainage bottoms extend the 
forest edge into the grasslands. This greatly 
increases the variety of habitat available for 
animals; those requiring heavy cover, shade, 
browse, tree nesting, etc., are able to survive within 
the grassland. 

Except for a few remaining pronghorn ante- 
lope, the original grazing animals have been 
replaced by domestic livestock. Mule deer are 
resident where ponderosa pine is found and in the 
fingers of riparian habitat along stream beds. 
Whitetail deer are found in the South Platte River 
bottoms and the deer population is increasing in 
this section. 

Animal life of the Raton-Mesa section is 
typical of the montane coniferous forest and forest 
edge habitats. Typical species include mammalian 
yellow-bellied marmot, golden-mantled ground 
squirrel, least chipmunk, red squirrel, bushy-tailed 
woodrat, boreal redback vole, bobcat, mule deer, 
elk, and porcupine. Typical birds include the 
western flycatcher, Clark's nutcracker, mountain 
chickadee, mountain bluebird, and pygmy nu- 
thatch. 

There are five animal species in the region 
whose populations have diminished to the point 
that they are currently on the Federal list of 
endangered species: the bald eagle, peregrine 
falcon, whooping crane, black-footed ferret, and 
greenback cutthroat trout. There are no plant 
species presently listed as threatened or endan- 
gered, although a number are under consideration. 
After disturbance, most areas of the Denver- 
Raton Mesa Coal Region could probably be 
reclaimed with proper land management. The 
principal limiting factor is the uncertainty of 
precipitation and, in some areas, erodibility of 
soils. 



4-55 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



4.10.2 The Environment And Man 

Both sections of the Denver-Raton Mesa Coal 
Region are associated with important Paleo-Indian 
life. East of the Raton Mesa section is the Folsom 
site in Colfax County, New Mexico, the first site to 
be positively identified as Paleo-Indian. Folsom 
points, a particular style of projectile point identi- 
fied with this site, were found in direct association 
with the remains of an extinct species of bison. 
North of Denver is the Lindenmeier site, in 
Larimer County, Colorado. Extensive excavations 
of this site uncovered over 20,000 artifacts, primar- 
ily stone blades and projectile points, and helped 
to produce a better understanding of Paleo-Indian 
life. Cultural developments following the afore- 
mentioned Paleo-Indian period included the San 
Jose complex of the Desert Culture in the Raton 
Mesa section and a transition phase between the 
Archaic and Desert Cultures in the Denver section. 
Further developments continued to divide the two 
sections between eastern and western cultural 
influences. In the period following 500 A.D., the 
Denver section was within the cultural sphere of 
the Plains Bison Hunters, and the Raton Mesa 
section was part of the Anasazi complex of the 
southwestern Farmers Tradition. The National 
Register of Historic Places provides cultural 
protection for many of these and other important 
archeological and historical features within the 
region. Within historic time, eastern Colorado and 
northern New Mexico were the domain of several 
successive Indian nations. When the white man 
arrived in the Denver-Raton Mesa Coal Region, 
the Arapaho and Cheyenne occupied the plains 
north of the Arkansas River and the Kiowa and 
Comanche occupied the land to the south. 

Although Spain was the first European nation 
to claim what is now the Denver-Raton Mesa Coal 
Region, that nation never established any settle- 
ments there. Both soldiers and friars from the 
settlements near Santa Fe, New Mexico, visited the 
area beginning in the early 1700's. They generally 
followed a route over Raton Pass; the same route 
followed by present day Interstate 25. 

Within three years of the Louisiana Purchase, 
General Pike visited the region on his explorations 
in 1806. However, it was not until after the 
Mexican War and the treaty of 1848 that settle- 
ment began in the Raton Mesa section. Settlers 
came to this area primarily from New Mexico 
beginning in the 1850's and 1860's. By 1850, John 



Fremont had passed through the Denver section 
on two of his expeditions, and the Santa Fe Trail 
had been established through the Raton Mesa 
section. The discovery of gold near what is now 
Denver in 1858 brought settlement to that area, 
primarily from the East. Following the Civil War, 
the plains Indians were removed to reservations in 
Oklahoma. 

Railroads from Cheyenne and Kansas City 
both reached Denver in 1870, greatly accelerating 
the settlement of that part of the region. Denver is 
the largest city in the region. Of the 110 historic 
sites within the region that are listed on the 
National Register of Historic Places, half are 
within the City of Denver. 

Dominant economic activities in the region 
reflect the position of Denver as a financial, trade, 
and manufacturing center for the whole Rocky 
Mountain area, as well as a western government 
center. Federal, state, and local governments 
employ 24 percent of the work force. Wholesale 
and retail trade (23 percent), services (16 percent), 
and manufacturing (14 percent) together employ 
53 per cent of the workers. Table 4-12 describes the 
major sector socioeconomic characteristcs. Agri- 
culture employs about 2 percent and mining less 
than 1 percent of the workers. The total labor 
force, expressed as a percentage of total popula- 
tion, provides an estimate of the labor force 
participation rate. The estimated 1975 labor force 
participation rate in the Denver-Raton Mesa Coal 
Region was 72 percent. 

Per capita income for the region in 1975 was 
$5,787, some 14 percent above the national 
average of $5,077. Income ranged from a low of 
$3,228 in Huerfano County, Colorado, to a high of 
$6,858 in Denver County. 

Beyond the metropolitan areas, the principal 
industry is agriculture. In rural counties, as high as 
55 percent of the workers are employed in 
agriculture. Regional agricultural sales were $908 
million in 1975 with over 68 percent of that being 
livestock, mostly beef cattle. Agriculture of the 
region can be divided into three separate catego- 
ries. In northern Colorado, particularly along the 
South Platte River, there is substantial irrigation 
and beef production. Principal crops include 
sugarbeets and grains. In this area, farm products 
valued at $50-$ 150 per acre are produced. South of 
this area there is a shortage of irrigation water, and 
agriculture is about equally divided between 



4-56 



TABLE 4-12 

POPULATION AND ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS IN THE 
DENVER-RATON MESA REGION^ 



1975 Total Population 3 


1, 


854 


,205 




Total Area (square miles) 




23 


,937 




Population per square 


mile (1975) 






77.5 




Per Capita Personal Income (1975) 




$5 


,787 




Per Capita Personal Income as a 

Percent of National Average (1975) 






114 




ECONOMIC SECTOR 


EMPLOYMENT 


PERCENT 

OF 

TOTAL 


EARNINGS 

(in thousands 

of dollars) 


PERCENT 
OF 
TOTAL 


Livestock 


9,632 


1 




126,143 


1 


Other Agriculture 


8,944 


1 




109,989 


1 


Metal Mining 


513 


0-1 




6,781 


0-1 


Coal Mining 


1,177 


0-1 




13,373 


0-1 


Oil and Gas 


3,498 


0-1 




110,420 


1 


Other Mining 


2,722 


0-1 




9,179 


0-1 


Construction 


57,000 


7 




770,943 


8 


All Manufacturing 


112,279 


14 




1,515,820 


17 


Transportation, 












Communication, 












and Public 
Utilities 


50,325 


6 




775,049 


9 


Wholesale and 
Retail Trade 


182,872 


23 




1,664,036 


18 


Finance, Insurance, 
and Real Estate 


44,898 


6 




565,795 


6 


Other Services 


130,073 


16 




1,440,159 


16 


Federal Govt. 


87,956 


11 




1,095,350 


12 


State and Local 
Govt. 


105,194 


13 




876,913 


10 


TOTAL 


797,083 


9,080,220 





(a) Demographic information which is based on all counties either totally 
or partially within regional boundaries. 



4-57 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



dryland wheat and livestock ranching. In this area, 
the value of farm products sold per acre of farm 
land is between $10 and $30. In the Raton Mesa 
section, cattle and sheep ranching predominate 
and there are few cultivated crops. The average 
value of farm products here is less than $10 per 
acre of agricultural land. 

Principal crops grown within the region in- 
clude wheat, hay. corn, sugarbeets, and cotton. 
Yields per acre for these crops are approximately 
23 bushels of wheat, 3 tons of hay, 101 bushels of 
corn, 19 tons of sugarbeets, and 380 pounds of 
cotton. Agriculture employs about 18,576 persons 
in the region, about half of these being in the 
livestock industry. 

Mining is a relatively minor part of the local 
industry, with coal mining employing less than one 
percent of the work force. Historically there have 
been a number of smaller coal mines both in 
Boulder and Weld County, Colorado, and in the 
Raton Basin. Oil and gas production has been the 
source of greatest extracted wealth with numerous 
small fields throughout the area. Production of 
sand and gravel is the most universal of the 
mineral industries with activity found in every 
county of the region. Sand and gravel are used 
almost exclusively for local roads and building 
construction. 

The Denver-Raton Mesa Coal Region is not an 
area of outstanding outdoor recreation opportuni- 
ties. It contains no national parks, wild and scenic 
rivers, or wilderness areas. The region does include 
eight state recreation facilities and one state park, 
all in Colorado. These nine areas comprise some 
22,000 acres and receive about 2.7 million visits 
annually. 

Upland bird and waterfowl hunting are impor- 
tant fall activities, particularly in the irrigated 
agricultural lands north of Denver. Similarly, deer 
are hunted in the forested areas of the Raton 
Basin. Both sections of the region are on access 
routes to the Rocky Mountains to the west where 
many people, both resident and non-resident, 
travel for recreational activities (hunting, fishing, 
skiing, hiking, jeeping, mountain climbing, etc.). 
The most popular recreational activities within the 
region are camping, fishing, and picnicking. 

Because of Denver's historical role as an 
industrial and trade center and the nearby cities of 
Colorado Springs and Fort Collins, facilities in the 
Denver section of the region are well developed. 



This section is served by good highway and rail 
systems and a major regional airport. 

The area has been one of rapid growth for the 
past 15 years. Net immigration to the region 
between 1970 and 1976 was 162,000 persons. 
Despite this growth, the capacity of most commu- 
nity facilities has kept pace and public services are 
generally adequate. Some shortages of classrooms 
are noted in rapid growth portions of the metropol- 
itan areas, but older sections of these same areas 
are experiencing declining public school enroll- 
ments and are facing the prospect of closing 
schools. 

Domestic water supplies are a critical factor in 
the metropolitan areas. All are dependent to one 
degree or another on water imported from the 
western slope of the Rocky Mountains. 

To a large extent, the size and nature of 
community facilities are a function of population 
density. This is reflected in the contrast between 
the metropolitan areas of the region and the more 
rural areas. In the Raton Mesa section of the 
region, the smaller communities have limited 
capacity to deal with a population explosion. 

Life styles of the Denver-Raton Mesa Coal 
Region can be logically divided into three main 
types. First is the metropolitan life style of the 
Denver metropolitan area which is not unlike other 
large cities. Many people live in the suburbs and 
commute to regularly scheduled jobs in the city. 
The city also offers a full range of cultural 
activities, from museums to plays and symphony 
concerts to professional sports events. Because of 
the relative proximity of the mountains, many 
metropolitan residents maintain an active interest 
and participation in outdoor recreational pursuits. 
Each weekend the highways to the mountains are 
congested with residents traveling to favorite 
hiking, camping, skiing, or fishing areas. 

Small towns are relatively stable communities 
where ranchers and merchants know their neigh- 
bors. Many cultural activities and spectator-type 
entertainments are lacking in these areas. Resi- 
dents are generally quite independent and proud of 
their chosen way of life. 

Between these types of life styles are the small 
cities such as Colorado Springs and Fort Collins. 
These communities are large enough to support a 
reasonable level of cultural and educational ser- 
vices, yet retain much of the small town atmo- 



4-58 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



sphere and attitudes, particularly among the long- 
time residents. 

Federal land surface ownership in the region is 
minimal and widely scattered, amounting to only 
about 97,000 acres. Over half of this is in Huefano 
County, Colorado. 

4.11 REFERENCES 

1. Rand McNally, 1973. Handy Railroad Atlas 
of the United States. 

2. Rand McNally, 1978. Road Atlas. 

3. Peterson, R. T., 1947. A Field Guide to the 
Birds. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 

4. Burt, W. H. and R. P. Grossenheider, 1964. A 
Field Guide to the Mammals. Houghton Mifflin 
Company, Boston. 

5. Leet, L. D. and S. Judson, 1965. Physical 
Geology. Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, 
N.J. 

6. Interstate Commerce Commission, 1978. 
Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Docket 
No. AB12 (Sub-No. 53), Southern Pacific Trans- 
portation Company Abandonment Between Boni- 
ta Junction and Seagoville in Nacogdoches, Rusk, 
Cherokee, Anderson, Henderson, Kaufman and 
Dallas Counties, Texas. 

7. U.S. Department of the Interior, 1975. Coal 
Fields of the United States, Sheet 1. Geological 
Survey, Washington, D.C. 

8. U.S. Department of the Interior, 1970. The 
National Atlas of the United States of America, 
Geological Survey, Washington, D.C. 

9. U.S. Department of the Interior, 1979. List of 
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants, 
Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, D.C. 

10. U.S. Department of the Interior, 1975. Final 
Environmental Impact Statement, Proposed Fed- 
eral Coal Leasing Program, Bureau of Land 
Management, Washington, D.C. 

11. U.S. Department of the Interior, 1978. Final 
Environmental Impact Statement, Southwestern 
Wyoming Coal, Bureau of Land Management, 
Washington, D.C. 



12. U.S. Department of the Interior, 1978. Draft 
Environmental Statement, Southern Utah Coal, 
Bureau of Land Management, Washington, D.C. 

13. U.S. Department of the Interior, 1978. Draft 
Environmental Statement, West Central Colorado 
Coal, Bureau of Land Management, Washington, 
D.C. 

14. U.S. Department of the Interior, 1978. Draft 
Environmental Statement, Star Lake-Bisti Coal, 
Bureau of Land Management, Washington, D.C. 

15. U.S. Department of the Interior, 1978. Draft 
Environmental Statement, South Central Wyom- 
ing Coal, Bureau of Land Management, Washing- 
ton, D.C. 

