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This is a text-only version of the document "Pittsburg and Midway Coal Mining - Final Environmental Impact Statement - 2003". To see the original version of the document click here.
U.S. Department of the Interior
Bureau of Land Management Wyoming State Office Casper Field Office
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT

July 2003

FINAL Environmental Impact Statement for the Pittsburg and Midway Coal Mining Company Coal Exchange Proposal
(WYW148816)

MISSION STATEMENT It is the mission of the Bureau of Land Management to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

BLM/WY/PL-03/022+1320

FINAL
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT FOR THE
 PITTSBURG AND MIDWAY COAL MINING COMPANY LAND EXCHANGE


Prepared for U.S. Department of the Interior
 Bureau of Land Management
 Casper Field Office
 Casper, Wyoming
 and Cooperating Agencies U.S. Department of the Interior
 Office of Surface Mining
 Reclamation and Enforcement
 Denver, Colorado
 and U.S. Department of the Interior
 Forest Service
 Bridger-Teton National Forest
 Kemmerer, Wyoming
 by WWC Engineering
 Sheridan, Wyoming


JUNE 2003

Table of Contents TABLE OF CONTENTS
 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ES-1 
 1.0 INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.1 Purpose and Need for Action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.2 Regulatory Authority and Responsibility . . . . . . . . 1.3 Relationship to BLM Policies, Plans, and Programs 1.4 Conformance with Existing Land Use Plans . . . . . . 1.5 Consultation and Coordination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PROPOSED ACTION AND ALTERNATIVES . . . . . . . . . . . 2.1 Proposed Action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.2 Alternative 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.3 Alternatives Considered but Not Analyzed in Detail 2.3.1 	 Alternative 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.3.2 	 Alternative 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.4 Comparison of Alternatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-1 . 1-9 1-11 1-12 1-12 1-15 . 2-1 . 2-1 2-13 2-13 2-13 2-14 2-14 . 3-1 . 3-1 . 3-5 . 3-7 3-15 3-15 3-17 3-17 3-21 3-25 3-27 3-22 3-28 3-31 3-34 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


2.0

3.0 AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.1 Bridger Lands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.2 JO Ranch Lands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.3 Welch Lands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4 PSO Tract . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.1	 General Setting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.2	 Topography and Physiography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.3 	 Geology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.3.1	 Mineral Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.4 	 Soils . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.5 	 Air Quality and Climate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.5.1	 Topography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.5.2	 Climate and Meteorology . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.5.3	 Regulatory Framework . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.5.4 	 Existing Air Quality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.5.5	 Historical Ambient Air Quality:
 Particulates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.5.6	 Historical Ambient Air Quality:
 NO2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.5.7	 Air Quality Related Values-Visibility and
 Acidification of Lakes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.6	 Water Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.6.1 	 Groundwater . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.6.2	 Surface Water . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.6.3 	 Water Rights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.7	 Alluvial Valley Floors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

. 3-38 
 . 3-42 
 . . . . . . 3-44 3-45 3-45 3-54 3-57 3-58 i 
 
 
 
 
 


Table of Contents 3.4.8 	 3.4.9	 Wetlands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vegetation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.9.1	 Threatened, Endangered, Proposed, and
 Candidate Plant Species, BLM Sensitive
 Species, and State Species of Special
 Concern . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.10	 Wildlife . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.10.1 Wildlife Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.10.2 Big Game . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.10.3 Other Mammals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.10.4 Raptors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.10.5 Game Birds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.10.6 Migratory Bird Species of Management
 Concern in Wyoming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.10.7 Other Species . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.10.8 Threatened, Endangered, Proposed, and
 Candidate Animal Species, BLM Sensitive
 Species, and State Species of Special
 Concern . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.11	 Ownership and Use of Land . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.12	 Cultural Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.12.1 Prehistoric Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.12.2 Historic Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.13	 Native American Consultation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.14	 Paleontological Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.15	 Visual Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.16 	 Noise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.17	 Transportation Facilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.18	 Socioeconomics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.18.1 Population . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.18.2 Local Economy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.18.3 Employment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.18.4 Housing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.18.5 Local Government Facilities and Services . 3.4.18.6 Social Conditions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.18.7 Environmental Justice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.19	 Hazardous and Solid Waste . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.0 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.1 Impacts of Acquiring the Bridger Lands . . . . . . . . 4.2 Impacts of Acquiring the JO Ranch Lands . . . . . . 4.3 Impacts of Acquiring the Welch Lands . . . . . . . . . 4.4 Impacts of Exchanging the Coal in the PSO Tract 4.4.1	 Topography and Physiography . . . . . . . 4.4.2	 Geology and Minerals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-59 
 3-60 


3-61 3-61 3-61 3-62 3-63 3-63 3-63


 
 
 
 
 
 


3-65 
 3-67 


3-67 
 3-67 
 3-76 
 3-79 
 3-81 
 3-84 
 3-86 
 3-87 
 3-88 
 3-91 
 3-91 
 3-91 
 3-92 
 3-93 
 3-94 
 3-94
 3-95 
 3-96 
 3-97 
 . . . . . . . 4-1 4-2 4-2 4-3 4-5 4-6 4-7 
 
 
 
 
 
 


ii

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Table of Contents 4.4.3 	 4.4.4 	 4.4.5	 Soils . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Air Quality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Water Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.4.5.1	 Surface Water . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.4.5.2 	 Groundwater . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.4.6	 Alluvial Valley Floors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.4.7 	 Wetlands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.4.8	 Vegetation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.4.9	 Threatened, Endangered, Proposed, and Candidate
 Plant Species, BLM Sensitive Species, and State
 Species of Special Concern . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.4.10	 Wildlife . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.4.11	 Threatened, Endangered, Proposed, and Candidate
 Wildlife Species, BLM Sensitive Species, and State
 Species of Special Concern . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.4.12	 Land Use and Recreation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.4.13	 Cultural Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.4.14	 Native American Concerns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.4.15	 Paleontological Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.4.16	 Visual Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.4.17 	 Noise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.4.18	 Transportation Facilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.4.19	 Socioeconomics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.4.20	 Hazardous and Solid Waste . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . No-Action Alternative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Regulatory Compliance, Mitigation, and Monitoring . . . . . . . . Residual Impacts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.7.1 Topography and Physiography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.7.2	 Geology and Minerals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.7.3 	 Soils . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.7.4 	 Air Quality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.7.5	 Water Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.7.6	 Alluvial Valley Floors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.7.7 	 Wetlands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.7.8	 Vegetation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.7.9	 Wildlife . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.7.10	 Threatened, Endangered, Proposed, and Candidate
 Species . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.7.11	 Land Use and Recreation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.7.12	 Cultural Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.7.13	 Native American Concerns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.7.14	 Paleontological Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.7.15	 Visual Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.7.16 	 Noise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.7.17	 Transportation Facilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-9 4-10 4-24 4-24 4-25 4-32 4-32 4-33 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


4-35 
 4-35 
 4-39 4-39 4-40 4-41 4-41 4-41 4-42 4-43 4-43 4-47 4-47 4-48 4-54 4-54 4-54 4-54 4-54 4-54 4-55 4-55 4-55 4-55 4-55 4-55 4-56 4-56 4-56 4-56 4-56 4-56 iii

4.5 4.6 4.7


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Table of Contents 4.7.18	 Socioeconomics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.7.19	 Hazardous and Solid Wastes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.8 Cumulative Impacts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.8.1	 Topography and Physiography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.8.2	 Geology and Mineral Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.8.3 	 Soils . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.8.4 	 Air Quality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.8.4.1	 Emission Sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.8.4.2 	 Predicted Air Quality Impacts . . . . . . . . . . 4.8.4.3 	 Cumulative Impacts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.8.5	 Water Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.8.5.1	 Surface Water . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.8.5.2 	 Groundwater . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.8.6	 Alluvial Valley Floors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.8.7 	 Wetlands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.8.8	 Vegetation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.8.9	 Wildlife . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.8.10	 Threatened, Endangered, Proposed, and Candidate
 Plant and Animal Species . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.8.11	 Land Use and Recreation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.8.12	 Cultural Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.8.13	 Native American Concerns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.8.14	 Paleontological Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.8.15	 Visual Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.8.16 	 Noise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.8.17	 Transportation Facilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.8.18	 Socioeconomics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.9	 The Relationship Between Local Short-term Uses of Man
s
 Environment and the Maintenance and Enhancement of
 Long-term Productivity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.10 Irreversible and Irretrievable Commitments of Resources . . . 4-56 4-56 4-56 4-58 4-58 4-61 4-62 4-64 4-65 4-68 4-77 4-77 4-78 4-84 4-84 4-85 4-86 4-90 4-90 4-91 4-92 4-92 4-92 4-92 4-93 4-93 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


4-95 
 4-97


5.0 	 CONSULTATION AND COORDINATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-1 
 6.0 	 REFERENCES CITED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6-1 
 7.0	 GLOSSARY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-1 


8.0 	 INDEX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-1 
 LIST OF FIGURES Figure ES-1. General Location of Lands Being Offered for Exchange by P&M Coal and PSO Tract . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ES-2 
 Figure ES-2. Bridger Lands Location Map . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ES-3 
 iv Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Table of Contents Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure ES-3. ES-4. ES-5. ES-6. ES-7. JO Ranch Lands Location Map . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ES-4 
 Welch Lands Location Map . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ES-5 
 Location of P&M Surface Lands and PSO Tract . . . . . . . . . . ES-6 
 Schematic Mine Plan for the Ash Creek Mine . . . . . . . . . . ES-10 
 Life of Mine Drawdown Map, Resulting from Proposed
 Action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ES-17 
 General Location of Lands Being Offered for Exchange by P&M
 and the PSO Tract . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-2 
 Bridger Lands Location Map . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-3 
 JO Ranch Lands Location Map . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-4 
 Welch Lands Location Map . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-5 
 Location of P&M Surface Lands and PSO Tract . . . . . . . . . . . 1-6 
 PSO Tract Configuration as Proposed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-5 
 Schematic Mine Plan for the Ash Creek Mine . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-7 
 General Analysis Area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-8 
 Welch Lands and Extent of Thunder Child Range Fire . . . . . 3-10 
 Extent of Underground Acme Mine and Coal Fire Areas on
 the Welch Lands and Vicinity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-11 
 Geologic Cross Sections for the Ash Creek Mine . . . . . . . . . 3-18 
 Stratigraphic Relationships and Hydrologic Characteristics
 of Upper Cretaceous, Lower Tertiary and Recent Geologic Units, Powder River Basin, Wyoming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-19 
 Wind Roses and Meteorological Stations at the Decker 
 Coal Mine and Sheridan Municipal Airport near the PSO Tract . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-30 
 Active PM10 Monitoring Stations in Northeastern
 Wyoming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-36 
 Visibility in the Badlands and Bridger Wilderness Areas . . . 3-46
 Monitoring Well Locations Within and Adjacent to
 the PSO Tract . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-47 
 General Geologic Map for the PSO Tract Area . . . . . . . . . . . 3-52 
 Surface Water Features Within and Adjacent to the
 PSO Tract . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-55 
 Raptor Nest Sites, Sage Grouse Leks, and Prairie
 Dog Towns Within and Adjacent to the PSO Tract . . . . . . . . 3-64 
 Surface Ownership Within the Boundary of the PSO Tract . 3-68
 Oil and Gas Ownership Within the Boundary of the PSO
 Tract . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-70 
 Transportation Facilities Within and Adjacent to the PSO
 Tract . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-89 
 Relationship Between A-Scale Decibel Readings and Sounds
 of Daily Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-90 
 Modeled Maximum PM10 Annual Average Concentrations
 (µg/m3), Including Background of 15 µg/m3, at the Proposed Ash Creek Mine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-21 
 v

Figure 1-1. Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure 1-2. 1-3. 1-4. 1-5. 2-1. 2-2. 3-1. 3-2. 3-3.

Figure 3-4. Figure 3-5. Figure 3-6. Figure 3-7. Figure 3-8. Figure 3-9. Figure 3-10. Figure 3-11. Figure 3-12. Figure 3-13. Figure 3-14. Figure 3-15. Figure 3-16. Figure 4-1.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Table of Contents Figure 4-2. Figure 4-3. Modeled Maximum NOx Annual Average Concentrations (µg/m3), Including Background of 20 µg/m3, at the Proposed Ash Creek Mine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-22 
 Life of Mine Drawdown Map, Resulting from Proposed
 Action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-28 
 LIST OF TABLES Table ES-1 Table ES-2 Table 2-1. Table 2-2. Table 2-3. Table 2-4. Table 2-5. Table 3-1. Table 3-2. Table 3-3. Table 3-4. Table 3-5. Table 3-6. Table Table Table Table 3-7. 3-8. 3-9. 3-10. Summary Comparison of Lands and Minerals Offered for Exchange by P&M . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ES-9 
 Summary Comparison of Coal Production, Surface
 Disturbance, and Revenues for the PSO Tract . . . . . . . . . . ES-11 
 Production Schedule for the Proposed Ash Creek Mine . . . . 2-11 
 Summary Comparison of Lands and Minerals Offered for
 Exchange by P&M . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-16 
 Summary Comparison of Coal Production, Surface
 Disturbance and Revenues for the PSO Tract . . . . . . . . . . . 2-16 
 Summary Comparison of Magnitude and Duration of
 Direct and Indirect Impacts for the Proposed Action, and the No-Action Alternative for the P&M Land Exchange . . . . 2-17 
 Summary Comparison of Magnitude and Duration
 of Cumulative Impacts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-24 
 Acres of Topsoil Available for Reclamation Within the
 Boundary of the Federal Coal Being Considered for Exchange Under the Proposed Action. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-27 
 Average Maximum, Minimum and Monthly Mean
 Temperatures for Sheridan, Wyoming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-29 
 Climatic Monthly Precipitation For Arvada 3 N Located in
 Sheridan County, Wyoming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-29 
 Assumed Background Air Pollutant Concentrations,
 Applicable Ambient Table Air Quality Standards, and PSD Increment Values (in µg/m3) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-32 
 Approximate Distances and Directions from the General
 Analysis Area to PSD Class I and Class II Sensitive Receptor Areas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-35 
 Summary of WDEQ/AQD Reports on Air Quality Monitoring
 in Wyoming’s PRB, 1980-2002. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-40 
 Annual Ambient NO2 Concentration Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-43 
 2001 Annual Ambient NO2 Concentration Data . . . . . . . . . . 3-43 
 Existing Acid Neutralizing Capacity in Sensitive Lakes . . . . 3-48 
 Vegetation Types Identified and Mapped Within the PSO
 Tract . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-61 
 40 Migratory Bird Species of Management Concern in
 Wyoming for Coal Mines: Their Regional Status, and Expected and Actual Occurrence on or Near the PSO Tract . 3-66
 Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Table 3-11.

vi

Table of Contents Table 3-12. Table 3-13. Table 4-1. Table 4-2. Table 4-3. Table 4-4. Table 4-5. Table 4-6. Table 4-7. Table 4-8. Table 4-9. Table 4-10. Table 4-11. Table 4-12. Oil and Gas Ownership on the Federal Coal Lands Being Considered for Exchange . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-71 Summary of Class III Cultural Resource Inventory of the PSO Tract Study Area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-85 Comparison of the Proposed Ash Creek Mine Disturbance and Mined Areas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-6 Federal and State Ambient Air Quality Standards for Criteria Pollutants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-11 Annual Emissions Summary for the Proposed Ash Creek Mine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-16 Life of Mine Operating Parameters for the Proposed Ash Creek Mine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-17 Point Source and Applicable Fugitive Emissions for PTE Determinations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-18 Comparisons of Maximum Predicted Annual Impacts to Applicable Standards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-23 Water Supply Wells Possibly Subject to Drawdown if the PSO Tract is Mined . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-31 Regulatory Compliance, Mitigation and Monitoring Measures for Surface Coal Mining Operations Required by SMCRA and State Law (included in the Proposed Action) . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-49 Production of PRB Coal Mines Located in the Sheridan Coal Field Near the Wyoming-Montana State Line . . . . . . . . 4-60 Range of Predicted Maximum Potential Near-Field Impacts under Alternatives 1, 2A, and 2B of the Wyoming PRB Oil and Gas Project EIS (with Montana Alternative E) . . . . . . . . 4-67 Predicted Maximum Potential Near-Field Impacts under Alternative 3 of the Wyoming PRB Oil and Gas Project EIS (with Montana Alternative E) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-69 Maximum Predicted PSD Class I Area Cumulative Far-Field Impacts (in µg/m3) under Wyoming PRB Oil and Gas Project EIS Alternative 1 and all P&M Land Exchange EIS Alternatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-70 Predicted Total Cumulative Change in Acid Neutralizing Capacity at Sensitive Area Lakes (percent change) . . . . . . . 4-72 Predicted Visibility Impacts in the Mandatory Federal PSD Class I Washakie Wilderness Area from Direct Wyoming PRB Oil and Gas Project EIS Alternative Sources - Daily FLAG Refined Method (Average Number of Days per Year Predicted to Equal or Exceed a 1.0 dv “Just Noticeable Change”). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-74 Predicted Visibility Impacts in Class I Areas - Daily FLAG Refined Method (Average Number of Days per Year Predicted to Equal or Exceed a 1.0 dv “Just Noticeable Change”). . . . . 4-75

Table 4-13. Table 4-14.

Table 4-15.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

vii

Table of Contents Table 5-1. Table 5-2. Table 5-3. Table 5-4. Other Federal, State, and Local Governmental Agencies Consulted in EIS Preparation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . List of Contributors and Reviewers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . List of Preparers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Distribution List - Final EIS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LIST OF APPENDICES Appendix A. Processing Steps for Land Exchanges Involving Coal (43 CFR 2200) Appendix B. Federal and State Agencies and Permitting Requirements Appendix C. Unsuitability Criteria for the PSO Tract Appendix D. Technical Report on the Welch Ranch Coal Fire Appendix E. Biological Assessment; USFS Sensitive Species Evaluation; BLM Sensitive Species Evaluation; State Species of Special Concern Appendix F. Specific Resource Information for Individual P&M Parcels within the Bridger-Teton National Forest Appendix G. Non-Mine Groundwater and Surface Water Rights within the PSO Tract Appendix H. Air Quality Impact Technical Support Document Appendix I. Comment Letters on the Draft EIS and Responses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-2 5-4 5-5 5-6 
 
 
 


viii

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Abbreviations and Acronyms Abbreviations and Acronyms Used in this Report
AAQS 	 ac-ft ACEC 	 AML 	 AMLD 	 ANC 	 ANFO 	 APD 	 APE 	 AQRV 	 AUM 	 AVF 	 BACT	 bcy 	 BLM 	 BNSF 	 BOGC 	 BP BTNF 	 Btu/lb 	 C ca CAA 	 CAAA 	 CBM 	 CERCLA 	 CFR 	 cfs 	 CO COE 	 dBA, dB(A) 	 DEIS	 DFC 	 DM&E 	 DNRC 	 DOI	 dscf 	 dv 	 EA EIA/DOE 	 EIS 	 EPA 	 EQC 	 ESA 	 F FDM 	 FEIS	 FLAG 	 FLM 	 Ambient Air Quality Standards 	 cre-foot, acre-feet a Area of Critical Environmental Concern Abandoned Mine Lands Abandoned Mine Lands Division acid neutralizing capacity ammonium nitrate and fuel oil Application for Permit to Drill Area of Potential Effect Air Quality Related Values Animal Unit Month Alluvial Valley Floor Best Available Control Technology bank cubic yards Bureau of Land Management Burlington Northern Santa Fe Board of Oil and Gas Conservation before present 	 Bridger Teton National Forest British thermal units per pound Celsius 	 	 irca c Clean Air Act Clean Air Act Amendments coal bed methane Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 Code of Federal Regulations cubic foot per second carbon monoxide 	 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers A-weighted decibels Draft Environmental Impact Statement Desired Future Condition Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad Corporation Department of Natural Resources and Conservation Department of the Interior dry standard cubic foot deciview, a measure of view impairment 	 nvironmental Assessment E Energy Information Administration/Department of Energy Environmental Impact Statement Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Quality Council Endangered Species Act Fahrenheit 	 Fugitive Dust Model Final Environmental Impact Statement Federal Land Managers Air Quality Related Values Work Group Federal Land Manager

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

ix

Abbreviations and Acronyms Abbreviations and Acronyms Used in this Report
FLPMA ft ft3 ft/day g GLO gpm HAP hp hr ISC3 km LAC LBA LNCM LOM LOP LPI LPII LRMP MBHFI MBMG MCF MDEQ MDEQ/AWM MEI mg/l MLA MLE mm MM4 mph MSA MSHA MT NAAQS NADP NAPG NCDC NEPA NIOSH NO2 NOx NPS NRCS NRHP NSPS O3 OSHA Federal Land Policy Management Act of 1976 feet, foot cubic feet feet per day gram General Land Office gallons per minute hazardous air pollutant horsepower hour U.S. EPA’s Industrial Source Complex kilometers limits of acceptable change (i.e., air quality) Lease by Application Lands Necessary to Conduct Mining Life of Mine Life of Project early part of the Late Prehistoric Period latter part of the Late Prehistoric Period Land and Resource Management Plan migratory birds of high federal interest Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology thousand cubic feet Montana Department of Environmental Quality Montana Department of Environmental Quality/Air and Waste Management Bureau maximally exposed individual milligrams per liter Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 most likely exposure millimeter mesoscale model miles per hour Metropolitan Statistical Area Mining Safety and Health Administration Montana National Ambient Air Quality Standards National Atmospheric Deposition Program North American Power Group National Climatic Data Center National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health nitrogen dioxide nitrogen oxides National Park Service Natural Resources Conservation Service National Register of Historic Places New Source Performance Standards photochemical oxidants Occupational Safety and Health Administration

x

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Abbreviations and Acronyms Abbreviations and Acronyms Used in this Report
OSM, OSMRE P&M Pb PECS PILT P.M. PM2.5 PM10 ppbv ppm ppmv PRB PRRCT PSD PSO PTE RH ROD SAR SARA SEO SHPO SMCRA SO SO2 T&E TBCC TDS tpd tpy TSP U.S. USC USDA USDC USDC, BC USDI USFS USFWS USGS UW VOCs VRM WAAQS WAQSR WDEQ WDEQ/AQD Office of Surface Mining Reclamation & Enforcement Pittsburg & Midway Coal Mining Company lead passive enclosure control systems Payment in Lieu of Taxes Prime Meridian inhalable particulate matter finer than 2.5 microns in effective diameter inhalable particulate matter finer than 10 microns in effective diameter parts per billion by volume parts per million parts per million by volume Powder River Basin Powder River Regional Coal Team Prevention of Significant Deterioration Public Services Company of Oklahoma potential-to-emit relative humidity Record of Decision sodium adsorption ratio Superfund Amendment & Reauthorization Act of 1986 State Engineer’s Office State Historic Preservation Office Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 state office sulfur dioxide Threatened and Endangered Thunder Basin Coal Company total dissolved solids tons per day tons per year total suspended particulates United States United States Code U.S. Department of Agriculture U.S. Department of Commerce U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census U.S. Department of the Interior U.S. Forest Service U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service U.S. Geological Survey University of Wyoming volatile organic compounds visual resource management Wyoming Ambient Air Quality Standards Wyoming Air Quality Standards and Regulations Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality/Air Quality Division

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

xi

Abbreviations and Acronyms Abbreviations and Acronyms Used in this Report
WDEQ/LQD 	 WGFD 	 WMA 	 WOGCC 	 WRCC 	 WSGS 	 WY µeq/L 	 µg/m3	 µmhos/cm 	 Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality/Land Quality Division Wyoming Game and Fish Department Wyoming Mining Association Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Western Regional Climate Center Wyoming State Geological Survey Wyoming 	 microequivalents per liter micrograms per cubic meter micromhos per centimeter

xii

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Executive Summary EXECUTIVE SUMMARY On February 4, 1999, P&M1 filed a proposal with BLM to exchange P&M-owned land and minerals in Lincoln, Carbon, and Sheridan Counties in Wyoming for federallyowned coal in northern Sheridan County. P&M is a ChevronTexaco Company. Figure ES-1 is a general location map showing all the lands that would be involved in the exchange as proposed in relation to the State of Wyoming. P&M owns approximately 5,858.5 acres of surface estate and portions of the mineral estate on the lands in Lincoln, Carbon, and Sheridan Counties, Wyoming, shown in Figures ES-2, ES-3, and ES-4. They are offering to exchange their ownership in these lands for federal coal rights in Sheridan County in the tract shown in Figure ES-5. Figure ES-2 shows the lands P&M is offering to exchange in Lincoln County, referred to here as the Bridger lands. If the exchange is completed as proposed, P&M would transfer approximately 3,086 acres of surface estate and 3,086 acres of mineral estate to U.S. ownership. Approximately 2,446 acres are situated within the BTNF and would be administered by the USFS if an exchange is completed. Approximately 638 acres are located outside the BTNF and would be administered by the BLM if an exchange is completed. Figure ES-3 shows the lands being offered by P&M in Carbon County, referred to as the JO Ranch lands. If the exchange is completed as proposed, P&M would transfer approximately 1,233.5 acres of surface estate to U.S. ownership. P&M does not own the mineral estate under the JO Ranch lands. If the exchange is completed, the surface estate of these lands would be administered by BLM, and the mineral ownership would not change. Figure ES-4 shows the Sheridan County lands being offered by P&M, referred to as the Welch lands. If the exchange is completed as proposed, P&M would transfer approximately 1,539 acres of surface estate and 808 acres of coal estate to U.S. ownership. If the exchange is completed, the surface and coal estate of these lands would be administered by BLM and the rest of the mineral ownership would not change. Figure ES-5 shows the federal coal tract P&M seeks to acquire by exchange for the properties described above. It includes approximately 2,045.5 acres of land referred to as the PSO Tract in this EIS. Figure ES-5 also shows the lands north of Sheridan, Wyoming where P&M owns the surface. P&M owns the surface of most, but not all, of the PSO Tract. There are several other private surface owners and there are 6.41 acres of public land in the tract, located in Section 15, T.58N., R.84W. The coal beneath the PSO Tract is unleased federal coal, for which BLM is the managing agency. If an exchange is ES-1

Refer to page ix for a list of abbreviations and acronyms used in this document.
1

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Executive Summary

WELCH LANDS

PSO TRACT

Welch Lands and PSO Tract

JO Ranch Lands

State of Wyoming

Figure ES-1. General Location of Lands Being Offered for Exchange by P&M and the PSO Tract.

ES-2

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Bridger Lands

N.T.S.

SCALE: 1" = 30,000'

R. 117 W.

R. 117 W. R. 116 W.

R. 116 W. R. 115 W.

� � � � � �� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � �� �� �� �� �� �� ���� �� �� �� ��

Figure ES-2. Bridger Lands Location Map.
T.

� � � �� � � � � � � �� � � � � � � � � �� �

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange
27 N. T. 26 N.

T.

27 N.

T.

26

N.

R I D G E

T.

T. 26 N. T. 25

26 N.

R. 117 W.

T.

25

Executive Summary

N. R. 117 W. R. 116 W. R. 116 W. R. 115 W.

ES-3


SCALE: 1" = 10,000'

N.

R. 117 W.

Executive Summary
R. 91 W. R. 90 W. R. 90 W. R. 89 W.

T. 17 N. T. 16 N.

T. 17 N. T. 16 N.

� �� ��� �

T. 16 N. T. 15 N.

T. 16 N. T. 15

� �� �

N.

SCALE: 1" = 10,000'

R. 91 W.

R. 91 W. R. 90 W.

R. 90 W.

Figure ES-3. JO Ranch Lands Location Map.

ES-4

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Executive Summary
R. 38 E. R. 39 E. R. 39 E. R. 40 E.

T. 9 S. T. 10 S. T. 58 N. R. 85 E. R. 84 E.

T. 9 T. S. 9 T. S. 10 S. R. 38 E. R. 39 E. R. 84 E. R. 83 E.

T. R. 39 E. R. 40 E. 9 S. T. 58 N.

T. 58 N. T. 57 N.

T. 58 N. T. 57 N.

INTER STAT E 90

338 AY HW HIG

T. 57 N. T. 56 N.

T. 57 N. T. 56 N.

SCALE: 1" = 10,000'

R. 85 E.

R. 84 E.

SHERIDAN

R. 84 E.

R. 83 E.

Figure ES-4. Welch Lands Location Map.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

ES-5


Executive Summary
T. R. 38 E. 9 S. R. 38 E. R. 39 E. R. 39 E. R. 40 E. T. 8 S. T. 9 S.

PSO RANCH
T. 9 S. T. 10 S. R. 38 E. T. 58 N. R. 85 W. R. 84 W. T. 9 S. T. T. 10 9 S. S. R. 38 E. R. 39 E. R. 84 W. R. 83 W.

BARBULA-TURLEY RANCH

R. 39 E. R. 40 E.

T. 9 S. T. 58 N.

T. 58 N. T. 57 N.

T. 58 N. T. 57 N.

WELCH PLACE

INTER STAT E 90

38 Y3 WA GH HI

SCALE: 1" = 10,000'

R. 85 W. R. 84 W.

R. 84 W. R. 83 W.

LEGEND
PSO Tract P & M Surface Ownership

Figure ES-5. Location of P & M Surface Lands and PSO Tract.

ES-6

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Executive Summary completed, BLM would transfer ownership of the coal to P&M. P&M has indicated that, if the exchange is completed, they propose to open a surface coal mine to recover the coal reserves in the PSO Tract. For the purposes of this EIS, the coal mine that P&M proposes to open is referred to as the proposed Ash Creek Mine. The exchange is being processed under the provisions of Section 206 of FLMPA, the Federal Land Exchange Facilitation Act, Public Law No. 106-248, and the regulations at 43 CFR 2200. The PRRCT reviewed the exchange proposal at a public meeting held on October 27, 1999 in Gillette, Wyoming. The two most important considerations in evaluating a land exchange proposal are (1) whether the exchange is in the public interest as required under 43 CFR 2200.0-6(b), and (2) whether the value of the interests being acquired is of equal value to the lands or interests being conveyed to private ownership [as required under 43 CFR 2200.0-6(c)]. In making the public interest determination, BLM must consider a number of factors which are outlined in the regulations at 43 CFR 2200.0-6(b). In order to ensure that the lands or interests being exchanged are of equal value, the fair market value of the respective properties must be evaluated. In this case, the fair market value of the P&M lands will be determined through a fee Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange appraisal by a BLM-approved qualified appraiser. BLM will determine the fair market value of the coal to be exchanged. All exchange appraisals will be further reviewed by an independent contract appraiser or appraisers. The amount of coal that will be offered for exchange will be the amount required to equal the value of the P&M lands to be acquired and will be in accordance with 43 CFR 2200. In evaluating this exchange proposal, BLM must also fulfill the requirements of NEPA by evaluating the environmental impacts of the exchange proposal. BLM has determined that the requirements of NEPA would be best served by preparing an EIS. This EIS has been prepared to evaluate the sitespecific and cumulative environmental impacts of exchanging the federal coal which P&M proposes to acquire as well as to the site specific and cumulative impacts of U.S. acquisition of the lands and associated mineral resources offered for exchange by P&M. Although BLM would not authorize mining by exchanging the federal coal as proposed, the EIS considers the impacts of mining the coal proposed for exchange because that could be a consequence of completing this exchange. The USFS is a cooperating agency on this EIS. The Bridger lands in Lincoln County include most of the remaining parcels of private land within the Kemmerer Ranger District of the BTNF. Acquisition of these lands is a high priority for the USFS. ES-7

Executive Summary OSM is also a cooperating agency on this EIS. OSM has primary responsibility to administer programs that regulate surface coal mining and the surface effects of underground coal mining operations. If the exchange is completed, the coal would no longer be federally owned, but OSM would retain some oversight responsibilities on the regulation of the proposed surface coal mine. If the exchange is completed, P&M would be required to complete baseline studies and obtain permit approvals before they could begin a mining operation. They propose to begin mining the coal by about 2008, depending on market conditions. The mining method would be truck and shovel, and the coal would be sold for use in electric power generation. After mining, the land would be reclaimed for livestock grazing and wildlife use, which is the current use of the PSO Tract. There are currently no active coal mines in Sheridan County, Wyoming, although coal has been mined from both underground and surface mines in the county in the past. The Big Horn Coal Mine, which is located several miles south of the PSO Tract, ceased production in 2000. Two surface coal mines are currently active north of Sheridan in Big Horn County, Montana (Decker and Spring Creek). Operations at the Decker Mine are located approximately six miles northeast of the proposed Ash Creek Mine. The Spring Creek Mine operations are located approximately one and oneES-8 half miles northwest of the Decker Mine. This draft EIS analyzes two alternatives: the Proposed Action and Alternative 1, which is the No Action Alternative. The Proposed Action, which is the Preferred Alternative of the BLM and the USFS, is to complete an exchange. Under the Proposed Action, the Bridger, JO, and Welch lands and minerals owned by P&M would become public lands which would be administered by BLM or USFS. Table ES-1 summarizes the lands and minerals that P&M is offering for exchange under the Proposed Action. Under the Proposed Action, in exchange for the above properties, P&M would acquire ownership of an amount of federal coal underlying the PSO Tract that would be equal in value to the properties they are offering for exchange. P&M owns the majority of the surface estate in the tract. The Proposed Action assumes that P&M would mine the coal in the PSO Tract. Figure ES-6 is a schematic mine plan for the proposed Ash Creek Mine prepared by P&M. P&M estimates that there are 107 million tons of recoverable federal coal in the PSO Tract. P&M proposes to expand into adjacent private coal reserves during the later part of the mine life, as shown in Figure ES-6. However, P&M does not currently own that coal and does not have an arrangement with the owner to mine the coal. P&M proposes to mine the coal with Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Executive Summary Table ES-1. Summary Comparison of Lands and Minerals Offered for Exchange by P&M.
Surface Estate (acres) 3,086.25 1,233.55 1,538.70 5,858.50 Proposed Action Mineral Estate Mineral Estate (All Minerals) (Coal Only) (acres) (acres) 3,086.25 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 807.69 3,086.25 807.69 No Action Alternative Surface Mineral Estate Estate (acres) (acres) 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00

Tract Bridger JO Ranch Welch Total

shovel and truck equipment similar to those commonly utilized in the industry at other surface coal mines in the PRB. They propose using an overland conveyor to transport coal to a unit train loadout facility on the BNSF mainline due south of the operation. After the coal is removed, the mined-out area would be reclaimed in accordance with SMCRA and Wyoming State Law. Alternative 1 is the No Action Alternative. Under this alternative, the exchange would not be completed. If the No-Action Alternative is selected, it is assumed that the federal coal in the PSO Tract would not be mined in the foreseeable future. Selection of this alternative would not preclude leasing of this federal coal in the future. Under the No-Action Alternative, it is also assumed that the Bridger lands, JO Ranch lands, and Welch lands would remain in private ownership. P&M has indicated that, if the exchange is not completed, it would consider subdividing the properties and offering them for public sale in order to maximize their value. Table ES-2 summarizes coal production, surface disturbance, mine life, and federal and state revenues for the Proposed Ash Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Creek Mine under the Proposed Action compared to the No Action Alternative (Alternative 1). Other alternatives that were considered but not analyzed in detail assume government purchase of the offered lands from P&M using funds acquired by leasing the coal in the PSO Tract or by obtaining an appropriation through a source such as the Land and Water Conservation Fund. However, P&M has stated that it is not offering and does not intend to sell their properties to BLM and Forest Service at the appraised value being considered in the exchange. P&M has indicated that it would sell the lands on a competitive bid basis if the exchange is not completed. Therefore, these alternatives were not analyzed in detail. The environmental impacts of these alternatives would be the similar to the environmental impacts of the Proposed Action or the No-Action Alternative, depending on whether or not the coal would be mined. Critical elements of the human environment (BLM 1988) that could potentially be affected by the proposed action include air quality, cultural resources, Native American religious concerns, T&E species, ES-9

Year 11

Year 10

Year 9

Year 12

24
Year 5
Year 6
Cre ek

19
Year 7
As h

20
We st

21
h nc Bra

Year 8

Year 13

Year 14

Year 15

ES-10
Littl e

Youngs
ek Cre

Creek
You ngs

R. 38 E. R. 39 E.

T. 10 S. 4 3 2 1 T. 10 S. 32 33 T. 9 S. R. 38 E. R. 39 E. 18 17 16

34 T. 9 S. T. 58 N.

Executive Summary

13 T. 58 N. 22 23

R. 85 W. R. 84 W.

24

4 ar Ye

Year 1
3 ar Ye
Ye ar 2

Year 15 28 Year 16 Year 17 27 26 25

Figure ES-6. Schematic Mine Plan for the Ash Creek Mine.
30 29 5000 Ton Surge Bin and Feeder Truck Dump w/Feeder and Crusher 31 Overland Conveyor to Kleenburn 32 Shop/Office/Warehouse 33 Access Road 34 35
Ash Cre ek

Little 25 Ash Cre ek

36

36

R. 85 W. R. 84 W.

LEGEND
Year 15

Mine Block and Year to be Mined PSO Tract

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange
4000 8000 ( FEET )

0

2000

GRAPHIC SCALE

Wyoming - Montana State Line

Executive Summary Table ES-2.
Item	 Mineable Federal Coal Recoverable Federal Area of Federal Coal Exchanged Area of Federal Coal to be Mined Total Area to be Disturbed by Coal Mining2 Average Annual Coal Production Average Number of Employees Total Projected State Revenues3 Total Projected Annual Revenues to Sheridan County4 Total Projected Federal Revenues5
1	

Summary Comparison of Coal Production, Surface Disturbance, and Revenues for the PSO Tract.
Proposed Action 112.5 million tons 107.0 million tons 2,045.53 acres 1,244 acres 2,595 acres 10 million tons 70 $ 99.0 million $ 6.0 million $ 53.0 million Coal1 No Action Alternative none none none none none none none none none none

Assumes 95 percent of mineable coal is recovered. Includes disturbance due to mining, overburden stockpiling, construction of surface facilities, scoria mining, and related disturbance. 3	 Projected revenue to State of Wyoming is $0.75 per ton of coal sold. Includes income from severance taxes, property and production taxes, sales and use taxes, and excludes Wyoming’s share of federal royalty payments (UW 1994) (refer to Section 4.4.19 of this EIS), plus $0.35 per ton of coal sold for AML fees minus U.S. Government’s 50 percent share. 4	 Based on a coal price of $8.00 per ton and production rate of 10 million tons per year, including coal from PSO Tract and adjacent privately owned coal in mine plan area. Includes counties’ share of severance taxes, property taxes, sales and use taxes. 5	 Federal revenues are based on a coal price of $8.00 per ton u amount of recoverable coal u black lung tax of 4.0 percent, plus $0.35 per ton for AML fees u amount of recoverable coal minus the State’s 50 percent share. Note: All figures in this table are for the PSO Tract only.
2	

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange 	

ES-11

Executive Summary hazardous or solid wastes, water quality, wetlands/riparian zones, floodplains, invasive non-native species, environmental justice, and areas of critical environmental concern. Prime or unique farmlands, wild and scenic rivers, and wilderness are not present in the project areas. The following paragraphs discuss the resources of the lands involved in the proposed exchange and the potential impacts if the exchange is completed as proposed. The Bridger Lands (Figure ES-2) are characterized by northerly trending ridges and valleys. Perennial and ephemeral streams which are tributaries to Hams Fork and Fontenelle Creek flow through portions of some of the lands. The Bridger lands include habitat for many species including elk, mule deer, moose, mountain lion, and black bear. The streams may be occupied by Colorado River cutthroat trout. Threatened, endangered, and proposed species that USFWS has identified as potentially present in this area include bald eagle, Canada lynx, Ute-ladies’ tresses, black-footed ferret, gray wolf, and mountain plover. Candidate species that USFWS has identified as potentially present in this area include blacktailed prairie dog, western boreal toad, yellow-billed cuckoo, and Arctic grayling. In addition, USFWS requested that potential impacts to endangered Colorado River Fish Species be considered if the Proposed Action would lead to water depletion in the Colorado River System. The Bridger lands are suitable for or have been used for ES-12 recreational purposes including hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, wildlife observation, off-road vehicle use, and photography. There is no existing mineral development on these lands. If the exchange is completed as proposed, the Bridger lands and minerals would no longer be private inholdings surrounded by public lands. Public access to the lands would be ensured. The USFS anticipates no changes to the current management of the area. The BLM would manage the Bridger lands they acquire, as they manage the surrounding public lands. The private grazing permittee would lose the existing private grazing agreement, and BLM would divide the AUMs among the eight permittees in the La Barge Common grazing allotment. The JO Ranch Lands (Figure ES-3) are located in southwest Carbon County, Wyoming, along the valley of Cow Creek, a tributary of the Little Snake River. The northern portion of the JO Ranch lands is within the area known as the Sand Hills. The lands include crucial winter range for elk and mule deer. The portion of Cow Creek included in the exchange could include habitat for non-game BLM sensitive fish species such as roundtail chubs, flannelmouth suckers, and bluehead suckers. Threatened, endangered, and proposed species that USFWS has identified as potentially affected by the Proposed Action include bald eagle, blackfooted ferret, Canada lynx, Uteladies= tresses, mountain plover, blowout penstemon, endangered Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Executive Summary Colorado River Fish Species and threatened or endangered Platte River Species. Candidate species that USFWS has identified include black-tailed prairie dog, western boreal toad, yellow-billed cuckoo, and Arctic grayling. The JO Ranch lands include ranch buildings which are eligible for National Historic Site status. The lands have been used for livestock and supplemental hay production and are suitable for or have been used for hunting, camping, hiking, rock hounding, wildlife observation, off-road vehicle use, outdoor photography, and scenic touring. Some oil and gas development has occurred in the area of the JO Ranch lands. If the exchange is completed as proposed, the JO Ranch lands would no longer be private inholdings surrounded by public lands. The mineral ownership of the JO Ranch lands would not change. Public access would be ensured. The BLM Rawlins Field Office would change the Great Divide Resource Management Plan, with public input, to address management of these lands. The sand hills habitat area in the northern portion of the JO Ranch lands could be added to the existing Sand Hills Area of Critical Environmental Concern. The BLM would manage the use of the historically significant JO Ranch buildings. The private grazing permittee would lose the existing private grazing agreement, but management of the grazing lands would not change because the private AUMs are currently used to calculate the carrying capacity for the BLM grazing allotments. The Welch Lands (Figure ES-4) are located in north-central Sheridan County and occupy a portion of the Tongue River valley floor and adjacent dissected uplands. Wildlife species observed or known to frequent the area include antelope, mule deer, white-tailed deer, coyote, fox, pheasant, sharp-tailed grouse, turkey, bald eagle, mountain lion, black bear, bobcat, and elk. This portion of the Tongue River contains small-mouth bass, sauger, walleye, catfish, brown trout, and numerous non-game species. Threatened, endangered, and proposed species that USFWS has identified as potentially present in this area include bald eagle, black-footed ferret, Canada lynx, Ute-ladies= tresses and mountain plover. Candidate species that USFWS has identified include black-tailed prairie dog, western boreal toad, yellow-billed cuckoo, and Arctic grayling. The property has historically been used principally for livestock grazing and crop production. Recreational opportunities include hunting, hiking, biking, photography, and fishing. There has been no oil and gas exploration or development on these lands, but CBM development is occurring in this area. The Welch lands are underlain by coal, and there is a long history of coal mining in this area. An underground coal fire is currently burning on a portion of the Welch lands. This coal seam fire is probably related to the underground coal fires at the abandoned Acme Mine No. 42. This abandoned underground mine was active from 1911 through 1940 and ES-13

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Executive Summary its mining operations extended onto the southern part of the Welch lands. The underground coal seam fire occupies approximately 13 acres in the SW¼ of Section 2, T.57N., R.84W. BLM is evaluating several tract configuration options for the Welch lands that would exclude the underground coal fire area from the lands that the federal government would acquire. If the exchange is completed, BLM’s Preferred Alternative is to acquire all of the Welch lands that P&M is offering. A wild fire, the Thunder Child Range Fire, burned 5,207 acres, including portions of the Welch lands, in late July of 2001. The fire originated in the vicinity of the underground coal seam fire in the SW¼ of Section 2, T.57N., R.84W. The cause of the fire is undetermined, but potential causes include a lightning storm and/or the underground coal seam fire. If the exchange is completed as proposed, the Welch lands would become public lands. The BLM would also acquire about 800 acres of coal estate. The remainder of the coal estate underlying the Welch lands is federal. The rest of the mineral estate underlying the Welch lands, including the oil and gas estate, is privately owned and that mineral ownership would not change if the exchange is completed. The BLM Buffalo Field Office would determine future management with public input, through additional NEPA analysis and planning decisions. Public access would be ensured. Since the Welch lands include a portion of the Tongue River, the property has high ES-14 potential for public recreation. The BLM does not plan to change the existing management of the Welch lands. BLM has identified several options for management of the area occupied by the underground coal seam fire, if the exchange is completed. These options range from reclaiming the fire or completely fencing off the coal seam fire area from public access and posting warning signs to managing and monitoring the fire for research or showcasing the area as an example of coal seam burning processes. The PSO Tract (Figure ES-5) is located in the PRB, a part of the Northern Great Plains that includes most of northeastern Wyoming. The PSO Tract is located in the northwest part of the basin, several miles north of the Welch lands that P&M is offering for exchange (see Figure ES-1). In the PSO Tract, there are two mineable coal seams, referred to as the Dietz 1 and 3 seams. The Dietz 1 coal seam is present in the northern half of the tract and ranges from 5 ft to 20 ft in thickness. The Dietz 3 coal seam is present across the proposed mining area and averages 41 ft in thickness. The overburden ranges from 20 to 275 ft. The interval between the two coal seams thickens from east to west and ranges from 20 to 140 ft. Two northeast-trending structural faults outline the northwest and southeast boundaries of the proposed mining area (see Figure ES-7). Based on recent drilling done by P&M, the Dietz 1 average heating value is 9,279 Btu/lb with 5.8 percent ash and 0.44 percent sulfur. The Dietz Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Executive Summary 3 average heating value is 9,352 Btu/lb with 5.4 percent ash and 0.53 percent sulfur. If the exchange is completed as proposed and the PSO Tract is mined, the existing topography on the PSO Tract would be substantially changed during mining. A highwall with a vertical height equal to overburden plus coal thickness would exist in the active pits. Following reclamation, the average surface elevation would be lower due to removal of the coal. The reclaimed land surface would approximate premining contours and the basic drainage network would be retained, but the reclaimed surface would contain fewer, gentler topographic features. This could contribute to reduced habitat diversity and wildlife carrying capacity on the reclaimed PSO Tract. These topographic changes would not conflict with regional land use, and the postmining topography would adequately support anticipated land use. The geology from the base of the lowest coal proposed for mining to the land surface would be subject to permanent change on the PSO Tract under the Proposed Action. The replaced overburden would be a relatively homogeneous mixture compared to the premining layered overburden and coal. Development of other minerals potentially present on the PSO Tract could not occur during mining, but could occur after mining. There are no conventional oil and gas wells on Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange the tract. CBM resources associated with the Dietz 3 coal seam that are not recovered prior to mining would be vented to the atmosphere and irretrievably lost when the coal is removed. CBM in the Monarch and Carney seams that is not recovered prior to mining would not be lost as a direct result of mining activities, but could be recovered by CBM wells located on lands adjacent to the PSO Tract. Consequences to soil resources from mining the PSO Tract would include changes in the physical, biological, and chemical properties. Following reclamation, the soils would be unlike premining soils in texture, structure, color, accumulation of clays, organic matter, microbial populations, and chemical composition. The replaced topsoil would be much more uniform in type, thickness, and texture. It would be adequate in quantity and quality to support planned postmining land uses (i.e., wildlife habitat and rangeland). Moderately adverse short-term impacts to air quality would occur during the time the PSO Tract is mined if the exchange is completed and a mine is opened. PM10 and NO2 levels would be elevated at dwellings and along roads in the vicinity of the proposed Ash Creek Mine during mining operations, but federal and state primary and secondary standards would not be violated outside the mine=s permit boundary. Dust may be visible to the public from State Highway 338. The WAQSR require the use of BACT for the mitigation of all contaminants released to the ES-15

Executive Summary atmosphere. In the case of large surface coal mines, Chapter 6, Section 2 of the WAQSR (and longterm WDEQ/AQD policy) provides that BACT would typically include watering and chemical treatment of haul roads, silos or similar enclosures for out-of-pit coal storage, use of high efficiency baghouses or similar controls on preparation plant process sources, and other best management practices. One air quality issue of current concern in the area of existing coal mining in Campbell and Converse Counties, Wyoming is the release of NOx from blasting and the resulting formation of low-lying orange clouds that can be carried outside the mine permit areas by wind. As a result of this concern, industry has conducted monitoring studies of the contents of the gaseous clouds and has cooperated in research on blasting agents and blasting size aimed at reducing emissions during blasting. WDEQ has required some existing mines in Campbell County to take steps designed to mitigate the effect of the gaseous emissions during blasting. The likelihood that there would be a high risk posed to the public or to mine employees by the release of NO2 from blasting at the proposed Ash Creek Mine is minimal because the proposed Ash Creek Mine would not employ cast blasting and the overburden and interburden strata in the proposed Ash Creek Mine area are not saturated. The West Branch of Little Youngs Creek lies within the PSO Tract (see Figure ES-6). Little Youngs Creek is ES-16 a tributary to Youngs Creek, which is a tributary to the Tongue River. West Branch is an ephemeral stream and a portion of the stream may have some AVF characteristics. Changes in runoff characteristics and sediment discharges would occur during mining of the PSO Tract, and erosion rates could reach high values on the disturbed areas because of vegetation removal. However, state and federal regulations require that surface runoff from mined lands be treated to meet effluent standards, so sediment would be deposited in ponds or other sediment-control devices. During mining, disruptions to streamflow in Little Youngs and Youngs Creeks, which might affect adjacent landowners downstream of the PSO Tract, would not be expected to be substantial. After mining and reclamation are complete, surface water flow, quality, and sediment discharge would approximate premining conditions. Mining the PSO Tract would cause lowered water levels in the coal and overburden aquifers, and the existing coal and overburden aquifers would be replaced by mine backfill. The faults bounding the mine area on the northwest and southeast act as barriers to groundwater flow in those directions; and the Dietz 1 and Dietz 3 coal seams are absent to the southwest due to erosion and burning. Therefore, drawdown in the coal aquifers would be expected to extend only to the northeast for any appreciable distance from the mine. The predicted drawdown over Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Executive Summary the life of the mine is shown in Figure ES-7. TDS concentration levels in the saturated backfill would initially be expected to be higher than in the pre-mining aquifers, but would be expected to meet the premining Wyoming Class III standards for use as stock water. The data available on hydraulic conductivity suggest that wells completed in the backfill would provide yields greater than or equal to pre-mining coal wells. Based on preliminary AVF determinations, it is likely that portions of West Branch in the PSO Tract would have AVF characteristics. Impacts to designated jurisdictional AVFs are not permitted if they are determined to be significant to agriculture. AVFs that are not significant to agriculture can be disturbed during mining but must be restored as part of the reclamation process. Jurisdictional wetlands inventories completed on the PSO Tract in 2001 identified 6.2 acres of jurisdictional wetlands associated primarily with man-made stock ponds. Jurisdictional wetlands that are disturbed by mining must be replaced during the reclamation process. Mining would progressively remove the native vegetation on the PSO Tract. Reclamation and revegetation of this land would occur contemporaneously with mining. Re-established vegetation would be dominated by species mandated in the reclamation seed mixtures, which are approved by the WDEQ. The majority of these species would Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange be native to the PSO Tract. Initially, the reclaimed land would be dominated by grassland vegetation which would be less diverse than the premining vegetation. Estimates for the time it would take to restore sagebrush to premining density levels range from 20 to 100 years. An indirect impact associated with this vegetative change would potentially be a decreased big game habitat carrying capacity. However, a diverse, productive, and permanent vegetative cover would be established on the PSO Tract within about 10 years following reclamation, prior to release of the final reclamation bond. The decrease in plant diversity would not seriously affect the potential productivity of the reclaimed areas, and the proposed postmining land uses (wildlife habitat and rangeland) should be achieved even with the changes in vegetation composition and diversity. The reclamation plans for the PSO Tract would also include steps to control invasion by weedy (invasive, nonnative) plant species. Most of the surface of the PSO Tract is privately owned, and the private landowners would have the right to manipulate the vegetation on their lands as they desire once the final reclamation bond is released. Three big game species, pronghorn, mule deer, and white-tailed deer, occur in the vicinity of the PSO Tract. Black bear and mountain lion have been recorded in the area but are not common. Numerous raptor species have been observed on or adjacent to the tract with two species, red-tailed hawk and great horned owl, recorded as nesting on the tract. An active sage grouse ES-17

Executive Summary
Yo un gs

R. 38 E. R. 39 E.
Cre 25 ek

28

27

26

20

21

22

23

T. 9 S. T. 10 S.

33

34
Lit tle

35

36

T. 9 S. T. T. 9 10 S. S.

29

28

U D 27

26

5

Youn gs

Creek

10 0

50

4

3

2 17 U

1

32

33

150 34

35

200 U

R. 38 E. R. 39 E. D 22 U D

T. 9 S.

13 T. R. 85 W. 58 N. 24

18 R. 84 W.

19

D

20

21

R. 84 W. R. 83 W. T. 58 24 19 N. Yo un gs
Cr ee k 30

25

30

29

28
50

27
5

26

25

U 36 31 32

D 33

34

T. 58 N. T. 57 N.

35 Ash C ree k

36

31

T. 58 N. T. 57 N.

1

6

5

4

3

2

gue Ton

er Riv

1

6

12 R. 85 W. R. 84 W.

7

8

9

10

11

12

7 R. 84 W. R. 83 W.

LEGEND
PSO Tract Clinker Wyoming - Montana State Line
0 3000

Approximat Dietz 3 Coal Outcrop Line. Approximate Bifurcation Line of Dietz 3 and Dietz 1 Coal Seams. Arrows Point to Direction of Divergence. U D
5

Fault Trace Showing Relative Movement. Extent of Worst-Case Extrapolated Life of Mine Drawdown (ft)

GRAPHIC SCALE
6000 ( FEET )

12000

Figure ES-7. Life of Mine Drawdown Map, Resulting from Proposed Action.

ES-18

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Executive Summary strutting ground is present on the tract. Threatened, endangered, and proposed species that the USFWS has identified as potentially present in this area include bald eagle, Canada lynx, black-footed ferret, Ute-ladies= tresses, and mountain plover. Candidate species that USFWS has identified include blacktailed prairie dog, western boreal toad, yellow-billed cuckoo, and Arctic grayling. In the short term, wildlife would be displaced from the PSO Tract in areas of active mining and the acreage of habitat available for wildlife populations would be reduced. However, the PSO Tract does not contain any unique or crucial big game habitat, and habitat would be disturbed in parcels, with reclamation progressing as new disturbance occurs. In the long term, following reclamation, carrying capacity and habitat diversity may be reduced due to flatter topography, less diverse vegetative cover, and reduction in sagebrush density. T&E wildlife surveys specific to the PSO Tract were conducted 2000 and 2001. No potential habitat was found on the tract for the Canada lynx. Bald eagles nest along the Tongue River several miles east of the tract and have been observed foraging on the tract. Black-footed ferret, mountain plover, and Ute ladies’-tresses have not been documented on the tract during the surveys that have been conducted. There are several prairie dog colonies on the tract that would be affected by mining. The principal land use on the PSO tract is domestic grazing and wildlife habitat. Big game hunting is a principal recreational use in this area. Active mining would preclude other land uses. Recreational use of the PSO Tract would be severely limited during mining. However, there is little public surface included in the tract and P&M, the main surface estate owner, does not allow sport hunting on the PSO Tract. Within 10 years after initiation of each reclamation phase, rangeland and wildlife use would return to near premining levels. Mining would also impact oil and gas development on the tract during active mining. The federal oil and gas rights are leased. There are no active conventional oil and gas wells on the tract. There are three coal seams on the tract that would be expected to produce CBM, the Dietz 3, the Monarch, and the Carney. CBM wells have been drilled or are proposed for drilling. Existing active wells would have to be plugged and abandoned and all associated production equipment would have to be removed prior to mining. New drilling would not be possible in areas of active mining, but could potentially take place in areas not being mined, or in reclaimed areas. CBM that is not recovered from the coal being mined (Dietz 3 coal seam) prior to mining would be vented and irretrievably lost as the coal is removed. CBM that is not recovered from coal seams beneath the coal being mined (Monarch and Carney coal seams) would not be directly affected by coal mining, but CBM in those zones could be covered by

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

ES-19

Executive Summary wells located adjacent to the mining activities. Cultural resources on the PSO Tract would be impacted by mining, but adverse impacts would be mitigated through data recovery and/or avoidance of significant properties. Formal Wyoming SHPO consultation is required for concurrence with determination of the eligibility of sites for inclusion on the NRHP prior to mining. The eligible cultural properties on the PSO Tract which cannot be avoided or which have not already been subjected to data recovery action would be carried forward in the mining and reclamation plan as requiring protective stipulations until a testing, mitigation, or data recovery program is developed in consultation with SHPO. Cultural properties that are not eligible for inclusion on the NRHP can be destroyed by mining. No sites of Native American religious or cultural importance have been identified on the PSO Tract. The Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation is located approximately 25 miles north of the PSO Tract, and the Crow Indian Reservation is located less than a mile northwest of the tract in Montana. An executive summary of the cultural resources identified on the PSO Tract has been sent to the Northern Cheyenne and the Crow tribes, as well as other tribes known to have an interest in the region. BLM will work with interested tribes to provide tours of the area and specific resources. If sites or localities are identified at a later date, appropriate action must be taken to address related to those sites. concerns

No unique or significant paleontological resources have been identified on the PSO Tract, and the likelihood of encountering significant paleontological resources is small. Mining activities on the PSO Tract would be visible from Wyoming State Highway 338 and adjacent landowners. An overland conveyor proposed for transporting coal to the railroad loadout facility would be visible to adjacent landowners and to the public where the conveyor crests over hilltops. Mining would primarily affect private landscapes classified by BLM as visual resource management (VRM) Class II, and the landscape character would not be significantly changed following reclamation. No unique visual resources have been identified on or near the PSO Tract. Impacts from noise generated by mining activities on the PSO Tract are not expected to be significant, but nearby residences may be affected by the noises associated with mining the tract, including the proposed overland conveyor. The nearest occupied dwelling is approximately 1,300 ft from the PSO Tract. At that distance, the noise associated with blasting and mining would be below adverse levels. The only new transportation facilities would be the overland conveyor and coal loadout facilities proposed south of the PSO Tract. P&M has proposed a location for these facilities, however, P&M would Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

ES-20

Executive Summary have to negotiate access with the affected surface landowners prior to construction of the conveyor or coal loadout facilities. Any active pipelines and utility lines would have to be relocated in accordance with previous agreements, or agreements would have to be negotiated for their removal or relocation. The state and federal governments would not receive royalty or bonus payments for the coal if the exchange is completed. At a production rate of 10 million tons per year and a sale price of $8.00 per ton, the value of annual production at the Ash Creek Mine would be about $80 million. The mine would employ about 70 people. Sheridan County would see an increase in assessed valuation, property tax revenues, and sales and use tax revenue. The estimated total direct return to the State of Wyoming from the production of coal in the PSO Tract, in current dollars would be $99 million. The opening of a surface coal mine would likely have adverse socioeconomic impacts on the adjacent landowners, who would be likely to experience depreciation in their property values as a result of their proximity to a surface coal mining operation and the associated facilities, noise, air quality emissions, traffic, etc. Lincoln, Carbon, and Sheridan Counties would see a decrease in property tax revenues from the Bridger, JO Ranch, and Welch lands if the exchange is completed. These decreases would be partially offset Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange by increases in Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) and 25 Percent Funds. With regard to Environmental Justice issues, it was determined that potentially adverse impacts do not disproportionately affect minorities, low-income groups or Native American tribes or groups. No tribal lands or Native American communities are included in the PSO Tract. The northwest corner of the PSO Tract lies close to the southeast corner of the Crow Indian Reservation. Under the No Action Alternative, the Bridger, JO Ranch, and Welch lands would remain in private ownership, and could be developed by the private landowner. The miningrelated impacts described in the preceding paragraphs to topography and physiology, geology and minerals, soils, air quality, water resources, AVFs, wetlands, vegetation, wildlife, threatened, endangered and candidate species, land use and recreation, cultural resources, Native American concerns, paleontological resources, visual resources, noise, transportation, and socioeconomics would not occur on the PSO Tract. Cumulative impacts result from the incremental impacts of an action added to other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions, regardless of who is responsible for such actions. Cumulative impacts can result from individually minor, but collectively significant, actions occurring over time.

ES-21

Executive Summary Other projects that are in progress or planned in the Wyoming PRB include current and proposed CBM development; federal coal leasing in Campbell and Converse Counties; construction and operation of NAPG’s Two Elk coal-fired power plant east of the Black Thunder Mine; construction and operation of Black Hills Corporations Wygen II coal-fired power plant near the Wyodak Mine east of Gillette, Wyoming; and construction and use of the proposed DM&E rail line across portions of Campbell, Converse, Niobrara, and Weston Counties. With the exception of CBM development, the impacts of completing and operating these projects would not be expected to overlap with the impacts of mining the PSO Tract because the other proposed projects would all be located in the eastern PRB. Cumulative mineral development in Sheridan County, Wyoming was evaluated in two previously prepared regional EISs. They are: •	 Final Environmental Impact Statement, Powder River Coal Region, BLM, December 1981; and •	 Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Round II Coal Lease Sale, Powder River Region, BLM, January 1984. These regional EISs projected development levels for coal, oil and gas, and other minerals in the PRB in 1990 and 1995. In general, the current actual mineral development levels are at or below the levels predicted in the regional EISs for ES-22	 1990 and 1995. The 1981 EIS estimated that mines in the Sheridan area (Big Horn, Decker, and Spring Creek) would produce 23.7 million tons of coal per year in 1990 and 1995. Actual 1999 production from those mines was 22 million tons. The levels of production of natural gas are higher than projected in the regional EISs. Due to the proximity of the coal mining and CBM production operations, cumulative impacts to groundwater, surface water, air quality, and wildlife are likely to occur. The existing and proposed development in the PRB has and will continue to result in the introduction of additional roads, railroads, power lines, fences, mine structures, and oil and gas production equipment. A PRB air quality impact assessment was prepared by Argonne National Laboratory as part of the Wyoming Final EIS and Proposed Plan Amendment for the Powder River Basin Oil and Gas Project (BLM 2003a) and the Montana Statewide Final EIS and Proposed Amendment of the Powder River and Billings Resource Management Plans (BLM 2003b) under the direction of the Wyoming and Montana BLM (Argonne 2002). This analysis was prepared to analyze the potential air quality impacts of the proposed CBM development in the PRB as well as other reasonably foreseeable emission sources in the basin. Coal mining is included as one of the other reasonably foreseeable Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Executive Summary emission sources. Coal mining data supplied by BLM for the analysis included estimated coal production volume (based on coal demand forecasts), annual acreage disturbance, and approximate location of mining activity for active mines in Wyoming and Montana during a year of estimated maximum overlapping cumulative development in the basin. Under the PRB Oil and Gas Project EIS Preferred Alternatives 2A and 1, this analysis predicted: • Cumulative PM10 24-hour near-field concentrations above the PSD Class II increment, cumulative nearfield concentrations of other pollutants below increments; There are no predicted cumulative overlapping groundwater impacts related to mining operations in this area if the exchange is completed and the PSO Tract is mined. There is potential for overlapping groundwater impacts from mining the PSO Tract and CBM development in adjacent areas, primarily from CBM development located within the same fault block as the PSO Tract. This could increase the time required for waterlevel recovery to occur after the CBM and mining projects are completed. Following mining and reclamation, groundwater quality would be expected to be similar to pre-mining quality and to meet Wyoming Class III standards for use as stock water. Wildlife habitat quality has declined in the PRB due to a continuing trend of landscape fragmentation from roads, rail lines, oil and gas wells, coal mines, and fences. Mining of the PSO Tract would add to this habitat fragmentation. A WGFD review of mine monitoring data in Wyoming for big game species concluded that the monitoring had demonstrated the lack of impacts to big game on existing mine sites. No severe minecaused mortalities have occurred and no long-lasting impacts on big game have been noted on existing mine sites. Wildlife mitigation measures required by state and federal regulations include designing fences to permit wildlife passage, raptor proofing transmission poles, reducing vehicle speed limits to minimize mortality, and restoring topography and vegetation to benefit wildlife.

•	 Cumulative NO2 annual farfield concentrations above the PSD Class I increment in the Northern Cheyenne Reservation, cumulative NO2 annual far-field concentra­ tions below increments in other areas; •	 Cumulative PM10 24-hour farfield concentrations above the PSD Class I increment in the Northern Cheyenne Reserva­ tion and the Washakie Wilderness, cumulative PM10 24-hour far-field concentra­ tions below increments in other areas; and •	 Cumulative visibility impacts in mandatory federal Class I areas ranging from 3 days to 32 days above 1 dV.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange	

ES-23

Executive Summary BLM prepared this EIS to evaluate the environmental impacts of completing this exchange in accordance with NEPA, as required under 43 CFR 2200.0-6(h). The BLM will use this analysis in making a public interest determination on whether to exchange coal for the offered lands as required under 43 CFR 2200.0­ 6(b). After completion of this final EIS, but prior to making a public interest determination and issuing a notice of decision, the BLM will schedule and hold a public meeting to receive public comments on the public interest factors of the proposed exchange, as required under 43 CFR 2203.3. Completion of these steps will meet the requirements under 43 CFR 2201.7(a), which state “Upon completion of all environmental analysis and appropriate documentation, appraisals, and all other supporting studies and requirements to determine if a proposed exchange is in the public interest and in compliance with applicable law and regulations, the authorized officer shall decide whether to approve an exchange proposal.” If the exchange is completed and P&M acquires the federal coal in the PSO Tract, the tract cannot be mined until after a detailed surface mining and reclamation plan is submitted to and approved by WDEQ.

ES-24

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

1.0 Introduction 1.0 INTRODUCTION referred to as the JO Ranch lands. If the exchange is completed as proposed, P&M would transfer approximately 1,236 acres of surface estate to U.S. ownership. The U.S. owns the coal rights on approximately 154 acres and all mineral rights on approximately 42.5 acres included in the JO Ranch lands. The remainder of the mineral estate underlying these lands, which P&M does not own, is and would remain in private ownership. The JO Ranch lands proposed for exchange are surrounded by public lands administered by BLM. If the exchange is completed, the surface estate of these lands would be administered by BLM. Figure 1-4 shows the Sheridan County lands being offered by P&M, referred to as the Welch lands. If the exchange is completed as proposed, P&M would transfer approximately 1,600 acres of surface estate and 800 acres of coal estate to U.S. ownership. The remainder of the coal estate underlying the Welch lands is already owned by the U.S. P&M does not have ownership of the rest of the mineral estate, including the oil and gas estate. All of the noncoal mineral estate underlying the Welch lands is and would remain in private ownership. The lands surrounding the Welch lands are private lands. If the exchange is completed, the surface and coal estate of these lands would be administered by BLM. Figure 1-5 tract P&M exchange described shows the federal coal seeks to acquire by for the properties above. It includes 1-1

On February 4, 1999, P&M1 filed a proposal with BLM to exchange P&M-owned land and minerals in Lincoln, Carbon and Sheridan Counties in Wyoming for federallyowned coal in northern Sheridan County. P&M is a ChevronTexaco Company. Figure 1-1 is a general location map showing all the lands that would potentially be involved in the exchange as proposed in relation to the State of Wyoming. P&M owns approximately 5,923 acres of surface estate and portions of the mineral estate on the lands shown in Figures 1-2, 1-3, and 1-4, which they are offering to exchange for federal coal rights of equal value in the tract shown in Figure 1-5. The location of these lands and minerals is described in more detail in Chapter 2. Figure 1-2 shows the lands in Lincoln County, referred to here as the Bridger lands. If the exchange is completed as proposed, P&M would transfer approximately 3,086 acres of surface and mineral estate to U.S. ownership. Approximately 2,453 acres are situated within the BTNF and would be administered by the USFS if an exchange is completed. Approximately 633 acres are located outside and adjacent to the BTNF and would be administered by the BLM if an exchange is completed. Figure 1-3 shows the lands being offered by P&M in Carbon County,
1

Refer to page ix for a list of abbreviations and acronyms used in this document.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

1.0 Introduction

WELCH LANDS

PSO TRACT

Welch Lands and PSO Tract

JO Ranch Lands

State of Wyoming

Figure 1-1. General Location of Lands Being Offered for Exchange by P&M and the PSO Tract.

1-2

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Bridger Lands

N.T.S.

SCALE: 1" = 30,000'

R. 117 W.

R. 117 W. R. 116 W.

R. 116 W. R. 115 W.

� � � � � �� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � �� �� �� �� �� �� ���� �� �� �� ��

� � � �� � � � � � � �� � � � � � � � � �� �

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange
T. 27 N. T. 26 N.

Figure 1-2. Bridger Lands Location Map.
R I D G E
T. 26 T. 25

T.

27 N.

T.

26

N.

T.

26 N.

R. 117 W.

N.

T.

25

1.0 Introduction

N. R. 117 W. R. 116 W. R. 116 W. R. 115 W.

SCALE: 1" = 10,000'

N.

1-3

R. 117 W.

1.0 Introduction
R. 91 W. R. 90 W. R. 90 W. R. 89 W.

T. 17 N. T. 16 N.

T. 17 N. T. 16 N.

� �� ��� �

T. 16 N. T. 15 N.

T. 16 N. T. 15

� �� �

N.

SCALE: 1" = 10,000'

R. 91 W.

R. 91 W. R. 90 W.

R. 90 W.

Figure 1-3. JO Ranch Lands Location Map.

1-4

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

1.0 Introduction
R. 38 E. R. 39 E. R. 39 E. R. 40 E.

T. 9 S. T. 10 S. T. 58 N. R. 85 E. R. 84 E.

T. 9 T. S. 9 T. S. 10 S. R. 38 E. R. 39 E. R. 84 E. R. 83 E.

T. R. 39 E. R. 40 E. 9 S. T. 58 N.

T. 58 N. T. 57 N.

T. 58 N. T. 57 N.

INTER STAT E 90

338 AY HW HIG

T. 57 N. T. 56 N.

T. 57 N. T. 56 N.

SCALE: 1" = 10,000'

R. 85 E.

R. 84 E.

SHERIDAN

R. 84 E.

R. 83 E.

Figure 1-4. Welch Lands Location Map.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

1-5

1.0 Introduction
T. R. 38 E. 9 S. R. 38 E. R. 39 E. R. 39 E. R. 40 E. T. 8 S. T. 9 S.

PSO RANCH
T. 9 S. T. 10 S. R. 38 E. T. 58 N. R. 85 W. R. 84 W. T. 9 S. T. T. 10 9 S. S. R. 38 E. R. 39 E. R. 84 W. R. 83 W.

BARBULA-TURLEY RANCH

R. 39 E. R. 40 E.

T. 9 S. T. 58 N.

T. 58 N. T. 57 N.

T. 58 N. T. 57 N.

WELCH PLACE

INTER STAT E 90

38 Y3 WA GH HI

SCALE: 1" = 10,000'

R. 85 W. R. 84 W.

R. 84 W. R. 83 W.

LEGEND
PSO Tract P & M Surface Ownership

Figure 1-5. Location of P & M Surface Lands and PSO Tract.

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Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

1.0 Introduction approximately 2,045 acres of land referred to as the PSO Tract in this EIS. Figure 1-5 also shows the lands north of Sheridan, Wyoming where P&M owns the surface. P&M owns the surface of most, but not all, of the PSO Tract. There are 6.41 acres on public land in the tract, located in Section 15, T.58N., R.84W., and there are several other private surface owners with lands overlying some of the federal coal included in the PSO Tract (see discussion in Section 3.4.11 of this document). The coal beneath this tract is unleased federal coal, for which BLM is the managing agency. If an exchange is completed, BLM would transfer ownership of the coal to P&M. The exchange is being processed under the provisions of Section 206 of FLPMA, the Federal Land Exchange Facilitation Act, Public Law No. 106-248, and the regulations at 43 CFR 2200. The exchange proposal was initially reviewed by the BLM, Wyoming State Office, Division of Mineral and Lands Authorization. On October 31, 2000, the National Land Exchange Evaluation and Assistance Team concluded their technical review of the exchange proposal and concurred with BLM’s request to proceed with processing the exchange. The PRRCT reviewed the exchange proposal at a public meeting held on October 27, 1999 in Gillette, Wyoming. The processing steps for land exchanges involving coal are included in Appendix A. Land exchanges, which are discretionary, are important tools used to consolidate land ownership Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange patterns while bringing important resources into public ownership. The two most important considerations in evaluating a land exchange proposal are (1) whether the public interest will be well served if the exchange is completed, as required under 43 CFR 2200.0­ 6(b); and (2) whether the value of the interests being acquired is of equal value to the lands or interests being conveyed to private ownership (as required under 43 CFR 2200.0­ 6(c)) or can be equalized in accordance with the methods described under 43 CFR 2201.6. The federal and non-federal lands involved in an exchange must also be located within the same state and the exchange must be in conformance with all applicable land use management plans or plan amendments. In making a public interest determination, BLM must consider a number of factors, which are outlined in the regulations at 43 CFR 2200.0-6(b). These factors include the opportunity to achieve better management of federal lands, the opportunity to meet the needs of state and local residents and their economies, and the opportunity to secure important objectives, which include: protection of fish and wildlife habitats, cultural resources, watersheds, wilderness, and aesthetic values; enhancement of recreation opportunities and public access, consolidation of lands and/or interests in lands, such as mineral and timber interests, for more logical and efficient management and development; consolidation of split estate lands; expansion of communities; 1-7

1.0 Introduction accommodation of land use authorizations; promotion of multiple-use values; and fulfillment of public needs. A public interest determination must conclude that the resource values and public objectives that the federal lands or interests to be conveyed may serve, if retained in federal ownership, are not greater than the resource values and public objectives that the nonfederal lands or interests may serve, if acquired by the federal government. In order to ensure that the lands or interests being exchanged are of equal value, the fair market value of the respective properties must be evaluated. In this case, the fair market value of the P&M lands will be determined through a fee appraisal by a BLM-approved qualified appraiser. BLM will determine the fair market value of the coal to be exchanged. All exchange appraisals will be further reviewed by an independent contract appraiser or appraisers. The amount of coal that the BLM would offer for exchange would be the amount required to equal the value of the P&M lands being acquired and will be in accordance with 43 CFR 2200. Under 43 CFR 2200.0-6(h), the BLM must also evaluate the environmental impacts of completing the exchange in accordance with the requirements of NEPA. BLM has determined that the requirements of NEPA would be best served by preparing an EIS. This EIS has been prepared to evaluate the site-specific and cumulative environmental impacts 1-8 of exchanging the federal coal which P&M proposes to acquire as well as to the site specific and cumulative impacts of U.S. acquisition of the lands and associated mineral resources offered for exchange by P&M. Although BLM would not authorize mining by exchanging the federal coal as proposed, this EIS considers the impacts of mining the coal proposed for exchange because P&M has indicated they will consider opening a surface coal mine on the PSO Tract, if the exchange proposal is approved and they acquire the coal. If the exchange is not completed as proposed, all or part of the federal coal in the PSO Tract could be leased and mined. The environmental impacts of mining the coal would be similar whether the coal is exchanged or leased. BLM will consider the analysis in this EIS in making a public interest determination, in accordance with 43 CFR 2200.0-6(b), and in making a decision whether to approve this exchange proposal, in accordance with 43 CFR 2201.7-1. The value of the federal coal that is included in the exchange must be equal to the value of the P&M properties at the time the exchange is approved. Due to the fact that the values of both the federal coal and the surface lands have changed since this exchange was proposed and are continuing to change with time, the amount of federal coal that will be offered in exchange for the P&M lands will be determined after completion of this environmental analysis and prior to a Notice of Decision as required under 43 CFR Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

1.0 Introduction 2201.7-1. At the time the decision is signed, BLM will enter into a binding exchange agreement. The USFS is a cooperating agency on this EIS. The Bridger lands in Lincoln County include most of the remaining parcels of private land within the Kemmerer Ranger District of the BTNF. Acquisition of these lands is a high priority for the USFS. OSM is also a cooperating agency on this EIS. OSM has primary responsibility to administer programs that regulate surface coal mining and the surface effects of underground coal mining operations. If the exchange is completed, the coal would no longer be federally owned, but OSM would retain some oversight responsibilities on the regulation of the proposed surface coal mine. If the exchange is completed, P&M must complete baseline studies and obtain permit approvals in accordance with SMCRA and Wyoming State law and regulations prior to mining. They propose to begin mining the coal by about 2008, depending on market conditions. The mining method would be truck and shovel, and the coal would be sold for use in electric power generation. After mining, the land would be reclaimed for livestock grazing and wildlife use, which is the current use of the PSO Tract. There are currently no active coal mines in Sheridan County, Wyoming, although coal has been Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange mined from both underground and surface mines in the county in the past. Two surface coal mines (Decker and Spring Creek) are currently active north of Sheridan in Montana. 1.1 Purpose and Need for Action

P&M, the proponent of this exchange, wishes to acquire all or part of the federal coal beneath the PSO Tract in northern Sheridan County, Wyoming, with the intent of eventually opening a surface mine. In exchange, the federal government would acquire all or part of the surface and mineral estate that P&M owns in the properties being offered (Bridger, JO Ranch, and Welch lands, shown in Figures 1-2, 1-3, and 1-4, respectively). The amount of federal coal that P&M would acquire and the amount of private land and minerals that the federal government would receive would be determined by the value of the federal coal and the P&M properties at the time of the exchange. BLM and USFS are considering the exchange because the lands P&M is offering have significant public resource values. The Bridger lands (Figure 1-2) are the largest inholdings of private lands within the Kemmerer Ranger District of the BTNF. The lands are currently used for grazing, wildlife habitat, recreation, and timber production. These uses are consistent with the Bridger-Teton National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (USFS 1990). While these lands remain in private ownership, there is a possibility that they could be 1-9

1.0 Introduction subdivided and/or developed, which would not be in conformance with the USFS Bridger-Teton National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan. If the lands are acquired and become public lands, they would be managed with the surrounding USFS lands in this area. It is a high priority of the USFS to acquire in-holdings within the BTNF boundary. The Bridger lands located outside the BTNF (Figure 1-2) are surrounded by public lands managed by BLM and the USFS. These lands are situated along Fontenelle and Perkins Creeks, and contain important riparian habitat. These lands are currently used for livestock grazing and wildlife habitat. If the lands are acquired, they will be incorporated into the existing multiple use management consistent with the other surrounding BLM lands in accordance with the BLM Pinedale Resource Management Plan (BLM 1988a). The JO Ranch lands (Figure 1-3) are private in-holdings completely surrounded by public lands managed by BLM. These lands are situated along Cow Creek and contain several miles of important riparian habitat within the administrative boundaries of the BLM Rawlins Field Office. These lands are currently used for livestock grazing and wildlife habitat, consistent with the typical uses of the surrounding BLM lands. If the lands are acquired, they will be managed with the other public lands in accordance with the BLM Great Divide Resource Management Plan (BLM 1990). The Welch lands (Figure 1-4) are different from the other two properties being offered by P&M in that they are completely surrounded by other private lands. These lands include about two miles of frontage along the Tongue River. If the exchange is completed, the Welch lands would provide an area of public access to the Tongue River in Wyoming outside the Big Horn National Forest. These lands would be managed by BLM in accordance with the BLM Approved Resource Management Plan for Public Lands Administered by the BLM Buffalo Field Office (BLM 2001). As described in Section 1.0, P&M owns all of the surface estate included in these three properties offered for exchange, but owns varying portions of the mineral estate in the lands offered for exchange. In exchange for these lands and minerals, P&M would acquire ownership of an equal value of federal coal beneath the PSO Tract, shown in Figure 1-5. For the purposes of this analysis, it is assumed that all the federal coal identified by P&M for acquisition would be exchanged, but the amount of coal actually offered for exchange would depend upon final appraisals of all the properties. As stated previously, if an exchange is completed, P&M proposes to mine the coal they acquire, subject to approval of the mining and reclamation plan as required by SMCRA and Wyoming State law and regulations. No disturbance of the properties that would be acquired by Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

1-10

1.0 Introduction the U.S. government is proposed if the exchange is completed. 1.2 Regulatory Authority 	 Responsibility and Pinedale Field Office. These lands would be managed according to the 1990 Bridger-Teton National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan, and the 1988 Pinedale Resource Management Plan, respectively. The JO Ranch lands would be managed by BLM and are in the area covered by the 1990 Great Divide Resource Management Plan. The PSO Tract and the Welch lands are included in the area covered by the 2001 Approved Resource Management Plan for Public Lands Administered by the BLM Buffalo Field Office. SMCRA gives OSM primary responsibility to administer programs that regulate surface coal mining operations and the surface effects of underground coal mining operations. Pursuant to Section 503 of SMCRA, the WDEQ developed, and in November 1980 the Secretary of the Interior approved, a permanent program authorizing WDEQ to regulate surface coal mining operations and surface effects of underground mining on nonfederal lands within the State of Wyoming. In January 1987, pursuant to Section 523(c) of SMCRA, WDEQ entered into a cooperative agreement with the Secretary of the Interior authorizing WDEQ to regulate surface coal mining operations and surface effects of underground mining on federal lands within the state. If an exchange is completed and ownership of the coal is transferred to P&M, the company would be required to submit a detailed permit application package to WDEQ before the coal could be mined. 1-11

BLM processes land exchanges under the authority provided by Section 206 of FLPMA as amended. A land exchange is a real estate transaction where the disposal of and acquisition of lands are combined in the same transaction. This exchange will be processed under the regulations at 43 CFR 2200, the 1988 Federal Land Exchange Facilitation Act, BLM Manual H-2200-1 (Land Exchange Handbook, BLM 1997), and existing BLM policy. BLM considered Public Law No. 106-248 (the 2000 Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act) in evaluating this exchange, but determined that the exchange does not meet the criteria for processing under this act. The BLM is the lead agency responsible for managing federal coal and other minerals. Since the proposal under consideration is to exchange federal coal for other properties, the BLM is responsible for preparation of this EIS to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of completing this exchange. After completing the environmental analysis, the BLM must decide whether the exchange is in the public interest and must ensure that the properties being exchanged are equal in value before the exchange can be completed. The Bridger lands would be managed by the Kemmerer Ranger District of the BTNF and the BLM Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

1.0 Introduction WDEQ/LQD reviews the permit application package to insure the permit application complies with the permitting requirements and the coal mining operation will meet the performance standards of the approved Wyoming program. If the permit application package does comply, WDEQ issues the applicant a permit to conduct coal mining operations. WDEQ enforces the performance standards and permit requirements for reclamation during a mine's operation and has primary authority in environmental emergencies. OSM retains oversight responsibility for this enforcement. BLM also has the responsibility during preparation of this EIS to consult with and obtain the comments of other state or federal agencies which have jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to potential environmental impacts. Appendix B presents other federal and state permitting requirements that would have to be satisfied prior to mining this tract if the federal coal is exchanged. 1.3 	 Relationship to BLM Policies, Plans, and Programs In addition to the federal acts listed under Section 1.2, guidance and regulations for managing and administering public lands, including the federal coal lands in the P&M exchange proposal, are set forth in 40 CFR 1500 (Protection of Environment), 43 CFR 1601 (Planning, Programming, Budget­ ing), and 43 CFR 3400 (Coal Management). 1-12 Specific guidance for processing exchanges follows BLM Manual H-2200-1 (Land Exchange Handbook, BLM 1997) and 43 CFR 2200. The National Environmental Policy Act Handbook (BLM 1988b) has been followed in developing this EIS. 1.4 Conformance with Existing 	 Land Use Plans

FLPMA requires that lands considered for exchange be included in a comprehensive land use plan and that decisions to exchange the coal be compatible with that plan. The Bridger-Teton National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (USFS 1990) governs the management of USFS lands in the area surrounding the Bridger lands. The Forest Plan addresses the acquisition of lands and indicates they will be pursued with willing landowners. BTNF has completed several land exchanges and acquisitions under this plan. The Pinedale Resource Management Plan (BLM 1988a) governs and addresses the management of BLM lands in the area surrounding the Bridger lands. The lands that BLM would acquire in this area lie within a retention area and the plan states: “... acquisition of non-Federal lands will be pursued, if needed, to accomplish management objectives. Lands action (e.g., exchanges) will be pursued to enhance and maintain key wildlife habitats”. The JO Ranch lands are located in the area managed by the BLM Rawlins Field Office where Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

1.0 Introduction management of public lands is governed by the Great Divide Resource Management Plan (BLM 1990). The plan states that the preferred method of disposal or acquisition of lands by BLM will be through exchange. If the exchange is completed, future management of the land acquired in the Rawlins Field Office area will be determined through additional NEPA analysis and planning decisions. The Welch lands and the PSO Tract are located in Sheridan County. The Approved Resource Management Plan for Public Lands Administered by the BLM Buffalo Field Office (BLM 2001) governs and addresses management of BLM public lands and minerals in Sheridan County. Section 206 of FLPMA, dealing with exchanges, and section 209 of FLPMA, dealing with the reservation and conveyance of minerals, have both been incorporated into the 2001 BLM Buffalo Area Resource Management Plan. If the exchange is completed, future management of the land acquired in the Buffalo Field Office area will be determined through additional NEPA analysis and planning decisions. When BLM is evaluating leasing federal coal, four land use planning screens must be applied to determine whether the subject coal is acceptable for consideration for leasing. The four coal screens are: •	 development potential of the coal lands; •	 unsuitability criteria applica­ tion; •	 multiple land use decisions that eliminate federal coal deposits; and •	 surface owner consultation. In the case of this exchange, the PSO Tract is evaluated with respect to the four coal screens in the following discussion because P&M is proposing to open a surface coal mine if the exchange is completed. The Bridger lands, JO Ranch lands, and Welch lands are not evaluated with respect to the four coal screens in this EIS because surface coal mining is not proposed for these lands if the exchange is completed. Development potential of the coal lands, multiple land use decisions that eliminate federal coal deposits from consideration for leasing, and surface owner consultation are not directly applicable in the case of an exchange of federal coal because the coal would not remain under federal ownership if the exchange is completed. The unsuitability criteria apply to both federal and non-federal coal reserves under Section 522(b) of SMCRA. The presence of some of the resources included in these criteria may prevent mining of both federal and non-federal coal. In that event, the federal coal lessee or the private coal owner would be entitled to an exchange for the coal that they cannot mine. BLM does not want to exchange coal that cannot be mined due to federal restrictions because P&M could be entitled to another exchange in the future. Therefore, the unsuitability criteria need to be considered in selecting the coal that should be included in the PSO Tract, if the exchange proposal is approved. 1-13

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

1.0 Introduction The coal mining unsuitability criteria are listed in the federal coal management regulations at 43 CFR 3461. These unsuitability criteria were applied to federal coal lands in Sheridan County in the early 1980s and in the mid 1990s by the BLM. The 1980s results were included in the 1985 Buffalo Area Resource Management Plan (BLM 1985). The results of the mid-1990s unsuitability criteria application are summarized in the 2001 Approved Resource Management Plan for Public Lands Administered by the BLM Buffalo Field Office (BLM 2001). The unsuitability findings for the PSO Tract according to the 2001 Approved Resource Management Plan for Public Lands Administered by the BLM Buffalo Field Office are summarized in Appendix C of this EIS. The findings for Criteria 14 and 15 are discussed in more detail below. Portions of the PSO Tract totaling about 520 acres were found to be unsuitable for coal leasing and development under Criterion 14 (Habitat for Migratory Birds) when the unsuitability criteria were applied in the early 1980s. The designation was applied due to the presence of important breeding habitat for the Lewis’ woodpecker. This species is known to breed in the ponderosa pine habitat in the area of Ash Creek. BLM has reviewed this unsuitability finding and determined that Lewis’ woodpeckers have been dropped from the list of “Migratory NonGame Birds of Management Concern in the U.S.” BLM advised USFWS of their intent to remove the 1-14 unsuitability designation for Lewis’ woodpecker habitat under Criterion 14 within this area and to complete a land use plan maintenance action to reflect this. In a letter dated August 20, 2001, USFWS indicated their willingness to concur with the proposed change in unsuitability designation for Criterion 14 and acknowledged that this species has been found to be more widely distributed in Wyoming than when the original designation of unsuitability was applied. The Lewis’ woodpecker is not listed within the 2002 USFWS “Migratory Bird Species of Management Concern in Wyoming, Coal Mine List” (USFWS 2002a). However, USFWS requested that BLM consider removing the scoria hillsides on the western edge of the exchange area (which contains primary breeding habitat for the woodpecker) from the PSO Tract, if the exchange proposal is approved. If those areas remain in the exchange tract, the USFWS will require monitoring of the Lewis’ woodpecker as part of their mining permit (USFWS 2001). The 1985 BLM Buffalo Area Resource Management Plan found approximately 1,200 acres of federal coal to be unsuitable due to the presence of the Lewis’ woodpecker under Criterion 15, Habitat for State High-Interest Species, and some of this acreage overlaps with the western edge of the PSO Tract. The WGFD submitted comments in response to the land exchange notice identifying the Lewis’ woodpecker as a state species of special concern that is found in the Ash Creek area in a letter dated Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

1.0 Introduction January 30, 2001. In their comment letter, WGFD stated that they believe the exchange “will not significantly impact Lewis’ woodpeckers, and that any concerns related to the Lewis’ woodpecker could be adequately addressed during mine planning if active coal mining is proposed.” When contacted, WGFD indicated that, due to the extent of their occurrence in Wyoming, Lewis’ woodpeckers are not considered rare or in need of management emphasis. On October 24, 2001, the Buffalo Area Resource Management Plan designation of a portion of the Sheridan Review Area as “unsuitable pending further study” for Lewis’ woodpecker habitat was removed in a plan maintenance action signed by the Buffalo Field Office Manager. 1.5 C 	 onsultation and Coordination •	 Initial Involvement BLM received P&M’s coal exchange proposal on February 4, 1999. The exchange proposal was initially reviewed by the BLM, Wyoming State Office, Division of Mineral and Lands Authorization. On October 31, 2000, the National Land Exchange Evaluation and Assistance Team concluded their technical review of the exchange proposal and concurred with Wyoming BLM’s request to proceed with processing the exchange. The PRRCT reviewed this exchange proposal at a public meeting held on October 27, 1999, in Gillette, Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange Wyoming. P&M presented information about their proposed exchange application to the PRRCT at this meeting. The PRRCT recommended that the BLM continue to process the exchange and instructed BLM to proceed with an EIS to evaluate the environmental effects of the exchange. The exchange was assigned case serial number WYW148816. The BLM published the Notice of Exchange Proposal for four consecutive weeks, as required by the regulations at 43 CFR 2201.2(a) in the following newspapers: •	 Rawlins Daily Times December 22, 28, 2000, January 4, 11, 2001; The Kemmerer Gazette December 21, 28, 2000, January 4, 11, 2001; The Daily Rocket-Miner December 21, 28, 2000, January 4, 11, 2001; The Sheridan Press December 21, 28, 2000, January 4, 11, 2001.

•	

•	

The BLM filed a Notice of Intent to Prepare an EIS and a Notice of Scoping in the Federal Register on February 14, 2001. The filing served as notice that the P&M exchange proposal had been received and public comment was requested. Public scoping meetings were held on March 5, 2001 in La Barge, Wyoming, March 6, 2001 in Rawlins, Wyoming and March 7, 2001 in Sheridan, Wyoming. At the 1-15

1.0 Introduction public meetings P&M, BLM, and USFS personnel orally presented information about the exchange process and the properties proposed for exchange. The presentations were followed by a question and answer period, during which oral comments were made. The scoping period extended from February 14 through March 31, 2001, during which time BLM received 23 written comments. Chapter 5.0 provides a list of other federal, state, and local governmental agencies that were consulted in preparation of this EIS (Table 5-1) and the distribution list for this EIS (Table 5-3). Issues and Concerns Issues and concerns expressed by the public and government agencies relating to the exchange proposal are summarized below. As might be expected, the issues and concerns expressed are related to location. That is, people in Lincoln and Carbon Counties were most concerned with management of the acquired lands if the exchange is completed, while people in Sheridan County were more interested in the potential mining of the coal. Issues and concerns summarized as follows: • are • • • • • • • • • • • • effect on county tax base if these lands change from private to public ownership; question of who underwrites the expense of the exchange; ownership and use of the water rights on the JO Ranch lands; fate of the buildings on the JO Ranch lands; potential conflicts with oil and gas development on the PSO Tract; access to the proposed mine on the PSO Tract and facilities to ship coal out; post-mine land uses on the PSO Tract; effects of blasting on nearest residents to the PSO Tract; effects of mining on air quality; expected revenues from the mining operation; public access to Welch lands; cumulative impacts of mineral development to other resources (e.g., groundwater, surface water, etc.); potential impacts on cultural and paleontological resources; potential impacts on T&E species and Migratory Birds of Management Concern in Wyoming; need for the exchange; reasonable alternatives to the exchange; encumbrances on the lands being exchanged; underground coal fire on the Welch lands; and wetland impacts.

• •

• • •

• •

mineral ownership of acquired lands and whether these lands would be available for mineral development; fate of existing timber roads; grazing rights on the acquired lands;

• •

1-16

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

1.0 Introduction Draft EIS Parties on the distribution list were sent copies of the Draft EIS, and copies were made available for review at the BLM offices in Casper, Rawlins, Buffalo, Pinedale, and Cheyenne, and the USFS office in Kemmerer. A Notice of Availability was published in the Federal Register on May 24, 2002. A 60-day comment period on the Draft EIS commenced with the publication of the EPA Notice of Availability and ended on July 23, 2002. BLM received 21 comment letters on the Draft EIS. Final EIS All comments received on the Draft EIS are included, with agency responses, in this Final EIS, which is being sent to the parties on the distribution list. Availability of the Final EIS will be published in the Federal Register. A notice announcing the date, time, and location of a public meeting to receive public comments on the public interest factors of the proposed exchange, as required by 43 CFR 2203.3 will also be published. There will be a 30-day availability period for the Final EIS. Department of Justice Consultation After the public meeting or meetings are held and the 30-day availability period has ended, BLM will forward to the Attorney General copies of the comments received in response to the request for public comments, the transcript of the public meeting or meetings, and copies of the Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange written comments received at the public meeting or meetings. The Attorney General has 90 days to advise BLM, in writing, on the anti­ trust consequences of the proposed exchange. The Attorney General may request additional information, which may extend the 90-day period. If the Attorney General does not respond within the 90-day time frame, BLM may proceed with the exchange. Record of Decision (ROD) Any advice received from the Attorney General becomes part of the public record. The ROD will include a discussion of the consideration which is given to any advice that is received from the Attorney General related to this exchange. Prior to preparation of the ROD, the final appraisals will be completed and independently reviewed. BLM will request the concurrence of the Department of the Interior Solicitor and the Department of Agriculture General Counsel on the ROD and the Notice of Availability of the ROD. Once the Solicitor’s and General Counsel’s concurrences are received, the BLM Wyoming State Director will request the concurrence of the BLM Washington Office through the BLM and USFS National Land Exchange Evaluation and Assistance Teams. The decision to approve or disapprove the exchange will be mailed to parties on the mailing list and others who commented on this exchange during the exchange process. The BLM decision may be 1-17

1.0 Introduction protested within 45 days after publication of a notice of the availability of a decision to approve or disapprove an exchange proposal. The right of appeal from a protest decision may be pursued in accordance with 43 CFR part 4. The transfer of deeds and other administrative procedures to complete the exchange will follow.

1-18

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

2.0 Proposed Action and Alternatives 2.0 	 ROPOSED ACTION AND P ALTERNATIVES acquires the lease (Alternative 3). The exchange was proposed by P&M as a way to acquire coal beneath their surface in the PSO Tract. The lands they are offering in exchange are attractive to the federal government. The Bridger lands are in-holdings surrounded by BTNF and BLM lands and the JO Ranch lands are in-holdings surrounded by BLM lands. The Welch lands have considerable wildlife value and their acquisition would create a unique opportunity for the public to access the Tongue River in Sheridan County. 2.1 Proposed Action 	

This chapter describes the Proposed Action and alternatives to this action. The Proposed Action is to complete an exchange of the Bridger, JO Ranch and Welch lands for federal coal rights of equal value beneath the PSO1 Tract. It is assumed that the PSO Tract would be developed as a new mine. The lands which would be acquired in exchange for the coal would be managed by the USFS (Bridger lands within the BTNF) and BLM (Bridger lands outside the BTNF, JO Ranch lands, and Welch lands). The No Action Alternative (Alternative 1) is to not complete the exchange. Selection of this alternative would mean that the lands being offered for exchange would remain in private ownership and the federal coal underlying the PSO Tract would remain in federal ownership. Other alternatives considered not analyzed in detail include: •	 but

not exchanging or leasing the coal but purchasing the lands offered by P&M Coal for the appraised value (Alternative 2); and holding a competitive lease sale for federal coal in the PSO Tract, with the assumption that it would be developed as a new mine by any qualified bidder who

Under the Proposed Action, the exchange would be completed and the Bridger, JO Ranch and Welch lands would become public lands. P&M would acquire ownership of an amount of federal coal underlying the PSO Tract that would be equal in value to the properties they are offering for exchange. The Proposed Action is the Preferred Alternative of the BLM and USFS. The lands and minerals that would become public lands and minerals if the exchange is completed are described below. Bridger Lands
 Lincoln County, Wyoming
 The legal description of the Bridger lands and mineral interests that P&M is offering to exchange (shown in Figure 1-2) is as follows:

•	

1

Refer to page ix for a list of abbreviations and acronyms used in this document.

Final EIS P&M Land Exchange

2-1

2.0 Proposed Action and Alternatives Lands to be administered by BLM: T.26N., R.115W., 6th P.M., Wyoming Tracts 49, 57, and 71. Total: 638.37 acres more or less. Lands to be administered by USFS: T.26N., R.116W., 6th P.M., Wyoming Tracts 39, 41, and 42; T.26N., R.117W., 6th P.M., Wyoming Tracts 37 through 43; T.27N., R.117W., 6th P.M., Wyoming Tracts 37 through 42. Total: 2,447.88 acres more or less. Minerals to be administered by BLM: T.26N., R.115W., 6th P.M., Wyoming Tracts 49, 57, and 71. Total: 638.37 acres more or less. Minerals included in tracts in area to be administered by USFS: T.26N., R.116W., 6th P.M., Wyoming Tracts 39, 41, and 42; T.26N., R.117W., 6th P.M., Wyoming Tracts 37 through 43; T.27N., R.117W., 6th P.M., Wyoming Tracts 37 through 42. Total: 2,447.88 acres more or less. The Bridger lands are surrounded by public lands and minerals administered by the BLM and the USFS. Under the Proposed Action, if these lands become public lands, the acquired surface and mineral estates would be managed like the surrounding public lands in accordance with the BLM Pinedale 2-2 Resource Management Plan and the USFS BTNF Land and Resource Management Plan. JO Ranch Lands
 Carbon County, Wyoming
 The legal description of the JO Ranch lands and mineral interests that P&M is offering to exchange (shown in Figure 1-3) is as follows: Lands T.16N., R.90W., 6th P.M., Wyoming Tract 46; Section 6: Lots 20, 23, 24, 27, NE¼SW¼; Section 17: SW¼SW¼; 
 Section 18: NE¼SE¼; 
 T.16N., R.91W., 6th P.M., Wyoming Section 12: NE¼NE¼, SW¼NE¼, SW¼SW¼, E½SW¼, W½SE¼; Section 13: W½NW¼, 
 SE¼NW¼, 
 NW¼SW¼; 
 Section 14: SE¼NE¼, 
 NE¼SE¼, 
 S½SE¼; 
 Section 22: SE¼SE¼, SE¼SE¼SW¼SE¼; Section 23: W½NE¼, S½NW¼, N½SW¼, SW¼SW¼. Total: 1,233.55 acres more or less. Minerals P&M does not own and is not offering for exchange any of the mineral estate underlying the JO Ranch lands. The JO Ranch lands are surrounded by public lands and minerals Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange




2.0 Proposed Action and Alternatives administered by the BLM. Under the Proposed Action, if these lands become public lands, future management of the acquired surface estate will be determined through additional NEPA analyses and planning decisions. Welch Lands
 Sheridan County, Wyoming
 The legal description of the Welch lands and mineral interests that P&M is offering to exchange (shown in Figure 1-4) is as follows: Lands T.57N., R.84W., 6th P.M., Wyoming Section 1: S½NE¼*, 
 	 SE¼NW¼, 
 N½SW¼*, 
 SW¼SW¼*; 
 Section 2: Lots 2, 3, S½N½, S½**; Section 3: Lots 3,4, S½N½, N½S½, SE¼SE¼; Section 4: 	 Lots 1 through 4, S½NE¼, SE¼NW¼, N½SE¼. *T.57N., R.84W., Section 1: • S½NE¼, there is a metes and 	 bounds exclusion area of 25.51 acres. •	 N½SW¼, there is a metes and bounds exclusion area of 1.2 acres. •	 SW¼SW¼, there is a metes and bounds exclusion area of 10.6 acres. **T.57N., R.84W., Section 2: • S½, there is a metes and 	 bounds exclusion area of 5.6 acres. Final EIS P&M Land Exchange Total: 1,538.70 acres more or less. Minerals P&M owns and is offering to exchange the coal rights underlying the following lands: T.57N., R.84W., 6th P.M., Wyoming Section 1: S½NE¼ (excluding 25.51 acres), SE¼NW¼, N½SW¼ (excluding 1.2 acres); Section 2: S½NW¼, S½ (excluding 5.6 acres); Section 3: S½NE¼, SE¼NW¼, N½SE¼, SE¼SE¼. Total: 807.69 acres more or less. The remaining 731.01 acres of coal estate in the Welch lands are federally owned. P&M does not own and is not offering to exchange any non-coal mineral rights underlying the Welch lands. The Welch lands are surrounded by private lands and private and federal minerals. The federal minerals are administered by the BLM Buffalo Field Office. Public concern has been expressed over BLM acquisition of an underground coal seam fire on the Welch lands. BLM is evaluating several tract configuration options for the Welch lands that the federal government would acquire, if the exchange is completed. The underground coal seam fire occupies approximately 13 acres in the SW¼ of Section 2, T.57N., 2-3

2.0 Proposed Action and Alternatives R.84W. The options considering include: •	 BLM is If the Welch lands are acquired, the BLM Buffalo Field Office would determine future management of these lands, including the area occupied by the underground coal seam fire, through additional NEPA analyses and planning decisions. PSO Tract Sheridan County, Wyoming The legal description of the federal coal being considered for exchange under the Proposed Action (the PSO Tract, shown in Figure 2-1) is as follows: T.58N., R.84W., Section 15: Section 20: Section 21: Section 22: Section 23: Section 27: Section Section Section Section 28: 29: 33: 34: 6th P.M., Wyoming Lot 1; SE¼; E½NE¼, S½; NW¼, W½SW¼; Lots 3 and 4; W½NW¼, W½SW¼; All NE¼, NE¼SE¼; N½NE¼; SW¼NE¼, NW¼NW¼.

acquiring all of the offered lands in the Welch lands tract; deleting the E½SW¼SW¼ and the W½SE¼SW¼ of Section 2, T.57N., R.84W. (40 acres), which contains the active fire area, from the Welch lands tract; deleting the SW¼SW¼ and the W½SE¼SW¼ of Section 2 and the SE¼SE¼ of Section 3, T.57N., R.84W. (100 acres), which includes the active fire area and the previously mined lands, from the Welch lands tract; and deleting the S½NW¼SW¼, SW¼SW¼, S½NE¼SW¼, and SE¼SW¼ of Section 2, and the SE¼NE¼SW¼, S½NW¼SE¼, SE¼SE¼, and S½NE¼SE¼ of Section 3, T.57N., R.84W. (210 acres), which includes the active fire, the mined lands, and a buffer zone from the Welch lands tract.

•	

•	

•	

Total: 2,045.53 acres more or less. The land description and acreage are based on the BLM Status of Public Domain Land and Mineral Title approved Coal Plat as of November 12, 1999. BLM was considering a thorough field investigation and conditional corrective resurvey in T.58N., R.84W., after receiving information from a private surveyor in 2001 that there were discrepancies between the 1952 BLM dependent resurvey and the original survey in this township. The corrective resurvey Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Further discussion of the underground coal seam fire and the area that BLM is considering removing from the Welch lands tract under these options can be found in the BLM technical report on the underground coal seam fire, which is included as Appendix D of this document. BLM’s preferred option is to acquire all of the Welch lands.

2-4

2.0 Proposed Action and Alternatives
R. 38 E. R. 39 E.

2 T. 10 S. T. 58 N. 17 16

1

32

33 T. 9 S. T. 58 N.

20

21 22 23

28 29

27

26

32

33

34

35

R. 84 W.

LEGEND
PSO Tract Wyoming - Montana State Line
6000

0

1500

GRAPHIC SCALE
3000 ( FEET )

Figure 2-1. PSO Tract Configuration as Proposed.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

2-5

2.0 Proposed Action and Alternatives area would have included the PSO Tract. This issue was resolved between BLM and the adjacent and the prospective coal estate owners, and a resurvey is not necessary to transfer title to the federal coal estate. The Proposed Action assumes that the exchange will be completed and P&M will acquire and mine the federal coal included in the tract described above. For purposes of analyzing the potential impacts as required by NEPA, it is assumed that all the federal coal estate within the PSO Tract as proposed by P&M would be included in the exchange. BLM’s preferred option at this time is to consider exchanging all of the federal coal estate included in the PSO Tract. The actual tract that would be offered for exchange would depend upon the appraised value of the coal and the P&M properties at the time the exchange is approved. If it is necessary to decrease the size of the PSO Tract in order to equalize the values of the properties to be exchanged, BLM will consider comments received from USFWS concerning removing the scoria hillsides on the western edge of the tract from the PSO Tract. USFWS has recommended removal of the scoria hillsides on the western edge of the PSO Tract from consideration for exchange due to the occurrence of primary breeding habitat for the Lewis’ woodpecker on those hillsides. If an exchange is completed, a detailed mining and reclamation plan would have to be developed and approved in accordance with SMCRA and Wyoming statutes 2-6 before P&M could begin mining operations on the tract. In this case, if any operations in the detailed mining and reclamation plan would cross the state line (into Montana), those operations would also have to be developed and approved in accordance with Montana statutes. As part of the approval process, the mining and reclamation plan would undergo detailed review by state and federal agencies. The mining and reclamation plan would include monitoring and mitigation measures that are required by SMCRA, Wyoming statutes, and Montana statutes, if applicable. These monitoring and mitigation measures are considered to be part of the Proposed Action during the exchange process because they are regulatory requirements. The final, detailed mining and reclamation plan, which must be approved prior to initiation of mining, could potentially differ from the conceptual plan used to analyze the impacts of the Proposed Action in this EIS. Figure 2-2 is a schematic mine plan, prepared by P&M, which is described below. In the schematic mine plan shown in Figure 2-2, P&M has included privately-owned coal, which lies outside of the PSO Tract and which is not included in the exchange proposal. P&M does not currently own this coal. This conceptual mine plan does not propose to remove coal from the northern and western edges of the PSO Tract in the scoria hillside area that includes the potential Lewis’ woodpecker habitat. Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Littl e

Youngs
ek Cre

Creek
You ngs

R. 38 E. R. 39 E.

T. 10 S. 4 3 2 1 T. 10 S. 32 33 T. 9 S. R. 38 E. R. 39 E. 18
Year 11

34 T. 9 S.
Year 15

17
Year 10
Year 9

16
Year 12
Year 13

24
Year 5
Year 6
Cre ek

19
Year 7
As h

20
We st

21
h nc Bra

Year 8

Year 14

13 T. 58 N. 22 23

R. 85 W. R. 84 W.

T. 58 N. 24

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange
4 ar Ye

Year 1
3 ar Ye
Ye ar 2

Year 15 28 Year 16 Year 17 27 26 25

Figure 2-2. Schematic Mine Plan for the Ash Creek Mine.
30 29 5000 Ton Surge Bin and Feeder Truck Dump w/Feeder and Crusher 31 Overland Conveyor to Kleenburn 32 Shop/Office/Warehouse 33 Access Road 34 35
Ash Cre ek

Little 25 Ash Cre ek

36

36

R. 85 W. R. 84 W.

LEGEND
Year 15

Mine Block and Year to be Mined PSO Tract

2.0 Proposed Action and Alternatives

0

2000

GRAPHIC SCALE
4000 8000 ( FEET )

Wyoming - Montana State Line

2-7

2.0 Proposed Action and Alternatives There will probably be differences between the final, detailed mining and reclamation plan that P&M would be required to submit for approval prior to mining and P&M’s proposed mine plan shown in Figure 2-2, but they would not be expected to significantly change most of the impacts described in this EIS. This is because major factors like tons of coal mined, yards of overburden removed, acres disturbed, etc. would not be significantly different from the plan used in this analysis. Although the total area of the PSO Tract is about 2,045 acres, not all of this area contains coal that is economically recoverable under foreseeable conditions. Faulting, prehistoric natural coal fires, and other geologic factors have removed the coal or rendered it uneconomic to recover. P&M estimates that there are 153.2 million tons of mineable coal within the mine plan area, of which about 112.5 million tons are in the PSO Tract and are currently owned by the federal government. The total area to be mined under P&M’s proposed mine plan is about 1,720 acres, of which 1,244 acres are on the PSO Tract. P&M assumes that about 95 percent of the mineable coal is recoverable, based on historical recovery factors at typical PRB surface coal mines. This would mean that 145.5 million tons, 107 million tons of which are on the PSO Tract and are now federally owned, would be recoverable over the life of the mine. An estimated total of 356.1 million bcy of overburden would be excavated. BLM will independently evaluate the volume and average quality of the coal resources included in the PSO Tract as part of the fair market value determination process. BLM’s estimate of the mineable reserves and average quality of the coal included in the tract will be published in the final appraisal. Some coal quality information in the area of the PSO Tract is included in Section 3.4.3 of this document. The total estimated area of disturbance would be about 2,595 acres. The area of disturbance would exceed the area of coal removal due to incidental disturbances associated with mining the coal. These include topsoil buffer areas, scoria mining, grading to blend naturally with reclaimed contours, and surface facilities which could include shop/ office/warehouse buildings, truck dump with crushing and feeding equipment, transfer conveyor, surge storage bin and feeder, a 24,000-ft long overland conveyor, rail loop and loadout facility, haul roads, and access road. The estimated 2,595acre area of disturbance includes 99.5 acres for the proposed overland conveyor and 104.5 acres for the proposed rail loop and loadout facilities, which would be located outside of the general area of mine disturbance, under P&M’s current mine proposal. P&M proposes to utilize shovel and truck equipment similar to those commonly utilized in the industry at other PRB surface coal mines. Typical equipment sizes which could be used would include 240- to 320ton trucks matched with 60- to 80Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

2-8

2.0 Proposed Action and Alternatives ton capacity shovels. These primary equipment units would be used to remove overburden and interburden as well as mine coal. P&M prepared a mine plan layout, depicted schematically on Figure 2-2, to show how the coal within the proposed mine plan area could be recovered using this equipment and how it could be transported to the rail line for shipping. This is a conceptual mine plan layout prepared for purposes of evaluating the potential impacts of removing the coal. If the exchange is completed, P&M would have to acquire any needed rights-of–way and required construction permits before construction activities could begin, in addition to completing the mining and reclamation permit requirements. The location of the facilities could change based on a number of factors including costs, rights-of-way negotiations, and requirements imposed by the construction permits. P&M refers to the proposed mine as the Ash Creek Mine for planning purposes. Mining would begin with a boxcut northwest of the facilities area (Figure 2-2) and extend across the western portion of the south end of the mining area. Overburden from the boxcut would be placed in an overburden stockpile located adjacent to the south side of the mining area but separated from Ash Creek to control surface water run­ off in the area. The boxcut would be opened to establish an operating pit approximately 350 ft wide, which would advance in a parallel manner with subsequent cuts. A pit length of approximately 2,500 ft would be maintained. Multiple seams would Final EIS P&M Land Exchange be mined, and coal would be blended as needed to address customer coal quality constraints. The proposed mining sequence would allow expansion into adjacent private coal reserves during the later part of the mine life, if P&M acquires the rights to mine that coal. This private coal is shown being mined in years seven through 15 of the schematic mine plan shown in Figure 2-2. Supporting equipment that would be utilized includes motor graders, crawler tractors, water trucks, scrapers, maintenance equipment, pumps, light plants, and related equipment common to the industry. The proposed surface coal mining operation envisioned for the mine would include relatively simple facilities and associated infrastructure. A facilities area would be developed adjacent to Ash Creek along the southern part of the mining area. This would be an above-drainage location to facilitate control of surface water. The site would be protected and not visible from surrounding areas as it would not be above surrounding topography. This would help to mitigate any concerns for visual, noise, or fugitive dust effects from the operation. Facilities to be located at this site would include a maintenance shop, warehouse, employee bathhouse, and mine office complex as a single building unit. Equipment parking, employee and vendor parking, outside storage, and other improved site areas for fuel storage, equipment “lay-down”, and other 2-9

2.0 Proposed Action and Alternatives requirements of a surface coal mining operation would be provided within the facilities area. The truck dump, crushing, and conveying facilities would be located at this site. A transfer conveyor belt would be used to convey the crushed coal to a 5,000 ton capacity surge bin/silo which would serve as the feed for an overland conveyor. P&M proposes to use an overland conveyor to transport coal to a unit train loadout facility on the BNSF mainline, which is located roughly 4.5 miles due south of the operation. An overland conveyor was selected to minimize disturbance at the site and reduce development costs while maximizing use of existing facilities located near the recently reclaimed Big Horn Coal Company loadout facilities. Using the most direct route between the proposed Ash Creek Mine facilities and the proposed loadout facilities, this conveyor would be approximately 24,000 ft long. The surface estate between the proposed mine and the loadout facilities is owned by private, government, and corporate entities. P&M would have to negotiate access with these surface owners and obtain the necessary construction permits prior to constructing the conveyor. A logical production build-up has been developed for the proposed mining operation. Production with opening of the boxcut would begin at one million tons and build over the next three years to a steadystate annual production for the remaining mine life at 10 million tons. This schedule provides for a 2-10 mine life of 17 years. This level of production approximately matches and maximizes production of overburden from one shovel. A projection of annual production of overburden/ interburden and coal is shown in Table 2-1. Reclamation activities which would be completed at the mine site include topsoil removal and replacement, drainage and sediment control, backfilling and grading, and seeding and planting according to the Wyoming statutes administered by WDEQ/LQD. Topsoil would be removed and stockpiled or directly placed on re-graded surfaces. Once the operation is in a steady-state production condition, topsoil would be directly placed on graded backfill to minimize the need for stockpiling and rehandling. Drainage and sediment control structures would be used to control surface water quality at the site. It is assumed that there would be only minor groundwater inflow into the active mine pit and therefore structures would not be required for any groundwater dewatering needs. Several sediment ponds, gravel check dams, grass filters, and other BACT structures would be used as required to control surface water quality from mining and reclamation activities. Grading of backfilled spoil would be completed to establish a postmining surface that would resemble the premining topography and would be approved by WDEQ/LQD. The postmining topography would be somewhat lower in elevation than the premining topography due to Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

2.0 Proposed Action and Alternatives Table 2-1.
Year 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Total

Production Schedule for the Proposed Ash Creek Mine.
Production (in millions)
 Coal (Tons) Overburden (bcy)
 1.0 3.0 2.5 5.4 5.0 11.4 7.0 19.9 10.0 27.7 10.0 28.1 10.0 24.6 10.0 22.8 10.0 23.3 10.0 26.4 10.0 23.4 10.0 21.7 10.0 12.9 10.0 12.2 10.0 27.1 10.0 34.0 10.0 32.2 145.5 356.1

coal removal. However, given the drainage configuration of the site, positive drainage could be established in the postmining topography with completion of reclamation activities. The mining and reclamation plan would be reviewed by WDEQ/LQD and P&M would make any changes necessary in order to secure the permit to mine. P&M estimates that a selling price of $8.00 per ton would be needed to justify the expense of opening a new mine. The mine would employ about 70 persons at normal operating capacity.

Hazardous and Solid Waste Solid waste produced at the Ash Creek Mine would consist of floor sweepings, shop rags, lubricant containers, welding rod ends, metal shavings, worn tires, packing material, used filters, and office and food wastes. The mine would dispose of its solid wastes within its permit boundary in accordance with WDEQ-approved solid waste disposal plans. Sewage generated by mining would be handled by WDEQ-permitted sewage systems to be constructed on site. Maintenance and lubrication of most of the equipment would take place at the shop facilities. Major lubrication, oil changes, etc., of most equipment would be performed 2-11

Final EIS P&M Land Exchange

2.0 Proposed Action and Alternatives inside the service building lube bays, where used oil would be contained and deposited in storage tanks. The collected used oils would then be recycled offsite. P&M has reviewed the EPA’s Consolidated List of Chemicals Subject to Reporting Under Title III of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) of 1986 (as amended) and EPA’s List of Extremely Hazardous Substances as defined in 40 CFR 355 (as amended) for hazardous substances which may be used at the Ash Creek Mine. P&M would maintain files containing Material Safety Data Sheets for all chemicals, compounds and/or substances which are or would be used during the course of mining. P&M would be responsible for ensuring that all production, use, storage, transport, and disposal of hazardous and extremely hazardous materials as a result of mining are in accordance with all applicable existing or hereafter promulgated federal, state, and local government rules, regulations, and guidelines. All mining activities involving the production, use, and/or disposal of hazardous or extremely hazardous materials are and would continue to be conducted so as to minimize potential environmental impacts. P&M would be required to comply with emergency reporting requirements for releases of hazardous materials. Any release of hazardous or extremely hazardous substances in excess of the reportable quantity, as established in 40 CFR 117, would be reported as 2-12 required by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), as amended. The materials for which such notification must be given are the extremely hazardous substances listed in Section 302 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act and the hazardous substances designated under Section 102 of CERCLA, as amended. If a reportable quantity of a hazardous or extremely hazardous substance is released, immediate notice must be given to the WDEQ Solid and Hazardous Waste Division, WDEQ Water Quality Division, and all other appropriate federal and state agencies. Each mining company is expected to prepare and implement several plans and/or policies to ensure environmental protection from hazardous and extremely hazardous materials. These plans/policies include: •	 Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Plans; •	 Spill Response Plans; •	 Inventories of Hazardous Chemical Categories pursuant to Section 313 of SARA, as amended; and

•	 Emergency Response Plans. All mining operations are also required to be in compliance with regulations promulgated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Federal Water Pollution Control Act (Clean Water Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

2.0 Proposed Action and Alternatives Act), Safe Drinking Water Act, Toxic Substances Control Act, Mine Safety and Health Act, and the Federal Clean Air Act. In addition, mining operations must comply with all attendant state rules and regulations relating to hazardous material reporting, transportation, management, and disposal. 2.2 Alternative 1 	 likely that these lands would be sold on a competitive bid basis. These sales could result in subdivision and rural development of these lands. 2.3 	 Alternatives Considered but not Analyzed in Detail 2.3.1 Alternative 2 Alternative 2, which is based on a comment received during the scoping process, assumes that the exchange does not take place and the government purchases the offered lands from P&M. This alternative assumes that P&M would be willing to sell the offered lands for the appraised value. P&M has stated that it is not offering and does not intend to sell its offered lands to the U.S. (BLM and USFS) at the appraised value being considered in the exchange. P&M has indicated that it would sell the lands on a competitive bid basis if the exchange is not completed. It might be possible to obtain an appropriation from the Land and Water Conservation Fund for purchase of some or all of the offered lands at the appraised value. This process would require several years and Congressional approval. Even if P&M was willing to delay holding a competitive sale until this process was completed, it is not likely that the U.S. would be able to competitively acquire all of these lands for the appraised value that might be approved through the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Therefore, this alternative was not analyzed in detail. Under this environmental alternative, the impacts would be 2-13

Alternative 1 is the No-Action Alternative. Under the No-Action Alternative, the exchange would not be completed. For purposes of this analysis, it is assumed that if the No-Action Alternative is selected, the federal coal in the PSO Tract would not be mined in the foreseeable future, but selection of this alternative would not preclude leasing of this federal coal in the future. Under the NoAction Alternative it is also assumed that the Bridger lands, JO Ranch lands, and Welch lands would remain in private ownership. The Bridger lands would remain private in-holdings in the BTNF and the BLM Pinedale Field Area. The JO Ranch lands, including the JO Ranch buildings, which are eligible for National Historic Site status, would remain private in-holdings in the BLM Rawlins Field Area. The Welch lands, which represent a unique opportunity for public access to the Tongue River in Wyoming outside of the Big Horn National Forest, would remain in private hands. For the purpose of this analysis, no other assumption is made about the future use of these lands. However, based on information P&M has provided, it is Final EIS P&M Land Exchange

2.0 Proposed Action and Alternatives similar to the Proposed Action for any of the Bridger, JO Ranch, and Welch lands that were successfully acquired by the U.S. The federal coal could potentially be leased and mined in the future, in which case the mining-related environmental impacts would be similar to the Proposed Action. 2.3.2 Alternative 3 Under Alternative 3 the federal government would hold a competitive lease sale for the coal beneath the PSO Tract and use the revenue generated to purchase the lands offered by P&M. Since decertification of the PRB as a coal producing region in 1989, BLM has leased 11 tracts of federal coal in the Wyoming PRB in response to applications for maintenance tracts to extend the lives of existing mines. BLM has not received an application to lease federal coal in the PSO Tract or in any other federal coal tract in the western part of the Wyoming PRB, where the PSO Tract is located. The revenue that would be generated if the coal is leased and mined would go into the General Fund and could not be diverted from the Treasury to purchase the P&M lands without Congressional action. Therefore, this alternative is not analyzed in detail in this EIS. The environmental impacts of this alternative would be similar to the environmental impacts of the Proposed Action, assuming that the coal would be leased and mined. 2-14 2.4 Comparison of Alternatives

The locations of the lands which P&M is offering for exchange for the federal coal included in the PSO Tract are shown on Figures 1-1 through 1-4. The location of the federal coal that P&M would acquire under the Proposed Action is shown on Figure 2-1. Table 2-2 summarizes the lands and minerals that P&M is offering for exchange under the Proposed Action. Table 2­ 3 compares the Proposed Action and the No Action Alternative (Alternative 1) in terms of projected coal production, surface disturbance, mine life, and federal and state revenues. Table 2-4 presents a comparative summary of the direct and indirect environmental impacts of implementing the Proposed Action as compared to the No-Action Alternative. Table 2-5 presents a comparative summary of cumulative environmental impacts of implementing each alternative. The environmental consequences of the Proposed Action and Alternative 1 are analyzed in Chapter 4.0. These summary impact tables are derived from the following explanation of impacts and magnitude. NEPA requires all agencies of the federal government to include, in every recommendation or report on proposals for legislation and other major federal actions significantly affecting the quality of the human environment, a detailed statement by the responsible official on: (i) 	 the environmental impact of the Proposed Action, Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

2.0 Proposed Action and Alternatives (ii) 	any adverse environmental effects which cannot be avoided should the proposal be implemented, (iii) 	 alternatives to the Proposed Action, (iv) the relationship between 	 local short-term uses of man’s environment and the maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity, and (v) any 	 irreversible and irretrievable commitments of resources which would be involved in the Proposed Action should it be implemented (42 USC § 4332[C]). Impacts can be beneficial or adverse, and they can be a primary result of an action (direct) or a secondary result (indirect). They can be permanent, long-term (persisting beyond the end of mine life and reclamation) or short-term (persisting during mining and reclamation and through the time the reclamation bond is released). Impacts also vary in terms of significance. The basis for conclusions regarding significance are the criteria set forth by the Council on Environmental Quality (40 CFR 1508.27) and the professional judgment of the specialists doing the analyses. Impact significance may range from negligible to substantial; impacts can be significant during mining but be reduced to insignificance following completion of reclamation.

Final EIS P&M Land Exchange

2-15

2.0 Proposed Action and Alternatives Table 2-2. Summary Comparison of Lands and Minerals Offered for Exchange by P&M.
Proposed Action Surface Estate (acres) 3,086.25 1,233.55 1,538.70 5,858.50 Mineral Estate (All Minerals) (acres) 3,086.25 0.00 0.00 3,086.25 Mineral Estate (Coal Only) (acres) 0.00 0.00 807.69 807.69 No Action Alternative Surface Estate (acres) 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 Mineral Estate (acres) 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00

Tract Bridger lands JO Ranch lands Welch lands TOTAL

Table 2-3. Summary Comparison of Coal Production, Surface Disturbance, and Revenues for the PSO Tract.
Item Mineable Federal Coal Recoverable Federal Coal1 Area of Federal Coal Exchanged Area of Federal Coal to be Mined Total Area to be Disturbed by Coal Mining2 Average Annual Coal Production Average Number of Employees Total Projected State Revenues3 Total Projected Annual Revenues to Sheridan County4 Total Projected Federal Revenues5
1

Proposed Action 112.5 million tons 107.0 million tons 2,045.53 acres 1,244 acres 2,595 acres 10 million tons 70 $ 99.0 million $ 6.0 million $ 53.0 million

No Action Alternative none none none none none none none none none none

Assumes 95 percent of mineable coal is recovered. Includes disturbance due to mining, overburden stockpiling, construction of surface facilities, scoria mining, and related disturbance. 3 Projected revenue to State of Wyoming is $0.75 per ton of coal sold. Includes income from severance taxes, property and production taxes, sales and use taxes, and excludes Wyoming’s share of federal royalty payments (UW 1994) (refer to Section 4.4.19 of this EIS), plus $0.35 per ton of coal sold for AML fees minus U.S. Government’s 50 percent share. 4 Based on a coal price of $8.00 per ton and production rate of 10 million tons per year, including coal from PSO Tract and adjacent privately owned coal in mine plan area. Includes counties’ share of severance taxes, property taxes, sales and use taxes. 5 Federal revenues are based on a coal price of $8.00 per ton u amount of recoverable coal u black lung tax of 4.0 percent, plus $0.35 per ton for AML fees u amount of recoverable coal minus the State’s 50 percent share. Note: All figures in this table are for the PSO Tract only.
2

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

2-16

2.0 Proposed Action and Alternatives Table 2-4. Summary Comparison of Magnitude1 and Duration of Direct and Indirect Impacts2 for the Proposed Action, and the No-Action Alternative for the P&M Land Exchange.
DESCRIPTION OF POTENTIAL IMPACT BY RESOURCE RESOURCE NAME TOPOGRAPHY AND PHYSIOGRAPHY, GEOLOGY AND MINERALS, SOILS, AIR QUALITY, WATER RESOURCES, ALLUVIAL VALLEY FLOORS, WETLANDS, VEGETATION, WILDLIFE, THREATENED, ENDANGERED, PROPOSED, AND CANDIDATE SPECIES, CULTURAL RESOURCES, NATIVE AMERICAN CONCERNS, PALEONTOLOGICAL RESOURCES, VISUAL RESOURCES, NOISE, TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES LAND USE AND RECREATION MAGNITUDE AND DURATION OF IMPACT PROPOSED ACTION BRIDGER LANDS Negligible to moderate, beneficial, permanent on Bridger lands. Lands would become public. USFS and BLM would manage surface and mineral resources in accordance with existing land use plans. No change in management anticipated. NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE Nature, extent, and duration of impacts would depend on private landowner(s). Lands and minerals would remain private. Resources could be affected by development conducted by private landowner(s).

Moderate, beneficial and adverse, permanent on Bridger lands. USFS and BLM would manage surface and mineral resources in accordance with existing land use plans. Public access would be provide. Private grazing leases would become federal grazing leases. JO RANCH LANDS Negligible to moderate, beneficial, permanent on JO Ranch lands. Lands would become public. Future management would be determined through additional NEPA and planning decisions. Moderate, beneficial, and adverse, permanent on JO Ranch lands. Management of Cow Creek riparian area, JO Ranch buildings, and sand hills habitat would be determined through additional NEPA analysis and planning decisions. Public access would be provided. Private grazing leases would become federal grazing leases.

Nature, extent, and duration of impacts would depend on private landowner(s). Lands and minerals would remain private. Resources could be affected by development conducted by private landowner(s). Public access would be determined by private landowner(s). Status of grazing leases would not change.

TOPOGRAPHY AND PHYSIOGRAPHY, GEOLOGY AND MINERALS, SOILS, AIR QUALTIY, ALLUVIAL VALLEY FLOORS, WETLANDS, NATIVE AMERICAN CONCERNS, PALEONTOLOGICAL RESOURCES, VISUAL RESOURCES, NOISE, TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES WATER RESOURCES, VEGETATION, WILDLIFE, THREATENED, ENDANGERED, PROPOSED, AND CANDIDATE SPECIES, LAND USE AND RECREATION, CULTURAL RESOURCES

Nature, extent, and duration of impacts would depend on private landowner(s). Lands would remain private. Resources could be affected by any development conducted by private landowner(s). Nature, extent, and duration of impacts would depend on private landowner(s). Lands would remain private. Resources could be affected by any development conducted by private landowner(s). Public access would be determined by private landowner(s). Status of grazing leases would not change.

1 2

Refer to Sections 4.0 through 4.5 for a discussion on magnitude of impacts. All impacts are assumed to be adverse unless noted otherwise.

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2.0 Proposed Action and Alternatives Table 2-4. Summary Comparison of Magnitude1 and Duration of Direct and Indirect Impacts2 for the Proposed Action, and the No-Action Alternative for the P&M Land Exchange (Continued).
DESCRIPTION OF POTENTIAL IMPACT BY RESOURCE RESOURCE NAME TOPOGRAPHY AND PHYSIOGRAPHY, GEOLOGY AND MINERALS, SOILS, AIR QUALITY, WATER RESOURCES, ALLUVIAL VALLEY FLOORS, WETLANDS, VEGETATION, WILDLIFE, THREATENED, ENDANGERED, PROPOSED, AND CANDIDATE SPECIES, CULTURAL RESOURCES, NATIVE AMERICAN CONCERNS, PALEONTOLOGICAL RESOURCES, VISUAL RESOURCES, NOISE, TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES LAND USE AND RECREATION MAGNITUDE AND DURATION OF IMPACT PROPOSED ACTION WELCH LANDS Negligible to moderate, beneficial, permanent on Welch lands. Lands would become public. BLM would manage surface resources in accordance with land use plans which would be amended to address management of these lands. NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE Nature, extent, and duration of impacts would depend on private landowner(s). Lands and minerals other than coal would remain private. Resources could be affected by any development conducted by private landowner(s).

Moderate, beneficial, and adverse permanent on Welch lands. Public access would be provided. Existing uses could continue. Future management would be determined through additional NEPA and planning decisions. Private grazing leases would become federal grazing leases. PSO TRACT

Nature, extent, and duration of impacts would depend on private landowner(s). Lands and minerals other than coal would remain private. Resources could be affected by any development conducted by landowner(s). Public access would be determined by private landowner(s). Status of grazing leases would not change.

TOPOGRAPHY & PHYSIOGRAPHY PERMANENT TOPOGRAPHIC MODERATION could result in: Microhabitat reduction Habitat diversity reduction Reduction in water runoff and peak flows Increased precipitation infiltration Wildlife carrying capacity reduction Reduction in erosion Enhanced vegetative productivity Potential acceleration of groundwater recharge
1 2

Moderate, long term on mine area Moderate, long term on mine area Moderate, beneficial, long term on area Moderate, beneficial, long term on area Moderate long term on mine area Moderate, beneficial, long term on area Moderate, beneficial, long term on area Moderate, beneficial, long term on area

mine mine mine mine mine

No impact due to mining No impact due to mining No impact due to mining No impact due to mining No impact due to mining No impact due to mining No impact due to mining No impact due to mining

Refer to Sections 4.0 through 4.5 for a discussion on magnitude of impacts. All impacts are assumed to be adverse unless noted otherwise.

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2.0 Proposed Action and Alternatives Table 2-4. Summary Comparison of Magnitude1 and Duration of Direct and Indirect Impacts2 for the Proposed Action, and the No-Action Alternative for the P&M Land Exchange (Continued).
MAGNITUDE AND DURATION OF IMPACT PROPOSED ACTION NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE

DESCRIPTION OF POTENTIAL IMPACT BY RESOURCE RESOURCE NAME GEOLOGY AND MINERALS SUBSURFACE changes would result in: Removal of coal Removal and replacement of topsoil and overburden Physical characteristic alterations in geology Loss of CBM through venting and/or drainage3 Loss of access for sub-coal oil and gas development SOILS CHANGES IN PHYSICAL PROPERTIES would include: Increased near-surface bulk density & decrease in soil infiltration rate More uniformity in soil type, thickness, and texture Decreased soil loss due to topographic modification CHANGES IN CHEMICAL PROPERTIES would include: More uniform soil chemistry and nutrient distribution CHANGES IN BIOLOGICAL PROPERTIES would include: Organic matter reduction Microorganism population reduction Existing plant habitat reduction in soils stockpiled before placement WATER RESOURCES SURFACE WATER CHANGES IN RUNOFF CHARACTERISTICS AND SEDIMENT DISCHARGE would include: Disruption of surface drainage systems Increased runoff and erosion rates Increased infiltration in sediment ponds Increases in frequency & amount of flows in Youngs Creek due to discharge from settling ponds Increase in suspended solids in discharges downstream of mine area
1 2 3

Moderate, Moderate, Moderate, Moderate, Moderate,

permanent on mine area permanent on mine area permanent on mine area permanent on mine area short term on mine area

No No No No No

impact impact impact impact impact

due due due due due

to to to to to

mining mining mining mining mining

Moderate, long term on mine area Moderate, beneficial, long term on mine area Moderate, beneficial, long term on mine area Moderate, beneficial, long term on mine area Moderate, long term on mine area Moderate, long term on mine area Moderate, long term on mine area

No impact due to mining No impact due to mining No impact due to mining No impact due to mining No impact due to mining No impact due to mining No impact due to mining

Moderate, short term on mine area Moderate, short term on mine area Moderate, short term on mine area Moderate, short term on mine area

No impact due to mining No impact due to mining No impact due to mining No impact due to mining

Refer to Sections 4.0 through 4.5 for a discussion on magnitude of impacts. 
 All impacts are assumed to be adverse unless noted otherwise. 
 Most of the CBM reserves could be recovered prior to initiation of mining activity. CBM reserves in the Dietz 3 coal bed that are not recovered prior to 
 mining would be lost through venting. CBM reserves in the Monarch and Carney coal beds that are not recovered prior to mining could be lost 
 through drainage or recovered after mining is completed. 


Final EIS P&M Land Exchange

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2.0 Proposed Action and Alternatives Table 2-4. Summary Comparison of Magnitude1 and Duration of Direct and Indirect Impacts2 for the Proposed Action, and the No-Action Alternative for the P&M Land Exchange (Continued).
DESCRIPTION OF POTENTIAL IMPACT BY RESOURCE RESOURCE NAME WATER RESOURCES (continued) GROUNDWATER CHANGES ASSOCIATED WITH MINING OPERATIONS would include: Removal of coal and overburden aquifers Replacement of existing coal and overburden with unconsolidated backfill material Depressed water levels in aquifers within northeast-trending fault block occupied by PSO Tract Change in hydraulic properties in backfilled areas Change in groundwater quality in backfilled areas Decrease in water supply for two groundwater-right holders within mine five-foot drawdown area Disturbance of Youngs Creek/Little Youngs Creek alluvial aquifers if P&M acquires rights to mine private coal within PSO Tract ALLUVIAL VALLEY FLOORS While a final determination has not been made by WDEQ/LQD, it is believed that proposed mining operations would not affect AVFs significant to agriculture WETLANDS Removal of existing jurisdictional wetlands by mining operations Removal of existing non-jurisdictional wetlands by mining operations VEGETATION REMOVAL OF NATIVE VEGETATION would result in: Increased erosion Wildlife and livestock habitat loss
1 2

MAGNITUDE AND DURATION OF IMPACT PROPOSED ACTION NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE

Negligible, short term on mine area Negligible, long term on mine area Moderate, short term within fault block Negligible, long term on mine area Moderate, long term on mine area Moderate, short term Moderate, short term

No impact due to mining No impact due to mining No impact due to mining No impact due to mining No impact due to mining No impact due to mining No impact due to mining

No impact to AVFs significant to agriculture on proposed mine area. AVFs determined not to be significant to agriculture would be restored if affected. Jurisdictional wetlands on disturbance areas would be destroyed and replaced in accordance with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act Non-jurisdictional wetlands on disturbance areas would be destroyed and replaced in accordance with agreements with surface owners or surface managing agency. Moderate, short term on mine area Moderate, short term on mine area

No impact due to mining

No impact due to mining No impact due to mining

No impact due to mining No impact due to mining

Refer to Sections 4.0 through 4.5 for a discussion on magnitude of impacts. All impacts are assumed to be adverse unless noted otherwise.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

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2.0 Proposed Action and Alternatives Table 2-4. Summary Comparison of Magnitude1 and Duration of Direct and Indirect Impacts2 for the Proposed Action, and the No-Action Alternative for the P&M Land Exchange (Continued).
DESCRIPTION OF POTENTIAL IMPACT BY RESOURCE RESOURCE NAME VEGETATION (continued) AFTER RECLAMATION the following could result: Impact in vegetation patterns Reduction in vegetation diversity Reduction in shrub density Decrease in big game habitat carrying capacity WILDLIFE DURING MINING the following could occur: Wildlife displacement and increased competition on habitat outside of mining area Restrictions on wildlife movement, particularly big game Direct loss of small mammals Loss of sage grouse nesting habitat and disturbance of breeding activities Abandonment of raptor nests Foraging habitat reduction for raptors Loss of nesting and foraging habitat for Migratory Birds of Management Concern Reduction in waterfowl and shorebird resting and feeding habitat Loss of songbird nesting and foraging habitat Temporary wildlife habitat loss Road kills by mine-related traffic Reduction in big game carrying capacity and diversity Disturbance of fish habitat in Little Youngs and Youngs Creeks
1 2

MAGNITUDE AND DURATION OF IMPACT PROPOSED ACTION NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE

Negligible, long term on mine area Negligible, long term on mine area Moderate, long term on mine area Moderate, long term on mine area

No No No No

impact impact impact impact

due due due due

to to to to

mining mining mining mining

Moderate, short term on mine area Moderate, short term on mine area Moderate, short term on mine area Negligible, short term on mine area Negligible, short term on mine area Negligible, short term on mine area Negligible, short term on mine area Negligible, short term on mine area Moderate, short term on mine area Negligible, short term on mine area Negligible, short term on mine area Moderate, long term on mine area Negligible, short term on mine area

No impact due to mining No impact due to mining No impact due to mining No impact due to mining No impact due to mining No impact due to mining No impact due to mining No impact due to mining No impact due to mining No impact due to mining’ No impact due to mining No impact due to mining No impact due to mining

Refer to Sections 4.0 through 4.5 for a discussion on magnitude of impacts. All impacts are assumed to be adverse unless noted otherwise.

Final EIS P&M Land Exchange

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2.0 Proposed Action and Alternatives Table 2-4. Summary Comparison of Magnitude1 and Duration of Direct and Indirect Impacts2 for the Proposed Action, and the No-Action Alternative for the P&M Land Exchange (Continued).
MAGNITUDE AND DURATION OF IMPACT PROPOSED ACTION NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE

DESCRIPTION OF POTENTIAL IMPACT BY RESOURCE RESOURCE NAME THREATENED, ENDANGERED, PROPOSED, AND CANDIDATE SPECIES (See Appendix E for additional information) MINING could result in: Loss of bald eagle foraging habitat, increased potential for road kills of foraging eagle Loss of limited potential Canada lynx habitat Loss of limited potential Ute ladies’-tresses habitat Loss of potential black-footed ferret habitat Loss of potential mountain plover habitat Loss of black-tailed prairie dog colonies and habitat Loss of western boreal toad habitat Loss of yellow-billed cuckoo habitat Loss of Arctic grayling habitat LAND USE AND RECREATION CONSEQUENCES OF MINING ON LAND USE would be: Reduction of livestock grazing Loss of wildlife habitat Loss of access for subcoal oil and gas development Loss of potential public access to 6.41 acres of public land Loss of CBM reserves through venting or drainage3 Disruption of adjacent landowner activities NATIVE AMERICAN CONCERNS PALEONTOLOGICAL RESOURCES Overburden removal could expose fossils for scientific examination
1 2 3

Short term, may affect, not likely to adversely affect Short term; may affect, not likely to adversely affect Short term; may affect, not likely to adversely affect Short term; may affect, not likely to adversely affect Short term; may affect, not likely to jeopardize Short term; colonies and habitat within mine disturbance area would be destroyed No effect on mine area No effect on mine area No effect on mine area

No effect due to mining No effect due to mining No effect due to mining No effect due to mining No effect due to mining No effect due to mining No effect due to mining No effect due to mining No effect due to mining

Moderate, short term on mine area Moderate, short term on mine area Moderate, short term on mine area Negligible, short term on mine area Moderate, permanent on mine area Moderate, short term No impact identified on mine area Negligible on mine area

No No No No No No

impact impact impact impact impact impact

due due due due due due

to to to to to to

mining mining mining mining mining mining

No impact due to mining No impact due to mining

Refer to Sections 4.0 through 4.5 for a discussion on magnitude of impacts. 
 All impacts are assumed to be adverse unless noted otherwise. 
 Most of the CBM reserves could be recovered prior to initiation of mining activity. CBM reserves in the Dietz 3 coal bed that are not recovered prior to 
 mining would be lost through venting. CBM reserves in the Monarch and Carney coal beds that are not recovered prior to mining could be lost through drainage or recovered after mining is completed.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

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2.0 Proposed Action and Alternatives Table 2-4. Summary Comparison of Magnitude1 and Duration of Direct and Indirect Impacts2 for the Proposed Action, and the No-Action Alternative for the P&M Land Exchange (Continued).
MAGNITUDE AND DURATION OF IMPACT PROPOSED ACTION NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE

DESCRIPTION OF POTENTIAL IMPACT BY RESOURCE RESOURCE NAME VISUAL RESOURCES EVIDENT IMPACTS DURING MINING would include: Alteration of landscape classified by the BLM as VRM Class II Partial visibility of mining operations to Wyoming Highway 338 and adjacent landowners IMPACTS FOLLOWING RECLAMATION could be: Smoother sloped terrain Reduction in sagebrush density NOISE INCREASED NOISE LEVELS could affect: Nearby occupied dwellings Wildlife in immediate vicinity TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES Increase in coal shipped on existing railroads New employees travel on highways for duration of mining operations Relocation of pipelines Relocation of utility lines Construction and operation of overland coal conveyor and loadout facilities SOCIOECONOMICS EFFECTS DURING MINING would include: Employment Potential (Up to 70 jobs in mine area is expected) Revenues from taxes to the state government Revenues from taxes to the federal government Revenues from taxes to local governments Economic development Depreciation of property values for adjacent landowners Population in Sheridan County
1 2

Negligible, short term on mine area Negligible to moderate, short-term on mine area and adjacent areas Negligible, long term on mine area Negligible, short term on mine area

No impact due to mining 
 No impact due to mining 


No impact due to mining 
 No impact due to mining 


Negligible to moderate, short term on adjacent areas Negligible, short term on mine and adjacent areas Negligible, short term on mine area Negligible, short term on mine area Potential moderate, short term on mine area No impact on mine area Moderate, short-term on areas adjacent to facilities

No impact due to mining 
 No impact due to mining 
 No impact due to mining 
 No impact due to mining 
 No impact due to mining No impact due to mining No impact due to mining

Moderate, beneficial short term Moderate, beneficial short term Small, beneficial, short term Moderate, beneficial short term on mine area Moderate, beneficial short term on mine area Moderate, short term No impact due to mining

No impact due to mining No No No No No No impact impact impact impact impact impact due due due due due due to to to to to to mining mining mining mining mining mining

Refer to Sections 4.0 through 4.5 for a discussion on magnitude of impacts. All impacts are assumed to be adverse unless noted otherwise.

Final EIS P&M Land Exchange

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2.0 Proposed Action and Alternatives Table 2-5. Summary Comparison of Magnitude and Duration of Cumulative Impacts.1,
PROPOSED ACTION
2

DESCRIPTION OF POTENTIAL IMPACT BY RESOURCE RESOURCE NAME TOPOGRAPHY & PHYSIOGRAPHY RECOVERY OF COAL AND RECLAMATION could result in: Sixteen percent increase in area of topographic moderation due to surface coal mining Overlapping changes in topography due to coal and CBM development GEOLOGY AND MINERALS RECOVERY OF COAL AND RECLAMATION would result in: Sixteen percent increase in area of surface mining disturbance in area Overlapping impacts due to coal and CBM development SOILS RECOVERY OF COAL AND RECLAMATION could result in: Sixteen percent increase in area of surface mining disturbance and reclamation in area Overlapping soil disturbance due to coal mining and CBM development AIR QUALITY CUMULATIVE IMPACTS ASSOCIATED WITH MINING OPERATIONS AND WY PRB OIL AND GAS EIS ALTERNATIVE 1 AND MT OIL AND GAS EIS ALTERNATIVE E would include: Cumulative near-field concentrations of criteria pollutants Cumulative far-field concentrations of NO2 annual Cumulative far-field concentrations of PM10 24-hour Cumulative visibility impacts in mandatory Class I areas

MAGNITUDE TYPE AND DURATION OF IMPACT NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE

Moderate, long term on mine areas Negligible, short term on mine areas

No added impact due to Ash 
 Creek Mine
 Same as Proposed Action for 
 existing surface mines 
 No added impact due to Ash 
 Creek Mine
 Same as Proposed Action for 
 existing surface mines
 No added impact due to Ash 
 Creek Mine
 Same as Proposed Action for 
 existing surface mines 


Moderate, long term on mine areas Moderate, short term on mine areas

Moderate, beneficial and adverse, long term on mine areas Moderate, short term

Acidification of sensitive lakes

Above PSD Class II increment for PM10 24-hour. Concentrations of other pollutants below increments Above PSD Class I increment in Northern Cheyenne Reservation. Concentrations in other areas are below increments. Above PSD Class I increment in Northern Cheyenne Reservation and Washakie Wilderness. Concentrations in other areas are below increments. Potential impacts range from 3 days above 1 dV at Red Rock Lakes Wilderness to 32 days above 1 dV at Wind Cave National Park. Potential maximum deciview change is 29 dV at UL Bend Wilderness. Potential impacts are 180 percent of the level of acceptable change (LAC) in Upper Frozen Lake and 104 percent of the LAX in Florence Lake. Impacts at other lakes are below the LAC.

Same as Proposed Action 
 Same as Proposed Action 
 Same as Proposed Action 
 Same as Proposed Action 


Same as Proposed Action 


1 2

Refer to Section 4.8 for a discussion of cumulative impacts. All im pacts are assumed to be adverse unless noted otherwise.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

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2.0 Proposed Action and Alternatives Table 2-5. Summary Comparison of Magnitude and Duration of Cumulative Impacts1, 2 (Continued).
MAGNITUDE TYPE AND DURATION OF IMPACT PROPOSED ACTION NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE

DESCRIPTION OF POTENTIAL IMPACT BY RESOURCE RESOURCE NAME WATER RESOURCES SURFACE WATER IMPACTS TO SURFACE WATER could result in: Overlapping drainage basin disturbances and decreased flows due to surface coal mining Offsetting changes in surface flow due to overlapping impacts of CBM development and surface coal mining GROUNDWATER IMPACTS ON GROUNDWATER could result in: Overlapping impact between mines due to replacing coal aquifers with backfill aquifers Overlapping drawdown in the coal and alluvial aquifers between surface mines Overlapping drawdown in the coal aquifer due to surface mining and CBM development Water-level decline in the sub-Dietz 3 coal aquifers Change in groundwater quality as a result of mining ALLUVIAL VALLEY FLOORS WETLANDS Removal of existing wetlands VEGETATION RECOVERY OF COAL AND RECLAMATION would result in: Sixteen percent increase in area of vegetation disturbance and reseeding due to coal mining Overlapping vegetation disturbance due to coal mining and CBM development
1 2

Negligible, short term Negligible, short-term, beneficial

Same as Proposed Action for 
 existing surface mines 
 Same as Proposed Action for 
 existing surface mines 


No cumulative impacts anticipated on mine areas Negligible, short to long term Moderate, short term No cumulative impacts anticipated in mine areas No cumulative impacts anticipated in mine areas No cumulative impacts anticipated on mine areas No cumulative impacts anticipated on mine areas

Same as Proposed Action for 
 existing surface mines 
 Same as Proposed Action for 
 existing surface mines 
 Same as Proposed Action for 
 existing surface mines 
 Same as Proposed Action for 
 existing surface mines 
 Same as Proposed Action for 
 existing surface mine areas 
 Same as Proposed Action for 
 existing surface mine areas 
 Same as Proposed Action for 
 existing surface mine areas 
 No added impacts due to Ash 
 Creek Mine
 Same as Proposed Action for 
 existing surface mines 


Moderate, long term on mine areas Moderate, short term

Refer to Section 4.8 for a discussion of cumulative impacts. All impacts are assumed to be adverse unless noted otherwise.

Final EIS P&M Land Exchange

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2.0 Proposed Action and Alternatives Table 2-5. Summary Comparison of Magnitude and Duration of Cumulative Impacts1, 2 (Continued).
MAGNITUDE TYPE AND DURATION OF IMPACT PROPOSED ACTION NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE

DESCRIPTION OF POTENTIAL IMPACT BY RESOURCE RESOURCE NAME WILDLIFE IMPACTS ON WILDLIFE FROM OVERLAPPING SURFACE MINING AND OTHER DEVELOPMENT could result in: Loss of pronghorn habitat Mule deer and white-tailed deer population reduction Reduction in raptor nesting sites and foraging habitat Reduction in sage grouse leks Loss of nesting and foraging habitat for Migratory Birds of Management Concern Reduction in waterfowl habitat Reduction in wildlife habitat diversity Reduction in some wildlife carrying capacity THREATENED, ENDANGERED, PROPOSED, AND CANDIDATE SPECIES See Appendix E and T&E section in Table 2-4 LAND USE AND RECREATION IMPACTS ON LAND USE could result in: Loss of agricultural production Disruption of oil and gas development/production Reduction of wildlife habitat IMPACTS ON RECREATION could result in: Loss of access to lands used by recreationists, particularly hunting CULTURAL RESOURCES NATIVE AMERICAN CONCERNS
1 2

Moderate, short term Negligible, short term Negligible, short term Moderate, short term Negligible, short term Minor, short term Moderate, long term on mine areas Moderate, long term on mine areas

No added impacts due Creek Mine
 No added impacts due Creek Mine
 No added impacts due Creek Mine
 No added impacts due Creek Mine
 No added impacts due Creek Mine
 No added impacts due Creek Mine
 No added impacts due Creek Mine
 No added impacts due Creek Mine


to Ash 
 to Ash 
 to Ash 
 to Ash 
 to Ash 
 to Ash 
 to Ash 
 to Ash 


Moderate, short term on mine areas Moderate to significant, short term on mine areas Moderate, short term on mine areas Negligible, short term on mine areas Sites eligible for NRHP would be mitigated on mine areas. Ineligible sites may be destroyed. No impact identified on mine areas

No added impacts due to Ash 
 Creek Mine
 Same as Proposed Action for 
 existing surface mine areas 
 No added impacts due to Ash 
 Creek Mine
 No added impacts due to Ash 
 Creek Mine
 Same as Proposed Action for 
 existing surface mines 
 No added impacts due to Ash 
 Creek Mine


Refer to Section 4.8 for a discussion of cumulative impacts. All impacts are assumed to be adverse unless noted otherwise.

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2.0 Proposed Action and Alternatives Table 2-5. Summary Comparison of Magnitude and Duration of Cumulative Impacts1, 2 (Continued).
MAGNITUDE TYPE AND DURATION OF IMPACT PROPOSED ACTION No impact identified on mine areas No overlapping impacts with existing mines No overlapping impact with existing mines Negligible, short term NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE No added impacts due to Ash Creek Mine No added impacts due to Ash Creek Mine No added impacts due to Ash Creek Mine No added impacts due to Ash Creek Mine No added impacts due to Ash Creek Mine No added impacts due to Ash Creek Mine No added impacts due to Ash Creek Mine

DESCRIPTION OF POTENTIAL IMPACT BY RESOURCE RESOURCE NAME PALEONTOLOGICAL RESOURCES VISUAL RESOURCES Impacts on visual resources by mining activities NOISE TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES Increased use of existing transportation facilities SOCIOECONOMICS IMPACTS ON SOCIOECONOMICS could include: Stabilization of municipal and county economics Employment Federal, State, and Community Tax Revenues
1 2

Moderate, beneficial, short term Moderate, beneficial, short term Significant, beneficial, short term

Refer to Section 4.8 for a discussion of cumulative impacts. All impacts are assumed to be adverse unless noted otherwise.

Final EIS P&M Land Exchange

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3.0 Affected Environment 3.0 AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT are comprised of nine distinct tracts (Figures 1-1 and 1-2). These nine tracts include approximately 3,086 acres within and adjacent to the southern end of the BTNF. There are seven western tracts and two eastern tracts. As shown in Figure 1-2, the western tracts and part of one of the eastern tracts are inside the BTNF. As discussed in Chapter 1, USFS would administer the lands inside the BTNF and the BLM would administer the lands outside the BTNF if an exchange is completed. Additional information about the Bridger lands is included in Appendix F. Topography and Physiography The Bridger lands occupy a portion of the southern end of the Idaho/Wyoming overthrust belt physiographic province. The dominant landforms in the region are northerly trending ridges and valleys which are subparallel to major and minor thrust fault traces. The eastern tracts occupy a portion of Mahogany Ridge. Geology and Mineral Resources Significant oil and gas reserves are present in the overthrust belt. WOGCC records indicate there has been no oil and gas test drilling on the Bridger lands. Coal deposits are also present in this area. The two eastern tracts are located along or near Mahogany Ridge, which is underlain by coal and lignite in the lower part of the Upper Cretaceous Frontier Formation. No coal mining activities have occurred on the Bridger lands. Coal production from Lincoln County has been largely 3-1

This chapter describes the existing conditions of the physical, biological, cultural, and socioeconomic resources of the lands involved in the proposed exchange. The resources that have been identified on the lands that BLM1 would acquire are summarized in Sections 3.1, 3.2, and 3.3. The resources on the PSO Tract that could be affected by mining operations are described in Section 3.4. The resources that are addressed here were identified during the scoping process or interdisciplinary team review as having the potential to be affected. Critical elements of the human environment (BLM 1988b) that could potentially be present on one or more of the projects lands include air quality, cultural resources, Native American religious concerns, T&E species, hazardous or solid wastes, water quality, wetlands/riparian zones, floodplains, invasive non-native species, environmental justice, and areas of critical environmental concern. T&E species are addressed in Appendix E. Prime or unique farmlands, wild and scenic rivers, and wilderness are not present in the project areas and are not addressed further. 3.1 Bridger Lands

The Bridger lands, located in eastcentral Lincoln County, Wyoming,
Refer to page ix for a list of abbreviations and acronyms used in this document.
1

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment from a surface mine located approximately 20 miles south of the Bridger lands. Water Resources The western Bridger lands are located along tributaries to the Hams Fork, a south-flowing tributary of the Green River. The eastern tracts are located along tributaries of Fontenelle Creek, an eastward flowing tributary of the Green River. Perennial and ephemeral streams flow through portions of many of the Bridger lands. There are no known wetlands on the Bridger lands; however, riparian habitat is present on several of the tracts. Soils The western Bridger lands are characterized by soils that are high in clay and are subject to compaction and to accelerated erosion when disturbed. According to USFS information, the majority of the soils in the Bridger lands are considered to be “sensitive ground”, which implies soils with a high erosion and compaction hazard and severe revegetation limitations. Vegetation The western Bridger lands are predominantly forested with mixed aspen-conifer species. The major vegetation types on these tracts include lodgepole pine, sagebrush, mountain mahogany, aspen, and willow. Lodgepole pine is the dominant tree species. In this area, 3-2 lodgepole pine occurs in patches which may range in size from a few acres up to several thousand acres but are more typically several hundred acres in size. The lodgepole pine patches are broken up across the landscape by riparian areas dominated by willow; open sagebrush/grass areas and parks; wide bare ridgelines; aspen patches and stringers; and spruce-fir forested areas. The two eastern tracts are generally unimproved rangeland. On these eastern tracts, vegetation includes mountain big sage, lodgepole pine, mountain mahogany, and grasses. See Appendix E for discussion of threatened, endangered, proposed, and candidate plant species that USFWS has identified as potentially present in this area, and plant species that USFS and BLM have identified as potentially present Sensitive Species in the area of the Bridger lands. Wildlife The Bridger lands proposed for BLM acquisition (the eastern tracts) include designated elk parturition, winter and transition range, mule deer winter and yearlong range, spring, summer, and fall range for the Sublette antelope herd, and moose yearlong and crucial winter range. The Bridger lands proposed for USFS acquisition (western tracts and a portion of one eastern tract) provide habitat for many wildlife species. Species present include small animals such as hares, Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment grouse, beavers, neo-tropical migrant birds, and coyotes. Harvested animals such as elk, deer, moose, mountain lions, and black bears are present as well as a number of threatened, endangered, proposed, candidate, and sensitive species. The USFS Bridger tracts serve as summer, winter, and parturition range for these species and also contain important migration corridors between summer and winter ranges. The USFS Bridger tracts include spring, summer, and fall range for a portion of the West Green River elk herd and important travel corridors between summer and winter range. This elk herd does not rely on permanent feedgrounds to sustain the population during winter months, although the elk have been fed on an emergency basis during severe winters. This area is still relatively remote. The western tracts lie within a “security” range extending along Commissary Ridge. By definition, elk security habitat must be more than one half mile from roads and at least 250 or more contiguous acres. The USFS Bridger tracts provide parturition and crucial winter range as well as spring, summer, and fall range for the Lincoln moose herd, one of the largest moose populations in the state. Moose in this herd unit utilize a variety of plant communities that are found on the USFS Bridger tracts. The USFS Bridger tracts provide spring, summer, and fall range for the Wyoming Range mule deer herd, the largest mule deer herd in the Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange state. They also provide spring, summer, and fall range for the Sublette antelope herd. Colorado River cutthroat trout are known or suspected to occupy the streams within many of the Bridger lands. See Appendix E for discussion of threatened, endangered, proposed, and candidate wildlife species that USFWS has identified as potentially present in this area, and wildlife species that USFS and BLM have identified as potentially present Sensitive Species in the area of the Bridger lands. Land Use The rugged nature of this portion of the Wyoming Range has prevented most commercial development. Five of the seven western tracts (inside the BTNF) have recently been or are currently being logged to recover marketable timber. Recent forest fires have encroached near the tracts and fire fighting crews have used available roads for access. The eastern tracts are largely undisturbed and unimproved native rangeland, which are used for livestock grazing. The Bridger lands outside the BTNF, which BLM would acquire, include a total of 118 AUMs. These lands are unfenced from the South LaBarge Common allotment, and the BLM Pinedale Field Office credits the grazing permittee for inclusion of these private AUMs into the grazing permit.