16. U.S. Department of the Interior, 1978. Draft 
Environmental Statement, Central Utah Coal, 
Bureau of Land Management, Washington, D.C. 

17. U.S. Department of the Interior, 1978. Draft 
Environmental Statement Supplement, Eastern 
Powder River, Wyoming Coal, Bureau of Land 
Management, Washington, D.C. 

18. Bailey, R., 1976. Ecoregions of the United 
States. U.S' Government Printing Office, Washing- 
ton, D.C. 

19. Bailey, R. & Cushwa, C, 1977. Preliminary 
Map of Ecoregions: Appalachian Region. Geologi- 
cal Survey, Reston, Va. 

20. Eyre, S., 1968. Vegetation and Soils. Aldine 
Publishing Company, Ohio. 

21. Frentz, H. and Lynott, W., 1978. Baseline 
Study of the Climate and Air Quality of Fayette, 
Walker, Jefferson and Tuscaloosa Counties, Ala- 
bama. Science Applications, Inc., Lajolla, Califor- 
nia. 

22. Lyle, E, 1976. Grass, Legume and Tree 
Establishment on Alabama Coal Surface Mines. 
Proceedings of the Conference on Forestation of 
Disturbed Surface Areas, Birmingham, Alabama. 

23. Moorehead, C, Coblentz, B. and Gillespie, 
H., 1978. Cultural Resource Survey of Federal 
Mineral Lands in North Central Alabama, Tusca- 
loosa, Alabama. 

24. Murray, Francis, 1978. Where We Agree: 
Report of the National Coal Policy Project. 
Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado. 



4-59 



DESCRIPTION OF REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTS 



25. Natelson Co., Inc., 1978. Socioeconomic 
Study and Analysis of a Four County Area in 
North Central Alabama. Los Angeles, California. 

26. U.S. Department of Interior, 1975. Final 
Environmental Statement: Proposed Federal Coal 
Leasing Program. Bureau of Land Management. 
Washington, DC. 



27. U.S. Department of Interior, 1978. Land Use 
Study for North Central Alabama. Bureau of Land 
Management, Eastern States Office. 

28. U.S. Department of the Interior, 1979-1981 
Coal Package. Bureau of Land Management 
Eastern States Office. 

29. U.S. Department of the Interior, 1974-1975 
data. Socioeconomic Data System, Denver Service 
Center, Bureau of Land Managgement. 



4-60 



CHAPTER 5 

REGIONAL IMPACTS OF FEDERAL COAL MANAGEMENT 

PROGRAM ALTERNATIVES 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



CHAPTER 5 - REGIONAL IMPACTS OF FEDERAL COAL 
MANAGEMENT PROGRAM 
ALTERNATIVES 5 -l 

5.1 IMPACT ANALYSIS METHODOLOGIES 5-1 

5.1.1 Coal Development Cycle Activities 5-1 

5.1.2 Assumptions and Analysis Guidelines 5-4 

5.1.3 Impact Estimation "" 

5.1.4 Other Impacts 5 "' 

5.2 REGIONAL IMPACTS SUMMARIES 5-11 

5.2.1 The Appalachian Coal Region 5-12 

5.2.2 The Eastern Interior Coal Region 5-16 

5.2.3 Western Interior Coal Region 5-16 

5.2.4 The Texas Coal Region 5-18 

5.2.5 The Powder River Coal Region 5-18 

5.2.6 The Green River-Hams Fork Coal Region 5-21 

5.2.7 The Fort Union Coal Region 5-24 

5.2.8 The San Juan River Coal Region 5-26 

5.2.9 The Uinta-Southwestern Utah Coal Region 5-28 

5.2.10 The Denver-Raton Mesa Coal Region 5-28 

5.3 PROGRAM IMPACTS 5 " 30 

5.3.1 Coal Production and Consumption 5-36 

5.3.2 Physical Impacts 5-4 

5.3.3 Ecological Impacts 5-10 

5.3.4 Socioeconomic Impacts 5-123 

5.3.5 Transportation System Impacts 5-156 

5.3.6 Operating Energy 5-171 

5 4 IMPACTS RESULTING FROM SUBALTERNATIVES 

AMONG OTHER POLICY ISSUES 5-175 

5.4.1 Introduction 

5.4.2 Require Underground Mining 5-175 

5.4.3 End Use Considerations 5-180 

5.4.4 Concentration of Federal Leases 5-184 

5.4.5 Due Diligence 

5.4.6 Land Ownership Patterns 5-187 

5.4.7 Maximum Economic Recovery 5-192 

5.4.8 Unsuitability Criteria 5-194 

5.4.9 Role of Industry Nominations 5-204 

5.4.10 Land Use Planning Alternatives 5-206 

5-210 
5.5 REFERENCES 



CHAPTER 5 

REGIONAL IMPACTS OF FEDERAL COAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM ALTERNA- 
TIVES 



The environmental impacts of the preferred 
Federal coal management program and six major 
alternatives as described in Chapter 3 are present- 
ed in this chapter. The impacts are evaluated 
across the major activities related to the entire coal 
development cycle: coal extraction; beneficiation; 
transportation; conversion and utilization; and 
transmission, distribution, and delivery. Impact 
levels vary by alternative according to changes in 
regional coal production and consumption levels. 

The first section of this chapter (5.1) presents a 
general discussion of the methodologies used for 
the determination and analysis of impacts. The 
second section (5.2) gives a summary comparison 
of the regional impacts of the alternatives. Detailed 
data used to quantify the various impacts are 
provided in a series of appendices at the end of this 
statement. Section 5.3 describes the impacts by 
resource category that could occur under each of 
the alternatives. Finally, Section 5.4 discusses the 
impacts of several issue subalternatives which 
could affect the structure of any Federal coal 
management program. These subalternatives are 
based on the issues summarized in Table 3-1. 

5.1 IMPACT ANALYSIS 
METHODOLOGIES 

Chapter 3 of this programmatic environmental 
impact statement identifies seven Federal coal 
management program alternatives. The factors 
which most influence the varying levels of impact 
of the coal management program alternatives are 
the changes in regional coal production and 
consumption levels. These levels are used to 
estimate corresponding distributions of coal 
throughout the various activities related to coal 
development. For each activity, quantitative esti- 
mates for various environmental, social, and 
economic factors are then derived by region. 
Analysis of the impacts is done by assessing the 
influence of these factors on selected features of 
the environment. Where quantification of an 



environmental, social, or economic factor is not 
feasible, a qualitative discussion is presented. 

It should be emphasized that the programmatic 
nature of this impact statement precludes site- 
specific analyses. Such analyses will be developed 
in subsequent regional environmental studies. The 
focus of this statement, therefore, is on the national 
and interregional impacts of the coal management 
program alternatives. 

The coal development activities which form the 
basis of the quantification of the environmental, 
social, and economic factors are described in 
Section 5.1.1. General methodological assumptions 
and guidelines for analysis of impacts are found in 
Section 5.1.2. Specific assumptions are stated with 
each impact discussion to ensure appropriate 
textual interpretation. In Section 5.1.3, a summary 
of the methodology used to calculate the environ- 
mental, economic, and social factors is given. The 
methodology is described in full detail in Appen- 
dix H. In this statement the term "environmental 
impact" is used interchangeably with "environ- 
mental effect." When reference is made to a 
quantifiable change in some individual feature of 
the environment, the term "impact factor" is used. 
When such a change is expressed in terms of a 
quantified amount (or normalized in the mathe- 
matical sense), the term "environmental loading 
factor" or "impact multiplier" is applied (e.g., 
pounds of solid waste produced per 100,000 tons of 
coal mined, or fatalities resulting per billion ton- 
miles of coal transported). Using the environmen- 
tal loading factor as a multiplier (i.e., multiplying it 
by the number of appropriate units involved, such 
as 100,000 tons of coal mined or billion gross ton- 
miles of movement) results in a quantitative 
estimate of the impact. 

5.1.1 Coal Development Cycle Activities 

The activities that form the basis for analysis of 
impacts are those which occur from the time the 
coal resource is identified until the energy in the 



5-1 



REGIONAL IMPACTS 



coal is used by the consumption sector. As shown 
in Figure 5-1, the coal development cycle or 
sequence of coal development activities consists of 
six major activity areas. The figure also indicates 
which activities were analyzed with the aid of a 
computer program developed expressly for this 
purpose and those analyzed apart from the 
computer program. Associated with the major 
activities are a number of subactivities or phases in 
the coal development cycle. The major subactivity 
areas and phases are described briefly below. A 
more detailed discussion is contained in Appendix 
C, which also includes other information about 
coal such as how it was formed, its characteristics, 
and how it is used to meet energy demands. Figure 
5-1 

5.1.1.1 Coal Extraction. There are two major 
methods of extracting coal - - underground mining 
and surface mining. Until about 1950, most 
underground mining was done by the conventional 
room and pillar technique. This entails mining coal 
in a series of rooms with the room separations 
serving as pillars to support the strata above. After 
a block, panel, or section has been mined, part of 
the coal in the pillars can be recovered as a retreat 
is made toward a main entry to the mine. Since 
1950, continuous mining has become widely used. 
By this technique, an electric-powered machine 
rips the coal from the entire length of the working 
face while permitting the excavated sections to 
collapse behind it. This technique avoids the need 
to provide separate entries to undercut, drill, place 
explosives, blast, load, and roof bolt required by 
the conventional underground method. 

Where coalbeds are relatively flat and near the 
surface as in much of the West, the surface mining 
method is employed. Here, overlying material is 
removed in long narrow cuts and the topsoil is 
segregated by distinct layers termed "horizons." 
The overburden material is placed into- parallel 
cuts from which the coal has been removed and 
the topsoil is placed on top. In the East, where the 
terrain is steep, surface mining is generally accom- 
plished by contour stripping. The overlying materi- 
als are removed by proceeding around the hillside, 
with the overburden cast down the hill. The 
exposed coal is then removed. This process 
continues until the overlying material becomes too 
thick to economically remove. 



5.1.1.2 Coal Beneficiation. Two processing options 
were examined in this activity area of the coal 
development cycle: (1) crushing and screening and 
(2) mechanical cleaning. In the context of this 
analysis, crushing and screening refers to the 
removal of impurities such as clay, rock, shale, and 
pyrite. Mechanical cleaning includes operations 
beyond crushing and screening such as cleaning by 
pulsating air or by water to separate the coal and 
impurities [1]. Sometimes only crushing and 
screening is performed; sometimes both techniques 
are employed in tandem. Some coal is supplied to 
consuming areas without being processed, for 
example to plants which have their own cleaning 
facilities or which accept run-of-mine coal. Factors 
used to estimate impacts from crushing and 
screening and mechanical cleaning, and the 
amounts of coal to be processed by the two 
techniques, are discussed in Appendix H. 

5.1.1.3 Coal Transportation. This activity area of 
the coal development cycle addresses conveying 
coal from the mine to conversion or utilization 
facilities (e.g., fossil fuel power plants or synthetic 
fuel plants). The four transport modes considered 
in the analysis are slurry pipeline, truck, railroad, 
and barge. In certain instances several transport 
modes are used for a given coal movement. For 
example, coal may be hauled from the mine area 
by off-road vehicles to a unit train and then to a 
barge loading point. As shown in Appendix H, 
loading factors to determine environmental im- 
pacts are developed for each type of transport. 

5.1.1.4 Coal Conversion and Utilization. This part of 
the coal development cycle includes the conversion 
of coal for consumptive use. In order to expand the 
future use of coal, it is anticipated that certain 
existing gas and oil consuming facilities must 
convert to coal, and certain new facilities would be 
built to convert coal into substitutes for oil and 
gas. The subactivity options considered are use of 
coal as feedstock for electric power and industrial 
plants (steam electric option), conversion to 
substitute natural gas or oil (synthetic gas or 
synthetic liquid option), and production of coke 
for industrial processes (coke option). The ratio- 
nale for allocating consumption to each of these 
options and the development of the loading factors 
used to estimate environmental impacts associated 
with the use of coal in each option are presented in 
Appendix H. Appendix C contains a more detailed 



5-2 



OTHER 
STUDIES 



COMPUTER 
ANALYSIS 



1 . UNDERGROUND 

2. SURFACE 



1. CRUSHING AND SCREENING 

2. MECHANICAL CLEANING 



I 



EXPLORATION 

AND PLANT 

DEVELOPMENT 






TRANSMISSION 
AND DISTRI- 
BUTION AND 
DELIVERY 



1. FUEL PIPELINES 

2. ELECTRIC WIRES 



I 

i 



EXTRACTION 



CONVERSION 

AND 
UTILIZATION 



1. STEAM ELECTRIC 

2. GAS 

3. LIQUID 

4. COKE 



EENEFICIATION 



1. 

2. 

3. 

4. 



TRANSPORT 



U 



SLURRY PIPELINE 

TRUCK 

RAIL 

BARGE 



FIGURE 5-1 
THE COAL DEVELOPMENT CYCLE 



discussion of the processes involved in converting 
coal to satisfy these options. 

5.1.1.5 Transmission, Distribution, and Delivery. 
This is the final major activity area in the coal 
development cycle. It involves the delivery of the 
electric power and substitute natural gas and oil to 
distribution centers. The two phases considered are 
the use of electric power lines and fuel pipelines. 
Factors were used to estimate the environmental 
impacts associated with constructing additional 
power lines to tie into an existing grid system and 
constructing additional pipelines to connect to 
existing interstate and intrastate pipelines. Appen- 
dix H provides the rationale for the loading factors 
used in this analysis. 

5.1.2 Assumptions and Analysis Guidelines 

Assumptions used to establish the limits and 
guidelines for analysis of programmatic impacts 
are presented in this section. The assumptions are 
set forth to aid in interpreting the magnitudes of 
the impacts that are forecasted. They also provide 
a base for future regional impact analysis forecasts. 

5.1.2.1 Assumptions. The assumptions used in this 
analysis are as follows: 

• Coal demand will encourage additional 
development of coal reserves. 