3-3

3.0 Affected Environment Public lands (USFS or BLM) surround all of the Bridger lands; therefore, public recreation has been a major use of the Bridger lands in recent years. Under current ownership, sportsmen have been allowed across these lands to access the adjacent BLM and USFS lands. All of the tracts have been used for hunting and, where appropriate, for fishing activities. Several of the tracts include many sites suitable for dispersed camping. Other recreational uses include hiking, wildlife observation, off-road vehicle use, and photography. Transportation The Bridger lands are accessed by two principal roads. The eastern tracts, located along Mahogany Ridge and Fontenelle Creek, are reached by improved aggregatesurfaced roads leading north from U.S. Highway 189 north of Kemmerer and generally up Fontenelle Creek. An unimproved two-track jeep trail crosses the southern-most tract; however, access across Fontenelle Creek is limited. Access to the western tracts is by way of an improved county road that follows the Hams Fork upstream to the Hams Fork Campground. The Hams Fork Campground is located about one mile west of the nearest tract. Jeep trails to some of the tracts from the main road have recently been improved for the purpose of supporting logging operations currently underway on several of the tracts. Cultural Resources No formal cultural resources inventory is known for the Bridger lands outside the BTNF (proposed for BLM acquisition). Mahogany Ridge is a hogsback uplift containing numerous rock outcrops and ledges which might hold prehistoric rock shelters, but none are known. Burnt Bend on Fontenelle Creek may contain historic period resources, as numerous cabins, line shacks and other stock maintenance locales are found on adjacent and similar portions of Fontenelle Creek, Coal Creek and Rock Creek. Similarly, prehistoric camp sites are expected on the terraces of Fontenelle Creek, preserved in the alluvial soils found there. Overall, however, the project area is one of low to moderate cultural resource potential. No historic or prehistoric sites are known to exist on any of the western parcels (inside the BTNF). The USFS Kemmerer District has 49 recorded Heritage resources sites. Of these, 25 are prehistoric and the remaining 24 are historic. Most of the prehistoric sites are small lithic scatters indicative of temporary campsites utilized by nomadic hunters and gatherers. Artifacts recovered from these sites suggest that most of them date to the last 3,000 years; however, one site contained material suggesting an age of over 8,000 years. Native American Consultation The Mahogany Site, a prehistoric pictograph site of reported Ute affinity, is located a few miles from 3-4 Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment the eastern tracts. This site is a rare and significant rock art locality and is considered an important site to modern day Native Americans (the Shoshone and Ute, specifically). While no sites of interest to or considered sensitive by modern Tribal individuals are known for any of the lands proposed for acquisition, consultation and/or site visits have not been conducted. Thus, it would be premature to rule out the presence of localities considered important to modern Tribal interests. 3.2 JO Ranch Lands gas wells on the lands proposed for exchange. Portions of the JO Ranch lands are underlain by coal beds. The coal in this area is not economically mineable and there are no operating coal mines in this area. There is proposed development in the area of the lands proposed for exchange. One CBM test well was drilled in 1999 on one 40-acre lot included in the exchange proposal; however, there is no record of any production from that well. A search of the WOGCC records in March 2003 revealed that there are no CBM wells completed or permitted to be drilled within the JO Ranch lands tract. Water Resources Cow Creek is a southwest-flowing ephemeral drainage (Figure 1-3). Cow Creek and its tributaries drain the western foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains. Cow Creek joins Muddy Creek, a tributary of the Little Snake River, about one mile southwest of the JO Ranch lands. Soils In general, soils in the area were formed under a dry, cool climate with spring moisture, have low organic matter, and are formed from residuum on bedrock-controlled uplands and in alluvium associated with streambeds and floodplains. Shallow soils occur on areas underlain by bedrock and in areas of steeper topography. Deep soils are present on alluvial deposits. Soil productivity is naturally low because low precipitation rates produce limited vegetation cover, 3-5

The JO Ranch property, located in southwest Carbon County, Wyoming, includes approximately 1,236.5 acres that are primarily along the valley floor of Cow Creek (Figures 1-1 and 1-3). Topography and Physiography Cow Creek and its tributaries drain the western foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains. West of Cow Creek, the area is described as gently rolling topography. To the east of Cow Creek the slopes rise gradually upward forming the deeply dissected foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains. Geology and Mineral Resources The JO Ranch lands are located in the Washakie Basin, which contains oil and gas reserves. There are actively producing conventional oil and gas wells in the vicinity of the JO Ranch lands but, according to WOGCC records, there are currently no producing conventional oil and Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment consequently limited organic matter for the soil is available. Vegetation The bottom lands along Cow Creek are mostly a riparian-grassland habitat type, dominated by Nebraska sedge, beaked sedge, tufted hairgrass, redtop, Kentucky bluegrass, and a variety of forbs. At the upper end of the creek there are willows and waterbirch. The uplands consist of Wyoming big sagebrush and mixed grass habitat types, with local areas along the west boundary containing a high percentage of bitterbrush. The northern portion of the JO Ranch lands lies at the edge of the Sand Hills (Figure 1-3), which contain a mixture of shrubs including silver sagebrush, basin big sagebrush, Douglas and rubber rabbitbrush, bitterbrush, rose, serviceberry, snowberry, and chokecherry. Needle-and-thread grass and prairie sandreed are the dominant grasses along with other grasses and forbs. The overall condition of these plant communities is good. Thistles may be present in the meadow habitat, but no noxious plant species are known to occur in this area. Both the riparian and sand hills plant communities are important in terms of the plant and animal life they support and neither are very common in terms of total acreage in this area. See Appendix E for discussion of threatened, endangered, proposed, and candidate plant species the USFWS has identified as potentially present in this area, and plant species that USFS and/or BLM have 3-6 Wildlife The portion of Cow Creek included in the exchange proposal has live water and is considered a willow riparian/meadow grassland type of habitat. The northern portions of the JO Ranch lands fall within the area that is known as the Sand Hills, which is a unique upland habitat. The JO Ranch lands include both mule deer and elk crucial winter range and mule deer, elk, and antelope winter/yearlong range. This area is part of the Baggs Elk Crucial Winter Range Management Area. The area falls within the two-mile buffer of ten Greater sage grouse leks, but no leks have been identified on the JO Ranch lands. This area is considered good nesting and brood rearing habitat for Greater sage grouse. The area may be important to Columbia sharptailed grouse since these birds are expanding their range into areas adjacent to these parcels. No raptors have been identified on the lands proposed for exchange, but several historic ferruginous and golden eagle nests have been identified within one-quarter mile. The portion of Cow Creek included in the exchange proposal could include habitat for non-game BLM sensitive fish species such as roundtail chubs, flannelmouth suckers, and bluehead suckers. Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange identified as potentially present Sensitive Species in the area of the JO Ranch lands.

3.0 Affected Environment See Appendix E for discussion of threatened, endangered, proposed, and candidate wildlife species that USFWS has identified as potentially present in this area, and wildlife species that USFS and/or BLM have identified as potentially present Sensitive Species in the area of the JO Ranch lands. Land Use Livestock production, both cattle and sheep, and supplemental hay production for winter feed have historically been and remain the principal uses of the JO Ranch lands. Currently the property is leased for the purpose of cattle grazing. The lands immediately adjacent to and surrounding the JO Ranch property are federal or state surface and have also historically been used primarily for sheep and cattle production. The JO Ranch lands are generally unimproved. Recreational uses of the JO Ranch lands are primarily associated with pronghorn antelope, mule deer, elk, and sage grouse hunting. The extensive public lands surrounding the JO Ranch property are readily accessible and therefore important to hunters. Other than fall hunting activity, the area attracts limited numbers of recreationists engaged in back county camping and hiking, rock hounding, wildlife observation, offroad vehicle use, outdoor photography, and scenic touring. Cultural The JO Ranch lands include the JO Ranch or Rankin Ranch buildings, Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange which are a collection of stone buildings that date from the late 1800s. These buildings are eligible for National Historic Site status. Native American Consultation No sites of interest to or considered sensitive by modern Tribal individuals are known for the lands proposed for acquisition. Consultation and/or site visits have not been conducted. Transportation The property is accessed by improved aggregate-surfaced roads off of Wyoming State Highway 789 approximately 20 miles north of Baggs, Wyoming. There are numerous two-track ranch roads located throughout the property. 3.3 Welch Lands

The Welch lands, located in northcentral Sheridan County, Wyoming, are in the same general area as the PSO Tract (the federal coal lands that P&M proposes to acquire in Sheridan County), which is described below in Section 3.4 (Figure 3-1). The Welch lands are located in the PRB, a part of the Northern Great Plains which includes most of northeastern Wyoming and a portion of southeastern Montana. The Big Horn Mountains are within sight of the Welch lands to the west. Topography and Physiography The Welch lands occupy a portion of the Tongue River valley floor and the adjacent dissected uplands between 3-7

3.0 Affected Environment
R. 37 E. R. 37 E. R. 38 E. R. 38 E. R. 39 E. R. 39 E. R. 40 E. R. 40 E. R. 41 E.

T. 7 S.

314

T. 7 S. T. 8 S.

Crow Indian Reservation Boundary

T. 8 S.

Spring Creek Coal Mine

r Rive Re ser voi r

T. 8 S. T. 9 S.

T. 8 S. T. 9 S.

Tong ue

West Decker Coal Mine

T. 9 S.

PSO TRACT Big Horn County, Montana
R. 86 W. R. 85 W. T. 9 S. T. 10 S. R. 37 E. R. 38 E. R. 85 W. R. 84 W. T. 9 S. T. 10 S. R. 38 E. R. 39 E. R. 84 W.

DECKER

East Decker Coal Mine
T. 9 S.

R. 37 E. T. 58 N. T. 58 N. T. 57 N.

R. 39 E. R 40 E. R. 83 W. R. 83 W.

R. 40 E. R 41 E. R. 82 W. T. 58 N. T. 58 N.

Sheridan County, Wyoming
Ton gue Riv er

338

Ra ilro ad

BN SF Ra ilro ad

Big Horn Coal Mine (Reclaimed)

WELCH LANDS

RANCHESTER

Tongue R iver
T. 57 N. T. 56 N.
336

T. 57 N. T. 56 N.

BNSF

Old Surface Coal Mine (Reclaimed)

T. 57 N.

ek Cre ose Go

SHERIDAN

BN SF Ra ilroa d

T. 56 N. T. 55 N.

SCALE: 1" = 20,000'

331

T. 56 N. T. 55 N.

R. 86 W. R. 85 W.

R. 85 W. R. 84 W.

R. 84 W. R. 83 W.

R. 83 W. R. 82 W.

Figure 3-1. General Analysis Area.

3-8

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment Ash Creek and Hidden Water Creek, both tributaries of the Tongue River (Figures 1-4 and 3-2). Geology and Mineral Resources The Welch lands are underlain by coal. There is a long history of coal mining activities in the Sheridan Coal Field. Coal was mined extensively from some surface strip mines and numerous underground mines that were located primarily along the Tongue River upstream of the Welch lands. Coal beds that were mined in this area include, in descending order, the Dietz 2, Dietz 3, Monarch, and Carney. Underground coal mining began in the late 1800s and continued into the early 1950s. Many square miles of room and pillar underground mine workings extend on both sides of the confluence of Goose Creek with the Tongue River, located about three miles south-southwest of the Welch lands. The closest underground mine, the Acme Mine No. 42, extends beneath a portion of the Welch lands (Figure 3-3). Maps of the Acme Mine that were prepared in 1940 show the approximate extent of mining at that time. According to a U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper on this area (Dunrud and Osterwald 1980), this mine was active from 1911 through 1940 and produced coal from the Monarch coal bed. According to the book ‘Black Diamonds of Sheridan’ (Kuzara 1977), mining in the Acme Mine No. 42 continued until about 1942. Taff, in USGS Bulletin 341-B (Taff 1909) mentions the Evans mine, where coal was mined for domestic use prior to 1909. That publication Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange reports an Evans mine along the west bank of the Tongue River in the south half of Section 2, T.57N., R.84W. This suggests the possibility that underground mine workings exist on the Welch lands beyond the mapped limits. The underground mines in the Sheridan Coal Field were all closed and sealed off by 1953, following the railroad’s conversion from coal to petroleum fuel and the advent of surface coal mining. Roof collapses over the closed Acme Mine No. 42 led to the development of underground coal fires in the Monarch and possibly Carney coal beds. Most of these fires apparently started in the abandoned underground mines by spontaneous combustion when oxygen and water were introduced to the mine workings through subsidence cracks and pits and unsealed portals or shafts (Dunrud and Osterwald 1980). The Monarch has been burning sporadically for many years. As the fire advances in the Monarch bed, the overburden collapses, the overlying Dietz 3 and Dietz 2 beds also collapse, and the resulting subsidence fractures and cracks may be allowing air to circulate and cause these overlying coal beds to catch on fire as well (Figure 3-3). The WDEQ/AMLD has conducted a number of reclamation and emergency rehabilitation projects over the past 20 years in attempts to extinguish these fires. Mine maps obtained from OSM’s Mine Map Repository show that most of the Monarch coal seam in the SE¼ SE¼ of Section 3, T.57N., R84W., which is included in the Welch lands area, was mined out as 3-9

Hi gh w ay 33 8

3-10
R. 84 W.
gs Youn

Hatched Area Shows Extent of Thunder Child Range Fire
Creek

3.0 Affected Environment

h As

Roa d
Road

Cr ee k

Welch Lands

T. 58 N.

T. 58 N. T. 57 N.

Figure 3-2. Welch Lands and Extent of Thunder Child Range Fire.
Current Coal Fire Area
er Riv ue g Ton

T. 57 N.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Area Detailed in Figure 3-3

Note: Extent of range fire courtesy of Julie Gerlach (2003)

R. 84 W.

R. 84 W.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange
3 11 10 2

T. 57 N.
iver eR ngu To

SCALE: 1" = 1000' Current Welch Ranch Coal Fire Area Area of 1987 Acme Mine Fire Reclamation Project 8-13 (OSM/AML Firehole Draw Project) Area of Acme Mine Fire in 1978 (from Dunrud and Osterwald 1980)

Figure 3-3. Extent of Underground Acme Mine and Coal Fire Areas on the Welch Lands and Vicinity.

LEGEND
Area of Acme Mine Fires in 1940's (from OSMRE Mine Map Repository) Mined Out Areas of Acme Mine No. 42 (from OSMRE Mine Map Repository) Southern Boundary of Welch Lands Eastern Extent of Thunder Child Range Fire (Courtesy of Julie Gerlach 2003)

3.0 Affected Environment

3-11


3.0 Affected Environment part of the Acme Mine No. 42 mining operations (Figure 3-3). A prehistoric burn line kept the mine from advancing further north. Only limited mining was shown in the SW¼ of Section 2, T.57N., R.84W. An underground coal fire is currently burning in the SW¼ SW¼ of Section 2 (Figure 3-3). This coal seam fire is probably related to the underground coal fires at the abandoned Acme Mine No. 42. Less likely alternatives are that the fire on the Welch lands originated from a spontaneous outcrop fire or resulted from roof collapse related to the small Evans mine mentioned in USGS Bulletin 341-B (Taff 1909) in this immediate area. Concerns expressed about the presence of this underground coal fire on lands the federal government is considering acquiring led to the preparation of a technical report on the coal fire by BLM in March 2003. This report is included as Appendix D in this EIS, and information from this report is summarized in the preceeding and following discussions. Figure 3-3 shows the known extent of the Acme mine fires in 1940, the known extent of the fires in 1978, the mined-out area of Acme Mine No. 42, and the area of current burning in Section 2, T.57N., R.84W. Based on this information, the coal mine fire has moved north several hundred feet in the past 24 years. The coal fire in Section 2, T.57N., R.84W. occupies a hillside between and north of two draws along the west bank of the Tongue River (Figure 3-3). The hillside is bare of 3-12 trees and shrubs; only grasses grow. Partly burned ponderosa pine and juniper trees are present along the perimeter of this area. The treeless area occupies approximately 13 acres. There is evidence, in the form of cracks and fissures as much as several feet deep, that the coal underlying the upper part of the hillside is actively burning at this time. Some of these fissures have been filled in. There are three coal beds present below the surface of the hillside, the Dietz 2, Dietz 3, and Monarch. The main burning at the site appears to be occurring in the Dietz 3 coal bed. Data are lacking as to whether the Monarch has burned at this site, although it has burned or is burning over a large area south of the Welch lands. In September of 2002, contractors for the WDEQ/AMLD worked onsite to stabilize the north end of the fire on the Welch lands. The smaller cracks were excavated to the base of each crack (six to eight feet on average), filled with two feet of crushed scoria fines and backfilled the rest of the way with country rock. The larger cracks were filled with a slurry of scoria fines and water. A visit to the site by BLM Buffalo Field Office personnel in February 2003 found that this action did not extinguish the fire (see Appendix D). A wild fire, the Thunder Child Range Fire, burned 5,207 acres, including portions of the Welch lands, in late July of 2001 (Figure 3-2). The fire originated in the vicinity of the underground coal seam fire in the Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment SW¼ of Section 2, T.57N., R.84W. The cause of the fire is undetermined, but potential causes include a lightning storm and/or the underground coal seam fire (see additional discussion in Appendix D). P&M acquired its ownership in the Welch lands in October 1998. The previous owners obtained a permit to mine coal in a portion of the Welch lands in 1979 and began stripping topsoil to access shallow coal reserves on the property. A short haul road was also constructed. Plans to mine the area were canceled and, because minor surface disturbance had occurred and mining was not anticipated in the foreseeable future, the disturbed area was reclaimed under the direction of WDEQ in 1999. Currently there are no active surface coal mines in Sheridan County, although large-scale surface mining is being conducted approximately eight miles northeast of the Welch lands in Montana. In the past few years CBM has been developed in this area (refer to Section 3.4.3 for additional discussion of CBM development in this area). A search of the WOGCC records in March 2003 revealed that there are 16 CBM wells permitted to be drilled within the Welch lands. Water Resources Approximately 1.5 miles of the Tongue River runs through the eastern portion of the Welch lands. The river and riparian area lie within an AVF. Soils The soils in the area of the Tongue River valley are dominated by very deep soils on the flood plain, low terraces, and alluvial fans. The soil association is described as a Haverdad-Ziegweid-Nuncho. The soils developed predominantly in residuum on the upland areas are very similar to those soils on the PSO Tract listed in Section 3.4.4. Vegetation The vegetation along the portion of the Tongue River that runs through the eastern portion of the Welch lands includes late seral cottonwood, green ash, and chokecherry. This riparian area is in proper functioning condition. The meadows along the river are irrigated under a territorial water right for hay production. The river and riparian area lie within an AVF, which contains the highest diversity of vegetation and wildlife on the Welch lands and is in pristine condition. The upland areas on the property contain sagebrush/grasslands intermixed with skunkbush sumac and ponderosa pine and juniper stands. Several draws contain green ash, chokecherry and hawthorne shrubs. A large portion of the upland woodlands was burned in a July 2001 wildfire, the Thunder Child Range Fire discussed above. See Appendix E for discussion of threatened, endangered, proposed, and candidate species that USFWS has identified as potentially present 3-13

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment in this area, and plant species that USFS and/or BLM have identified as potentially present Sensitive Species in the area of the Welch lands. Wildlife Wildlife typically present on the Welch lands include antelope, mule deer, white-tailed deer, coyote, fox, sage grouse, sharp-tail grouse, turkey, grey partridge, pheasant, waterfowl, golden eagle, red-tailed hawk, turkey vulture, and numerous non-game birds and mammals. Other species observed or known to frequent the Welch lands include bald eagle, cormorant, blue heron, mountain lion, blackbear, bobcat, and elk. The Tongue River along this stretch is a transition zone between coldwater and warm-water fish species and contains small-mouth bass, sauger, walleye, catfish, brown trout, and numerous non-game species. See Appendix E for discussion of threatened, endangered, proposed, and candidate wildlife species that USFWS has identified a potentially present in this area, and wildlife species that USFS and/or BLM have identified as potentially present Sensitive Species in the area of the Welch lands. Ownership and Use of Land The surface of the Welch lands is owned by P&M, the oil and gas estate is privately owned, and the coal estate is privately owned (owned by P&M) and federally owned (unleased). P&M surface and coal 3-14 estate rights are included in the exchange proposal. The property consists predominantly of unimproved rangeland, scattered pine and juniper forests in deep drainages, and hay croplands typical of a flood and subirrigated AVF. A large portion of the upland woodlands was burned in a July 2001 wildfire. Historically, the property has been used principally for livestock grazing, with crop production concentrated along portions of the valley floor of the Tongue River. Since the property was settled in the early 1900s, grazing practices have been relatively unchanged. The current surface leaseholder grazes a small number of cattle in the area. Currently, development and associated disturbance on the property include an irrigation ditch, a diversion dam, fences, utility easements, a reclaimed gravel pit, reclaimed surface mine operations (described in the section on Geology and Mineral Resources), the previously mentioned area where contractors for the WDEQ/AMLD worked onsite to stabilize the north end of the coal fire on the Welch lands, and unimproved dirt roads and trails. Recreational opportunities on the lands include big game and game bird hunting (both upland and waterfowl) and sport fishing. The Tongue River valley offers a greater diversity of game bird habitat than is found on the adjacent lands, and the Tongue River in this area is a good small-mouth bass fishery Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment resource. White-tailed deer hunters may also experience success on the Welch lands because the denser riparian vegetation within the Tongue River valley is a habitat that is preferred by the deer. In addition, the two-track ranch roads and trails that traverse the property provide access for other outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and photography. The federal coal included in the lands proposed for exchange is unleased. The oil and gas estate is privately owned. There has been no oil and gas exploration or development on the Welch lands; however, CBM wells have been drilled in the area and CBM wells are permitted to be drilled on the Welch lands. Cultural Resources The Welch lands have been inventoried at the Class III level, a number of sites have been tested, and 44 sites are recorded, including 27 lithic scatters, two quarries, six camps or occupations, three historic homesteads or structural remains, one wagon mine, one historic bridge, and two prehistoric lithic scatters associated with sheepherder’s monuments or historic cairns. The Welch lands are located adjacent to Tongue River and close to the Thunder Child Treatment Center. Native American Consultation None of the inventoried sites included in the Welch lands are known to be of interest to or considered sensitive by modern Tribal individuals. Consultation Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange and/or site visits have not been conducted. If these lands are acquired by the BLM, consultation would take place when management of these lands is incorporated into the Resource Management Plan for Public Lands Administered by the BLM Buffalo Field Office. Transportation The Welch lands can be accessed from Sheridan via Wyoming State Highway 338 (Figure 1-4). Several unimproved two-track ranch roads serve the property both from Highway 338 and from the Ash Creek Road located just north of the property. 3.4 PSO Tract

The following paragraphs describe the resources present on the PSO Tract. PSO would acquire the federal coal underlying the PSO Tract if the exchange is completed. The resources present on the PSO Tract are described in some detail because P&M proposes to mine the coal under these lands if the exchange is completed. Because of the proximity of the PSO Tract to the Welch lands, there are many similarities in the affected environment for both tracts (Figure 3-1). 3.4.1 General Setting

The PSO Tract, like the Welch lands, is located in the PRB, a part of the Northern Great Plains which includes most of northeastern Wyoming and a large portion of southeastern Montana. Vegetation is primarily sagebrush, mixed 3-15

3.0 Affected Environment prairie grass, and ponderosa pine with a shrub understory. The climate is semi-arid and characterized by cold winters, warm summers and a large variation in annual and seasonal temperature and precipitation. Wind, precipitation, and temperature patterns in the study area are significantly affected by the Big Horn Mountain range, which is within sight of the project area to the west. The average annual precipitation at Sheridan (Figure 3-1) for the period of record 1920-2000 is just over 15 inches (WRCC 2001). The annual precipitation records for the period of record 1949-1974 near the Decker Coal Mine (Figure 3-1) ranged from a low of about 6.5 inches in 1960 to a high of about 17.6 inches in 1968, with an average of about 11.8 inches. About 45 percent of the annual precipitation falls in the threemonth period April through June. In Sheridan, June (2.79 inches) and May (2.54 inches) are the wettest months, and February (0.48 inch) is the driest. Nearly 30 percent of the annual precipitation falls as snow from October through March. Snowfall averages 44.8 inches per year, with most occurring in March (9.2 inches) and January (7.6 inches). The remainder of the annual precipitation generally occurs as summer thunderstorms, and most flooding in the area occurs in response to high-intensity thunderstorms of comparatively short duration. Potential evapotranspiration at approximately 22 inches (Martner 1986) exceeds annual precipitation. 3-16 The seasonal and daily variations between maximum and minimum temperatures are often extreme. Temperatures at Sheridan have historically ranged from 106qF to minus 37qF, while the temperatures in the Tongue River valley approximately 30 miles north of the project area have been recorded to range from 107qF to minus 45qF. July is the warmest month, with a mean daily temperature of 69.6qF, and January is the coldest month with a mean daily temperature of 19qF. The frost-free period in Sheridan averages 125 days (WRCC 2001). Winds are greatly affected by local topography. The prevailing winds recorded by the Decker Coal Mine come from the northwestern, southern and northeastern directions. Winds blowing from the western half of the compass are generally faster than winds blowing from the eastern half. The greatest percentage of fast winds come from the northwest quadrant. The average wind velocity recorded in Sheridan is about eight mph; however, velocities in excess of 25 mph are common throughout the year. The fastest wind speed ever recorded at the Sheridan airport, 84 mph, was in November 1949. Hot, dry winds commonly blow during the summer and strong winds often accompany winter snow storms causing drifting. General information describing the area's resources were gathered from draft BLM Buffalo Field Office planning documents (BLM 1996a, 1996b, 1996c, 1996d, 1996f) and a Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment BLM coal 1996e). leasing study (BLM by a broad valley occupied by Little Youngs Creek and its confluence with Youngs Creek (Figure 2-2). Slopes range from nearly flat to over 60 percent. Slopes on the uplands and valley bottoms are generally between one and ten percent, while the bedrock areas along the valley edges exhibit the steeper slopes. Slope analyses would be done for the proposed Ash Creek Mine permit application if the exchange is completed. 3.4.3 Geology Stratigraphic units in the proposed Ash Creek Mine area that would be impacted if the exchange is completed and a mine is opened are, in descending order, recent (Quaternary age) alluvial and eolian deposits and the Paleocene age Fort Union Formation (which contains the target coal beds). Figure 3-4 shows two geologic cross-sections drawn through the proposed Ash Creek Mine area (one roughly northsouth and one northeastsouthwest). These cross sections are a basic representation of the geology in the vicinity of the PSO Tract. Figure 3-5 is a chart showing the stratigraphic relationships and hydrologic characteristics of the surface and subsurface geologic units in the area of the PSO Tract. Surficial deposits in the analysis area include Quaternary alluvial, colluvial and eolian deposits, clinker, and weathered Fort Union Formation. There are alluvial deposits, consisting of floodplain, stream and terrace deposits, along the area’s major drainages (Ash Creek, Youngs Creek, Little Youngs 3-17

3.4.2 Topography and Physiography The PRB is an elongated, asymmetrical structural downfold. It is bounded by the Casper Arch, Laramie Mountains, and Hartville Uplift to the south; the Miles City Arch in Montana to the north, the Big Horn Mountains on the west, and the Black Hills on the east. The PSO Tract is located near the northwest limb of the structural basin, near the Tongue River valley and within sight of the Big Horn Mountains. The PRB landscape consists of broad plains, low hills, and tablelands. Generally, the topography changes from open hills with 500-1,000 ft of relief in the northern part of the PRB to plains and tablelands with 300-500 ft of relief in the southern part. Playas are common in the basin, as are buttes and plateaus capped by clinker or sandstone. The PSO Tract lies within the drainages of Ash Creek and Youngs Creek. These perennial streams are tributaries of the Tongue River, which lies about three miles east and four miles south of the project area. Most of the project area consists of the dissected uplands between Ash Creek and Little Youngs Creek, a perennial tributary of Youngs Creek (Figure 2-2). The tributaries of these streams have dissected numerous deep, steeply sloping ravines that are separated by relatively flat rounded uplands. The eastern portion of the proposed Ash Creek Mine area, which overlies privately-owned coal, is dominated Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

WEST BRANCH

CROSS SECTION B - B'

3700

LITTLE YOUNGS CREEK

ELEVATION (ft-msl)

CROSS SECTION A - A'

3800 3600 3400 0 1000 2000 4000 5000 6000 DISTANCE (ft) SCALE: HORZ. 1'' = 2000', VERT. 1'' = 1000' 3000 7000

LITTLE YOUNGS CREEK

WEST BRANCH

Figure 3-4. Geologic Cross Sections for the Ash Creek Mine.

ELEVATION (ft-msl)

3-18
Dietz 2 Coal Dietz 3 Coal Dietz 1 Coal

4100 4100 3900 3700 3500 0 DISTANCE (ft)
 SCALE: HORZ. 1'' = 2000', VERT. 1'' = 1000'
 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000 9000 10000 11000 12000 3300


3900

3500

3.0 Affected Environment

3300

Dietz 1 Coal Dietz 3 Coal Fault

4000
Fault

Dietz 1 Coal

4000 3800 3600 8000 3400

Wyoming - Montana State Line
T. 10 S.
4 3 2 13 18 17

LEGEND
Clinker PSO Tract
U D

R. 38 E. R. 39 E. T. T. 32 10 9 1 S. S.
16

33

34

T. 9 S. U D
19 20

U T. 58 N. 24
21

D
22

23

24

T. 58 N. U D

Dietz 1 Coal Fault Locations Mining Boundary Dietz 3 Coal Alluvium

25

30

29

A
U D
36 31 32

28

27

26

25

33

34

35

36

R. 85 W. R. 84 W.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

CROSS SECTION LOCATION MAP SCALE: 1" = 10000'

3.0 Affected Environment
Geologic Unit RECENT ALLUVIUM
HOLOCENE

Hydrologic Characteristics
Typically fine grained and poorly sorted in intermittent drainages. Occasional very thin, clean interbedded sand lenses. Low yields and excessive dissolved solids generally make these aquifers unsuitable for domestic, agricultural and livestock usage. Low infiltration capacity unless covered by sandy eolian blanket. Baked and fused bedrock resulting from burning coal seams which ignite on the outcrop from lightning, manmade fires or spontaneous combustion. The reddish clinker (locally called scoria, red dog, etc.) formed by melting and partial fusing from the burning coal. The baked rock varies greatly in the degree of alteration; some is dense and glassy while some is vesicular and porous. It is commonly used as a road construction material and is an aquifer Lenticular fine sands interbedded in predominantly very fine grained siltstone and claystone may yield low to moderate quantities of poor to good quality water. The discontinuous nature and irregular geometry of these sand bodies result in low overall permeabilities and very slow groundwater movement in the overburden on a regional scale. Water quality in the Wasatch formation generally does not meet Wyoming Class I drinking water standards due to the dissolved mineral content. Some wells do, however, produce water of considerably better quality which does meet the Class I standard. The coal seams serve as regional groundwater aquifers and exhibit highly variable aquifer properties. Permeability and porosity associated with the coal arise almost entirely from fractures. Coal water typically does not meet Class I or Class II (irrigation) use standards. In most cases, water from coal wells is suitable for livestock use. The coal water is used throughout the region as a source of stock water and occasionally for domestic use.

CLINKER
HOLOCENE TO PLEISTOCENE

WASATCH FORMATION*
EOCENE

TONGUE RIVER MEMBER

FORT UNION FORMATION

PALEOCENE

LEBO MEMBER

The Lebo Member, also referred to as “The Lebo Confining Layer” has a mean thickness of 711 feet in the PRB and a thickness of about 400 feet in the vicinity of Gillette (Lewis and Hotchkiss 1981). The Lebo typically yields small quantities of poor quality groundwater. Where sand content is locally large, caused by channel or deltaic deposits, the Lebo may yield as much as 10 gpm (Lewis and Hotchkiss 1981).

TULLOCK MEMBER

The Tullock Member has a mean thickness of 785 feet in the PRB and a mean sand content of 53 percent which indicates that the unit generally functions well as a regional aquifer. Yields of 15 gpm are common but vary locally and may be as much as 40 gpm. Records from the SEO indicate that maximum yields of approximately 300 gpm have been achieved from this aquifer. Water quality in the Tullock Member often meets Class I standards. The extensive sandstone units in the Tullock Member are commonly developed regionally for domestic and industrial uses. The City of Gillette is currently using eight wells completed in this zone to meet part of its municipal water requirements. Sandstone and interbedded sandy shales and claystone provide yields generally of less than 20 gpm. Higher yields are sometimes achieved where sand thicknesses are greatest. Water quality is typically fair to good. Sandstone and sandy shales yield up to 200 gpm, however, yields are frequently significantly less. The water quality of the Fox Hills is generally good with TDS concentrations commonly less than 1000 mg/l. This unit is comprised predominantly of marine shales with only occasional local thin sandstone lenses. Maximum yields are minor and overall the unit is not water bearing. Water obtained from this unit is poor with high concentrations of sodium and sulfate as the predominant ions in solution.

UPPER CRETACEOUS

LANCE FORMATION FOX HILLS SANDSTONE

PIERRE SHALE

* Not present in the general area of the PSO lands.

Figure 3-5. Stratigraphic Relationships and Hydrologic Characteristics of Upper Cretaceous, Lower Tertiary, and Recent Geologic Units, Powder River Basin, Wyoming. (Compiled from Hodson et al. 1973 and Lewis and Hotchkiss 1981).

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3-19

3.0 Affected Environment Creek, and West Branch Little Youngs Creek). In general, these alluvial sediments are composed of interbedded silts and clays overlying beds of sand and gravel. Unconsolidated materials that occupy the bottom of the Little Youngs Creek drainage have a maximum thickness of about 40 ft, including as much as 23 ft of interbedded sand and gravel, generally overlain by finer-grained materials (Hedges et al. 1980). The gravel consists primarily of rounded to subrounded detrital clinker with a maximum particle size of approximately two inches in diameter (Ash Creek Mining Company 1984). Colluvium, sheetwash, and residual deposits derived from the Fort Union Formation bedrock occur on the uplands and slopes. The Eocene age Wasatch Formation is not present within the PSO Tract area. The Fort Union Formation is approximately 3,400 ft thick in this vicinity and consists primarily of interbedded shales, mudstones, siltstones, lenticular sandstones, and coal. It is divided into three members: Tongue River (which contains the target coal seams), Lebo, and Tullock, in descending order (Figure 3-5). The Tongue River Member consists of interbedded claystone, silty shale, carbonaceous shale and coal, with lesser amounts of fine-grained sandstone and siltstone. The clastic beds of the Tongue River Member were deposited on floodplains of large rivers, in river and stream 3-20 channels, or on deltas extending outward into swamps. The clastic beds tend to be lenticular in shape and of limited areal extent. As a result, the lithology of the strata often changes rapidly over short distances, making it difficult to characterize the exact lithology of the overburden or interburden for any great lateral distances. The Fort Union coal seams of mineable depth and thickness in the PSO Tract area include, in descending order, the Anderson and Dietz coal seams. The Anderson and Dietz seams are correlatable over a broad area. At the Decker Coal Mine, they are mined as the D1 and D2 seams. At the Big Horn Coal Mine the Dietz seam is correlatable with the Dietz 2 and Dietz 3 coals. The Anderson is stratigraphically higher than the mining disturbance at the Big Horn Coal Mine and generally occurs only as isolated remnants south and west of the PSO Tract (Ash Creek Mining Company 1984). Within the general Monarch, Wyoming and Decker, Montana area, the Fort Union coal seam nomenclature varies with respect to location and/or author (Law et al. 1979). The Anderson seam in the PSO Tract area is correlatable to and is also called the Dietz 1 seam. The Dietz 1 seam in the PSO Tract area is correlatable to and is also called the Dietz 2 seam. The Dietz 2 seam in the PSO Tract area is correlatable to and is also called the Dietz 3 seam. For the sake of consistency, the two mineable coal seams within the PSO Tract will be referred to as the Dietz 1 and Dietz 3 coal seams Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment throughout the remainder of this EIS. Thickness of the coal seams varies across the PSO Tract area. The Dietz 1 coal seam is present only in the northern half of the site because of erosion and burning, and its thickness increases from approximately five ft to an average of approximately 20 ft in Sections 22 and 23 of T.58N., R.84W. The Dietz 3 seam is present across the proposed mining area and ranges in thickness from approximately 10 to 50 ft, averaging about 41 ft. Overburden above the Dietz 1 seam ranges from approximately one to 275 ft in thickness. The overburden above the Dietz 3 where Dietz 1 is not present is from 20 to 120 ft thick. The interburden thickness between the Dietz 1 and Dietz 3 seams ranges from 20 to 140 ft, with a thickening trend from east to west. The stratigraphy in the PSO Tract area is similar to that found at the other surface coal mining sites in the general area (Figure 3-1). Overburden and interburden consists of scoria (clinker), siltstone, shale, and minor sandstone units. Clinker is the result of prehistoric coal fires, which heated the rock overlying the burning coal beds and produced the baked and fused clinker. Clinker is present at several locations in the PSO Tract area, particularly to the south where the Dietz seams crop out at the surface. Two northeast-trending structural faults approximate the northwest and southeast boundaries of the Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange proposed mining area (Figure 3-4). These faults are known to be present, although their exact locations and displacements have not been accurately defined by the existing drilling. The displacements across each of these two major faults are estimated to be 60 to 180 ft. Generally, the stratigraphic dip is to the northeast at approximately four percent between the faults. There are local areas where the shallow strata dip at higher angles, generally due to local folding or faulting. The portion of the Tongue River Member that is below the Dietz 3 coal bed and the Lebo Shale and Tullock Members of the Fort Union Formation, which underlie the Tongue River Member (Figure 3-5), would not be disturbed if mining occurs. These two lower members of the Fort Union Formation consist primarily of sandstone, siltstone, mudstone, shale, and coal. In general, the Tullock Member contains more sand than the Lebo Shale Member. 3.4.3.1 Mineral Resources The PRB contains large reserves of fossil fuels including oil, natural gas or methane (from conventional reservoirs and from coal beds), and coal, all of which are currently being produced. In addition, uranium, bentonite, and scoria (clinker) are mined in the PRB (BLM 1996f). Coal Some of the largest accumulations of subbituminous coal reserves in the world are contained within the 3-21

3.0 Affected Environment PRB. Surface coal mining occurs where the coal is at its shallowest depth, i.e., nearest the outcrops along the eastern and western edges of this structural basin. Active surface coal mining in the PRB is centered in two general zones: the eastern side of the basin and the western side of the basin. The eastern zone is in Campbell and Converse Counties, starting about 20 miles north of Gillette, Wyoming and extending south for about 75 miles. The major producing seams in that area are the Fort Union Formation’s Anderson and Canyon coal seams (combined they form the Wyodak seam). The western zone is an area between Sheridan, Wyoming (the Sheridan Coal Field) and Colstrip, Montana. At the present time there are six active surface mines in the western zone, all of which are located in Montana. Numerous old, abandoned, underground coal mines exist immediately north of Sheridan (Section 3.3). Surface coal mines also operated immediately north of Sheridan, including the Big Horn Coal Mine, which was closed and reclaimed in 2000 and 2001, and an older unnamed strip mine, known locally as the Hidden Water Pits (see Figure 3-1). Near the Montana State line the major producing seams are the Fort Union Formation’s Anderson, Dietz, and Monarch (Canyon) seams. A surface coal mine north of Sheridan was permitted with the WDEQ in 1976 as the PSO No. 1 Mine, which is now called the Ash Creek Mine (WDEQ Permit No. 407). This mine is located in the northeast quarter of Section 22, T.58N., 3-22 R.84W., adjacent to the federal coal being considered for exchange. An initial box cut, overlying privately owned coal, was opened in the late 1970s. The mine plan was contingent upon approval and construction of a proposed railroad spur for an adjacent proposed mine in Montana. No method of coal transportation was built and all operations ceased in 1980. Operations remained suspended through 1995 when reclamation activities began. Reclamation was completed and a full area bond release request by the Ash Creek Mining Company was granted by WDEQ/LQD in 1996. Mine Permit 407 was transferred from Central and Southwest Services, parent company of the Ash Creek Mining Company, to P&M in 1997. The Fort Union coal seams are subbituminous and are generally low-sulfur, low-ash coals. The quality of the recoverable coal reserves within the area of the federal coal being considered for exchange is represented by the analyses (done on an as-received basis) of recent exploration drilling samples collected by P&M. The Dietz 1 seam has a weighted average heating value of approximately 9,279 Btu/lb and contains 5.8 percent ash and 0.44 percent sulfur. The Dietz 3 seam has a weighted average heating value of approximately 9,352 Btu/lb and contains 5.4 percent ash and 0.53 percent sulfur. The volatile matter, fixed carbon and moisture percentages were not available from the analyses of these recently obtained samples, although those values for the Dietz 1 and Dietz 3 Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment seams, respectively, as determined for the PSO No. 1 Mine area were as follows: 31.68 percent and 32.98 percent for volatile matter, 35.82 percent and 36.43 percent for fixed carbon, and 26.05 percent and 26.05 percent for moisture (Ash Creek Mining Company 1984). Oil and Gas Oil and gas have been produced in the PRB for more than 100 years from reservoir beds that range in age from Pennsylvanian to Oligocene (DeBruin 1996). There are approximately 500 fields that produce oil and/or natural gas. The estimated mean amounts of undiscovered conventional hydrocarbons in the basin are 1.94 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 1.60 trillion cubic ft of gas (USGS 1995). Depth to gas and oil-bearing strata is generally between 4,000 ft and 13,500 ft, but some wells are as shallow as 250 ft. The western portion of the PSO Tract is located near geologic structures that contain producible quantities of oil. The Ash Creek and Ash Creek South Fields, both discovered in the early 1950s, are located in T.10S., R.38E., Section 3, Big Horn County Montana, and in T.58N., R.84W., Sections 29, 30, 31, and 32, Sheridan County, Wyoming, respectively. Production is from the Upper Cretaceous Ash Creek sandstone, which lies approximately 4,600 ft below the surface in this area (Morgando 1958). See Section 3.4.11 for further discussion of wells that are currently producing and associated facilities. Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange Coal Bed Methane The generation of methane gas from coal beds occurs as a natural process. Methane produced by coal may be trapped in the coal by overburden pressure, by the pressure of water in the coal, or by impermeable layers immediately above the coal. Deeper coal beds have higher pressures and generally trap more gas. Under favorable geologic conditions, methane can be trapped at shallow depths in and above coal beds, and this seems to be the case in the PRB. Without the existence of conditions which act to trap the gas in shallow coals or in adjacent sandstones, the gas escapes to the atmosphere. It is likely that much of the methane generated by the coal beds in the PRB has gradually escaped into the atmosphere because of the relatively shallow coal burial depths. A recent study estimates that there are approximately 38.2 trillion cubic ft of CBM gas in place in PRB coal beds and that an estimated 25.6 trillion cubic ft of that gas is recoverable (Finley and Goolsby 2000). The authors of this study indicated that these numbers reflect only coal beds that are thicker than 20 ft and deeper than 200 ft because it is generally accepted by industry that coal beds 20 ft or more are necessary for economic production of CBM and that coal beds less than 200 ft deep have already been de-pressured and much of the gas has escaped to the atmosphere. Historically, methane has been reported flowing from shallow water wells and coal exploration holes in 3-23

3.0 Affected Environment parts of the PRB. According to DeBruin and Jones (1989), most of the documented historical occurrences have been in the northern PRB. Olive (1957) references a water well in T.54N., R.74W., which began producing gas for domestic use in 1916. CBM has been commercially produced in the PRB since 1989 when production began at Rawhide Butte Field, west of the Eagle Butte Mine. CBM exploration and development is currently ongoing throughout the PRB in Wyoming, and it is estimated that there are now as many as 15,000 productive CBM wells in place. The predominant CBM production to date has occurred from coal beds of the Wyodak - Anderson zone in seams known as the Anderson, Canyon, Wyodak, Big George, as well as other locally-used names, like the Dietz, Monarch, and Carney beds. These are generally equivalent to the seams that are being mined by the surface mines along the eastern and western margins of the basin. CBM development requires more extensive facilities in areas where there are splits between the coal seams. In the vicinity of the PSO Tract, the Dietz, Monarch, and Carney seams are separated by interburden that reaches 120 feet in thickness. Current CBM well completion technology within the PRB will not accommodate completion of multiple seams separated by thick shales within a single wellbore. As a result, in the areas where there are two or more coal seams separated by 3-24 interburden, a “cluster” of two or more wells would be required to produce essentially the same reserve that would be produced from a single well in a single contiguous seam. Since the early 1990s, the Wyoming BLM has completed numerous EAs and EISs analyzing CBM projects. The most recent of these was the Final Environmental Impact Statement and Proposed Plan Amendment for the Powder River Basin Oil and Gas Project (BLM 2003a). This document analyzed the potential impacts based on the assumption that by the year 2012, there will be about 51,000 producing private, state, and federal CBM wells and associated ancillary facilities in an almost 8,000,000­ acre area covering all or parts of Campbell, Converse, Johnson, and Sheridan Counties, Wyoming. The cumulative impacts of reasonably foreseeable conventional oil and gas development within the Wyoming portion of the PRB were also analyzed. The Montana BLM also recently completed the Montana Final Statewide Oil and Gas EIS and Proposed Amendment of the Powder River and Billings Resource Management Plans (BLM 2003b). The Montana document evaluated the potential impacts of drilling and producing up to 18,265 CBM wells. Approved spacing for CBM wells in the Wyoming PRB is one well per coal seam per 80 acres, or eight well cluster locations per section. Since there are three potential productive coal seams (i.e., Dietz 3, Monarch, Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment and Carney) in the Ash Creek area, a total of 78 CBM wells could be drilled within the boundary of the federal coal being considered for exchange. As of March 2003, five CBM wells had been completed or spudded on privately-owned oil and gas leases within the PSO Tract. Fourteen others are permitted to drill. Two of the existing wells are currently producing. The ownership of oil and gas resources, including CBM, in the PSO Tract is discussed in Section 3.4.11 of this EIS. Bentonite Layers of bentonite (decomposed volcanic ash) of varying thickness are present throughout the PRB. Some of the thicker layers are mined where they are near the surface, mostly around the edges of the basin. Bentonite has a large capacity to absorb water, and because of this characteristic it is used in a number of processes and products, including cat litter and drilling mud. Bentonite beds are mainly found in Cretaceous marine shales, not in the Eocene continental shales, sandstones, and coals found on the PSO Tract. No mineable bentonite reserves have been identified on the PSO Tract. Uranium Uranium exploration and mining were very active in the 1950s, when numerous claims were filed in the PRB. A decreased demand combined with increased foreign supply reduced uranium mining activities in the early 1980s. There Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange are currently two in-situ leach operations in central Converse County in the southern PRB. Production at another recovery site ended in 2000. No known uranium reserves exist on the PSO Tract. Scoria Scoria or clinker has been and continues to be a major source of gravel for road construction in the area. Scoria is present in the PSO Tract area. No mining claims, mineral material sales contracts, free use permits, or solid mineral leases exist within the PSO Tract. 3.4.4 Soils The soils on the PSO Tract are typical of the soils that occur on the adjacent lands. The area covered in this study was covered by a soil survey completed and published by the NRCS. Based on the NRCS soils studies, there is enough suitable topsoil for salvaging within the PSO Tract area to redistribute suitable soils to a depth of about two to three ft over all disturbed areas. All soil surveys were completed to an order 2-3 resolution by the NRCS. The inventories included field sampling and observations at the requisite number of individual sites, and laboratory analysis of representative collected samples. The following is a list of the soil series that comprise the various map units delineated on the affected 3-25

3.0 Affected Environment area associated with the Proposed Action. Soils developing predominantly in alluvial or colluvial fan deposits • 	 Bidman - Ulm, dry, complex, 0 to 6 percent slopes • 	 Cambria - Forkwood complex, 0 to 15 percent slopes • Cushman 	 Forkwood association, 3 to 15 percent slopes •	 Harlan loams, dry, 0 to 15 percent slopes • Haverdad 	 Worthenton complex, 0 to 3 percent slopes • 	 Kishona - Cambria complex, 3 to 6 percent slopes • Parmleed 	 Bidman association, 3 to 15 percent slopes • 	 Zigweid - Cambria loams, 0 to 15 percent slopes • 	 Zigweid - Kishona - Cambria complex, 6 to 15 percent slopes Soils developing predominantly in residuum on uplands • 	 Baux - Bauxson association, dry, 0 to 65 percent slopes • 	 Cushman - Worf association, 3 to 25 percent slopes • Parmleed 	 Worfka association, 0 to 15 percent slopes • 	 Shingle, moist - Baux - Rock outcrop complex, 30 to 60 percent slopes • Shingle 	 Haverdad association, 0 to 80 percent slopes • Shingle 	 Rock outcrop complex, 30 to 50 percent slopes 3-26 • 	 Shingle - Samday clay loams, 6 to 60 percent slopes • 	Shingle - Theedle - Kishona association, 6 to 25 percent slopes • 	 Shingle - Wibaux complex, 0 to 60 percent slopes • 	Shingle - Wibaux complex, cool, 15 to 80 percent slopes • 	 Shingle - Worf complex, 6 to 15 percent slopes • Spearman 	 Wibaux association, 6 to 25 percent slopes •	 Theedle - Kishona association, 6 to 15 percent slopes Soils developing predominantly in eolian sand deposits • 	 Hiland - Decolney complex, 3 to 15 percent slopes • 	Taluce - Tullock - Vonalee association, 6 to 15 percent slopes Table 3-1 provides the extent of five depth classes of suitable topsoil within the PSO Tract. An average of about two ft of topsoil would be redistributed on all disturbed acres. Soils sites with high alkalinity, salinity, or clay content are unsuitable for use in reclamation. The soil depths and types on the PSO Tract are similar to soils currently being salvaged and utilized for reclamation at the other surface mines in the Sheridan area. The tract is expected to have an adequate quantity and quality of soil for reclamation. The site-specific soil surveys have located hydric soils and/or inclusions of hydric Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment Table 3-1. Acres of Topsoil Available for Reclamation Within the Boundary of the Federal Coal Being Considered for Exchange Under the Proposed Action. Thickness of Suitable Topsoil (inches) Acres Percent 0 0.0 0.0 0 - 12 83.1 4.1 12 - 30 1,585.9 77.6 30 - 48 168.1 8.2 48 - 60 207.9 10.1 Total 2,045.0 100.0 extending along the Tongue River from the Big Horn National Forest to the confluence with the Yellowstone River about 145 miles to the northnortheast. Information on the climate and meteorology of the area, as presented in this section, is based on available data from the City of Sheridan as well as nearby stations. 3.4.5.1 Topography Wyoming can be characterized as having a combination of both highland and mid-latitude semiarid climates. The dominant factors that affect the climate of the area are elevation, local relief, and the mountain barrier effect. This barrier effect can produce marked temperature and precipitation differences between windward and leeward slopes. Generally, temperatures decrease and precipitation increases with increasing elevation. The climatic description of the project area itself is high plains semi-arid, characterized by large diurnal and seasonal variations in temperature and seasonal variations in precipitation.

soils. The presence of hydrophytic vegetation and wetland hydrology would be determined during jurisdictional wetland determina­ tions included in the mine permit application package (see Section 3.4.8). 3.4.5 Air Quality and Climate The air quality of any region is controlled primarily by the magnitude and distribution of pollutant emissions and the regional climate. The transport of pollutants from specific source areas is strongly affected by local topography. In the mountainous western United States, topography is particularly important in channeling pollutants along valleys, creating upslope and downslope circulations that may entrain airborne pollutants, and blocking the flow of pollutants toward certain areas. In general, local effects are superimposed on the general synoptic weather regime and are most important when the large-scale wind flow is weak. The PSO Tract area is located in the Tongue River airshed, which comprises approximately 4,500 square miles in a rectangular area Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3-27

3.0 Affected Environment 3.4.5.2 Climate and Meteorology The general climate of the area is typical of a semi-arid high plains environment with relatively large seasonal and diurnal variations in temperature and seasonal variation in precipitation. Long-term average monthly maximum, minimum and mean temperatures for Sheridan are presented in Table 3-2. These data show the large seasonal variation in temperature with the warmest month being July, with a mean at 69.6qF, while the coldest month is January, with a monthly mean at 19.0qF. July is the month with the warmest average maximum (86.7qF) while January is the month with the coolest average minimum (5.9qF). The annual mean temperature for the area is 43.9qF. Precipitation data descriptive of the general region was obtained from a station east of Clearmont, Wyoming and presented in Table 3-3. The average annual precipitation received is 12.0 inches with the majority falling between April and September. The month with the highest precipitation total is June 2.9 inches while the months with the lowest totals are December, January, and February at 0.4 inch each. As is typical with a semi-arid area, yearto-year and month-to-month values temperature and precipitation can and will vary widely from the climatic averages. Winds are greatly affected by local topographic features. Wind data have not been collected from the 3-28 specific project area, but such data are available for a five-year period from Sheridan. These data (1984 and 1987 through 1990) were processed into a joint frequency distribution of wind direction by wind speed and the results are presented as a wind rose diagram in Figure 3-6. The predominant wind directions for Sheridan are from the northwest and west-northwest at 12.7 percent and 11.5 percent of the time, respectively. The annual average wind speed for the period was 8.7 mph with the strongest winds coming out of the westnorthwest (12.3 mph) and northwest (12.1 mph). Wind data are also available for the last five years (1996 through 2000) from the Decker Coal Mine. These data were also processed into a frequency distribution of wind direction and are depicted as a wind rose diagram in Figure 3-6. The prevailing wind directions recorded at the Decker Mine are from the northwest and south, both at 12.5 percent of the time. Wind directions at the Decker meteorological station are strongly influenced by the local terrain and close proximity to the Tongue River Reservoir (Figure 3-6). The PSO Tract area is characterized by the Ash Creek and Youngs Creek drainages which both flow generally from the west-northwest toward the Tongue River to the east. The area has some complex terrain, especially in the western half of the property. As such, it is anticipated that the wind flow patterns will follow relatively closely the patterns observed at Decker, but with a greater frequency of return flows from the southeast sectors, up the Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment Table 3-2.
Month January February March April May June July August September October November December Year
1

Average Maximum, Minimum and Monthly Mean Temperatures for Sheridan, Wyoming.
Average Maximum ((F) 31.9 36.6 44.5 57.0 67.4 76.5 87.3 86.6 74.6 61.9 44.9 35.5 58.7 Average Minimum ((F) 5.9 10.7 19.5 30.0 39.7 47.9 53.5 51.1 40.8 30.6 18.6 9.7 29.8 Monthly Mean ((F) 18.9 23.7 32.0 43.5 53.6 62.2 70.4 68.9 57.7 46.3 31.8 22.6 44.3

Sheridan Field Station; located 44.43(N and 106.83(W at 3,750 ft above sea level. Data period from 1920-2000; WRCC 2001.

Table 3-3. 	 Climatic Monthly Precipitation For Arvada 3 N Located in Sheridan County, Wyoming.
Month January February March April May June July August September October November December Annual
1

Precipitation (inches) 	 0.4 0.4 0.6 1.1 2.0 2.9 1.0 0.9 1.1 0.7 0.5 0.4 12.0

Climatic precipitation data from NCDC cooperative station, 1936 through 1977. Arvada 3N in Sheridan County, located at 44.7(N and 106(W, at 3,681 ft above mean sea level; NCDC 2001.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3-29

3.0 Affected Environment
R. 37 E. R. 37 E. R. 38 E. R. 38 E. R. 39 E. R. 39 E. R. 40 E.

r Rive
Tong ue

R. 40 E. R. 41 E.

West Decker Coal Mine METEOROLOGICAL STATION LOCATED AT DECKER COAL MINE
T. 9 S.

PSO TRACT Big Horn County, Montana
R. 86 W. R. 85 W. T. 9 S. T. 10 S. R. 37 E. R. 38 E. R. 85 W. R. 84 W. T. 9 S. T. 10 S. R. 38 E. R. 39 E. R. 84 W.

DECKER
T. 9 S. R. 39 E. R 40 E. R. 40 E. R 41 E. R. 83 W. R. 82 W. T. 58 N. T. 58 N.

R. 37 E. T. 58 N. T. 58 N. T. 57 N.

R. 83 W.

Sheridan County, Wyoming
Ton gue Riv er

338

Ra ilro ad

BN SF Ra ilro ad

RANCHESTER

WELCH LANDS
Tongue R iver
T. 57 N. T. 56 N.
336

T. 57 N. T. 56 N.

BNSF

T. 57 N.

ek Cre ose Go

SHERIDAN

BN SF Ra ilroa d

T. 56 N. T. 55 N.

METEOROLOGICAL STATION LOCATED AT SHERIDAN MUNICIPAL AIRPORT

331

T. 56 N. T. 55 N.

SCALE: 1" = 20,000'
R. 86 W. R. 85 W. R. 85 W. R. 84 W. Meteorological Station R. 84 W. R. 83 W. R. 83 W. R. 82 W.

NNW NW WNW

N

NNE NE

Average wind directions and velocities at Sheridan's Meteorological Station, 1984, and 1987-1990. ENE Diagrams illustrate the frequency of occurrence for each wind direction. Wind direction is the direction from which the wind is blowing. Plotted value on each axis represents percent of total for that direction. WNW W

NNW NW

N

NNE NE ENE

W

0%

E ESE

0%

E ESE SE

WSW SW SSW S SSE SE

WSW

KEY

SHERIDAN STATION

MPH

SW Average wind directions at Decker Coal Mine's Meteorological Station, 1996 thru 2000.

SSW

S

SSE

DECKER COAL STATION

3-30

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment drainage valleys, as a result of afternoon heating. 3.4.5.3 Regulatory Framework foreseeable CBM and surface coal mining development. As part of this analysis, Argonne assembled and reviewed monitoring data measured throughout northeastern Wyoming and southeastern Montana and selected data representing the best available background air pollutant concentrations throughout the PRB in Wyoming and Montana. Table 3­ 4 presents the specific values that Argonne used to define background conditions in this cumulative air quality impact analysis. The assumed background pollutant concentrations are below applicable NAAQS and WAAQS for all criteria pollutants and averaging times. States designate areas within their borders as being in Aattainment@ or Anon-attainment@ with the AAQS. Since the PSO Tract is near the border of Wyoming and Montana, the attainment status of nearby areas in both states is considered. The PSO Tract is in an area that is designated an attainment area for all pollutants. However, the town of Sheridan, Wyoming, located about 12 miles south of the project area, is a non-attainment area for PM10. The town of Lame Deer, Montana, located about 50 miles northeast, is also a non-attainment area for PM10. The towns of Laurel and Billings, Montana, non-attainment areas for SO2, are located about 90 miles northwest of the project area. The non-attainment status of these areas is due to pollution generated in the immediate vicinity of those population centers. Future development projects which have the potential to emit more than 250 tpy of any criteria pollutant (or 3-31

Air quality and pollutant emissions to the air are regulated under both federal laws and regulations (CAA) and Wyoming state laws and regulations implemented by the WDEQ. A fundamental requirement of both federal and state regulations is that ambient concentrations for specific criteria pollutants not exceed allowable levels, referred to as the AAQS. These standards have been established by the U.S. EPA and the WDEQ at levels deemed necessary to preclude adverse impacts on human health and welfare. The applicable federal, Wyoming, and Montana AAQS are shown in Table 3-4. While the proposed Ash Creek Mine would be located in Wyoming, the Montana AAQS are included in Table 3-4 because of the proximity of the tract to Montana. An analysis of air quality impacts was conducted for the Wyoming and Montana BLM by Argonne National Laboratories to analyze potential air quality impacts from the oil and gas development alternatives considered in the Wyoming Final EIS and Proposed Plan Amendment for the PRB Oil and Gas Project (BLM 2003a) and the Montana Statewide Final EIS and Proposed Amendment of the Powder River and Billings RMPs (BLM 2003b). This analysis projected potential cumulative air quality impacts as a result of ongoing mineral development in the PRB, including reasonably Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment

Table 3-4.

Assumed Background Air Pollutant Concentrations, Applicable Ambient Table Air Quality Standards, and PSD Increment Values (in Pg/m3).

Pollutant Carbon monoxide 	 --16.54 --100 235 157 196 NA 150 50 NA NA 150 50 65 15 566 100 825 1305 427 177 197 7.67 65 15 65 15 150 50 150 50 235 157 235 157 --100 --100 --2.5 ----8 4 -----

Averaging Time1 1-hour 8-hour Background Concentration 3,5003 1,500 Primary NAAQS2 40,000 10,000 Secondary NAAQS2 40,000 10,000 Wyoming Standards 40,000 10,000 Montana Standards 40,000 10,000 PSD Class I Increments -----

PSD Class II Increments --­ --­ --­ 25 --­ --­ 30 17 --­ --­ --­ 512 91 20

Nitrogen dioxide 	

1-hour Annual

Ozone

	 -hour 1 8-hour

PM10

24-hour Annual

PM2.5

24-hour Annual

------1,300 --1-hour ----1,300 1,300 --25 3-hour 86 365 --260 260 5 86 24-hour 36 80 --60 60 2 Annual 1 Annual standards are not to be exceeded; short-term standards are not to be exceeded more than once per year.
 2 Primary standards are designed to protect public health; secondary standards are designed to protect public welfare. 
 3 Amoco Ryckman Creek collected for an eight month period during 1978-1979, summarized in the Riley Ridge (BLM 1983). 
 4 Data collected in Gillette, Wyoming (1996 - 1997). 
 5 Data collected in Pinedale, Wyoming (1992 - 1994). 
 6 Data collected in Devil’s Tower, Wyoming (1983). 
 7 Data collected in Gillette, Wyoming (1999). 
 Source: (Argonne 2002) 


Sulfur dioxide

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment certain listed sources that have the potential to emit more than 100 tpy) would be required to undergo a regulatory PSD Increment Consumption Analysis under the federal New Source Review permitting regulations. Develop­ ment projects subject to the PSD regulations must also demonstrate the use of BACT and show that the combined impacts of all PSD sources will not exceed the allowable incremental air quality impacts for NO2, PM10, or SO2. The PSD increments are shown in Table 3-4. A regulatory PSD Increment Consumption Analysis may be conducted as part of a New Source Review, or independently. The determination of PSD increment consumption is a legal responsibility of the applicable air quality regulatory agencies, with EPA oversight. Finally, an analysis of cumulative impacts due to all existing sources and the permit applicant’s sources is also required during PSD analysis to demonstrate that applicable ambient air quality standards will be complied with during the operational lifetime of the permit applicant’s operations. In addition, sources subject to PSD permitting requirements would provide specific analysis of potential impairment of AQRVs such as visibility and acid rain. Existing surface coal mining operations in the PRB are not currently affected by the PSD regulations for two reasons. Surface coal mines are not on the EPA list of 28 major emitting facilities for PSD regulation and point-source emissions from individual mines do not exceed the PSD emissions Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange threshold of 250 tpy. A new mine would be classified as a major source if potential emissions of any regulated pollutant equal or exceed 250 tpy. This NEPA analysis compares potential air quality impacts from the Proposed Action and Alternatives to applicable ambient air quality standards, PSD increments, and AQRVs (such as visibility), but it does not represent a regulatory PSD analysis. Comparisons to the PSD Class I and II increments are intended to evaluate a threshold of concern for potentially significant adverse impacts, and do not represent a regulatory PSD Increment Consumption Analysis. Even though the development activities would occur within areas designated PSD Class II, the potential impacts are not allowed to cause incremental effects greater than the stringent Class I thresholds to occur inside any distant PSD Class I area. Finally, the CAA directs the EPA to promulgate the Tribal Authority Rule, establishing tribal jurisdiction over air emission sources within the exterior boundaries of tribal lands. Pursuant to this rule, the Crow and Northern Cheyenne tribes north of the analysis area in Montana may request that they be treated in the same manner as a state (including Section 105 grants and formal recognition as an affected “state” when emission sources are located within 50 miles of tribal lands) under the CAA. The WDEQ/AQD administers a permitting program to assist the agency in managing the State's air 3-33

3.0 Affected Environment resources. Under this program, anyone planning to construct, modify, or use a facility capable of emitting designated pollutants into the atmosphere must obtain an air quality permit to construct. Coal mines fall into this category. In order to obtain a construction permit, an operator may be required to demonstrate that the proposed activities will not increase air pollutant levels above annual standards established by the WAQSR (WDEQ/AQD 2000). The operator will also be required to utilize BACT for minimizing emissions from the facility. Monitoring may be required as a condition of the permit to construct. A permit to operate will also be required and will contain specific emission limitations and other measures of performance for operation of the facility. The demonstration required for a construction permit often entails development of an emission inventory for the proposed facility, an estimate of the emissions from all other permitted sources of air pollutants in the vicinity, and the collection of local ambient air quality and meteorology data. This information is utilized in dispersion modeling to predict the cumulative impact of the proposed facility along with existing sources on the quality of the air in the immediate vicinity, including the impact on any special resource areas. The CAA also provides specific visibility protection of mandatory federal Class I areas. Mandatory Federal Class I areas were 3-34 designated by the U.S. Congress on August 7, 1977, and include wilderness areas greater than 5,000 acres in size and national parks greater than 6,000 acres in size. The mandatory federal Class I areas located nearest to the analysis area are listed in Table 3-5. In addition, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe (located 25 miles north of the PSO Tract in Montana) has designated their lands as PSD Class I. As shown in Table 3-4, the allowable incremental impacts for NO2, PM10, and SO2 within these PSD Class I areas are very limited. All of the PRB in Wyoming, including the analysis area, is designated as PSD Class II with less stringent requirements. 3.4.5.4 Existing Air Quality WDEQ detects changes in air quality through monitoring and maintains an extensive network of air quality monitors throughout the state. Particulate matter is most commonly measured as particles finer than 10 microns or PM10. The eastern side of the PRB has one of the most extensive networks of monitors for PM10 in the nation due to the density of coal mines. There are also monitors in Sheridan and Gillette, Wyoming and WDEQ installed monitors in Arvada and Wright, Wyoming in November 2002 (Figure 3-7). WDEQ uses monitoring stations located throughout the state to anticipate issues related to air quality. These monitoring stations are located to measure ambient air quality and not located to measure impacts from a specific source. Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment Table 3-5. Approximate Distances and Directions from the General Analysis Area to PSD Class I and Class II Sensitive Receptor Areas. Distance (miles) Mandatory Federal PSD Class I 215 174 166 269 184 119 235 312 148 250 215 176 126 190 146 Direction to Receptor SE SW SW WNW WSW WSW W NW WSW NE NE NNW WSW SE W NNE N W SE W SE SSW N ESE NNW SSE SE SE SSW SE

Receptor Area

Badlands Wilderness Area1 Bridger Wilderness Area Fitzpatrick Wilderness Area Gates of the Mountains Wilderness Area Grand Teton National Park North Absaroka Wilderness Area Red Rock Lakes Wilderness Area Scapegoat Wilderness Area Teton Wilderness Area Theodore Roosevelt National Park (North Unit) Theodore Roosevelt National Park (South Unit) UL Bend Wilderness Area Washakie Wilderness Area Wind Cave National Park Yellowstone National Park

Tribal Federal PSD Class I Fort Peck Indian Reservation 215 Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation 25 Federal PSD Class II Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area Agate Fossil Beds National Monument Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area Black Elk Wilderness Area Cloud Peak Wilderness Area Crow Indian Reservation Devils Tower National Monument Fort Belknap Indian Reservation Fort Laramie National Historic Site Jewel Cave National Monument Mount Rushmore National Memorial Popo Agie Wilderness Area Soldier Creek Wilderness Area 130 237 55 173 36 <1 113 213 225 165 180 175 248

The U.S. Congress designated the Wilderness Area portion of Badlands National Park as a mandatory federal PSD Class I area. The remained of Badlands National Park is a PSD Class II area.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3-35

3.0 Affected Environment

SHERIDAN

BUFFALO GILLETTE

CASPER

DOUGLAS

LEGEND
PM 10 Monitoring Station, Active in 2002 Source:
0 12.5 25 50

U.S. EPA Office of Air and Radiation, AIRS Database and WDEQ/AQD

GRAPHIC SCALE (MILES)

Figure 3-7. Active PM

10

Monitoring Stations in Northeastern Wyoming.

3-36

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment Monitors located to measure impacts from a specific source may also be used for trends. These data are used to pro-actively arrest or reverse trends towards air quality problems. When WDEQ became aware that particulate readings in the PRB were increasing due to increased coal mining, coal bed methane activity, and exacerbated by prolonged drought, the WDEQ approached the counties, coal mines, and CBM industry. A coalition involving the counties, coal companies, and CBM operators have made significant efforts towards minimizing dust from roads. Measures taken have ranged from the implementation of speed limits to paving of heavily traveled roads. Monitoring is also used to measure compliance. Where monitoring shows a violation of any standard, the WDEQ can take a range of enforcement actions to remedy the situation. Where a standard is exceeded specific to an operation, the enforcement action is specific to the facility. For many facilities, neither the cause nor the solution is simple. The agency normally uses a negotiated settlement in those instances. WDEQ has also sited two visibility monitoring stations in the PRB. One of these sites is 32 miles north of Gillette, Wyoming and includes a Nephelometer, a Transmissometer, an Aerosol Monitor (IMPROVE Protocol), instruments to measure meteorological parameters (temperature, RH, wind speed, wind direction), a digital camera, instruments to measure Ozone and instruments to measure Oxides of Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange Nitrogen (NO, NO2, NOx). The other visibility monitoring station is located 14 miles west of Buffalo, Wyoming and includes a Nephelometer, a Transmissometer, an Aerosol Monitor (IMPROVE Protocol), instruments to measure meteorological parameters (temperature, RH, wind speed, wind direction), and a digital camera. Other air quality monitoring in the PRB includes WDEQ NO2 monitoring along the east side of the PRB, WARMS monitoring of sulfur and nitrogen concentrations near Buffalo, Sheridan, and Newcastle, Wyoming, and NADP monitoring of precipitation chemistry in Newcastle. Air quality conditions in rural areas are likely to be very good, as characterized by limited air pollution emission sources (few industrial facilities and residential emissions in the relatively small communities and isolated ranches) and good atmospheric dispersion conditions, resulting in relatively low air pollutant concentrations. Occasional high concentrations of CO and particulate matter may occur in more urbanized areas (for example, Buffalo, Gillette, and Sheridan) and around industrial facilities, especially under stable atmospheric conditions common during winter. The major types of emissions that come from surface coal mining activities are in the form of fugitive dust and tailpipe emissions from large mining equipment. Activities such as blasting, loading and hauling of overburden and coal and 3-37

3.0 Affected Environment the large areas of disturbed land all produce fugitive dust. Stationary or point sources are associated with coal crushing, storage, and handling facilities. In general, particulate matter (PM10) is the major significant pollutant from coal mine point sources. Blasting is responsible for another type of emission from surface coal mining. Overburden blasting sometimes produces gaseous reddish-brown clouds that contain NO2. Exposure to NO2 may have adverse health effects, which are discussed in Chapter 4. NO2 is one of several products resulting from the incomplete combustion of explosives used in the blasting process. Wyoming’s ambient air standards for NO2 are shown in Table 3-4. Other existing air pollutant emission sources within the region include: • 	exhaust emissions (primarily CO and oxides of nitrogen [NOx]) from existing natural gas-fired compressor engines used in production of natural gas and CBM; gasoline and diesel vehicle tailpipe emissions of combustion pollutants (VOCs, CO, NOx, PM10, PM2.5, and SO2); • dust 	 (particulate matter) generated by vehicle travel on unpaved roads, windblown dust from neighboring areas, and road sanding during the winter months; • transport of air pollutants 	 from emission sources located outside the region; • • emissions 	 from railroad locomotives used to haul coal (primarily NO2 and PM10); and SO2 and NOx from power 	 plants. Historical 	 Ambient Quality: Particulates Air

3.4.5.5

Until 1989, the federally regulated particulate matter pollutant was measured as TSP. This measurement included all suspendable dust (generally less than 100 microns in diameter). In 1989, the federally regulated particulate matter pollutant was changed from a TSP based standard to a PM10 based standard. PM10 is particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of 10 microns or less that can potentially penetrate into the lungs and cause health problems. Wyoming added PM10 based standards to match the federal standards in 1989 and retained the TSP based standards as state standards until March 2000. Wyoming’s ambient air standards for PM10 are shown in Table 3-4. Regional WDEQ/AQD requires the collection of information documenting the quality of the air resource at each of the PRB mines. Each mine monitored air quality for a 24-hour period every six days at multiple monitoring sites through the end of 2001. All PM10 monitors are now required by WDEQ/AQD to sample air quality for a 24-hour period every three days, beginning in 2002. Data for TSP dates back to 1980 with data for PM10 dating back to 1989. This has resulted in over Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3-38

3.0 Affected Environment 55,000 TSP and 14,000 PM10 samples collected through 2002 and makes the eastern PRB one of the most densely monitored areas in the world (Figure 3-7). Table 3-6 uses the annual arithmetic average of all sites to summarize these data. As indicated in Table 3-6, the longterm trend in particulate emissions remained relatively flat through 1998. TSP concentration from 1980 through 1998 averaged 33.1 Pg/m, ranging between 27.8 Pg/m3 and 39.4 Pg/m3. There were increases in 1988 and 1996, which may have been the result of fires in the region during those years. PM10 concentration from 1989 through 1998 averaged 15.4 Pg/m3, ranging between 12.9 Pg/m3 and 16.5 Pg/m3. This time period (1980-1998) was associated with significant growth in the surface coal mining industry. Coal production increased from about 59 mmtpy to over 308 mmtpy (an increase of over 249 mmtpy), and associated overburden production increased from 105 mmbcy to over 710 mmbcy per year (a 605 mmbcy per year increase). From 1990 through 2002 the average annual increase in coal production was 7.0 percent, while annual overburden production increased an average of 13.9 percent over the same time period. The larger annual increase in overburden production is probably due to the fact that mines are gradually moving into deeper coals as the shallower reserves are mined out. The relatively flat trend in particulate emissions from 1980 through 1998 is due in large part to the Wyoming Air Quality Program that requires BACT at all permitted facilities. BACT control measures include watering and chemical treatment of roads, limiting the amount of area disturbed, temporary revegetation of disturbed areas to reduce wind erosion, and timely final reclamation. As indicated in Table 3-6, the annual average TSP concentration increased from 33.9 µg/m3 in 1998 to 55.3 µg/m3 in 1999, and has continued to increase at a slower pace through 2002. The average annual PM10 concentration increased from 15.9 µg/m3 in 1998 to 21.6 µg/m3 in 1999, it continued to increase to 27.2 µg/m3 through 2001, and in 2002 it was at 23.3 µg/m3. There were no major fires in the region from 1998 through 2002. The increases in coal production over those four years (3.8 percent per year and 12.8 mmtpy over the four-year period) and associated overburden production (9.8 percent per year and 72.0 mmbcy over the four-year period) were not larger than any of the four-year increases during the previous 18 years, but the particulate concentration increase was much larger than in previous years. As discussed above, TSP was the federally regulated pollutant until 1989 and was retained as a state regulated pollutant until 2000. PM10 became a federal standard in 1989 and was also adopted by the State of Wyoming. After 1989 and until recently, TSP measurements 3-39

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment Table 3-6. Summary of WDEQ/AQD Reports on Air Quality Monitoring in Wyoming's PRB, 1980-2002.
Number of Mines Operating/ Monitoring TSP/ Monitoring PM101 10/14/0 11/13/0 11/14/0 13/14/1 14/16/1 16/17/0 16/17/0 16/17/0 16/17/0 15/17/3 17/17/5 17/17/5 17/17/7 17/17/8 17/18/8 16/18/8 17/18/8 16/17/10 16/17/12 15/17/12 15/15/12 12/11/12 13/11/13

Year 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
1	

Coal Produced (mmtpy) 58.7 71.0 76.1 84.9 105.3 113.0 111.2 120.7 138.8 147.5 160.7 171.4 166.1 188.8 213.6 242.6 257.0 259.7 308.6 317.1 322.5 354.1 359.7

Yards Moved (mmbcy) 105.3 133.4 141.1 150.9 169.5 203.4 165.7 174.6 209.7 215.6 223.5 245.9 296.0 389.5 483.9 512.7 605.4 622.0 710.7 758.0 845.3 927.1 1,032.1

Number of TSP/PM10 Monitoring Sites2 34/0 35/0 40/0 41/1 42/1 49/0 45/0 43/0 43/0 40/3 47/5 46/6 41/7 40/11 44/11 41/12 41/12 39/15 36/17 36/18 31/17 29/29 23/38

TSP Average (Pg/m3) 35.5 39.4 31.2 32.6 33.9 32.3 29.3 31.7 37.7 32.1 34.3 32.7 31.7 27.8 31.7 29.6 35.4 33.3 33.9 55.3 56.1 57.5 56.0

PM10 Average (Pg/m3) na3 na na 11.2 11.1 na na na na 15.9 14.8 16.5 15.9 14.5 15.5 12.9 16.0 15.9 15.9 21.6 23.4 27.2 23.3

2	 3	

Mines include Buckskin, Rawhide, Eagle Butte, Dry Fork, Fort Union, Clovis Point, Wyodak, Caballo, Belle Ayr, Caballo Rojo, Cordero, Coal Creek, Jacobs Ranch, Black Thunder, North Rochelle, North Antelope, Rochelle, and Antelope. Some sites include more than one sampler, so the number of samplers is greater than the number of sites. Not applicable because no monitoring for PM10 was done.