• Coal energy requirements, on a Btu basis by 
coal consuming states in 1985 and 1990, are 
based on the Department of Energy's 
National Coal Model (NCM) demand 
assumptions (see section 5.1.3 and Appen- 
dix H). 

• Coal mining and preparation technologies 
will not change significantly by 1990. 

• Conversion of coal to synthetic gas and oil 
will be a commercial reality by 1985, but on 
a limited scale. Conversion on a large scale 
basis is not expected until after the year 
2000. 

• Labor, equipment, and capital shortages 
will not significantly distort the projected 
levels or timing of the Federal coal manage- 
ment program. 

• No extensive delays will be encountered in 
obtaining required Federal, state, and local 
clearances for the Federal coal manage- 
ment program. 

• Reclamation technology will not change 
significantly by 1990 and the major thrust 



REGIONAL IMPACTS 



of reclamation would be to return disturbed 
land to the contour and use specified in the 
approved reclamation plan. 

• Current best practicable pollution control 
technology will be used to minimize the 
emission of air pollutants by 1985. 

• Current best available control technology 
will be used to minimize the release of water 
pollutants by 1985. 

• Development of other resources in the 
Federal coal regions will not significantly 
interfere with coal resource development 
under the Federal coal management pro- 
gram. 

• Coal energy demands projected by the 
Department of Energy for 1985 and 1990 
for the high, medium, and low production 
levels will be met for all Federal coal 
management program alternatives. If, un- 
der a given strategy, production decreases 
in one or more regions, it would be 
compensated by increases in other regions. 

5.1.2.2 Analysis Guidelines. The following guide- 
lines were used in the analysis of impacts: 

• There are twelve basic coal supply regions. 
For analysis purposes, the Appalachian 
Coal Region has been divided into three 
regions-Northern, Central, and Southern. 

• Programmatic impacts for these twelve 
regions are analyzed for two points in time 
1985 and 1990. 

• The impacts associated with the no new 
leasing program alternative closely approxi- 
mate those of a no-action program alterna- 
tive. 

• The high and low coal production estimates 
associated with the preferred and no new 
leasing coal management program alterna- 
tives adequately include the possible ranges 
in coal production levels to be achieved in 
the 1985 and 1990 time periods. 

5.1.3 Impact Estimation 

The impact estimation performed in this 
programmatic statement for the several Federal 
coal management program alternatives is based to 
the maximum extent possible on quantification of 
environmental changes which would result from 
the operation of the various activities of the coal 
development cycle. 



5-4 



REGIONAL IMPACTS 



By necessity, some impacts can only be stated 
in general terms because of: (1) the absence of 
knowledge of the exact locations where coal 
mining and other activities would occur; (2) the 
lack of adequate methods to perform quantifica- 
tion; or (3) the absence of consistent regional base 
case information which can be applied uniformly 
among the twelve coal regions analyzed. A detailed 
accounting of pollutant- related impacts on specif- 
ic air sheds or water bodies falls within the first 
class. Quantification of aesthetic impacts or 
changes in ecological community composition and 
diversity are examples of the second class of 
impacts which may be projected only in a general 

way. 

In order to provide information on the antici- 
pated impacts of a Federal coal management 
program, several analytical tools have been em- 
ployed. Output from the Department of Energy's 
National Coal Model (NCM) has been used as the 
departure point for determining the quantities of 
the coal involved in the various activities of the 
coal development cycle [2]. This model is described 
in Appendix H. 

An allocation methodology (i.e., algorithm) has 
been employed to adjust the NCM output for use 
in the present analysis. This algorithm (1) trans- 
lates the 30 NCM coal production areas and 35 
consumption areas to the 41 production areas and 
53 consumption areas used in this environmental 
impact statement; and (2) estimates interregional 
flows from the 41 production areas to the 53 
consumption areas. 

The third analytical tool employed in the 
impact analysis is a computerized program devel- 
oped for this statement, the Coal Impact Estima- 
tion Program (CIEP). This program is summarized 
below and a detailed description of the procedures 
employed is presented in Appendix H together 
with the program's basic inputs (coal production 
levels, coal transportation flows, coal consumption 
points and quantities, and environmental loading 
factors). 

5. 1.3. J Derivation of Coal Production and Consump- 
tion Levels and Coal Flows. In June 1978, the 
Department of Energy (DOE) provided the De- 
partment of the Interior with the results from the 
NCM for low, medium, and high levels of coal 
production in 1985 and in 1990. These computer 
runs are starting points for the analysis of the 



seven Federal coal management program alterna- 
tives. 

The NCM uses a least economic cost method- 
ology to estimate the level of coal production by 
surface and underground methods within 30 
geographic areas. It further allocates this produc- 
tion by type of end use using the most economic 
transport routes to 35 geographic consuming areas. 
The primary model outputs are the production and 
consumption levels in each region and a 30 by 35 
origin/destination coal flow matrix (i.e, a table in 
which the 30 coal producing areas from which the 
coal originates appear as rows, and the 35 
consuming areas to which it is destined appear as 
columns; the number in each row-column intersec- 
tion denotes the amount of coal produced in 
region A that is consumed in region B). 

Since the NCM runs address different geo- 
graphic coal production and consumption areas 
than used in this statement, it was necessary to 
translate the NCM outputs into this statement's 41 
production areas and 53 consuming areas. In 
performing this redistribution, it was assumed that 
neither the proportionality of surface and under- 
ground mining nor the split between crushing and 
screening and mechanical beneficiation would 
vary from those in the NCM model and that the 
distribution among end uses of the coal would be a 
function of the coal energy demand assumptions 
included in the NCM. The translation and redistri- 
bution was manually and judgmentally performed 
for each of the six DOE projections (low, medium, 
and high for 1985 and 1990). The results of this 
effort are six separate 41 by 53 origin/destination 
coal flow matrices. The row totals of these matrices 
indicate regional production levels while the 
column totals represent regional consumption 
levels. 

Given the supply, demand, and coal flow data 
on a 41 by 53 matrix basis, it was necessary to 
determine what differences would exist for each of 
the Federal coal mangement program alternatives: 
no new Federal leasing, the preferred program, 
processing of PRLAs only, emergency leasing, 
lease to meet DOE production goals, lease to 
satisfy industry indications of need, and state 
determination of leasing levels. 

The low, medium, and high western regional 
coal production levels for each alternative manage- 
ment program for 1985 and 1990 were derived 
from the low, medium, and high 1985 and 1990 



5-5 



REGIONAL IMPACTS 



DOE production projections and a number of 
other sources of information. In the absence of an 
established procedure for estimating these regional 
production levels, decisions have been made based 
on the information available, including: 

• DOE projections. 

• Department of the Interior regional envi- 
ronmental impact statements on expansion 
of existing coal mines and development of 
proposed new coal mines. 

• Coal industry and government forecasts. 

• Expected production from approved and 
pending mine plans. 

• Likely production from Federal leases 
without mine plans. 

• Current coal production levels. 

• Contractually obligated coal production. 

• Coal lands ownership patterns. 

• Indian coal ownership. 

• Non-Federal coal ownership. 

As an example of the judgmental consider- 
ations included in this adjustment process, project- 
ed production under the no new Federal leasing 
alternative took into account the amount of coal 
already available in existing Federal leases and the 
production potential of these leases. Many existing 
Federal leases are not expected to be in production 
by 1985 because of small size, environmental 
problems, high mining costs, poor quality coal, 
poor location, or other factors. If any of those 
leases would not be producing by 1986, it was 
assumed that they would be cancelled for failure to 
be diligently developed. 

Another important consideration used in esti- 
mating the impact of a no new Federal leasing 
policy is the availability and production potential 
of non-Federal reserves in a given region. In many 
instances, non-Federal reserves would not be 
developed if complementary Federal reserves are 
not available. Significant portions of the reserves 
in the western coal regions are contained in 
checkerboard lands or in scattered blocks where 
the non-Federal coal holdings are often too small 
to form mines of economically efficient size 
without including adjacent Federal coal. 

Special computer runs which used the DOE's 
NCM were made for the no new or restricted 
leasing alternatives. These runs were made by 
modifying the supply curves used in the NCM to 
correspond to the estimated reduced regional coal 
supplies that would be available under these 



alternatives. Federal coal not in existing leases and 
non-Federal coal which requires new leasing of 
complementary Federal coal to be developed were 
eliminated from the supply considered available 
for regional coal development. The NCM was then 
rerun with this restricted coal supply in order to 
estimate the impacts on coal production by coal 
region. 

One result obtained from the computer runs is 
that a number of western coal regions would show 
increases in coal production as a result of a no new 
Federal coal leasing policy. These regions already 
have major supplies of non-Federal coal or coal in 
existing Federal leases. Hence, when coal produc- 
tion is reduced in other western regions that are 
more dependent on new Federal leasing to sustain 
or increase production, some of the loss is 
displaced to western regions less dependent on new 
Federal leasing. In particular, the region in which 
achieving projected production levels is most 
dependent on new Federal leasing is the Powder 
River Coal Region in Wyoming and Montana. 
This region tends to lose production relative to 
projected levels while other western regions tend to 
gain production when Federal coal availability is 
tightly restricted. Production under a no new 
leasing policy also tends to be displaced to 
midwestern and eastern regions that have little 
Federal coal. 

There are large reserves of Indian coal in the 
West. These reserves appear large enough that, 
were they to be rapidly developed, they could 
make up for virtually all production deficiencies 
caused by a no new leasing policy. However, there 
are many uncertainties relating to development of 
tribal coal reserves. For example, in Montana, the 
Cheyenne Indian Tribe has resisted expanded coal 
development and the Crow Indian Tribe recently 
cancelled existing coal leases in part on the basis of 
inadequate royalties. In estimating regional coal 
production levels for this environmental impact 
statement, it is assumed that there would not be a 
large expansion of Indian coal production to make 
up for production declines caused by a Federal 
decision not to lease additional Federal coal until 
at least 1985. However, already planned produc- 
tion from mines on Indian lands is considered part 
of the available coal supply under a no new leasing 
policy. 

An additional factor complicating projections 
for the no new leasing and other Federal coal 



5-6 



REGIONAL IMPACTS 



management program alternatives is the extent to 
which existing operations could or would expand 
capacity in response to unsatisfied demands. While 
it is assumed that this would happen to some 
extent, the resulting additional production is not 
specifically quantified. 

The distribution of western coal production 
under each program alternative was determined by 
the above process. An origin/destination matrix 
for each alternative was developed. The coal 
demand in each consuming region was specified by 
DOE for its runs on a Btu basis for the low, 
medium, and high DOE production projections for 
1985 and 1990. The DOE production projections 
in each western region are similarly analyzed on a 
Btu basis, which then allows calculation of the 
flows in the origin/destination matrix. 

Next, for each Federal coal management 
program alternative, a comparison was made 
between the Btus of energy produced in each 
region and that required to meet the DOE 
established consumption projection for each con- 
suming region. Where differences existed, coal 
flows in terms of Btus of energy delivered were 
modified such that the net flow of coal-derived 
energy into each consumption region was held 
constant. After a supply-demand Btu equilibrium 
was again attained, the Btu production and 
consumption levels and Btu flows were converted 
back to coal tonnages. The result of this procedure 
was the generation of new coal flow ori- 
gin/destination matrices for each alternative. 

The last remaining task prior to the calculation 
of environmental impact factors for each alterna- 
tive was a split of coal flows by transport mode 
from each origin (production area) through inter- 
mediate transshipment or transfer points to each 
destination (consumption area). Assumptions were 
made that the majority of coal movements between 
states would be by rail, a smaller volume of 
intrastate shipments within a state would be 
transported by rail, and the remainder by barge, 
highway, or slurry pipeline depending on existing 
and projected transportation facilities of these 

types. 

In contrast to the other activities in the coal 
cycle (i.e., production and consumption), the 
characterization of coal flows in terms of tonnage 
does not result in a clear presentation of environ- 
mental impact factors. The measure chosen to 
determine transportation environmental impact 



factors was gross ton-miles generated as a result of 
transporting coal. In this context, gross ton-miles is 
obtained by summing the following components: 

• Net ton-miles - weight of coal times 
distance moved. 

• Tare ton-miles - weight of transportation 
equipment utilized times round trip dis- 
tance from mine to destination and return. 

The inclusion of tare weight gives recognition to 
the fact that trains, trucks, and barges which haul 
coal also generate environmental impacts during 
the return trip to the coal mine or loading facility. 
For each Federal coal management program 
alternative and production level, the methodology 
developed to estimate the level of gross ton-miles 
generated consisted of: 

• Development of the origin/destination ma- 
trices for the gross tonnages of coal flows 
from producing regions to consuming re- 
gions. 

• Identification of probable routes and length 
of route within each state between origin 
and destination. 

• Calculation of the number of trips and coal 
tonnage flows within each state. 

• Combination of volume of coal flow, 
distance, and transport mode to estimate 
gross ton-mileage generated per state and 
per region. 

All of the above information formed the basis 
for estimation of environmental impact factors 
generated by the several Federal coal management 
program alternatives. The factors were enumerated 
through the use of another computerized proce- 
dure developed specially for this programmatic 
environmental impact statement. The outputs of 
this program, the Coal Impact Estimation Program 
(CIEP), were employed to determine the potential 
environmental impacts described later in this 
chapter. 

5.1.3.2 Overview of the Coal Impact Estimation 
Program. The CIEP is designed to be highly 
flexible and reactive to the Federal coal manage- 
ment program alternatives for which impact 
estimates are required. As presently contemplated, 
it could be a major component of the Federal coal 
management program, and would employ specific 
levels of coal production and consumption in 
separate geographic areas. These levels are com- 
bined with the distributions of coal flowing into 



5-7 



REGIONAL IMPACTS 



each major activity in the coal development cycle 
and the results are multiplied by impact multipliers 
which correspond to environmental impact factors 
per 100,000 tons of coal or billion gross ton-miles. 
The impact factors treated in the CIEP are 
presented in Table 5- 1 . 