Sources: 1980 through 1996 emissions and production data from April 1997 report prepared by WMA for WDEQ/AQD. 1997 through 2002 emissions data from EPA AIRData database. 1997 through 2002 emissions and production data from WDEQ/AQD.

3-40

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment were used as a surrogate for PM10 in lieu of having to replace and/or co­ locate an existing TSP sampler with a new PM10 sampler. There were no violations of the PM10 standards anywhere in the PRB through the first quarter of 2001. In 2001 and 2002 the 24-hour PM10 standard was exceeded several times in the southern portion of the PRB. The WDEQ/AQD is continually reviewing the data and considering regulatory options. Particulate emissions from non-mining sources have not been quantified; however, more intense monitoring and regulatory inspections have been implemented at all PRB coal mines. In addition, the proximity of the monitors where the standard was exceeded to unpaved county roads has resulted in county/industry partnerships to treat portions of these roads with chemical dust suppressants. Control Measures Control of particulate emissions at existing surface coal mines in the PRB is accomplished with a variety of measures. Emissions at coal crushing, storage, and handling facilities (point sources) are controlled with baghouse dust collection systems, PECs, or atomizers/foggers. These are all considered BACT controls by WDEQ/AQD. Fugitive emissions are also controlled with a variety of measures that the agency considers BACT. Typically, mine access roads have been paved and water trucks are used to apply water and chemical dust suppressants on all haul roads used by trucks and/or Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange scrapers. Haul truck speed limits are imposed to further help to reduce fugitive emissions from roads. Material drop heights for shovels and draglines (bucket to truck bed or backfill) are limited to the minimum necessary to conduct the mining operations. Timely permanent and temporary revegetation of disturbed areas is utilized to minimize wind erosion. Fugitive emissions from the coal truck dumps are controlled with stilling sheds. Some of the mines have participated in the control of fugitive emissions from some nearby unpaved county roads by applying dust suppressants. Site Specific As stated previously, the PSO Tract is located in the Tongue River airshed. According to current regulatory standards by which air quality is defined, surface mining development in the Tongue River Basin has not resulted in impacts to air quality that have exceeded federal or state standards. The maximum 24-hour PM10 concentration observed in the last six years (from nearby mine data) was 118 Pg/m3 recorded in 1995. Annual PM10 concentrations average about 11 Pg/m3. These values are well below the AAQS of 150 and 50 Pg/m3 for the 24-hour and annual averaging times, respectively. In order to obtain a state air quality construction and operating permit, a surface coal mine may be required to demonstrate, through dispersion modeling, that its activities will not increase PM10 levels above the annual standard established by the 3-41

3.0 Affected Environment WAQSR (WDEQ/AQD 1995). The modeling demonstration must include the estimated air pollutant emissions from other existing pollution-generating activities, including adjacent mines, so that control of overall air quality is part of the permitting process. Fugitive emissions from mining activities during the most active mining year at the Ash Creek Mine are estimated to be 259 tpy, but potential emissions that count towards the PSD applicability threshold would be much less than 250 tpy. Thus, the project would not be classified as a major source and would not be subject to PSD review. Again, a new mine is classified as a major source if potential emissions of any regulated pollutant equal or exceed 250 tpy. Fugitive emissions are not included in the definition of potential emissions except for certain specified source types [40 CFR 52.21, (b)(1)(iii)]. For the proposed Ash Creek Mine, fugitive emissions directly associated with the coal preparation plant would be counted toward the PTE for PSD applicability purposes. Mining related fugitive emissions are exempt from the applicability determination. Because final engineering for the coal preparation plant is not complete, it is not possible to determine the exact level of emissions that would count towards the PSD threshold at this time. NSPS Subpart Y, AStandards of Performance for Coal Preparation Plants@ (40 CFR 60.250), applies to coal preparation plants that process more than 200 tpd of coal and 3-42 which are constructed or modified after October 24, 1974. The standard applies to affected facilities at the plant, including (but not limited to) coal crushers, conveyors, storage systems, transfer and loading systems. The standard specifies opacity limits for affected units. The proposed Ash Creek Mine satisfies the applicability requirements for this NSPS. Thus, affected equipment constructed at the coal preparation plant would be required to meet the requirements of this NSPS. NSPS Subpart Kb, AStandards of Performance for Volatile Organic Liquid Storage Vessels@ (40 CFR 60.1106), applies to certain storage vessels constructed or modified after July 23, 1984. This NSPS could apply to the facility depending upon final engineering. However, final engineering is not complete and details necessary to determine applicability of this NSPS standard are not yet available. 3.4.5.6 Historical 	 Ambient Quality: NO2 Air

NO2 was monitored from 1975 through 1983 in Gillette and from March 1996 through April 1997 at four locations in the PRB. Table 3-7 summarizes the results of that monitoring. Beginning in 2001 the coal industry in cooperation with WDEQ/AQD installed a network of NO2 monitors in the PRB. The 2001 data from this regional network are summarized in Table 3-8. None of these sites are in the vicinity of the PSO Tract. Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment Table 3-7. Annual Ambient NO2 Concentration Data. Black Thunder Mine Percent of Standard1 Belle Ayr Mine Percent of Standard1

Site Year 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 19832 19963
1 2

Gillette Percent of Standard1 6* 4* 4* 11* 11 12 14 11 17 16

Bill Percent of Standard1 1* 5*

16

22

22

Based on arithmetic averaging of data. 
 Monitoring discontinued December 1983, reactivated March 1996 to April 1997. 
 3 Arithmetic average – actual sampling ran from March 1996 to April 1997. 
 * Inadequate number of samples. Source: McVehil-Monnett 1997

Table 3-8. Monitor

2001 Annual Ambient NO2 Concentration Data. Annual Mean NO2 Concentration (Pg/m3) 7
 14 
 5* 


Antelope Mine Belle Ayr Mine Black Thunder Mine
the annual mean for the site.

* Data for the third quarter is questionable and therefore is not used in the determination of Annual NO2 levels measured in the March 1996 to April 1997 timeframe were below applicable standards. The highest reading was 22 Pg/m3 as compared to the 100 Pg/m3 standard. All 2001 annual mean NO2 concentrations are well below the standards of 100 Pg/m3. Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange Control Measures Some of the mines in the PRB have implemented programs designed to control/limit public exposure to the intermittent, short-term NO2 releases associated with blasting and they all comply with the 3-43

3.0 Affected Environment blasting plan publication/ notification requirements associated with the Permits to Mine issued by WDEQ/LQD. Voluntary measures that have been instituted by some mines include: • phone 	 notification of neighbors and workers in the general area of the mine prior to large blasts; 	 onitoring of weather and m atmospheric conditions prior to the decision to detonate a large blast; WDEQ has identified measures that it may require in cases where there are concerns with public exposure the blasting clouds. These measures include: •	 notification of neighbors and workers in the general area of the mine prior to the blast; • 	 last detonation between 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. whenever possible to avoid temperature inversions and minimize inconvenience to neighbors; • 	 onitoring of weather and m atmospheric conditions prior to the decision to detonate a blast;

•

• 	minimizing blast size to the extent possible; and • 	posting of signs on major public roads that enter the general mine area and on all locked gates accessing the active mine area. Mine operators in the eastern PRB and blasting agent manufacturers have been working together to reduce NOx emissions through the use of different blasting agent mixtures and additives used with regard to the relative competency of the overburden and its moisture content. Operators continue to employ new blasting techniques such as the use of sophisticated electronic detonation systems that can vary shot timing, the use of different shot hole patterns, and the use of plastic liners within the shot holes to help prevent unspent blasting agent from dispersing out into the deformable overburden rock upon detonation (Doug Emme 2003). 3-44

• 	posting of signs on major public roads that enter the general mine area and on all locked gates accessing the active mine area; and • closing public roads when 	 appropriate to protect the public.

3.4.5.7 	 Air Quality Related ValuesVisibility and Acidification of Lakes AQRVs, including the potential air pollutant effects on visibility and the acidification of lakes and streams, are applied to PSD Class I and sensitive Class II areas. The land management agency responsible for the Class I area sets LAC for each AQRV. The AQRVs reflect the land management agency’s policy and are not legally enforceable standards.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment Visibility Potential impacts to visibility were considered at 29 PSD Class I and sensitive Class II areas in the vicinity of the PRB. Table 3-5 shows the nearest distances from the sensitive receptor areas to the PSO Tract. Visibility can be defined as the distance one can see and the ability to perceive color, contrast, and detail. Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is the main cause of visibility impairment. Visual range, one of several ways to express visibility, is the furthest distance a person can see a landscape feature. Maximum visual range in the western United States would be about 140 miles. Presently, the visibility conditions monitored in the Bridger Wilderness Area are among the best in the United States. Visual range monitoring in the Bridger Wilderness Area shows that one can see more than 70 miles 70 percent of the time. Visibility impairment is expressed in terms of deciview (dv). The dv index was developed as a linear perceived visual change (Pitchford and Malm 1994), and is the unit of measure used in the U. S. EPA’s Regional Haze Rule to achieve the National Visibility Goal. A change in visibility of 1.0 dv represents a “just noticeable change” by an average person under most circumstances. Increasing dv values represent proportionately larger perceived visibility impairment. Figure 3-8 shows annual averages for the 20 percent best, worst, and middle visibility days at Badlands and Bridger Wilderness Areas from 1988 Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange to 1998, 2002)2. respectively (IMPROVE

Acidification of Lakes The acidification of lakes and streams is caused by atmospheric deposition of pollutants (acid rain). Lake acidification is expressed as the change in ANC measured in Peq/L, the lake’s capacity to resist acidification from acid rain. Table 3­ 9 shows the existing ANC monitored in some mountain lakes. 3.4.6 Water Resources 3.4.6.1 Groundwater

Within the PSO Tract there are two water-bearing geologic units that could be disturbed by mining. These units are the alluvium of West Branch, Little Youngs Creek and Youngs Creek, and the Dietz 1 and Dietz 3 coal seams. The sub-Dietz coal Fort Union Formation would not be disturbed by mining activities. The stratigraphic units beneath the PSO Tract and the hydrologic properties are displayed in Figure 3-5. The PSO No. 1 Mine completed 17 monitoring wells near the PSO Tract in 1980; two in the Dietz 1 seam, five in the Dietz 3 seam, and 10 in the alluvium (Figure 3-9). As discussed previously, the Ash Creek Mine, as it is currently called, was initially permitted as the PSO No. 1
Summaries are based on IMPROVE aerosol data using procedures from the EPA Draft Guidance for Tracking Progress under the Regional Haze Rule.
2

3-45

3.0 Affected Environment

Visibility in Badlands National Park 20 18 16 14 Visibility (dv) 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 IMPROVE Station: BADL 20% Cleanest Average 20% Haziest

Visibility in Bridger Wilderness 20 18 16 14 Visibility (dv) 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 IMPROVE Station: BRID 20% Cleanest Average 20% Haziest

Figure 3-8. Visibility in the Badlands and Bridger Wilderness Areas.

3-46

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment
22 23 24 R. 38 E. R. 39 E. 17 16 15

14

395 394 TP-1,2

20
WR-35

21

22

23

27

26
422

25
YCP-1,2,3

WR-26 401 WR-24,25

29 T. 9 S. 34 35 36
WR-30,31 WR-36,37

28
WR-47

27

26

WR-32

WR-33

T. 10 S. T. 58 N.

3

2

WR-49

1

32
PWA-101 PWA-100 WR-40 PWA-102 A-1 A-3 B-102 B-103 B-106

WR-34

33
WR-27

34

B-101 B-100

18

17

19

20

21

B-104 B-2 B-3A B-3 C-1 B-105 C-3 BF-1 22

WR-43 WR-42 WR-44 WR-41 WR-45 WR-46 WR-38 WR-39 WR-48

35 T. 9 S. T. 58 N.

23

24

30

29

28

27

26

25

31

32

33 R. 84 W.

34

35

36

LEGEND
PSO Tract Reclaimed PSO No. 1 Mine Pit
10000

BF-1

Monitoring Wells for the PSO No. 1 Mine Monitoring Wells Used by Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology

WR-37

0

2500

GRAPHIC SCALE
5000 ( FEET )

Wyoming - Montana State Line

Figure 3-9. Monitoring Well Locations Within and Adjacent to the PSO Tract.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3-47

3.0 Affected Environment Table 3-9. Existing Acid Neutralizing Capacity in Sensitive Lakes. Wilderness Area Lake Background ANC (Peq/L) Bridger Black Joe 69.0 Deep 61.0 Hobbs 68.0 Upper Frozen 5.81 Cloud Peak Emerald 55.3 Florence 32.7 Fitzpatrick Ross 61.4 Popo Agie Lower Saddlebag 55.5
1	

Since the background ANC value is less than 25 Peq/L, the potential ANC change is expressed in Peq/L, and the applicable threshold is 1.0 Peq/L. Source: Argonne (2002)

Mine in 1976. This was prior to most of the current regulations and guidelines governing surface coal mining in Wyoming. Most of the monitoring wells for the PSO No. 1 Mine were installed after pit development; therefore, groundwater level drawdowns had already occurred at many of the well locations when the first measurements were recorded. The future of the PSO No. 1 Mine was contingent upon approval and construction of a proposed railroad spur for an adjacent mine in Montana that was being contemplated by Shell Oil Company. A railroad spur was not built and commercial mining did not commence, although the pit remained open until late 1995 when reclamation of the PSO No. 1 Mine site began. By mid-1996, reclamation was complete and a single backfill monitoring well was then installed. Data from the PSO No. 1 Mine’s 18 monitoring wells, as well as data collected by MBMG to identify the hydrogeology of the adjacent proposed surface coal mine area in Montana (Hedges et al. 1980), were used to prepare the 3-48

following description of the baseline groundwater conditions in the PSO Tract area. Figure 3-9 shows the locations of the PSO No. 1 Mine pit and the MBMG monitoring wells as well as the 18 PSO No. 1 Mine monitoring wells. Recent Alluvium Within the boundary of the federal coal being considered for exchange, alluvium is present along West Branch. Little Youngs Creek is located just north of the tract proposed for exchange and could be affected if privately owned coal adjacent to the tract is mined (Figure 2-2). The alluvium along Little Youngs Creek ranges from roughly 50 to 100 ft wide and consists of 10 to 20 ft of fine-grained clays, silts, and sands underlain by up to 35 ft of coarse sand and scoria gravel (Ash Creek Mining Company 1984). Hedges et al. (1980) reported that slightly thicker deposits of alluvium occupy the bottom of the Youngs Creek drainage where the maximum thickness of unconsolidated materials is approximately 65 ft. Alluvial deposits along West Branch are not Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment extensive and were not intensively investigated for the baseline hydrology section of the PSO No. 1 Mine permit application. The hydraulic properties of the alluvium are variable, although the coarse material in the basal Little Youngs Creek alluvium forms a moderate to high yield aquifer. The hydraulic conductivity of the Little Youngs Creek alluvium ranges from 86 to 134 ft/day, the average computed for the entire saturated thickness is about 120 ft/day (Ash Creek Mining Company 1984). Aquifer testing of both the Little Youngs Creek and Youngs Creek alluvium also indicated that the groundwater is confined in the coarse-grained basal materials beneath the overlying clay and silt deposits at some well locations, whereas at other locations the basal gravels may not behave as a confined aquifer. Water levels in the Little Youngs Creek alluvium were affected by the construction of the initial pit of the PSO No. 1 Mine. The pit did not disturb the majority of the valley fill of Little Youngs Creek, although some alluvium was removed. As a result, the natural groundwater flow pattern was altered and gradients were toward the pit until backfilling occurred in 1996. Since reclamation, alluvial groundwater levels have apparently fully recovered and underflow through the alluvium has been reestablished. Alluvium along the area’s watercourses transmits large volumes of groundwater Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange southeastward. It is recharged vertically from streamflow and precipitation, and laterally from subcrops of discharging bedrock aquifers. It provides temporary storage of water during periods of high streamflow and returns it to the streams during periods of low streamflow. Most flow in the alluvium occurs within the basal gravels that consist of locally derived burn/clinker materials. Groundwater sampled from the Little Youngs Creek alluvial aquifer is generally a magnesium-, calciumbicarbonate type. The TDS concentrations are usually about 500 to 600 mg/L, and it is classified as permissible to good for irrigation and livestock uses. Clinker Another geologic unit consisting of sediments that were baked, fused, and melted in place is clinker, also called scoria, or burn. The clinker is the result of prehistoric coal fires that heated the rock overlying the burning coal beds and produced the clinker, which collapsed into the void left by the burned coal. Scoria deposits can be a very permeable aquifer and can extend laterally for miles in the PRB. Scoria deposits occur within the PSO Tract area. The hydrologic function of scoria in the general area is to provide infiltration of precipitation and recharge to laterally contiguous Dietz 1 and Dietz 3 coal seams. Dietz 1 and Dietz 3 Coal Seams Due to their lateral continuity, the Dietz 1 and Dietz 3 coal seams are 3-49

3.0 Affected Environment considered regional aquifers within this area of the PRB, although both are somewhat low yielding. Within the PSO Tract area, the Dietz 1 coal seam is present over a wide range of depths below the surface (approximately one to 275 ft), and due to erosion and burning it occurs as a 20-ft thick seam only in the northern half of Sections 21, 22, and 23, T.58N., R.84W. The Dietz 2 and Dietz 3 seams have an interburden thickness ranging from approximately 20 to 40 ft. The Dietz 2 seam is present only in the southern part of the PSO Tract area and is less than five ft thick. Therefore, the Dietz 2 is not considered mineable, nor is it considered an aquifer in this area. The Dietz 3 seam is present across the entire general area and ranges from approximately 10 to 50 ft thick. The value of the Fort Union coal seams as sources of groundwater is largely dependent upon their depths and occurrence with respect to recharge areas. In addition, the hydraulic conductivity of a coal seam is typically highly variable and is reflective of the amount of fracturing the coal has undergone, as unfractured coal is virtually impermeable. The yield of groundwater to wells and mine pits is smallest where the permeability of the coal is derived primarily from localized unloading fractures. These fractures, which are the most common, were created by the expansion of the coal as the weight of overlying sediments was slowly removed by erosion. The highest permeability is imparted to the coal by tectonic fractures. These are 3-50 through-going fractures of areal importance created during deformation of the Powder River structural basin. The presence of these fractures can be recognized by their linear expression at the ground surface, controlling the orientation of stream drainages and topographic depressions. Due to their pronounced surface expression, these tectonic fractures are often referred to as “lineaments”. Coal permeability along lineaments can be increased by orders of magnitude over that in coal fractured by unloading only. The hydraulic properties of the coal seams within and adjacent to the PSO Tract are expected to be very similar to those that were determined by aquifer pump testing some of the monitoring wells shown in Figure 3-9. The hydraulic conductivity of the Dietz 1 and Dietz 3 coal seams ranges from 0.13 to 3.6 ft/day. The average hydraulic conductivity for the coal bed aquifers is estimated to be 1.0 ft/day (Hedges et al. 1980). The average storage coefficient value was determined to be roughly 0.0003, indicative of a confined aquifer and typical for Fort Union coal seams that are usually overlain and underlain by relatively impermeable siltstone and shale strata. These values agree well with those measured at other surface mining operations in this general area of the PRB. Prior to mining, the direction of groundwater flow within a coal aquifer is generally from the recharge areas near the outcrop and burn zones downgradient following Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment the dip of the coal. Variations in the degree and extent of fracturing (thus transmissivity), outcrop geometry, and structural faulting also control flow patterns. The Dietz 1 seam receives recharge primarily via clinker along the coal’s burned outcrop areas and in places where subcrops of the coal lie beneath the water table in alluvium along watercourses. Discharge from the system ultimately occurs primarily along the Tongue River east-northeast of the PSO Tract area. As discussed in Section 3.4.3, two northeast-trending structural faults approximate the northwest and southeast boundaries of the proposed mining area. These faults, which are shown in Figure 3-10, act to control the groundwater flow patterns. This is because the coal bed is offset an estimated 60 to 180 ft across the faults, and these stratigraphic offsets act as barriers to groundwater flow. Therefore, the Dietz 1 coal is not continuous to the west or south and essentially no recharge west or south of the PSO Tract area can occur. The subcrop zone lies beneath the alluvium of the West Branch and Little Youngs Creek and the seam is saturated downdip to the northeast indicating the alluvial subcrop is a source of recharge. Discharge from the Dietz 1 coal aquifer occurs mostly at the seam’s subcrops beneath the Tongue River valley to the eastnortheast of the PSO Tract area. The Dietz 3 seam is burned over broad areas north, south, and west of the PSO Tract area (Figure 3-10). The structurally and topographically high outcrops of scoria there are the Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange primary recharge areas. The Dietz 3 seam is also offset by the faults that approximate the northwest and southeast boundaries of the proposed mining area. As shown in Figure 3-10, the Dietz 3 coal outcrop is located along the north side of Ash Creek valley. As a result, the Dietz 3 coal is not continuous to the northwest, southwest, or southeast of the PSO Tract area. Discharge from the Dietz 3 coal aquifer occurs mostly at the seam’s subcrops beneath the Tongue River valley to the east-northeast of the PSO Tract area. The baseline potentiometric surfaces of the Dietz 1 and Dietz 3 beds are very similar and are in fact identical where the two beds converge downdip of the PSO Tract area. Groundwater flow direction in both the Dietz 1 and Dietz 3 seams is to the northeast parallel to the structural gradient and bounded by the northeast-trending fault planes. Site-specific water level data collected at monitoring wells shown in Figure 3-9 indicate that opening the PSO No. 1 Mine box cut pit in 1976 caused groundwater level drawdowns to occur locally in both the Dietz 1 and Dietz 3 coal seams due to pit dewatering, although the general flow direction remained toward the northeast, down the structural gradient. The pit penetrated through the Dietz 1 coal in 1976. This coal seam is dry near the pit, but monitoring wells located north of the pit which do have water in them recorded drawdowns. Currently, groundwater flow in the Dietz 1 seam is still toward the pit and this should continue until the 3-51

3.0 Affected Environment
Yo un gs

R. 38 E. R. 39 E.
Cre 25 ek

28

27

26

20

21

22

23

T. 9 S. T. 10 S.

33

34
Lit tle

35

36

T. 9 S. T. T. 9 10 S. S.

29

28

U D 27

26

Youn gs

Creek

4

3

2 17 U

1

32

33

34

35

R. 38 E. R. 39 E. U D 22 U D

T. 9 S.

13 T. R. 85 W. 58 N. 24

18 R. 84 W.

19

D

20
We st
Branch

21

R. 84 W. R. 83 W. T. 58 24 19 N. Yo un gs
Cr ee k 30

25

30

29

28

27

26

25

U 36 31 32

D 33

34

T. 58 N. T. 57 N.

35 Ash C ree k

36

31

T. 58 N. T. 57 N.

1

6

5

4

3

2

gue Ton

er Riv

1

6

12 R. 85 W. R. 84 W.

7

8

9

10

11

12

7 R. 84 W. R. 83 W.

LEGEND
PSO Tract Dietz 3 Clinker Wyoming - Montana State Line
0 3000

Approximat Dietz 1 Coal Outcrop Line. Approximat Dietz 3 Coal Outcrop Line. Approximate Bifurcation Line of Dietz 3 and Dietz 1 Coal Seams. Arrows Point to Direction of Divergence. U D Fault Trace Showing Relative Movement.

GRAPHIC SCALE
6000 ( FEET )

12000

Figure 3-10. General Geologic Map of the PSO Tract Area.

3-52

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment backfill fully saturates equilibrium is reestablished. and except livestock watering (Hedges et al. 1980, Ash Creek Mining Company 1984). Sub-Dietz Formation Coal Fort Union

Recovery has proceeded rapidly since reclamation occurred. The PSO No. 1 Mine pit partially removed the shale interburden between the Dietz 1 and Dietz 3 seams. As a result, groundwater from the Dietz 3 seam migrated through this confining layer upward into the excavation, thus lowering the Dietz 3 seam’s hydrostatic pressure. Reclamation has apparently stopped the upward leakage, as groundwater level elevations have been quickly increasing (P&M 2001). Current groundwater level information suggest that recent nearby CBM activity may influence the rate at which premining groundwater level equilibrium will be reached. The chemistry of groundwater in the coal seams is variable with respect to location from the recharge areas. In waters near recharge areas, magnesium, calcium, sodium, sulfate, and bicarbonate are all present in significant concentrations. At a short distance downgradient (northeastward), magnesium and calcium concentrations are reduced and sodium becomes the principal cation. Similarly, the percentage of sulfate concentration is reduced leaving bicarbonate the predominant anion. Further downgradient, sulfate is nearly absent, leaving sodium and bicarbonate overwhelmingly the predominant ions. TDS concentrations range from 1,000 to 3,000 mg/L. The SAR is typically very high and the water is poor to unsuitable for most uses Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

No hydrologic units below the Dietz 3 coal seam would be directly disturbed by the proposed Ash Creek Mine. The thickness of interburden between the Dietz 3 seam and the next water-bearing unit, which is the Monarch (also called the Lower Monarch or Canyon) coal seam, is approximately 100 ft. Roughly another 100 ft of interburden separate the Monarch seam from the next aquifer - the Carney coal seam. Below the Carney seam, the Tongue River Member is interbedded with the Lebo Shale Member of the Fort Union Formation. The Lebo Member, also referred to as the “Lebo Confining Layer”, is typically more fine-grained than the other two members and generally retards the movement of water (Lewis and Hotchkiss 1981). Beneath the Lebo Member is the Tullock Member, consisting of discontinuous lenses of sandstone separated by interbedded shale and siltstone. The transmissivities of the Tullock Member sandstones are generally high and many of the surface mines in the PRB have water supply wells completed in this interval (Martin et al. 1988). However, due to its excessive depth, the Tullock Member is not utilized as a source of water in this area of the PRB. In the vicinity of the PSO Tract area the hydrologic units stratigraphi­ cally beneath the Dietz 3 coal seam 3-53

3.0 Affected Environment that have been or are presently being dewatered are the Monarch and Carney coal seams. The Monarch seam was mined at the Big Horn Coal Mine and actively dewatered until final reclamation was completed in 2000. Currently, CBM development is occurring to the north, south, and east of the PSO Tract area and is reducing water levels in the Dietz 3, Monarch, and Carney coal seam aquifers. Lance and Fox Hills Formations Underlying the Fort Union Formation is the Lance Formation of Cretaceous age. At the base of the Lance Formation is the Fox Hills Sandstone. Neither the Lance or Fox Hills Formations are to be affected by the proposed Ash Creek Mine, nor are these formations being affected or utilized as a source of groundwater in the general Ash Creek area. 3.4.6.2 Surface Water percent of the annual streamflow volume would be expected to result from spring snowmelt runoff. During the spring, general storms (both rain and snow) increase soil moisture, hence decreasing infiltration capacity, and subsequent rainstorms can result in both large runoff volumes and high peak discharges. The surface water quality varies with streamflow rate; the higher the flow rate, the lower the TDS concentration but the higher the suspended solids concentration. Surface water features within and adjacent to the PSO Tract are displayed in Figure 3­ 11. Surface water drainages within and adjacent to the PSO Tract area include Youngs Creek, Little Youngs Creek, West Branch, and Ash Creek. Youngs Creek, Little Youngs Creek, and Ash Creek are perennial streams. The streams of primary interest are the main stems of Little Youngs Creek and its ephemeral tributary, West Branch. Little Youngs Creek is a tributary to Youngs Creek, which is a tributary to Tongue River. Little Youngs Creek flows in an east-southeast direction towards its confluence with Youngs Creek, and West Branch flows eastward toward its confluence with Little Youngs Creek (Figure 3-11). The PSO Tract area lies within the drainages of Youngs Creek and Ash Creek; however, the main stems of these two streams do not fall within the boundary of the federal coal being considered for exchange. West Branch lies within the PSO Tract. The relationship between the area of the federal coal being considered for exchange and Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

The area surrounding the PSO Tract consists of relatively flat, rounded uplands dissected by numerous deep, steeply sloping ravines. In general, the streams within this area are typical for the region, and their flow events are closely reflective of precipitation patterns. Flows would be expected to vary widely on a seasonal and annual basis. Flow events frequently result from snowmelt during the late winter and early spring. Although peak discharges from such events are generally small, the duration and therefore percentage of annual runoff volume can be considerable. Perhaps as much as 60 to 80 3-54

R. 38 E. R. 39 E.

LEGEND
Yo un gs

Ta nn er

PSO Tract Wyoming - Montana State Line
k ee Cr

Cre ek

Perennial Stream Internittent or Ephemeral Stream

High way 338

36 31 6 1

Ash Cr ee k

36 1

Ton gue

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange
Lit tle

T. 9 S. 29
gs un Yo

Youn gs
Creek

T. 9 S. 36 32 1 T. T. 9 10 S. S. R. 38 E. R. 39 E.

k ee Cr

T. 10 S.
Ash

T. 9 S. R. 84 W. R. 83 W. T. 58 N.

T. 58 N.
Cr ee k
Wes t

R. 85 W.

R. 84 W.

Figure 3-11. Surface Water Features Within and Adjacent to the PSO Tract.
ch an Br
sh Little A

Cree k

River

3.0 Affected Eenvironment

31 B eat ty 6

lch Gu

T. 58 N. T. 57 N. R. 85 W. R. 84 W.

3-55

SCALE: 1" = 6000'

T. 58 N. T. 57 N. R. 84 W. R. 83 W.

3.0 Affected Environment the area of the proposed Ash Creek Mine, which includes privatelyowned coal adjacent to the PSO Tract, is shown on Figure 2-2. As shown in Figure 2-2, portions of Little Youngs Creek and Youngs Creek could be affected by mining privately-owned coal adjacent to the PSO Tract, if the exchange is completed and PSO opens a mine as proposed. Little Youngs Creek originates in the Wolf Mountains in Montana. Only about 22 percent of its drainage area is situated within the State of Wyoming. The drainage area of Little Youngs Creek above the state line is approximately 13.8 square mi. Little Youngs Creek streamflow varies with the seasons and is further affected by stream diversions for stock reservoirs and irrigation withdrawals, as well as irrigation return flows. During the low-flow season, streamflow is maintained largely by groundwater seepage from the alluvial system (Hedges et al. 1980). Based primarily upon longterm observations by local residents, Little Youngs Creek would be classified as a perennial stream, particularly throughout its lower reaches. These observations also indicate that the natural base flow is very small, probably only a fraction of one cfs during the low-flow season. During the driest years there may be periods of time when there is no streamflow. A streamflow monitoring station located about one-half mile upstream of the state line was maintained by Shell Oil Company for portions of the 1980 through 1982 water years, and records from that station indicate that the stream 3-56 was dry for prolonged periods of time during the low-flow season (Ash Creek Mining Company 1984). West Branch is classified as an ephemeral stream, meaning it flows only in direct response to snowmelt or precipitation runoff events. The West Branch alluvial system is not extensive enough to maintain streamflow by seepage of groundwater. The upper reach of this stream lies entirely within the PSO Tract area and its confluence with Little Youngs Creek is approximately one mile downstream (east) of the PSO Tract area. The drainage area of Little Youngs Creek is approximately 17 square miles and the mean annual runoff is roughly 1,300 ac-ft. The entire drainage area of West Branch is situated in Wyoming and it is approximately two square miles in area. The mean annual runoff from the West Branch is roughly 150 ac­ ft. Because no long-term streamflow data are available for Little Youngs Creek or West Branch, an indirect hydrologic correlation method was used to estimate the mean annual flows. Measured regional streamflows, precipitation records, and drainage basin characteristics were used to estimate the unit annual discharge for the Little Youngs Creek drainage basin. In 1975, prior to any mining activities at the PSO No. 1 Mine, water samples were collected from Little Youngs Creek and West Branch to document baseline surface water quality in the general vicinity of the mine site (Ash Creek Mining Company 1984). Local Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment surface waters were characterized as moderately alkaline, very hard, and slightly turbid. Calcium and magnesium were the predominant cations while bicarbonate and sulfate were the major anions. The SAR was less than 1.0, indicating that the water is suitable for irrigation on all types of soils. Concentrations of nutrients were low indicating that upstream input of organic materials does not occur; however, relatively high fecal coliform bacteria values indicated that either domestic or animal wastes were entering the streams upstream from the mine. Surface water quality is usually unsuitable for domestic uses without treatment, but suitable for most agricultural uses, livestock, and wildlife. Flows and water quality are currently monitored on Little Youngs Creek by P&M both upstream and downstream of the reclaimed PSO No. 1/Ash Creek Mine site. These monitoring results are reported to the WDEQ/LQD annually (P&M 2001). In general, the TDS concentrations show no appreciable increase from upstream to downstream indicating that the reclaimed area has no apparent effect on surface water quality. 3.4.6.3 Water Rights Records of the Wyoming SEO and the Montana DNRC were searched in March 2003 for groundwater rights within a three-mile radius of the federal coal lands being considered for exchange. This information would be required for a WDEQ mine permit application. Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange SEO and DNRC data indicate there are 516 permitted water wells within three miles of the federal coal being considered for exchange, of which 500 are within Wyoming and 16 are within Montana. Of the 500 permitted wells in Wyoming, 85 are related to surface coal mining. There are 37 mine-related monitoring wells in Montana, although the DNRC does not require a Certificate of Water Right for scientific monitoring wells, as there is no beneficial use of water. Of the 431 other wells in Wyoming and Montana that are not related to surface coal mining, 38 are permitted for stock watering, 16 are permitted for domestic use, 18 are permitted for stock watering and domestic use, 224 are permitted for both CBM development and stock watering, 58 are permitted for CBM development only, 71 are permitted for both irrigation and CBM development, three are permitted for stock, miscellaneous, and CBM development, two are permitted for miscellaneous, and one is permitted for stock and irrigation use. In addition, a total of 67 CBM wells currently exist in Montana that are within a three-mile radius of the federal coal being considered for exchange. Similar to monitoring wells, the State of Montana has ruled that a Certificate of Water Right is not required for a CBM well unless the discharge water is put to a beneficial use (i.e., stock watering). A listing of the 431 permitted wells that are not related to mining is presented in Appendix G. Wyoming SEO and Montana DNRC records were also searched for 3-57

3.0 Affected Environment surface water rights within one-half mile upstream and three miles downstream of the federal coal lands being considered for exchange. Again, this information would be required for a WDEQ mine permit application. SEO and DNRC records indicate 98 permitted surface water rights within the search area, of which 89 are within Wyoming and nine are within Montana. Five of the 89 surface water rights in Wyoming are held by the PSO No. 1 Mine/Ash Creek Mining Company for industrial and miscellaneous uses. The 93 non-coal mine surface water rights are primarily for stock watering and irrigation uses, with a small number of domestic, industrial, miscellaneous, temporary, and wildlife uses. A listing of the 93 non-coal mine surface water rights is included in Appendix G. 3.4.7 Alluvial Valley Floors the AVF must be reestablished as part of the reclamation process. The determination of significance to agriculture is made by WDEQ/LQD, and it is based on specific calculations related to the production of crops or forage on the AVF and the size of the existing agricultural operations on the land of which the AVF is a part. The portion of Little Youngs Creek that was within the PSO No. 1/Ash Creek Mine permit area was investigated for the presence of an AVF (Ash Creek Mining Company 1984). This area is not on the PSO Tract proposed for exchange, but it could be affected by mining operations on private coal if the exchange is completed. The investigation concluded that portions of Little Youngs Creek constitute an AVF within the northeastern portion of the PSO No. 1 Mine permit area, specifically where Little Youngs Creek crosses the NE¼ of Section 22, T.58N., R.84W. The two AVF components that led to this conclusion are the presence of unconsolidated streamlaid deposits and the existence of irrigation agricultural activities. Three essential hydrologic functions were identified for restoration during the reclamation of the Ash Creek Mine: channel stability, alluvial underflow, and flood irrigation. These three essential hydrologic functions were reestablished upon the mine’s final reclamation. Because the PSO No. 1 Mine’s pit did not disturb the majority of alluvial valley fill on Little Youngs Creek, groundwater underflow through the alluvium was not Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

WDEQ regulations define AVFs as unconsolidated stream laid deposits where water availability is sufficient for subirrigation or flood irrigation agricultural activities. Prior to leasing and mining, AVFs must be identified because SMCRA restricts mining activities which affect AVFs that are determined to be significant to agriculture. In accordance with 30 CFR 822.12, impacts to designated AVFs are prohibited if the AVF is determined to be significant to agriculture. If the AVF is determined not to be significant to agriculture, or if the permit to affect the AVF was issued prior to the effective date of SMCRA, the AVF can be disturbed during mining but the essential hydrologic functions of 3-58

3.0 Affected Environment significantly changed. Irrigation ditches that were disturbed but had been neglected several years prior to disturbance were renovated, thus reestablishing the potential for flood irrigation. Reclaimed channels were constructed to safely convey the probable discharges at non-erosive velocities, thus reestablishing channel stability. If P&M acquires the federal coal in the PSO Tract as proposed and applies for a permit to mine, the mine permit application submitted to WDEQ must include an investigation determining the presence of AVFs within the proposed permit area. As depicted by the schematic mine plan for P&M’s proposed Ash Creek Mine (Figure 2-2), portions of West Branch, Little Youngs Creek, and Youngs Creek would be within the permit area. West Branch is within the PSO Tract. Little Youngs Creek and Youngs Creek are outside of the PSO Tract but would be disturbed if the privately-owned coal adjacent to the PSO Tract is mined as shown in Figure 2-2. Ash Creek and its alluvial valley would be outside of the mined areas; therefore, it is unlikely that AVF investigations of the Ash Creek valley would be necessary. Specific declarations of the presence of AVFs and their significance to agriculture within the proposed Ash Creek Mine permit area would be made by WDEQ. 3.4.8 Wetlands Wetlands are defined as areas inundated or saturated with surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions (40 CFR 230.3 and 33 CFR 328.3). Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas. Jurisdictional wetlands are those wetlands that are under regulatory authority of the EPA and the COE pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. Such wetlands must exhibit all three diagnostic characteristics including hydro­ phytic vegetation, hydric soils, and wetland hydrology under normal circumstances. The presence of jurisdictional wetlands on a mine property does not preclude mining but does entail special permitting procedures to assure that after mining is completed there would be no net loss of wetlands. A wetland delineation must be done according to approved procedures (COE 1987) and submitted to the COE for verification as to the amounts and types of jurisdictional wetlands present. In Wyoming, once the delineation has been verified it is made a part of the mine permit document. The reclamation plan is then revised to incorporate at least an equal number and type of wetlands. General jurisdictional wetland inventories were completed in 2001 on the federal coal lands considered for exchange. Formal inventories would be completed and submitted to the COE as a required part of the mine permit application. The wetland delineations are completed in accordance with the procedures 3-59

3.0 Affected Environment and criteria contained in the COE 1987 Wetland Delineation Manual. A total of 15.32 acres of waters of the U.S. have been identified, of which 6.20 acres are estimated to be jurisdictional wetlands. The remaining 9.12 acres are classified as other waters of the U.S. The 6.20 acres of wetlands are associated primarily with man-made stock ponds while the 9.12 acres of other waters are associated with stockponds (6.3 acres) and ephemeral stream channels (2.82 acres). 3.4.9 Vegetation A preliminary vegetation baseline study on the federal coal lands being considered for exchange was completed in 2001. The study area includes part or all of Sections 15, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, 33, and 34, T.58N., R.84W. The vegetation communities in this area were delineated and mapped. A total of three vegetation types have been identified and mapped within the PSO Tract. Table 3-10 presents the acreage and percent of the area encompassed by each vegetation type within the PSO Tract. The vegetation types include Mixed Shrub Grass, Ponderosa Pine, and Rough Breaks. These vegetation types are described as follows: The Mixed Shrub Grass vegetation type is the largest mapping unit identified within the PSO Tract, occupying approximately 1,592.1 acres, or 77.85 percent of the study area. This vegetation type typically occurs in upland positions 3-60 throughout the study area. Major perennial species include big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), western wheatgrass (Agropyron smithii), bluebunch wheatgrass (Agropyron spicatum), needle-and­ thread (Stipa comata), broom snakeweed (Gutierrezia sarothrae), and fringed sagewort (Artemisia frigida). Japanese chess (Bromus japonicus) is an annual species that is common on this vegetation type. The Ponderosa Pine vegetation type is the second largest mapping unit comprising approximately 330.8 acres, or 16.18 percent of the area. This vegetation type occurs throughout the study area on north facing rocky slopes, outcrops, and smaller foothills. Along with ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) several other plant species dominate this vegetation type. These species include skunkbush sumac (Rhus trilobata) and Rocky Mountain juniper (Juniperus scopulorum). The understory vegetation is dominated by bluebunch wheatgrass, broom snakeweed, fringed sagewort, green needlegrass (Stipa viridula), and hairy goldenaster (Heterotheca villosa). The Rough Breaks vegetation type occurs throughout the study area and makes up approximately 122.1 acres, or 5.97 percent of the study area. This vegetation type occurs on steep sideslopes and rocky outcrops. Common species for this vegetation type include big sagebrush, rubber rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus nauseosus), broom snakeweed, winterfat (Ceratoides lanata), and fringed sagewort. Perennial grasses include bluebunch wheatgrass, Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment Table 3-10. Vegetation Types Identified and Mapped Within the PSO Tract. Vegetation Type 	 Mixed Shrub Grass 	 Ponderosa Pine 	 Rough Breaks 	 Total western wheatgrass, and needleand-thread. 3.4.9.1 Threatened, 	 Endangered, Proposed, and Candidate Plant Species, BLM Sensitive Species, and State Species of Special Concern Refer to Appendix E. 3.4.10 Wildlife 3.4.10.1 Wildlife Resources Background information on wildlife in the vicinity of the PSO Tract area was drawn from several sources including: Ash Creek Mine Annual Reports, WGFD and USFWS records, and personnel contacts with WGFD and USFWS biologists. Wildlife monitoring has been ongoing for the P&M Ash Creek Mine since the mine was permitted. The program was designed to meet the WDEQ/LQD and federal requirements for the annual monitoring and reporting of wildlife activity on coal mining areas. Detailed procedures and sitespecific requirements have been carried out as approved by WGFD and USFWS. The annual monitoring studies for a mine permit area of this size (less than 500 Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange Acres 1592.1 330.8 122.1 2,045.0 	 Percent of Area 77.85 16.18 5.97 100.00

acres) involve the measurement and assessment of selected wildlife species, and studies are not as detailed as baseline inventories or monitoring programs for larger mines. The monitoring program has continued in accordance with Appendix B of the WDEQ/LQD Rules and Regulations. For the Ash Creek Mine, all wildlife species coincidentally observed during wildlife surveys are recorded. Any signs of species that are not visually sighted are also recorded. The most recent annual wildlife monitoring program for the P&M Ash Creek Mine was conducted by Intermountain Resources of Laramie, Wyoming and the results are included in the 2002 Ash Creek Mine Annual Mining and Reclamation Report, which was submitted to the WDEQ/LQD (P&M 2002). Some of the 2003 surveys have been conducted but the results of those surveys are not yet available. Baseline and monitoring surveys cover large perimeters around each mine’s permit area. Consequently, a majority of the PSO Tract area has been surveyed during annual wildlife monitoring for the P&M Ash Creek Mine by Intermountain Resources. In addition, the entire PSO Tract area has undergone a 3-61

3.0 Affected Environment wildlife survey, which was completed in July of 2000 through July of 2001 by Intermountain Resources. The PSO Tract area and adjacent lands consist primarily of uplands. The topography is level to rolling, with some areas sloping to steeply sloping. Mixed shrub grass habitat dominates the area. This habitat is characterized by level ground to rolling hills that are well vegetated. Ponderosa pine and rough breaks habitats also occur within the general area. All streams on the study area are ephemeral or perennial. Several ponds exist on the PSO Tract, with all of them being stockponds. Ponderosa pine trees exist on the foothills and steep rocky slopes of the proposed exchange area. 3.4.10.2 Big Game Three big game species occur in the vicinity of the PSO Tract area: pronghorn (Antilocapra americana), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). WGFD big game herd unit maps generally show this area is out of the normal white-tailed deer range. The WGFD has classified the tract as yearlong and winter-yearlong pronghorn range. The vast majority of the tract is classified as winter-yearlong deer range. No crucial big game habitat or migration corridors are recognized by the WGFD for this area. Pronghorn are, by far, the most common big game species in the area. The study area is within the 3-62 Clearmont Herd Unit with approximately 1,000 acres within yearlong range and the remaining 1,045 acres within winter-yearlong range. None of the study area or other areas within two miles have been classified as crucial or critical pronghorn habitat. The yearly big game monitoring surveys completed for the adjacent P&M Ash Creek Mine also covered a majority of the proposed exchange area. The Ash Creek Mine surveys indicated that pronghorn are not abundant on the area during the spring, summer, or fall but frequent the site in normal winters and move out of the area in harsh winters when deep snows accumulate on the site. The PSO Tract area is located within the northeastern portion of the WGFD North Bighorn Mule Deer Herd Unit. The WGFD maps show the PSO Tract area is totally within winter-yearlong mule deer range. Crucial or critical mule deer ranges do not occur on or within several miles of the PSO Tract area. The P&M Ash Creek Mine survey indicated the area is a yearlong use area and mule deer are scattered throughout the site and do not concentrate on the area during any particular season. White-tailed deer are uncommonly observed on the PSO Tract area which is within the WGFD Powder River White-tailed Deer Herd Unit. The site is generally considered out of normal white-tailed deer range but the WGFD classified the adjacent areas associated with Ash Creek and Little Youngs Creek as yearlong habitat. No crucial white­ Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment tailed deer range exists on or within several miles of the PSO Tract area. 3.4.10.3 Other Mammals A variety of small and medium-sized mammal species occur in the vicinity of the PSO Tract area. These include predators and furbearers, such as coyote (Canis latrans), red fox (Vulpes vulpes), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), and raccoon (Procyon lotor). Prey species include rodents such as mice, voles, chipmunks, and blacktailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), and lagomorphs (jackrabbits and cottontails). These species are cyclically common and widespread throughout the region. They are important prey items for raptors and other predators. Surveys for prairie dog towns were conducted on the PSO Tract area and adjacent lands. Several small prairie dog towns were observed on the PSO Tract area. These prairie dog towns are located in the NE¼ of Section 21, the NW¼ of Section 22, the SE¼ of Section 20, the NE¼ of Section 29, and the NW¼ of Section 27, T.58N., R.84N. (Figure 3-12). Several other prairie dog towns are known to exist within several miles of the PSO Tract area (see additional discussion in Appendix E). The black bear (Ursus americanus) and mountain lion (Felis concolor) have been recorded in the area but are not common. 3.4.10.4 Raptors Numerous raptor species have been observed on or adjacent to the PSO Tract area. These species include Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), northern harrier (Circus cyaneus), Swainson’s hawk (Buteo swainsoni), red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), ferruginous hawk (Buteo regalis), rough-legged hawk (Buteo lagopus), prairie falcon (Falco mexicanus), Cooper’s hawk (Accipiter cooperii), American kestrel (Falco sparverius), turkey vulture (Carthartes aura), great horned owl (Bubo virginianus), short-eared owl (Asio flammeus), and burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia). Figure 3-12 shows the locations of intact raptor nest sites that have been identified since monitoring began for PSO No. 1/P&M Ash Creek Mine, which includes most of the PSO Tract area. A total of six raptor species have been identified nesting within one mile of the PSO Tract area. These species include the great horned owl, red-tailed hawk, golden eagle, prairie falcon, Cooper's hawk, and American kestrel. In 2001, six nest sites were active and included two golden eagle nests, three red-tailed hawk nests, and one great horned owl nest. An undetermined number of American kestrel nests were active. Only two raptor species have been recorded nesting on the actual federal coal lands being considered for trade. The red-tailed hawk and great horned owl successfully fledged young on the site in 2001. 3.4.10.5 Game Birds Several upland game bird species have been observed on the PSO Tract area or adjacent lands, including sage grouse (Centrocercus 3-63

3.0 Affected Environment
R. 38 E. R. 39 E. 28 27 26 25 20 21 22

T. 9 S.

33

34

35
Little You ngs Cree k

36

T. 9 S. T. 9 S.

29

28

27

gs un Yo k ee Cr

T. 10 S.

4

3

2

1

T. 10 S. 16

32

33

34

T. 9 S. T. 58 N.

13 R. 85 W. T. 58 N. 24

18 R. 84 W.

17

19 RT

20
We st

21

22

23

24

Branch

25 L ittle

30 Ash Creek

Ash

29
Cre ek

28

27

26

25

36 T. 58 N. T. 57 N. 1 R. 85 W. R. 84 W. Hid

31

32

33

34

35
Ash
Cre ek

36 T. 58 N. T. 57 N.

6

5

4

3

2
gue Ton

r Rive

1

LEGEND
Raptor Nest Location -Great Horned Owl -Coopers Hawk -Prairie Falcon -Golden Eagle -Red Tailed Hawk
0 2500

Black-Tailed Prairie Dog Town Sage Grouse Lek with Two-Mile Radius Wyoming - Montana State Line

GRAPHIC SCALE
5000 ( FEET )

10000

PSO Tract

3-64

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment urophasianus), sharp-tailed grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus), migratory mourning doves (Zenaida macroura), wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), and gray partridge (Perdix perdix). The mourning dove only inhabits the area for breeding and reproduction from late spring to early fall. The sage grouse is a yearlong resident and has been found on the PSO Tract area. Sage grouse lek surveys in April and May of 2001 and in March and April of 2002 identified an active sage grouse strutting ground within the federal coal lands being considered for trade. Figure 3-12 shows the location of this active lek. The twomile radius from this lek, which research identified as the area in which most hens would nest, covers most of the federal coal lands being considered for trade. The lek is located in the NW¼ of Section 27, T.58N., R.84W. This particular lek has been surveyed by Intermountain Resources since 1979 as part of the annual wildlife monitoring program for the Ash Creek Mine and the results have been submitted to WDEQ/LQD in the Ash Creek Mine Annual Mining and Reclamation Report. This sage grouse lek has been active intermittently since 1979, with the maximum number of males recorded at 31 in 1982. Survey data from 1987 through 1996 indicated that the lek had been abandoned. During the March and April 2002 survey, a maximum of 18 strutting males was recorded, approximately the same number that was recorded in 2001. The lek was most recently surveyed in 2003, Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange but the results of that survey are not yet available. The sharp-tailed grouse is a yearlong resident and was also found on the PSO Tract. Several sharp-tailed grouse lek sites have been recorded in the past but these leks were inconsistently used and none were consistently active in 2001 and 2002. The wild turkey and pheasant were commonly encountered on the area while the gray partridge was uncommon. 3.4.10.6 	Migratory Bird Species of Management Concern in Wyoming Table 3-11 provides a list of the 40 Migratory Bird Species of Management Concern in Wyoming that the USFWS will use exclusively for reviews concerning existing and proposed coal mine leased land (USFWS 2002a). This listing was taken directly from the Wyoming Bird Conservation Plan (Cerovski et al. 2000). The regional status and expected occurrence, historical observations, and breeding records on and near the PSO Tract for each listed species are included in Table 3-11. Of the 40 species listed in Table 3-11, 13 species have historically been observed within the PSO Tract area. The species commonly observed nesting in the area include the greater sagegrouse, Brewer’s sparrow, lark bunting, loggerhead shrike, vesper sparrow, and lark sparrow. The ferruginous hawk, Swainson’s hawk, long-billed curlew, burrowing owl, upland sandpiper, and black-billed 3-65

3.0 Affected Environment Table 3-11. 	 40 Migratory Bird Species of Management Concern in Wyoming for Coal Mines: Their Regional Status, and Expected and Actual Occurrence on or Near the PSO Tract.
Species Mountain plover Greater sage-grouse* McCown’s longspur Baird’s sparrow Ferruginous hawk* Brewer’s sparrow* Sage sparrow Swainson’s hawk* Long-billed curlew* Short-eared owl Peregrine falcon Burrowing owl* Bald eagle* Upland sandpiper* Cassin’s kingbird Lark bunting* Dickcissel Chestnut-collared longspur Black-chinned Hummingbird Pygmy nuthatch Marsh wren Western bluebird Sage thrasher Grasshopper sparrow Bobolink Common loon Black-billed cuckoo* Red-headed woodpecker Yellow-billed cuckoo Eastern screech-owl Western screech-owl Western scrub-jay Loggerhead shrike* Vesper sparrow* Lark sparrow* Ash-throated flycatcher Bushtit Merlin Sprague’s pipit Barn owl
1 2 3

Seasonal Expected Occurrence Status/Breeding on and in Vicinity of Records in the PSO Tract2 Northeastern WY1 LEVEL I (species need conservation action) Summer/Breeder Rare Resident/Breeder Common Summer/Breeder Common Summer/Observed Uncommon Summer/Breeder Common Summer/Breeder Common Summer/Breeder Uncommon Summer/Breeder Common Summer/Observed Uncommon Summer/Breeder Common Resident/Observed Uncommon Migrant Summer/Breeder Uncommon Resident/Breeder Seasonally Common Summer/Breeder Uncommon LEVEL II (species need monitoring) Never Recorded Rare Summer/Breeder Common Summer/Observed Uncommon Summer/Breeder Uncommon Never Recorded Rare Never Recorded Rare Never Recorded Rare Summer/Breeder Uncommon Summer/Breeder Uncommon Summer/Breeder Uncommon Summer/Observed Uncommon Summer/Observed Uncommon Never Recorded Uncommon Summer/Breeder Uncommon Summer/Observed Rare Never Recorded Rare Never Recorded Rare Never Recorded Rare Summer/Breeder Common Summer/Breeder Common Summer/Breeder Common Summer/Observed Rare Never Recorded Rare Resident/Observed Uncommon Never Recorded Uncommon Migrant Summer/Observed Very Rare

Historical Sighting Records and Breeding Status in Vicinity of the PSO Tract3 None Common/Breeder None None Occasional Common/Breeder None Occasional Few sightings None None Few sightings, Breeder Frequent in winter Uncommon/Breeder None Common/Breeder None None None None None None None None None None Few sightings None None None None None Occasional/Breeder Common/Breeder Common/Breeder None None None None None

*	

Compiled from Luce, et al. (1999), for Sheridan County.
 Expected occurrence in the study area was based on range, history of occurrence, and habitat availability. 
 Sighting records were derived from actual occurrence on or within one-half mile of the PSO Tract. 
 Species marked with an asterisk have historically been recorded during baseline or monitoring surveys for the Ash Creek Mine.

3-66

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment cuckoo have not been recorded nesting on the PSO Tract but were observed as transients in the area. The bald eagle is seasonally common and most frequently observed during the winter months. The burrowing owl is uncommon and classified as a potential breeder in the PSO Tract area. Sage grouse (greater sage-grouse), recently added to the Level I list, is common in the PSO Tract area and is classified as a common breeder (see Section 3.4.10.5). Cited as the potential limiting factor, suitable nesting habitat is scarce if not absent in the PSO Tract area for many of the Migratory Bird Species of Management Concern in Wyoming. The other species that are listed in Table 3-11 have rarely or never been recorded in the PSO Tract area. 3.4.10.7 Other Species Wildlife surveys completed specifically for the PSO Tract, and surveys completed for the PSO No. 1/P&M Ash Creek Mine, have documented numerous other wildlife species that inhabit the area. All of these species are generally common inhabitants of the area and none are of specific concern to state or federal agencies. The other species observed include nine carnivores, 14 rodents, two lagomorphs, 16 waterbirds, 11 raptors, 65 other bird species, 10 herptiles, and three fish species. Under current natural conditions the PSO Tract provides limited waterfowl and shorebird habitat. This habitat is primarily provided during spring migration in the form Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange of ponds and streams, most of which generally dry up during the summer. Ash Creek, a perennial stream adjacent to the southern part of the PSO Tract area, can sustain limited waterfowl and shorebird populations in a very wet year. Ash Creek is typically used for irrigation purposes by the local ranchers, which in turn creates limited habitat for waterfowl and shorebirds upon these irrigated hay fields. With the addition of water being produced from CBM wells in the area, an increase in habitat for waterfowl and shorebirds will occur along all stream channels. Waterfowl and shorebird species would use the isolated ponds and drainages filled by the CBM wells if sufficient water is established. Fish species may be found in Ash Creek, Youngs Creek, and Little Youngs Creek, as these are perennial water sources. Little Youngs Creek may go dry for prolonged periods of time during very dry years. Fish habitat may also be created and enhanced from CBM water discharges. 3.4.10.8 Threatened, 	Endangered, Proposed, and Candidate Animal Species, BLM Sensitive Species, and State Species of Special Concern Refer to Appendix E. 3.4.11 Ownership and Use of Land The surface ownership within the PSO Tract is shown in Figure 3-13. The surface is owned by the 3-67

3.0 Affected Environment
SCALE: 1" = 1000' WYOMING-MONTANA STATE LINE SECTION 15 DETAIL

33 T. 9 S. T. 10 S. T. 9 S. T. 10 S.
gs un Yo

T. 9 S.

Cr ee k

Ro ad

4

3

2 Big Horn County, Montana 17 Sheridan County, Wyoming

1

32

33

13

R. 85 W. R. 84 W.

18

16

R. 38 E. R. 39 E.

34 T. 9 S.

24

19
As h

20

21

22

23

T. 58 N. 25 30

Ro 29 ad

28

27

26

T. 58 N.

ek Cre

SCALE: 1" = 5000' 30 r late S 31 32 33 34 35

ek Cre

Roa d

LEGEND
U.S.A., BLM ChevronTexaco (P & M) John C. Willson Crow Indian Reservation Neil Delapp Reserve Coal Properties Company Flying V Cattle Company/D.S. Scott/Padlock Ranch Wyoming - Montana State Line

Figure 3-13. Surface Ownership Within the Boundary of the PSO Tract.

3-68

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment ChevronTexaco Corporation (P&M), John C. Willson, Reserve Coal Properties Company, Flying V Cattle Company / D.S. Scott / Padlock Ranch, Neil DeLapp, and the federal government. The federal government owns all of the coal estate included in the tract, but the federal surface estate, which is shown in the detail map in Figure 3­ 13, is 6.41 acres in Section 15, T.58N., R.84W. The principal land use within the tract is domestic grazing and wildlife habitat. Areas of surface disturbance on the federal coal lands being considered for exchange are off road, two-track vehicle trails associated with livestock management activities and the disturbance associated with the five CBM wells that have been drilled (as of March 2003) and the potential disturbance with the 14 CBM wells that are currently permitted. The Ash Creek Road and the Youngs Creek Road, pass briefly along the edges of the federal coal lands (Figure 3-13). The oil and gas rights within the boundary of the federal coal being considered for exchange are both federally and privately owned (Figure 3-14). The majority (about 77 percent) are private. The federally owned oil and gas rights included in the tract are leased, and a list of the lessees of record for those federal oil and gas leases is included as Table 3-12. WOGCC records show that no conventional oil and gas wells have been completed on the federal coal lands being considered for exchange. As discussed in Section Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange 3.4.3, there is nearby production in the Ash Creek and Ash Creek South Oil Fields, which are located in T.10S., R.38E., Section 3, Big Horn County Montana, and in T.58N., R.84W., Sections 29, 30, 31, and 32, Sheridan County, Wyoming. These two fields, which were discovered in 1952, have produced approximately 1.7 million barrels of oil and 27 million barrels of water. Most of the wells have been plugged and abandoned. Presently there are six wells completed in conventional oil reservoirs that are still producing; one in Section 29 (SW¼SW¼), two in Section 30 (SE¼SE¼ and SW¼SE¼), two in Section 31 (NE¼NE¼ and NW¼SE¼), and one in Section 32 (NW¼NW¼). No conventional oil field support facilities for the Ash Creek and Ash Creek South Oil Fields are located within the boundary of the federal coal lands being considered for exchange. The Supreme Court has ruled that the CBM rights belong to the owner of the oil and gas rights (98-830). Therefore, the oil and gas lessees have the mineral rights to develop the CBM in the coal as well as the right to develop conventional oil and gas on the tract. CBM is currently being produced within and adjacent to the PSO Tract. The approved well spacing pattern is one well per coal seam per 80 acres for development of CBM resources in the PRB. There would potentially be 78 CBM well locations on the federal coal lands being considered for exchange if all of the 80-acre spacing units within the tract are drilled and completed in all 3-69

3.0 Affected Environment
R. 38 E. R. 39 E.

2

1

T. 10 S.
17 16

T. T. 10 9 S. S.

32

33

WYW 145665

T. 9 S. PRIVATE

R. 38 E. R. 39 E. T. 58 N.

T. 58 N.

20

21

22

23

WYW 145664

PRIVATE

PRIVATE

WYW 145664

28 29

27

26

WYW 125556

WYW 145664 PRIVATE

32

33

34

35

WYW 145664

R. 84 W.

LEGEND
CBM Well, Producing CBM Well, Drilled But Shut In CBM Well, Recently Spudded CBM Well, Not Yet Drilled, But Permitted
0 1500

GRAPHIC SCALE
3000 ( FEET )

PSO Tract
6000

WYW 145664

Federal Oil and Gas Lease Number Wyoming - Montana State Line

3-70

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment Table 3-12. Oil and Gas Ownership on the Federal Coal Lands Being Considered for Exchange. For the following locations, both the oil and gas rights (including CBM) and coal rights are owned by the federal government. Location Lease Expiration Lessees (T.58N., R.84W.) Number Date of Record Section 15 WYW 145665 7/31/2008 Louis S. Madrid Trust Lot 1 Section 20 NE¼SE¼, NW¼SE¼ Section 21 NW¼SW¼ Section 27 NW¼NW¼, SW¼NW¼ Section 28 NE¼NE¼, NW¼NE¼, SW¼NW¼, NW¼SW¼, SW¼SW¼ Section 34 SW¼NE¼ Section 29 NE¼SE¼ WYW 125556 10/31/2001 ABO Petro Corp. Myco Industries Inc. Yates Drilling Co. WYW 145664 7/31/2008 J.M. Huber Corp.

Note: For the rest of the federal coal lands being considered for exchange, the oil and gas rights (including CBM) are privately owned. All of the coal rights are federally owned.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3-71

3.0 Affected Environment of the potential coal beds. CBM development has been accelerating rapidly within and adjacent to the federal coal lands being considered for exchange since 1999. A search of the WOGCC records in March 2003 revealed that there were 191 CBM wells completed or permitted to be drilled within T.58N., R.84W and 106 of those wells were in production. At the time, five CBM wells had been drilled (two producing, two shut-in, and one spudded) and 14 additional wells have been permitted to be drilled within the boundary of the federal coal being considered for exchange (Figure 3-14). A concurrent search of the Montana BOGC revealed that there were no CBM wells drilled or permitted to be drilled within T.9S., R.38E. and T.10S., R.38E., but 67 CBM wells have been completed within three miles of the PSO Tract in T.9S., R.39E. Sixty of these 67 existing CBM wells are currently in production, four are shut in, and three are spudded. Nine more wells are permitted to be drilled in this same three-mile radius area. As CBM wells are drilled and completed on or adjacent to the PSO Tract, support facilities (i.e., powerlines, pipelines, and compressor stations) must be constructed to produce and transport the CBM and the associated produced water. Coal mining has been and continues to be a significant land use in the general area of the PSO Tract. The thick Fort Union coal deposits present in the Sheridan coal field have been mined extensively by either underground or surface mining methods along the Tongue River since the late 1800s. Most of 3-72 the old underground mines were located near the confluence of Goose Creek and Tongue River, roughly four miles south of the PSO Tract (Figure 3-1). Underground mining continued on a fairly large scale into the 1940s. All underground mine portals were sealed by 1953. With the introduction of heavy equipment and the advent of surface mining techniques the first strip mine, locally called the Hidden Water Pits, opened in Sheridan County in 1944. Mining was discontinued there in the early 1950s but the pits remained open until 1985 when final reclamation was completed with AML funds. This reclaimed surface mine (called “Old Surface Coal Mine” on Figure 3-1) is located about two miles southwest of the PSO Tract. Surface mining at the Big Horn Coal Mine, located at the confluence of Goose Creek and Tongue River, about four miles south of the PSO Tract, began in 1951. Big Horn Coal Mine’s nearest pit was about two miles south of the PSO Tract. Annual coal production from the Big Horn Coal Mine peaked in 1981 at four million tons and ended in 2000 with 38,411 tons. All coal production from Sheridan County ended with the final reclamation of the Big Horn Coal Mine in 2000. As stated previously, the PSO No. 1/Ash Creek Mine was opened in 1976 and reclaimed in 1996 after producing no coal. Two active surface coal mining operations in Big Horn County, Montana, the Decker Coal Mine and the Spring Creek Coal Mine, are located approximately six miles and Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment seven and one-half miles, respectively, northeast of the PSO Tract (Figure 3-1). The West Decker mine was opened in 1972, the East Decker mine was opened in 1977, and the Spring Creek mine was opened in 1979. Both the Decker and Spring Creek mines are currently producing around 10 to 11 million tons of coal annually (Claudia Furiof March 2003). According to the Sheridan County Growth Management Plan (City of Sheridan 2001), the designated zoning classification for the PSO Tract is agricultural. This Comprehensive Master Plan for Sheridan and Sheridan County provides no general or specific land use goals or policies for state and federal coal leases in the county. Big game hunting is the principal recreational use in the analysis area. The surface estate within the PRB is largely privately owned (approximately 80 percent), with some private landowners permitting sportsmen to cross and/or hunt on their land. Others charge an access fee, and some do not allow any access. There has been a trend over the past two decades towards a substantial reduction in lands open and reasonably available for hunting. Access fees continue to rise and many resident hunters feel these access fees are unreasonable. This trend has created problems for the WGFD in their attempt to distribute and control harvest at optimal levels, as well as to sportsmen who desire access to these animals (WGFD 1996). Due to safety concerns, public lands contained within an active mining Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange area are often closed to the public, further limiting recreational use. In the PRB, the 20 percent of the surface estate that is administered by BLM or USFS or the State of Wyoming is generally open to hunting if legal access is available. State school sections are normally Sections 16 and 36 of each township. The surface of all of the lands within the boundary of the federal coal being considered for exchange, with the exception of the 6.41 acres in Section 15, T.58N., R.84W., is currently privately owned (Figure 3­ 13) and recreational use is allowed only with landowner permission. P&M does not allow sport hunting on their surface lands within the PSO Tract. Pronghorn, mule deer, and whitetailed deer occur on and adjacent to the PSO Tract. Sage grouse, sharptailed grouse, pheasant, gray partridge, mourning dove, waterfowl, rabbit, raccoon, and coyote may also be harvested in the vicinity, and some trapping of red fox may occur. No sport fisheries exist on the PSO Tract. Specific details regarding big game herd management objectives in the project area are contained in the Sheridan Region Annual Big Game Herd Unit Report (WGFD 2002). The WGFD classifies the PSO Tract as yearlong and winter-yearlong habitat for antelope with none of the tract or areas within two miles adjacent classified as crucial or critical pronghorn habitat. Big game surveys conducted for the PSO 3-73

3.0 Affected Environment No. 1/P&M Ash Creek Mine have indicated that pronghorn are not abundant on the area during the spring, summer, or fall, but frequent the site in normal winters and move out of the area in harsh winters when deep snow accumulates. The PSO Tract area is within pronghorn antelope Hunt Area 15, which is contained in the WGFD Clearmont Pronghorn Antelope Herd Unit. The Clearmont Herd is not a distinct unit as antelope are able to move in and out between Wyoming and Montana, as well as neighboring herd units to the south and east. The post-season population management objective for this herd was set in 1983 at 3,000 pronghorn. While the population is currently estimated to be above this objective, it is still below historic levels. The herd suffered substantial losses during the 1993-94 and 1996-97 winters, accompanied by poor fawn production and adult recruitment in 1994, 1997, and 2001. Favorable environmental conditions and improved fawn production during 1998 through 2000 resulted in an increased population. Nevertheless, WGFD personnel, hunters, and landowners have noticed a decline in the actual number of antelope over the past decade. Landowners and hunters have expressed a desire for more antelope in this herd unit. The desired level does not necessarily correspond to the established post-season population management objective, but is indicative of landowner preference for or tolerance or pronghorn. Landowners have restricted hunter access on their own due to decreased population levels. Most of 3-74 the herd unit is private land (87 percent) with limited hunter access opportunities. Most landowners who allow hunting either charge access fees or lease their property for hunting. As a result there has been a steady decline in the number of resident hunters, as they are often reluctant to pay access fees. While all 300 licenses sold for this herd unit, only 79 percent of resident license holders hunted compared to 91 percent of nonresident license holders. This suggests very restricted access for resident license holders. In 2001, hunters experienced significantly lower success and higher effort while hunting in this herd unit. In the years 1997 – 2001, hunters on average harvested about 218 pronghorn per year, which is about 72 percent below the previous five-year mean (1991 1996). In 2001, an estimated 250 hunters harvested an estimated 192 antelope from this herd unit, with about 77 percent success, up slightly from 2000, but considerably below the previous five-year average of 309 antelope. WGFD predicts that the Clearmont Herd population likely stabilized or decreased in 2002 due to the effects of drought and reduced fawn production. CBM development is occurring throughout this herd unit. Impacts are unknown at this time, although increased roads, water discharge, vegetation disturbance, and human presence could have some significant impacts to the pronghorn habitat. As of June 2002, a total of 3,795 permits had been issued for CBM wells in Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment Sheridan County, with 1,900 wells drilled (WGFD 2002). The PSO Tract area is located within the northeastern portion of the WGFD North Bighorn Mule Deer Herd Unit. The WGFD maps show the federal coal lands being considered for exchange are totally within winter-yearlong mule deer range. Crucial or critical mule deer ranges do not occur on or within several miles of the PSO Tract. Big game surveys conducted for the PSO No. 1 Mine have indicated that area is a yearlong use area and mule deer are scattered throughout the site and do not concentrate on the PSO Tract area during any particular season. The PSO Tract is in mule deer Hunt Area 24, part of the North Bighorn Mule Deer Herd Unit, which also includes Hunt Areas 25, 27, 28, 50, 51, 53, and 159. The North Bighorn Mule Deer Herd Unit encompasses approximately 2,568 square miles, much of which is public land managed by the USFS and the BLM, although Hunt Area 24 contains predominantly private lands with limited hunting opportunities, especially for resident hunters. Private lands are fairly restrictive and access fees are common, resulting in high hunting pressure on public lands. A wildfire (the Thunder Child Range Fire) burned approximately 5,200 acres (roughly 4,850 acres of private land and 350 acres of public land) in Hunt Area 24 during the summer of 2001. In 2001, 1,610 mule deer were harvested from the North Bighorn Mule Deer Herd Unit by an estimated 2,736 resident and 1,666 non-resident hunters. Hunter Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange success was 37 percent overall, down slightly from 2000. Resident hunter success (28.9 percent) was considerably less than non-resident success (49.1 percent), suggesting a decrease in deer numbers on public lands where residents generally have access to hunt. Since 1996 the post-season population management objective for the North Bighorn Mule Deer Herd Unit has been 25,000. WGFD’s 2001 post-season population estimate of 20,000 was about 20 percent below the desired objective. Management in most of the herd is to increase deer numbers, and the 2002 post-season population is estimated to increase to about 21,300 deer. Continued harvest strategies are designed to allow this population to increase toward the objective (WGFD 2002). White-tailed deer are uncommonly observed on the PSO Tract area, which is within the WGFD Powder River White-tailed Deer Herd Unit. The site is generally considered to be out of normal white-tailed deer range, but the WGFD classified the adjacent areas associated with Ash Creek and Little Youngs Creek as yearlong habitat. No crucial whitetailed deer range exists within several miles of the PSO Tract area. The PSO Tract is in white-tailed deer Hunt Area 24, part of the Powder River White-tailed Deer Herd Unit, which encompasses a large portion of north-central Wyoming and also includes Hunt Areas 17, 19, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 163, and 169. The total area of the Powder River White-tailed Deer Herd Unit is 8,610 square miles, but only 3-75

3.0 Affected Environment about 880 square miles (10 percent) is considered occupied habitat. Most white-tailed deer are found along riparian areas, agricultural lands, and mountain shrub communities, the majority of which are on private lands. Private lands make up about 88 percent of the delineated occupied habitat. WGFD’s management strategy for white-tailed deer is to manage numbers based on landowner tolerance and access. Urban development is a major problem with white-tailed deer management in Sheridan County. Subdivisions in Sheridan County are generally in areas currently inhabited by whitetails. In 2001, 2,300 whitetailed deer were harvested from this herd unit, a decrease of about 400 animals from 2000 by an estimated 3,116 resident and 1,176 non­ resident hunters. The population management objective for this herd unit is 8,000 deer. Generally, the population of white-tailed deer has been expanding during the past several years and it is estimated that the herd has exceeded the objective by as much as 100 percent during recent years. Harvest strategies are designed to limit the growth of this herd unit, although WGFD feels that they will not be able to reduce this population to objective with only harvest (WGFD 2002). 3.4.12 Cultural Resources Cultural resources are defined as the physical remains of past human activity, generally inclusive of all manifestations more than fifty years old. Cultural resources can be classified as artifacts, features, 3-76 sites, districts or landscapes. The goal of cultural resource management is the conservation of archaeological and historical remains and information for research, public interpretation and enjoyment, and for appreciation by future generations. Prehistoric resources are physical locations with remains that are the result of human activities occurring prior to written records. Historic resources are remains left by human activity after written records were common. These resources are most commonly recorded as sites: clusters of artifacts and/or features with definable boundaries, or as isolated artifacts. Cultural resources, both historic and prehistoric, are often termed "historic properties" in regulatory literature. Environment The study area for heritage resources encompasses an area of approximately 3,520 acres which is privately owned by P&M. The study area is about 10 air miles north of Sheridan, Wyoming, just south of the Montana border. It is encompassed by an area about 2.25 miles north-south by 4.75 miles east-west. The study area lies within the watersheds of Ash Creek and Little Youngs Creek, both tributaries of the Tongue River. The area lies on the southern edge of what archaeologists refer to as the "Pine Breaks" region, an area which extends roughly from the Musselshell River in central Montana southeastward to the western foothills of the Black Hills. Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment The Pine Breaks has been distinguished from neighboring areas on the plains by its more rugged topography, a relatively abundant fuel and water supply, and by its more diverse ecology which provides a variety of opportunities for resource procurement (Fredlund 1981a). The drainages have riparian environments with a wide variety of flora. The uplands area includes patches of open grassland and ponderosa pine forest. A geological phenomenon, important to archaeology in the Pine Breaks, is the abundance of the lithic material porcellanite, created by underground coal fires which thermally metamorphosed surrounding shales and sandstones. Porcellanite is by far the most abundant lithic material encountered in the region and was widely used for stone tool manufacture. Sandstone from the Tongue River member of the Fort Union Formation is exposed in several places within the project area. The sandstone outcrops commonly form small bluffs along the steeper slopes. In places, cavities have been weathered into the sandstone, creating small shelters. Sandstone outcrops in the area are also associated with prehistoric rock art, including petroglyphs (carvings) and pictographs (paintings). Existing Inventory Cultural Resources properties which have surface and exposed profile indications. Cultural properties are recorded and sufficient information collected on them to allow evaluation for possible inclusion in the NRHP. That determination is made by the managing federal agency in consultation with SHPO. Consultation with SHPO must be completed prior to approval of the MLA mining plan. Once a Class III survey is completed, site-specific testing or limited excavation is utilized, if necessary, to gather additional data which would: 1) determine the final evaluation status of a site and/or 2) form the basis of additional work that would be conducted during implementation of a treatment plan if the site is eligible for the NRHP. A treatment plan is then developed for those sites that are eligible for the NRHP and are within the area of potential effect. Treatment plans are implemented prior to mining and can include such mitigative measures as avoidance (if possible), large scale excavation, complete recording, Historic American Building Survey/Historic American Engineering Record documentation, archival research, and other acceptable scientific practices. The goal of the inventory was to locate and evaluate for the NRHP all cultural resources 50 years and older within the study area. A comprehensive investigation of the cultural resources within the study area which surrounds and encompasses the APE has recently been completed (Ferguson and 3-77