An overview of the major modules within the 
CIEP is presented in the following sections. A 
more detailed description of the CIEP assumptions 
and structure is presented in Appendix H. The 
CIEP consists of the three major modules de- 
scribed below. 

Main Impact Estimation Module. The Main 
Impact Estimation Module uses coal production 
and consumption estimates for each region of the 
country to produce numerical estimates of the 
resulting major environmental impacts. This is 
done by expressing coal production and consump- 
tion levels as flows through the coal development 
cycle. Once quantities of coal flowing into each 
activity in the coal cycle are determined for each 
geographic area, the environmental impact multi- 
pliers are applied to produce the following esti- 
mates: 

• Air pollution - total suspended particulates 
(TSP), hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monox- 
ide (CO), sulfur oxides (S0 2 ), nitrogen 
oxides (NOx) and carbon dioxide (CO2). 

• Water use - makeup (effluent and evapora- 
tive loss). 

• Disturbed acreage. 

• Operational and construction employment. 

• Solid wastes - active and inert. 
® Accidents/Fatalities. 

• Operating energy. 

Estimates of the level of change of environ- 
mental impacts in each category for each geo- 
graphic area and activity in the coal development 
cycle are produced by this module. These estimates 
are then used as input into either the socioeconom- 
ic or the ecological impact estimation modules of 
the CIEP. 

Socioeconomic and Ecologic Impact Estimation 
Module. There are two major modules in the CIEP. 
The first makes use of estimates of the require- 
ments for construction and operational workers at 
each activity of the coal development cycle to 
produce estimates of total population, infrastruc- 
ture demands, and fiscal requirements on a 
regional basis. The second uses the acreage 



disturbed throughout the coal development cycle, 
on both a long and short term basis, to produce 
estimates of agricultural productivity losses and 
decreases in wildlife habitat and total carrying 
capacity. Both modules produce impact estimates 
on an activity-by-activity basis for the production, 
transportation, and consumption elements of the 
coal development cycle. This feature identifies the 
estimated impact effects of mining and beneficia- 
tion, of transportation, and of consumption of coal 
by geographic area. 

5.1.3.3 Coal Impact Estimation Program Inputs. The 
five major classes of coal-related information 
required to operate the CIEP are: 

• Production levels. 

• Transportation levels. 

• Consumption levels. 

• Coal development cycle flow distribution. 

• Environmental impact multipliers. 

The first four classes of information have been 
described in the foregoing sections. They are 
discussed in greater detail in Appendix H. The 
remaining input is presented below. 

Environmental Impact Multipliers. Environmen- 
tal impact multipliers are used to identify and 
quantify the social, economic, and environmental 
factors related to coal extraction, beneficiation, 
transportation, conversion, and utilization. These 
impact multipliers relate specific impacts to a 
100,000 ton unit of coal. This approach is used in 
all activities in the coal development cycle with the 
exception of transportation. In the transportation 
area, estimates are made per billion gross ton- 
miles. By generally expressing all impacts in terms 
of tons of coal, impact estimates are made once 
coal production and consumption levels are deter- 
mined. Even though some states would have no 
coal production, they could have transportation, 
conversion, and utilization flows resulting in 
environmental, social and economic impacts. 
Impact multipliers used as input to the main 
portion of the Coal Impact Estimation Program 
are defined for the major categories shown in 
Table 5-1. These multipliers vary for the 41 
producing regions, overlain with 53 consuming 
regions. Additional multipliers are used for a 
broad range of social, economic, and environmen- 
tal parameters incorporated into the subroutines of 
the CIEP. 



TABLE 5-1 
COAL IMPACT ESTIMATION PROGRAM 



PROGRAM MODULE 



Main Impact Estimation 
Module 



Socioeconomic Impact 
Estimation Module 



Ecological Impact 
Estimation Module 



DESCRIPTION OF IMPACT FACTOR 



Air Emissions: 



Water Use: 



Total suspended particulates 

Hydrocarbons 

Carbon monoxide 

Sulfur oxides 

Nitrogen oxides 

Carbon dioxide 

Makeup (effluent and 
evaporative loss) 



Land Disturbed: Short term 
Long term 

Solid Wastes: Active (scrubber waste, 

treatment residuals, etc) 
Inert (ash, slag, rock, 
etc.) 

Accidents 

Fatalities 

Operating Energy 

Direct Construction Employment 

Direct Operational Employment 

Indirect Construction Employment 

Indirect Operational Employment 

Dependents 

Total Population 

School Age Children 

Teachers 

Classrooms 

Physicians 

Hospital Beds 

Housing Units 

Water Treatment 

Sewage Treatment 

Solid Wastes 

Policemen 

Firemen 



Land Disturbed: 



Cropland 

Pasture 

Range 

Forest 

Wetlands 



5-9 



TABLE 5-1 
(Concluded) 

COAL IMPACT ESTIMATION PROGRAM 



PROGRAM MODULE 



Ecological Impact 
Estimation Module 
(Continued) 



DESCRIPTION OF IMPACT FACTOR 



Productivity Lost: 



Biota Disturbed: 



Corn 

Soybeans 

Cotton 

Wheat 

Sugar beets 

Oats 

Hay 

Grass 

Timber 

Marshland 

Animal units 

Mule deer 

Antelope 

Moose 

Elk 

Deer 

Small mammals 

Song birds 

Game birds 

Predators 

Reptiles 



5-10 



REGIONAL IMPACTS 



5.1.3.4 Program Output. The CIEP produces 
estimates of impacts that can be reported accord- 
ing to analytical needs. The output reports can be 
presented geographically, by category, or by 
activity in the coal development cycle. 

The program has the capability of subtotalling 
impact estimates for several distinct geographic 
areas, and aggregating and displaying the results 
on a regional basis. Examples of this capability 
include the aggregation of the separate portions of 
Colorado in the Green River-Hams Fork, Denver- 
Raton Mesa, San Juan River and Uinta-South- 
western Utah Coal Regions into estimates for the 
State of Colorado. The program also produces 
aggregate estimates for a total coal region (e.g., the 
Powder River Coal Region made up of the Powder 
River, Montana, and Powder River, Wyoming 
geographic areas). An additional optional report 
generated by the CIEP presents the level of coal 
flows into each activity in the coal development 
cycle. 

The flexibility of the CIEP is demonstrated 
further by the ability to incorporate additional 
options in the output reports. The first feature 
allows estimates of impact levels accompanying 
various Federal coal management program alter- 
natives to be compared to one another at a given 
point in time. The program output, when this 
feature is selected, represents the difference be- 
tween the impact levels generated by the two 
alternatives. Program reports based on this output 
can be used for a rapid comparison of the broad 
effects of the alternatives in question. The second 
feature of the program is that it produces estimates 
of the change in environmental impacts for a 
specific program alternative between two points in 
time. The output feature of the CIEP is currently 
structured to produce impact estimates for the 
periods 1976 to 1985 and 1985 to 1990. 

5.1.4 Other Impacts 

The variability of potential impacts associated 
with certain resource categories precludes analysis 
in these areas on a quantitative basis. Because 
elements that influence the degree of impacts on 
these resources vary at individual locations, im- 
pacts at the programmatic level can only be 
described in general for each of the various 
activities of the coal development cycle. The 
resource categories in this case include topogra- 
phy, geology, minerals, soils, archaeological and 



historical resources, and recreation. In addition, 
several resource impact categories can only be 
described generically. 

5.2 REGIONAL IMPACTS SUMMARIES 

This section contains summaries of the envi- 
ronmental, social, and economic impacts associ- 
ated with the various Federal coal management 
programs. Section 5.3 contains a more detailed 
analysis of program effects, organized by impact 
area. This section presents a comparison of the 
effects of 10 representative impact areas for each 
of the 12 Federal coal regions. The 10 impact areas 
selected are as follows: 

© Coal Production. 

• Coal Consumption. 

• Land Committed (independent of reclama- 
tion). 

• Agriculture (value of crops lost). 

• Population (coal-related only). 

• Disabling Accidents (those resulting in 
man-days lost). 

• Water (required to support the Federal coal 
management program). 

• Game Animal Losses. 

• Particulate Emissions (total suspended par- 
ticulates). 

• Sulfur Oxide Emissions. 

Each of the above impact areas is examined on an 
annual basis for 1985 and 1990. For purposes of 
summarizing, each impact is presented as the 
percent change between the no new leasing (base 
case) alternative and the other six Federal coal 
management program alternatives. 

A positive percent change ( + ) means that the 
impacts forecast for a Federal coal management 
program alternative exceed those forecast for the 
no new leasing base case. A negative percent 
change (-) means that the impacts forecast for a 
Federal coal management program alternative are 
less than those forecast for the base case. The 
percent changes thus signify the extent to which 
developments under a Federal coal management 
program alternative relate to those developments, 
under the no new leasing base case, from ongoing 
or prospective coal mining on private and public 
land already leased for, or otherwise committed to, 
coal mining. Whereas Section 5.3 (below) ad- 
dresses impacts as a function of three coal 
production levels (low, medium, and high), only 
impacts associated with the medium coal produc- 



5-11 



REGIONAL IMPACTS 



tion level are addressed in this summary section. 
The medium level impact projections for the 10 
impact areas are presented in a single table for 
each of the 12 coal regions. Percent changes in the 
ranges 10 to 19, 20 to 29, and greater than 30 
percent between the no new leasing baseline and 
the six program alternatives are highlighted in 
these tables. As in Section 5.3 that follows, the 
differences between program alternatives are 
based on regional coal production and consump- 
tion projections derived from the NCM and on 
quantified estimates of environmental, social, and 
economic impact factors provided for each region 
by the Department of the Interior's Coal Impact 
Estimation Program (CIEP). The environmental 
impacts of each alternative in each region will be a 
function of the combination of effects attributable 
to the production, transportation and use of coal 
and site-specific factors in each region. According- 
ly, the reader of this summary section should refer 
to Section 5.3 (and related appendices) for details 
about the impact assessment process. 

The material contained in the 12 regional 
summary tables has been aggregated to permit the 
reader to observe how differences for the 10 impact 
areas vary across the coal regions. Tables 5-14 to 5- 
17 (following Section 5.2.10). display these differ- 
ences. 

5.2.1 The Appalachian Coal Region 

As discussed in Chapter 4, Description of 
Regional Environments, the Appalachian Coal 
Region extends over nine eastern states and 
contains an estimated 103 billion tons of coal 
reserves. For purposes of the presentation in this 
environmental impact statement, the region has 
been divided into three regions which are referred 
to as the Northern, Central, and Southern Appala- 
chian Coal Regions. 

Tables 5-2, 5-3, and 5-4 provide estimates of 
the ten impact areas selected for discussion in this 
summary section. As shown in these tables, 
impacts projected for 1985 will generally decrease 
under the six Federal coal management program 
alternatives as compared with the no new leasing 
base case. In 1990, the trend is reversed and the 
impacts tend to increase. For the preferred 
alternative, coal production and consumption in 
1985 and 1990 does not vary from the baseline case 
in the Northern Appalachian Coal Region and 



varies only slightly in the Central and Southern 
Appalachian Coal Regions. 

The socioeconomic characteristics of the three 
regions differ widely. The Northern and Southern 
Appalachian Coal Regions currently employ a 
very small portion of their total labor forces in 
coal-related industries (about six percent). Thus, 
more significant impacts in terms of numbers of 
persons involved would be anticipated in the 
Central Appalachian Coal Region as coal produc- 
tion and/or consumption caused coal-related 
populations to change. 

No significant impacts are projected for the 
Northern Appalachian Coal Region in 1985 for 
any of the program alternatives considered. In 
1990, for all alternatives considered, with the 
exception of the preferred program and the lease to 
meet DOE goals alternatives, related population 
levels are projected to increase by more than 1 1 
percent (+11.3 to +23.3 percent). These popula- 
tion increases are anticipated primarily as a result 
of shifts from surface mining to more labor- 
intensive underground mining techniques. 

Significant changes in population are projected 
in the Central Appalachian Coal Region in 1985 
under the lease to meet industry needs alternative, 
the lease to meet DOE goals alternative and the 
state determination of leasing levels alternative (- 
59.3, -10.2 and +24.9 percent, respectively). These 
population changes are projected to occur as a 
result of anticipated production changes (increased 
production for the meet industry needs and meet 
DOE goals alternatives, decreased production for 
state determination alternatives). In 1990, only the 
lease to meet industry needs and lease to meet 
DOE goals alternatives are projected to result in 
significant impacts in the Central Appalachian 
Coal Region. Population changes under these 
alternatives are projected to vary by + 1 1.2 percent 
and -13.7 percent, respectively, from 1990 base 
case conditions. These changes are anticipated as a 
result of projected production changes for the two 
program alternatives identified. 

The increase in coal-related population in 1990 
under the preferred alternative for the Southern 
Appalachian Coal Region primarily results from a 
shift from surface mining to underground mining, 
the latter being more labor-intensive. 

For the lease to meet industry needs alterna- 
tive, significant increases in coal production are 
estimated for the Southern Appalachian Coal 



. : 



i% 



fits 



• ■ 



. 






5-12 



**mm 



TABLE 5-2 



REGIONAL IMPACT SUMMARY 
NORTHERN APPALACHIAN COAL REGION 



i- 1 



KEY IMPACT AREAS 


ALTERNATIVES 




NO NEW 
LEASING 


PREFERRED 
PROGRAM 


PRLA ' s 
ONLY 


EMERGENCY 

LEASING 

ONLY 


MEET 

INDUSTRY 

NEEDS 


MEET 

DOE 

GOALS 


STATE 
DETER- 
MINATION 


1985 


(a) 
Base Case 




PERCENT CHANCE FROM NO NE 


SJ LEASING 






Coal Production (million tons) 


211.7 











+ 0.6 





+ 0.2 


Coal Consumption (million tons) 


182.9 





- 4.9 


- 4.9 


- 4.9 





- 4.9 


Land Committed (acres) 


25,870 





- 2.8 


- 2.8 


- 3.0 





- 2.9 


Agriculture (thousands 1974 $) 


5,073 





- 2.8 


- 2.8 


- 3.0 





- 2.9 


Population (thousands) 


137.6 


- 0.1 


7.3 


- 7.3 


- 7.7 


- 0.1 


+ 7.8 


Disabling Accidents 


6,978 


+ 0.2 


+ 0.4 


+ 0.4 


+ 0.9 


+ 0.3 


+ 0.5 


Water (thousand acre-feet) 


563.8 





- 4.4 


- 4.4 


- 4.4 





- 4.4 


Game Animal Losses 


18,110 





- 2.8 


- 2.8 


- 2.8 





- 2.9 


Particulate Emissions (tons) 


131,713 





- 2.9 


- 2.9 


- 3.0 





- 3.0 


Sulfur Oxide Emissions (tons) 


213,649 





- 3.8 


- 3.8 


- 3.6 





- 3.7 


1990 




| 


PERCENT CHANGE FROM NO NEW LEASING 






Coal Production (million tons) 


219.4 


+ 0.3 








- 0.7 


+ 1.3 


+ 2.6 


Coal Consumption (million tons) 


210.1 





- 4.9 


- 4.9 








- 4.9 


Land Committed (acres) 


28,125 


+ 0.1 








- 0.2 


+ 0.4 


+ 0.6 


Agriculture (thousands 1974 $) 


2,758 


+ 0.1 








- 0.2 


+ 0.4 


+ 0.6 


Population (thousands) 


108.4 


+ 1.8 


+12.0 


+12.4 


+11.3 


+ 6.2 


WMM'M 


Disabling Accidents 


882.1 


+ 0.7 


+ 0.2 


+ 0.2 


+ 0.9 


+ 1.3 


+ 1.5 


Water (thousand acre-feet) 


651 




















Game Animal Losses 


9,845 


+ 0.1 








- 0.2 


+ 0.4 


+ 0.6 


Particulate Emissions (tons) 


153,266 


+ 0.1 








- 0.1 


+ 0.3 


+ 0.5 


Sulfur Oxide Emissions (tons) 


255,337 


+ 0.1 








+ 0.1 


+ 0.1 


- 0.1 



(a) Represents absolute values at medium level production. 

|| 20 to 29%; 30% and greater 



TABLE 5-3 



REGIONAL IMPACT SUMMARY 
CENTRAL APPALACHIAN COAL REGION 



I 

H 

4> 





KEY IMPACT AREAS 




ALTERNATIVES 




NO NEW 
LEASING 


PREFERRED 
PROGRAM 


PRLA's 

ONLY 


EMERGENCY 

LEASING 

ONLY 


MEET 

INDUSTRY 

NEEDS 


MEET 

DOE 

GOALS 


STATE 
DETER- 
MINATION 




1985 


Base Case^ 




PERCENT CHANGE FROM MO NEW LEASING 








Coal Production (million tons) 


205.5 


+ 0.5 





+ 0.3 


- 6.3 


- 1.0 


+ 2.6 




Coal Consumption (million tons) 


56.4 






















Land Committed (acres) 


15,796 


- 0.7 


- 0.2 


- 0.5 


- 4.0 


- 0.8 


- 1.2 




Agriculture (thousands 1974 $) 


1,086 


- 0.6 


- 0.3 


- 0.5 


- 4.0 


- 0.8 


- 1.2 




Population (thousands) 


30.5 


- 6.6 


- 1.0 


- 4.3 


;:;:*:;:*v;*:~:< : :# : ::: : : : : ; : : : : : : 


S : 3iffi;€S'> 


"^"^IV.B.':. 




Disabling Accidents 


6,160 





+ 0.4 


+ 0.1 


- 3.3 







Water (thousand acre-feet) 


212.1 


- 0.7 


- 0.5 


- 0.5 


- 1.1 


- 0.4 


- 0.4 




Game Animal Losses 


11,060 


- 0.7 


- 0.3 


- 0.5 


- 4.0 


- 0.8 


+ 1.2 




Particulate Emissions (tons) 


66,282 


- 0.6 


- 0.3 


- 0.4 


- 2.6 


- 0.5 


- 0.7 




Sulfur Oxide Emissions (tons) 


124,106 


- 0.7 


- 0.5 


- 0.6 


- 0.4 


- 0.3 


- 0.6 




1990 




PERCENT CHANGE FROM NO NEW LEASING 






Coal Production (million tons) 


211.2 


- 2.3 


- 0.3 


- 0.5 


- 3.8 


- 2.6 


+ 6.7 




Coal Consumption (million tons) 


84.7 





+ 1.8 











- 2.7 




Land Committed (acres) 


18,662 


- 1.0 


+ 1.0 


- 0.2 


- 0.4 


- 1.2 


+ 1.1 




Agriculture (thousands 1974 $) 


642 


- 0.9 


+ 1.1 


- 0.2 


- 0.5 


- 1.2 


+ 1.1 




Population (thousands) 


76.9 


- 7.0 


+ 2.9 


- 0.4 


+11.2 


- 6.5 


: -13,7 




Disabling Accidents 


6,714 


- 1.0 








- 2.0 


- 0.8 


+ 4.1 




Water (thousand acre-feet) 


309.8 


- 0.1 


+ 1.7 





+ 0.6 


- 0.2 


- 2.1 




Game Animal Losses 


6,530 


- 1.0 


+ 1.1 


+ 0.2 


- 0.4 


- 1.2 


+ 1.5 




Particulate Emissions (tons) 


85,967 


- 0.6 


+ 1.1 


- 0.2 


- 0.6 


- 0.7 


- 0.3 




Sulfur Oxide Emissions (tons) 


185,674 





+ 1.8 





- 0.9 





- 2.6 





















(a) Represents absolute values at medium level production 
Shading Key: 10 to 19%; | §20 to 29%; 



II 



30% and greater 



■pw 



TABLE 5-4 



REGIONAL IMPACT SUMMARY 
SOUTHERN APPALACHIAN COAL REGION 



I 



KEY IMPACT AREAS 


ALTERNATIVES 




NO NEW 
LEASING 


PREFERRED 
PROGRAM 


PRLA ' s 
ONLY 


EMERGENCY 

LEASING 
ONLY 


MEET 

INDUSTRY 

NEEDS 


MEET 

DOE 
GOALS 


STATE 
DETER- 
MINATION 


1985 


(a) 
Base Case 




PERCENT CHANGE FROM NO NEW LEASING 






Coal Production (million tons) 


27.5 


- 3.2 


- 3.6 


- 


+ 14.9 


-• 19.6 


- 16.3 


Coal Consumption (million tons) 


106.0 


- 2.0 


- 1.6 


- 1.6 


- 1.8 


- 3.2 


- 1.7 


Land Committed (acres) 


15,301 


- 2.0 


- 1.5 


- 1.4 





- 5.2 


- 3.2 


Agriculture (thousands 1974 $) 


1.712 


- 2.0 


- 1.6 


- 1.4 


+ 2.8 


- 5.3 


- 3.2 


Population (thousands) 


88 


- 4.8 


- 4.1 


- 2.3 


+ 6.5 




- 11.9 


Disabling Accidents 


939 


+ 2.1 


- 1.4 


+ 0.5 


t 11-3 


- 16.7 ": 


- 10. 1 


Water (thousand acro-feet) 


355.1 


- 1.9 


- 1.3 


- 1.6 


- 1.7 


- 3.4 


- 1.7 


Game Animal Losses 


10,710 


- 2.5 


- 1.6 


- 1.4 





- 4.7 


- 3.2 


Particulate Emissions (tons) 


77.501 


- 1.9 


- 1.4 


- 1.4 


- 0.8 


- 4.0 


- 2.2 


Sulfur Oxide Emissions (tons) 


110,509 


- 1.8 


- 1.2 


- 1.5 


- 1.5 


- 3.1 


- 1.5 


1990 






PERCENT CHANGE FROM NO NEW LEASING 






Coal Production (million tons) 


26.4 


- 3.7 


- 0.3 





+ 0.5 


iiiiiiiiiiiiiii 


Coal Consumption (million tons) 


118.0 





+ 1.2 








- 1.4 


Land Committed (acres) 


16,311 


- 0.3 


+ 0.9 


+ 0.1 


+ 1.6 


- 3.4 


- 4.7 


Agriculture (thousands 1974 $) 


913 


- 0.3 


+ 0.9 


+ 0.1 


+ 1.6 

1 ■ ■:*:-:-:■ 


- 3.4 


- 4.7 


Population (thousands) 


26.7 


+13.9 


HUM *"** 


|§||i||:t;|:|; 


||HI|I 


Disabling Accidents 


1,097 


- 0.5 


+ 0.2 


+ 0.2 


[■;'• : +.3-J-; 


hi^'^SM 




Water (thousand acre-feet) 


392.6 





0.9 





0.6 


- 0.3 


- 1.6 


Game Animal Losses 


5,710 


- 0.4 


+ 0.9 





+ 1.6 


- 3.4 


- 4.7 


Particulate Emissions (tons) 


85,373 


- 0.1 


+ 0.1 





+ 1.2 


- 1.8 


- 3.2 


SulEur Oxide Emissions (tons) 


122,861 





+ 0.9 





+ 0.6 


+ 0.2 


- 1.3 



(a) Represents absolute values at medium level production 

o .19/',; ! 1 20 to 29% 



Shading Key: 



D iotol9Ii 



30% and greater 



REGIONAL IMPACTS 



Region (+ 14.9 percent in 1985 and + 15.1 percent 
in 1990). This is attributed to an industry prefer- 
ence for expanding production for both under- 
ground and surface mining in this region. For the 
lease to meet DOE production goals and state 
determination of leasing levels alternatives, signifi- 
cant decreases in production are estimated in both 
1985 and 1990 for the Southern Appalachian Coal 
Region; associated directly with the production 
decreases are the forecasted population decreases. 

As addressed in Section 4.1.1 above, the 
frequency and persistence of atmospheric inver- 
sions in the Appalachian Coal Regions tends to 
aggravate air quality problems. National Ambient 
Air Quality Standards for sulfur dioxide and 
suspended particulate matter are being currently 
exceeded in the heavily industrialized and mined 
areas in the regions. As shown in the tables, air 
emissions associated with the six Federal coal 
management program alternatives for 1985 and 
1990 should have a negligible impact on ambient 
air quality in the regions as compared with the 
impacts associated with the base case for the 
same years. 

Since the three coal regions have an abundant 
supply of surface water, and groundwater does not 
play as significant a role in the survival of man, 
plants, and animals as in the West, water use under 
the Federal coal management program is not an 
important consideration. Natural primary produc- 
tivity (what the land produces without human 
intervention) is moderate to high in the three coal 
regions (8.9 tons per acre per year in forests to 17.8 
tons per acre per year in flood-plain areas); .this 
productivity rate in combination with excellent 
climatic conditions results in a high potential for 
reclamation of coal-disturbed land within the 
regions. 

5.2.2 The Eastern Interior Coal Region 

This coal region is primarily located in Illinois 
with smaller portions in Indiana, Kentucky, and 
Iowa. The Eastern Interior Coal Region contains 
an estimated 88.9 billion tons of coal reserves 
which are predominately low-volatility bituminous 
in rank. As shown in Table 5-5, percent changes in 
impacts associated with the Federal coal manage- 
ment program alternatives over the no new leasing 
(base case) alternative are slight. All of the 
program alternatives except for the lease to meet 
industry needs and the state determination of 



leasing levels alternatives show little or no real 
change. 

With its favorable precipitation patterns and 
two major waterways (Mississippi and Ohio 
Rivers), the coal region generally has plentiful 
supplies of water. Although some communities 
have had difficulty obtaining wells yielding quality 
water supplies at reasonable costs, fresh ground- 
water in at least small to medium quantities is not 
generally difficult to develop. Additional water 
required to support implementation of any of the 
Federal coal management program alternatives is 
not considered a significant problem. 

The region has supported extensive agricultur- 
al development in the past. Much of the natural 
vegetation has been removed and only about 15 
percent of the region is forested. Accordingly, most 
wildlife in the region is compatible with man's 
activities. Little impact on land use, agriculture, 
and wildlife is thus forecast as a result of any of the 
Federal coal management program alternatives. 
Furthermore, the ecosystems within the region 
should adequately recover from program impacts. 
With proper soil conditions, natural succession is 
expected to return grasslands to a near original 
state within a decade. 

A minor increase in production is forecast for 
the preferred program in 1985 (1.7 percent increase 
over the no new leasing basecase). This is paral- 
leled by a minor increase in the coal-related 
population (two percent increase). These impacts 
should not cause major problems for the region's 
existing economy and social structure since coal 
production has traditionally played an important 
role in the region's industrial development. In 
point of fact, these trends are shown to reverse in 
1990, indicating that coal-related activities in the 
Eastern Interior Coal Region are not dependent 
upon the Federal coal management program; the 
extent of these activities is dependent upon what 
has been forecast for the no new leasing base case. 