A Class III cultural resources survey is a professionally conducted, intensive inventory of a target area, designed to locate all cultural Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment Meyer 2001). This includes a review of cultural inventories conducted previously in the region as well as a review of pertinent literature and records on the history and prehistory of the area. A great number of cultural resource studies have taken place in the surrounding Pine Breaks Region, primarily in conjunction with coal mining. These studies, undertaken since the 1970s, include a number of inventories very near or intersecting the current study area, along with several studies conducted a few miles to the north, associated with coal mine development near Decker, Montana. Major archaeological reports from the surrounding area which contain information relevant to the context of local historic and prehistoric resources include: Brumley and Dickerson 2000; Carmichael et al. 1979; Fox 1977; Fredlund 1977, 1979, 1981b; Gregg 1977a, 1977b, 1978; Haberman 1973; Larhen 1977; Munson 1990; Munson et al. 1992; Munson and Ferguson 1998; and Taylor et al. 1984. Additionally, five regional archaeological overviews have been written which provide a generalized background for the area prehistory. Although the current body of archaeological data has rendered some of these overviews somewhat dated, they are presented as general references to the archaeology of the region and include: Beckes and Keyser 1983; Deaver and Deaver 1988; Fredlund 1981a; Frison 1991; and Wettstaed 1989. Despite the great volume of work that has been done, no overviews 3-78 adequately synthesize currently available data. Beckes' and Keyser's (1983) overview of the Custer National Forest includes a section on the Ashland Ranger District within the Pine Breaks. However, the incorporated data is confined almost exclusively to National Forest land. Deaver and Deaver's (1988) overview of southeastern Montana includes general information on the Pine Breaks area, with a chronological overview. Both of these studies are somewhat dated in light of subsequent investigations. Fredlund's (1981a) dissertation deals explicitly with the Pine Breaks area, but concentrates only on the Late Prehistoric Period. Benson's Butte is a multicomponent site excavated between 1972 and 1978 and located about 2.2 miles north of the current study area. The results of the excavations are summarized in Fredlund (1979). The site includes components dating from the late Paleoindian to the Late Prehistoric periods. Again, subsequent investigations have rendered some of Fredlund's findings at Benson's Butte out of date. More recent excavations in the area are reported in Munson (1990), Brumley and Dickerson (2000), and elsewhere. Large scale inventory projects have been conducted immediately north of the current study area in Montana, including Fredlund (1981b) and Gregg (1977a). The reader is referred to the studies referenced above for additional background information. Cultural resource inventory work, in compliance with regulations Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment established in the 1966 National Historic Preservation Act, 36 CFR Part 800 (BLM Class III level), was conducted in the PSO Tract area, including the APE, in August 2000 (Ferguson and Meyer 2001). The pedestrian inventory covered the terrain at intervals of about 30 meters. Twenty-one sites and 14 isolated artifacts were located and recorded in the approximately 3,520 acres study area. Two prehistoric sites, 48SH1127 and 48SH1134, found during this inventory are recommended as eligible for the NRHP under Criterion D. Temporalcultural affiliations of the recorded sites range in age from Paleoindian to Historic. 3.4.12.1 Prehistoric Resources Prehistoric sites are classified into cultural/temporal periods based on the types of artifacts, generally projectile points, recovered on-site, and the chronometric dating of the site through techniques such as radiocarbon dating of bone or charcoal extracted from buried features at the sites. Site types are indicative of function or prehistoric activity which occurred at the site and are based on site location, types of artifacts remaining on the site and types of features observed. Cultural periods are given a temporal span, but because of the range and variation of radiocarbon dates, the dates for the beginning and end of a period may vary by several hundred years depending on the researcher and the geographic location of the site. Those given below pertain generally to the Northwestern Plains area as defined by Frison (1991), and may not Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange strictly apply to the Pine Breaks area per se. For example, no diagnostic artifacts or radiocarbon dates have been documented in the Pine Breaks for the earliest portion of the Paleoindian period. Late Paleoindian components are present here, but are rare, as they are elsewhere on the Northwestern Plains. Paleoindian Period Occupation of the Pine Breaks area has been documented as early as 9,000 years ago (Brumley and Dickerson 2000); however, on adjacent areas of the Northwestern Plains occupation extends back some 12,000 years. This initial settlement of the high steppe environment, the Paleoindian period (12,000 - 8,500 years BP/10,000 BC - 6,500 BC), is characterized by the use of large, well-made lanceolate projectile points and the hunting of large, now-extinct bison, mammoths and other large fauna. Through time the point styles changed and, with the changing climate, the subsistence strategies of the early hunters and gatherers changed as well. The earliest dated human occupation in Wyoming is the Colby site in the Big Horn Basin, which contained Clovis points in association with at least seven mammoths which dated at ca. 9,250 BC. The Hell Gap site is a stratified Paleoindian site in the North Platte drainage which dates from 9,000 BC to 5,500 BC and exhibits changing point types from Goshen through Folsom, Midland, Agate Basin, Hell Gap, Alberta, Cody, and Frederick, and ends with a point type known as Lusk. The Carter-Kerr McGee, 3-79

3.0 Affected Environment Agate Basin, Medicine Lodge Creek, Casper, and Sister's Hill sites and others are known Paleoindian sites in the Powder River and Bighorn Basins. Paleoindian sites are uncommon due to the passage of time and the erosional and depositional effects of various climatic changes. They are most likely to occur as out-of-context surface finds on stable landforms such as ridgetops, or deeply buried in depositional settings. A few Paleoindian manifestations are known in the area. A Hell Gap point was collected from the Chuggy Site, 48SH1134, during the inventory of the current study area (Ferguson and Meyer 2001). Gregg (1977b) reports an isolated Hell Gap projectile point fragment found about six miles to the northeast of the study area in the Squirrel Creek watershed. Fredlund (1979) reported Eden, Browns Valley, Frederick, and "Agate Basin-like" projectile points recovered from various contexts at the Benson's Butte site, located about 2.2 miles north of the current study area. The Archaic Period The Archaic period (8,500 - 1,500 BP/6,500 BC- 500 AD) begins at a time when the climate was becoming generally drier than the present and ends with the climate relatively similar to the climate of today. Few sites are known in the Pine Breaks (Brumley and Dickerson 2000) and adjacent areas that date to the Early Archaic, and these few are characterized by large side-notched dart points (Deaver and Deaver 1988). As the climate stabilized 3-80 around 3,500 BC, McKean lanceolate points became popular and the overall number of sites in this area increases considerably. This probably reflects a human population increase accompanying a relatively stable climatic cycle and a subsistence base and settlement pattern that changed relatively little over the next 4,000 years. Stone ring features have been dated to this time. Middle Archaic sites seem to be found in all environments. A McKean-Middle Archaic point was found at site 48SH1124 during the Ferguson and Meyer (2001) study. The Late Archaic appears to mark another increase in the human population. The number of sites known from this period is large and there is a reliance on bison obtained in sophisticated communal kills. Three point types and three cultural complexes characterize this period: Powers-Yonkee, Pelican Lake, and Besant. Besant may be a terminal Late Archaic manifestation (i.e., associated with atlatl darts) or Late Prehistoric I manifestation (i.e., associated with the bow and arrow). In addition, Woodland ceramics are occasionally found with Besant, but no pottery is associated with the Powers-Yonkee or Pelican Lake assemblages. Pelican Lake sites are associated with arroyo bison kills and jumps while the Besant people tended to rely on corral systems. Powers-Yonkee points are associated with all three bison procurement methods (Ferguson 1993). Late Archaic sites are generally associated with high landforms with diverse vegetation (ecotones) to maximize the species in the immediate area. A Late Archaic Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment corner-notched point was found at site 48SH1119 during the Ferguson and Meyer (2001) study. Prehistoric and Protohistoric Periods The Late Prehistoric period is associated with the common use of the bow and arrow and an increasing use of ceramics by the local inhabitants. It is also characterized by another increase in the number and size of sites and a wide variety of cultures moving into the area, particularly during the latter part of the period. During the early part of the Late Prehistoric (LPI), small corner-notched points and small, well made, side-notched points called Avonlea are found in the Pine Breaks and extend north from eastern Wyoming into Canada. During the latter part of the Late Prehistoric (LPII), a greater variety of point types and evidence of numerous incursions by other cultural groups into the region appears to be the norm. LPI dates from AD 500 to AD 1,100, and LPII from AD 1,100 to ca. AD 1,800 or upon evidence of Euroamerican contact. A LPI point was found at site 48SH1121 during the Ferguson and Meyer (2001) study. Whether the increasing number of bison or socio-economic pressures from various geographic areas on the plains was the cause of the influx of tribal groups into the plains, LPII appears to be marked by northern Athabascan groups moving south, Plains Woodland and Upper Republican people moving into the plains from the east and Shoshone moving from the southwest and west. Ethnohistoric and Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange ethnographic information suggests the presence of several tribal groups in the general area at some time during LPII: Crow, Northern Cheyenne, Shoshone, Kiowa, and Kiowa Apache. Correlating historical tribes with archaeological phases or complexes is difficult because of the widely fluctuating character of tribal territories. Reher (1979) developed an elaborate model for the changing cultural history of the area from ca. AD 1,400 to historic times, which provides more detail on historically known tribal use of the area. An isolated LPII point was found during the Ferguson and Meyer (2001) study. Prehistoric Site Types Prehistoric site types represented in the archaeological literature as common to the surrounding region include: lithic workshops; campsites (including the sub-types of open camp, stone circle [tipi ring] site, and rock shelter); rock art sites; bison processing sites; kill sites; lithic quarries; surface stone features (including rock alignments, cairns, etc.); vision quest/fasting beds; and fortification structures. Of greatest importance to the interpretation of sites (and most difficult to obtain) is information on subsistence, intra-site patterns, seasonality and exact dates of various activities, and occupations. 3.4.12.2 Historic Resources Seven sites with historic components were recorded in the study area during the baseline inventory (Ferguson and Meyer 2001). The historic components are 3-81

3.0 Affected Environment related to homesteading or stockherding and date to the period after ca. 1900. Sites with historic components include two homesteads, two cairns, two panels of graffiti, and the remains of a log structure, or possibly a tent platform, associated with either small scale logging or stock herding. The homesteads were claimed in 1909 and 1916, and neither was occupied for more than a few years (GLO Post-1908 General Land Entry Files; States 2000). No significant historic resources occur within the proposed mine plan area. Historic Context The study area is located on the northern edge of Sheridan County, Wyoming, approximately 10 miles north of Sheridan, historically the biggest town in the northern part of the state and the commercial center for the region. Coal mining has long been a central facet of the region's historical development. The study area is about five miles north of the vanished coal mining camps of Monarch, Carneyville (later Kleenburn), and Acme; the interurban railway that connected them in the 1910s and 1920s; and the railway main line of the historic Burlington Route (still operated by BNSF Railroad). Several geographical contexts apply to the region – the town of Sheridan, the coal mining district, and the county – after the arrival of the railroad in 1892, which led to the period of major settlement, agricultural development, and industrial growth. Previous historical events, such as those 3-82 related to the Bozeman Trail, the Indian wars of the 1860s and 1870s, and open-range livestock grazing, left few surviving marks on the landscape. Historic resources specific to the study area are limited to agricultural development, ca. 1910s-1940s. While the arrival of the railroad made the 1890s a time of major change, the following decade saw even greater growth. Between 1900 and 1910 the population of the county more than tripled, from 5,122 to 16,324 (USDC, BC 1913). Coal mining boomed. In the corridor from six miles north to 15 miles northwest of Sheridan, operators opened several new mines and adjacent camps between 1903 and 1907. To carry passengers and express between Sheridan and the several coal mine camps, an electric interurban railway was built from Sheridan to Monarch, a distance of 11 miles. Completed in 1912, it lasted for 14 years until replaced by busses (Kuzara 1977). Coal mining provided income to the area’s farmers. Some found occasional work at the mines or sold timber to the mines for use as props underground. Agriculture in Sheridan County rapidly expanded from 1900 to 1910. The improved land in farms grew 70 percent, from 55,567 to 95,368 acres. Sheridan County led the state in production of wheat and barley. The harvest of wheat grew 60 percent during the decade and the output of barley tripled (USDI, Census Office 1902; USDC, BC 1913). The growth continued through the 1910s. The major Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment agricultural commodities consisted of livestock (cattle, sheep, and horses), feed crops (hay, oats, and barley), wheat, and sugar beets. Farmers in the study area could, with one day’s round trip travel by team and wagon, easily reach the coal camps along the interurban and Burlington main line, and with a longer day on the road, get to the town of Sheridan (USDA 1925). Industrial facilities in Sheridan processed some of the crops grown locally. Of several flour mills, the last and largest ground wheat from 1921 until 1972. A sugar beet refinery operated between 1915 and 1947 (Popovich 1997). The historic economic activities of the railway and coal mines, with many employees and extensive works, lasted into 1950s. On the railway, the replacement of steam locomotives by diesel-electrics and other modernization greatly reduced the workforce in Sheridan, while traffic actually grew. The last underground coal mine, at Monarch, closed in 1953 (Kuzara 1977). Open-pit mining, begun in 1943, needed far fewer workers to produce greater amounts of coal (Kuzara 1977). The changing economics of agriculture resulted in fewer, larger farms, shipping products to distant plants for processing. While the area still hosts the three economic activities that began on a large scale in the early 1890s – railroading, coal mining, and agriculture – they operate with technology, labor practices, and physical properties that are very different from the historic period. Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange Vern States first came to this area in 1934 and began buying land here in 1940. He bought three homesteads, including two found in the study area: Baker, Stringary (Negri), and Charles Monsini. His holdings included the whole of the study area. He operated a cattle ranch here until he sold out to an energy developing company in the mid­ 1970s. Mr. States was interviewed on August 8, 2000, by David Ferguson and provided the following information about the property. The Monsini place is where Vern built his house (there is no trace remaining of the original homestead). The Monsini family lived in a dugout and had a shack and a hand dug well. Mr. States filled in these features long ago, which were about where the corrals are now. The Frank Baker Place (48SH1138) was bought by Mr. States in the early 1940s. Vern remembers that the Bakers had lived there from about 1905 to 1910, then moved to town after "proving up". The house was burned down to make more room for the hay field. Only the dugout and granary remain. The Stringary place (48SH1130) was abandoned prior to 1934. Stringary proved up and moved to town as well. Vern said it looked about the same then (in the 1940s) as it does now. Vern thought they homesteaded around 1905 but were long gone by 1934. Mr. States recalls that when he came to this country there were almost no deer at all, as they were heavily hunted to feed the mining community of Acme, as well as the local homesteaders, who he 3-83

3.0 Affected Environment describes as "terribly poor". He recalled that a deer was reported in the area in 1934, and several cow hands from neighboring ranches turned out on horse back to ride out to try to see it. Merriam's turkeys, now plentiful along the creeks, were introduced in the 1950s. Logging was done on State's property in 1936 and 1937. Logs were skidded by horse team (Ferguson and Meyer 2001). Table 3-13 summarizes the Class III cultural resource inventory of the PSO Tract study area. Data recovery plans are required for those sites recommended eligible to the NRHP following testing and consultation with the SHPO. Until consultation with SHPO has occurred and agreement regarding NRHP eligibility has been reached, all sites should be protected from disturbance. Full consultation with SHPO would be completed prior to approval of the mining plan by WDEQ. Those sites determined to be unevaluated or eligible for the NRHP through consultation would receive further protection or treatment. 3.4.13 Native American Consultation Any effects the Proposed Action might have on traditional use and traditional cultural sites of Native Americans must be considered as directed by the National Historic Preservation Act, the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, PL 95-341 and the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979. Native American heritage sites can be classified as prehistoric or historic. Some may be presently in use as offering sites, fasting or vision quest sites, and selected rock art sites. Other sites of cultural interest and importance may include rock art sites, stone circles, and various rock features, fortifications or battle sites, burials, as well as locations which are sacred or part of the oral history and heritage that have non manmade features. No Native American heritage sites have been identified to date. There are presently no documented Native American sacred sites in the general analysis area. However, the position of the area between mountains considered sacred by various Native American cultures (the Big Horn Mountains to the west and the Black Hills and Devil’s Tower to the east) creates the possibility of existing locations which may have special religious or heritage significance to Native American groups. The Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation is located approximately 25 miles north of the PSO Tract, and the Crow Indian Reservation is located less than a mile northwest of the tract in Montana. Both groups favored this region in the Protohistoric Period. It is believed that these groups entered the area in the protohistoric period as a result of population movements and technological change. By the time of the earliest Euro-American contacts, horse dependent tribes such as Crow, Sioux, and Cheyenne dominated the region although Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3-84

3.0 Affected Environment Table 3-13. Summary of Class III Cultural Resource Inventory of the PSO Tract Study Area.
Smithsonian Number Site Type, Temporal Associate, and Description 48SH1119 Prehistoric campsite, rockshelter with extensive lithic scatter; Late Archaic projectile collected. Historic graffiti also present. 48SH1120 48SH1121 Stone circle, prehistoric campsite. Lithic scatter, a Late Prehistoric corner-notched projectile point was collected. Lithic scatter. Lithic scatter. Prehistoric cairn and lithic scatter. Middle Archaic Duncan projectile point collected. Historic graffiti. Stone circle, surface lithic, source, lithic scatter, prehistoric campsite. Lithic scatter, prehistoric campsite, Late Plains Archaic bifacial knife collected. Historic debris and possible tent platform also present. Surface lithic source. Prehistoric campsite, stone ring, and lithic scatter. Negri/Stringary homestead. Prehistoric cairn. Lithic scatter. Historic cairn. Prehistoric campsite, prehistoric rock art panel, lithic scatter and rockshelter, Paleoindian Hell Gap projectile point. Historic cairn. Surface lithic source, lithic scatter. Prehistoric campsite, stone circle, lithic scatter, surface lithic source. Baker homestead. Surface lithic source, lithic scatter. NRHP status and Criteria Not eligible

Not eligible Not eligible

48SH1122 48SH1123 48SH1124

Not eligible Not eligible Not eligible

48SH1125 48SH1126 48SH1127

Not eligible Not eligible Eligible under Criterion D Not eligible Not eligible Not eligible Not eligible Not eligible Not eligible Eligible under Criterion D Not eligible Not eligible Not eligible Not eligible Not eligible

48SH1128 48SH1129 48SH1130 48SH1131 48SH1132 48SH1133 48SH1134 Chuggy Site 48SH1135 48SH1136 48SH1137 48SH1138 48SH1139

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3-85

3.0 Affected Environment Shoshonean groups also existed in the region. Crow emigration from Hidatsa occupations on the Middle Missouri to the upper Yellowstone is well documented (Beckes and Keyser 1983). By the nineteenth century the Crow occupied much of southeastern Montana and northcentral Wyoming. Vision quest structures and other traditional sites are known in the Pine Breaks. A variety of plant species of ethnobotanical importance are currently harvested in the general area. No traditional use sites were positively identified during the archaeological inventory. Several stone circle sites (48SH1120, 48SH1126, 48SH1129, and 48SH1137) and two probable prehistoric cairns (48SH1124 and 48SH1131) were found during the baseline inventory. While these sites can offer little archaeological information, they may be of interest to Native Americans. Native American tribes were consulted at a general level in 1995­ 1996 as part of an effort to update the BLM Buffalo Resource Management Plan. An executive summary of the cultural resources identified on the PSO Tract has been sent to tribes known to have an interest in the region. While only the Crow and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribes have visited or expressed an interest in visiting the area, BLM will work with interested tribes to provide tours of the area and specific resources. 3-86 3.4.14 Paleontological Resources The sedimentary rocks exposed on the surface of the PRB are the Eocene age Wasatch Formation and Paleocene age Fort Union Formation, both of which are known to contain fossil remains. Some paleontological surveys have been conducted in the PRB. Vertebrate fossils that have been described from the Wasatch Formation in the PRB include fish, turtle, champosaur, crocodile, alligator, and mammal specimens. The Fort Union also contains fossils of plants, reptiles, fish, amphibians, and mammals. No Wasatch Formation occurs within the PSO Tract area. No vertebrate-bearing localities have been reported from the Fort Union Formation of the Sheridan Coal Field or adjacent areas (Lillegraven 1981). Invertebrate fossils recorded from the vicinity of the Sheridan Coal Field within the Fort Union Formation appear to be restricted to the Mollusca (Lillegraven 1981). These include freshwater clams (Pelecypoda) and, more commonly, freshwater snails (Gastropoda). Glass’ (1975) detailed measured sections of the Fort Union Formation in the Sheridan Coal Field found no invertebrates. A paleontological survey of the potential for vertebrate and invertebrate fossils was conducted in 1981 throughout much of the Big Horn Coal Mine area south of the PSO Tract area by Jason A. Lillegraven (Professor, Department of Geology and Geophysics, and Curator, Geological Museum, Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment University of Wyoming). The surveyed lands included approximately 3,280 acres in T.57N., R.84W., Sections 4, 9, 10, 13, 14, and 22-27. At its closest point, Lillegraven’s field investigation was less than two miles south of the PSO Tract area. Lillegraven reported that only two localities with vertebrate remains were discovered during his survey of the Big Horn Coal Mine area. Both contained only isolated gar pike scales and are without scientific consequence. Only one complete invertebrate fossil was discovered, that being an isolated shell of a snail. The same general area had some poorly-preserved bits of clam shells. There were no indications of abundant accumulations of molluscan fossils, and the few specimens found were judged to be of no taxonomic, stratigraphic, or ecologic consequence. Within his conclusion, Lillegraven stated that there is little probability that important vertebrate or invertebrate paleontological resources exist in the area. 3.4.15 Visual Resources Visual sensitivity levels are determined by people's concern for what they see and the frequency of travel through an area. The landscape within the general analysis area is described as somewhat rugged topography consisting of dissected uplands created by the Ash Creek and Youngs Creek drainages. The ephemeral tributaries of these perennial streams have formed numerous, steeply sloping ravines that are separated by rounded Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange uplands. The ravines are forested with scattered ponderosa pine and juniper trees, and the gently-rolling upland benches are covered with patches of open grassland and sagebrush. Small bluffs and ledges of resistant sandstone and scoria outcrops occur intermittently along the steeper slopes of the ravines and the sides of the larger valleys. The drainages of Ash Creek and Youngs Creek have relatively lush riparian environments. This type of topography is common within the Pine Breaks region of the PRB. None of the existing or reclaimed surface mines in the Sheridan Coal Field are visible from the general analysis area. Major man-made intrusions include ranching activities (i.e., fences, ranch houses and associated structures, homesteads, livestock), transportation facilities, electrical power lines, and recent CBM development activities. The Ash Creek oil field is nearby and accessed by the Ash Creek Road, although the rugged topography, forested ravines, hay meadows, and deciduous trees in the Ash Creek valley block the view of the oil field from the road. The PSO Tract area is only partially visible from Wyoming State Highway 338 and a high percentage of people traveling this highway are commuting to work at the Decker and Spring Creek Coal Mines. However, during periods of peak recreational activity, primarily to and from the Tongue River Reservoir, this highway receives higher traffic volume. The PSO Tract area lies adjacent to the Ash 3-87

3.0 Affected Environment Creek and Youngs Creek roads (Figure 3-15) and is therefore plainly visible to passers-by. Those traveling these improved, aggregatesurfaced roads are typically local residents and the traffic volume is light. The natural scenic quality of the general analysis area is fairly high due to the relatively unaltered condition of the rugged topography and native vegetation, yet it is predominantly hidden from the view of the general public. For management purposes, BLM evaluated the visual resources on lands under its jurisdiction in the Buffalo Resource Management Plan. A VRM inventory identifies, sets, and meets objectives for the maintenance of scenic values and visual quality based on research designed to objectively assess aesthetic qualities of the landscape. The VRM classification ratings range from I to V as follows: Class I - Natural ecologic changes and very limited management activity is allowed. Any contrast (activity) within this class must not attract attention. Class II - Changes in any of the basic elements (form, line, color, texture) caused by an activity should not be evident in the landscape. Class III - Contrasts to the basic elements caused by an activity are evident but should remain subordinate to the existing landscape. Class IV - Activity attracts attention and is a dominant feature of the landscape in terms of scale. Class V - This classification is applied to areas where the natural character of the landscape has been disturbed up to a point where rehabilitation is needed to bring it up to the level of one of the other four classifications. The federal coal lands being considered for exchange are generally classified as VRM Class II. After the surface has been reclaimed the visual impact of coal mining would not likely be discernible to the average observer. 3.4.16 Noise An individual’s judgment of the loudness of a noise correlates well with the A-weighted sound level, or A-scale, system of measurement. Figure 3-16 presents dBA readings for some commonly heard sounds of daily life. Existing noise sources in the vicinity of the PSO Tract area include activities associated with agriculture, CBM development, local traffic on the Ash Creek and Youngs Creek Roads, intermittent oil well servicing associated with the Ash Creek and Ash Creek South oil fields, and birds and animal life. The distance to State Highway 338 is in excess of three miles; therefore, highway traffic noise is very slight or non-existent. Due to the isolated, remote nature of the area, the current noise level from all these Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3-88

3.0 Affected Environment
R. 38 E. R. 39 E. 6 1 32 R. 39 E. R. 40 E. 36 31 T. 8 S. T. 9 S.

5

1

6

You ngs Cre ek Ro ad

d oa hR nc Ra CX

T. 9 S. T. 10 S. T. 58 N.

31

36

T. 9 S.

29

6

T. T. 9 10 S. 32 1 S. R. 38 E. R. 39 E. R. 85 W. R. 84 W.

Big Horn County, Montana Sheridan County, Wyoming R. 84 W. R. 83 W.

na ay 36 nta o ghw M Hi

State 314
31

R. 39 E. R 40 E.

T. 9 S. T. 58 N.

Ash
Ro ad

T. 58 N. T. 57 N.

31

Wy om ing

36

36

Sta te H igh wa y3 38

ek Cre

PSO Tract

31

1

6

1

6

T. 58 N. T. 57 N.

Proposed Overland Conveyor

Slater Creek Road

Inters tate 90
U.S. Highway 14

Proposed Loadout Facilities

Bea tty G ulch Roa d

ad BNSF Railro

36 R. 85 W.

31 R. 84 W.

36

31

SCALE: 1" = 10,000'

R. 84 W. R. 83 W.

Figure 3-15. Transportation Facilities Within and Adjacent to the PSO Tract.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3-89

3.0 Affected Environment

HOW IT FEELS

EQUIVALENT
 SOUNDS

50 hp siren (100 ft) Jet engine (75 ft) Turbo-fan jet at takeoff power (100ft) Scraper-loader Jet fly over (1000 ft) Noisy newspaper press Air compressor (20 ft) Power lawnmower Steady flow of freeway trafic 10-HP outboard motor Automatic dishwasher Vacuum cleaner Window air conditioner outside at 2 ft. Window air conditioner in room Occasional private auto at 100 ft. Quiet home during evening Bird calls Library Soft whisper 5 ft.

DECIBELS

EQUIVALENT
 SOUNDS

Jackhammer

HOW IT SOUNDS

Near permanent damage level from short exposures Pain to ears Danger to hearing

130 120 110 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20

Chainsaw Fire cracker (15 ft.) Rock and roll band Unmuffled motor bike (2-3 ft.) Car horn Unmuffled cycle (25 ft.) Garbage trucks and city buses Diesel truck (25 ft.) Garbage disposal Food blender Muffled jet ski (50 ft.) Passenger car 65 mph (25 ft) Busy downtown area

135 dB(A)
 Approx. 64 times
 as loud as 75dB(A)
 125 dB(A)
 Approx. 32 times
 as loud as 75dB(A)
 115 dB(A)
 Approx. 16 times
 as loud as 75dB(A)
 105 dB(A)
 Approx. 8 times
 as loud as 75dB(A)
 95 dB(A)
 Approx. 4 times
 as loud as 75dB(A)
 85 dB(A)
 Approx. 2 times
 as loud as 75dB(A)
 75dB(A)


Uncomfortably loud

Discomfort threshold Very loud Conversation stops

Intolerable for phone use Extra auditory physiological effects

Quiet Sleep interference

Normal conversation

55 dB(A)
 Approx. 1/4 
 as loud as 75dB(A)
 45 dB(A)
 Approx. 1/8 
 as loud as 75dB(A)
 35 dB(A)
 Approx. 1/16
 as loud as 75dB(A)


Very quiet

In a quiet house at midnight

Leaves rustling

10

Adapted From ABC's of Our Noise Codes published by Citizens Against Noise, Honolulu, Hawaii

Figure 3-16. Relationship Between A-Scale Decibel Readings and Sounds of Daily Life.

3-90

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment sources in the PSO Tract area is probably in the range of 30 to 50 dBA. Mining activities are characterized by noise levels of 85-95 dBA at 50 ft from actual mining operations and activities (BLM 1992). The nearest occupied dwellings are all located at a distance of approximately onequarter mile outside of the boundary of the federal coal being considered for exchange. Two of these nearby dwellings are in Montana; one being in the SE¼SE¼ of Section 1, T.10S., R.38E., the other being in the NW¼SE¼ of Section 33, T.9S., R.39E. Three of these nearby dwellings are in Wyoming; one being in the SE¼NW¼ of Section 23, T.58N., R.84W., another being in the NW¼NW¼ of Section 33, T.58N., R. 84W., and the third dwelling being in the NE¼SW¼ of Section 29, T.58N., R.84W. 3.4.17 Transportation Facilities The transportation facilities that exist in the vicinity of the PSO Tract area include the BNSF Railroad; Wyoming State Highway 338; improved county roads, including Youngs Creek Road (a.k.a. County Road 1237); improved local roads, including Ash Creek and Slater Creek Roads; unimproved local roads and two-track trails related to ranching and oil and gas activities; and numerous pipelines associated with both the conventional Ash Creek oil fields and CBM development. Current transportation facilities within and adjacent to the PSO Tract area are depicted on Figure 3­ Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange 15. Since the development of the Ash Creek Mine would require a coal transportation facility, the proposed 24,000-ft long overland conveyor running due south from the mine to a loadout facility on the BNSF mainline is also depicted on this figure. As indicated in Chapter 2, the location of the conveyor line is conceptual. If the exchange is completed and if P&M proceeds with plans to open a new surface coal mine, they would have to acquire rights-of-way for the proposed conveyor and loadout facility as well as the required construction permits before construction activities for the conveyor and loadout facility could begin. The actual location of the conveyor and loadout facility could change based on a number of factors including costs, rights-of­ way negotiations, and requirements imposed by the construction permits. 3.4.18 Socioeconomics The social and economic study area for the proposed project involves primarily Sheridan County and the City of Sheridan. The community of Sheridan and nearby communities of Ranchester and Dayton would most likely attract the majority of any new residents due to their current population levels and the availability of services and shopping amenities. 3.4.18.1 Population According to 2000 census data, Sheridan County had a population of 26,560, with Sheridan accounting for 15,804 of the county's residents, Ranchester 701, and Dayton 678 3-91

3.0 Affected Environment (USDC 2001). The 1990 population of Sheridan County was 23,562. Thus there was an increase of 2,998 persons or 12.7 percent over the 10­ year period. Sheridan County’s population change from 1990 to 2000 ranked 1,158 out of 3,141 counties in the U.S. (U.S. Census Bureau 2001b). Sheridan County is an area of relatively low growth (one to two percent per year), and facilities (hospitals, schools, etc.) are adequate. School enrollment is actually declining due to an aging population. The median age in Sheridan County is 40.6 years, compared to a state-wide median of 36.2 years (Wyoming Department of Administration and Information July 2001). The rate of population growth in Sheridan County has increased somewhat since 2000 due to the current CBM boom. This has contributed to both a low housing vacancy and an overcrowded jail system in Sheridan, although enrollment in schools has not increased due to a relatively young, transient work force. 3.4.18.2 Local Economy Although the State’s coal production is increasing, as reported by the Wyoming State Inspector of Mines, Sheridan County’s last remaining coal mine, Big Horn Coal Company, closed down and began final reclamation in 2000. Big Horn’s production in 2000 was only 38,411 tons and it employed just 11 persons that year. Coal production in Sheridan County ended by 2001 (Wyoming State Inspector of Mines 2000, 2001). 3-92 The national economy grew rapidly through the 1990s and is currently in a period of slower growth, due to a variety of factors complicated by higher energy prices. Higher prices for commodities such as coal, oil and gas, and agricultural goods have helped Wyoming’s economy as they have hurt the national economy. Recent increases in coal, oil, and gas prices have provided significant increases to state revenues in the form of increased severance taxes, royalties, sales and use taxes, and employment. The mining employment sector, including the oil and gas extraction sub-sector, is expected to remain strong through at least 2009 (Wyoming Department of Administration and Information April 2001). Total mineral income to the State of Wyoming in 2002 was $1,182,329,122, an all-time high. This income was comprised of ad valorem taxes ($423,636,794 or 35.8 percent), royalty returns ($271,751,837 or 23.0 percent), severance taxes ($381,978,701 or 32.3 percent), and sales and use taxes, state rent, state royalties, and filing fees ($104,961,790 or 8.9 percent) (Wyoming Business Council 2003). The 2002 valuation on minerals produced in Wyoming in 2001 was $6,738,726,062. This is 60 percent of the state’s total valuation and places Wyoming among the top ten mineral producing states in the nation. The 2002 valuation on minerals produced in Sheridan County in 2001 was only $35,851,556, a fraction of a percent Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment of the state’s total (Wyoming Business Council 2003). Minerals (coal, oil, and gas) accounted for only 1.2 percent of Sheridan County’s total assessed valuation in 2000 of $145,093,161 (Wyoming Department of Revenue 2001). In 2002, minerals (just oil and gas) accounted for 22.3 percent of Sheridan County’s total assessed valuation of $225,468,629 (Wyoming Department of Revenue 2003). 3.4.18.3 Employment As of December 2002, the total labor force in Sheridan County stood at 14,288 with an unemployment rate of 4.8 percent, compared to a total labor force of 14,216 and an unemployment rate of 4.5 percent in December 2000 (Wyoming Department of Employment 2003). The annual average employment in Sheridan County has generally increased since 1990, when it stood at 11,416 persons. In 2002, the annual average was 13,745 employed persons in the county (Wyoming Department of Employment 2003). In 2000, the largest employment sector in Sheridan County was the service sector, with 2,695 employees. This was followed by retail trade (2,410), local government (1,850), construction (936), and federal government (600). Together, these sectors accounted for nearly 80 percent of the county’s employment. Mining, which includes oil and gas, employed only 55 persons in Sheridan County in 2000 (Wyoming Department of Employment 2003). Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange The preceding statistics obviously do not account for employees at the Decker and Spring Creek Coal Mines. These mines are located in Montana, which receives the payroll taxes, royalties, and production taxes, but most of the employees reside in Sheridan County. In 2002, the Decker and Spring Creek mines employed 225 and 126 people with estimated payrolls of $10,000,000 and $6,715,000, respectively (Montana Coal Council 2003). Decker Coal Company reduced nearly 20 percent of its workforce in March 2003 due to plans to reduce production. Large gains in the oil and gas industry were responsible for 4,800 new jobs in Wyoming in April 2001, a growth rate of 21 percent, and the largest state employment gains were in the mining industry with a 12.9 percent increase in jobs from April 2000 to April 2001 (Sheridan County Roundup August 2001). The most notable new business formation in the state was in the mining industry in 2001. After five years of steady increase (18.6 percent average annual rate), the mining industry experienced a 50 percent increase in new firms. The large gain may in large part reflect CBM development. In 2000 and 2001, about 33 percent of the new mining firms were located in Campbell County, 10 percent in Natrona County, nine percent in Johnson County, and eight percent in Sheridan County (Department of Employment 2003). From November 2001 to November 2002, Wyoming employment grew by 1,200 jobs, or 0.5 percent. 3-93

3.0 Affected Environment Construction posted especially strong gains, followed by the services and government sectors. During this same time frame, coal mining increased by 200 jobs and oil and gas extraction fell by 1,100 jobs (Department of Employment 2003). Employment in northeastern Wyoming has certainly been affected by the recent CBM development, although state employment experts say it’s difficult to track the impact on employment in Sheridan County. 3.4.18.4 Housing In 2000, Sheridan County contained 12,577 housing units. Of these, 7,413 were in Sheridan, 304 in Dayton, and 290 in Ranchester (U.S. Census Bureau 2001a). Of Sheridan County’s 12,577 housing units in 2000, 11,167 were occupied and 1,410 were vacant for seasonal use. Of the 11,167 occupied units, 7,689 were owner occupied and 3,478 were renter occupied. Similar low vacancy rates were seen for the city of Sheridan and the towns of Dayton and Ranchester. According to Census 2000 data, rental vacancy rates were 4.7 percent for the entire county, 4.5 percent for the City of Sheridan, 7.9 percent for the town of Dayton, and 1.3 percent for the town of Ranchester. Very few residential building permits were issued for Sheridan County in the 1980s, but reached a high of 172 in 1996, then declined to 90 in 1999 (Wyoming Department of Administration and Information July 2001). Sheridan County had the second highest cost of living index in the state as of January 2003. It ranked highest of all the counties for food, fourth in housing and apparel, tenth in transportation, third in medical, and sixth in recreation/personal care. Housing rental rates are rising much faster than the general consumer price index. Comparing the fourth quarters of 2002 and 2001, rental rates in Sheridan County had risen 5.8 percent for apartments, 28.4 percent for mobile home lots, 6.9 percent for houses, and 41.6 percent for mobile homes. This compares with a statewide overall inflation rate of 3.7 percent (Wyoming Department of Administration and Information April 2003). According to the Department of Employment, the population in Wyoming’s northeast area grew by 12.7 percent over the past decade, but housing stock only increased by 6.2 percent (Sheridan County Roundup August 2001). Campbell, Johnson, and Sheridan Counties all have housing costs at or above the statewide average as a result of the sustained energy development activity in the region. Housing cost would be expected to decrease if natural gas or coal extraction activities suffered a prolonged decline (Wyoming Department Administration and Information April 2003). 3.4.18.5 Local Government Facilities and Services Most of the tax revenues in Sheridan County come from sales and use taxes and property taxes. Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

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3.0 Affected Environment Mineral production provides a minor source of revenues to local governments in Sheridan County. This is a change from the 1980s, before the Big Horn Coal mine began to close down their operations and prepare for final reclamation. Production at Big Horn Coal peaked at four million tpy in 1981 and declined steadily after a long-term contract with Chicago’s Commonwealth Edison expired in 1988. During the peak production years, Big Horn Coal accounted for nearly half the county’s assessed valuation (Sheridan Press, March 12, 1994). In 2000, the mine produced only 38,400 tons and employed just 11 persons, and by 2001 the mine had been completely reclaimed and no longer had any employees (Wyoming State Inspector of Mines 2000, 2001). State-wide, the assessed valuation for minerals was 60.0 percent of the total assessed valuation in fiscal year 2002. In Sheridan County, the total assessed valuation for 2002 was $225 million, up 32.5 percent from the prior year. $35.9 million of that was from mineral production, up from just $1.8 million in 1999 due to a significant increase in natural gas production. Residential property is currently the largest source of assessed valuation for the county. Total 2002 property taxes levied in Sheridan County were $15.3 million, up 31.0 percent from the prior year (Wyoming Taxpayers Association 2003). Minerals are taxed at 100 percent of assessed valuation, while industrial property is taxed at 11.5 percent of assessed valuation and all other real and personal property at 9.5 percent. Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange Most of Wyoming’s property taxes fund education (about 69.7 percent), with the remainder going to county governments (20.6 percent), special districts (4.0 percent), community college (3.8 percent), and municipalities (1.9 percent). Because minerals are taxed at full valuation, counties vary in property tax wealth. For example, in Niobrara County one mill raises $39,843 in taxes, while in mineralrich Campbell County one mill raises $2.2 million (Wyoming Taxpayers Association 2003). In Sheridan County there are 17 jurisdictions levying property taxes. These include five municipalities, three school districts, two recreation districts, one community college, one weed and pest control district, and five fire districts. Public facilities and services in Sheridan County are meeting current needs. School enrollment is declining due to the aging population. Memorial Hospital of Sheridan County, owned by the county, recently underwent a major expansion, funded in large part by AML funds. 3.4.18.6 Social Conditions Sheridan County is experiencing a relatively stable social setting. Coal mining is no longer a major force in the local economy as it once was, but employees of the Spring Creek and Decker mines in Montana reside primarily in Sheridan County. The Decker mine was forced to reduce about 20 percent (approximately 40 people) of its workforce in March 2003 due to 3-95

3.0 Affected Environment plans to reduce nearly one-third of its annual production (Sheridan Press 2002). There is interest in CBM development in Sheridan County. The most significant challenge CBM companies will be faced with on the western side of the PRB will be the issue of split estate. More than 60 percent of the mineral estate is federally owned, yet the surface is owned largely by private surface owners. Landowners have expressed that they are concerned about how they will be able to coexist with the development. The aesthetics of the land in Sheridan County are considered by many to be a commodity as much as the minerals below it. To avoid potential clashes, CBM operators will need to thoughtfully include the landowners in the early planning stages of development. Most residents have lived in the area for a number of years, social ties are well established, and residents take great pride in their communities. Many of the people place a high priority on maintaining informal lifestyles and small town traditions, and there are some concerns that the area could be adversely affected by more than a modest growth in population. At the same time, there is substantial interest in enhancing the economic opportunities available in the area and a desire to accommodate reasonable levels of growth and development. Wyoming’s economy reached the bottom of an energy bust in 1987 and started to recover. That recovery began to slow in 1996, due 3-96 to low prices for coal, oil, and gas. In 1999, for the first time since 1977, minerals comprised less than half of the state’s total assessed valuation. Since then energy and fuel prices have risen, and this trend is expected to continue. The forecast is for slow growth through 2009; Wyoming’s population is projected to increase at 1.0 percent per year. Non-agricultural employment is projected to increase by 10.2 percent by 2009, increasing 1.1 percent per year. Mining employment (including oil and gas) is projected to grow by 7.5 percent by 2009, mostly within the oil and gas sector (Wyoming Department of Administration and Information April 2001). In 2001, there were 19,500 jobs in the mining sector in Wyoming. This number was up 13 percent from the 17,160 mining jobs in 2000. This large increase was almost entirely attributed to increases in oil and gas jobs, from 9,400 in 2000 to 11,800 in 2001. Despite a loss of about 1,100 jobs in the oil and gas sector in 2002 (Department of Employment 2003), continued development of CBM resources in Wyoming may cause greater increases in the mining sector through 2009 than previously estimated. 3.4.18.7 Environmental Justice Environmental Justice issues are concerned with actions that unequally impact a given segment of society either as a result of physical location, perception, design, noise, or other factors. On February 11, 1994, Executive Order 12898, “Federal Action to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

3.0 Affected Environment Populations and Low-Income Populations” was published in the Federal Register (59 FR 7629). The Executive Order requires federal agencies to identify and address disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of their programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations (defined as those living below the poverty level). The Executive Order makes it clear that its provisions apply fully to Native American populations and Native American tribes, specifically to effects on tribal lands, treaty rights, trust responsibilities, and the health and environment of Native American communities. Communities within Sheridan County, Wyoming and Big Horn County Montana; the Crow Reservation; entities with interests in the area; and individuals with ties to the area all may have concerns about the presence of a new coal mine within the area. Communities potentially impacted by the presence or absence of a coal mine have been identified in this EIS. Environ­ mental Justice concerns are usually directly associated with impacts on the natural and physical environment, but these impacts are likely to be interrelated with social and economic impacts as well. Native American access to cultural and religious sites may fall under the umbrella of Environmental Justice concerns if the sites are on tribal lands or access to a specific location has been granted by treaty right. Compliance with Executive Order 12898 concerning Environmental Justice was accomplished through opportunities for the public to receive information on this EIS in conjunction with the consultation and coordination described in Section 1.5 of this document. This EIS and contributing socioeconomic analysis provide a consideration of impacts with regard to disproportionately adverse impacts on minority and/or low-income groups, including Native Americans. 3.4.19 Hazardous and Solid Waste Potential sources of hazardous or solid waste on P&M’s proposed Ash Creek Mine would include spilling, leaking, or dumping of hazardous substances, petroleum products, and/or solid waste associated with mineral, coal, oil and/or gas exploration, and development of agricultural or livestock activities. No such hazardous or solid wastes are known to be present on the tract at this time. All wastes produced by the reclaimed PSO No. 1/Ash Creek Mine were disposed of according to WDEQ-approved disposal plans. Wastes produced by the proposed Ash Creek Mine would also be handled according to the procedures described in Chapter 2.

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4.0 Environmental Consequences 4.0 	 NVIRONMENTAL E CONSEQUENCES Proposed Action. Section 4.4 analyzes the direct and indirect impacts that would be expected in association with mining the PSO Tract under the Proposed Action. Section 4.5 presents the probable environmental consequences of the No-Action Alternative (Alternative 1). Under this alternative, the exchange would not be completed and the coal within the PSO Tract would not be mined as proposed. Section 4.6 discusses mitigation and monitoring that may be required in addition to what is required by federal and/or state law (and is therefore part of the Proposed Action). Section 4.7 summarizes the residual effects of the Proposed Action. Section 4.8 discusses the cumulative impacts that would occur if the exchange is completed when added to other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions. The cumulative impact analysis includes a discussion of mining and miningrelated activities (such as coal transportation), CBM development, and other projects that are in progress, or are reasonably foreseeable in the PRB that are occurring or would occur independently of the exchange proposal. Section 4.9 analyzes the relationship between local shortterm uses of man’s environment and the maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity. Section 4.10 presents the irreversible and irretrievable commitments of resources that would occur with implementation of the Proposed Action.

This chapter discloses the potential environmental consequences that may result from implementing the Proposed Action and Alternative 1. The effect or impact a consequence will have on the quality of the human environment is also discussed. Evaluation of the significance of an impact would depend on an individual’s (or a group’s) preferred use of that area. Impacts can range from beneficial to adverse, and they can be a primary result of an action (direct) or a secondary result (indirect). They can be permanent, long-term (persisting beyond the end of mine life and reclamation), or short-term (persisting during mining and reclamation and through the time the reclamation bond is released). Impacts also vary in terms of significance. The basis for conclusions regarding significance are the criteria set forth by the Council on Environmental Quality (40 CFR1 1508.27) and the professional judgment of the specialists doing the analyses. Impact significance may range from negligible to substantial; impacts can be significant during mining but be reduced to insignificance following completion of reclamation. Sections 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3 of chapter discuss the direct indirect impacts of acquiring lands offered by P&M under this and the the

1 Refer to page ix for a list of abbreviations and acronyms used in this document.

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4.0 Environmental Consequences 4.1 	 Impacts of Acquiring the Bridger Lands Under the Proposed Action, the Bridger tracts shown in Figure 1-2 would become public lands. These lands are currently private inholdings which are surrounded by public lands. If the exchange is completed, the tracts or portions of tracts that are within the BTNF would be administered by the USFS, and the tracts or portions of tracts lying outside the BTNF would be administered by the BLM Pinedale Field Office. The Bridger tracts inside the BTNF include most of the remaining parcels of private land within the USFS Kemmerer Ranger District. As indicated in Chapter 1, acquisition of these lands is a high priority for the USFS. If the exchange is completed and the tracts inside the BTNF become National Forest System lands, the USFS anticipates no changes to the current management of the area. Public access to these areas for recreation and other purposes would be retained. The tracts would be incorporated into the surrounding Management Areas that include Management Area 12, La Barge Creek, and Management Area 13, Hams Fork. The DFC for the lands surrounding these parcels is DFC 10, which is described in the Forest Plan for the BTNF as “simultaneous development of resources, opportunities for human experiences, and support for big game and a wide variety of wildlife species.” Under this designation, the area would be managed to allow for some resource development and 4-2 roads while having no adverse and some beneficial effects on wildlife. The Bridger tracts outside of the BTNF would be administered by the BLM Pinedale Field Office. These lands are not specifically identified in the Pinedale Resource Management Plan for acquisition, but they lie within a retention area. BLM would manage the acquired lands as they manage the surrounding public lands. The Bridger tracts that would be administered by BLM are unfenced from the South La Barge Common grazing allotment. Currently, the BLM credits the private grazing permittee for inclusion of these private AUMs into the grazing permit. If the exchange is completed, the grazing permittee would lose the private grazing agreement which includes 118 AUMs. BLM would divide these AUMs up among the eight permittees in the La Barge Common grazing allotment. 4.2 	 Impacts of Acquiring the JO Ranch Lands Under the Proposed Action, the JO Ranch lands shown in Figure 1-3 would become public lands. These lands are currently private inholdings that are surrounded by public lands. If the exchange is completed, these lands would be administered by the BLM Rawlins Field Office. These lands are currently used for livestock grazing and wildlife habitat, consistent with the typical uses of the surrounding BLM lands. Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences The existing 1990 Great Divide Resource Management Plan does not address acquisition of lands, but it identifies exchanges as the preferred method of disposal and acquisition of lands. Under the Proposed Action, the BLM Rawlins Field Office would change the Great Divide Resource Management Plan, with public input, to address land acquisition and BLM management of these lands. If the exchange is completed, BLM would acquire the riparian habitat along Cow Creek, the sand hills habitat in the northern part of the lands proposed for exchange, and the JO Ranch buildings. Completing the exchange would provide public access for recreation, including hunting, as well as opportunities for improved management of wildlife populations. The portion of Cow Creek included in the exchange, the adjacent riparian habitat, and the sand hills habitat are important in terms of the plant and animal life they support and they are not common in terms of total acreage in this area. This portion of Cow Creek could be important to non-game sensitive fish species like roundtail chubs, flannelmouth suckers, and bluehead suckers. The sand hills habitat area could be added to the existing Sand Hills Area of Critical Environmental Concern, or ACEC. The objectives for management of the Sand Hills ACEC are to protect the unique vegetation complex, maintain wildlife values, minimize soil erosion, and promote recreational opportunities. The JO Ranch buildings are historically Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange significant and are eligible for inclusion as a National Historic site. The grazing AUMs on the private lands are currently used to calculate the carrying capacity for the BLM grazing allotments. Therefore, the private lands are managed as part of the allotment. This management would not change if the JO Ranch lands are acquired. 4.3 	Impacts of Acquiring Welch Lands the

Under the Proposed Action, the Welch lands shown in Figure 1-4 would become public lands. Unlike the other properties being offered for exchange by P&M, the Welch lands are not in-holdings within other federal lands but are surrounded by private lands. If the exchange is completed, these lands would be administered by the BLM Buffalo Field Office and future management would be determined through additional NEPA analysis and planning decisions. Section 206 of FLPMA, which deals with exchanges, and Section 209 of FLPMA, which deals with the reservation and conveyance of minerals, have both been incorporated into the existing Approved Resource Management Plan for Public Lands Administered by the BLM Buffalo Field Office. Under the Proposed Action, the BLM Buffalo Field Office would determine future management of the Welch lands, with public input, through additional NEPA analysis and planning decisions, if the exchange is completed. 4-3

4.0 Environmental Consequences The Welch lands are a unique area in northern Sheridan County containing highly productive riparian haylands, upland hills, scoria outcrops, and river and riparian habitat. Since it includes about 1.5 miles of the Tongue River, the property has high potential for public recreation including fishing, big game and bird hunting, nonmotorized boating or floating, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and picnicking. The location of the Welch lands adjacent to the Tongue River and Thunder Child Rehabilitation Center may offer some recreational and management opportunities. If the exchange is completed, BLM does not plan to change the existing management of the Welch lands. Existing uses on the Welch lands and surrounding area include livestock grazing and oil and gas development. These uses would continue under management to protect the existing conditions. Land uses that do not currently exist on the lands, such as motorized recreation, would be evaluated with public input through additional NEPA analysis and planning decisions, if the exchange is completed. If the exchange is completed as proposed, BLM would acquire all of the offered Welch lands, including the underground coal fire that occupies approximately 13 acres of the SW¼ of Section 2, T.57N., R.84W. Based on a comparison of the current fire location with maps showing the areas of burning coal in the past, this coal seam fire has moved north several hundred feet 4-4 during the past 24 years, and will probably continue to burn northward and westward until: 1) it runs out of coal, either by hitting an outcrop or prehistoric burn line; 2) the supply of oxygen is cut off because subsidence fractures and cracks fail to reach the surface; 3) the coal drops below the water table; or 4) the area is fully reclaimed by WDEQ/AMLD (which may be very difficult due to the depth of the fire). Burning could continue for tens to hundreds of years. BLM is considering exchange options that would not involve BLM acquisition of the area occupied by the underground coal fire. These options are discussed in Chapter 2 and in the technical report on the fire that is included as Appendix D of this document. If the exchange is completed as proposed and BLM acquires all of the offered Welch lands, there are several options for managing the underground coal fire if the exchange is completed. These include fencing off the coal seam fire area and posting warning signs, designating the coal seam fire as a research natural area, developing the fire area as an educational showcase of the natural coal burning process, or reclaiming the fire in cooperation with the WDEQ/AMLD. The WDEQ/AMLD may use SMCRA funds to reclaim fires associated with mining that occurred prior to the SMCRA eligibility date which present a hazard to public safety, and for which there is no responsible party with reclamation obligations for the site. More information on these options is included in Appendix D. Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences BLM would evaluate these options with public input, through additional NEPA analysis and planning decisions, if the exchange is completed. Potential hazards to the public, if public access to the area is allowed, would include: • 	noxious or explosive gases including methane and carbon monoxide; • 	 depleted levels of oxygen near the fissures; • 	hot spots on the ground which may mask a fissure and cause burns if stepped on; the appraisal process). The boundaries of the tract would be consistent with the tract configurations proposed by P&M in the exchange proposal. In order to recover all of the mineable coal included in the PSO Tract, the area that would have to be permitted would include the tract as proposed plus an adjacent strip of land that would be used for highwall reduction after mining and such mine-related activities as construction of diversions, floodand sediment-control structures, roads, and stockpiles. The adjacent, privately-owned coal, shown in Figure 2-2, would be included in the permit area if P&M successfully negotiates a mining agreement with the owner of that coal. In addition, P&M’s current proposal includes an overland conveyor, which would be used to transport the coal from the mine area to a unit train loadout facility located beside the BNSF mainline railroad tracks, which are located approximately four miles south of the PSO Tract. If the exchange is completed and if P&M proceeds with its proposal to open a surface coal mine, they would have to negotiate access for the proposed conveyor with the adjacent surface landowners prior to its construction. Table 4-1 shows the area of the PSO Tract that would be mined and the disturbance area, which includes an estimated 99.5 acres of disturbance for the overland conveyor and an estimated 104.5 acres of disturbance for the rail loop and loadout facilities. The environmental consequences of implementing the Proposed Action or Alternative 3 would be the same. 4-5

• 	 unstable ground near fissures which could collapse under weight; • 	 danger of burns or suffocation if someone fell in a fissure; and • 	 risk that the coal fire would ignite forest and range vegetation. 4.4	 Impacts of Exchanging the Coal in the PSO Tract

If P&M acquires the federal coal beneath the PSO Tract under the Proposed Action, it is assumed that the PSO Tract would be developed into a new surface mine. For this analysis, it is also assumed that all the federal coal within the PSO Tract would be exchanged and be a part of the proposed Ash Creek mine plan (although the actual amount of coal to be exchanged will depend upon Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences Table 4-1. Comparison of the Proposed Ash Creek Mine Disturbance and Mined Areas.
No Action Alternative Total Area of Federal Coal Exchanged (Acres) Estimated Area of Federal Coal Mined (Acres) Estimated Total Area of Coal Mined (Acres) Estimated Total Disturbance Area (Acres)1
1

Proposed Action 2,045 1,079 1,720 2,595

none none none none

Total Disturbance Area = area to be mined (PSO Tract and adjacent privately owned coal) + area disturbed for mine facilities, access roads, haul roads, stockpiles, overland conveyor, loadout facilities, etc.

The coal would not be mined under Alternatives 1 and 2. Surface mining and reclamation have been ongoing in the PRB for over two decades. During this time, effective mining and reclamation technologies have been developed and continue to be refined. Mining and reclamation operations are regulated under SMCRA and Wyoming statutes. WDEQ technically reviews all mine permit application packages to ensure that the mining and reclamation plans comply with all state permitting requirements and that the proposed coal mining operations comply with the performance standards of the DOI-approved Wyoming program. There are a number of federal and state permit approvals that are required in order to conduct surface mining operations (Appendix A). The regulations are designed to ensure that surface coal mining impacts are mitigated. The impact assessment that follows considers all measures required by federal and state regulatory authorities as part of the Proposed Action.

4.4.1 Topography and Physiography Surface coal mining would permanently alter the topography of the PSO Tract. Topsoil would be removed from the land and stockpiled or placed directly on recontoured areas. Overburden would be blasted and stockpiled or directly placed into the already mined pit, and coal would be removed. The existing topography on the PSO Tract would be substantially changed during mining. A highwall with a vertical height equal to overburden plus coal thickness would exist in the active pits. If necessary, West Branch, Little Youngs Creek, and Youngs Creek would be diverted into temporary channels or temporarily blocked to prevent flooding of the pits. Typically, a direct permanent impact of coal mining and reclamation is topographic moderation. After reclamation, the restored land surfaces are generally gentler, with more uniform slopes and restored basic drainage networks. The original topography of the PSO Tract is somewhat rugged. As a result, the expected post-mining Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

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4.0 Environmental Consequences topography would be more homogenous and subdued, but would blend with the undisturbed surroundings. Following reclama­ tion, the average post-mining topography would be slightly lower in elevation than the pre-mining topography due to removal of the coal. (The removal of the coal would be partially offset by the swelling that occurs when the overburden and interburden are blasted, excavated, and backfilled.) The land surface would be restored to the approximate original contour or to a configuration approved by WDEQ/LQD during the mine permitting process. Direct adverse impacts resulting from topographic moderation include a reduction in microhabitats (e.g., cutbank slopes and bedrock bluffs) for some wildlife species and a reduction in habitat diversity, particularly a reduction in slopedependent shrub communities and associated habitat. A potential indirect impact may be a long-term reduction in big game carrying capacity. A direct beneficial impact of the lower and flatter terrain would be reduced water runoff, which would allow increased infiltration and result in a minor reduction in peak flows. This may help counteract the potential for increased erosion that could occur as a result of higher near-surface bulk density of the reclaimed soils (Section 4.4.3). It may also increase vegetative productivity, and potentially accelerate recharge of groundwater. The approximate original drainage pattern would be restored, and Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange stock ponds would be replaced to provide livestock and wildlife watering sources. These topographic changes would not conflict with regional land use, and the post-mining topography would adequately support anticipated land use of the PSO Tract. These measures are required by state regulations and are therefore considered part of the Proposed Action. As shown in Table 4-1, the area that would be permanently topographically changed if the exchange is completed and if P&M also acquires the right to mine the adjacent private coal is 2,595 acres. 4.4.2 Geology and Minerals P&M estimates that the proposed mining area would encompass approximately 1,720 acres. Thicknesses of the mineable coal seams vary across the project area, as described in Section 3.4.3. The geology from the base of the Dietz 3 coal seam to the land surface would be subject to permanent change on the areas of coal removal on the PSO Tract under the Proposed Action. The resulting subsurface physical characteristics of these lands would be substantially altered by mining. The replaced overburden and interburden (backfill) would be a relatively homogeneous (compared to the pre-mining layers of shale, siltstone, and sandstone overburden and interburden) and partly recompacted mixture. In the southern portion of the mine area where only the Dietz 3 seam would be mined, the replaced backfill would average approximately 140 ft 4-7

4.0 Environmental Consequences thick, and in the northern part of the mine area where both the Dietz 3 and Dietz 1 seams would be mined, the replaced backfill thickness would average approximately 260 ft. Drilling and sampling programs are conducted by all mine operators to identify overburden material that may be unsuitable for reclamation (i.e., material that is not suitable for use in reestablishing vegetation or that may affect groundwater quality due to high concentrations of certain constituents such as selenium or adverse pH levels). As part of the mine permitting process, each mine operator is required to develop a management plan to ensure that this unsuitable material is not placed in areas where it may affect groundwater quality or revegetation success. Each mine operator must also develop backfill monitoring plans as part of the mine permitting process to evaluate the quality of the replaced overburden. These plans would be developed for the proposed Ash Creek Mine if the exchange is completed and if P&M proceeds with its plan to open a mine on the PSO Tract. During mining, other minerals present on the tract could not be developed. However, some of these minerals could be developed after mining. Several parcels are currently leased for oil and gas, although no conventional oil and gas wells are present on the PSO Tract. Several unsuccessful conventional oil and gas exploration wells have been drilled on the tract, and oil and gas production continues to occur west of the tract 4-8 in the Ash Creek and Ash Creek South Fields. The reservoirs from which the Ash Creek and Ash Creek South Fields produce are below the coal and would not be disturbed by mining; therefore, the potential exists for further conventional oil and gas exploration and production from any subcoal oil and gas reservoirs on the PSO Tract following mining. As discussed in Sections 3.4.3 and 3.4.11, CBM development has rapidly occurred within and adjacent to the PSO Tract since 1999, and there are three potential coal seams (Dietz 3, Monarch, and Carney) that would be expected to produce CBM in the area. Only the Dietz 3 seam would be directly affected by mining. CBM resources that are not recovered from the Dietz 3 on the PSO Tract prior to mining would be irretrievably lost when the coal is removed. Dewatering that occurs as a result of mining also lowers the coal seam aquifer’s water levels and reduces the hydrostatic pressure, which may allow CBM to desorb and escape from the Dietz 3 seam on lands adjacent to the PSO Tract if it is not recovered prior to mining. CBM in the Monarch and Carney seams not recovered prior to mining could be recovered after mining. However, those resources could potentially be drained from underneath the PSO Tract during mining by wells completed in the Monarch and Carney seams on lands adjacent to the tract. Currently, there are 191 CBM wells completed or permitted to be drilled within T.57N., R.84W., and there Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences are 67 CBM wells within three miles of the PSO Tract in Montana. Nineteen CBM well locations (five existing and 14 permitted) are within the boundary of the federal coal being considered for exchange. The development of CBM in Sheridan County (Wyoming) and Big Horn County (Montana) has been affected by uncertainty due to difficulties in the disposal of groundwater produced from the coal beds. Groundwater from the Fort Union Formation coal seams in the northern and western parts of the PRB has a relatively high SAR, which has caused concern about issuing permits to discharge CBM water into tributaries of the Tongue River. In the BLM’s preferred alternative (Alternative 2A) in the Final EIS and Proposed Plan Amendment for the PRB Oil and Gas Project, it is assumed that CBMproduced water in the Upper Tongue River sub-watershed would be handled by discharge following passive treatment (five percent), by infiltration (65 percent), by containment impoundments (five percent), by land application disposal (15 percent), or by injection (10 percent) (BLM 2003a). For this analysis, it is assumed that each CBM well would produce until mining activity approaches that well. This arrangement would be dependent on cooperation between the federal oil and gas lessees, the owners of the private oil and gas rights (Figure 3-14), and P&M. The Final EIS and Proposed Plan Amendment for the PRB Oil and Gas Project assumed an average well life Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange of seven years for CBM wells in the PRB, based on a review of average production well life for existing wells east and west of the Powder River. The highest production rates typically occur during the first half of a well’s life. Therefore, BLM estimates that a large portion of the CBM reserves could be recovered prior to initiation of mining activity on the PSO Tract. If the land exchange is completed and P&M proceeds with its proposal to open a surface coal mine on the PSO Tract, CBM reserves not recovered from the Dietz 3 prior to mining would be vented to the atmosphere. Any facilities and equipment associated with CBM production and development on the PSO Tract would have to be removed prior to mining. 4.4.3 Soils Disturbance related to coal mining would directly affect 2,595 acres of soil resources on and adjacent to the PSO Tract if P&M successfully acquires the coal underlying the PSO Tract and the rights to mine the adjacent privately-owned coal. The reclaimed soils would have different physical, biological, and chemical properties than the premining soils. They would be more uniform in type, thickness, and texture. Average topsoil thickness would be 24 to 36 inches across the entire reclaimed surface. Soil chemistry and soil nutrient distribution would be more uniform, and average topsoil quality would be improved because soil material that is not suitable to support plant growth would not be salvaged for use in reclamation. This would 4-9

4.0 Environmental Consequences result in more uniform vegetative productivity on the reclaimed land. The replaced topsoil would support a stable and productive vegetation community adequate in quality and quantity to support the planned post-mining land uses (wildlife habitat and rangeland). Specific impacts to soil resources would include an increase in the near-surface bulk density of the reclaimed soil resources. As a result, the average soil infiltration rates would generally decrease, which would increase the potential for runoff and soil erosion. Topographic moderation following reclamation would potentially decrease runoff, which would tend to offset this potential increase in runoff due to decreased soil infiltration capacity. The change in soil infiltration rates would not be permanent because revegetation and natural weathering action would form new soil structure in the reclaimed soils, and infiltration rates would gradually return to premining levels. Direct biological impacts to soil resources would include a shortterm reduction in soil organic matter, microbial populations, seeds, bulbs, rhizomes, and live plant parts for soil resources that are stockpiled before placement. Topsoil would be removed and stockpiled or direct placed on regraded surfaces. Once the mining operation is in a steady-state production condition, topsoil would be directly placed to eliminate the need to rehandle. Sediment control structures would be built to trap eroded soil, revegetation would reduce wind erosion, and soil or overburden materials containing potentially harmful chemical constituents (such as selenium) would be specially handled. These measures are required by state regulations and are therefore considered part of the Proposed Action. 4.4.4 Air Quality Regulatory Background Air pollution impacts are limited by local, state, tribal, and federal air quality regulations and standards, and implementation plans established under the CAA and administered by WDEQ/AQD in Wyoming and MDEQ/AWM in Montana. The Federal CAA, and the subsequent CAAA of 1990, require the U.S. EPA to identify NAAQS to protect public health and welfare. The CAA and the CAAA established NAAQS for six pollutants, known as “criteria” pollutants because the ambient standards set for these pollutants satisfy “criteria” specified in the CAA. A list of the criteria pollutants regulated by the CAA, and the currently applicable NAAQS set by the EPA for each, is presented in Table 4-2. Pursuant to the CAA, the EPA has developed classifications for distinct geographic regions known as air basins and for major MSAs. Under these classifications, for each federal criteria pollutant, each air basin (or portion of a basin or MSA) is Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

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4.0 Environmental Consequences

Table 4-2.
Federal Standards Primary Concentrationa 120 ppbv (235 Pg/m ) 80 ppbv (157 Pg/m3)
3

Federal and State Ambient Air Quality Standards for Criteria Pollutants.
Wyoming Standards Averaging Period Concentrationa 1-Hour 8-Hourb 120 ppbv (235 Pg/m ) 80 ppbvc (157 Pg/m3)
3

Criteria Pollutant

Secondary Concentrationb Same as Primary Standards ---------Same as Primary Standards ------1,300 Pg/m3 (500 ppbv) Same as Primary Standards ---Same as Primary Standards ------Same as Primary Standards

Ozone (O ) 8-Hourd 1-Houre Annual 100 Pg/m3 (50 ppbv) 60 Pg/m3 (20 ppbv) 260 Pg/m3 (100 ppbv) 1,300 Pg/m3 (500 ppbv) 150 Pg/m3 ---50 Pg/m3 50 Pg/m3 65 Pg/m
3

3

Carbon Monoxide (CO) 100 Pg/m3 (53 ppbv) 80 Pg/m3 (30 ppbv) 365 Pg/m3 (140 ppbv) ---150 Pg/m3 150 Pg/m3

9 ppmv (10 mg/m3) 35 ppmv (40 mg/m3)

9 ppmv (10 mg/m3) 35 ppmv (40 mg/m3)

Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) as Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) Annual 24-Hourd 3-Hourd 24-Hourd 24-Hour (Based on the 99th Percentile Averaged over Three Years) Annual Arithmetic Mean 65 Pg/m
3

Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)

Particulate Matter d10 Microns in Aerodynamic Diameter (PM10)

Particulate Matter d2.5 Microns in Aerodynamic Diameter (PM2.5) 15 Pg/m3 1.5 Pg/m3 Primary 70 Pg/m Secondary 40 Pg/m3f
3e

24-Hour (Based on the 98th Percentile Averaged over Three Years) Annual Arithmetic Mean Averaged over Three Years 15 Pg/m3 1.5 Pg/m3 ------------------------Calendar Quarter ½ Hour ½ Hour Annual 30 Day 250 Pg/m3 500 Pg/m3 3 Pg/m3 1.8 Pg/m3 0.5 Pg/m3 0.4 Pg/m3 12 Hours 24 Hours 7 Days 30 Days

Lead (Pb)

Hydrogen Sulfide

-------------------------

Suspended Sulfates

Fluorides in Ambient Air

a	

b	

c

d	

e	

f	

Equivalent units given in parentheses are based upon a reference temperature of 25 degrees C and a reference pressure of 760 mm mercury. Measurements of air quality are corrected to a reference temperature of 25 degrees C and a reference pressure of 760 mm mercury (1,013.2 millibar); ppmv and ppbv in this table refer to parts per million by volume and parts per billion by volume, respectively, or micro-moles of pollutant per mole of gas. The 8-hour ozone standard would be implemented once an area achieves attainment for the 1-hour standard. The 8-hour ozone standard is met when the average of the annual fourth highest daily maximum 8-hour average ozone concentration is less than or equal to .008 ppm (80 ppbv). A violation occurs on the second exceedance during a calendar year. Not to be exceeded more than two times per year. Not to be exceeded more than two times in five consecutive days.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange	

4-11

4.0 Environmental Consequences classified as in “attainment” if the area has “attained” compliance with (that is, not exceeded) the adopted NAAQS for that pollutant, or is classified as “non-attainment” if the levels of ambient air pollution exceed the NAAQS for that pollutant. Areas for which sufficient ambient monitoring data are not available are designated as “unclassified” for those particular pollutants. States designate areas within their borders as being in “attainment” or “non-attainment” with the NAAQS. Since the PSO Tract is near the border of Wyoming and Montana, the attainment status of nearby areas in both states is considered. The proposed Ash Creek Mine is in an area designated an attainment area for all pollutants. However, the town of Sheridan, Wyoming, located about 12 miles south of the project area, is a non-attainment area for PM10. Also, the town of Lame Deer, Montana, located about 50 miles northeast, is a non-attainment area for PM10. The towns of Laurel and Billings, Montana, non-attainment areas for SO2, are located about 90 miles northwest of the project area. Under requirements of the CAA, the EPA has established PSD rules, the purpose of which is to prevent deterioration of air quality in areas that are in attainment with the NAAQS. Increases in ambient concentrations of NO2, SO2, and PM10 are limited to modest increments in Class II areas (most of the country), and to very small increments in Class I areas (national parks and other designated pristine areas). 4-12 In addition to the designations relative to attainment of the NAAQS, the CAA requires the EPA to place each airshed within the U.S. into one of three PSD area classifications. PSD Class I is the most restrictive air quality category. It was created by Congress to prevent further deterioration of air quality in National Parks and Wilderness Areas of a given size which were in existence prior to 1977 or those additional areas which have since been designated Class I under federal regulations (40 CFR 52.21). All remaining areas outside of the designated Class I boundaries were designated Class II areas, which allow a relatively greater deterioration of air quality over that in existence in 1977, although still within the NAAQS. No Class III areas, which would allow air quality to degrade to the NAAQS, have been designated. The federal land managers have also identified certain federal assets with Class II status as “sensitive” Class II areas for which air quality and/or visibility are valued resources. These sensitive Class II areas include Cloud Peak Wilderness Area and Devil’s Tower National Monument, which are approximately 36 and 93 miles distant, respectively. The Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation, which is located 25 miles north of the PSO Tract, is a tribally designated Class I area. The closest mandatory federal Class I area to the PSO Tract is the North Absaroka Wilderness Area, located about 130 miles to the west of the PSO Tract. The next closest Class I area is Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota, located about Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences 195 miles east-southeast of the PSO Tract. Federal PSD regulations limit the maximum allowable increase in ambient particulate matter in a Class I airshed resulting from a major stationary source or major modification to 4 Pg/m3 (annual geometric mean) and 8 Pg/m3 (24­ hour average). Increases in other criteria pollutants are similarly limited. Specific types of facilities which emit, or have the PTE, 100 tpy or more of PM10 or other criteria air pollutants, or any facility which emits, or has the PTE, 250 tpy or more of PM10 or other criteria air pollutants, is considered a major stationary source. However, fugitive emissions are not counted against the PSD threshold unless the source is so designated by federal rule (40 CFR 52.21). The NSPS were established by the CAA. The standards, which are for new or modified stationary sources, require the sources to achieve the best demonstrated emissions control technology. The NSPS apply to specific types of processes, which in the case of the Proposed Action include certain activities at the coal preparation plant. The requirements applicable to these existing units are found in 40 CFR Part 60, Subpart Y (Standards of Performance for Coal Preparation Plants), and WAQSR Chapter 5, Section 2 (b) Subpart Y. As part of the CAA and its subsequent amendments, a facilitywide permitting program was established for larger sources of pollution. This program, known as Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange the Federal Operating Permit, or Title V Program, requires that these “major sources” of air pollutants submit a Title V permit application. This is different than the PSD regulations discussed above. To be classified as a “major source”, a facility must have a PTE of greater than 100 tpy of any regulated pollutant, 10 tpy of any single HAP, or 25 tpy or more of any combination of HAPs, from applicable sources. Fugitive emissions are only counted towards these thresholds for certain categories of facilities. In the case of the Proposed Action, fugitive emissions from mining activities would be exempt, but fugitive emissions directly associated with the preparation plant (e.g., fugitive truck dump emissions) would be considered in the threshold determination. There are no NAAQS for NO2 for periods shorter than one year, but there is concern about the potential health risk associated with shortterm exposure to NO2 from blasting emissions. As discussed in Section 3.4.5, there is public concern over the releases of NO2 from overburden blasting, which can form a low-lying, gaseous orange cloud that can be transported by wind. NO2 is a product of incomplete combustion at sources such as gasoline- and diesel-burning engines or from mine blasting activities. Gaseous NO2 is reddish-brown, heavier than air and has a pungent odor. It is highly reactive and combines with water to form nitric acid and nitric oxide. “Nitrogen dioxide gas may cause 4-13

4.0 Environmental Consequences significant toxicity because of its ability to form nitric acid with water in the eye, lung, mucous membranes and skin” (EPA 2001). Acute exposure may cause death by damaging the pulmonary system. “Chronic or repeated exposure to lower concentrations of NO2 may exacerbate pre-existing respiratory conditions, or increase the incidence of respiratory infections” (EPA 2001). NIOSH, OSHA, and EPA have identified the following short-term exposure criteria for NO2: • NIOSH’s 	 recommended Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health level is 20 ppm (37,600 Pg/m3); • 	 EPA’s Significant Harm Level, a one-hour average, is 2 ppm (3,760 µg/m3); • OSHA’s Short-Term Exposure 	 Limit, a 15-minute timeweighted average, which was developed for workers, is 5 ppm (9,400 Pg/m3, which must not be exceeded during any part of the workday, as measured instantaneously); • 	 NIOSH’s recommendation for workers is a limit of 1 ppm (1,880 µg/m3) based on a 15­ minute exposure that should not be exceeded at any time during the workday; and • EPA 	 recommends that concentrations not exceed 0.5 ppm to protect sensitive members of the public (EPA 2003). According to EPA “…the exact concentrations at which NO2 will cause various health effects cannot 4-14 be predicted with complete accuracy because the effects are a function of air concentration and time of exposure, and precise measurements have not been made in association with human toxicity. The information that is available from human exposures also suggests that there is some variation in individual response” (EPA 2001). WDEQ has directed some of the existing PRB surface coal mines to take steps designed to mitigate the effects of NO2 emissions occurring from overburden blasting. The steps that may be required include: public notifications (in the form of warning signs along public roadways for example); temporary closure of public roadways near a mine during and after a blast; establishment of safe set-back distances from blasting areas; prohibiting blasting when wind direction is toward a neighbor; prohibiting blasting during temperature inversions; establish­ ment of monitoring plans; estimation of NO2 concentrations; and development of blasting procedures that will protect public safety and health. There are no state or federal rules that require the public or employees to stay back a certain distance from mine blasting operations in order to limit their exposure to NO2. An administrative ruling by the Wyoming EQC recently approved a 2,500-ft setback of blasting operations from the southern boundary of the Eagle Butte Coal Mine when prevailing winds are blowing toward the mine’s Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences downwind neighbors (Casper Star Tribune 2003). The Eagle Butte Mine is located just north of Gillette, Wyoming. Specific Regulatory Applicability – Proposed Action Emission inventories for the proposed Ash Creek Mine (Table 4­ 3) were developed for each year, based on the Life of Mine operating parameters shown in Table 4-4. For purposes of determining PTE for PSD and Title V applicability purposes, only point source emissions and fugitive truck dump PM10 emissions at the preparation plant would count towards the PTE applicability thresholds (Table 4-5). There are no applicable NOx sources that would count against the PTE, therefore the NOx PTE would be zero. The Proposed Action would not trigger PSD permitting requirements or federal Title V operating permit requirements based on these inventories. Any New Sources of emissions locating within the State of Wyoming must obtain state construction and operating permits unless the emissions and impacts are determined to be “insignificant” by the Administrator of the WDEQ/AQD. While the term “insignificant” is not defined for these purposes within the WAQSR, the magnitude of emissions predicted from the Proposed Action would trigger state construction and operating permit requirements based on long standing WDEQ/AQD policy with regard to surface coal mines. Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange The construction permitting rules of the WDEQ/AQD (Chapter 6, Section 2 of the WAQSR) provide that a permit to construct cannot be issued unless the applicant demonstrates that the facility (the proposed Ash Creek Mine) would comply with all applicable aspects of the WAQSR, including that the facility would not cause or significantly contribute to exceedances of state or federal AAQS or increments. Moreover, the WAQSR provide that all new or modified facilities must employ BACT for the mitigation of all contaminants released to the atmosphere, regardless of the source’s PTE. In the case of large surface coal mines, Chapter 6, Section 2 of the WAQSR (and longterm WDEQ/AQD policy) provides that BACT would typically include watering and chemical treatment of haul roads, silos or similar enclosures for out-of-pit coal storage, use of high efficiency baghouses or similar controls on preparation plant process sources, and other best management practices. Certain “affected facilities at the coal preparation plant would also be subject to a 20 percent opacity standard as provided by the Federal Standards of Performance for Coal Preparation Plants (40 CFR 60, Subpart Y) and its equivalent State rule (WAQSR Chapter 5, Section 2 (b) Subpart Y). Affected facilities at the proposed Ash Creek Mine would include coal processing and conveying equipment (including crushers, coal storage systems, and coal transfer and loading systems). 4-15

4.0 Environmental Consequences Table 4-3.
Year 0

Annual Emissions Summary for the Proposed Ash Creek Mine.
Source Fugitive Point Total Fugitive Point Total Fugitive Point Total Fugitive Point Total Fugitive Point Total Fugitive Point Total Fugitive Point Total Fugitive Point Total Fugitive Point Total Fugitive Point Total Fugitive Point Total Fugitive Point Total Fugitive Point Total Fugitive Point Total Fugitive Point Total Fugitive Point Total Fugitive Point Total Fugitive Point Total Fugitive Point Total Fugitive Point Total Fugitive Point Total PM10 (tpy) 61.4 28 89.4 79.5 28 107.5 88.4 28 116.4 127.2 28 155.2 174.2 28 202.2 230.7 28 258.7 233.1 28 261.1 227 28 255 213.4 28 241.4 209.3 28 237.3 224.1 28 252.1 207.9 28 235.9 200.4 28 228.4 158.6 28 186.6 156.5 28 184.5 222.7 28 250.7 259.4 28 287.4 237 28 265 54 28 82 37.9 28 65.9 15.4 28 43.4 NOx (tpy) 0 0 0 59.03 0 59.03 121.17 0 121.17 226.63 0 226.63 341.36 0 341.36 496.28 0 496.28 517.3 0 517.3 489.52 0 489.52 467.84 0 467.84 436.17 0 436.17 478.97 0 478.97 450.46 0 450.46 436.6 0 436.6 339.37 0 339.37 336.22 0 336.22 469.42 0 469.42 575.09 0 575.09 510.99 0 510.99 20.92 0 20.92 20.92 0 20.92 7.58 0 7.58 CO (tpy) 0 0 0 18.53 0 18.53 40.25 0 40.25 76.2 0 76.2 114.21 0 114.21 169.26 0 169.26 177.95 0 177.95 169.36 0 169.36 161.74 0 161.74 147.59 0 147.59 163.05 0 163.05 153.66 0 153.66 149.33 0 149.33 115.91 0 115.91 115.23 0 115.23 158.25 0 158.25 197.16 0 197.16 171.25 0 171.25 5.97 0 5.97 5.97 0 5.97 2.29 0 2.29 VOC (tpy) 0 0 0 3.2 0 3.2 6.14 0 6.14 10.63 0 10.63 15.36 0 15.36 21.92 0 21.92 22.84 0 22.84 21.91 0 21.91 21.08 0 21.08 19.58 0 19.58 21.25 0 21.25 20.22 0 20.22 19.75 0 19.75 16.13 0 16.13 16.05 0 16.05 20.74 0 20.74 24.93 0 24.93 22.16 0 22.16 1.82 0 1.82 1.82 0 1.82 0.53 0 0.53

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

4-16

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences

Table 4-4.
Open Acres 460 665 646 732 767 840 856 936 908 884 824 815 808 794 799 852 812 734 567 242 0 Overburden Coal Truck Truck (miles (miles traveled) traveled) 0 0 7,615 3,344 34,794 7,176 65,663 14,500 95,195 22,372 148,733 45,573 178,313 46,165 172,915 52,675 160,262 56,226 104,635 65,104 118,557 73,982 105,084 82,268 97,450 89,962 57,931 96,473 54,788 102,983 126,992 45,573 209,114 27,817 154,034 18,348 0 0 0 0 0 0 Grader Hours 1,500 2,199 2,880 4,365 6,200 8,086 8,156 7,545 7,230 7,318 7,859 7,335 7,038 5,501 5,378 7,981 9,187 8,872 1,500 1,500 1,500 Overburden Blasts 0 150 150 150 150 150 150 150 150 150 150 150 150 150 150 150 150 150 0 0 0 Coal Blasts 0 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 0 0 0 Facility Fuel Use (gallons) 24,363 355,862 732,475 1,344,013 1,991,311 2,914,655 3,055,750 2,912,784 2,787,540 2,558,853 2,812,649 2,657,281 2,585,273 2,034,382 2,022,602 2,735,632 3,373,355 2,951,637 148,620 148,620 54,940

Life of Mine Operating Parameters for the Proposed Ash Creek Mine.
ANFO (tons) 0 1,000 1,975 4,100 6,725 9,425 9,525 8,650 8,200 8,325 9,100 8,350 7,925 5,725 5,550 9,275 11,000 10,550 0 0 0

Year 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Scraper Hours 13,918 6,208 3,264 3,028 3,920 6,384 4,023 5,125 3,306 3,462 5,028 3,286 3,009 2,823 2,526 4,196 6,858 6,550 5,069 9,819 7,314

Overburden Removal Coal Removed (bcy) (tons) 0 0 3,000,000 1,000,000 5,400,000 2,500,000 11,400,000 5,000,000 19,900,000 7,000,000 27,700,000 10,000,000 28,100,000 10,000,000 24,600,000 10,000,000 22,800,000 10,000,000 23,300,000 10,000,000 26,400,000 10,000,000 23,400,000 10,000,000 21,700,000 10,000,000 12,900,000 10,000,000 12,200,000 10,000,000 27,100,000 10,000,000 34,000,000 10,000,000 32,200,000 10,000,000 0 0 0 0 0 0

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4-17

4.0 Environmental Consequences Table 4-5. Point Source and Determinations. Source Description Coal Dumping Bin Feeder Crusher Silo Loadout Total Applicable Fugitive Emissions for PTE

PM10 (tpy) Worst-Case, Year 16 2.87 5.60 11.20 5.60 5.60 30.87 – and Year 16 was selected for a detailed air quality modeling analysis. The U.S. EPA’s Industrial Source Complex (ISC3) model was used to determine model predictions of future air quality impacts. The model was run in “regulatory mode”. Model inputs included a five-year set of hourly meteorological data collected by the National Weather Service in Sheridan, Wyoming, the emissions estimates shown in Table 4-3 (apportioned into appropriate area sources superimposed over active emitting areas of the mine) and receptor locations at which concentrations were predicted. Receptors were placed in an array encircling the active mining areas at a distance of 500 meters from the coal removal blocks. The 500-meter distance was selected to approximate the area external to the active coal block which is needed for conduct of mining activities. For Wyoming compliance demonstrations, ambient air impacts are evaluated at the outside boundary of the LNCM, assuming that these areas are Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Environmental Consequences Significance Criteria

The Proposed Action would have a significant effect on the environment if any of the following would occur: • 	violation of any regulatory requirement of U.S. EPA or WDEQ/AQD; 	 iolation of any state or v federal ambient air quality standard; or

•

• 	 significant contribution to an existing or predicted air quality standard exceedance. Air quality modeling for PM10 and NO2 was conducted for the proposed Ash Creek Mine to determine air quality impacts to the environment. Modeling tools used in this effort, including emission factors, estimation methods, and model selection were consistent with WDEQ/AQD policy. Air quality impacts were modeled/assessed for the “worst-case” annual period of the LOM (Year 16, Table 4-4). Annual LOM inventories were developed using WDEQ/AQD emission factors and approaches 4-18

4.0 Environmental Consequences fenced to preclude public access. This 500-meter distance from modeled area sources also allows all receptors to be located beyond the distance (one area source width) within which the ISC3 model may overpredict impacts because of approximations in the model area source algorithms. Annual PM10 concentration estimates were generated for all mine, preparation plant, and truck loading sources. In order to determine total concentrations, a background concentration must be added to the source impact prediction for comparison to applicable ambient air quality standards. WDEQ uses a PM10 background concentration of 15 µg/m3 for coal mine air quality permit analyses. In a coal mine permit analysis, emissions from the coal mine and all other sources in the area of the mine are added to this background, regardless of when it was permitted or built. In conducting an analysis of air quality impacts in the PRB for the Wyoming and Montana BLM, Argonne National Laboratory uses a PM10 background concentration of 17 The Argonne air quality µg/m3. impact analysis background concentrations are recently monitored values and are intended to represent all sources permitted before a specific date. The Argonne analysis then considers sources constructed or modified after that date. Therefore, it considers only projected coal mine increases. The Argonne air quality impact analysis background is based on data collected in Gillette, Wyoming in Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange 1999, which was extrapolated to the entire PRB. Annual NOx concentrations were generated for all mine, vehicular and blasting sources. A background of 20 Pg/m3 was added to the source impact predictions for comparison to the applicable NO2 standard, in accordance with WDEQ policy. Argonne National Laboratory selected a NOx background concentration of 16.5 µg/m3, based on data collected in Gillette, Wyoming in 1996-1997. Modeling was not conducted for the short-term 24-hour PM10 standard. The WDEQ/AQD has always held that short-term modeling of surface mining emissions was a futile exercise because of the lack of sufficiently accurate modeling tools to simulate short-term variability in mine emission rates and locations as well as short-term micro-scale variability in atmospheric dispersion conditions. Moreover, the U.S. Congress also recognized these modeling limitations in the 1990 CAAA. Section 234 of the Act prohibited the EPA from requiring states to perform short-term modeling of PM10 from coal mines until such time as EPA could demonstrate sufficiently accurate modeling tools were available. EPA has not been able to make that demonstration to date and has reported their failure to do so to Congress. The mitigation measures considered in the modeling of the proposed Ash Creek Mine satisfy the requirements for BACT per Chapter 6, Section 2 of 4-19

4.0 Environmental Consequences the WAQSR. include: Those measures and NO2. Also shown are the applicable Wyoming and National AAQS. Operation of the proposed Ash Creek Mine during the worst-case operating year is indicated to produce impacts below all ambient standards using either background concentration. Figures 4-1 and 4-2 show predicted total concentrations (including WDEQ-estimated background concentrations) at modeled receptor points surrounding the mine for PM10 and NO2, respectively. The plotted concentrations (in Pg/m3) represent predicted annual average concentrations for the modeled year with the greatest impact. The PM10 and NO2 modeling analysis also determined maximum predicted annual concentrations at surrounding Class I and sensitive Class II areas, as well as in the town of Sheridan. The model predicts that the concentrations caused by mining operations at the proposed Ash Creek Mine would be 0.07 Pg/m3 (annual PM10) and 0.15 Pg/m3 (annual NO2) at the Northern Cheyenne Reservation, the Class I/Sensitive Class II area with the highest impact. These predicted concentrations are well below Class II significance levels and Class I PSD increments. The maximum predicted annual PM10 impact from the proposed Ash Creek Mine in the town of Sheridan is 0.27 Pg/m3. This is below the “significant impact level” of 1.0 Pg/m3 that would be deemed to Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

• 	 High efficiency baghouses on the crusher, conveyor transfers, storage bin and train loadout, meeting a standard of 0.01 grains per dscf of exit volume. • 	 Installation of a stilling shed to control fugitive emissions at the coal preparation plant truck dump. • Application of water and 	 chemical surfactant to haul roads.