5.2.3 Western Interior Coal Region 

Major portions of this coal region are located 
in Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, and Oklahoma; minor 
portions are located in southeast Nebraska and 
northwest Arkansas. The Western Interior Coal 
Region has an estimated coal reserve base of 
approximately 15.6 billion tons. This reserve base 
is mostly high-volatility bituminous coal. There is 



5-16 



mm 



TABLE 5-5 

REGIONAL IMPACT SUMMARY 
EASTERN INTERIOR COAL REGION 



I 







ALTERNATIVES 








KEY IMPACT AREAS 


NO NEW 
LEASING 


PREFERRED 
PROGRAM 


PRLA's 
ONLY 


EMERGENCY 

LEASING 

ONLY 


MEET 

INDUSTRY 

NEEDS 


MEET 

DOE 

GOALS 


STATE 
DETER- 
MINATION 




1985 


Base Case 


PERCENT CHANGE FROM NO NEW LEASING 




Coal Production (million tons) 


206.1 


+ 1.7 





+ 0.4 


- 4.8 


- 1.3 


- 3.1 




Coal Consumption (million tons) 


154.4 


- 0.2 


- 0.3 


- 0.3 


+ 0.3 


- 2.5 


- 0.6 




Land Committed (acres) 


26,295 


+ 0.5 


- 0.2 





- 0.8 


- 2.4 


+ 0.4 




Agriculture (thousands 1974 $) 


20,997 


+ 0.5 


- 0.2 





- 0.8 


- 2.4 


+ 0.4 




Population (thousands) 


185 


+ 2.0 


- 0.4 


+ 0.4 


- 6.5 


- 4.3 


+ 4.1 




Disabling Accidents 


3,976 


+ 2.0 


0.1 


+ 1.2 


- 2.0 


- 0.2 


+ 2.8 




Water (thousand acre-feet) 


516.6 


- 0.1 


- 0.3 


+ 0.2 


0.1 


- 2.6 


- 0.5 




Game Animal Losses 


15 . 780 


+ 0.5 


- 0.2 





- 0.8 


- 2.5 


+ 0.4 




Particulate Emissions (tons) 


150,165 


+ 0.2 


- 0.2 


- 0.1 


- 0.7 


- 2.6 


+ 0.1 




Sulfur Oxide Emissions (tons) 


357,462 


- 0.2 


-0.3 


- 0.3 


+ 0.5 


- 3.0 


- 0.7 




1990 




PERCENT CHANGE FROM NO NEW LEASING 






Coal Production (million tons) 


331.5 


- 3.5 


- 5.1 


- 1.0 


-14.1 


- 5.7 


-1**9 




Coal Consumption (million tons) 


173.3 


+ 0.6 


+ 0.8 


+ 0.2 


+ 0.8 


+ 1.0 


- 0.5 




Land Committed (acres) 


28,393 


- 1.2 


- 1.0 


- 0.8 


- 4.4 


- 3.0 


- 3.9 




Agriculture (thousands 1974 $) 


11,336 


- 1.2 


- 1.0 


- 0.7 


- 1.3 


- 3.0 


- 3.9 




Population (thousands) 


236.6 


- g.4 


-10.3 


- 2.9 


■■-'■■ ^»^^^^^^^^^J 


+12.* 




Disabling Accidents 


6,804 


- 2.0 


- 3.5 


- 0.3 


-10.3 


- 3.4 




Water (thousand acre-feet) 


578.6 


- 0.2 


- 0.2 


- 0.6 


- 0.7 





- 0.2 




Game Animal Losses 


8,529 


- 1.3 


- 1.1 


- 0.8 


- 4.5 


- 3.0 


+ 3.9 




Particulate Emissions (tons) 


180,039 


- 0.9 


- 1.4 


- 0.6 


- 3.6 


- 0.8 


- 3.2 




Sulfur Oxide Emissions (tons) 


391,309 





t 0.2 


- 0.5 


+ 0.3 


+ 0.4 


- 1.1 



(a) Represents absolute values at medium level production. 

10 to 197.; ( H 20 to 29%; 111! 30% and greater 



Shading Key: 



20 to 29"; gill 



REGIONAL IMPACTS 



some coking coal located in Arkansas and Oklaho- 



ma. 



Following general trends exhibited in the other 
eastern coal regions, impacts associated with the 
Federal coal management program alternatives are 
shown, with one exception, to be less than those 
associated with the no new leasing (base case) 
alternative. As shown in Table 5-6, impacts 
associated with the state determination of leasing 
levels alternative are projected to exceed the base 
case significantly. This is a reflection of the 
increased coal production in 1985 (+ 11.2 percent) 
and in 1990 ( + 37.3 percent). 

The region has traditionally supported agricul- 
ture as the dominant land use. However, although 
coal is plentiful in the region, production is 
principally in eastern Oklahoma where the region's 
less productive agricultural areas are currently 
located. 

Due to the nation's energy problems of recent 
years, coal production which had been steadily 
declining has revived and is now near the maxi- 
mum annual production rate reached in 1920. Both 
water and land based transportation systems used 
by coal mining activities are adequate to support 
increased demands in this regard. Thus, the region 
has already initiated many of the changes (i.e., 
labor force, social structure, transportation sys- 
tems) needed to accommodate increasing depen- 
dence on coal as an economic base. Environmental 
impacts associated with the implementation of the 
preferred Federal coal management program 
would thus be minor. Since the region has an 
adequate water supply and the climate is generally 
favorable, ecosystems native to the region are able 
to regenerate well. This is a desirable feature of this 
coal region; it implies that land that has been 
disturbed due to coal-related activities will rapidly 
regain natural primary productivity. 

5.2.4 The Texas Coal Region 

This region consists mostly of a portion of east 
Texas and a small portion of northwest Louisiana. 
Currently, the region's lignite reserves are estimat- 
ed to be 3.3 billion tons. Other significant mineral 
resources such as petroleum and natural gas are 
also present. 

As indicated in Table 5-7, all key impact areas 
for the preferred program alternative and most 
impact areas for the state determination of leasing 
levels alternative are shown to increase in 1985; in 



1990, all six program alternatives show a decrease 
in impact areas as compared with the no new 
leasing base case. 

With respect to 1985, impacts for the preferred 
program due to increased production may be 
significant. Although the region receives about 48 
inches of precipitation per year in the northeast, 
only 16 inches are received in the southwest. As a 
result, the southwest is relatively arid and periodic 
droughts are experienced. Generally, groundwater 
is abundant and of good quality; very high yields 
(over 1,000 gallons per minute) have been obtained 
from both bedrock and alluvial aquifers. The 
ecosystems within the region are not particularly 
fragile so that a fair degree of disruption can be 
tolerated with an eventual return to a natural state. 
Finally, the region has a gently rolling topography 
which is not especially vulnerable to erosion. For 
these reasons, the land disturbed as a result of a 
Federal coal management program can be ade- 
quately reclaimed. 

No major development of the region's lignite 
deposits has occurred to date. Thus, forecasts of 
production increases in the region in 1985 under 
the preferred program will require changes in the 
region's industrial development pattern. The re- 
gion currently exports more oil and gas than it 
consumes, and this export demand has stimulated 
development of a transportation network accom- 
modating the transport of bulk commodities, as 
well as people and the necessities of life. Industrial 
growth has been termed phenomenal and an 
adequate labor pool is considered to be available 
to support the demands of a Federal coal manage- 
ment program. 

5.2.5 The Powder River Coal Region 

This coal region includes portions of Montana 
and Wyoming. The region contains about 142.5 
billion tons of sub-bituminous coal. The beds are 
thickest in the northern parts of the region 
(Montana). Most of this coal lies in near-surface 
beds that are readily amenable to surface mining. 

As shown in Table 5-8, significant impacts are 
forecast for the region in 1990, with one exception, 
for all Federal coal management program alterna- 
tives. Except for the state determination of leasing 
levels alternative, where a decrease in production is 
projected, percent changes in production range 
from +3.6 percent (emergency leasing only) to 
+47.5 percent (lease to meet industry needs). 



5-11 



TABLE 5-6 



wmmm 



REGIONAL IMPACT SUMMARY 
WESTERN INTERIOR COAL REGION 



I 



KEY -IMPACT AREAS 


ALTERNATIVES 






NO NEW 
LEASING 


PREFERRED 
PROGRAM 


PRLA ' s 
ONLY 


EMERGENCY 

LEASING 

ONLY 


MEET 

INDUSTRY 

NEEDS 


MEET 

DOE 
GOALS 


STATE 

DETER- 
MINATION 




1985 


Rase Case 


PERCENT CHANGE FROM NO NEW LEASING 




Coal Production (million tons) 


14.2 


- 4.2 


-3.5 





islliilli 


H:0\MM 


+11.2 




Coal Consumption (million tons) 


106.9 


- 4.0 


- 5.4 


- 5.0 


- 1.5 


+ 3.1 | 


- 5.3 




Land Committed (acres) 


16 , 386 


- 4.1 


- 5.3 


- 4.7 


- 6.0 





+14.7 




Agriculture (thousands 1974 S) 


6,648 


- 4.1 


- 5.3 


- 4.6 


- 6.0 





+14.7 




Population (thousands) 


99.8 


- 5.9 


- 7.6 


- 6.5 


- 6.5 


+ 0.7 




Disabling Accidents 


808 


- 1.1 


- 1.1 


- 0.8 


- 7.5 


- 5.9 


+ 3.7 




Water (thousand acre-feet) 


367.4 


- 4.0 


- 5.5 


- 5.0 


- 1.6 


+ 2.9 


- 5.3 




Game Animal Losses 


4,920 


- 4.3 


- 5.3 


- 4.7 


- 6.1 





+14.6 




Particulate Emissions (tons) 


121,554 


- 3.8 


- 5.0 


- 4.6 


- 1.6 


+ 2.5 


- 4.7 




Sulfur Oxide Emissions (tons) 


466,072 


- 3.9 


- 5.2 j - 4.8 


- 1.2 


+ 2.9 


- 5.1 




1990 




PERCENT CHANGE FROM NO NEW LEASING 




Coal Production (million tons) 


25.5 


WmBtti^M^Wi 


- 5.1 


IMMMMMM:M^M&MMM 




Coal Consumption (million tons) 


170.2 


+ 2.9 


+ 0.5 


+ 0.5 


■+ 5.9 + 5.2 


- 2.9 




Land Committed (acres) 


25,876 


- 2.6 


- 3.8 


- 2.4 


- 1.7 


- 2.8 


- 3.1 




Agriculture (thousands 1974 $) 


5,249 


- 2.6 


- 3.8 


- 2.4 


+ 1.7 


- 2.8 


- 3.0 




Population (thousands) 


150.4 


- 0.3 


- 1.9 


+ 0.7 


- 1.1 


- 7.6 


- 0.1 




Disabling Accidents 


1,366 


-12.4 : 


- 9.4 


- 2.1 




'Sgilsji^':-. 




Water (thousand acre-feet) 


580.2 


- 0.1 


- 2.4 


- 2.4 


+ 2.8 


2.1 


- 5.7 




Game Animal Losses 


3,080 


- 3.2 


- 4.7 


- 0.5 


- 2.1 


- 3.4 


- 4.0 


- 


Particulate Emissions (tons) 


194,025 


- 0.4 


- 2.4 


- 2.2 


+ 2.0 


+ 1.4 


- 4.9 




Sulfur Oxide Emissions (tons) 


714,331 





- 2.2 


- 2.2 


+ 2.9 


+ 2.3 


- 5.5 





(a) Represents absolute values at medium level production. 
Shading Key: 10 to 1' 



20 to 24 , 30% and greater 







TABLE 5-7 

REGIONAL IMPACT SUMMARY 
TEXAS COAL REGION 








KEY IMPACT AREAS 


ALTERNATIVES 




NO NEW 
LEASING 


PREFERRED 
PROGRAM 


DRLA ' s 
ONLY 


EMERGENCY 

LEASING 

ONLY 


MEET 
INDUSTRY 

NEEDS 


MEET 

DOE 

GOALS 


- 
STATE 
DETER- 
MINATION 


1985 


Base Case^ 


PERCENT CHANGE FROM NO NEW LEASING 


Coal Production (million tons) 


64 


+ 3.5 


+ 0.4 


+ 0.9 


[Pff^W 


- 9.8 




Coal Consumption (million tons) 


137.7 


+ 0.4 


- 0.8 


- 0.4 


- 1.3 


- 0.4 


2.2 


Land Commit: ted (acres) 


23,707 


+ 1.1 


- 0.7 


- 0.2 


- 5.7 


- 2.4 


+ 6.5 




Agriculture (thousands 1974 $) 


2,289 


+ 1.1 


- 0.7 


- 0.1 


- 5.7 


- 2.4 


+ 6.6 




Population (thousands) 


182.3 


+ 1.1 


- 0.8 


- 0.2 


- 5.0 


- 2.2 


6.5 




Disabling Accidents 


997 





- 0.3 


- 0.1 


+ 2.5 


- 0.5 


+ 2.4 




Water (thousand acre-feet) 


471 


+ 0.4 


- 0.8 


- 0.4 


- 1.5 


- 0.5 


+ 2.2 


Game Animal Losses 


14,270 


+ 1.1 


- 0.7 


- 0.1 


- 5.6 


- 2.4 


+ 6.5 




Particulate Emissions (tons) 


107,280 


+ 0.6 


- 0.8 


- 0.3 


- 2.7 


- 1.1 


- 3.6 


1 


Sulfur Oxide Emissions (tons) 


108,499 


+ 0.4 


- 0.8 


- 0.8 


- 1.4 


+ 0.2 


- 1.3 


ho 

o 


1990 




~ 
'" 


PERCENT CHANGE FROM NO NEW LEASING 






Coal Production (million tons) 


119.4 




- 2.5 


- 3.0 


IliSilli 


iiiliiil 


- 7.0 




Coal Consumption (million tons) 


247.3 


+ 1.6 





+ 0.2 


+ 0.2 


+ i.i 


+ 0.3 




Land Committed (acres) 


43,684 


- 6.0 


- 1.8 


- 1.7 -12.1 


- 7.6 


- 2.6 




Agriculture (thousands 1974 $) 


2,109 


- 6.0 


- 1.8 


+ 0.4 


-12.1 


- 7.6 


- 2.6 




Population (thousands) 


259.4 


-10.2 


- 2.9 


- 3.2 


-14.3 


- 9.6 


p-UuViV;- 




Disabling Accidents 


1,408 


- 1.3 


- 8.4 


- 0.6 


- 1.4 


- 0.3 


- 1.3 




Water (thousand acre-feet) 


850.7 


- 0.2 


- 1.7 


- 1.4 


- 1.9 


- 0.8 


- 1.4 




Game Animal Lossps 


13,105 


- 6.0 


- 1.8 


- 1.7 


-12.1 


- 7.6 


- 2.5 




Particulate Emissions (tons) 


196,903 


- 2.1 


- 1.7 


- 1.5 


- 5.0 


- 2.9 


- 1.8 




Sulfur Oxide Emissions (tons) 


197,164 





- 1.6 


- 1.3 


- 1.3 


- 0.4 


- 1.3 




(a) Represents 


absolute values at me 


dium level p 


rodu 


rtion. 