• 	 Watering of active work areas. • Rapid 	 re-vegetation reclaimed surfaces. of

• 	 Reclamation plan to minimize surface disturbances subject to wind erosion. • 	 Paving of access roads. Model results for PM10 and NO2 impacts of the proposed Ash Creek Mine, based on WDEQ estimates of background concentrations, are shown in Figures 4-1 and 4-2. Table 4-6 presents the maximum predicted annual average concentrations of PM10 and NO2 due to the proposed Ash Creek Mine, and maximum total concentrations after the addition of background levels due to distant and natural pollutant sources. In Table 4-6, the results are reported in terms of both the WDEQ and Argonne National Laboratory estimates of the background concentrations for PM10 4-20

R. 38 E. R. 39 E.

T. 10 S.
18.1
32 33 22 23 2 1 17 16 20 21

17.5 16.6 16.1 16.0 16.0 16.2 16.4

17.2

16.0

15.9

T. 9 S.
16.4
34 24

18.6
Year 11

Year 12

Year 10

Year 9

Year 6

Year 5

16.5 18.0 19.0
Year 15
4 ar Ye

Year 7

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange
Year 8

16.6

17.1 17.4

18.2

Year 13

Year 14

Year 15

T. 58 N.
19.1

17.3

T. 58 N.

17.4

17.6

17.2

17.1

17.2

17.0

16.3
3 ar Ye
Ye ar 2

Year 1

16.6 23.8
Scoria Pit #1 Year 17
29 32 33 28

16.1
Year 16

20.9

R. 84 W.
26 25

n rde Pit rbu ile of Ove p t ck Ou Sto

15.9

Worst Case Facilities Area Scoria Pit #2

27.4

LEGEND
25.2 21.0
PSO Tract Wyoming - Montana State Line
27 34

15.7

27.4
Year 15

Receptor Location and Modeled 3 Worst-Case PM 10 Emissions ( µ g/m ) Mine Block and Year to be Mined

15.7 15.9 16.1 16.7 17.0

3 Figure 4-1. Modeled Maximum PM 10 Annual Average Concentrations ( g/m ), Including Background of µ 15 µg/m 3, at the Proposed Ash Creek Mine. 



18.3 17.4

18.5

0

1500

GRAPHIC SCALE
3000 ( FEET )

4.0 Environmental Consequences

6000

4-21

R. 84 W.

Year 11

Year 12

Year 10

Year 9

4.0 Environmental Consequences

23.6
Year 7

24.8

25.5

Year 8

27.3

Year 13

Year 14

Year 15

Year 6

Year 5

4-22
R. 38 E. R. 39 E.
25.7 23.5 24.9 22.3 22.0 21.7 21.6 21.8 21.8 21.6 26.9
32 33 22 23

T. 10 S.
2 1 17 16 20 21

21.9

T. 9 S.
34 24

28.1 29.3

T. 58 N.

22.4

T. 58 N.

22.8

23.5 26.4 28.5
Year 15

25.7

24.7

24.0

23.6

23.2

4 ar Ye

22.8
3 ar Ye
Ye ar 2

Year 1

23.6 38.9
Scoria Pit #1 Year 17
29 32 33 28

22.5
Year 16

33.1

R. 84 W.
26 25

22.0

n rde Pit rbu ile of Ove p t ck Ou Sto

Worst Case Facilities Area Scoria Pit #2

49.2

LEGEND
49.2 44.3 34.2
PSO Tract Wyoming - Montana State Line
27 34

21.5

Receptor Location and Modeled 3 Worst-Case NO XEmissions ( µ g/m )
Year 15

21.7 22.2 22.5 24.0 24.7

Figure 4-2. Modeled Maximum NOX Annual Average Concentrations (µg/m 3 ), Including Background of 20 µ
 g/m 3, at the Proposed Ash Creek Mine.
Mine Block and Year to be Mined

27.8 25.6

28.3

0

1500

GRAPHIC SCALE
3000 ( FEET )

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange
R. 84 W.

6000

4.0 Environmental Consequences Table 4-6. Comparisons of Maximum Applicable Standards. Predicted Annual Impacts to

PM10 (Pg/m3) Maximum Predicted Concentration Background Concentration (WDEQ) Total Concentration (WDEQ) Background Concentration (Argonne) Total Concentration (Argonne) Federal AAQS Wyoming AAQS cause or contribute to an exceedance of the AAQS in the Sheridan non-attainment area. PM10 and NO2 levels would be elevated at dwellings and along roads in the vicinity of the proposed Ash Creek Mine during mining operations. There are five dwellings located at a distance of approximately one-quarter mile outside of the boundary of the federal coal being considered for exchange. Mining would occur near State Highway 338, the Ash Creek Road, and the Youngs Creek Road. The required mitigation measures, which are discussed in Section 4.6, would minimize this impact. As shown in Figures 4-1 and 4-2, the predicted PM10 and NO2 levels in the vicinity of the mine would be below the annual NAAQS identified by EPA to protect public health and welfare. Based upon WDEQ’s experience in the PRB, they have stated that the risk posed by the release of NO2 from blasting is very specific to the type of mining operation and to the location. The release of higher concentrations of NO2 can be Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange 12.4 15.0 27.4 17.0 29.4 50 50

NOx (Pg/m3) 29.2 20.0 49.2 16.5 45.7 100 100

correlated to mining operations that employ cast blasting, which is a specific method of overburden blasting that is typically associated with dragline operations, and to operations that have saturated overburden conditions (Doug Emme 2003). In either case, the chance for the release of NO2 emissions is increased due to the incomplete combustion of the ammonium-based blasting agent. P&M proposes to utilize shovel and truck equipment to remove overburden and would not employ cast blasting. In addition, the overburden and interburden strata in the proposed Ash Creek Mine area are not saturated. Therefore, the likelihood that there would be a high risk posed to the public or to mine employees due to the release of NO2 from blasting at the proposed Ash Creek Mine is minimal. Air quality impacts resulting from, or associated with, mining operations would be limited primarily to the operational life of the mine. During the time the PSO Tract is mined, the elevated levels of particulate matter in the vicinity of 4-23

4.0 Environmental Consequences the mining operations would continue, as would the elevated concentrations of gaseous emissions due to fuel combustion. Compliance with all state and federal air quality standards would be maintained. 4.4.5 Water Resources 4.4.5.1 Surface Water Changes in runoff characteristics and sediment discharges would occur during mining of the PSO Tract as a result of the destruction and reconstruction of drainage channels as mining progresses. Erosion rates could reach high values on the disturbed area because of vegetation removal. However, both state and federal regulations require that all surface runoff from mined lands be treated as necessary to meet effluent standards. Generally, the surface runoff sediment is deposited in ponds or other sediment-control devices inside the permit area. A hydrologic control plan for the proposed Ash Creek Mine would be designed to prevent surface runoff from interfering with the mining operations and to maintain the quantity and quality of the waters as they occur on and adjacent to the tract. Streamflow in Little Youngs and Youngs Creeks would be diverted around the active mining areas in temporary diversion ditches. Disruptions to streamflow in Little Youngs and Youngs Creek, which might affect adjacent landowners downstream of the PSO Tract, would not be expected to be substantial. 4-24 Due to its location in the headwater area of West Branch, runoff from that drainage is not expected to be substantial; therefore, the hydrologic control would probably consist of allowing runoff to accrue to the mine pit, where it would be treated and discharged according to the standards of WDEQ/WQD. A large flood control reservoir or temporary drainage diversion for this stream is not anticipated. If flood control impoundments are used in the operation, it would be necessary to evacuate them following major events to provide space for the next flood. All necessary diversion systems and drainage controls would be designed to prevent material damage and minimize adverse impacts to the hydrologic balance outside the permit area. All diversions and associated structures would be designed, using the BACT, to prevent additional contribution of suspended solids to streamflow outside the permit area, and protect the water rights of downstream users. Several sediment ponds, alternative sediment control structures (i.e., gravel check dams, grass filters), and other BACT structures would be used as required to control surface water quality from mining and reclamation activities. Backfilling, regrading, and seeding would be completed on a routine basis to minimize the amount of area disturbed and not reclaimed at any given time. Sediment produced by large storms (i.e., those equal to or greater than the 10-year, 24-hour storm events) could adversely Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences impact downstream areas. WDEQ/LQD would require a monitoring program to assure that sediment ponds would always have adequate space reserved for sediment accumulation. During mining, pit water, which originates from groundwater seepage into the pit and from rainfall runoff within the pit and its associated drainage area, would be pumped into treatment/sediment ponds where solids would be allowed to settle before being discharged into surface waters outside the permit area. Effluent from the mine pits, which would predominantly be mixtures of naturally occurring groundwaters, should cause no detectable changes in the water quality of the receiving stream(s). Discharge quantity and quality would be monitored and reported according to WDEQ/LQD discharge permit requirements. The loss of soil structure would act to increase runoff rates on the PSO Tract in reclaimed areas. The general decrease in average slope in reclaimed areas, discussed in Section 4.4.1, would tend to counteract the potential for an increase in runoff. Soil structure would gradually reform over time, and vegetation (after successful reclamation) would provide erosion protection from raindrop impact, retard surface flows, and control runoff at approximately pre-mining levels. After mining and reclamation are complete, surface water flow, quality, and sediment discharge from the PSO Tract would Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange approximate pre-mining conditions. A goal of the reclamation plan would be to provide approximately the premining degree of erosional stability in the post-mining drainage system. In addition, the mine permit application would address the reconstruction of the irrigation systems and the acreage of irrigated land to insure the restoration of the identified AVF. These measures are required by state regulations and are therefore considered part of the Proposed Action. 4.4.5.2 Groundwater Mining the area shown in Figure 2-2 as proposed by P&M would impact the groundwater resource quantity in three ways: 1) Mining would remove the coal aquifers on the mined land and replace them with unconsolidated backfill materials; 2) if P&M acquires the right to mine the private coal shown in Figure 2­ 2, mining would remove the Little Youngs Creek and Youngs Creek alluvial aquifer where it crosses the mined land and temporarily interrupt the alluvial underflow until the alluvial materials are replaced; and 3) water levels in the coal and alluvial aquifers adjacent to the mine would continue to be depressed from the open pit on the PSO Tract. The area subject to lower water levels would be roughly in proportion to the area affected by mining. Mining operations at the proposed Ash Creek Mine would remove the coal seam aquifers on 1,720 acres and replace them with backfill composed of an unlayered mixture of the shale, siltstone, and sand that 4-25

4.0 Environmental Consequences make up the existing Fort Union Formation overburden and interburden. If P&M acquires the rights to mine the private coal in the north half of Sections 22 and 23, T.58N., R.84W., shown in Figure 2­ 2, the operations at the proposed Ash Creek Mine would also remove the alluvial aquifer of Little Youngs and Youngs Creeks. As the mining operation progresses through the stream valleys, these alluvial materials would be selectively salvaged and stockpiled as they are encountered in order to be replaced during reclamation. Impacts to the local groundwater systems resulting from mining include completely dewatering the coal and extending drawdowns some distance away from the active mine area. The extent that drawdowns would propagate away from the mine pits would be a function of water-bearing properties of the aquifer material, the dimensions of the mine pit and the duration of time that the pit is open. Due to the hydraulic nature of confined versus unconfined aquifers, broader, shallower drawdown is expected in confined aquifers (having low storativity), and steeper, more localized drawdown is expected in unconfined aquifers (having high storativity). In material with high transmissivity and low storativity, drawdowns would extend further from the pit face than in materials with lower transmissivity and higher storage. As discussed in Section 3.4.6, the Fort Union coal seam aquifers in this area have relatively low hydraulic conductivities and are typically confined, while the alluvial aquifer has a relatively high 4-26 hydraulic conductivity unconfined. and is

As described in Section 3.4.6, the reclaimed PSO No.1 Mine/Ash Creek Mine is located within a coal aquifer flow system bound by regional northeast-trending faults that isolate groundwater flow to the northwest and southeast. Under baseline conditions, groundwater flow direction in the coal seams is generally northeastward, controlled by hydrogeologic boundaries created by these northeast-trending faults. Recharge to the system occurs where the seams contact clinker deposits in the uplands to the west and southwest of the PSO Tract, and generally wherever they subcrop beneath saturated alluvial deposits. Most discharge from the coal seams occurs to the east and northeast of the proposed Ash Creek Mine, along the Tongue River. Potentiometric drawdowns associated with mine pit dewatering would be confined within the northeast-trending fault block created by these hydrologic boundaries. In other words, the faults are assumed to be absolute barrier boundaries and no drawdowns would occur across them due to the stratigraphic displacements. In addition, structural faults have been observed to be barrier boundaries that restrict potentiometric drawdowns in the coal seams in the area of the Decker and Spring Creek Coal Mines (MDEQ 1999). Groundwater level declines in the coal seam aquifers during active mining would be strongly controlled by faults that serve as barriers to groundwater flow and by the coal Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences seam outcrops and subcrops. The northeast-trending faults that bound the proposed mine area to the northwest and southeast would prevent or restrict groundwater drawdown in the Dietz 1 and Dietz 3 coal beds in those directions. Due to erosion and burning, the Dietz 1 and Dietz 3 coal seams are not continuous to the southwest, as shown in Figure 4-3. Therefore, drawdowns would generally extend only to the northeast for any appreciable distance from the mine. The extent of the potentiometric head declines in these two coal seams would probably be limited to the effective increase in the coal transmissivity where the seams coalesce downdip (northeast) of the PSO Tract, and the proximity to the seams’ outcrops, subcrops, and recharge sources. Potentiometric declines are a function of distance from the pit and the hydrologic barriers and boundaries such as crop lines, recharge sources, structural faults, and coal seam divergence lines. The Dietz 1 seam subcrops beneath the saturated alluvium of Little Youngs Creek within the proposed Ash Creek Mine area. Furthermore, the Dietz 1 and Dietz 3 seams coalesce only a short distance downgradient, northeast of the subcrop/recharge zone; therefore, it is assumed that the Dietz 1 and Dietz 3 seams northeast and east of the mine area would respond as one aquifer. Drawdowns in the Dietz 1/Dietz 3 unit would be primarily governed by water levels in the alluvium until the mining operation has progressed across the alluvial valley of Little Youngs Creek. Maximum drawdown Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange of the potentiometric surface in the coal would therefore not occur until after mining has removed this recharge source. Water level data showing the drawdowns and recovery in the immediate vicinity of the PSO No.1/Ash Creek Mine pit are included each year in the Hydrology section of P&M’s annual Mining and Reclamation Report to the WDEQ/LQD. As stated in Section 3.4.6, groundwater levels in the coal seams rapidly recovered after the PSO No. 1 Mine pit was backfilled, and potentiometric levels have nearly reached predisturbance equilibrium (P&M 2001). Therefore, predictions of the potentiometric drawdown that result from mining the PSO Tract are based upon the predisturbance potentiometric surface elevations in the coal seam aquifers. Since significant stream recharge and fault barrier boundaries exist in the vicinity of the proposed Ash Creek Mine site, it is expected that in a relatively short period of time after the initial pit is opened, the affected area would intercept barrier and recharge boundaries, thus reestablishing a steady-state condition. The PSO No. 1 Mine permit (Ash Creek Mining Company 1984) used a one-dimensional flow equation in consideration of aquifer recharge and barrier boundaries to estimate the steady-state groundwater pit inflow rates and the maximum potential head declines in the coal seams. The predicted drawdown over the life of mine resulting from the 4-27

4.0 Environmental Consequences
Yo un gs

R. 38 E. R. 39 E.
Cre 25 ek

28

27

26

20

21

22

23

T. 9 S. T. 10 S.

33

34
Lit tle

35

36

T. 9 S. T. T. 9 10 S. S.

29

28

U D 27

26

5

Youn gs

Creek

10 0

50

4

3

2 17 U

1

32

33

150 34

35

200 U

R. 38 E. R. 39 E. D 22 U D

T. 9 S.

13 T. R. 85 W. 58 N. 24

18 R. 84 W.

19

D

20

21

R. 84 W. R. 83 W. T. 58 24 19 N. Yo un gs
Cr ee k 30

25

30

29

28
50

27
5

26

25

U 36 31 32

D 33

34

T. 58 N. T. 57 N.

35 Ash C ree k

36

31

T. 58 N. T. 57 N.

1

6

5

4

3

2

gue Ton

er Riv

1

6

12 R. 85 W. R. 84 W.

7

8

9

10

11

12

7 R. 84 W. R. 83 W.

LEGEND
PSO Tract Clinker Wyoming - Montana State Line
0 3000

Approximat Dietz 3 Coal Outcrop Line. Approximate Bifurcation Line of Dietz 3 and Dietz 1 Coal Seams. Arrows Point to Direction of Divergence. U D
5

Fault Trace Showing Relative Movement. Extent of Worst-Case Extrapolated Life of Mine Drawdown (ft)

GRAPHIC SCALE
6000 ( FEET )

12000

Figure 4-3. Life of Mine Drawdown Map, Resulting from Proposed Action.

4-28

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences proposed Ash Creek Mine is shown in Figure 4-3. The drawdown configuration depicted is a composite of that expected to occur in the combined Dietz 1/Dietz 3 coal seam. This prediction is approximate and was based on extrapolation of the Ash Creek Mining Company’s earlier prediction by extending the drawdown northeastward with respect to the configuration of P&M’s proposed Ash Creek Mine. More precise predictions would be required in order to submit a permit application to the WDEQ/LQD. As discussed in Chapter 3, in March 2003, the Wyoming SEO and Montana DNRC records indicated a total of 516 permitted water wells were located within three miles of the federal coal being considered for exchange, of which 500 are within Wyoming and 16 are within Montana. Of the 500 permitted wells in Wyoming, 85 are related to surface coal mining. There are 37 mine-related monitoring wells in Montana, although the DNRC does not require a Certificate of Water Right for scientific monitoring wells, as there is no beneficial use of water. Of the 431 other wells in Wyoming and Montana that are not related to surface coal mining, 38 are permitted for stock watering, 16 are permitted for domestic use, 18 are permitted for stock watering and domestic use, 224 are permitted for both CBM development and stock watering, 58 are permitted for CBM development only, 71 are permitted for both irrigation and CBM development, three are permitted for stock, miscellaneous, and CBM development, two are permitted for Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange miscellaneous, and one is permitted for stock and irrigation use. In addition, a total of 67 CBM wells currently exist in Montana that are within a three-mile radius of the federal coal being considered for exchange. Similar to monitoring wells, the State of Montana has ruled that a Certificate of Water Right is not required for a CBM well unless the discharge water is put to a beneficial use (i.e., stock watering). A listing of the 431 permitted wells that are not related to mining is provided in Appendix G. In compliance with SMCRA and Wyoming regulations, mine operators are required to provide the owner of a water right whose water source is interrupted, discontinued, or diminished by mining with water of equivalent quantity and quality; this mitigation is thus part of the Proposed Action. The most probable source of replacement water would be an aquifer underlying the Dietz 3 coal seam. The potential for groundwater drawdown to affect neighboring groundwater users would be minimal. This determination was based on the finding that there are just two known groundwater right holders outside of the proposed mine area (excluding all CBM development wells) that are within the area of the five-ft drawdown contour, assuming both well completion depths are such that they produce water from the Dietz 1/Dietz 3 coal seam. As depicted by Figure 4-3, the extrapolated life of mine drawdown in the Dietz 1/Dietz 3 seam would be largely confined between two major northeast4-29

4.0 Environmental Consequences trending faults and the Dietz1/Dietz 3 outcrops to the southwest, along Ash Creek. As a result, most drawdown effects would attenuate northeastward from the mine into Montana. Both of the groundwater rights within the affected area are in Montana. These wells are shown on Table 4-7. No groundwater supply wells are expected to be impacted in Wyoming if the PSO Tract is mined. During the permitting process, the mine operator would be required to update the list of potentially impacted wells and predict impacts to these and other water-supply wells within the five-ft drawdown contour. The operator would be required to commit to replacing these water supplies with water of equivalent quality and quantity if they are affected by mining. The sub-Dietz 3 coal Fort Union Formation aquifers would not be removed or disturbed by the proposed Ash Creek Mine, so they would not be directly impacted by the coal mining activity. If the decision is made to complete the exchange and P&M decides to construct a new mine, the mine plan may include the construction of mine water supply wells which would be completed in aquifers below the Dietz 3 seam. If P&M acquires the right to mine the private coal shown in Figure 2­ 2, alluvial sediments in Little Youngs Creek and Youngs Creek would be affected. When mining progresses to the point at which Little Youngs Creek and Youngs Creek must be diverted away from the operation, the affected alluvial 4-30 materials would be selectively salvaged and stockpiled as they are encountered. As a result, groundwater levels in the undisturbed alluvial system would be depressed locally near the excavation. As mining progresses across the alluvial valleys, the backfill would be placed and graded to an elevation approximating the pre-mining base of alluvium and the salvaged alluvial materials would be replaced. The restored alluvial substrate and stream channels would then be reconstructed in order to restore the pre-mining hydrologic balance and the hydrologic functions of the AVF. Mining would also impact groundwater quality; the TDS in the water resaturating the backfill is generally higher than the TDS in the groundwater before mining. This is due to the exposure of fresh overburden surfaces to groundwater that moves through the reclaimed backfill. Research conducted by the MBMG on the coal fields of the northern PRB (Van Voast and Reiten 1988) indicates that upon initial saturation, mine backfill is generally high in TDS and contains soluble salts of calcium-, magnesium-, and sodium-sulfates. As the backfill resaturates, the soluble salts are leached by groundwater inflow and TDS concentrations tend to decrease with time, indicating that the long term groundwater quality in mined and off-site lands would not be compromised (Van Voast and Reiten 1988). Using data compiled from ten surface coal mines in the eastern PRB, Martin et al. (1988) concluded that backfill groundwater quality improves markedly after the Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences Table 4-7. Water Supply Wells Possibly Subject to Drawdown if the PSO Tract is Mined.
Applicant John Willson Use Stock


Montana DNRC Permit No. W183826-00

W183658-00 Consolidation Coal Co. Stock
 Note: Wells in this table are assumed to be completed within the shallowest groundwater production zone which should be the Dietz 1/Dietz 3 coal seam. Montana DNRC records do not indicate completion depths or depths to water for these wells.

backfill is leached with one pore volume of water. The same conclusions were reached by Van Voast and Reiten (1988) after analyzing data from the Decker and Colstrip Mine areas in the northern PRB. Operations at the Decker Mine are located approximately six miles northeast of the proposed Ash Creek Mine (Figure 3-1). One well, BF-1 (Figure 3-9), was installed to monitor water level and water quality in the backfill at the reclaimed Ash Creek Mine. As reported in the Ash Creek Mine’s latest Annual Mining and Reclamation Report (P&M 2002), six years after backfilling of the pit the TDS concentration of the water in the backfill appears to be declining slowly and is currently fluctuating between 2,500 and 3,000 mg/L. The present TDS concentration of groundwater sampled from Dietz 1 coal monitoring well WR-48 (Figure 3-9) is approximately 1,800 mg/L (P&M 2002). Therefore, the TDS concentration observed in the Ash Creek Mine backfill is higher than that found in the undisturbed Dietz 1 coal seam aquifer, but it meets the Wyoming Class III Standards for use as stock water. The difference Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

between the pre-mining and postmining TDS concentrations is likely to continue decreasing over time and the mine backfill groundwater TDS can be expected to meet the pre-mining coal seams’ Wyoming Class III standards for use as stock water. The hydraulic properties of the backfill aquifer reported in permit documents and annual reports of the nearby Big Horn Coal and Decker Mines are comparable to the Fort Union coal seams. The data available indicate that the hydraulic conductivity of the backfill would be greater than or equal to pre-mining coal values, suggesting that wells completed in the backfill would provide yields greater than or equal to pre-mining coal wells. Direct and indirect impacts to the groundwater system resulting from mining the PSO Tract would add to the cumulative impacts that would occur due to CBM development in the general area. These impacts are discussed in Section 4.8.5.

4-31

4.0 Environmental Consequences 4.4.6 Alluvial Valley Floors If P&M acquires the federal coal in the PSO Tract as proposed and subsequently applies for a permit to mine, the application submitted to the WDEQ/LQD must include an investigation to determine the presence of AVFs within the proposed permit area. Based on a previous AVF declaration made on Little Youngs Creek within the PSO No. 1 Mine permit area (Ash Creek Mining Company 1984), it is likely that portions of West Branch, Little Youngs Creek, and Youngs Creek within the proposed Ash Creek Mine permit area would have AVF characteristics. West Branch lies within the PSO Tract. Little Youngs Creek and Youngs Creek are outside of the PSO Tract, but could be affected by mining if P&M acquires the right to mine the private coal shown in Figure 2-2. The information submitted in the permit application must be sufficient to allow the WDEQ/LQD to determine if an AVF exists, identify the essential hydrologic functions and determine if the AVF is significant to farming. Impacts to designated AVFs are generally not permitted if the AVF is determined to be significant to agriculture. AVFs that are not significant to agriculture can be disturbed during mining, but they must be restored as part of the reclamation process. In order to restore the AVF, the physical and hydrologic characteristics of the AVF must be determined. Disruptions to streamflow, which might supply AVFs on Youngs Creek 4-32 downstream of the proposed Ash Creek Mine, would not be expected to be substantial. Groundwater intercepted by the mine pits would be routed through settling ponds to meet state and federal quality criteria. Assuming settling ponds would discharge to Youngs Creek, discharges would likely increase the frequency and amount of flows in Youngs Creek, thus increasing surface water supplies to downstream AVFs. No direct, indirect, or cumulative impacts are anticipated to off-site AVFs through mining of the PSO Tract. 4.4.7 Wetlands As discussed in Chapter 3, general jurisdictional wetland inventories were completed in 2001 on the federal coal lands being considered for exchange and a total of 6.20 acres of jurisdictional wetlands comprised of man-made stock ponds were identified. If the decision is made to complete the exchange and P&M decides to construct a new mine as proposed, formal inventories would be completed and submitted to the COE as a required part of the mine permit application. The COE regulates the discharge of dredge and fill material into wetlands and other waters of the U.S. primarily under the authority of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. Existing wetlands located in the PSO Tract and adjacent lands proposed for mining would be destroyed by mining operations. COE requires replacement of all impacted jurisdictional wetlands in accordance with Section 404 of the Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences Clean Water Act. COE mainly uses a programmatic general permit, 99­ 03, to authorize surface coal mining activities in wetlands and other waters of the U.S. in Wyoming. That permit has restrictions that do not allow the realignment or channelization of perennial streams. If P&M acquires the right to mine the private coal as indicated in Figure 2-2, and if this results in a realignment or other modification of Little Youngs and Youngs Creeks, the general permit process would not apply and an individual permit would be required. That process would require that P&M consider other alternatives, including completely avoiding impacts to these creeks and other sensitive aquatic resources with mining operations. Replacement of functional wetlands would occur in accordance with agreements developed during the permitting process with the landowners on privately-owned surface, or with the federal surface managing agency if federal surface is included. During the period of time after mining and before replacement of wetlands, all wetland functions would be lost. The replaced wetlands may not duplicate the exact function and landscape features of the pre-mine wetlands, but replacement would be in accordance with the requirements of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, as determined by COE. 4.4.8 Vegetation As proposed, mining operations for the Ash Creek Mine would progressively remove the native vegetation on 2,595 acres on and Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange near the PSO Tract. Short-term impacts associated with this vegetation removal would include increased soil erosion and habitat loss for wildlife and livestock. Potential long-term impacts include loss of habitat for some wildlife species as a result of reduced species diversity, particularly big sagebrush, on reclaimed lands. However, grassland-dependent wildlife species and livestock would benefit from the increased grass cover and production. Reclamation, including revegetation of these lands, would occur contemporaneously with mining on adjacent lands, i.e., reclamation would begin once an area is mined. Estimates of the time elapsed from topsoil stripping through reseeding of any given area range from two to four years. This would be longer for areas occupied by stockpiles, haulroads, sediment-control structures, and other mine facilities. Some roads and facilities would not be reclaimed until the end of mining. Grazing restrictions prior to mining and during reclamation would remove up to 100 percent of the proposed mine area from livestock grazing. This reduction in vegetative production would not seriously affect livestock production in the region, and long-term productivity on the reclaimed land would return to pre-mining levels within several years following seeding with the approved final seed mixture. Wildlife use of the area would not be restricted throughout the operations. Re-established vegetation would be dominated by species mandated in 4-33

4.0 Environmental Consequences the reclamation seed mixtures (to be approved by WDEQ). The majority of the approved species are native to the PSO Tract. Initially, the reclaimed land would be dominated by grassland vegetation which would be less diverse than the premining vegetation. At least 20 percent of the area would be reclaimed to native shrubs at an average density of one shrub per square meter as required by current regulations. Trees removed by mining operations would be returned to a density equal to premining conditions. Estimates for the time it would take to restore trees and shrubs to pre-mining density levels range from 20 to 100 years. An indirect impact of this vegetative change could be decreased big game habitat carrying capacity. Following completion of reclamation (seeding with the final seed mixture) and before release of the reclamation bond (a minimum of ten years), a diverse, productive, and permanent vegetative cover would be established on the PSO Tract. The decrease in plant diversity would not seriously affect the potential productivity of the reclaimed areas, and the proposed post-mining land use (wildlife habitat and rangeland) should be achieved even with the changes in vegetation composition and diversity. Private landowners (Figure 3-13) would have the right to manipulate the vegetation on their lands as they desire once the reclamation bond is released. On average, about 150 acres of surface disturbance per year of mining would occur on the PSO Tract at the proposed rate of 4-34 production for the proposed Ash Creek Mine. By the time mining ceases, over 75 percent of these disturbed lands would have been reseeded. The remaining 25 percent would be reseeded during the following two to three years as the life-of-mine facilities areas are reclaimed. The reclamation plan for the proposed Ash Creek Mine would include steps to control invasion by weedy (invasive nonnative) plant species. Native vegetation from surrounding areas would gradually invade and become established on the reclaimed land. The climatic record of the western U.S. suggests that droughts could occur periodically during the life of the mine. Such droughts would severely hamper revegetation efforts, since lack of sufficient moisture would reduce germination and could damage newly established plants. Same-aged vegetation would be more susceptible to disease than would plants of various ages. Severe thunderstorms could also adversely affect newly seeded areas. Once a stable vegetative cover is established, however, these events would have similar impacts as would occur on native vegetation. Changes expected in the surface water network as a result of mining and reclamation would affect the reestablishment of vegetation patterns on the reclaimed areas to some extent. The post-mining maximum slope would be 20 percent in accordance with WDEQ policy. The average reclaimed slope would not be known until WDEQ’s Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences technical review of the permit application is complete. No substantial changes in average slope are predicted. Following reclamation, the PSO Tract would be primarily mixed prairie grasslands with graminoid/forb-dominated areas, and the overall species diversity would be reduced, especially for the shrub component. As indicated previously, following reclamation bond release, management of the privately-owned surface would revert to the private surface owner, who would have the right to manipulate the reclaimed vegetation. Jurisdictional wetlands would fall under the jurisdiction of the COE. Detailed wetland mitigation plans would be required at the permitting stage to ensure no net loss of jurisdictional wetlands on the project area. Functional wetlands may be restored in accordance with the requirements of the surface landowner. There are 6.41 acres of public lands included in the PSO Tract, the remainder of the surface of the tract is privately owned. The decrease in plant diversity would not seriously affect productivity of the reclaimed areas, regardless of the alternative selected, and the proposed postmining land use (wildlife habitat and rangeland) would be achieved even with the changes in vegetative species composition and diversity. 4.4.9 	 hreatened, T Endangered, Proposed, and Candidate Plant Species, BLM Sensitive Species, and State Species of Special Concern

Refer to Appendix E. 4.4.10 Wildlife Local wildlife populations are directly and indirectly impacted by mining. These impacts are both short-term (until successful reclamation is achieved) and longterm (persisting beyond successful completion of reclamation). The direct impacts of surface coal mining on wildlife occur during mining and are therefore short-term. They include road kills by minerelated traffic, restrictions on wildlife movement created by fences, spoil piles and pits, and displacement of wildlife from active mining areas. Displaced animals may find equally suitable habitat that is not occupied by other animals, occupy suitable habitat that is already being used by other individuals, or occupy poorer quality habitat than that from which they were displaced. In the second and third situations, the animals may suffer from increased competition with other animals and are less likely to survive and reproduce. The indirect impacts are longer term and may include a reduction in big game carrying capacity and microhabitats on reclaimed land due to flatter topography, less diverse vegetative cover, and reduction in sagebrush density. Under the Proposed Action, big game would be displaced from

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4-35

4.0 Environmental Consequences portions of the PSO Tract to adjacent ranges during mining. Pronghorn would be most affected; however, none of the area within two miles of the PSO Tract has been classified as crucial or critical pronghorn habitat. Mule deer would not be substantially impacted, given that they are scattered throughout the site and there is suitable habitat available in adjacent areas. White-tailed deer would not be affected, as they are uncommonly observed on the PSO Tract and adjacent areas. Big game displacement would be incremental, occurring over several years and allowing for gradual changes in distribution patterns. Big game residing in the adjacent areas could be impacted by increased competition with displaced animals. Noise, dust, and associated human presence would cause some localized avoidance of foraging areas adjacent to mining activities. On existing surface mines, however, big game have continued to occupy areas adjacent to and within active mine operations, suggesting that some animals may become habituated to such disturbances. Big game animals are highly mobile and can move to undisturbed areas. There would be more restrictions on big game movement on or through the tract, however, due to additional fences, spoil piles, and pits related to mining. During winter storms, pronghorn may not be able to negotiate these barriers. SMCRA requires that fences, overland conveyors, and other potential barriers be designed to permit passage for large animals [30 CFR 816.97(e)(3)]. WDEQ guidelines 4-36 require fencing to be designed to permit pronghorn passage to the extent possible. The WGFD has reviewed monitoring data which has been collected on mine sites in Wyoming for big game species and the monitoring requirements for big game species on those mine sites. Their findings concluded that the monitoring had demonstrated the lack of impacts to big game on existing mine sites. No severe mine-caused mortalities have occurred and no long-lasting impacts on big game have been noted on existing mine sites. The WGFD therefore recommended that big game monitoring be discontinued on all existing mine sites. New mines would be required to conduct big game monitoring if located in crucial winter range or in significant migration corridors, neither of which apply to the PSO Tract. There would be an increase in road kills related to mine traffic. After mining and reclamation, alterations in the topography and vegetative cover, particularly the reduction in sagebrush density and loss of trees, would cause a decrease in carrying capacity and diversity on the PSO Tract. Sagebrush and trees would gradually become re­ established on the reclaimed land, but the topographic changes would be permanent. Medium-sized mammals (such as coyotes, foxes, skunks, and raccoons) would be temporarily displaced to other habitats by mining, potentially resulting in Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences increased competition and mortality. However, these animals would quickly rebound on reclaimed areas, as forage developed and small mammal prey species recolonized. Direct losses of small mammals would be higher than for other wildlife, since the mobility of small mammals is limited and many retreat into burrows when disturbed. Therefore, populations of such prey animals as voles, mice, chipmunks, prairie dogs, and rabbits would decline during mining. However, these animals have a high reproductive potential and tend to re-invade and adapt to reclaimed areas quickly. A research project on habitat reclamation on mined lands within the PRB for small mammals and birds concluded that reclamation objectives to encourage the decolonization of small mammal communities are being achieved (Shelley 1992). The study evaluated sites at five mines in Campbell County, Wyoming. Mining the PSO Tract would not impact regional raptor populations; however, individual birds or pairs may be impacted. Numerous raptor species have been observed on or adjacent to the PSO Tract, as there is abundant suitable nesting habitat (bluffs and tall trees) in the area. As noted in Section 3.4.10.4, a total of six raptor species (the great horned owl, red-tailed hawk, golden eagle, prairie falcon, Cooper’s hawk, and American kestrel) have been identified nesting within one mile of the area proposed for mining. In 2001, six nest sites in this area were active and included two golden eagle nests, three red-tailed hawk nests Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange and one great horned owl nest. Two raptor species (the red-tailed hawk and the great horned owl) have been recorded nesting on the PSO Tract, both of which fledged young in 2001. P&M monitors territorial occupancy and nest productivity within the permit area for the reclaimed PSO No.1/Ash Creek Mine site and a one-mile radius in the winter, spring, and early summer. Mining activity could cause raptors to abandon nests proximate to disturbance. USFWS recommends a one-mile buffer around all ferruginous hawk nests. USFWS and WDEQ/LQD approval would be required before mining would occur within buffer zones for future or adjacent active raptor nests. Mine-related disturbances would not be allowed to encroach in the near vicinity of any active raptor nest from March until hatching, and disturbances near raptor nests containing nestlings would be strictly limited to prevent danger to, or abandonment of, the young. These and other raptor mitigation measures and a raptor monitoring plan, as required by the USFWS and WDEQ/LQD, are part of the Proposed Action. Mining near raptor territories would minimally impact availability of raptor forage species. During mining, nesting habitat would be created by the excavation process (highwalls), as well as through enhancement efforts (nest platforms and boxes). SMCRA requires use of the best technology currently available for protection of fish, wildlife, and related environmental values, including ensuring that electric powerlines and other transmission facilities are designed and constructed to 4-37

4.0 Environmental Consequences minimize electrocution hazards to raptors [30 CFR 816.97(e)(1)]. After mining, the reclamation plan would reestablish the ground cover necessary for the return of a suitable prey base. As discussed in Section 3.4.10.5, sage grouse are yearlong residents and are found on the PSO Tract and adjacent lands. The lek within the federal coal lands being considered for trade (Figure 3-12), was active intermittently from 1979 through 2002 with a maximum number of males recorded at 31 in 1982. The impacts of mining the PSO Tract on this lek would be the temporary loss of nesting habitat and disturbance to breeding activities when the mining operations approach to within close proximity of the birds’ strutting ground. Monitoring of sage grouse activities indicates that the birds frequently change lek sites. It is likely that if mining activities disturb a lek, sage grouse would use an alternate lek site for breeding activities. With breeding and nesting areas impacted, some disruption in breeding and nesting activity may be anticipated until the birds move to new breeding and nesting locations. Since this lek has only exhibited a maximum of about 20 males over the past several years, impacts from this mining activity to the overall population in Wyoming and Montana is expected to be minimal. During reclamation, shrubs, including big sagebrush, would be reestablished on reclaimed lands; reclaimed lands would be graded to create swales and depressions; and monitoring of sage grouse activity would continue in the area before, during, and after 4-38 mining. These and other measures would be further developed in the WDEQ/LQD Permit to Mine application. Other upland game bird species (i.e., sharp-tailed grouse, wild turkey, pheasant, and gray partridge) that are found on the PSO Tract would be temporarily displaced to adjacent habitats during mining. These birds are highly mobile and can move to undisturbed areas. Their populations are relatively low; therefore, their relocations should not increase competition and mortality. Displaced songbirds including those Migratory Bird Species of Management Concern (discussed in Section 3.4.10.6), would have to compete for available adjacent territories and resources when their habitats are disturbed by mining operations. Where adjacent habitat is at carrying capacity, this competition would result in some mortality. Losses would also occur when habitat disturbance coincides with egg incubation and rearing of young. Impacts of habitat loss would be short-term for grassland species, but would last longer for tree- and shrub-dependent species. Concurrent reclamation would minimize these impacts. A diverse seed mixture planted in a mosaic with a shrubland phase would provide food, cover, and edge effect. Other habitat enhancement practices include the restoration of diverse land forms, direct topsoil replacement, and the construction of brush piles, snags and rock piles. A research project on habitat Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences reclamation on mined lands within Campbell County, Wyoming, for small mammals and birds concluded that the diversity of song birds on reclaimed areas was slightly less than on adjacent undisturbed areas, although their overall numbers were greater (Shelley 1992). Waterfowl and shorebird habitat on P&M’s proposed Ash Creek Mine site is minimal, and production of these species is very limited. Mining the PSO Tract would thus have a negligible effect on migrating and breeding waterfowl. Sedimentation ponds created during mining would provide interim habitat for these fauna. WDEQ and the COE would also require mitigation of any disturbed wetlands during reclamation. If the replaced wetlands on the proposed Ash Creek Mine site do not duplicate the exact function and/or landscape features of the pre-mine wetlands, waterfowl and shorebirds could be beneficially or adversely affected as a result. If P&M acquires the right to mine the private coal shown in Figure 2­ 2, a minimal amount of low-quality fish habitat within Little Youngs Creek and Youngs Creek would be impacted within P&M’s proposed Ash Creek Mine area when the streams are diverted around the operation. A hydrologic control plan would be designed to prevent adverse impacts to the hydrologic balance outside the permit area, thus maintaining the quantity and quality of surface waters and the existing fish habitat upstream and downstream of the diversions. The only fish present are common, Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange widespread, non-game species. Those portions of creeks that are disturbed during mining would be restored during reclamation. The impacts discussed above would apply to the Proposed Action and Alternative 3. The assessment of impacts to wildlife by the mining operations at the proposed Ash Creek Mine would be addressed during the WGFD’s and the WDEQ/LQD’s review of the mine permit application, and within the WDEQ/LQD’s permit approval process. 4.4.11 Threatened, 	 Endangered, Proposed, and Candidate Wildlife Species, BLM Sensitive Species, and State Species of Special Concern Refer to Appendix E. 4.4.12 Land Use and Recreation The major adverse environmental consequences of the proposed Ash Creek Mine on land use would be reduction of livestock grazing, loss of wildlife habitat, and curtailment of other mineral development, particularly CBM development, on about 2,595 acres during active mining. Wildlife (particularly big game) and livestock (cattle and horses) use would be displaced while the tract is being mined and reclaimed. Adjacent landowners would be affected by the presence of a surface coal mine and associated operations on the PSO Tract. Sections 3.4.11 and 4.4.2 of this document address the existing CBM wells within and adjacent to the 4-39

4.0 Environmental Consequences federal coal lands being considered for exchange. Well location information, federal oil and gas ownership, and federal oil and gas lessee information are presented in Figure 3-14 and Table 3-12. CBM is currently being produced on the PSO Tract and on lands adjacent to the PSO Tract. Any well facilities associated with drilling and producing CBM would have to be removed prior to mining. Royalties, income, and taxes would be lost if the CBM is not recovered prior to mining or if coal is not recovered due to conflicts. CBM that is not recovered prior to mining is vented to the atmosphere. The costs of agreements between the CBM and the coal operators would be factored into the fair market value determination. In this case, the fair market value determination would affect how much federal coal would be offered for exchange with the P&M properties. Within the boundary of the federal coal being considered for exchange are 6.41 acres of federal land (Lot 1 of Section 15, T.58N., R.84W., shown in Figure 3-13). This area would be removed from public access if the exchange is completed under the Proposed Action. Hunting on the PSO Tract would be eliminated during mining and reclamation. P&M owns the surface of most of the PSO Tract (Figure 3­ 13) and does not presently allow hunting on their surface. Following reclamation, the land would be suitable for grazing and wildlife uses, which are the historic land uses. There are no USFS 4-40 surface lands and only 6.41 acres of BLM surface lands included in the PSO Tract, but the reclamation standards required by SMCRA and Wyoming State law meet the standards and guidelines for healthy rangelands for public lands administered by the BLM in the State of Wyoming. Following reclamation bond release, management of the privately-owned surface would revert to the private surface owner. 4.4.13 Cultural Resources The PSO Tract and the adjacent surface lands owned by P&M were subjected to a Class III cultural inventory and assessment in August 2000. Table 3-13 (Section 3.4.12) summarizes the distribution of cultural sites by type. Data recovery plans are required for those sites recommended eligible to the NRHP following testing and consultation with the SHPO. Until consultation with SHPO has occurred and agreement regarding NRHP eligibility has been reached, all sites should be protected from disturbance. Consultation with SHPO would be completed during the mining permit approval process. Sites that are determined to be unevaluated or eligible for the NRHP through consultation would receive further protection or treatment. If unevaluated sites cannot be avoided, they must be evaluated prior to disturbance. If eligible sites cannot be avoided, a data recovery plan must be implemented prior to disturbance. Ineligible properties Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences may be destroyed without further work. The eligible sites on the PSO Tract which cannot be avoided or which have not already been subjected to data recovery action would be carried forward in the mining and reclamation plan as requiring protective stipulations until a testing, mitigation, or data recovery plan is developed to address the impacts to the sites. The lead federal and state agencies would consult with Wyoming SHPO on the development of such plans and the manner in which they are carried out. Cultural resources adjacent to the mine areas may be impacted as a result of increased access to the areas. There may be increased vandalism and unauthorized collecting associated with recreational activity and other pursuits outside of, but adjacent to, mine permit areas. 4.4.14 Native American Concerns No sites of Native American religious or cultural importance are known to occur on the PSO Tract. Native American groups can request additional information and can tour the area upon request. If sites or localities of religious or cultural importance are identified, appropriate action must be taken to address concerns related to those sites. 4.4.15 Paleontological Resources No unique or significant paleontological resources have been Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange identified or are suspected to exist on the PSO Tract. The likelihood of encountering significant paleonto­ logical resources is very small. 4.4.16 Visual Resources Mining activities on most of the PSO Tract would be partially visible from the major travel route in the area (Wyoming State Highway 338), and to adjacent landowners. The mining operation would be largely concealed by the surrounding rugged terrain, but may adversely impact the viewshed of adjacent and nearby landowners. No visual resources have been identified on or near the PSO Tract that are unique to this tract as compared to the surrounding area. The mining operations would affect landscapes classified as VRM Class II by BLM. There are 6.41 acres of BLM land included in the PSO Tract; however, the proposed facilities would be located on private lands. The Sheridan County Growth Management Plan identifies the need for an inventory of existing resources, including scenic resources, and the utilization of this information in the review and evaluation of proposed developments. Currently no procedure or ordinance exists that provides for this evaluation and review. As discussed previously, P&M’s current proposal includes an overland conveyor, which would be used to transport the coal from the mine area to a loadout facility located beside the BNSF mainline railroad tracks that are located 4-41

4.0 Environmental Consequences approximately four miles south of the PSO Tract, near the recently reclaimed Big Horn Coal Mine’s coal loadout facility. If the land exchange is completed and if P&M proceeds with its proposal to open a surface coal mine, the exact location of this conveyor would be determined through access negotiations with the adjacent surface landowners. Due to the area’s rugged terrain and relatively remote location, it would be possible to locate the conveyor so that it is largely concealed from general view, but it might be visible to nearby landowners in the area. Only where the conveyor would crest over hilltops should it be visible from any major travel routes in the area. Reclaimed terrain would be almost indistinguishable from the surrounding undisturbed terrain. Slopes might appear smoother (less intricately dissected) than the surrounding undisturbed terrain, and sagebrush and trees would not be as abundant for several years; however, within a few years after reclamation, the mined land would not be distinguishable from the surrounding undisturbed terrain except by someone very familiar with landforms and vegetation. 4.4.17 Noise Noise levels on the PSO Tract would be increased considerably by mining activities such as blasting, loading, hauling, and coal crushing. No rail car loading would take place on the proposed Ash Creek Mine site. P&M proposes to use an overland conveyor to transport the coal to a unit train loadout facility on the 4-42 BNSF mainline about 4.5 miles south of the mining operation. This would reduce noise levels from operations on the tract, but would increase noise levels along the route of the conveyor. The Noise Control Act of 1972 indicates that a 24-hour equivalent level of less than 70 dBA prevents hearing loss and that a level below 55 dBA, in general, does not constitute an adverse impact. OSM prepared a noise impact report for the Caballo Rojo Mine (OSM 1980) which determined that the noise level from crushers and a conveyor would not exceed 45 dBA at a distance of 1,500 ft. Explosives would be used during mining to fragment the overburden and coal and facilitate their excavation. The air overpressure created by such blasting is estimated to be 123 dBA at the location of the blast. At a distance of approximately 1,230 ft, the intensity of this blast would be reduced to 40 dBA. According to the scale shown in Figure 3-16, this would correspond to a noise level equivalent to a quiet home during the evening. There are several occupied dwellings located roughly one-quarter mile (1,320 ft) away from the PSO Tract. Because of the remoteness of the mine site and associated overland conveyor, noise would have little offsite effect. Local residents in the Ash Creek and Youngs Creek areas would be affected by the increased noise levels caused by the mining operations and the overland conveyor. The nearby dwellings could experience increases in noise related to mining operations. One Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences dwelling, which is located along the proposed route for the overland conveyor, could experience adverse noise impacts due to the conveyor. Wildlife in the immediate vicinity of mining may be adversely affected. Observations at surface coal mines in the PRB indicate that wildlife generally adapt to increased noise associated with active coal mining. After mining and reclamation are completed, noise would return to pre-mining levels. 4.4.18 Transportation Facilities The only potential new or reconstructed transportation facilities required under the Proposed Action would be the overland conveyor and coal loadout facilities that are proposed for construction south of the new mine. A proposed location for the overland conveyor and coal loadout facility is shown in Figure 3-15. As discussed previously, if the exchange is completed and if P&M proceeds with its proposal to open a surface coal mine, the exact location of this conveyor and loadout facility would be determined through right-of-way negotiations with the adjacent surface landowners. Essentially all of the coal mined would be transported by rail. Vehicular traffic to and from the mine would increase from existing levels since the employees would use State Highway 338, the same route used by employees at the Decker and Spring Creek Mines. The Wyoming Department of Transportation routinely monitors traffic volumes on area highways, and if traffic exceeds design Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange standards improvements are made. BNSF has upgraded and will continue to upgrade their rail capacities to handle the increasing coal volume projected from the PRB with or without the operation of the proposed Ash Creek Mine. Pipelines for collecting and transporting CBM are constructed as the existing and proposed CBM wells start producing. Any relocation of pipelines and utility lines associated with CBM production would be handled according to specific agreements between P&M, if the exchange is completed and P&M proceeds with its proposal to open a surface coal mine, and utility owners if the need arises. 4.4.19 Socioeconomics Exchange of the federal coal and subsequent acquisition of private coal adjacent to the PSO Tract by P&M would facilitate the opening of a new mine. Projected coal production would be 10 million tpy by the end of the third year and production would continue at that rate for another 14 years under the Proposed Action. P&M estimates that a selling price of $8.00 per ton would be needed to justify the expense of opening a new mine. At this price, the revenue from the sale of the recoverable coal from the proposed Ash Creek Mine would total $1,164 million (145.5 million tons of coal) based on the mining scenario shown in Figure 2­ 2. Some of the money from the sale of this coal would be paid to state and local governments in the form of taxes, as discussed below. 4-43

4.0 Environmental Consequences If the exchange is completed as proposed, P&M would acquire ownership of the federal coal estate included in the PSO Tract. If P&M proceeds with their proposal to open a surface coal mine on the PSO Tract, there would be no royalties paid to either the state or federal governments when the coal is mined. If the federal coal reserves included in the tract were to be leased and mined, the federal government would receive 12.5 percent royalty when the coal is mined, which would be split with the state. Based on P&M’s estimate of the amount of recoverable federal coal included in the PSO Tract and the coal price assumptions stated above, if the federal coal included in the tract was leased and mined, this would represent approximately $107 million in royalty payments, which would be split with the state. If the coal was competitively leased, the federal government would also hold a competitive lease sale, and would receive a bonus when the coal is leased. The bonus payment at the time of the lease sale would have to meet or exceed the fair market value of the coal included in the tract, as determined by BLM. Recent bonus payments for federal coal leased to existing mines in the eastern PRB have reached as high as $0.706 per ton. There was one recent competitive sale of federal coal in the western portion of the PRB, in Montana, and the bonus bid for that sale was approximately $0.11 per ton. This sale, which was held in 2000, involved 150 acres of federal coal resources adjacent to the Spring Creek Mine. The fair market value of the coal in the PSO Tract would be expected to be lower than 4-44 the fair market value of the coal in a maintenance tract for an existing mine due to consideration of the capital costs that a new mine would have to incur in order to begin mining and shipping coal. Furthermore, the absence of applications to lease federal coal and the lack of other mines that might be interested in acquiring federal coal in the Sheridan area indicates that there would be limited competitive interest in this area, if a coal lease sale was held. According to a study done by the University of Wyoming (UW 1994), the State of Wyoming received about $1.10 per ton from the sale of PRB coal produced in 1991. The taxes and royalties included in this calculation were severance taxes, ad valorem taxes, sales and use taxes, and the state’s share of federal royalty payments on production. Since there would be no federal royalties on the exchanged coal, the revenues to the state for the Ash Creek Mine, as proposed, would be somewhat less than this amount. In 1994, when the University of Wyoming study was done, the average price for PRB coal was $5.62 per ton (WSGS 2001a). Most of the coal sold in 1994 was federal coal, and the state’s share of federal royalty was 6.25 percent of the sale price ($5.62), or about $0.35 per ton. Thus, without the federal royalties, the net benefit to Wyoming (in the form of revenues from severance taxes, ad valorem taxes, and sales and use taxes) in the 1994 UW study would have been about $0.75 per ton, which would be about $80 million based on 107 million tons of recoverable coal in Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences the PSO Tract. In addition, the state would receive AML fees of $0.35 per ton of recoverable coal minus the federal government’s 50 percent share, which would be $19 million. Therefore, the estimated total direct return to the State of Wyoming from the production of coal in the PSO Tract, in current dollars would be about $99 million. If the Ash Creek Mine is operated as described under the Proposed Action and annual coal production is 10 million tons, P&M anticipates that the average number of employees at the Ash Creek Mine would be 70 over the 17 years the property would be mined. These 70 persons would represent about 0.5 percent of the 14,288 persons in the December 2002 labor force in Sheridan County (Wyoming Department of Employment 2003). The December 2002 unemployment in Sheridan County was about 685. No additional demands on the existing infrastructure or services in these communities would be expected because no influx of residents would be needed to fill new jobs. The potential contributions of the proposed Ash Creek Mine to Sheridan County would offset the closure of the Big Horn Coal Mine in 2000. As discussed in Chapter 3, production at the Big Horn Mine peaked in 1981 at four million tpy and employment peaked at about 300 (Sheridan Press 1994). Assessed valuation of the mine dropped from a peak of $65 million to $2.7 million in 1994. At a production rate of 10 million tpy and a sale price of $8.00 per Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange ton, the value of annual production at the Ash Creek Mine would be $80 million. In 2002, the assessed valuation of Sheridan County was $225,468,629, on which the total property tax levy was $15,345,534 (Wyoming Taxpayer’s Association 2003). The total mill levy was therefore 68.1. The value of coal production (10 million tpy at $8.00 per ton) at the Ash Creek Mine would represent a 35.5 percent increase over the 2002 assessed valuation of the county and would therefore increase property taxes by $5.4 million to about $20.8 million. The county would also see increased sales and use tax revenues, particularly from goods purchased during mine construction. The state would realize revenues from severance taxes, a portion of which is returned to local governments. The severance tax rate on surface coal is seven percent (Wyoming Department of Revenue 2003). Under the Proposed Action severance taxes would total about $5.6 million per year. If the exchange is completed and P&M proceeds with its proposal to open a surface coal mine on the PSO Tract, the overall impact to Sheridan County would be beneficial in the form of increased employment and assessed valuation and taxes, as discussed above. The opening of a surface coal mine would likely have adverse socioeconomic impacts on the adjacent landowners, however, as was pointed out in several comments received on the Draft EIS. The adjacent landowners would be likely to experience depreciation in their property values as a result of the proximity of their property to a 4-45

4.0 Environmental Consequences surface coal mining operation and the associated facilities, noise, air quality emissions, traffic, etc. During scoping, one commenter asked what the tax impacts would be if the P&M lands are exchanged and become federally owned. At present, property taxes paid to the counties by P&M include about $440 per year to Lincoln County (Bridger lands), $660 per year to Carbon County (JO Ranch lands), and $3,600 to Sheridan County (Welch lands). These property taxes would no longer be payable by P&M to the respective counties if the exchange is completed. These tax payments would be partially offset by Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) and 25 Percent Funds. BLM and USFS distribute these funds to units of local government (e.g., counties) that contain certain federally owned lands within their boundaries. The amount of the PILT payments is determined by several codified formulas (USC 6901-07) and is designed to supplement other federal land revenue-sharing payments that county government may be receiving. The 25 Percent Funds are paid by the USFS (25 percent of National Forest Fund receipts) to units of local government as proxies for property taxes on the land. Total PILT payments to Wyoming in 1997 were about $7.5 million. Payments to Wyoming from National Forest receipts totaled $1.8 million that year. Lincoln County, where the Bridger lands are located, 4-46 received $93,822.86 in payments from the USFS in 1997 (USFS April 2003). The PILT and 25 Percent Fund payments would increase incrementally if these private lands exchanged into public ownership, but the payments would not totally offset the current property taxes on these parcels. As a general rule, it has been found that the overall tax liability on Federal lands is almost three times the Federal payments (Schuster et al. September 1999). If this relationship holds true in this case, the net loss of property taxes to the respective counties (assuming federal payments would be one-third of taxes) would be $290 to Lincoln County, $440 to Carbon County, and $2,400 to Sheridan County. Issues relating to the social, cultural, and economic well-being and health of minorities and lowincome groups are termed Environmental Justice issues. In reviewing the impacts of the Proposed Action on socioeconomic resources, surface water and groundwater quality, air quality, hazardous materials, or other elements of the human environment in this chapter, it was determined that potentially adverse impacts do not disproportionately affect Native American tribes, minority groups and/or low-income groups. With regard to Environmental Justice issues affecting Native American tribes or groups, the analysis area contains no tribal lands or Native American communities, and no treaty rights or Native American trust resources are Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences known to exist for this area. The northwest corner of the federal coal tract P&M wants to acquire is close to, but is not directly contiguous with, the southeast corner of the Crow Indian Reservation (Figure 3­ 1). Implementing any of the alternatives would have no effects on Environmental Justice issues, including the social, cultural, and economic well-being and health of minorities and low income groups within the general analysis area. 4.4.20 Hazardous and Solid Waste The types of solid wastes that would be generated in the course of mining the PSO Tract are described in Chapter 2. The procedures that would be used for handling hazardous and solid waste at the proposed Ash Creek Mine are also described in Chapter 2. Wastes generated by mining the PSO Tract would be handled in accordance with the existing regulations as described in Chapter 2. 4.5 No-Action Alternative This assumption allows a comparison of the economic and environmental consequences of mining these lands versus not mining them. Under the No-Action Alternative, the Welch lands, JO Ranch lands, and Bridger lands would remain in private ownership. The Bridger lands would remain private inholdings in the BTNF and the BLM Pinedale Field Area. The JO Ranch lands, including the JO Ranch buildings, which are eligible for National Historic Site status, would remain private in-holdings in the BLM Rawlins Field Area. The Welch lands, which represent a unique opportunity for public access to the Tongue River in Wyoming outside of the Big Horn National Forest, would remain in private hands. According to comments received from P&M, if the exchange is not completed, they would consider subdividing the properties in order to maximize their value and marketing the subdivided tracts to the public. Under the No-Action Alternative the Ash Creek Mine would not be opened as proposed. The impacts described on the preceding pages and in Table 2-3 to topography and physiography, geology and minerals, soils, air quality, water resources, alluvial valley floors, wetlands, vegetation, wildlife, threatened, endangered, proposed, and candidate species, sensitive species and species of special interest to the state, land use and recreation, cultural resources, Native American concerns, paleontological resources, visual resources, noise, transportation, and socioeconomics 4-47

Under the No-Action Alternative, the exchange would not be completed. P&M would retain ownership of the lands that they have offered for exchange. The federal coal included within the PSO Tract would remain in federal ownership. The federal coal being considered for exchange could be leased and mined in the future; however, for the purposes of this analysis, the No-Action Alternative assumes that these federal coal lands would not be mined in the foreseeable future. Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences would not occur on the PSO Tract. Furthermore, the proposed Ash Creek Mine would not contribute to the general nature and magnitude of cumulative impacts in the PRB. The economic benefits that would be derived from mining the PSO Tract would be lost. 4.6 	 egulatory R Compliance, Mitigation, and Monitoring plan covering the proposed Ash Creek Mine. This mining and reclamation plan would have to be approved before mining could occur on the PSO Tract. The major mitigation measures and monitoring measures that are required by state or federal regulation are summarized in Table 4-8. More specific information about some of these mitigation and monitoring measures are described in the following sections of this document: • 	 Section 4.4.1, restoration of topography to approximate original contour; • 	 Section 4.4.1, restoration of approximate original drainage pattern and replacement of stock ponds; • 	Section 4.4.2, management plan for handling of unsuitable overburden material; • Section 	 4.4.3, special handling of soil or overburden materials containing potentially harmful chemical constituents; • Section 4.4.4, air quality 	 monitoring practices and application of BACT for mitigation of air quality impacts; • 	 Section 4.4.5 surface water hydrologic control measures; • 	 Section 4.4.5, reconstruction of irrigation systems and the acreage of irrigated land; • 	Section 4.4.5, groundwater quantity and quality monitoring measures; • 	 Section 4.4.5, mitigation for interruption, discontinuation, or diminishment of existing Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

No impacts requiring mitigation or monitoring have been identified related to BLM and USFS acquisition of the Bridger or JO Ranch lands. If BLM acquires the portion of the Welch lands containing the underground coal fire, then both mitigation and monitoring of the impacts of that fire could be required. Management practices, mitigation measures, and monitoring requirements would be determined through additional NEPA analysis and planning decisions, if the exchange is completed. Some of the options that BLM would consider for managing the lands occupied by the coal fire are discussed in Appendix D. In the case of the PSO Tract, SMCRA and state law require a considerable amount of compliance requirements, mitigation and monitoring for surface coal mining operations. Measures that are required by regulation are considered to be part of the Proposed Action. If the exchange is completed and P&M decides to mine the coal beneath the PSO Tract, these requirements, mitigation plans, and monitoring plans would be part of a mining and reclamation 4-48

4.0 Environmental Consequences

Table 4-8. 	 Regulatory Compliance, Mitigation, and Monitoring Measures for Surface Coal Mining Operations Required by SMCRA and State Law (included in the Proposed Action).
Regulatory Compliance or Mitigation Required by Stipulations or Required by State or Federal Law1 Monitoring1 LQD checks as-built vs. approved 
 topography with each annual report.
 LQD requires monitoring in advance
 of mining to detect unsuitable
 overburden.
 Monitoring vegetation growth on 
 reclaimed areas to determine need for 
 soil amendments. Sampling regraded 
 overburden for compliance with root 
 zone criteria.
 On-site air quality monitoring for 
 PM10 or TSP; 
 Off-site ambient monitoring for PM10
 or TSP; 
 On-site compliance inspections.


Resource

Topography & Physiography

Restoring to approximate original contour or other approved topographic configuration.

Geology & Minerals	

Identifying & selectively placing or mixing chemically or physically unsuitable overburden materials to minimize adverse effects to vegetation or groundwater.

Soil	

Salvaging soil suitable to support plant growth for use in reclamation; Protecting soil stockpiles from disturbance and erosional influences; Selectively placing at least four ft of suitable overburden on the graded backfill surface below replaced topsoil to meet guidelines for vegetation root zones.

Air Quality

Dispersion modeling of mining plans for annual average particulate pollution impacts on ambient air; Using particulate pollution control technologies; Using work practices designed to minimize fugitive particulate emissions; Using EPA- or state-mandated BACT, including: Fabric filtration or wet scrubbing of coal storage silo and conveyor vents, Watering or using chemical dust suppression on haul roads and exposed soils, Containment of truck dumps and primary crushers, Covering of conveyors, Prompt revegetation of exposed soils, High efficiency baghouses on the crusher, conveyor transfer, storage bin and train loadout, meeting a standard of 0.01 grains per dry standard cubic foot (dscf) of exit volume, Watering of active work areas, Reclamation plan to minimize surface disturbances subject to wind erosion, Paving of access roads.

Surface Water	

Building and maintaining sediment control ponds or other devices during mining; Restoring approximate original drainage patterns during reclamation; Restoring stock ponds and playas during reclamation.

Monitoring storage capacity in 
 sediment ponds; monitoring quality of 
 discharges; monitoring stream-flow 
 and water quality.


1

If a decision is made to complete the exchange and P&M decides to construct a new mine, these requirements, mitigation plans, and monitoring plans would be part of a mine permit application covering the PSO Tract that must be approved before mining can occur on the tract under the Proposed Action.

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4.0 Environmental Consequences

Table 4-8.
Regulatory Compliance or Mitigation Required by Stipulations or Required by State or Federal Law1 Monitoring1

Regulatory Compliance, Mitigation, and Monitoring Measures for Surface Coal Mining Operations Required by SMCRA and State Law (included in the Proposed Action) (Continued).
Monitoring wells track water levels in overburden, coal, interburden, underburden, & backfill. Monitoring wells track water quality in overburden, coal, interburden, underburden, & backfill. Monitoring to determine restoration of essential hydrologic functions of any declared AVF.

Resource

Groundwater Quantity

Evaluating cumulative impacts to water quantity associated with proposed mining; Replacing existing water rights that are interrupted, discontinued, or diminished by mining with water of equivalent quantity.

Groundwater Quality

Evaluating cumulative impacts to water quality associated with proposed mining; Replacing existing water rights that are interrupted, discontinued, or diminished by mining with water of equivalent quality.

Alluvial Valley Floors

Identifying all AVFs that would be affected by mining; Determining significance to agriculture of all identified AVFs affected by mining (WDEQ); Protecting downstream AVFs during mining; Restoring essential hydrologic function of all AVFs affected by mining.

Wetlands	

Identifying all wetlands that would be affected by mining; Identifying jurisdictional wetlands (COE); Replacing all jurisdictional wetlands that would be disturbed by mining; Replacing functional wetlands as required by surface managing agency or surface land owner.

Monitoring of reclaimed wetlands using same procedures used to identify pre-mining jurisdictional wetlands. Monitoring of revegetation growth & diversity until release of final reclamation bond (minimum 10 years). Monitoring of erosion to determine need for corrective action during establishment of vegetation. Use of controlled grazing during revegetation evaluation to determine suitability for post-mining land uses.

Vegetation	

Permanently revegetating reclaimed areas according to a comprehensive revegetation plan using approved permanent reclamation seed mixtures consisting predominantly of species native to the area; Reclaiming 20 percent of reclaimed area with native shrubs at a density of one per square meter; Controlling erosion on reclaimed lands prior to seeding with final seed mixture using mulching, cover crops, or other approved measures; Chemically and mechanically controlling weed infestation; Direct hauling of topsoil; Selectively planting shrubs in riparian areas; Planting sagebrush; Creating depressions and rock piles; Using special planting procedures around rock piles; Posting reclamation bond covering the cost of reclamation.

1

If a decision is made to complete the exchange and P&M decides to construct a new mine, these requirements, mitigation plans, and monitoring plans would be part of a mine permit application covering the PSO Tract that must be approved before mining can occur on the tract under the Proposed Action.

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4.0 Environmental Consequences

Table 4-8.

Regulatory Compliance, Mitigation, and Monitoring Measures for Surface Coal Mining Operations Required by SMCRA and State Law (included in the Proposed Action) (Continued).

Resource Wildlife

Regulatory Compliance or Mitigation Required by Stipulations or Required by State or Federal Law1 Monitoring1 Baseline & annual wildlife monitoring 
 Restoring pre-mining topography to the maximum extent possible; 
 Planting a diverse mixture of grasses, forbs, and shrubs in configurations beneficial to 
 surveys; 
 Monitoring for Migratory Bird Species 
 wildlife; 
 of Management Concern in Wyoming. 
 Designing fences to permit wildlife passage; 
 Raptor-proofing power transmission poles; 
 Creating artificial raptor nest sites; 
 Increasing habitat diversity by creating rock clusters and shallow depressions on 
 reclaimed land; 
 Cottonwood plantings along reclaimed drainages; 
 Replacing drainages, wetlands, and AVFs disturbed by mining; 
 Reducing vehicle speed limits to minimize mortality; 
 Instructing employees not to harass or disturb wildlife; 
 Preparing raptor mitigation plans. 
 Baseline and annual monitoring surveys. wildlife

Threatened, Endangered, Proposed, and Candidate Species

Avoiding bald eagle disturbance; 
 Restoring bald eagle foraging areas disturbed by mining; 
 Restoring mountain plover habitat disturbed by mining; 
 Using raptor safe power lines; 
 Surveying for Ute ladies' tresses; 
 Surveying for mountain plover; 
 Searching for black-footed ferrets if prairie dogs move onto tract; 
 Surveying for black-tailed prairie dog; 
 Same as Wildlife Resource above. 


Land Use

Suitably restoring reclaimed area for historic uses (grazing and wildlife). 


Monitoring of controlled grazing prior to bond release evaluation. Monitoring of mining activities during topsoil stripping; cessation of activities and notification of authorities if unidentified sites are encountered during topsoil removal.

Cultural Resources

Conducting Class I & III surveys to identify cultural properties on all state and federal
 lands and on private lands affected by federal undertakings; 
 Consulting with SHPO to evaluate eligibility of cultural properties for the NRHP; 
 Avoiding or recovering data from significant cultural properties identified by surveys, 
 according to an approved plan; 
 Notifying appropriate federal personnel if historic or prehistoric materials are uncovered 
 during mining operations; 
 Instructing employees of the importance of and regulatory obligations to protect 
 cultural resources. 


1

If a decision is made to complete the exchange and P&M decides to construct a new mine, these requirements, mitigation plans, and monitoring plans would be part of a mine permit application covering the PSO Tract that must be approved before mining can occur on the tract under the Proposed Action.

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4.0 Environmental Consequences

Table 4-8. 	
Regulatory Compliance or Mitigation Required by Stipulations or Required by State or Federal Law1 Monitoring1 No specific monitoring program.


Regulatory Compliance, Mitigation, and Monitoring Measures for Surface Coal Mining Operations Required by SMCRA and State Law (included in the Proposed Action) (Continued).

Resource

Native American Concerns


Notifying Native American tribes with known interest in this area of leasing action and request for help in identifying potentially significant religious or cultural sites.


Paleontological Resources

Notifying appropriate federal personnel if potentially significant paleontological sites are discovered during mining.


No specific monitoring program.
 No specific monitoring program. MSHA inspections. No specific monitoring program. Surveying and reporting to document volume of coal removed. No specific monitoring other than required by these other regulations and response plans.

Visual Resources

Restoring landscape character during reclamation through return to approximate original contour and revegetation with native species.

Noise

Protecting employees from hearing loss.	

Transportation Facilities

Relocating existing pipelines, if necessary, in accordance with specific agreement between pipeline owner and coal lessee.

Socioeconomics

Paying royalty and taxes as required by federal, state, and local regulations.	

Hazardous & Solid Waste

Disposing of solid waste and sewage within permit boundaries according to approved plans; Storing and recycling waste oil; 	 Maintaining of files containing Material Safety Data Sheets for all chemicals, compounds, and/or substances used during course of mining; Ensuring that all production, use, storage, transport, and disposal of hazardous materials is in accordance with applicable existing or hereafter promulgated federal, state, and government requirements; Complying with emergency reporting requirements for releases of hazardous materials as established in CERCLA, as amended; Preparing and implementing spill prevention control and countermeasure plans, spill response plans, inventories of hazardous chemical categories pursuant to Section 312 of SARA, as amended; Preparing emergency response plans.

1

If a decision is made to complete the exchange and P&M decides to construct a new mine, these requirements, mitigation plans, and monitoring plans would be part of a mine permit application covering the PSO Tract that must be approved before mining can occur on the tract under the Proposed Action.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange	

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4.0 Environmental Consequences water well rights by mining operations; 	 Section 4.4.6, restoration of AVFs impacted by mining; 	Section 4.4.7, identification and replacements of jurisdictional wetlands impacted by mining; 	 Section 4.4.8, restoration of vegetation using approved reclamation seed mixtures; Section 4.4.8, plans for 	 control of invasive, nonnative plant species; Section 	 4.4.10, fencing designed to permit pronghorn passage; 	 ection 4.4.10, notification S and mitigation measures to protect active raptor nests and nest productivity; 	 Section 4.4.10, use of electric powerlines and transmission facilities designed and constructed to minimize electrocution hazards to raptors; Section 4.4.10, mitigation 	 measures to minimize habitat loss impacts to songbirds; 	 Section 4.4.13, protection of cultural resources that are recommended eligible for or of undetermined eligibility for the NRHP; and 	 ppendix E, protection of A threatened and endangered species. mitigated under existing procedures. One issue of recent concern has been the release of NOx from blasting and the resulting formation of low-lying, reddish brown-colored clouds that can be carried outside the mine permit areas by wind, as discussed in Section 4.4.4. After these clouds were identified as a potential health concern in the area of the Wyoming PRB surface coal mines, a monitoring program measuring NO2 concentrations in areas accessible to the public near PRB coal mining operations was conducted in 1999. WDEQ has directed some PRB coal mines to take steps designed to mitigate the effects of NO2 emissions during overburden blasting. The steps that may be required include: public notifications (in the form of warning signs along public roadways, for example); temporary closure of public roadways near a mine during and after a blast; establishment of safe set-back distances from blasting areas; prohibiting blasting when wind direction is toward a neighbor; prohibiting blasting during temperature inversions; establishment of monitoring plans; estimation of NO2 concentrations; and development of blasting procedures that will protect public safety and health. Some mine operators in the PRB have voluntarily implemented various measures designed to control/limit public exposure to NO2 emissions and to reduce short-term NO2 releases associated with overburden blasting. As discussed in Section 4.4.4, the likelihood that there would be a high risk posed by the release of NO2 4-53

• •

• • • •

•

• •

•

In general, the levels of mitigation and monitoring required for surface coal mining by SMCRA and Wyoming state law are more extensive than those required for other surface disturbing activities; however, concerns are periodically identified that are not monitored or Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences from overburden blasting at the Ash Creek Mine is minimal based on the proposed type of mining and the nature of the overburden. 4.7 Residual Impacts 4.7.3 Soils No adverse residual impacts to soils have been identified for the Bridger lands, the JO Ranch lands, or the Welch lands if the exchange is completed. If the PSO Tract is exchanged, mined, and reclaimed as proposed, existing soils in the area of disturbance would be mixed and redistributed, and soil-forming processes would be disturbed by mining. This would result in longterm alteration of soil characteristics. 4.7.4 Air Quality No adverse residual impacts to air quality have been identified for the Bridger lands, the JO Ranch lands, or the Welch lands if the exchange is completed. If the PSO Tract is exchanged, mined, and reclaimed as proposed, no residual impacts to air quality would occur following mining. 4.7.5 Water Resources No adverse residual geologic impacts have been identified for the Bridger lands, the JO Ranch lands, or the Welch lands if the exchange is completed. If the PSO Tract is exchanged, mined, and reclaimed as proposed, the geology from the base of the Dietz 3 coal to the surface would be subject to substantial, permanent change. CBM resources not recovered from the Dietz 1 and Dietz 3 seams in the mined areas prior to mining would be permanently lost. No adverse residual impacts to water resources have been identified for the Bridger lands, the JO Ranch lands, or the Welch lands if the exchange is completed. If the PSO Tract is exchanged, mined, and reclaimed as proposed, the postmining backfill may take in excess of 100 years to reach equilibrium water levels and water quality. Less time would be required near the mining boundaries. Water level and water quality in the backfill would be suitable to provide water to wells for livestock use, but would be different from pre-mining conditions. No residual impacts to Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Residual impacts are unavoidable impacts that cannot be mitigated and would therefore remain if the exchange is completed. 4.7.1 Topography and Physiography No adverse residual topographic or physiographic impacts have been identified for the Bridger lands, the JO Ranch lands, or the Welch lands if the exchange is completed. If the PSO Tract is exchanged, mined, and reclaimed as proposed, topographic moderation would be a permanent consequence of mining. The indirect impacts of topographic moderation on wildlife habitat diversity would also be considered permanent. 4.7.2 Geology and Minerals

4-54

4.0 Environmental Consequences the replaced alluvial aquifer and alluvial groundwater would be expected. No residual impacts to the surface water system would be expected. 4.7.6 Alluvial Valley Floors No adverse residual impacts to AVFs have been identified for the Bridger lands, the JO Ranch lands, or the Welch lands if the exchange is completed. If the PSO Tract is exchanged, mined, and reclaimed as proposed, no residual impacts to AVFs would be present following mining. 4.7.7 Wetlands No adverse residual impacts to wetlands have been identified for the Bridger lands, the JO Ranch lands, or the Welch lands if the exchange is completed. If the PSO Tract is exchanged, mined, and reclaimed as proposed, replacement of jurisdictional wetlands that would be affected by mining would be required. Replaced wetlands (jurisdictional or functional) may not duplicate the exact function and landscape features of the pre-mining wetland, but all wetland replacement plans would be approved by COE. 4.7.8 Vegetation No adverse residual impacts to vegetation have been identified for the Bridger lands, the JO Ranch lands, or the Welch lands if the exchange is completed. If the PSO Tract is exchanged, mined, and reclaimed as proposed, reclaimed vegetative communities may never Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange completely match the surrounding native plant community. 4.7.9 Wildlife No adverse residual impacts to wildlife have been identified for the Bridger lands, the JO Ranch lands, or the Welch lands if the exchange is completed. If the PSO Tract is exchanged, mined, and reclaimed to near original condition as proposed, there would be some residual wildlife impacts. The topographic moderation would result in a permanent loss of habitat diversity and a potential decrease in slopedependent shrub communities. This would reduce the carrying capacity of the land for shrubdependent species. 4.7.10 	 hreatened, T Endangered, Proposed, and Candidate Species

No adverse residual impacts to threatened, endangered, proposed, and candidate plant or animal species, BLM Sensitive Species, and USFS Sensitive Species have been identified for the Bridger lands, the JO Ranch lands, or the Welch lands if the exchange is completed. If the PSO Tract is exchanged, mined, and reclaimed, no residual impacts to threatened, endangered, proposed, and candidate plant or animal species, BLM Sensitive Species, and State Species of Special Concern are expected. 4.7.11 Land Use and Recreation Any existing land use agreements between the private landowner and land users, such as grazing leases 4-55

4.0 Environmental Consequences or recreational access, would be permanently changed on the Bridger lands, JO Ranch lands, and Welch lands if the exchange is completed. If the PSO Tract is exchanged, mined, and reclaimed, no residual impacts to land use and recreation are expected. 4.7.12 Cultural Resources No adverse residual impacts to cultural resources have been identified for the Bridger lands, the JO Ranch lands, or the Welch lands if the exchange is completed. If the PSO Tract is exchanged, mined, and reclaimed, cultural sites that are determined to be eligible for the NRHP and that cannot be avoided would be destroyed by surface coal mining after data from those sites are recovered. Sites that are not eligible for the NRHP would be lost. 4.7.13 Native American Concerns 4.7.16 Noise

No residual impacts to noise are expected. 4.7.17 Transportation Facilities No residual transportation expected. impacts facilities to are

4.7.18 Socioeconomics Current taxes paid to state and local governments by the private landowner would be permanently ended on the Bridger lands, JO Ranch lands, and Welch lands if the exchange is completed. If the PSO Tract is exchanged, mined, and reclaimed, no residual impacts to socioeconomics are expected. 4.7.19 Hazardous and Solid Waste No residual hazardous or waste impacts are expected. 4.8 Cumulative Impacts solid

No residual impacts to Native American concerns have been identified. 4.7.14 Paleontological Resources No residual impacts to significant paleontological resources would be expected. 4.7.15 Visual Resources

No adverse residual impacts to visual resources have been identified for the Bridger lands, the JO Ranch lands, or the Welch lands if the exchange is completed. If the PSO Tract is exchanged, mined and reclaimed, no residual impacts to visual resources are expected. 4-56

Cumulative impacts result from the incremental impacts of an action added to other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions, regardless of who is responsible for such actions. Cumulative impacts can result from individually minor, but collectively significant, actions occurring over time. This section briefly summarizes the cumulative impacts that are occurring as a result of existing development in the PRB and that would be expected to occur if the exchange is completed and the coal Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences included in the PSO Tract is mined as proposed and if other reasonably foreseeable development in the general vicinity occurs. Other agencies may use this analysis to make decisions related to exchanging and mining the federal coal within the PSO Tract. OSM is a cooperating agency on this EIS in order to provide input on the exchange process and the impacts of the proposed mining operation. Other projects are in progress or are planned in the PRB. Projects that have proceeded beyond preliminary planning phases include: • 	 construction and operation of the Two Elk power plant, which has been proposed east of the Black Thunder Mine; • 	 construction and operation of the Wygen II power plant, which has been proposed near the Wyodak Mine site east of Gillette, Wyoming; • the	 construction and operation of the proposed DM&E Railroad line; impacts of mining the PSO Tract because the other proposed projects would all be located in the eastern PRB. Cumulative mineral development in Sheridan County, Wyoming was evaluated in two previously prepared regional EISs. They are: •	 Final Powder River Regional Coal Environmental Impact Statement, BLM, December, 1981; and •	 Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Round II Coal Lease Sale in the Powder River Region, BLM, January 1984. (A final EIS was not released for the proposed Round II coal lease sale in the Powder River Region and the sale was never held.) These regional EISs projected development levels for coal, oil and gas, and other minerals in the PRB in 1990 and 1995. In general, the current actual mineral development levels are at or below the levels predicted in the regional EISs for 1990 and 1995. For example, the 1981 EIS projected that about 384 million tons of coal would be produced by mines in the eastern PRB (Campbell and Converse Counties) in 1995. The actual 1995 coal production from the mines in the eastern PRB was about 246.5 million tons and the actual 2001 production from those mines was 354 million tons. The 1981 EIS estimated that mines in the Sheridan area (Big Horn, Decker, and Spring Creek) would produce 23.7 million tons of coal per year in 4-57

• 	the ongoing development of CBM resources (in the Wyoming and Montana PRB); and • 	ongoing federal coal leasing adjacent to existing surface coal mines. With the exception of CBM development, which is addressed below, the impacts of completing and operating these projects would not be expected to overlap with the Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences 1990 and 1995. Actual 1999 and 2000 production from those mines was 22 and 21.3 million tons, respectively. The levels of production of natural gas are higher than projected in the regional EISs because CBM production was not anticipated in 1990 and 1995 in the regional EISs. CBM production levels are discussed in more detail in the section on Geology and Minerals below (Section 4.8.2). With the completion of the Wyoming Final EIS and Proposed Plan Amendment for the Powder River Basin Oil and Gas Project (BLM 2003a) and the Montana Statewide Final EIS and Proposed Amendment of the Powder River and Billings Resource Management Plans (BLM 2003b), the rate of CBM development is likely to increase in the general area of the PSO Tract. Due to the proximity of the coal mining and CBM production operations, cumulative impacts to groundwater, surface water, air quality, and wildlife are likely to occur. These potential impacts are considered in the following cumulative impact discussion for these resources. 4.8.1 Topography and Physiography Following surface coal mining and reclamation, topography would be modified within the permit boundaries of the surface mines in the Sheridan area near the Wyoming-Montana state line, including the proposed Ash Creek Mine. The topography in the general vicinity of these surface mines is relatively diverse, ranging from the relatively flat, rolling 4-58 terrain found in the lower reaches of the stream valleys to the relatively rugged terrain with steeply sloping ravines found in the uplands. After reclamation, the topography outside of the valley bottoms would be less rugged, more homogeneous and gentler. In general, pre-mining features that were more topographically unique (e.g., steeper hills and ravines, rock outcrops, etc.) would be smoothed with more uniform slopes. The overall reduction in topographic diversity in the mine permit areas may lower the carrying capacity for big game in the reclaimed areas; however, big game ranges are generally very large, mining activities are, in general, not located in habitats defined as crucial, and mining operations in this area are spread out rather than contiguous. The reduced relief and subdued topography could result in increased infiltration of surface water and reduced peak flows from the drainages. The reshaped land surface, being more uniform and subdued, could be less visually attractive to some observers, but these mine sites are separated by relatively rugged undisturbed topography. The construction and operation of CBM wells and associated production facilities would cause minimal overlapping topographic and/or physiographic changes. 4.8.2 Geology 	 Resources and Mineral

The PRB coalfield encompasses an area of about 12,000 square miles. Finley and Goolsby (2000) estimate Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences that there are approximately 587 billion tons of coal in beds thicker than 20 ft and deeper than 200 ft in the basin. Most of the current federal coal leases in the PRB include coal with overburden thicknesses of 200 ft or less. These coal reserves represent a small percentage of the total coal reserves but a large percentage of the shallowest (hence the most economical to recover) coal reserves. Since 1990, the Wyoming State Office of the BLM has held 15 competitive coal lease sales and issued 11 new federal coal leases containing approximately 3.178 billion tons of coal using the LBA process. The Wyoming BLM has pending applications for eight additional maintenance tracts for existing mines containing about 2.3 billion tons of coal. All of the leased tracts and pending applications are located in Campbell and Converse Counties, in the eastern portion of the Wyoming PRB. The Wyoming BLM has received no applications to lease federal coal in the western portion of the Wyoming PRB. BLM completed an exchange in the PRB in 2000, authorized by Public Law 95-554. Under this exchange, EOG resources (formerly Belco) received a federal lease for a 106­ million ton coal tract adjacent to the Buckskin Mine in exchange for the rights to a 170-million ton coal lease near Buffalo, Wyoming that is unmineable due to construction of Interstate Highway 90 (BLM 1999). Wyoming PRB coal production in 2002 was approximately 360 million tons. The PRB mines located in Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange Campbell and Converse Counties, Wyoming produce around 95 percent of the coal produced in the state each year (State Inspector of Mines 2002). Currently there are no active surface mines within Sheridan County, but there are currently two surface coal mines in operation near the Wyoming-Montana state line: the Spring Creek and Decker Coal Mines (Figure 3-1). Both mines are in Big Horn County, Montana, approximately six to 10 miles northeast of the PSO Tract. Their 2002 productions and current maximum annual permitted production rates are shown in Table 4-9. Mining rates are expected to remain relatively constant (around 10 million tpy each) at both these mines in the near future, depending upon market conditions. The total area that has been permanently reclaimed at the Big Horn Coal Mine, located south of the PSO Tract and Welch lands (Figure 3-1), is 1,490 acres. Facility areas at the Big Horn Coal Mine that will remain indefinitely occupy 120 acres (Big Horn Coal Company 2001). The total area that was reclaimed at the old Hidden Water Pits is approximately 412 acres (Tim Richmond 2001). The total area to be disturbed within the permit boundary of Spring Creek Coal is 2,212 acres, while Decker Coal is permitted to disturb 11,417 acres. Thus the total area disturbed to date or permitted to be disturbed by surface coal mining in the Sheridan area is 15,791 acres.

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4.0 Environmental Consequences Table 4-9. Production of PRB Coal Mines Located in the Sheridan Coal Field Near the Wyoming-Montana State Line. Coal Production1 2002 Actual2 Currently Permitted3 Mine Operator Mine Name
Decker Spring Creek
1	 2	 3	

Kiewit Mining Group, Inc. Kennecott Energy Co. Totals

10.0 8.9 18.9

16.0 15.0 31.0

Actual production (million tons) on left, permitted production (million tons) on right. Source: Claudia Furiof, MDEQ, personal communication April 2, 2003. Source: Robert Jeffrey, MDEQ, personal communication August 15, 2001. Maximum capacities per current air quality permits are shown.

The disturbance for the proposed Ash Creek Mine would be approximately 2,595 acres. This would represent a 16 percent increase in the total area disturbed by surface mining in the Sheridan area. In the areas of coal removal, the geology has been or would be disrupted and the coal has been or would be recovered. When the overburden and topsoil are replaced, the natural stratification of these shallow geologic layers are destroyed in the area of coal removal. The backfill is a more homogenous mixture of shale, siltstone and finegrained sandstone. The mined lands are restored to approximate pre-mining levels. Natural gas production has been increasing in Sheridan County due to the development of CBM resources. Gas production in Sheridan County increased to 3.91 billion cubic feet in July 2002 from 0.68 million cubic feet in July 1999, a boost of 573,483 percent (WOGCC April 2003).

In 2002, natural gas production within the State of Wyoming was up 32.6 percent from 1999, reaching 1.75 trillion cubic feet. CBM production accounted for 18.7 percent of the State’s total gas production that year (WOGCC April 2003). This increase in gas production is attributed to a large increase in CBM production in the PRB. The WOGCC approved 1,648 APDs in the second quarter of 2002. The total for that quarter is 1,421 less than the second quarter of 2001, but more than for the full years preceding 1997. Campbell County led with about 56 percent of the total APDs that were approved statewide in the second quarter of 2002; Sheridan and Johnson Counties combined for another 25 percent. Nearly all of the approved APDs in these three counties were for CBM tests (WSGS 2002). Since the early 1990s, the Wyoming BLM has completed numerous EAs and two EISs analyzing CBM projects. The most recent of these are the Wyoming Final EIS and Proposed Plan Amendment for the Powder River Basin Oil and Gas Project (BLM 2003a) and the Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4-60

4.0 Environmental Consequences Montana Statewide Final EIS and Proposed Amendment of the Powder River and Billings Resource Management Plans (BLM 2003b), both of which were completed in January 2003. The project area for the Wyoming EIS includes almost eight million acres of mixed federal, state, and private lands within the Wyoming portion of the PRB. The Wyoming EIS evaluates the potential impacts of drilling, completing, operating, and reclaiming almost 39,400 new federal, state, and private CBM wells in addition to the roughly 12,100 federal, state, and private CBM wells that were already drilled or permitted when the document was prepared. The Wyoming EIS also analyzes the impacts of developing 3,200 new conventional oil and gas wells, as well as constructing, operating, and reclaiming various ancillary facilities needed to support the new CBM and conventional wells, including roads, pipelines for gathering gas and produced water, electrical utilities, and compressors. The Montana EIS considered a reasonably foreseeable development scenario of up to 16,500 producing private, state, and federal CBM wells on approximately 5.9 million acres of coal occurrence in 16 Montana counties. CBM wells can be drilled on private and state oil and gas leases after approval by the WOGCC and the Wyoming SEO. On federal oil and gas leases, BLM must analyze the individual and cumulative environmental impacts of all drilling, as required by NEPA, before CBM drilling on the federal leases can be authorized. In many areas of the PRB the coal rights are federally Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange owned, but the oil and gas rights are privately owned. A June 7, 1999 Supreme Court decision (98-830) assigned the rights to develop CBM on a piece of land to the owner of the oil and gas rights. CBM wells have been drilled on and around the PSO Tract in Wyoming and Montana. CBM drilling and production is expected to continue in the Ash Creek/Youngs Creek area, as well as farther north around the Decker and Spring Creek Coal Mines, farther south around the recently reclaimed Big Horn Coal Mine, and farther east. Coal and CBM are non-renewable resources that form as organic matter decays and undergoes chemical changes over geologic time. The CBM and coal resources that are removed to generate heat and power would not be available for use in the future. No potential damages to the coal resulting from removal of the CBM and water prior to mining have been identified. The CBM operators generally do not completely dewater the coal beds to produce the CBM because that could damage fractures in the coal and limit CBM production. 4.8.3 Soils Spring Creek and Decker Coal Mines would disturb about 13,629 acres throughout their combined lives (they would disturb about 300 acres annually during active mining at the currently planned mining rates). Approximately 2,020 acres were disturbed and 1,902 permanently reclaimed at the Big Horn Coal Mine and the Hidden 4-61

4.0 Environmental Consequences Water Pits, for a total of approximately 15,791 acres of historic and permitted surface mine disturbance in the Sheridan area. If the decision is made to complete the exchange and the PSO Tract is mined, the disturbance area in this group of surface mines north of Sheridan would increase to approximately 18,385 acres. The proposed Ash Creek Mine would represent an additional 16 percent increase in surface disturbance by mining operations in the Sheridan area. Excluding the permanently reclaimed Hidden Water Pits and Big Horn Coal Mine areas, and assuming 10 years from initial disturbance to utilization of a parcel of reclaimed land by domestic livestock, roughly 1,500 acres would be unavailable for such use at any given time during active mining. This includes facilities areas at active mines that represent life-of­ mine disturbances. However, following reclamation, the replaced topsoil should support a stable and productive native vegetation community adequate in quantity and quality to support planned post-mining land uses (i.e., rangeland and wildlife habitat). Areas within active mines are progressively disturbed. Likewise, these areas would be progressively reclaimed in time by planting appropriate vegetation species to restore soil productivity and prevent soil erosion. Additional, although less extensive, soil disturbance would be associated with the on-going CBM development 4-62 predominantly east and south of the mines. 4.8.4 Air Quality The EPA CALPUFF dispersion model was used with meteorological data generated by the MM5 (mesoscale model) and CALMET models to perform air pollutant dispersion modeling to quantify potential PM10 and SO2 impacts related to proposed oil and gas development, including CBM development, in the PRB in northeastern Wyoming and southeastern Montana. The modeling was conducted by Argonne National Laboratory at the request of the Wyoming and Montana BLM to analyze potential air quality impacts from the oil and gas development alternatives being considered in the Wyoming Final EIS and Proposed Plan Amendment for the Powder River Basin Oil and Gas Project (BLM 2003a) and the Montana Statewide Oil and Gas Final EIS and Proposed Amendment of the Powder River and Billings RMPs (BLM 2003b). These documents will be referred to as the “Wyoming PRB Oil and Gas Project EIS” and the “Montana Statewide EIS,” respectively, in the following discussion. The Wyoming Project Area for this air quality analysis includes Campbell, Sheridan, Johnson, and northern Converse Counties. The Montana Project Area for this air quality analysis includes all of Carter, Powder River, Big Horn, Yellowstone, Carbon, Stillwater, Sweetgrass, Wheatland, Golden Valley, Musselshell, and Treasure Counties and portions of Rosebud and Custer Counties. The PSO Tract Analysis Area is located Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences in northern Wyoming. Sheridan County, project, indirect, and cumulative air quality impacts were analyzed to predict maximum potential nearfield ambient air pollutant concentrations and potential HAP impacts, as well as to determine maximum far-field ambient air pollutant concentrations, visibility, and atmospheric deposition (acid rain) impacts. The methodologies used to predict and interpret potential air quality impacts are described in Appendix H. Air pollution impacts are limited by state, tribal, and federal regulations, standards, and implementation plans established under the CAA and administered by the applicable air quality regulatory agencies (including the WDEQ/AQD, the MDEQ/AWM, or the EPA). The Departments of Environmental Quality for adjacent states have similar jurisdiction over potential air pollutant emission sources in their respective states, which can have a cumulative impact with WDEQ/AQD and MDEQ/AWM approved sources. Air quality regulations require that proposed new, or modified existing air pollutant emission sources undergo a permitting review before their construction can begin. Therefore, the applicable air quality regulatory agencies have the primary authority and responsibility to review permit applications and to require emission permits, fees, and control devices prior to construction and/or operations of new projects. The U.S. Congress (through the CAA Section 116) also authorized local, state, and tribal air quality regulatory agencies to establish air pollution control requirements more 4-63

Surface coal mining operations in Montana and Wyoming were included in the air quality impact assessment as non-project emission sources (other reasonably foreseeable emission sources). Potential emissions from coal mining activities at each mine within the modeling domain were estimated for 2006, the projected peak emission year for CBM development. The coal mining emissions estimates were based on projected 2006 annual coal production estimates and mining locations provided by the Wyoming and Montana BLM and the reported emission rates per unit of coal production at each mine provided by the WDEQ/AQD and MDEQ/AWM. Construction emissions related to the proposed oil and gas development would occur during potential road and well pad construction, well drilling, and well completion testing. This analysis was prepared solely under the requirements of NEPA to assess and disclose reasonably foreseeable impacts to the public and BLM and USFS decision makers. The air quality impact assessment was based on the best available engineering data and assumptions, meteorology data, and dispersion modeling procedures, as well as professional and scientific judgment. However, where specific data or procedures were not available, reasonable assumptions were incorporated. Potential direct Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences (but not less) stringent than federal requirements. As discussed in Chapter 1, if the exchange is completed, P&M would acquire ownership of the federal coal in the PSO Tract. The impacts of mining the coal are considered in this EIS because P&M has indicated that they propose to open a surface coal mine if they acquire the federal coal in the PSO Tract. If P&M proceeds with their proposal to open a mine, they would have to have an approved air quality permit from WDEQ/AQD before the PSO Tract could be mined. Site-specific air quality analysis would be performed and additional emission control measures (including a BACT analysis and determination) may be required to ensure protection of air quality. The significance criteria for potential air quality impacts include state, tribal, and federally enforced legal requirements to ensure air pollutant concentrations will remain within specific allowable levels. These requirements include the NAAQS and WAAQS, which set maximum limits for several air pollutants, and PSD increments, which limit the incremental increase of certain air pollutants (including NO2, PM10, and SO2) above legally defined baseline concentration levels. These legal limits were presented in Table 3-4. Where legal limits have not been established, BLM uses the best available scientific information to identify thresholds of significant impacts. Thresholds have been identified for HAP exposure, incremental cancer risks, potential atmospheric deposition impacts to 4-64 sensitive lakes, and noticeable change” in visibility impacts. 4.8.4.1 Emission Sources The air quality impact analysis used market demand predictions in order to estimate levels of coal production in the PRB for modeling purposes. There is enough coal leased to the existing mines in the Wyoming and Montana PRB to supply this market demand during the time of maximum CBM development activity in the PRB, which is the time when the maximum overlapping impacts to air quality would occur. The air quality impact assessment considered production from the neighboring surface coal mines in Montana at levels that would supply anticipated market demand for the years considered in the analysis, but potential production from the proposed Ash Creek Mine was not considered in the analysis because no coal production or other impacts to air quality are anticipated to occur during the time frame that was considered in the air quality impact assessment. As a result, the cumulative impacts predicted by the PRB air quality impact assessment would be the same under the Proposed Action and the alternatives for exchanging or not exchanging the federal coal considered in this EIS. As discussed in Chapter 3, the major air pollutants emitted from surface coal mining activities are fugitive dust and tailpipe emissions from large mining equipment. Activities such as blasting, loading and hauling of overburden and coal Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange a “just potential

4.0 Environmental Consequences and the large areas of disturbed land all produce dust. Stationary or point sources are associated with coal crushing, storage, and handling facilities. In general, particulate matter (PM10) is the major significant pollutant from coal mine point sources. The measures that are being used to control air pollutant emissions from existing approved mining operations, which are also described in Chapter 3, include baghouse dust collection systems, PECs, or atomizers/ foggers, paving mine access roads, applying water and chemical dust suppressants on all haul roads used by trucks and/or scrapers, limiting haul truck speeds, limiting material drop heights for shovels and draglines (bucket to truck bed or backfill), utilizing permanent and temporary revegetation of disturbed areas to minimize wind erosion, and utilizing stilling sheds at coal truck dumps. In addition, some mines in the eastern PRB are participating in the control of fugitive emissions from some nearby unpaved county roads by applying dust suppressants. These measures would be applied if the exchange is completed and if P&M proceeds with the proposal to open a surface coal mine on the PSO Tract. Air quality impacts related to oil and gas development would occur during construction (due to potential surface disturbance by earthmoving equipment, vehicle traffic fugitive dust, well testing, as well as drilling rig and vehicle engine exhaust) and production (including non-CBM well production equipment, booster [field] and pipeline [sales] compression engine Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange exhausts). The amount of air pollutant emissions during construction would be controlled by watering disturbed soils and by air pollutant emission limitations imposed by applicable air quality regulatory agencies. Maximum construction impacts from fugitive dust (24 hour PM10) are estimated to be 55 Pg/m3, about one third of the applicable WAAQS. Actual air quality impacts depend on the amount, duration, location, and emission characteristics of potential emissions sources, as well as meteorological conditions (wind speed and direction, precipitation, relative humidity, etc.). For additional information about the cumulative impact analyses and assumptions used in the cumulative air quality impact assessment, refer to the Wyoming Oil and Gas Project EIS (BLM 2003a), the Montana Statewide EIS (BLM 2003b) and the Air Quality Impact Assessment Technical Support Document (Argonne 2002) 4.8.4.2 Predicted 	 Impacts Air Quality

The Wyoming PRB Oil and Gas Project EIS evaluates four alternatives in detail. Alternative 1 is the Proposed Action, which assumes that there would be a total of 51,400 CBM wells in the Wyoming PRB by 2012 (39,400 new wells plus 12,000 wells that were in existence when the EIS was prepared). The Proposed Action also assumes drilling of an estimated 3,200 conventional oil and gas wells in the same time period. Alternatives 2A and 2B evaluate alternate emission levels and water 4-65

4.0 Environmental Consequences handling scenarios. The BLM’s Preferred Alternative is a combination of Alternative 1 and Alternative 2A. Under Alternative 3 (the No Action Alternative), drilling would not occur on federal oil and gas leases but would continue on state and private oil and gas leases. BLM estimates that approximately 15,500 new CBM wells would be developed on state and private lands by 2012 under this alternative, in addition to the 12,000 existing wells. For the purposes of this EIS, the range of potential near-field impacts predicted by the air quality analysis conducted by Argonne National Laboratory for all three Wyoming oil and gas action alternatives are shown in the following tables, as well as the potential impacts predicted under the Wyoming No Action Alternative. Please refer to the Wyoming PRB Oil and Gas Project EIS (BLM 2003a) to see the individual results for each oil and gas action alternative. Wyoming PRB Oil and Gas EIS Alternatives 1, 2A, and 2B Under all three oil and gas action alternatives, potential direct project air quality impacts would not violate any local, state, tribal, or federal air quality standards under Alternative 1. Based on extensive air quality modeling of potential direct project air quality impacts (Argonne 2002), localized short-term increases in CO, NOx, PM10, and SO2 concentrations would occur, but all maximum concentrations are expected to be below applicable NAAQS and WAAQS. All maximum 4-66 near-field direct project NO2, PM10 and SO2 concentrations are expected to be below applicable PSD Class II increments (Table 4-10), and all maximum far-field direct project concentrations are expected to be below applicable PSD Class I increments (Appendix H). Although potential direct project impacts to even the most sensitive far-field lakes would not be significant, a “just noticeable change” in visibility was predicted to occur at from nine to 11 mandatory federal Class I areas, ranging up to five days at the Washakie Wilderness Area. The maximum potential direct project visibility impacts were predicted to occur on from 14 to 20 days per year on the Crow Indian Reservation. A detailed description of the air quality impact analysis is presented in Appendix H. Wyoming PRB Alternative 3 Oil and Gas

Potential direct project air quality impacts would not violate any local, state, tribal, or federal air quality standards under Alternative 3 of the Wyoming PRB Oil and Gas Project EIS, the No Action Alternative. Based on extensive air quality modeling of potential direct project air quality impacts (Argonne 2002), localized, short-term increases in CO, NOx, PM10, and SO2 concentrations would occur, but all maximum concentrations are expected to be below applicable NAAQS and WAAQS. All maximum near-field direct project NO2, PM10 and SO2 concentrations are expected to be below applicable PSD Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences

Table 4-10. Range of Predicted Maximum Potential Near-Field Impacts under Alternatives 1, 2A, and 2B of the Wyoming PRB Oil and Gas Project EIS (with Montana Alternative E).
Project (µg/m3) 6 to 8 3 9 to 10 1 3 5 4 25 to 31 2 12 to 24 132 to 156 170 to 224 1,500 3,500 8 19 10 38 to 43 1,624 to 1,656 3,670 to 3,724 17 30 17 42 21 67 to 73 20 91 512 3 8 8 4 11 13 25 17 26 to 28 100 60 260 1,300 50 150 15 65 10,000 40,000 Non-Project (µg/m3)1 Cumulative (µg/m3) PSD Class II (µg/m3) Background (µg/m3) Total (µg/m3)2 WAAQS (µg/m3) NAAQS (µg/m3) 100 80 365 1,300 50 150 15 65 10,000 40,000

Pollutant

Averaging Time

NO2	

Annual

SO2	

Annual 24-hour	 3-hour	 2 3 1 9 1 9 124 142 2 5 3 15 to 20 1 to 2 11 to 16 77 to 156 157 to 223

1

1

PM10

Annual 24-hour

PM2.5

Annual 24-hour

CO

8 	 -hour 1-hour

1	

2	

Non-Project sources include CBM sources in Montana and surface coal mining operations in Wyoming and Montana. The contributions from each source represent maxima and do not necessarily occur at the same location. Therefore the total concentrations will not always equal the sum of the monitored background, Project, and Non-Project concentrations.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange	

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4.0 Environmental Consequences Class II increments (Table 4-11), and all maximum far-field direct project concentrations are expected to be below applicable PSD Class I increments Appendix H. Although potential direct project impacts to even the most sensitive far-field lakes would not be significant, a “just noticeable change” in visibility was predicted to occur one day per year at the mandatory federal Class I Bridger, Fitzpatrick, and Washakie Wilderness Areas. The maximum potential direct project visibility impacts were predicted to occur on 10 days per year on the Crow Indian Reservation. A detailed description of the air quality impact analysis is presented in Appendix H. 4.8.4.3 Cumulative Impacts sources, including: 1) 4-km gridded wind field values derived from the MM5 (mesoscale model) with continuous four-dimensional data assimilation; and 2) hourly surface observations (wind speed, wind direction, temperature, cloud cover, ceiling height, surface pressure, relative humidity, and precipitation). Wyoming PRB Oil and Gas Project EIS and Montana Statewide Oil and Gas EIS potential air pollutant project sources were combined with non-project sources to determine the total potential cumulative air quality impacts. Coal mining operations in Wyoming and Montana were included as nonproject sources. Potential CO and NOx emissions were analyzed to predict potential maximum near-field PSD Class II impacts, as well as potential far-field impacts at 29 mandatory federal PSD Class I and other sensitive areas located in Wyoming, Montana, North and South Dakota, and Nebraska (Argonne 2002). Total concentrations are expected to be in compliance with applicable WAAQS and NAAQS (Appendix H). Table 4-12 presents the maximum predicted air pollutant concentrations at specified PSD Class I areas. Under the Alternatives considered in the Wyoming PRB Oil and Gas Project EIS, potential cumulative annual NO2 concentrations and potential cumulative 24-hour PM10 concentrations were predicted to be above the PSD Class I increment within the Northern Cheyenne Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

The EPA CALMET/CALPUFF dispersion model system was also used to predict maximum far-field potential air quality impacts at downwind mandatory federal PSD Class I areas, and other sensitive receptors, to: 1) determine if the WAAQS, NAAQS, or PSD Class I increments might be exceeded; 2) calculate potential nitrate and sulfate atmospheric deposition (and their related impacts) in sensitive lakes; and 3) predict potential impacts to visibility (regional haze). Argonne National Laboratory also conducted this analysis at the request of the Wyoming and Montana BLM. Meteorological information was assembled to characterize atmospheric transport and dispersion from several data 4-68

4.0 Environmental Consequences

Table 4-11.
Project (Pg/m3) Non-Project (Pg/m3)1 3 <1 2 5 1 9 0.7 9 124 142 183 261 1,500 3,500 1 13 8 19 9 32 1,683 3,761 2 16 17 30 17 42 19 58 <1 2 5 20 91 512 3 8 8 3 10 13 6 25 17 23 100 60 260 1,300 50 150 15 65 10,000 40,000 PSD Class II (Pg/m3) Background (Pg/m3) Total (Pg/m3)2 3 <1 1 1 1 7 <1 6 183 261 Cumulative (Pg/m3) WAAQS (Pg/m3)

Predicted Maximum Potential Near-Field Impacts under Alternative 3 of the Wyoming PRB Oil and Gas Project EIS (with Montana Alternative E).
NAAQS (Pg/m3) 100 80 365 1,300 50 150 15 65 10,000 40,000

Pollutant

Average Time

NO2	

Annual

SO2

Annual 24-hour 3-hour

PM10

Annual 24-hour

PM2.5

Annual 24-hour

CO

8 	 -hour 1-hour

1	

2	

Non-Project sources include CBM sources in Montana and surface coal mining operations in Wyoming and Montana. The contributions from each source represent maxima and do not necessarily occur at the same location. Therefore the total concentrations will not always equal the sum of the monitored background, Project, and Non-Project concentrations.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange	

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4.0 Environmental Consequences Table 4-12. 	 Maximum Predicted PSD Class I Area Cumulative Far-Field Impacts (in Pg/m3) under Wyoming PRB Oil and Gas Project EIS Alternative 1 and all P&M Land Exchange EIS Alternatives.
Averaging Period
Annual 24-hour Annual SO2 3-hour 24-hour Annual Source: Argonne 2002

Pollutant
NO2 PM10

Class I Area
Northern Cheyenne Reservation Northern Cheyenne Reservation Northern Cheyenne Reservation Northern Cheyenne Reservation Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Northern Cheyenne Reservation

Maximum Modeled Concentration (Cumulative)
4.2 12.8 1.7 5.1 2.4 0.3

PSD Class I Increment
2.5 	 	 8 4 	 	5 2 5 	 2 	

Reservation. Under the Wyoming PRB Oil and Gas Project EIS Preferred Alternative, cumulative 24-hour PM10 concentrations were also predicted to be above the PSD Class I increment within the Washakie Wilderness Area. These impacts would be the same under all of the alternatives considered in this EIS. As described in Appendix H, other PSD Class I areas had predicted far-field impacts below applicable increments. All PSD Class II areas had predicted far-field impacts below applicable PSD increments. This NEPA analysis compares potential air quality impacts from the proposed development to applicable ambient air quality standards and PSD increments, but these comparisons to the PSD Class I and II increments do not represent a regulatory PSD Increment Consumption Analysis. 4-70

Even though most of the development activities would occur within areas designated PSD Class II, the potential impacts on regional Class I areas are to be evaluated. For a new source review air quality permit application for a major source, the applicable air quality regulatory agencies may require a regulatory PSD increment analysis. More stringent emission controls beyond BACT may be stipulated in the air quality permits if impacts are predicted to be greater than the PSD Class I or Class II increments. Several lakes within four USFS designated wilderness areas were identified as being sensitive to atmospheric deposition and for which the most recent and complete data have been collected. The USFS has also identified the following LAC regarding potential changes in lake Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences chemistry: no more than a 10 percent change in ANC for those water bodies where the existing ANC is at or above 25 Peq/L; and no more than a 1.0 Peq/L change for those extremely sensitive water bodies where the existing ANC is below 25 Peq/L. Based on a Rocky Mountain Region USFS screening method (USFS 2000), Table 4–13 demonstrates that potential impacts to most sensitive lakes would be below applicable significance thresholds. However, under the Wyoming PRB Oil and Gas Project EIS action alternatives, potential non-project ANC impacts were predicted to exceed the 1.0 µeq/L impact threshold at the very sensitive Upper Frozen Lake within the PSD Class I Bridger Wilderness Area. In addition, under Wyoming PRB Oil and Gas Project EIS Alternative 1, cumulative ANC impacts were predicted to exceed the 10 percent impact threshold at Florence Lake within the PSD Class II Cloud Peak Wilderness Area. Potential impacts at all other sensitive lakes (and under all Wyoming PRB Oil and Gas Project EIS action alternatives) were below the ANC threshold levels. No sensitive lakes were identified by either the NPS or USFWS. Since the development of the project and non-project air pollutant emission sources constitute many small sources spread out over a very large area, discrete visible plumes are not likely to affect the mandatory federal PSD Class I areas, but the potential for cumulative visibility impacts (increased regional haze) is a Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange concern. Regional haze degradation is caused by fine particles and gases scattering and absorbing light. Potential changes to regional haze are calculated in terms of a perceptible “just noticeable change” (1.0 dv) in visibility when compared to background conditions. A 1.0 dv change is considered a small but noticeable change in haziness as described in the Preamble to the EPA Regional Haze Regulations (Federal Register, Vol. 64 No. 126, dated July 1, 1999). A 1.0 dv change is defined as about a 10 percent change in the extinction coefficient (corresponding to a two to five percent change in contrast, for a black target against a uniform sky, at the most optically sensitive distance from an observer), which is a small but noticeable change in haziness under most circumstances when viewing scenes within mandatory federal Class I areas. It should be noted that a 1.0 dv change is not a “just noticeable change” in all cases for all scenes. Visibility changes less than 1.0 dv are likely to be perceptible in some cases, especially where the scene being viewed is highly sensitive to small amounts of pollution, such as due to preferential forward light scattering. Under other view-specific conditions, such as where the sight path to a scenic feature is less than the maximum visual range, a change greater than 1.0 dv might be required to be a “just noticeable change.” This NEPA analysis is not designed to predict specific visibility impacts for specific views in specific 4-71

4.0 Environmental Consequences Table 4-13. Predicted Total Cumulative Change in Acid Neutralizing Capacity at Sensitive Area Lakes (percent change).
Wilderness Area Bridger

Lake
Black Joe Deep Hobbs Upper Frozen Ross Stepping Stone Twin Island Emerald Florence Lower Saddlebag

Background ANC (Peq/L) 69 61 68 5.8a 61.4 27 36 55.3 32.7 55.5

Area (hectares) 890 205 293 65 4,455 26 45 293 417 155

Change (percent) 2.2 to 2.1 2.5 to 3.0 1.3 to1.5 1.6 to 1.9b 1.8 to 2.1 2.3 to 2.5 1.6 to 1.8 5.0 to 6.0 8.9 to 10.7 3.2 to 3.8

Thresholds (percent) 10 10 10 1b 10 10 10 10 10 10

Fitzpatrick AbsarokaBeartooth Cloud Peak Popo Agie

Notes: a	 The background concentration is based on only six samples taken on four days between 1997 and 2001. b	 Since the background ANC value is less than 25 Peq/L, the potential ANC change is expressed in Peq/L, and the applicable threshold is 1.0 Peq/L. Source: Argonne 2002

mandatory federal Class I areas based on specific project designs, but to characterize reasonably foreseeable visibility conditions that are representative of a fairly broad geographic region, based on reasonable emission source assumptions. This approach is consistent with both the nature of regional haze and the requirements of NEPA. At the time of a preconstruction air quality PSD permit application, the applicable air quality regulatory agency may require a much more detailed visibility impact analysis. Factors such as the magnitude of dv change, frequency, time of the year, and the meteorological conditions during times when predicted visibility impacts are above the 1.0 dv threshold (as well as the modeling analyses assumptions) should all be considered when assessing the significance of predicted impacts. 4-72

The USFS, NPS, and USFWS have published their Final FLAG Phase I Report (Federal Register, Vol. 66 No. 2, dated January 3, 2001), providing “a consistent and predictable process for assessing the impacts of new and existing sources on AQRVs” including visibility. For example, the FLAG report states “A cumulative effects analysis of new growth (defined as all PSD incrementconsuming sources) on visibility impairment should be performed,” and further, “If the visibility impairment from the Proposed Action, in combination with cumulative new source growth, is less than a change in extinction of 10 percent [1.0 dv] for all time periods, the FLMs will not likely object to the Proposed Action.” Although the FLAG procedures were primarily designed to provide analysis guidance to PSD permit applicants, the following analysis Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences uses the Final FLAG Phase I Report procedures for this NEPA analysis. Based on multiple iterations of the non-steady state CALPUFF dispersion modeling system, including the CALMET meteorological model, for four different development alternatives, potential cumulative visibility impacts estimated by the seasonal FLAG screening method exceeded the impact thresholds (including the use of FLAG and WDEQ-AQD provided background extinction values) at all 29 sensitive areas analyzed. Therefore, potential maximum visibility impacts were estimated using the daily FLAG refined method (based on hourly optical extinction and relative humidity values measured at two IMPROVE monitoring locations) for each Class I and Class II sensitive area. Although the potential modeled impacts for each sensitive area were based on 1996 MM5 regional meteorology, these values were compared to hourly optical extinction and relative humidity data collected at two locations in the project area between 1989 and 1999. For example, since the 1.0 dv threshold was predicted to be reached within the mandatory federal PSD Class I Washakie Wilderness Area based on the seasonal FLAG screening methodology, the maximum modeled cumulative impacts at that area were also compared to representative hourly optical and relative humidity values measured at Bridger Wilderness Area between 1989 and 1999 using the daily Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange FLAG refined method (Table 4–14). The range of impacts was then summarized as the annual average number of days over the 11-year period predicted to equal or exceed a 1.0 dv “just noticeable change” (Table 4–15). The prediction of potential visibility impacts based on the daily FLAG refined methodology using measured optical extinction conditions is not intended to be an air quality regulatory analysis. Such analysis would be conducted by the applicable air quality regulatory agencies before actual development could occur. The applicable air quality regulatory agencies (including the state, tribe or EPA) would review specific air pollutant emissions pre-construction permit applications that examine sourcespecific air quality impacts. As part of these permits (depending on source size), the air quality regulatory agencies could require additional air quality impacts analyses or mitigation measures. Thus, before development occurs, additional site-specific air quality analyses would be performed to ensure protection of air quality. For further mitigation information see Section 4.6 and Appendix H. Coal mines develop predictive models (i.e., FDM ISCLT3) to assess the potential air quality impacts of their mining operations. Based on these predictive models conducted for PRB mines, mining operations do not have significant off-site particulate pollution impacts, even when production and pollution from neighboring mines are considered.

4-73

4.0 Environmental Consequences Table 4-14. 	 Predicted Visibility Impacts in the Mandatory Federal PSD Class I Washakie Wilderness Area from Direct Wyoming PRB Oil and Gas Project EIS Alternative Sources - Daily FLAG Refined Method (Average Number of Days per Year Predicted to Equal or Exceed a 1.0 dv “Just Noticeable Change”).
Alternative 1 2A 2B 3 1989 4 2 1 1 1990 2 2 2 0 1991 7 6 6 4 1992 6 5 5 3 1993 4 4 3 1 1994 7 6 6 1 1995 4 4 4 2 1996 6 5 4 2 1997 7 5 5 2 1998 2 1 1 0 1999 6 4 3 0

Note: 	 Potential cumulative visibility impacts were predicted using daily background optical and relative humidity conditions for each of the years listed above. Source: Argonne 2002

However, this prediction has been based on the assumptions that mining activities are sufficiently removed from the permit boundaries and that neighboring mines are not actively mining in the immediate vicinity (within 0.6-2.5 miles). Previous modeling (BLM 1992a) has shown that incremental particulate pollution impacts decrease to insignificant levels (<1.0 Pg/m3 PM10 annual average) within six miles of active mining. In the vicinity of the PSO Tract, there are two active surface coal mining operations, the Decker Coal Mine and the Spring Creek Coal Mine. Both are located in Big Horn County, Montana and both are located six or more miles from the PSO Tract. In cases where mines are in close proximity (within two miles), WDEQ follows a modeling protocol which accounts for all mine-generated particulate air pollutants from all nearby mines to determine impacts to ambient air quality. Known as the Mine A/Mine B modeling procedure, this model evaluates the total impacts of a given mining operation, including those impacts from and on neighboring mines. 4-74

The PSO Tract is not within two miles of an existing mine. Gaseous reddish-brown clouds, some containing concentrations of NOx, have been produced by overburden blasting at surface coal mines in the PRB. In 1995, 1998, and 1999, OSM received citizen complaints concerning NOx gases generated from blasting operations drifting off mine permit areas (OSM 2000). No citizen complaints were received by OSM or WDEQ during the 2001 evaluation year, which ended on September 30, 2001 (OSM 2002a) or the 2002 evaluation year, which ended on September 30, 2002 (OSM 2002b). These reddish-brown clouds generally do not overlap due to the distances between mines and the variation in blasting schedules. However, areas adjacent to the permit areas for this group of mines could be affected on different occasions by blasting clouds from several different mines, depending on the weather conditions. The nature of these blasting clouds and human health consequences resulting from short-term exposures to NOx are discussed in Section Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences Table 4-15. 	Predicted Visibility Impacts in Class I Areas - Daily FLAG Refined Method (Average Number of Days per Year Predicted to Equal or Exceed a 1.0 dv “Just Noticeable Change”) (Results shown are the predicted impacts under Wyoming PRB Oil and Gas Project Alternatives 1, 2A, 2B, and 3. Impacts related to coal mining under all South PRB Coal EIS Alternatives are included under “Non-Project Sources”).
Class I Area Badlands Wilderness Area Bridger Wilderness Area Fitzpatrick Wilderness Area Gates of the Mtns Wilderness Area Grand Teton National Park North Absaroka Wilderness Area Red Rock Lakes Wilderness Area Scapegoat Wilderness Area Teton Wilderness Area Theodore Roosevelt NMP2 (North Unit) Theodore Roosevelt NMP2 (South Unit) U.L. Bend Wilderness Area Washakie Wilderness Area Wind Cave National Park Yellowstone National Park Northern Cheyenne Reservation3
1	 1

Alt 1 3 4 4 0 1 4 0 0 3 0 1 1 5 4 3 17

Alt 2A 3 4 3 0 1 3 0 0 3 0 0 1 4 3 2 16

Alt 2B 1 3 3 0 0 2 0 0 2 0 0 1 4 2 1 14

Alt 3 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 7

Non-Project Sources 13 to 17 7 to 9 6 to 9 3 to 4 3 to 5 9 to 13 0 to 1 2 to 2 6 to 9 1 to 1 1 to 3 4 to 5 10 to 14 17 to 21 8 to 11 27 to 82

Cum Sources 18 to 28 8 to 12 8 to 12 3 to 4 4 to 8 11 to 15 0 to 3 2 to 3 7 to 11 1 to 3 2 to 7 5 to 8 12 to 18 22 to 28 9 to 13 33 to 92

Notes: The U.S. Congress designated the Wilderness Area portion of Badlands National Park as a mandatory federal PSD Class I area. The remainder of Badlands National Park is a PSD Class II area. 2	 NMP - National Memorial Park. 3	 Although the Northern Cheyenne Reservation is a tribal designated PSD Class I Area, it is not a mandatory federal PSD Class I area subject to EPA’s Regional Haze Regulations. Non-Project Sources - The impact of all air pollutant emission sources not included in Wyoming PRB Oil and Gas Project EIS Alt 1, Alt 2A, Alt 2B or Alt 3, including existing surface coal mines in Wyoming and Montana and the Montana Statewide EIS sources. The range of potential annual average days above a 1.0 dv “just noticeable change” in visibility corresponds to including Montana Alternative A (low) to Montana Alternative B/C/E (high). Cum Sources - The impact of all cumulative air pollutant emission sources combined, including Wyoming PRB Oil and Gas Project EIS Alt 1, Alt 2A, Alt 2B, Alt 3, and Non-Project Sources (which include the South PRB Coal EIS Proposed Action and Alternatives and Montana Statewide EIS sources). The range of potential annual average days above a 1.0 dv “just noticeable change” in visibility corresponds to: including Non-Project, Wyoming Alternative 3 and Montana Alternative A sources (low); up to including Non-Project, Wyoming Alternative 1 and Montana Alternative B/C/E sources (high). Source: Argonne 2002

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4-75

4.0 Environmental Consequences 4.4.4. There is no short-term ambient air standard for NO2 in Wyoming. In response to the public concern about these clouds and the potential consequences to human health, WDEQ and the mines have developed required and voluntary measures to protect the public from exposure to the clouds. These measures are described in Chapter 3 of this document. The mines in the eastern PRB have also been cooperating in a research and development effort aimed at reducing blasting clouds (Casper Star Tribune 2002). This research has led to changes in blasting agents and the size of blasting shots that have reduced NOx emissions during blasting. As indicated above, no citizen complaints were received by OSM or WDEQ/LQD during the 2001 and 2002 evaluation years. Another air quality concern is the venting of methane that occurs when coal is mined. As discussed in Section 3.4.3.1 of this document, methane is generated from coal beds. When coal is mined, by surface or underground methods, the methane that is present in the coal is vented to the atmosphere. Methane is a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. According to the EIA/DOE, U.S. anthropogenic methane emissions totaled 28.0 million metric tons in 2001 (U.S. Department of Energy 2002). U.S. 2001 methane emissions from coal mining were estimated at 2.78 million metric tons (10 percent of the U.S. total anthropogenic methane emissions in 2001). According to Table 14 of 4-76 that report, surface coal mining was estimated to be responsible for about 0.53 million metric tons of methane emissions in 2001. This represents about 1.89 percent of the estimated U.S. anthropogenic methane emissions in 2001, and about 19.06 percent of the estimated methane emissions attributed to coal mining of all types. Based on the 2001 coal production figures, it is estimated that Wyoming and Montana PRB surface coal mines were responsible for approximately 0.98 percent of the estimated U.S. anthropogenic methane emissions in 2001. In many areas, including the PRB, CBM is being recovered from coal and sold. On a large scale, recovery of CBM from the coal prior to mining by both surface and underground methods could potentially gradually reduce U.S. emissions of CBM to the atmosphere. In the PRB, CBM is being produced from the coal areas adjacent to and generally downdip of the mines. CBM is currently being produced from the same coal seams that would be mined if the exchange is completed and P&M proceeds with its proposal to open a new mine. As discussed in Section 4.4.2 of this EIS, BLM estimates that a large portion of the CBM reserves could be recovered prior to initiation of mining activity on the PSO Tract if the exchange is completed. CBM reserves that are not recovered prior to mining would be vented to the atmosphere.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences 4.8.5 Water Resources 4.8.5.1 Surface Water Streamflow may be reduced during surface coal mining because SMCRA and Wyoming State regulations require capture and treatment of all runoff from disturbed areas in sedimentation ponds before it is allowed to flow off the mine permit areas. Also, large surface coal mine pits, together with ponds and diversions built to keep water out of the pits, can intercept the runoff from significant drainage areas. Changes in drainage patterns and surface disturbance would decrease flows in most of the ephemeral and intermittent drainages exiting the mine sites. The proposed Ash Creek Mine would be located approximately six miles southwest of the closest active surface coal mining operation, which is the Decker Coal Mine in Big Horn County, Montana. Due to the distance between these two operations, there would not be many overlapping surface water impacts. Development of CBM resources in the general area of the mines could potentially increase surface flow in some drainages. The Wyoming Final EIS and Proposed Plan Amendment for the Powder River Basin Oil and Gas Project (BLM 2003a) and the Montana Statewide Oil and Gas Final EIS and Proposed Amendment of the Powder River and Billings RMPs (BLM 2003b) evaluate the surface water impacts that would potentially occur as a result of proposed CBM development in the Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange Upper Tongue River sub-watershed, which is where the PSO Tract is located. Modeling done for the Wyoming and Montana EISs indicates that the suitability of the Tongue River for irrigation may be compromised by the surface discharge of CBMproduced water during maximum CBM development in both states. Surface discharge to the Tongue River in both Wyoming and Montana currently is controlled by the two State DEQs. These agencies have agreed to an interim “no new discharge” policy that would not authorize untreated surface discharge of CBM waters to the Tongue River unless the water quality was at or near the existing level in the Tongue River. Southeastern Montana irrigators, CBM producers, and the MDEQ have been discussing water releases and water quality issues in the Tongue River drainage basin. A compromise was reached on March 28, 2003 and the State of Montana adopted numeric limits in water quality standards for CBM discharge water. Those limits are related to the irrigation season and the Tongue River’s seasonal discharge rate (Billings Gazette March 2003). In addition, the Wyoming EIS’s (BLM 2003a) Preferred Alternative (Alternative 2A) emphasizes the use of infiltration impoundments to dispose of CBM produced water. The amount of CBM produced water that ultimately reaches the major channels would be reduced by evaporation, infiltration into the ground, and surface landowners, who sometimes divert the produced 4-77

4.0 Environmental Consequences water into reservoirs for livestock use. These CBM water discharges would be constant, as opposed to naturally occurring flows which fluctuate widely on a seasonal and annual basis. The CBM discharges could result in erosion and degradation of small drainages, which could affect water quality and channel hydraulic characteristics. From a surface water standpoint, any increased flows due to CBM discharges occurring downstream of surface mining operations would tend to be offset by the reduced flows due to surface coal mining. The USGS has predicted that after reclamation, cumulative disturbance related to surface coal mining in the eastern PRB will result in increased runoff in major streams (Martin et al. 1988). This is based on the assumption that unit runoff rates would be increased after reclamation due to soil compaction. Other studies also indicate that soil infiltration rates are lower on reclaimed lands than on pre-mining lands due to changes in drainage patterns and surface disturbance. However, the reduction in slope after reclamation would provide enhanced opportunity for infiltration of precipitation which would tend to offset this temporary decrease in soil infiltration rates. Drainage from all the surface mines in the general vicinity enters the Tongue River and Tongue River Reservoir. The drainage area of the Tongue River at the State line (USGS Station 06306300) is approximately 1,477 square miles. 4-78 The entire disturbance area of the proposed Ash Creek Mine (2,595 acres) represents about 6.3 percent of the Youngs Creek watershed at its confluence with the Tongue River and less than 0.3 percent of the Tongue River watershed at the State line. This 2,595 acres would not all be disturbed at any one time. The entire area of disturbance from all surface mines within the Tongue River watershed upstream of the Tongue River Reservoir would impact approximately 0.5 percent of the drainage basin to that point. If the PSO Tract is mined as proposed, sediment concentrations should not increase substantially in the disturbed streams because, as discussed in Section 4.4.5.1, state and federal regulations require that all surface runoff from mined lands pass through sedimentation ponds. Although reclaimed soils may be more erosive for a few years after reclamation, the larger sediment production would not be delivered to streams due to sediment deposition as a result of flatter slopes on restored lands and sediment trapping by mandated sedimentation ponds. 4.8.5.2 Groundwater Each mine must assess the probable hydrologic consequences of mining as part of the mine permitting process. The WDEQ/LQD must evaluate the cumulative hydrologic impacts associated with each proposed mining operation before approving the mining and reclamation plan for each mine, and they must find that the cumulative hydrologic impacts Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences of all anticipated mining would not cause material damage to the hydrologic balance outside of the permit area for each mine. As a result of these requirements, each existing approved mining permit includes an analysis of the hydrologic impacts of the surface coal mining proposed at that mine. If revisions to mining and reclamation permits are proposed, then the potential cumulative impacts of the revisions must also be evaluated. If a decision is made to complete the exchange and P&M decides to construct a new surface coal mine, a mining and reclamation permit for the proposed Ash Creek Mine must be approved before the tract can be mined. A source of data on the impacts of surface coal mining on groundwater is the monitoring that is required by WDEQ and MDEQ and administered by the mining operators. Each mine is required to monitor groundwater levels and quality in the coal and in the shallower aquifers in the area surrounding their operations. Monitoring wells are also required to record water levels and water quality in reclaimed areas. Annual hydrology reports are submitted to the respective regulatory agency by Big Horn Coal Company, Ash Creek Mining Company, Spring Creek Coal Company, and Decker Coal Company. The major groundwater issues related to surface coal mining are: • 	 the extent of the temporary lowering of static water levels in the aquifers around the mine due to dewatering Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange associated with removal of these aquifers within the mine boundaries; • 	 the effect of the removal of the coal aquifer and any overburden aquifers within the mine area and replacement of these aquifers with backfill material; • 	 the effects to aquifers used for water supply that are submine disturbance levels; • 	 changes in water quality as a result of mining; and • potential 	 overlapping groundwater impacts in the coal due to proximity of coal mining and CBM development.

The impacts of large scale surface coal mining on a cumulative basis for each of these issues are discussed in the following paragraphs. Assessment of cumulative miningrelated groundwater drawdown impacts in this EIS is based on predictions made by the Ash Creek Mining Company that were included in the PSO No. 1 Mine Permit Application No. 407. This information was then extrapolated to consider mining of the PSO Tract. Figure 4-3 depicts the predicted drawdown in the Dietz 1/Dietz 3 coal seam aquifer over the life of the proposed Ash Creek Mine attributed to pit dewatering. The other active mines that are in proximity share an interconnected groundwater system; therefore, the areal extent and 4-79

4.0 Environmental Consequences magnitude of drawdown resulting from these other operations were investigated to evaluate the cumulative drawdown impacts by all three operations. As addressed in Sections 3.4.6.1 and 4.4.5.1, mining-related drawdown in the Dietz 1 and 3 coal seam aquifers would be prevented or substantially restricted by the northeast-trending fault planes that bound the northwest and southeast sides of the PSO Tract. Truncation of the coal seams by the structural faults serves as a barrier to groundwater flow; therefore, potentiometric declines during active mining would be strongly controlled by these faults. Furthermore, the seams that would be mined are not continuous to the southwest, so drawdowns can extend only to the northeast at any appreciable distance from the mine. Drawdown attributed to any other activity must therefore be present within the same fault block and be located northeast of the PSO Tract in order for a cumulative effect to occur. Due to the discontinuous nature of the coal seams that would be mined in the PSO Tract in the direction of the Big Horn Coal Mine, it is very unlikely that any residual drawdowns created by that mining operation would be additive with drawdowns that would result from mining the PSO Tract. The geographic extent and amount of drawdown associated with mining in the Decker/Spring Creek area is complicated by numerous northeast-trending normal faults that cross the area, similar to those 4-80 bounding the PSO Tract, which are discussed above. The aquifers that are affected by the Spring Creek Mine and that would be affected by the proposed Ash Creek Mine are separated by faults that would restrict or prevent an overlap of the groundwater drawdowns cause by these two operations. The Decker Mine and the PSO Tract do occur within the same fault block and therefore share the same coal seam groundwater flow system. No flow models have been developed for the Decker and Spring Creek Mines for use in predicting drawdown impacts. Rather, predictions for future drawdowns are based on current trend data and mine plans (MDEQ 1999). Based upon the Cumulative Hydrologic Impact Analysis for the Decker area that was prepared by the MDEQ in 1999, current drawdowns resulting from the Decker Mine do not extent into the PSO Tract area and they are not predicted to during the anticipated mine life. In Wyoming, coal companies are required by state and federal law to mitigate any water rights that are interrupted, discontinued, or diminished by mining. The effects of replacing the coal aquifer and overburden with a backfill aquifer is also a major groundwater concern related to surface coal mining. The following discussion of recharge, movement, and discharge of water in the backfill aquifer for the eastern PRB is excerpted from Martin et al. 1988; Post-mining recharge, movement, and discharge of Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences groundwater in the Wasatch aquifer and Wyodak coal aquifer will probably not be substantially different from pre-mining conditions. Recharge rates and mechanisms will not change substantially. Hydraulic conductivity of the spoil aquifer will be approximately the same as in the Wyodak coal aquifer allowing groundwater to move from recharge areas where clinker is present east of mine areas through the spoil aquifer to the undisturbed Wasatch aquifer and Wyodak coal aquifer to the west. In the eastern PRB, water monitoring data from 1990 to 2001 verify that recharge has occurred and is continuing in the backfill (Hydro-Engineering 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001). Data from backfill monitoring wells at the Big Horn and Decker Mines demonstrate that recharge to the backfill occurs readily in the northern PRB as well. The cumulative size of the backfilled areas in the Tongue River drainage would be increased by approximately 1,720 acres by mining the proposed Ash Creek Mine. Pre-mining recharge areas (i.e., clinker or scoria outcrops, alluvial valley subcrops) would continue to be the recharge sources for the post-mining backfill aquifer. The area in which the alluvial aquifers experience a five-ft drawdown would be much smaller Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange than the area of drawdown in the coal because the shallower aquifers are generally discontinuous, of limited areal extent, and are typically unconfined. If P&M develops the Ash Creek Mine as proposed, drawdowns in the alluvial aquifers would be expected to be very local. If the exchange is completed and P&M elects to construct a new mine, the WDEQ would require more detailed groundwater modeling to predict the extent of drawdown in the coal aquifers caused by mining the PSO Tract. WDEQ/LQD would then use the drawdown predictions to conduct a cumulative hydrologic impact analysis for this portion of the PRB. P&M would be required to install monitoring wells which would be used to confirm or refute drawdowns predicted by modeling. This modeling would be required as part of the WDEQ mine permitting procedure discussed in Section 1.2. Potential mining-related water-level decline in the sub-Dietz 3 coal is another groundwater issue. Mine water supply wells used by the Decker Coal Mine are located at least five miles away from the PSO Tract. Due to the distance involved, the possibility of additive drawdowns within a sub-Dietz 3 coal seam aquifer are unlikely. In addition, the zone of completion for the Decker Mine’s production wells may not be the same as that of the proposed Ash Creek Mine’s production well(s). Another issue of concern with groundwater is the effect of mining on water quality. Specifically, what 4-81

4.0 Environmental Consequences effect does mining have on the water quality in the surrounding area, and what are the potential water quality problems in the backfill aquifer following mining? In a regional study of the cumulative impacts of coal mining in the eastern PRB, the median concentrations of dissolved solids and sulfates were found to be larger in water from backfill aquifers than in water from either the Wasatch overburden or the coal aquifer (Martin et al. 1988). This is expected because blasting and movement of the overburden materials exposes more surface area to water, increasing dissolution of soluble materials, particularly when the overburden materials were situated above the saturated zone in the pre-mining environment. Using data compiled from ten surface coal mines in the eastern PRB, Martin et al. (1988) also concluded that backfill groundwater quality improves markedly after the backfill is leached with one pore volume of water. The same conclusions were reached by Van Voast and Reiten (1988) after analyzing data from the Decker and Colstrip Mine areas in the northern PRB. Clark (1995) conducted a study to determine if the decreases predicted by the laboratory studies occur onsite. In the area of the West Decker Mine, his study found that dissolved solids concentrations increased when water from an upgradient coal aquifer flowed into a spoils aquifer, and apparently decreased along an inferred path from a spoils aquifer to a downgradient coal aquifer. In general, the mine backfill groundwater TDS can be expected to 4-82 range from 3,000 - 6,000 mg/L, similar to the pre-mining aquifer, and meet Wyoming Class III standards for use as stock water. In the West Decker Mine study, the TDS concentration decreased from 4,100 mg/L to 2,100 mg/L along the inferred flow path from the spoils aquifer to a downgradient coal aquifer. One pore volume of water is the volume of water which would be required to saturate the backfill following reclamation. The time required for one pore volume of water to pass through the backfill aquifer is greater than the time required for the post-mining groundwater system to re-establish equilibrium. According to Martin et al. (1988), estimates of the time required to re-establish equilibrium range from tens to hundreds of years. According to monitoring data, water quality variation in the backfill at the Decker and Spring Creek Coal Mines in the northern PRB is attributable to changes in recharge or discharge associated with mine activity and may vary with the amount and source of recharge. However, as stated within the MDEQ’s Cumulative Hydrologic Impact Analysis for the Decker area (1999), TDS concentrations in backfill water would be lowered as upgradient groundwater recharges and flushes the backfill aquifer. The length of time needed for this to occur is unknown; however, the decline in water quality from the backfill aquifers is expected to be a long-term impact but is not anticipated to be permanent. As Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences indicated previously, the cumulative size of the backfilled areas in the Tongue River drainage would be increased by approximately 1,720 acres by mining the proposed Ash Creek Mine. No overlapping impacts to water quality in the backfill would be expected due to the distances between the proposed Ash Creek Mine and the other mines in this area (Decker, Spring Creek, and Big Horn). The potential for overlapping groundwater impacts from coal and CBM development is also a major groundwater issue in the PRB. As previously discussed, CBM drilling has occurred on and adjacent to the PSO Tract in Wyoming and CBM exploration and limited production was initiated in Montana, in the Decker area, in 1998. The Final EIS and Proposed Plan Amendment for the PRB Oil and Gas Project (BLM 2003a) includes a groundwater drawdown modeling analysis that considered existing and proposed CBM production in the area of the proposed Ash Creek Mine. It does not predict large CBM-related drawdowns in the area of the proposed Ash Creek Mine, which is generally located at the western edge of proposed CBM development in Wyoming. Any cumulative groundwater impacts would be limited in the northwest, southwest, and southeast directions from the proposed Ash Creek Mine area because of the coal seam aquifers’ lack of continuity in those directions. Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange In Montana, MDEQ’s Cumulative Hydrologic Impact Analysis (1999) for the Decker Mine was written prior to CBM dewatering effects and therefore does not account for potential cumulative drawdown effects. Potentially, drawdown impacts associated with CBM production could exceed the extent and amount of drawdown associated with mining in the Decker area. For example, after a production period of four months (December 1998 through March 1999), 11 CBM wells pumping at an average rate of 17 gpm each created sharp increases in drawdown at Decker Coal Company’s monitoring wells located a mile or more south of the West Decker Mine. At least 300 CBM wells are proposed south of the Decker Mine in Montana (MDEQ 1999). This level of CBM development would potentially cause substantial groundwater level declines within all of the producing coal seam aquifers in this general area. A large number of CBM wells have been drilled near P&M’s reclaimed Ash Creek Mine property, and hydrographs recorded by coal seam monitoring wells in the area reveal significant declines in groundwater levels since the last quarter of 2001. The Ash Creek Mine’s latest Annual Mining and Reclamation Report to the WDEQ/LQD presents records that show declines in all coal monitoring wells in the 2002 annual report period ranging from nine to almost 90 feet, most of which can be attributed to dewatering activities by nearby CBM operations (P&M 2002). Although an extended period of lower than normal precipitation has 4-83

4.0 Environmental Consequences affected water levels in alluvium, significant declines in water levels in the two monitored coal beds, the Dietz 1 and Dietz 3, cannot be attributed to drought conditions (P&M 2002). Monitoring well WR-39 (Figure 3-9), which is completed in the combined Dietz 1/Dietz 3 seam, has experienced an overall water level decline of more than 125 ft since the second quarter of 2001 (P&M 2002). As discussed in Section 4.4.5.2, two groundwater right holders in Montana have been identified as potentially affected by proposed mining operation on the PSO Tract, based on the assumption that both well completion depths are such that they produce water from the Dietz 1/Dietz 3 coal seam. Additional water supply wells completed in the coal seam aquifers in the general analysis area would be expected to experience drawdown as a result of CBM development. The increased dewatering or depressuring of the coal seam caused by CBM development and mining together would also increase the time required for water-level recovery to occur after the CBM and mining projects are completed. The groundwater impact analysis prepared for the Final EIS and Proposed Plan Amendment for the PRB Oil and Gas Project (BLM 2003a), which considered CBM development and coal mining operations, generally indicates that water levels would recover 75 to 80 percent of pre-operation conditions within 14-16 years following the cessation of CBM operations. This analysis also indicated that the rate 4-84 of recovery would slow dramatically after this initial recovery period, recovering to within 95 percent of pre-operations conditions over the next 100 years or so. 4.8.6 Alluvial Valley Floors No cumulative impacts to AVFs are expected to occur as a result of completing the exchange and subsequent mining of the PSO Tract. Impacts to designated AVFs are generally not permitted if the AVF is determined to be significant to agriculture. AVFs that are not significant to agriculture can be disturbed during mining but they must be restored as part of the reclamation process. Impacts during mining, before the AVF is restored, would be expected to be incremental, not additive. 4.8.7 Wetlands Wetlands are discrete features that are delineated on the basis of specific soil, vegetation, and hydrologic characteristics. Wetlands within areas of coal mining disturbance are impacted; wetlands outside the area of disturbance are generally not affected unless their drainage areas (hence, water supplies) are changed by mining. Therefore, the impacts to wetlands as a result of surface coal mining are mostly incremental, not additive as are impacts to groundwater and air quality. Increasing the area to be mined would increase the number of wetlands that would be impacted. COE requires replacement of all impacted jurisdictional wetlands in Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences accordance with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. As part of the mining and reclamation plans for each mine, COE approves the plan to restore the wetlands and the number of acres of wetlands to be restored. Replacement of functional wetlands may occur in accordance with agreements with the surface managing agency (on public land) or by the private surface owners. A total of 6.41 acres of federal surface lands are included in the PSO Tract. During mining and before replacement of wetlands, all wetland functions would be lost. The replaced wetlands may not function in the same way as the premine wetlands did. As discussed in Section 4.4.7, COE generally uses a programmatic general permit, 99­ 03, to authorize surface coal mining activities in wetlands and other waters of the U.S. in Wyoming. That permit has restrictions that do not allow the realignment or channelization of perennial streams. If the exchange is completed and P&M proceeds with their proposal to develop a surface coal mine in this area as indicated in Figure 2-2, resulting in the realignment or otherwise modification of Little Youngs and Youngs Creeks, the general permit process would not apply and an individual permit would be required. That process would require that P&M consider other alternatives, including completely avoiding impacts to these creeks and other sensitive aquatic resources with mining operations. 4.8.8 Vegetation Most of the land that would be disturbed is grassland and Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange sagebrush shrubland which is used for grazing and wildlife habitat. Rangeland is, by far, the predominant land use in the PRB. At the completion of mining, it is anticipated that all disturbed land would be reclaimed for grazing and wildlife habitat, mostly in the form of mixed native grass prairie, sagebrush shrubland and, where appropriate, bottomland grassland. Some of the minor community types, such as those occurring on breaks, would not be restored to pre-mining conditions but may be replaced to a higher level due to use of better quality soils. Based on annual reports prepared by Spring Creek and Decker Coal Companies and submitted to MDEQ, in any given year, approximately 1,500 acres of land disturbed by mining activities at these two existing surface coal mines would not be reclaimed to the point of planting with permanent seed mixtures. Over the life of these two mines, a total of about 13,629 acres would be disturbed. This disturbed area includes all leases existing including federal, state, and private coal. The proposed Ash Creek Mine would add another 2,595 acres. Almost all of this acreage is native rangeland and would be returned to a native rangeland state through planting of approved revegetation seed mixtures as required. The Big Horn Coal Mine and the Hidden Water Pits were reclaimed to a native rangeland state as well. Several impacts to vegetation would occur as a result of operations at the existing and proposed mines. 4-85