Shading Key: 




10 tol97„ ; | | 


20 to 29%; 


0iSi; 


30% and greater 





mm& 



TABLE 5-8 



REGIONAL IMPACT SUMMARY 
POWDER RIVER COAL REGION 



L/i 

i 



KEY IMPACT AREAS 


ALTERNATIVES 




NO NEW 
LEAS ING 


PREFERRED 
PROGRAM 


PRLA's 
ONLY 


EMERGENCY 

LEASING 

ONLY 


MEET 
INDUSTRY 

NEEDS 


MEET 

DOE 

GOALS 


STATE 

DETER- 
MINATION 


1983 


(a) 
Base Case 


PERCENT CHANGE FROM NO NEW LEASING 


Coal Production (million tons) 


204.8 











+ 9.8 





+10.3 


Coal Consumption (million tons) 


16.6 











+ 2.4 


- 1.8 


- 1.8 


Land Committed (acres) 


8.426 


+ 0.2 





+ 0.1 


+ 8.1 


- 0.4 


- 7.8 


Agriculture (thousands 1974 S) 


23 











+ 8.7 





- 8.7 


Population (thousands) 


112.3 


+ 0.5 


+ 0.1 


+ 0.3 


+11.7 


+ 0.1 


w.mt 


Disabling Accidents 


619 


- 5.0 


+ 0.2 


- 1.3 


+ 1.9 


- 5.0 


-12.1 


Water (thousand acre-feet) 


71.6 











+ 4.2 


- 1.-4 


- 3.5 


Came Animal Losses 


3,410 











+ 7.9 


- 0.3 


- 7.9 


Particulate Emissions (tons) 


38,171 


+ 0.6 


+ 0.1 


+ 0.2 


+ 7.8 


- 0.1 


- 6.4 


Sulfur Oxide Emissions (tons) 


13,337 


- 0.1 


- 0.1 





+ 3.4 


- 1.0 


- 1.3 


1990 






PERCENT CHANGE FROM NO N 


EW LEASING 

j 4*7, 
+ 4.1 

l ,^«..n......lllllll n 




Coal Production (million tons) 


305.0 


IIORIf ■ 


+16.3 


+ 3.6 


; -" : ■: : !|| 


i;i^|i;#i||: 


Coal Consumption (million tons) 


26.9 


+ 2.6 


+ 1.1 





+ 2.6 

L — . 


- i.i 


Land Committed (acres) 


12,535 


"' • ■:.■ ■■ 


+11 .6 


+ 2.1 


1 - 9.3 


Agriculture (thousands 1974 $) 


18 


.:...!":;■ „ 





::.:::: : 

Illlllllll 

|; : : *:;|feipii : i 
+ 4.3 


Lfe 


Population (thousands) 


91.1 


i* 78 -' 


-H-S.I 


+ 7.6 


Illillllli -12.5 - ■ :j 


Disabling Accidents 


886 


¥ 8.9 


+12.9 


+ 1.2 


+ 9.0 


■15.7 


Water (thousand acre-feet) 


90.1 


+ 7.6 


+ 3.4 


- 0.6 


+ 7.3 


- 5.5 


Game Animal Losses 


2,530 


;'■;':-.;■.-■■ ' 


+11 .8 


+ 2.8 


\"t^l:\VS>: 


| + 9.1 


Particulate Emissions (tons) 


48,963 


!ll2<V,i'- : j +11.8 


+ 2.5 


WMWM^: 


| - 8.5 


Sulfur Oxide Emissions (tons) 


16,161 


+ 2.1 


+ 0.4 


- 1.1 


+ 4.3 


+ 2.7 


- 3.2 



(a) Represents absolute values at medium level production 

■ 



Shading Key: 



10 to 19%; 



20 to- 29%; 



30% and great£ 



REGIONAL IMPACTS 



Impacts associated with the preferred program are 
especially significant (31.1 percent production 
increase and 78.3 percent population increase, for 
example). 

Several features of the region magnify the 
severity of the impacts shown in the table for 1990. 
Seventy-five percent of the region's average annual 
precipitation of 14 inches falls between April and 
September; flooding is common in the spring when 
rapid snow melt produces heavy run-off. Though 
the region is classified as semi-arid, it varies from 
humid in some years to arid in others and is never 
predictable. Thus the climate of the coal region 
militates against attempts to minimize the conse- 
quences of disturbing the land and to maximize its 
subsequent reclamation. 

Air quality in the region is generally good. 
However, the changes in 1990 in particulate 
emissions projected for the preferred program 
( + 24.1 percent), lease to meet industry needs 
alternative ( + 36.7 percent), and lease to meet 
DOE production goals alternative ( + 23.3 percent) 
indicate that air quality in this coal region may be 
severely degraded should any of these alternatives 
be implemented. 

Surface water and groundwater quality are 
both variable. Although such water may be 
chemically suitable to support Federal coal man- 
agement program activities, the quantity of water 
available for such activities may be limited. 

Ranching and farming are the predominant 
lifestyles in the region; however, exploitation of oil, 
gas, and uranium resources has spurred mining 
developments in recent years. Although population 
growth has been generally slow in recent years, 
stability has been disrupted on a local basis by the 
boom town phenomenon, with Gillette and Sheri- 
dan, Wyoming, being notable examples. As a 
result of increased demands for water, labor, and 
land associated with developments under the 
Federal coal management program, the stability of 
existing lifestyles and socioeconomic structure in 
the coal region is threatened. 

5.2.6 The Green River-Hams Fork Coal Region 

This coal region is composed of two contigu- 
ous coal regions (Green River and Hams Fork) in 
extreme western Wyoming, northwestern Colora- 
do, and small portions of Utah and Idaho. Total 
reserves are estimated to be 15.6 billion tons in the 
Green River-Hams Fork Coal Region. The coal 



beds in southwestern Wyoming and northern 
Colorado range in thickness from a few inches to 
about 40 feet. Most of this coal is deeply buried 
and it is not considered economical to extract it 
using current mining technologies. The coal beds 
in the rest of the region (western Wyoming, Utah, 
and Idaho) range up to 100 feet thick with some 
high quality coals up to 20 feet thick. Steep dips, 
however, make mining of these beds difficult. 

As indicated in Table 5-9, coal production in 
1990 in this region due to implementation of the 
preferred program is forecast to increase substan- 
tially ( + 21.5 percent) over the no new leasing 
(base case) alternative. Correspondingly significant 
increases in population ( + 51.3 percent), land 
committed (+ 16.7 percent), and particulate emis- 
sions (+12.9 percent) are also indicated for 1990. 
The impacts associated with the preferred program 
in 1985 are not as large as those in 1990 ( + 5.2 
percent for production, + 7.3 percent for popula- 
tion, for example), but they still pose a threat. 

There is wide variation in the magnitudes of 
impacts forecast for the region in both years 
among the Federal coal management program 
alternatives. Under the state determination of 
leasing levels alternative, coal production in the 
region would be severely constrained. For the lease 
to meet industry needs and lease to meet DOE 
production goals alternatives, the reverse is true; 
production would be greatly emphasized and all 
impacts would be correspondingly magnified. In 
terms of coal production and impacts, the pre- 
ferred program strikes a balance between the 
extremes associated with these three alternatives. 

Although overall regional air quality is very 
good, there are localities like Craig, Colorado; 
Sweetwater County, Wyoming; and Soda Springs, 
Idaho, where particulates concentrations exceed 
national standards. It is difficult to relate the 
particulate emission increases forecast for 1985 
and 1990 to particulate concentrations without 
being site-specific and performing detailed air 
quality studies. However, it can be stated that the 
increases in particulate emissions shown for the 
preferred program will degrade air quality; air 
quality in localities that are near to or exceed 
national standards for particulates may be further 
degraded. 

A serious problem is expected in supplying the 
water needed to support preferred program activi- 
ties. Though many of the large streams in the 



5-22 



mn^m^^^^ 



TABLE 5-9 



REGIONAL IMPACT SUMMARY 
GREEN RIVER - HAMS FORK COAL REGION 



i 

to 




(a) Represents absolute values at medium level production. 
Shading Key: 10 to 19%; 



20 to 29Z; 307, and greater 



REGIONAL IMPACTS 



region are perennial (like the Green and Yampa 
Rivers), most of the tributaries are intermittent. 
The region is thus subject to droughts. Ground- 
water found in alluvial deposits is of good quality 
and moderate yields can be obtained. However, 
pumping from these aquifers is restricted by the 
states because of appropriated water rights or 
interference with nearby stream flows. Yields from 
sandstone aquifers and limestone aquifers are 
highly variable depending upon permeability. In 
general, water quality throughout the region has 
not been fully explored. Not only is the water 
impact forecast a very real concern because of the 
water availability and water quality issues, but also 
because of the constraints it may impose on other 
non-coal related development activities in the 
region. 

The region contains vast public lands and large 
ranches, and a low population density (2.6 persons 
per square mile (1975 data)). Construction of 
additional housing has not kept pace with demand 
and there is currently a housing shortage in many 
of the region's communities. The large increase in 
coal-related population for 1990 ( + 51.3 percent 
over the no new leasing base case) will aggravate 
this situation unless appropriate measures are 
taken. 

The agricultural sector currently accounts for 
10 percent of the region's work force. The value of 
agricultural crops lost due to mining is forecast to 
be significant in 1990 (+ 17.1 percent increase over 
the base case). Serious changes in the lifestyles of 
residents in the region have occurred in some 
areas. These changes will continue whether or not 
local workers leave agricultural employment for 
employment in activities related to a Federal coal 
management program. 

There have been recent increases in the levels 
of development of natural resources in the region, 
particularly coal, trona, oil, and gas, which have 
influenced the creation of new communities. The 
lifestyles of the new residents and their reliance on 
industry for employment opportunities have com- 
bined to alter the typically western character of the 
region. Since forecasts associated with implemen- 
tation of the preferred program show increases in 
coal production, population, water demands, and 
land committed over the no new leasing base case, 
it is expected that the character of the region will 
be altered even more. 



Considerable land area is projected to be 
disturbed for roads, utility corridors, and coal 
facilities. Since the region consists of a series of 
parallel mountain ranges and valleys, reclamation 
of coal-disturbed lands is highly site-specific. 
Because of the varying topography, soil types, and 
precipitation rates in the region, the reclamation 
process is further complicated. 

5.2.7 The Fort Union Coal Region 

The largest coal region in the Northern Great 
Plains Province, the Fort Union Coal Region, 
includes portions of eastern Montana, northwest- 
ern South Dakota, and western North Dakota. 
Significant amounts of coal are located in this 
region. Reserves of 440 billion tons of lignite, 
ranging to 1500 feet thick, are estimated in the 
South Dakota and Montana portions of the region. 
About 23.1 billion tons of subbituminous reserves 
are estimated to be surface-mineable from North 
Dakota westward into Montana. 

Table 5-10 indicates the extent of the impacts 
projected for the Federal coal management pro- 
gram alternatives. The table shows that, in 1985, 
coal production under the preferred program 
would not change from the level of the no new 
leasing base case. The other impact areas (except 
for disabling accidents) are shown to increase in 
1985, some significantly. The explanation for these 
seeming inconsistencies is that although coal 
production remains constant under the preferred 
program, coal consumption in the coal region 
increases significantly (+11.6 percent); the in- 
creases in population, water, air emissions, and 
other impacts are associated with the projected 
operation of a modest-sized synthetic fuels high- 
Btu coal gasification plant within the region. By 
1990, coal production in the region under the 
preferred program is forecast to be much less (-17.8 
percent) than that associated with the no new 
leasing base case, while coal consumption remains 
the same as the base case. As a result, in 1990 the 
impacts in other key areas are much less than the 
base case. These may or may not be desirable 
impacts, however, depending upon the economic 
stimulation generated and the stresses that the 
local social and economic structures would have to 
endure. 

Under the state determination of leasing levels 
alternative, production is slated to be greater in 
1985 over the preferred program (+ 17.2 percent). 



5-24 



TABLE 5-10 

REGIONAL IMPACT SUMMARY 
FORT UNION COAL REGION 



i 



KEY IMPACT AREAS 


ALTERNATIVES 


NO NEW 
LEASING 


PREFERRED 
PROGRAM 


PRLA's 
ONLY 


EMERGENCY 

LEASING 

ONLY 


MEET 

INDUSTRY 

NEEDS 


MEET 

DOE 

GOALS 


STATE 
DETER- 
MINATION 


1985 


Base Case 




> PERCENT CHANCE FROM NO 


NEW LEASING 


Coal Production (million tons) 


31.9 











+15.6 


lllilllil +17.2 


Coal Consumption (million tons) 


19.8 


+11.6 


+11.6 


+11.6 


+17,7 


+2.5 




Land Committed (acres) 


4,190 


+ 7.5 


+ 7.5 


+ 7.5 


+17.9 




+18.8 


Agriculture (thousands 1974 $) 


265.0 


+ 7.5 


+ 7.5 


+ 7.5 


+17.7 


.-11.3 ... 


+18.9 


Population (thousands) 


22.4 


+12,1 


+12.5 


+12.5 


mmmM'M 


WS# : 


•;;ili!!f 


Disabling Accidents 


378 











+6.1 


-6.9 


-16.9 ■ 


Water (thousand acre-feet) 


55.5 


+14.2 


+14.2 


+14.2 


■ 22,3 


1.8 


Game Animal Losses 


1,780 


+ 6.7 


+ 6.7 


+ 6.7 


+16.8 -11.8 


__________ 


Particulate Emissions (tons) 


12,017 


+10.7 


+10.7 


+10.7 


+17 9 


-5.5 


Sulfur Oxide Emissions (tons) 


12,110 


+ 7.1 "1 


+ 7.1 


+ 7.2 


+1.4 


1990 






; PERCENT CHANGE FROM SO 


NEW LEASING 


Coal Production (million tons) 


51.0 


-17.8 


- 7.0 


[-0.7 


+1.7 


> -5^8 


+6.6 


CoaJ Consumption (million tons) 


44.8 


- 1.8 


1 - 0.4 


+0.2 


+ 4.7 


— * — >*. 


i + 0.9 


Land Committed (acres) 


8,517 


- 5.8 


- 1.3 


+ 1.3 


+5.1 




+4.3 


Agriculture (thousands 197 A $) 


269 


- 5.9 


- 1.1 


+ 1.1 


+5.2 




+4.1 


Population (thousands) 


60.2 


-15.9 


- 8.8 


- 4.7 


-6.3 


illlllll 


-9.5 


Disabling Accidents 


538 


- 2.6 


- 1.3 


- 0.3 


+2.4 


-8.4 


-0.2 


Water (thousand acre-feet) 


141.7 


- 0.5 


+ 1.5 


+ 2.5 


6.7 


^Mfyj^M 


3.6 


Game Animal Losses 


1,805 


+ 5.8 


- 1.4 


+ 1.1 


+4.7 


n^'M^Xl^i 


+3.9 


Particulate Emissions (tons) 


27,832 


- 3.0 


+ 0.4 


+ 2.2 


+6.0 


J^muf^. 


+4.2 


Sulfur Oxide Emissions (tons) 


23,435 


- 0.3 


+ 1.0 


+ 1.5 


+5.3 


-6.8 


+1.8 



(a) Represents absolute values at medium level production 
Shading Key: ■ : J 



10 to 19%; 



20 to 292 



30Z and greater 



REGIONAL IMPACTS 



This is due to the preference of North Dakota to 
intensify development of its coal resources. Rela- 
tive increases in population under the program 
alternatives reflect a move towards greater overall 
industrialization in the region. For the lease to 
meet industry needs alternative, the same general 
comments apply. The situation reverses itself for 
the lease to meet DOE production goals alternative 
where coal production is forecast to be reduced 
significantly as compared to both the no new 
leasing base case and the preferred program. As 
regards these three alternatives (lease to meet 
industry needs, lease to meet DOE production 
goals, and state determination of leasing levels), 
the preferred program strikes a balance between 
the impact extremes. 

Air quality in the region is well within National 
Ambient Air Quality Standards, especially for 
particulates and sulfur dioxide. Increased air 
emissions in 1985 resulting from greater coal 
consumption under the preferred program will 
degrade this air quality. However, since these 
impacts cannot be quantified until specific sites 
have been studied, it cannot be said that air quality 
in the region will reach or exceed National 
Ambient Air Quality Standards. 

Groundwater is available throughout the re- 
gion but only in small to moderate amounts. 
Surface water is limited throughout the region, 
except for those areas adjacent to the Missouri and 
Yellowstone Rivers. Water availability could cause 
severe problems depending upon where the coal- 
related activities are sited. The greatest potential 
for groundwater development is along the Missouri 
and Yellowstone Rivers and from the deep coal 
bearing formations themselves. 

The infrastructure of the region is typically 
rural western. Increases in social demands associ- 
ated with the preferred program due to the 
population influx projected for 1985 will strain 
limited service facilities. Agriculture, presently a 
dominant pursuit in the region, may have to give 
way to coal-related industrial developments. The 
lifestyles of the older residents may be adversely 
affected by coal resource developments and new 
residents. 

5.2.8 The San Juan River Coal Region 

This region covers the Four Corners area of the 
southwest including portions of New Mexico, 
Colorado, and Utah. The total estimated reserve 



base in the San Juan River Coal Region is 4.2 
billion tons. Coals within the region rank from 
high-volatile A to B bituminous, to discontinous 
and dirty coals that are high-volatile C to B 
bituminous with high ash content. 

As presented in Table 5-11, percent changes in 
key impact areas for the preferred program as 
compared with the no new leasing base case are 
essentially negligible in 1985 and significantly 
lower in 1990. This indicates that the major coal- 
related impacts to be felt in the region in these 
years would result from mining on existing Federal 
leases and from mines not dependent on Federal 
coal. There is some variation in projected impacts 
among several of the other Federal coal manage- 
ment program alternatives. Under both the lease to 
meet industry needs and the state determination of 
leasing levels alternatives, significant production 
increases from additional mining are indicated for 
1985 ( + 20.9 percent and +29.0 percent, respec- 
tively, over the base case). As expected, production 
increases result in additional land disturbed, an 
influx of people for the region, and more particu- 
late emissions due to fugitive dust from the surface 
mining activities. To the opposite extreme, the 
lease to meet DOE production goals alternative 
would result in a large decrease (-10.8 percent) in 
coal production. Other key impact areas for this 
alternative decrease accordingly. 

The quantity and quality of water required to 
support any additional developments in the region, 
let alone the demands projected under the no new 
leasing base case, are a crucial issue. The region is 
essentially a desert environment. The quality of 
groundwater, where it can be found, is only fair. 
Currently, pumping to support coal and uranium 
mining in the Gallup, New Mexico area exceeds 
aquifer replacement capabilities. Annual precipita- 
tion is generally less than 10 inches for most of the 
region. An aggravating factor is that potential 
evaporation exceeds normal precipitation many 
times over. Only the San Juan River receives flow 
from outside the region. Surface reservoirs have 
been constructed to store the region's water and to 
control the floods created by summer thunder- 
storms and spring snowmelt. From a water 
consumption viewpoint, the preferred program 
requires less water in 1990 than the no new leasing 
base case. 

Impacts of the preferred program on the 
region's air quality and its lifestyles are forecast to 



5-26 



TABLE 5-11 

REGIONAL IMPACT SUMMARY 
SAN JUAN RIVER COAL REGION 



I 



KEY IMPACT AREAS 




ALTERNATIVES 




NO NEW 
LEASING 


PREFERRED 
PROGRAM 


PRLA's 

ONLY 


EMERGENCY 

LEASING 

ONLY 


MEET 

INDUSTRY 

NEEDS 


MEET 

DOE 

COALS 


STATE 
DETER- 
MINATION 


1935 


Base Case 


PERCENT CHANGE FROM NO NEW LEASING 


Coal Production (million tons) 


24.8 


+0.8 








-1.1 


-10,8 J 


■!-?.<b0:- >V 

: : : 


Coal Consumption (million tons) 


8.9 











-13. $ : 


-1.1 


Land Committed (acres) 


3,100 


+0.3 


-0.2 


-0.2 


+13,2 -11.4 

— __ -4- ■ -■■■■ ■■■■■■-■■-■■4 


+18.6 


Agriculture (thousands 1974 $) 


2 




















Population (thousands) 


12.8 


+1.6 


-0.8 


-0.8 






Disabling Accidents 


186 


+1.1 


+0.5 


+1.1 




-5.4 


+12,4 


Water (thousand acre-feet) 


32.6 





-0.5 


-0.5 


0.8 


: . : >-l3.37 : ' 


1.3 


Game Animal Losses 


50 













™ 


Particulate Emissions (tons) 


9,891 


+0.3 


-0.4 


-0.4 


+6.6 


-12.3 


+9.2 


Sulfur Oxide Emissions (tons) 


7,327 





-0.5 


-0.5 


-0.1 


is +12.5 


-0.2 


1990 




PERCENT CHANCE FROM NO NEW LEASING 


Coal Production (million tons) 


59.4 


-15.8 


-7.5 


-1.6 


+1.0 


-2.8 


+6.0 


Coa] Consumption (million tons) 


13.4 


+ 1.5 


+ 1.5 





+ 0.7 


+ 1.5 


- 1.5 


Land Committed (acres) 


6,430 


-11. 2 


-5.2 


-1.4 


+1.0 


-3.9 


+4.2 


Agriculture (thousands 1974 S) 


2 




















Population (thousands) 


44.3 


-15.8 


-6.1 


-1.6 


-6.3 


-11.5 


-5.4 


Disabling Accidents 


337 


-7.1 


-3.3 


-0.3 


+2.1 





+3.3 


Water (thousand acre-feet) 


41.6 


-0.9 


-0.6 


-1.0 


0.4 


-0.7 


-1.2 


Game Animal Losses 


50 


-10 














- +10 


Particulate Emissions (tons) 


16,264 


-5.9 


-2.2 


-0.9 


+2.0 


-14.4 


+5.3 


Sulfur Oxide Emissions (tons) 


8,127 


+0.7 





-1.1 +0.3 


-1.1 


-2.2 



(a) Represents absolute values at medium level production. 

Shading Key: [ lj 30% and greater 



REGIONAL IMPACTS 



be negligible. Any undesirable impacts associated 
with the preferred program in these impact areas 
or any of the others will be relatively equivalent to 
those projected for the no new leasing base case. 

5.2.9 The Uinta-Southwestern Utah Coal Region 

Included within this region are portions of 
Colorado and Utah. The region is characterized by 
extremely steep slopes and narrow vertically- 
walled canyons. At least 7.2 billion tons of coal 
reserves are estimated to be in the region, with 
most deposits in the flanks of major peaks and 
plateaus. Coal mining, which until recently had 
declined because of competition from natural gas 
and fuel oil, has become active again after being 
spurred by energy shortages. Several large coal- 
fired power plants have been constructed in the 
region. 

Table 5-12 presents comparative data on key 
impact areas for the Federal coal management 
program alternatives and the no new leasing base 
case. Production projected for the preferred pro- 
gram is shown to be slightly greater (+1.3 percent) 
than the base case in 1985. This greater production 
is accompanied by increases in other impact areas. 
In 1990, the impacts associated with the preferred 
program are much less than those for the base case 
because of the lower coal production (-15.8 
precent). 

Several of the program alternatives show wide 
swings in impacts as compared to the preferred 
and no new leasing alternatives. For the lease to 
meet industry needs alternative, an increase in 
production of five million tons in 1985 (+18.2 
percent change over the base case) is forecast to be 
accompanied by large impacts in land disturbance, 
population growth, and air quality. Conversely, the 
lower production (-10.8 percent) associated with 
the lease to meet DOE production goals alternative 
is accompanied by much less severe impacts in 
these other areas. 

Air quality is currently well within National 
Ambient Air Quality Standards in rural areas of 
the region. Problems do exist, however, in closed 
valleys where industrial and urban emissions 
become trapped. Although the emissions impacts 
for the preferred program are forecast to be slight 
in 1985 ( + 2.3 percent change over the base case 
for particulates and +2.6 percent for sulfur 
oxides), there will be some degradation of air 
quality. The other Federal coal management 



alternatives are also forecast to adversely affect 
regional air quality. Since coal operations will take 
place where adverse temperature inversions are 
expected to occur, localized problems are likely to 
be experienced in 1985. In 1990, air quality 
impacts associated with the six Federal coal 
management program alternatives are forecast to 
be negligible. 

As regards water impacts, most streams in the 
region diminish in size as they flow from the 
mountains. This seeming contradiction is due to a 
combination of low precipitation coupled with 
high evaporation, and diversions for irrigation. 
Tributaries originating at lower elevations are 
intermittent. As compared with the no new leasing 
base case, the six Federal coal management 
program alternatives are forecast not only to draw 
down more of the existing short supplies in the 
region in 1985 but, also to further degrade water 
quality by subjecting more land to erosion. Similar 
impacts on water quality and quantity in 1990 are 
estimated to be negligible as compared with the 
base case. 

The region experienced a uranium boom 
following World War II. When the demand eased, 
the uranium-induced population left the area. The 
increase in coal-related population under the 
preferred program is nominal ( + 2.4 percent 
change over the base case), but in a region so 
sparsely populated and rural in nature the impact 
could be significant. Housing stocks used by the 
uranium boom-induced population have deterio- 
rated such that existing, habitable stocks of vacant 
housing are inadequate to meet the needs of 
projected coal-induced population increases. Exist- 
ing population centers are far apart and distant 
from the coal deposits. Many communities have 
housing shortages and social services are limited. 
The availability of facilities to transport coal to 
markets is limited in the region. Highway and rail 
systems must undergo extensive development by 
1985 to support increased coal-related develop- 
ment activities associated with a Federal coal 
management program. 

5.2.10 The Denver-Raton Mesa Coal Region 

This coal region consists of portions of Colora- 
do and New Mexico. The Denver Basin part of the 
region contains coal beds up to 17 feet thick in the 
Laramie Formation; extensive coal beds also exist 
in the Denver Formation in an area about 75 miles 



5-28 



TABLE 5-12 

REGIONAL IMPACT SUMMARY 
UINTA-SOUTHWESTERN UTAH COAL REGION 



I 




(a) Represents a 
Shading Key: 



bsolute values at medium level produ ction. 
10 to 197.; J 20 to 29%: Hi 307. and 



REGIONAL IMPACTS 



long by 30 miles wide. In the other part of the 
region, Raton Mesa, coal beds are mostly two to 
five feet thick, ranging to 15 feet. Much of this coal 
outcrops but surface-mineable reserves are low. A 
number of the beds are under overburden 1,000 to 
3,000 feet thick. The region is estimated to contain 
about 3.9 billion tons of demonstrated reserves. 

In 1976, the region's consumption of coal far 
surpassed its production (5.2 million tons con- 
sumed, 1 .9 million tons produced). As presented in 
Table 5-13, this trend is forecast to continue in 
1985 and 1990 under the preferred program but at 
much higher absolute levels. In 1985, 20 million 
tons are estimated to be consumed and five million 
tons produced. In 1990, 30.3 million tons would be 
consumed and 10 million tons produced. Whereas 
the same tonnage would be produced in 1985 as 
the no new leasing base case, positive impacts 
greater than the base case are shown because of 
the increase in consumption. These impacts are 
considerably less than those associated with three 
of the other Federal coal management program 
alternatives (lease to meet industry needs, lease to 
meet DOE production goals, and state determina- 
tion of leasing levels). The impacts may b