4.0 Environmental Consequences Most of the surface disturbance on the PSO Tract would occur in one vegetation type: mixed shrub grass prairie (78 percent). The Decker and Spring Creek Mines are currently restoring and the proposed Ash Creek Mine would restore the mixed native prairie grass and big sagebrush as required by law. It is estimated that it would take from 20 to 100 years for big sagebrush density to reach pre-mining levels. The big sagebrush component provides important wildlife habitat (particularly for mule deer, pronghorn, and sage grouse). The reduction in acreage of big sagebrush vegetation type would, therefore, reduce the carrying capacity of the reclaimed lands for pronghorn and sage grouse populations until sagebrush density reaches premining levels. Although some of the less extensive native vegetation types (e.g., graminoid/forb ephemeral drainages) would be restored during reclamation, the treated grazing lands would not. Following reclamation and release of the reclamation bond, however, privately owned surface lands would be returned to private management and the areas with reestablished native vegetation could again be subject to sagebrush management practices. Community and species diversities would initially be lower on reclaimed lands. The shrub and tree components would take the longest to be restored to pre-mining conditions. Shrub cover and forage values would gradually increase in the years following reclamation. 4-86 Over longer periods of time, species re-invasion and shrub and tree establishment on reclaimed lands should largely restore the species and community diversity on these lands to pre-mining levels. Over the long term, the net effect of the cumulative mine reclamation plans may be the restoration, at least in part, of all vegetation types originally found in the area. However, the shrub component may be substantially reduced in areal extent. Shrubs and trees are relatively unproductive for livestock but very important for wildlife. All of the vegetation types found in the cumulative analysis area, as on the PSO Tract, are fairly typical for this region of north-central Wyoming. Energy development in the PRB could allow the spread of weedy (invasive nonnative) plant species. The reclamation plan for the proposed Ash Creek Mine would include steps to control invasion by these plant species. Impacts to vegetation related to disturbance from CBM development would be added to the impact of mining. Generally, disturbances related to mining are intense but concentrated in a discrete area, while disturbances related to CBM development are scattered but spread out over a large area. 4.8.9 Wildlife The direct impacts of surface coal mining on wildlife occur during mining and are therefore short-term. They include road kills by minerelated traffic, restrictions on Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences wildlife movement created by fences, spoil piles, and pits, and displacement of wildlife from active mining areas. The indirect impacts are longer term and include loss of carrying capacity and microhabitats on reclaimed land due to flatter topography, less diverse vegetative cover, and reduction in sagebrush density. After mining and reclamation, alterations in the topography and vegetative cover, particularly the reduction in sagebrush, ponderosa pine, and Rocky Mountain juniper density, would cause a decrease in carrying capacity and diversity on the PSO Tract. These vegetation types would gradually become reestablished on the reclaimed land, but the topographic changes would be permanent. Cumulative impacts to most wildlife would increase as additional habitat is disturbed by mining and other activities, including CBM development. These impacts would moderate as land is reclaimed. Raptor and grouse breeding areas have been diminishing statewide for at least the last 30 years due, in part, to surface-disturbing activities. Coal mining and gas exploration and development have been identified as potential contributors to the decline in their breeding habitat. Therefore, surface occupancy and disturbance restrictions, as well as seasonal restriction stipulations, have been applied to operations occurring on or near these crucial areas on public lands. These restrictions have helped protect important raptor and grouse habitat on public lands, but Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange the success of yearlong restrictions on activities near areas critical to grouse has been limited because most of the surface in the PRB is privately owned. Erection of nesting structures and planting of trees on land reclaimed by surface coal mines would gradually replace raptor nesting and perching sites that are affected by development in areas affected by mining. There is little crucial habitat for waterfowl or fish on the mine sites, so mining would not substantially contribute to impacts to those species. Small- and medium-sized animals would move back into the areas once reclamation is completed. Numerous grazing management projects (fencing, reservoir development, spring development, well construction, vegetative treatments) have also impacted wildlife habitat in the area. The consequences of these developments have proven beneficial to some species and detrimental to others. Fencing has aided in segregation and distribution of livestock grazing, but sheep-tight woven wire fence has restricted pronghorn movement. Water developments are used by wildlife; however, without proper livestock management, many of these areas can become overgrazed. The developed reservoirs provide waterfowl, fish, and amphibian habitat. Vegetation manipulations have included the removal or reduction of native grass­ shrublands and replacement with cultivated crops (mainly alfalfa/grass hay), as well as a general reduction of shrubs (mainly 4-87

4.0 Environmental Consequences sagebrush) in favor of grass. These changes have increased spring and summer habitat for grazing animals but have also reduced the important shrub component that is critical for winter range, thus reducing overwinter survival for big game and sage grouse. The reduction in sagebrush has been directly blamed for the downward trend in the sage grouse populations. The regional EISs which covered the northern PRB (BLM 1981 and 1984) predicted that large-scale surface coal mining could potentially result in significant cumulative impacts to big game due to habitat loss; restrictions in seasonal and daily movement caused by railroads, access roads, and mining operations; poaching; urban development; range overuse; possible lack of water sources; increased road kills; and crop depredation. The WGFD has concluded that monitoring has demonstrated a lack of impacts to big game on the existing mine sites which are concentrated in the eastern PRB. No severe minecaused mortalities have occurred and no long-lasting impacts on big game have been noted on existing mine sites. The WGFD therefore has recommended that big game monitoring be discontinued on all existing mine sites in Wyoming. New mines will be required to conduct big game monitoring if located in crucial winter range or in significant migration corridors. No crucial or critical pronghorn habitat has been identified in the area of the PSO Tract, no crucial big game habitat or migration corridors are recognized by the WGFD for this 4-88 area, and mining operations in this area are not concentrated. The PSO Tract is within the Clearmont Pronghorn Herd Unit, which includes about 716,800 acres. The proposed Ash Creek Mine would be the only active surface coal mining operation within this herd unit. If the PSO Tract is mined, the total disturbance of 2,595 acres represents approximately 0.4 percent of the Clearmont Herd Unit area. The PSO Tract is located within the North Big Horn Mule Deer Herd Unit. The herd unit contains approximately 1.64 million acres. The proposed Ash Creek Mine would be the only active surface coal mining operation within this herd unit. If the PSO Tract is mined, the total disturbance of 2,595 acres represent approximately 0.1 percent of the North Big Horn Mule Deer Herd Unit. The WGFD big game herd unit maps show the PSO Tract is within the 5.5 million acre Powder River Whitetailed Deer Herd Unit. If the PSO Tract is mined, the total disturbance would equate to less than 0.05 percent of the herd unit’s area. The area of active mining in the general vicinity of the PSO Tract contains significant numbers of raptor nests. The largest concentration of nesting activity in the area is associated with the rough breaks country, stream valleys with trees, and upland areas where trees are established. Raptor mitigation plans must be included in the approved mining and Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences reclamation plans of each mine. The raptor mitigation plan for each mine is subject to USFWS review and approval before the mining and reclamation plan is approved. Any nests that are impacted by mining operations must be relocated in accordance with these plans, after special use permits are secured from USFWS and WGFD. The creation of artificial raptor nest sites and raptor perches may ultimately enhance raptor populations in the mined area. SMCRA requires surface coal mine operators to ensure that electric powerlines and other transmission facilities are designed and constructed to minimize electrocution hazards to raptors [30 CFR 816.97(e)(1)]. However, where power poles border roads, perched raptors may continue to be illegally shot and continued road kills of scavenging eagles may occur. Any influx of people into previously undisturbed land may also result in increased disturbance of nesting and fledgling raptors. Cumulative impacts to waterfowl from already-approved mining, as well as the proposed Ash Creek Mine, would be minor because most of these birds are transient and most of the ponds are ephemeral. In addition, impoundments and reservoirs that are impacted by mining would be restored. Sedimentation ponds and wetland mitigation sites would provide areas for waterfowl during mining. An 86­ acre post-mining impoundment was created within Big Horn Coal Mine’s reclaimed lands, providing excellent waterfowl habitat that did not exist prior to mining. Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange Direct habitat disturbance from already-approved mining, as well as the proposed Ash Creek Mine, should not substantially affect regional sage grouse populations because few vital sage grouse wintering areas or leks have been, or are planned to be, disturbed. However, noise related to the mining activity could indirectly impact sage grouse reproductive success. Sage grouse leks close to active mining could be abandoned if miningrelated noise elevates the existing ambient noise levels. Surface coal mining activity is known to contribute to a drop in male sage grouse attendance at leks close to active mining, and over time this can alter the distribution of breeding grouse (Remington and Braun 1991). Because sage grouse populations throughout Wyoming have been declining over the past several years, this impact could be significant to the local population when evaluated with the cumulative impacts of all energy-related development occurring in the area. The existing and proposed mines in the Sheridan Coal Field would cumulatively cause a reduction in habitat for other mammal and bird species. Many of these species are highly mobile, have access to adjacent habitats, and possess a high reproductive potential. The existing mines and the proposed Ash Creek Mine are not contiguous, and habitat adjacent to and between existing and proposed mines include sagebrush shrublands, upland grasslands, bottomland grasslands, improved pastures, haylands, wetlands, riparian areas, and ponderosa pine woodlands. As a 4-89

4.0 Environmental Consequences result, these species should respond quickly and invade suitable reclaimed lands as reclamation proceeds. A research project on habitat reclamation on mined lands within the PRB for small mammals and birds concluded that the diversity of song birds on reclaimed areas in the eastern PRB was slightly less than on adjacent undisturbed areas, although their overall numbers were greater (Shelley 1992). Cumulative impacts on fish habitat and populations would be minimal because local drainages generally have limited value due to intermittent or ephemeral flows. Some of the permanent pools along drainages support minnows and other nongame fish, and the larger impoundments and streams in the area which have fish populations would be restored following mining. The additional discussions of cumulative impacts to wildlife from coal development and industrialization of the PRB that are discussed in BLM regional EISs covering this area (BLM 1981, 1984) are incorporated by reference into this EIS. If the exchange is completed and P&M submits a detailed permit application package to WDEQ, the cumulative impacts of mining the PSO Tract will be assessed within the WGFD’s and the WDEQ/LQD’s review of the mine permit application and the WDEQ/LQD’s permit approval process. 4.8.10 	 hreatened, Endangered, T Proposed, and Candidate Plant and Animal Species

Refer to Appendix E. 4.8.11 Land Use and Recreation Surface coal mining reduces livestock grazing and wildlife habitat, limits access to public lands that are included in the mining area, and disrupts oil and gas development. In addition, when oil and gas development facilities are present on coal leases, all associated facilities and equipment must be removed prior to mining. Mining the coal prior to the recovery of all of the CBM resources from the coal bed being mined releases CBM into the atmosphere. The potential impacts of conflicts between CBM and coal development are discussed in Section 4.4.2. Cumulative land use and recreation impacts resulting from energy extraction in the PRB include a reduction of livestock grazing and subsequent revenues, a reduction in habitat for some species of wildlife (particularly pronghorn, sage grouse, and mule deer), and loss of recreational access to public lands (particularly for hunters). Mining the PSO Tract would not affect access to public lands because only 6.41 acres of public lands are included on the tract. The increased human presence associated with the cumulative energy development in the eastern PRB has increased the potential for legal and illegal hunting. Conversely, surface coal mines tend Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4-90

4.0 Environmental Consequences to become refuges for big game animals during hunting seasons since they are often closed to hunting. Reclaimed areas are attractive forage areas for big game. As an example, reclaimed lands at the Jacobs Ranch Mine in the eastern PRB have been declared crucial elk winter habitat by WGFD (Oedekoven 1994). Energy development-related indirect impacts to wildlife have and will continue to result from human population growth. Energy development has been the primary cause of human influx into the PRB. Mining the PSO Tract under the Proposed Action would provide employment for up to 20 years. Development of the PSO Tract and the ensuing employment increase may increase demand for recreational opportunities in Sheridan County. The demand for outdoor recreational activities, including hunting and fishing, has increased proportionately as population has increased. However, at the same time these demands are increasing, wildlife habitat and populations are being reduced. This conflict between decreased habitat availability and increased recreational demand has had (or may have) several impacts: demand for hunting licenses may increase to the point that a lower success in drawing particular licenses will occur; hunting and fishing, in general, may become less enjoyable due to more limited success and overcrowding; access to private lands for hunting and fishing may become more limited and expensive; Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange poaching may increase; the increase in people and traffic has and may continue to result in shooting of nongame species and road kills; and increased off-road activities have and will continue to result in disturbance of wildlife during sensitive wintering or reproductive periods. 4.8.12 Cultural Resources In most cases, treatment of cultural sites that are eligible for the NRHP is confined to those that would be directly impacted by mining, while those that may be indirectly impacted receive little or no consideration unless a direct mineassociated effect can be established. The higher population levels associated with coal development coupled with increased access to remote areas can result in increased vandalism both on and off mine property. Development of lands in which coal is strip-mineable (shallow overburden) may contribute to the permanent unintentional destruction of segments of the archeological record. A majority of the known cultural resource sites in the PRB are known because of studies at existing and proposed coal mines. Clearly, a number of significant sites, or sites eligible for nomination to the NRHP, have been or will be impacted by coal mining operations within the PRB. Ground disturbance, the major impact, can affect the integrity of or destroy a site. Changes in setting or context greatly impact historical properties. Mitigation measures such as stabilization, restoration, or moving 4-91

4.0 Environmental Consequences of buildings may cause adverse impacts to context, in-place values, and overall integrity. Additionally, loss of sites through mitigation can constitute an adverse impact by eliminating the site from the regional database and/or affecting its future research potential. Beneficial results or impacts can also occur from coal development. Valuable data are collected during cultural resource surveys. Data that would otherwise not be collected until some time in the future, or lost in the interim, are made available for study. Mitigation also results in the collection and preservation of data that would otherwise be lost. The data that has been and will be collected provides opportunities for regional and local archeological research projects. 4.8.13 Native American Concerns If the exchange is completed as proposed and the PSO Tract is mined, no cumulative impacts to Native American traditional values or religious sites have been identified. Native American groups can request additional information and can tour the area upon request. 4.8.14 Paleontological Resources Impacts to paleontological resources as a result of the already-approved cumulative energy development occurring in the PRB consist of losses of plant, invertebrate, and vertebrate fossil material for scientific research, public education (interpretive programs), and other values. Losses have and will result from the destruction, disturbance, 4-92 or removal of fossil materials as a result of surface-disturbing activities, as well as unauthorized collection and vandalism. A beneficial impact of surface mining can be the exposure of fossil materials for scientific examination and collection, which might never occur except as a result of overburden removal, exposure of rock strata, and mineral excavation. 4.8.15 Visual Resources A principal visual impact in this area is the visibility of mine pits and facility areas. People most likely to see these facilities would either be local residents, those passing through the area, or those visiting it on mine related business. Pits and mine support facilities are generally not visible from more than a few miles away, but coal loading facilities and draglines can be seen from farther away. Due to the distance between mining operations, cumulative overlap of mining-related visual impacts is not likely. After mining, the reclaimed slopes might appear somewhat smoother than pre-mining slopes and there would be fewer gullies, bluffs, and rock outcrops than at present. Even so, the landscape of the reclaimed mine would look very much like undisturbed landscape in the area and, in this area, the reclaimed mine areas would be separated by areas where the topography is not disturbed. 4.8.16 Noise Existing land uses within the PRB (e.g., mining, livestock grazing, oil Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences and gas production, transportation, and recreation) contribute to noise levels, but wind is generally the primary noise source. Mining on the PSO Tract would increase the number of noise-producing facilities within the area and may augment the level of impacts to other resources (e.g., increased exposure of wildlife to noise impact, increased noise impacts to local residents and recreational users). Mining-related noise is generally masked by the wind at short distances, so cumulative overlap of noise impacts between mines is not likely. Recreational users, local residents and grazing lessees utilizing lands surrounding active mining areas do hear mining-related noise; but this has not been reported to cause a substantial impact. As stated above, wildlife in the immediate vicinity of mining may be adversely affected by noise; however, observations at other surface coal mines in the PRB indicate that wildlife generally adapt to noise conditions associated with active coal mining. Cumulative increases in noise from trains serving the PRB mines have caused substantial increases (more than five dBA) in noise levels along segments of the rail lines over which the coal is transported to markets. However, no substantial adverse impacts have been reported as a result. 4.8.17 Transportation Facilities New or enhanced transportation facilities (roads, railroads, and pipelines) are expected to occur as a Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange result of energy development in the PRB. However, no new cumulative impacts to transportation facilities are expected to occur as a direct result of the proposed exchange and subsequent mining of the PSO Tract. Excluding the 24,000 ft overland conveyor that P&M proposes to construct between the mine to the BNSF mainline to the south, the transportation facilities for the proposed Ash Creek Mine are already in place. 4.8.18 Socioeconomics Wyoming's economy has been structured around the basic industries of extractive minerals, agriculture, tourism, timber, and manufacturing. Each of these basic industries is important, and the extractive mineral industry has long been a vital part of Wyoming's economy. Many Wyoming communities depend on the mineral industry for much of their economic well being. The minerals industry is by far the largest single contributor to the economy of Wyoming. The 2002 valuation on minerals produced in 2001 was $6,738,726,062. This was 60 percent of the state’s total valuation and placed Wyoming among the top ten mineral producing states in the nation (Wyoming Business Council 2003). Because most minerals are taxed at 100 percent of their assessed valuation, this makes the mineral industry a significant revenue base for both local and state government in Wyoming. From 1986 through 2000, coal production in Wyoming increased by over 203 percent, an average of 5.2 4-93

4.0 Environmental Consequences percent per year. WSGS projects coal production in the state to increase by about four percent per year from 2002 through 2005, with most of the increase occurring in Campbell County. In 1999, Wyoming coal supplied approximately 31 percent of the United States’ steam coal needs; PRB coal was used to generate electricity for public consumption in 27 states as well as Canada and Spain (Lyman and Hallberg 1999). PRB coal fueled nearly a third (32 percent) of the nation’s coal-fired power plants in 2001 (WSGS 2001b). Electricity consumers in those states have benefited from low prices for PRB coal, from cleaner air due to the low sulfur content of the coal, and from the royalties and bonus payments that the federal government receives from the coal. Locally, continued sale of PRB coal helps stabilize municipal, county, and state economies. By 2005, annual coal production is projected to generate about $2.6 billion of total economic activity, including $351 million of personal income, and support the equivalent of nearly 15,885 full-time positions (BLM 1996a). Although coal mining has historically been an important part of the economy of Sheridan County, this is no longer the case. The 2002 valuation on 2001 production of all minerals in Sheridan County was $35,851,556, or about 0.5 percent of the state’s total (Wyoming Business Council 2003). Final reclamation of the Big Horn Mine was completed by 2001; therefore, the only coal mining in the vicinity 4-94 occurs at the Decker and Spring Creek Mines in Montana. Although most of the employees at these mines live in Sheridan, most of the tax benefits go to Montana. Aside from natural gas (CBM), mineral commodity production in Sheridan County is projected to decline over the next five years (Wyoming Business Council 2003). The rate of CBM development in Sheridan County was impacted by the lack of a way to dispose of the produced water (refer to Section 4.4.2 in this document). Southeastern Montana irrigators, CBM producers, and the MDEQ have been discussing water releases and water quality issues in the Tongue River drainage basin. A compromise was reached on March 28, 2003 and the State of Montana adopted numeric limits in water quality standards for CBM discharge water. Those limits are related to the irrigation season and the Tongue River’s seasonal discharge rate (Billings Gazette March 2003). In addition, the Wyoming BLM’s preferred alternative (Alternative 2A) in the Final EIS and Proposed Plan Amendment for the PRB Oil and Gas Project (BLM 2003a) emphasizes the use of infiltration impoundments to dispose of CBM produced water. These recent solutions to the issue of how CBM produced water will probably be handled in the future should translate into an increase in CBM well drilling in Sheridan County. CBM development in the county should therefore experience slow, but steady sustained growth over the next 10 to 15 years (Kristiansen 2003). Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences 4.9 	 The Relationship Between Local Short-term Uses of Man
s Environment and the Maintenance and Enhancement of Long-term Productivity From the fifth year of operations on, the proposed Ash Creek Mine would plan to produce coal at an average production level of 10 million tons per year for 13 years under the Proposed Action (Table 2-1). As the coal in the PSO Tract is mined, almost all components of the present ecological system, which have developed over a long period of time, would be modified. In partial consequence, the reclaimed land would be topographically lower, and although it would resemble original contours, it would lack some of the original diversity of geometric form. The forage and associated grazing and wildlife habitat that the PSO Tract provides would be temporarily lost during mining and reclamation. During mining of the PSO Tract there would be a combined loss of native vegetation on 2,595 acres with an accompanying disturbance of wildlife habitat and grazing land. This disturbance would occur incrementally over a period of years. The mine site would be returned to equivalent or better forage production capacity for domestic livestock before the performance bond is released. Long-term productivity would depend largely on post-mining range-management practices, which to a large extent would be controlled by private landowners. Mining would disturb pronghorn and other big game habitat, but the PSO Tract would be suitable for pronghorn following successful reclamation. Despite loss and displacement of wildlife during mining, it is anticipated that reclaimed habitat would support a diversity of wildlife species similar to pre-mining conditions. The diversity of species found in undisturbed rangeland would not be completely restored on the leased lands for an estimated 50 years after the initiation of disturbance. Reestablishment of mature sagebrush habitat--which is crucial for pronghorn and sage grouse-­ could take even longer. There are several coal seams that have been identified as potentially economic CBM reservoirs in this area (Dietz 3, Monarch, and Carney). P&M proposes to mine the uppermost of those coal beds (Dietz 3) starting about 2008, depending on the coal market. Mining the Dietz 3 seam would allow CBM in that seam to be vented to the atmosphere. Removal of the Dietz 3 coal seam would not directly affect the CBM resources in the lower Monarch and Carney coal seams but would delay CBM recovery from those seams. During that delay, the CBM in those seams could be drained by wells drilled on lands adjacent to the PSO Tract. Several CBM wells have been drilled on the tract and more are proposed. As of April 2003, two CBM wells on the PSO Tract were producing. Depending on how quickly CBM wells are drilled and produced, it is likely that a substantial portion of 4-95

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences the CBM on the PSO Tract could be recovered prior to mining. Methane is a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. According to the EIA/DOA, U.S. anthropogenic methane emissions totaled 28.0 million metric tons in 2001, which was down from 28.7 million metric tons in 1999 (U.S. Department of Energy 2002). U.S. 2001 methane emissions from coal mining were estimated at 2.78 million metric tons, down from 3.12 million metric tons in 1999. There has been a 34.3 percent decrease in methane emissions from coal mines since 1990, which the report attributes to an increase in methane recovery from coal mines and a shift in production away form gassy mines. According to Table 14 of this report, surface coal mining was estimated to be responsible for about 0.53 million metric tons of methane emissions in 2001, but this number was reported as preliminary. This represents about 1.89 percent of the estimated U.S. anthropogenic methane emissions in 2001, and about 19.06 percent of the estimated methane emissions attributed to coal mining of all types. Based on the 2001 coal production figures, it is estimated that Wyoming and Montana PRB surface coal mines were responsible for approximately 0.98 percent of the estimated U.S. anthropogenic methane emissions in 2001. Total U.S. methane emissions attributable to coal mining would not likely be reduced if the federal coal is not exchanged and the PSO Tract is not mined at this time because total U.S. coal production 4-96 would not decrease if this tract is not mined. However, the methane on this tract would potentially be more completely recovered if mining operations are delayed, depending on how fast development of the CBM resource occurs relative to when mining operations begin. There would be a deterioration of the groundwater quality in the PSO Tract area because of mining; however, the water quality would still be adequate for livestock and wildlife. The deterioration in water quality would probably occur over a long period of time. As a result of mining, depth to groundwater would increase only within about one and one-half miles away from, and northeast of, the pits in the Dietz 1/Dietz 3 coal aquifer during mining. The water levels in the coal aquifer should return to pre-mining levels at some time (probably less than 100 years) after mining has ceased. Mining operations and associated activities would degrade the air quality and visual resources of the area on a short-term basis. Following coal removal, removal of surface facilities, and completion of reclamation, there would be no longterm impact on air quality. The long-term impact on visual resources would be negligible. Short-term impacts to recreation values may occur from reduction in big game populations due to habitat disturbance. These changes would primarily impact hunting in this general area. However, P&M does not presently allow hunting on the portion of the surface of the PSO Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

4.0 Environmental Consequences Tract. Reclamation would result in a wildlife habitat similar to that which presently exists, so there should be no long-term adverse impacts on recreation. The Proposed Action would enhance the economy of the region for 20 years. 4.10 Irreversible and Irretrievable Commitments of Resources The major commitment of resources would be the exchange of 107 million tons of federal coal which would be mined and consumed for electrical power generation. CBM that is not recovered prior to mining would also be irreversibly and irretrievably lost (see additional discussion of the impacts of venting CBM to the atmosphere in Section 4.9). It is estimated that one or two percent of the energy produced would be required to mine the coal, and this energy would also be irretrievably lost. The quality of topsoil on approximately 2,595 acres would be irreversibly changed. Soil formation processes, although continuing, would be irreversibly altered during mining-related activities. Newly formed soil material would be unlike that in the natural landscape. Direct and indirect wildlife deaths caused by mining operations or associated activity would be an irreversible loss. Loss of life may conceivably occur due to the mining operation and vehicular and train traffic. On the basis of surface coal mine accident Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange 4-97 rates in Wyoming as determined by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (1997) for the 10­ year period 1987-1996, fatal accidents (excluding contractors) occur at the rate of 0.003 per 200,000 man-hours worked. Disabling (lost-time) injuries occur at the rate of 1.46 per 200,000 manhours worked. Any injury or loss of life would be an irretrievable commitment of human resources. Disturbance of all known historic and prehistoric sites on the mine area would be mitigated to the maximum extent possible. However, accidental destruction of presently unknown cultural or paleontological values would be irreversible and irretrievable.

5.0 Consultation and Coordination 5.0 CONSULTATION AND 	 COORDINATION •	 The Sheridan Press - December 21, 28, 2000, January 4, 11, 2001. The BLM filed a Notice of Intent to Prepare an EIS and a Notice of Scoping in the Federal Register on February 14, 2001. The filing served as notice that the P&M exchange proposal had been received and public comment was requested. Public scoping meetings were held on March 5, 2001 in La Barge, Wyoming, March 6, 2001 in Rawlins, Wyoming and March 7, 2001 in Sheridan, Wyoming. At the public meetings P&M, BLM, and USFS personnel orally presented information about the exchange process and the properties proposed for exchange. The presentations were followed by a question and answer period, during which oral comments were made. The scoping period extended from February 14 through March 31, 2001, during which time BLM received 23 written comments. A Notice of Availability for the Draft EIS was published in the Federal Register on May 24, 2002. The 60­ day comment period on the Draft EIS ended on July 23, 2002. BLM received 21 written comment letters on the Draft EIS, which are included, with responses, as Appendix I in this Final EIS. After the Final EIS is published, a public meeting will be held to receive public comments on the public interest factors of the proposed exchange, as required by 43 CFR 2203.3.

In addition to this EIS, other factors and consultations are considered and play a major role in determining the decision on this proposed exchange. These include the following. Regional Coal Team Consultation. The P&M Exchange Proposal was reviewed and discussed at the February 23, 1999 PRRCT public meeting held on October 27, 1999 in Gillette, Wyoming. P&M presented information about their proposed exchange to the PRRCT at this meeting. The PRRCT recommended that the BLM continue to process the exchange and instructed BLM to proceed with an EIS to evaluate the environmental effects of the exchange. Public Notice. The BLM published the Notice of Exchange Proposal for four consecutive weeks, as required by the regulations at 43 CFR 2201.2(a) in the following newspapers: •	 Rawlins Daily Times - 
 December 22, 28, 2000, 
 January 4, 11, 2001;
 •	 The Kemmerer Gazette - 
 December 21, 28, 2000, 
 January 4, 11, 2001; 
 •	 The Daily Rocket-Miner December 21, 28, 2000, January 4, 11, 2001;

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

5-1

5.0 Consultation and Coordination Attorney General Consultation. After the Final EIS is published and the public meeting or meetings are held, the BLM will forward to the U.S. Attorney General copies of the comments received in response to the request for public comments, the transcript of the public meeting or meetings, and copies of written comments received at the public meeting or meetings. Other Consultations. Other federal, state, and local governmental agencies that were directly consulted in preparation of this EIS are listed in Table 5-1. List of Preparers. This EIS was prepared by WWC Engineering, a third-party contractor, under the direction of the BLM. Representatives from cooperating agencies contributed to and participated in the NEPA process. Tables 5-2 and 5-3 provide listings of the BLM, OSM, and USFS interdisciplinary team and the third-party consultant personnel who prepared and reviewed this EIS. Distribution List. This EIS was distributed to numerous Congressional offices, federal agencies, state governments, local governments, industry representa­ tives, interest groups, and individuals for their review and comment (Table 5-4).

Table 5-1.

Other Federal, State, and Local Governmental Agencies Consulted in EIS Preparation.
Individual 5 Voting Members and 21 Nonvoting Members Lynn Jahnke Position Advisory Group Wildlife & Fish Supervisor

Agency or Organization Powder River Regional Coal Team Wyoming Game and Fish Department Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality Air Quality Division

Darla Potter Judy Shamley Mike Warren

Senior Analyst Senior Analyst Senior Analyst Blasting Program Principal Assistant Supervisor Senior Analyst Senior Analyst Supervisor Mineral Tax Division Director

Land Quality Division

Doug Emme Bob Giurgevich

Water Quality Division Abandoned Mine Lands Division Wyoming Oil and Gas Commission Wyoming Department of Commerce

Maggie Davison Tim Richmond Don Likwartz Dale Hoffman

5-2

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

5.0 Consultation and Coordination Table 5-1. 	 Other Federal, State, and Local Governmental Agencies Consulted in EIS Preparation (continued).
Agency or Organization Wyoming Department of Information and Administration Wyoming Department of Revenue Montana Department of Environmental Quality Land Quality Division Air Quality Division Claudia Furiof Robert Jeffrey Head of Coal Bureau Senior Analyst Individual 	 Wenlin Liu Dean Ternte Position Division of Economic Analysis, Senior Economist Senior Economist

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

5-3

5.0 Consultation and Coordination Table 5-2.
Name

List of Contributors and Reviewers.
Project Responsibility BLM Casper Field Office Project Supervisor BLM Wyoming State Office Coal Program Coordination NEPA Coordination Exchange Coordination Exchange Coordination Air Quality and Climate BLM Buffalo Field Office Cultural Resources Wildlife Resources Wildlife Resources EIS Coordination BLM Rawlins Field Office Exchange Coordination Wildlife/Vegetation Resources Hazardous Materials Assessment Vegetation and Rangeland BLM Pinedale Field Office EIS Coordination BLM National Science and Technology Center Air Quality and Climate

Mike Karbs

Bob Janssen Janet Kurman Mel Schlagel Tamara Gertsch Susan Caplan

B.J. Earle Tom Bills Larry Gerard John Kolnik

Larry Jackson Frank Blomquist Alberta Settle Andy Warren

Bill Wadsworth

Scott Archer

Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Western Regional Coordinating Center Floyd McMullen EIS Project Coordinator U.S. Forest Service Bridger-Teton National Forest EIS and Exchange Coordination Cultural Resources Wildlife Resources

Mark Booth Jamie Schoen Fred Fouse

5-4

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

5.0 Consultation and Coordination Table 5-3.
Name

List of Preparers.
Education/Experience BLM Casper Field Office M.S., B.S. Geology, 26 years professional experience M.S., B.S. Geology, 27 years professional experience Responsibility

Nancy Doelger Ed Heffern

EIS Project Leader/Editor Welch Ranch Coal Fire Report main author

Ken Collier

Doyl Fritz

Mal McGill Rodney Ventling Heidi Robinson

WWC Engineering-Third Party Contractor B.S. Geology, Project Management 24 years professional experience Report Preparation (Licensed Wyoming Geologist) M.S., B.S. Civil Engineering, Report Preparation 31 years professional experience (Licensed Professional Engineer) 2 years professional experience CADD 11 years professional experience CADD 10 years professional experience Document Production Intermountain Resources-Subcontractor M.S., B.S. Wildlife Management, Physical Resources 23 years professional experience B.S. Wildlife Management, Physical Resources 10 years professional experience B.S. Agronomy, Soil Baseline 33 years professional experience GCM Services, Inc.-Subcontractor M.A. Anthropology, Cultural Resources 14 years professional experience B.A. Anthropology, Cultural Resources 10 years professional experience McVehil-Monnett Associates, Inc.-Subcontractor B.S. Meteorology, Air Quality 23 years professional experience Ph.D. CCM, B.S. M.S., Ph.D. Meteorology, Air Quality 40 years professional experience. Argonne National Laboratories PhD. Environmental Health Engineering, 30 years professional experience Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, 20 years professional experience

Jim Orpet Russell Tait Bill Glenn

David Ferguson Garren Meyer

William R. Monnett George E. McVehil

Kyong C. Chun Young-soo Chang

Cumulative Air Quality Impact Assessment Cumulative Air Quality Impact Modeling

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

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5.0 Consultation and Coordination Table 5-4. Distribution List - Final EIS.
Bob Bennett BLM Wyoming State Director Powder River Regional Coal Team Voting Members Honorable Judy Martz Honorable Dave Freudenthal Governor of Montana Governor of Wyoming Martin Ott BLM Montana State Director Alan Rabinoff BLM Deputy State Director Minerals and Land

Powder River Regional Coal Team Non-Voting and Alternate Voting Members Big Horn County Planning BLM Wyoming State Office BLM Montana State Office Board, Montana BLM Washington Office Gillette Department of Community Development U.S. Geological Survey Denver, CO Powder River County, Montana Bureau of Indian Affairs Billings, Montana Montana Office of the Governor Northern Cheyenne Tribal Council Rocky Mountain Regional Solicitor’s Office Denver, CO Crow Tribal Council National Park Service, Devils Tower National Monument Office of Surface Mining Reclamation & Enforcement, Denver, CO Rosebud County, Montana

U.S. Forest Service, Medicine U.S. Forest Service, Douglas Bow National Forest Ranger District Laramie, WY Douglas, WY Bureau of Indian Affairs Billings, MT Congressional Offices U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Cubin Casper, WY Rock Springs, WY Federal Agencies BLM Washington, D.C. Rawlins, WY Pinedale, WY Buffalo, WY Miles City, MT Casper, WY Minerals Management Service Herndon, VA Denver, CO U.S. Senator Craig Thomas Casper, WY Sheridan, WY Rock Springs, WY Bureau of Indian Affairs 
 Washington, D.C. 
 Denver, CO 
 Bureau of Reclamation 
 Denver, CO 
 Washington, D.C. 
 National Park Service
 Lakewood, CO 
 Washington, D.C. 
 Kemmerer, WY 


U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Cheyenne, WY

U.S. Senator Mike Enzi 
 Casper, WY 
 Gillette, WY 
 Jackson, WY 
 Environmental Protection Agency Denver, CO Washington, D.C. Federal Highway 
 Administration
 Washington, D.C. 
 Office of Environmental Policy Washington, D.C.

Office of Surface Mining U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Reclamation and Enforcement Omaha, NE Casper, WY Cheyenne, WY Washington, D.C.

U.S. Forest Service Lakewood, CO Kemmerer, WY Washington, D.C.

5-6

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

5.0 Consultation and Coordination Table 5-4. Distribution List - Final EIS (continued).
U.S. Geological Survey Cheyenne, WY Washington DC Federal Agencies (continued) U.S. Department of Energy U.S. Department of the Casper, WY Interior Denver, CO U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Washington, D. C. State Government Rep. Jack Landon Sheridan, WY Rep. Douglas Osborn Buffalo, WY Rep. Stan Cooper Kemmerer, WY Senator Delaine Roberts Etna, WY State Agencies Montana Department of Environmental Quality Helena, MT Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office Cheyenne, WY Wyoming Industrial Siting Division Cheyenne, WY Wyoming Parks & Cultural Resources Department Cheyenne, WY Rep. Rosie Berger Sheridan, WY Rep. George Bagby Rawlins, WY Rep. Randall Luthi Freedom, WY Senator John Schiffer Kaycee, WY Wyoming Water Development Commission Cheyenne, WY Wyoming Oil & Gas Conservation Commission Casper, WY Wyoming Snowmobile Program Manager Cheyenne, WY Wyoming Public Service Commission Cheyenne, WY Rep. Jerry Iekel Sheridan, WY Rep. Kurt Bucholz Saratoga, WY Senator Bruce Burns Sheridan, WY Senator Bill Vasey Rawlins, WY Wyoming State Engineer's Office Cheyenne, WY Wyoming State Geological Survey Laramie, WY Wyoming State Inspector of Mines Rock Springs, WY Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality Cheyenne, WY Sheridan, WY Wyoming Department of Agriculture Cheyenne, WY Wyoming State Clearinghouse Cheyenne, Wyoming Wyoming Business Council Cheyenne, WY Office of Federal Land Policy Cheyenne, WY

Wyoming Division of Economic Wyoming Department of Analysis Transportation Cheyenne, WY Cheyenne, WY Wyoming Department of Employment Research and Planning Casper, WY Wyoming Game and Fish Department Cheyenne, WY Sheridan, WY Kemmerer, WY Cokeville, WY Green River, WY Pinedale, WY

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

5-7

5.0 Consultation and Coordination Table 5-4. Distribution List - Final EIS (continued).
Carbon County Commission Sweetwater County Commission Mayor of Diamondville Mayor of La Barge City and County Governments Sheridan County Commission Lincoln County Commission Sublette County Commission Mayor of Sheridan Mayor of Evanston Lincoln County Planner Fremont County Commission Mayor of Cokeville Mayor of Kemmerer Mayor of Afton Crow Creek Sioux Tribal Council Shoshone Spiritual Leader Delphine Clair Flandreau Santee Sioux Executive Committee Arapaho Business Council Northern Cheyenne Tribal Council Rosebud Sioux Tribe Standing Rock Sioux Agency

Indian Tribes and Tribal Governments Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Clifford Long Sioux Crow Tribal Administration Shoshone Spiritual Leader Haman Wise Lower Brule Sioux Tribe Northern Cheyenne Cultural Committee Oglala Sioux Tribal Council Santee Sioux Tribal Council Shoshone Business Council Shoshone Tribal Attorney Arapaho Spiritual Leader Bobby Joe Goggles Northern Cheyenne Traditional Spokesperson Steven Brady Oglala Sioux Tribal Administration Southern Cheyenne/ Southern Arapaho Tribal Offices Shoshone Bannock Tribes Fort Hall Idaho

William C'Hair Howard Antelope, Sr. Industry and Business American Colloid Company Ark Land Company Bridgeview Coal Company Burns & McDonnell CH2M Hill Davis & Cannon Dry Fork Coal Company ECC Environmental Solutions Farleigh Oil Properties Glenrock Coal Company

Sicangu Lakota Treaty Council

Antelope Coal Company Belle Ayr Mine Buckskin Mine C.H. Snyder Company Consol, Inc. Decker Coal Company Ducker, Montgomery, Lewis, & Aronstein, P.C El Paso Production Company Evergreen Enterprises Flying E Ranch Greystone

Aqua Terra Consultants Bjork, Lindley, Danielson, & Baker Burlington Northern Railroad Company CE&MT, Inc Cordero-Rojo Mine Complex Diamond H Ranch Eagle Butte Mine ENCOAL Exxon Company USA Foster-Wheeler Environmental Hardin & Associates

5-8

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

5.0 Consultation and Coordination Table 5-4. Distribution List - Final EIS (continued).
Intermountain Resources J.M. Huber Corporation Kenneth R. Paulsen Cons. KN Energy Marston & Marston McVehil-Monnett Associates, Inc. Mining Associates of Wyoming Norwest Mine Services Pacificorp/Interwest Mng. Poudre Environmental Consultants RAG Coal West Inc. Reserve Coal Properties San Juan Coal Company Stone & Wolf, LLC Three Forks Ranch Torch Energy URS Greiner Woodward Clyde V Cross Cattle Company Western Fuels Association Wyodak Resources Development Corp. Industry and Business (continued) Independent Production Institute for Policy Research, Company Northwestern University International Alcoholic Treatment Jacobs Ranch Coal Corporation Kfx Wyoming Inc. L.E. Peabody & Associates McCarty Canyon Ranch Meineadair Consultants Nerco Coal Company P&M Coal Mining Company Padlock Ranch Company Powder River Energy Corporation Range Telephone Coop. Riverside Technology, Inc. Shea & Gardner The Rim Companies Thunder Basin Coal Company TRC Environmental U.S. West Communications, Inc. Wal-Mart Western Gas Resources Yates Petroleum Company Irox Ranch Kennecott Energy Company Kiewit Mining Group M & K Oil Company, Inc. McGraw-Hill Mine Engineers, Inc. North Rochelle Mine Pacificorp PIC Technologies Powder River Coal Company Redstone Resources Royal Gold, Inc. Shell Mining Company Thompson Logging Thunderbird Wildlife Consulting Triton Coal Company Utah Power & Light Property Service Western Energy Company WWC Engineering Williams Production RMT American Wildlands Foundation for North American Wild Sheep Izaak Walton League of America Medicine Wheel Coalition People for the West

Interest Groups and Professional Societies Advisory Council on Historic Alliance for the Wild Rockies Preservation Big Horn Audubon Society Biodiversity Conservation Alliance La Barge Area Public Land Users Murie Audubon Society Cheyenne High Plains Audubon Society Greater Yellowstone Coalition Lincoln-Uinta Association of Gov. National Mining Association

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

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5.0 Consultation and Coordination Table 5-4. Distribution List - Final EIS (continued).
Pheasants Forever The Fund for Animals Wildlife Management Institute Wyoming Bankers Association Wyoming Mining Association Wyoming Stock Growers Association Western Land Exchange

Interest Groups and Professional Societies (continued) People for Wyoming Petroleum Association of Wyoming Powder River Basin Resource Council The Nature Conservancy Public Lands Project Wind River Multiple Use Advocates Wyoming Business Council Wyoming Outdoor Council Wyoming Wildlife Federation Media Associated Press Cheyenne-Wyoming Eagle Gillette News Record Sheridan Press Rock Springs Rocket Miner Libraries Colorado State University Libraries OSM Technical Library Individuals Todd Anderson Ralph Barbero Jeff Bertot Eugene Call Steve and Linda Cox Cecil Cundy L.N. Davis Neil Delapp Helen Anelli Calvin Barnes Sheldon Bierman Craig Chadwick Don Crecelius Arnold Cunningham Jerry Daub Mark Domek Sierra Club Trout Unlimited Wyoming Association of Professional Archeologists Wyoming Geological Association Wyoming Public Lands Council Wyoming Wool Growers Association Casper Journal Coal Daily Rocky Mountain Oil Journal Rawlins Daily Times KSGT Radio

Casper Star-Tribune Douglas Budget Western Coal Newsletter Kemmerer Gazette

Department Of the Interior Natural Resources Library

University of Wyoming Libraries

George Baker Scott Benson Mike Blenkush Bob and Nancy Combs Robert Crooks Shelly Damon Sharon Dayton Clint Erickson

5-10

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

5.0 Consultation and Coordination Table 5-4.
David Eugster Leo Hakola Ted Harmon Michael Helvey Mike Hunzie Brian Kennedy Clayton Lunde Frank & Mary Mommsen F.L. Natta Anthony Poeschl Gene Robinson Lloyd Schreibeis Lonnie Smith Thomas Thrash Ralph Urbigheit John Williams Clyde Wolfley

Distribution List - Final EIS (continued).
Robin Gregory Pam Hamilton Lillian Harrower Steve Hoffman Gerald Jacob William Krall Louis Madrid Trust Celia Myres Ray Okelberry Lori Roberts Bill Saulcy Norman Schreibeis Bill Thek Norris Tratnik Jim Vilos John Willson Art Zeiger Dan Hadley Jerry Hansen Lee Helvey Jim & Lynn Howe Bruce Jones Frank Lentz Dean McClure Bill Nation Ed Patterson C.J. Robertson Milton Schreibeis Mike Shaffer Blaine Thoman Ray & Pam Tucker J. Michael Watkins Mark Winland

Individuals (continued)

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

5-11

6.0 References Cited 6.0 REFERENCES CITED Bureau of Land Management (BLM), 1981, Final Powder River Regional Coal Environmental Impact Statement. USDI, BLM. , 1984, Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Round II Coal Lease Sale in the Powder River Region. USDI, BLM. , 1985, Buffalo Area Resource Management Plan Environ­ mental Impact Statement. USDI, BLM. , 1988a, Pinedale Resource Management Plan. USDI, BLM. , 1988b, National Environ­ mental Policy Act Handbook H­ 1790-1. USDI, BLM. , 1990, Great Divide Resource Area Record of Decision and Approved Resource Manage­ ment Plan. Rawlins District Office, Great Divide Resource Area, Rawlins, Wyoming. USDI, BLM. , 1992a, Final Environmental Assessment for the West Black Thunder Coal Lease Application. USDI, BLM. , 1992b, Final West Rocky Butte Coal Lease Application Environmental Impact Statement. USDI, BLM. , 1996a, Draft Economic Summary for the Buffalo Resource Area. USDI, BLM. , 1996b, Draft Natural Systems Paper for the Buffalo Resource

Argonne , 2002, Technical Support Document – Air Quality Impact Assessment for the Montana Final Statewide Oil and Gas Environmental Impact Statement and Proposed Amendment of the Powder River and Billings Resource Management Plans and the Final Environmental Impact Statement and Draft Planning Amendment for the Powder River Basin Oil and Gas Project. Prepared for the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Montana and Wyoming State Offices, by the Environmental Assessment Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois. Ash Creek Mining Company, 1984, PSO #1 Mine Permit Application. On file with WDEQ/LQD; Sheridan and Cheyenne, Wyoming. Beckes, M.R., and J.D. Keyser, 1983, The Prehistory of the Custer National Forest: An Overview. USDA Custer National Forest, Billings, Montana. Big Horn Coal Company (BHCC), August 2001, 2000-2001 Annual Mining and Reclamation Report. On file with WDEQ/LQD in Sheridan and Cheyenne, Wyoming. Billings Gazette, March 2003, “Compromise CBM rules set”, by Jennifer McKee, March 29. Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

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6.0 References Cited Area’s Land Use Plan. BLM. USDI, Powder River Basin Oil and Gas Project. Buffalo Field Office, January 2002. USDI, BLM. , 2003a, Final Environmental Impact Statement and Proposed Plan Amendment for the Powder River Basin Oil and Gas Project. Buffalo Field Office, January 2003. USDI, BLM. , 2003b, Final Statewide Oil and Gas Environmental Impact Statement and Proposed Amendment of the Powder River and Billings Resource Management Plan. Montana State Office, Billings, Montana. USDI, BLM. Brumley, J., and K. Dickerson, 2000, Tongue River Dam Project Historical and Archaeological Investigations. Report prepared for the Bureau of Reclamation, Montana Area Office, Billings, Montana by Ethos Consultants, Havre, and Renewable Technologies, Inc., Butte. Carmichael, A.G., A. Ecklund, and W.J. Kinney, 1979, Archaeo­ logical Investigations in the Spring Creek Mine Area, Big Horn County, Montana. Report prepared by the Department of Anthropology, University of Montana, Missoula. Casper Star Tribune, 2002, “Mines seek better blasts”, by Dustin Bleizeffer, February 3. , 2003, “Eagle Butte wins on EQC ruling”, by Brodie Farquhar, January 18. Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

, 1996c, Draft Environmental Consequences of Existing Management for the Buffalo Resource Area. USDI, BLM. , 1996d, Draft Existing Management of the Buffalo Resource Area. USDI, BLM. , 1996e, Southern Powder River Basin Coal Leasing Study. USDI, BLM. , 1996f, Draft Energy Resources Booklet for the Buffalo Resource Area. USDI, BLM. , 1997, Land Exchange Handbook, H-2200-1. USDI, BLM, Rel. 2-286. , 1999, Final Environmental Assessment WY-070-EA-9-191 for the Proposed Enron (Belco)­ BLM Coal Lease Exchange WYW322794. USDI, BLM. , 2000, Wyodak Drainage Coal Bed Methane Environmental Assessment No. WY-070-01­ 034. USDI, BLM. , 2001, Approved Resource Management Plan for Public Lands Administered by the Bureau of Land Management Buffalo Field Office, Buffalo, Wyoming. Available on the Internet at website . , 2002, Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Draft Planning Amendment for the 6-2

6.0 References Cited Cerovski, A.M., G.T. Byer, K. Duffy, and D. Felley, 2000, Wyoming Bird Conservation Plan, Version 1.0, Wyoming Partners in Flight, Lander, Wyoming. City of Sheridan, 2001, Vision 2020, Sheridan County Growth Management Plan, A Comprehensive Master Plan for Sheridan and all of Sheridan County. Clark, D.W., 1995, Geochemical processes in ground water resulting from surface mining of coal at the Big Sky and West Decker Mine area, southeastern Montana: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 95-4097, 80 p. Davison, Maggie, 2001, Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, Water Quality Division, Cheyenne, Wyoming, personal communication, June 15. Deaver, S., and K. Deaver, 1988, Prehistoric Cultural Resource Overview of Southeast Montana. Report prepared by Ethnoscience, Inc., Billings, Montana, for the BLM, Miles City, Montana. DeBruin, R.H., 1996, Oil and gas map of Wyoming: Wyoming State Geological Survey Map Series MS-48, scale 1:500,000. DeBruin, R.H., and R.W. Jones, 1989, Coalbed methane in Wyoming: Guidebook on gas resources of Wyoming, pp. 97­ 104. Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange DeBruin, R.H., R.M. Lyman, R.W. Jones, and L.W. Cook, 2001, Coal Bed Methane in Wyoming, Wyoming State Geological Survey Information Pamphlet 7 (revised). Dunrud, C.R., and F.W. Osterwald, 1980, Effects of coal mine subsidence in Sheridan, Wyoming area. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1164, 49p. Emme, Doug, 2003, WDEQ, personal communication, May 7. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 1997a, National Air Toxics Information Clearing­ house (NATICH) Database. Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards. Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. , 1997b, Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) Database. Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards. Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. , 2001, Letter to Nancy Doelger, BLM Casper FO; EPA comments on North Jacobs Ranch Lease Application DEIS dated March 1, 2001 in reference to Wyoming Mining Associated Report “PRB ShortTerm Exposure NO2 Study”, April 2000. , 2003, Letter to Nancy Doelger, BLM Casper FO; EPA comments on South Powder River Basin coal lease 6-3

6.0 References Cited applications DEIS, dated April 16, 2003, in reference to “Safe Concentrations of Nitrogen Dioxide”. Ferguson, D., 1993, A Culture History of the Powers-Yonkee Manifestation in Northwestern Plains Prehistory. Unpublished M.A. thesis, University of Montana, Missoula. Ferguson, D., and G. Meyer, 2001, A Class III Cultural Resources Inventory for the Pittsburgh and Midway Coal Mining Company, Sheridan County, Wyoming. Report Prepared for Western Water Consultants and P&M by GCM Services, Inc., Butte, Montana. Finley, A.K., and J.E. Goolsby, 2000, Estimates of Coal Volumes and Coalbed Methane in Place, Powder River Basin, Wyoming. Wyoming State Geological Survey, Wyoming Geo-Notes No. 68, Laramie, Wyoming. Fox, D.G., A.M. Bartuska, J.G. Byrne, and others, 1989, A Screening Procedure to Evaluate Air Pollution Effects on Class I Wilderness Areas. General Technical Report RM­ 168. Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. Fort Collins, Colorado. Montana, Department Anthropology, Missoula. of

Fredlund, L., 1977, Youngs-Tanner Creek Project; Archeological Investigations for Shell Oil Company. Archeology and Cultural Resources Division, Montana Tech Alumni Foundation, Mineral Research Center, Butte, Montana. , 1979, Benson’s Butte 24BH1726. Reports of Investigations No. 8. Archeology and Cultural Resources Division, Montana Tech Alumni Foundation, Mineral Research Center, Butte, Montana. , 1981a, Southeastern Montana in the Late Prehistoric Period: Human Adaptation and Projectile Point Chronology. Unpublished doctoral disserta­ tion, Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraiser University. , 1981b, Inventory and Assessment of Cultural and Paleontological Resources: Youngs Creek Mine Railroad and Access Road, Sheridan County, Wyoming. Report prepared for Shell Oil Company by Montana Tech Alumni Foundation, Mineral Research Center, Butte, Montana. Frison, G.C., 1991, Prehistoric Hunter of the High Plains. (Second Edition) Academic Press, San Diego.

Fox, R.A., 1977, Archaeology of the Spring Creek Mine Area: Survey and Testing Phases. Report prepared for Spring Creel Coal Company by the University of

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Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

6.0 References Cited Furiof, Claudia, 2003, Productions at Spring Creek and Decker Coal Mines provided by Ms. Furiof of MDEQ, Coal Bureau, Helena Montana, April 2. General Land Office (GLO), n.d., Post-1908 General Land Entry Files of the General Land Office. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C. Records of the Department of the Interior, RG 49. Gerlach, Julie, 2003, Extent of 2001 Thunder Child range fire provided by Ms. Gerlach of Aqua Terra Consultants, Inc. Sheridan, Wyoming. March 6. Glass, G.B., 1975, Analyses and Measured Sections of 54 Wyoming Coal Samples (collected in 1974). Geological Survey of Wyoming. Report of Investigations No. 11, vii. Gregg, M., 1977a, “Archeological Survey of the Pearl Area.” Reports of Investigations No. 3. Archeology and Cultural Resources Division, Montana Tech Alumni Foundation, Mineral Research Center, Butte, Montana. , 1977b, “Archeological Survey at CX Decker.” Reports of Investigations No. 5. Archeology and Cultural Resources Division, Montana Tech Alumni Foundation, Mineral Research Center, Butte, Montana. , 1978, “Archeological Values on Kiewit-Whitney, Sheridan County, Wyoming.” Reports of Investigations No. 6. Archeology and Cultural Resources Division, Montana Tech Alumni Foundation, Mineral Research Center, Butte, Montana. Haberman, T., 1973, 1972 Archaeological Survey in the Decker / Birney Area of Big Horn County, Southeastern Montana. Report prepared for the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) Project, sponsored by the Montana State Office of the Bureau of Land Management. Hedges, R.B., W.A. Van Voast, and J.J. McDermott, 1980, Hydrogeology of an Area of Proposed Surface Coal Mining Near Lower Youngs Creek, Southeastern Montana. Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, Open File Report 43, 46 pp. Hodson, W.G., R.H. Pearl and S.A. Druse, 1973, Water Resources of the Powder River Basin and Adjacent Areas, Northeastern Wyoming. USGS Hydrologic Investigations Atlas HA-465. Hydro-Engineering, 1991, GAGMO 1991 Annual Report. Prepared for the Gillette Area Groundwater Monitoring Organization. , 1992, GAGMO 1992 Annual Report. Prepared for the Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange 6-5

6.0 References Cited Gillette Area Groundwater Monitoring Organization. , 1993, GAGMO 1993 Annual Report. Prepared for the Gillette Area Groundwater Monitoring Organization. , 1994, GAGMO 1994 Annual Report. Prepared for the Gillette Area Groundwater Monitoring Organization. , 1995, GAGMO 1995 Annual Report. Prepared for the Gillette Area Groundwater Monitoring Organization. , 1996, GAGMO 1996 Annual Report. Prepared for Gillette Area Groundwater Monitoring Organization. , 1997, GAGMO 1997 Annual Report. Prepared for the Gillette Area Groundwater Monitoring Organization. , 1998, GAGMO 1998 Annual Report. Prepared for the Gillette Area Groundwater Monitoring Organization. , 1999, GAGMO 1999 Annual Report. Prepared for the Gillette Area Groundwater Monitoring Organization. , 2000, GAGMO 2000 Annual Report Prepared for the Gillette Area Groundwater Monitoring Organization. , 2001, GAGMO 20-Year Report. Prepared for the Gillette Area Groundwater Monitoring Organization. 6-6 IMPROVE, 2002, Visibility report from March 1996 to February 1999, acquired from the Colorado State University/ Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere website on the Internet: . Jeffrey, Robert, 2001, Production capacities per current air quality permits for Spring Creek and Decker Coal Mines provided by Mr. Jeffrey of MDEQ Air Quality Bureau, Helena, Montana, August 15. Kristiansen, B., 2003, Assistant Coordinator of the Wyoming Coalbed Methane Coordination Coalition, personal communi­ cation, April 28. Kuzara, S.A., 1977, Black Diamonds of Sheridan: A Facet of Wyoming History. Pioneer Printing and Stationary Company, Cheyenne, Wyoming. Larhen, L., 1977, Identified Cultural Resources, Pacific Power and Light Company Spring Creek Mine in: The Impact of Coal Development on the Cultural Resources in Southeastern Montana by Anthro Research, Inc., for the United States Geological Survey, Northern Powder River EIS, Billings, Montana. Law, B.E., B.E. Barnum, and T.P. Wollenzien, 1979, Coal Bed Correlations in the Tongue Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

6.0 References Cited River Member of the Fort Union Formation, Monarch, Wyoming, and Decker, Montana Areas. USGS Map I-1128. Lewis, B.E., and W.R. Hotchkiss, 1981, Thickness, Percent Sand, and Configuration of Shallow Hydrogeological Units in the Powder River Basin, Montana and Wyoming. U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Investiga­ tion Series Map I-1317. Lillegraven, J.A., 1981, A Paleontological Survey of Big Horn Coal Area, Sheridan County, Wyoming. Prepared for Big Horn Coal and included as Addendum D3-J within Big Horn Coal Mine’s WDEQ Mining Permit Application No. 213. Luce, B., B.O. Oakleaf, A. Cerovski, L. Hunter, and J. Friday, 1999, Atlas of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians in Wyoming. Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Lander, Wyoming. Lyman, R.M., and L.L. Hallberg, August 1999, Wyoming Coal Mines and Markets. Wyoming State Geological Survey Coal Report CR-99-1. Martin, L.J., D.L. Naftz, H.W. Lowham, and J.G. Rankl, 1988, Cumulative Potential Hydro­ logic Impacts of Surface Coal Mining in the Eastern Powder River Structural Basin, Northeastern Wyoming (CHIA). U.S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Investigations Report 88-4046. Prepared in Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange cooperation with Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality and U.S. Office of Surface Mining, Cheyenne, Wyoming. Martner, B.E., 1986, Wyoming Climate Atlas. Prepared in cooperation with the Wyoming Water Research Center, University of Wyoming. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), 1997, 645 Database, Wyoming Summary Employment and Injury Information. Montana Coal Council, 2002, Montana Coal 2002 Annual Brochure. , 2003, Montana Coal 2003 Annual Brochure. Montana Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), 1999, East Decker Ground Water Cumulative Hydrologic Impact Analysis, Attachment 2 of the Technical Findings on Permit Renewal. Morgando, F.P., 1958, Ash Creek and Ash Creek South Fields: in Wyoming Geological Association Guidebook, 13th Annual Field Conference, Powder River Basin, pp. 157-159. Munson, G., 1990, Archaeological Investigations in the Spring Creek Coal Mine Area. Report prepared for Spring Creek Coal Company, Decker, Montana.

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6.0 References Cited Munson, G., and D. Ferguson, 1998, A Class III Inventory of the Spring Creek Coal Company’s Proposed Carbone Expansion Area, Big Horn County, Montana. Report prepared by GCM Services, Inc., Butte, Montana. Munson, G., et al., 1992, Archae­ ological Investigations of 24BH514, 24BH1048, 24BH2518, 24BH2521, and 24BH2529. Report prepared for Spring Creek Coal Mine, South Fork Extension, Big Horn County, Montana, by GCM Services, Inc., Butte, Montana. National Climate Data Center (NCDC), 2001, Climate Summary for Station 480380 (Arvada 3N). Information acquired from website on the Internet: . Oedekoven, O.O., 1994, Distribu­ tion, Habitat Use, and Population Dynamics of the Rochelle Hills Elk Herd, Final Report, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Gillette, Wyoming. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM), 1980, Noise Impact Assessment for the Caballo Rojo Mine. Unpublished Report prepared by James M. Montgomery, Consulting Engineers, Inc. Aurora, Colorado. , 2000, Annual Evaluation Summary Report for the Coal 6-8 Regulatory Program Adminis­ tered by the Land Quality Division of the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality for Evaluation Year 2000, December 7, 2000. , 2002a, Annual Evaluation Summary Report for the Coal Regulatory Program Adminis­ tered by the Land Quality Division of the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality for Evaluation Year 2001, February 8, 2002. , 2002b, Annual Evaluation Summary Report for the Coal Regulatory Program Adminis­ tered by the Land Quality Division of the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality for the Evaluation Year 2002, December 4, 2002. Olive, W.W., 1957, The Spotted Horse Coalfield, Sheridan and Campbell Counties, Wyoming: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1050. Pitchford, M.L., and W.C. Malm, 1994, Development and Applications of a Standard Visual Index. Atmospheric Environment 28(5): 1,049­ 1,054. Pittsburg and Midway Coal Mining Company (P&M), 2001, Ash Creek Mine Permit No. 407-T4, Annual Mining and Reclamation Report, January 2002. On file with WDEQ/ LQD; Sheridan and Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

6.0 References Cited , 2002, Ash Creek Mine Permit No. 407-T4, Annual Mining and Reclamation Report, January 2003. On file with WDEQ/ LQD; Sheridan and Cheyenne, Wyoming. Popovich, C.W., 1997, Sheridan, Wyoming: Selected Historical Articles. Published by the author, Sheridan, Wyoming. Reher, Dr. C.A., 1979, The Western Powder River Basin Survey, Report of Survey Findings. Report prepared for the BLM by the Office of the Wyoming State Archeologist, Laramie. Remington, T.E., and C.E. Braun, 1991, How Surface Coal Mining Affects Sage Grouse, North Park, Colorado. Pages 128-132 in R.D. Comer, P.R. Davis, S.Q. Foster, C.V. Grant, S. Rush, O. Thorne, II, and J. Todd (eds.), Proceedings V: Issues and Technology in the Management of Impacted Wildlife. Thorne Ecological Institute, Boulder, Colorado. Richmond, Tim, 2001, WDEQ/AML, personal communication, August 17. Schuster, E.G., P.R. Beckley, J.M. Bushner, K.M. Gebert, and M.J. Niccolucci, September 1999, An Analysis of PILT-Related Payments and Likely Property Tax Liability of Federal Resource Management Lands. USDA, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, General Technical Report RMRS-GTR - 36WWW. Pub­ Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange lished exclusively on the World Wide Web. Shamley, Judy, 2000, WDEQ/AQD, personal communication, April 11. Shelley, K., 1992, Habitat Reclamation for Birds and Small Mammals on Surface Mined Lands in the Powder River Basin, Wyoming. M.S. Thesis Department of Zoology and Physiology, University of Wyoming. Sheridan County Roundup, August 2001, “Coalbed methane employment impact hard to determine”, by Heather Evagelatos, August 1. Sheridan Press, 1994, Article on the closure of the Big Horn Coal Mine, March 12. , 2002, “Decker workers likely face layoffs”, by Robert Waggener, November 19. States, Vern, 2000, Interview by David Ferguson (GCM Services, Inc.) on August 8. Taff, J.A., 1909, The Sheridan Coal Field, Wyoming: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 341-B, p. 123­ 150. Taylor, et al., 1984, Data Recovery in the Spring Creek Archaeological District. Mitigation of Sites Within the Mine Area by Data Retrieval, Spring Creek Coal Company, Decker, Big Horn County, Montana. Report prepared by 6-9

6.0 References Cited the Department Anthropology, University Montana, Missoula. of of U.S. 	 epartment of Commerce D (USDC), 2001, Profiles of General Demographic Charac­ teristics, 2000 Census of Population and Housing, Wyoming, May 2001. , Bureau of the Census (USDC, BC), 1913, Thirteenth Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1910, Agriculture: Volume VII. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. , 1932, Fifteenth Census of the United States: 1930, Agriculture: Volume II, Part 3. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. U.S. Department of Energy, 2002, Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States 2001, Report 0573(2001), December 2002. Report acquired from website on the Internet:  U.S. 	 epartment of the Interior D (USDI), Census Office, 1902, Twelfth Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1900, Agriculture: Volume VI. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 	 ish and Wildlife Service F (USFWS), 1995, Migratory Bird Species of Management Concern in Wyoming, based on Migratory Nongame Birds of Management Concern in Wyoming. Based on Migratory Nongame Birds of Management Concern in the United States: The 1995 List, Office of Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

University of Wyoming (UW), 1994, Economic Impact of Coal on Wyoming's Economy. Coopera­ tive Extension Service, Department of Agricultural Economics, College of Agriculture. B-987. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 	 (COE), 1987, Corps of Engineers Wetlands Delineation Manual, by the Environmental Laboratory, Department of the Army, Waterways Experiment Station.

U.S. Census Bureau, 2001a, Census 2000. Information acquired from website on the Internet: . , April 2, 2001b (Internet release date), Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000. Table 4: Counties Ranked by Percent Change in Population: 1990 to 2000. , 2001c, Census 2000, Housing Units. Information acquired from website on the Internet: . U.S. Department of Agriculture 	 (USDA), 1925, Statistical Bulletin No. 5: Horses, Mules, and Motor Vehicles. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.

U.S.

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6.0 References Cited Migratory Bird Management, USFWS, Washington, D.C., September 1995. , 2001, written communication from Mike Long, Field Supervisor, USFWS Wyoming Field Office, to Dennis Stenger, Field Office Manager, BLM Buffalo Field Office, dated August 20, 2001. , 2002a, Migratory Bird Species of Management Concern in Wyoming, Coal Mine List, May 2, 2002, USFWS Wyoming Field Office, Cheyenne, Wyoming. , 2002b, Memorandum from Wyoming Field Office Supervisor to BLM Casper Field Office Manager, subject: Applications to lease 5 Federal Coal Tracts. June 7, 2002. U.S. Forest Service (USFS), 1990, Land and Resource Management Plan, BridgerTeton National Forest, USDA Forest Service, March 2, 1990. , 2000, Screening Method for Calculating ANC Change to High Elevation Lakes. Published by the USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region, Lakewood, Colorado. , April 2003, USFS All Service Receipts. Information acquired from website on the Internet: . U.S. 	 eological Survey (USGS), G 1995, 1995 National Assessment of United States Oil and Gas Resources Circular 1118. Van Voast, W.A. and J.C. Reiten, 1988, Hydrogeologic Response– Twenty Years of Surface Coal Mining in Southeastern Montana: Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology Memoir 62. Western Regional Climate Center (WRCC), 2001, Climate Summary for Station 488160 (Sheridan Field Station). Information available from website on the Internet: . Wettstaed, J.R., 1989, Cultural Resources: Prehistoric Land Use Patterns in Southeastern Montana. USDA Forest Service, Northern Region, Report No. 12. WWC Engineering, 2001, Phase 1 Environmental Site Assess­ ment, Welch Property, Sheridan County, Wyoming. Prepared by WWC Engineering, Sheridan, Wyoming for Pittsburg and Midway Coal Mining Company. Wyoming Business Council, 2003, Minerals, Energy and Transportation Division, Wyoming 2002 Mineral and Energy Yearbook, February 2003. Prepared by Dale Hoffman and John Nunley III. Wyoming Department of Administration and Informa­ tion, Division of Economic Analysis, April 2001, Outlook 2001: Economic Forecast to 2009. Prepared with Wyoming 6-11

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

6.0 References Cited Department of Employment, Research and Planning. , July 2001, Population of Counties and Incorporated Places: 1990 and 2000. Information acquired from website on the Internet: . , April 2003, Wyoming Cost of Living for the Fourth Quarter 2002. Information acquired from website on the Internet: . Wyoming Department of Employment, 2003, Research and Planning, Labor Market Information. Information acquired April 2003 from website on the Internet: . Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, Air Quality Division (WDEQ/AQD), 2000, Wyoming Air Quality Rules and Regulations. Wyoming Department of Revenue, 2001, 2000 Annual Report. Information acquired July 13, 2001 from website on the Internet: . , 2003, 2002 Annual Report. Information acquired April 15, 2003 from website on the Internet: . Wyoming Game and Department (WGFD), 6-12 Fish 1996, Wildlife Observation WGFD Publication. System,

, 2001, written communication from Bill Wichers, WGFD Deputy Director, to Art Reese, BLM Director of Office of Federal Land Policy, dated January 30, 2001. , 2002, 2001 Sheridan Region Annual Big Game Herd Unit Report. Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (WOGCC), April 2003. Information acquired from website on the Internet: . Wyoming State Geological Survey (WSGS), 2001a, Geo-notes No. 69, 44 pp. , 2001b, Geo-notes No. 70, 44 pp. , 2002, Geo-notes No. 75, 40 pp. Wyoming State Inspector of Mines, 2000, Annual Report of the State Inspector of Mines of Wyoming, Department of Employment, Office of State Inspector of Mines, Rock Springs, Wyoming. , 2001, Annual Report of the State Inspector of Mines of Wyoming, Department of Employment, Office of State Inspector of Mines, Rock Springs, Wyoming. , 2002, Annual Report of the State Inspector of Mines of Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

6.0 References Cited Wyoming, Department of Employment, Office of State Inspector of Mines, Rock Springs, Wyoming. Wyoming Taxpayer’s Association, 2003. Information acquired April 18, 2003 from website on the Internet: . Wyoming Water Resources Center, 1997, A Study of Techniques to Assess Surface and Groundwater Impacts Associated with CBM and Surface Coal Mining. In conjunction with WDEQ/LQD, SEO, WSGS, BLM, and OSM.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

6-13

7.0 Glossary 7.0 GLOSSARY

ad valorem tax - A tax paid as a percentage of the assessed value of property. adverse impact -An apparent direct or indirect detrimental effect. alkalinity - The degree to which the pH of a substance is greater than 7. alluvial deposit - Deposits of clay, silt, sand, gravel, and/or other materials carried by moving surface water, such as streams, and deposited at points of weak water flow; alluvium. alluvial valley floors (AVFs) - An area of unconsolidated stream-laid deposits holding streams with water availability sufficient for subirrigation or flood irrigation agricultural activities (see 30 CFR 701.5). alluvium - Sorted or semi-sorted sediment consisting of clay, silt, sand, gravel, or other unconsolidated rock material deposited in comparatively recent geologic time by a stream or other body of running water in the bed of that stream or on its flood plain or delta. alternative - In terms of the National Environmental Policy Act, one of several substitute or alternate proposals that a federal agency is considering in an environmental analysis. ambient -Surrounding conditions (or environment) in a given place and time. annual precipitation - The quantity of water that falls yearly in the form of rain, hail, sleet, and snow. approximate original contour - Post-mining surface configuration achieved by backfilling and grading of mined-out areas so that the reclaimed land surface resembles the general surface configuration of the land prior to mining (see 30 CFR 701.5). aquifer - A layer of permeable rock, sand, or gravel that stores and transmits water in sufficient quantities for a specific use. arithmetic mean - The sum of the values of n numbers divided by n. It is usually referred to as simply the “mean” or “average”. ash - The residual non-combustible matter in coal that comes from included silt, clay, silica, or other substances. The lower the ash content, the better the quality of the coal. backfill - The operation of refilling an excavation. Also, the material placed in an excavation when it is refilled. Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange 7-1

7.0 Glossary baseline - Conditions, including trends, existing in the human environment before a proposed action is begun; a benchmark state from which the environmental consequences of an action are forecast; the no-action alternative. beneficial impact - An apparent direct or indirect advantageous effect. bentonite - A clay formed by the decomposition of volcanic ash which has the ability to absorb large amounts of water and to expand to several times its normal volume; used in adhesives, cements and ceramic fillers. bonus - That value in excess of the rentals and royalties that is paid to the United States as part of the consideration for receiving a lease for publicly owned minerals [see 43 CFR 3400.0-5(c)]. buffer zone - An area between two different land uses that is intended to resist, absorb, or otherwise preclude development or intrusion between the two use areas. CALMET - the meteorological module that is associated with the CALPUFF model. CALPUFF - a long-range transport Gaussian puff air model. clinker (scoria) - Baked and fused rock resulting from in-place burning of coal deposits. coal bed methane - Methane gas that is generated during the coal-forming process. colluvium - Rock fragments, sand, or soil material that accumulates at the base of slopes; slope wash. confluence - The point at which two or more streams meet. contiguous - Lands or legal subdivisions having a common boundary, lands having only a common corner are not contiguous. cooperating agency - An agency which has jurisdiction by law in an action being analyzed in an environmental document and who is requested to participate in the NEPA process by the agency that is responsible for preparing the environmental document [see 40 CFR 1501.6 and 1508.5]. crucial wildlife habitat - Parts of the habitat necessary to sustain a wildlife population during periods of their life cycle. It may be a limiting factor on the population, such as nesting habitat or winter habitat.

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Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

7.0 Glossary cultural resources - The remains of human activity, occupation, or endeavor reflected in districts, sites, structures, buildings, objects, artifacts, ruins, works of art, architecture, and natural features that reveal the nature of historic and prehistoric human events. These resources consist of (1) physical remains, (2) areas where significant human events occurred, and (3) the environment immediately surrounding the resource. cumulative impact - The impact on the environment which results from the incremental impact of the action when added to other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions regardless of what agency (federal or nonfederal) or person undertakes such other actions. Cumulative impacts can result from individually minor but collectively significant actions taking place over a period of time (40 CFR 1508.7). decibel - A unit of sound measurement. In general, a sound doubles in loudness for every increase of 10 decibels. deciview - A measure of view impairment (13 deciview equals a view of approximately 60 miles). dip - The angle at which a rock layer is inclined from the horizontal. direct (or primary) impact - An impact caused by an action that occurs at the same time and place as the action (see 40 CFR 1508.8). discharge - Any of the ways that ground water comes out of the surface, including through springs, creeks, or being pumped from a well. dissected upland - An upland or high area in which a large part of the original surface has been deeply cut into by streams. dragline - A type of excavating crane that casts a rope- or cable-hung bucket a considerable distance, collects the dug material by pulling the bucket toward itself on the ground with a second rope or cable, elevates the bucket, and dumps the material on a backfill bank or pile. eolian deposit - Sediment carried, formed, or deposited by the wind, as sand dunes. ephemeral stream - A stream that flows occasionally because of surface runoff, and is not influenced by permanent ground water. erosion - The wearing away of the land surface by running water, wind, ice or other geologic agents. evapotranspiration - The sum total of water lost from the land by evaporation and plant transpiration. Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange 7-3

7.0 Glossary excavation (archeological) - The scientifically controlled recovery of subsurface materials and information from a cultural site. Recovery techniques are relevant to research problems and are designed to produce maximum knowledge about the site's use, its relation to other sites and the natural environment, and its significance in the maintenance of the cultural system. fair market value - The amount in cash, or in terms reasonably equivalent to cash, for which in all probability a coal deposit would be sold or leased by a knowledgeable owner willing but not obligated to sell or lease to a knowledgeable purchaser who desires but is not obligated to buy or lease. fixed carbon - In coal, the solid combustible material remaining after removal of moisture, ash, and volatile matter. It is expressed as a percentage. floodplain -The relatively flat area or lowland adjoining a body of flowing water, such as a river or stream, that is covered with water when the river or stream overflows its banks. forage - Vegetation used for food by wildlife, particularly big game wildlife, and domestic livestock. formation (geologic) - A rock body distinguishable from other rock bodies and useful for mapping or description. Formations may be combined into groups or subdivided into members. fossil - The remains or traces of an organism or assemblage of organisms that have been preserved by natural processes in the earth's crust. Many minerals that may be of biologic origin are not considered to be fossils (e.g. oil, gas, asphalt, limestone). geometric mean - The nth root of the product of the values of n positive numbers. groundwater - Subsurface water that fills available openings in rock or soil materials to the extent that they are considered water saturated. habitat - A place where a plant or animal naturally or normally lives and grows. habituation - The process of becoming accustomed to, or used to, something; acclimation. hazardous materials - Substance which, because of its potential for corrosivity, toxicity, ignitability, chemical reactivity, or explosiveness, may cause injury to persons or damage to property.

7-4

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

7.0 Glossary hazardous waste - Those materials defined in Section 101 (14) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, and listed in 40 CFR § 261. human environment - The natural and physical environment and the relationship of people with that environment (see 30 CFR 1508.14). hydraulic conductivity - The capacity of a medium to transmit water; permeability coefficient. Expressed as the volume of water at the prevailing temperature that will move in unit time under a unit hydraulic gradient through a unit area. Units include gallons per day per square foot, centimeters per second. hydraulic - Pertaining to fluid in motion, or to movement or action caused by water. hydric soil - A soil that is saturated, flooded, or ponded long enough during the growing season to develop anaerobic conditions that favor the growth and regeneration of hydrophytic (water-loving) vegetation. Hydric soils that occur in areas having positive indicators of hydrophytic vegetation and wetland hydrology are wetland soils. hydrocarbon - Any organic compound, gaseous, liquid, or solid, consisting solely of carbon and hydrogen. hydrogeology - The science that deals with subsurface waters and with related geologic aspects of surface waters. hydrology - The science dealing with the behavior of water as it occurs in the atmosphere, on the surface of the ground, and underground. hydrophytic vegetation - The plant life growing in water or on a substrate that is at least periodically deficient in oxygen as a result of excessive water content. When hydrophytic vegetation comprises a community where indicators of hydric soils and wetland hydrology also occur, the area has wetland vegetation. impermeable - Not capable of transmitting fluids or gasses in appreciable quantities. indirect (or secondary) impact - A reasonably foreseeable impact resulting from an action but occurring later in time than or removed in distance from that action (see 40 CFR 1508.8). in-place coal reserves - The estimated volume of all of the coal reserves in a lease without considering economic or technological factors which might restrict mining. Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange 7-5

7.0 Glossary in-situ leach mining - Removal of the valuable components of a mineral deposit through chemical leaching without physical extraction of the rock. interbedded - Layers of one type of rock, typically thin, that are laid between or that alternate with layers of another type of rock. interburden - A layer of sedimentary rock that separates two mineable coal beds. interdisciplinary - Characterized by participation or cooperation among two or more disciplines or fields of study. intermittent stream - A stream that does not flow year-round but has some association with ground water for surface or subsurface flow. land and resource management plan - A land use plan that directs the use and allocation of U.S. Forest Service lands and resources. lead agency - The agency or agencies preparing or having taken primary responsibility for preparing an environmental document (see 40 CFR 1508.16). lease (mineral) - A legal document executed between a mineral owner or lessor and another party or lessee which grants the lessee the right to extract minerals from the tract of land for which the lease has been obtained [see 43 CFR 3400.0-5(r)]. lek - A traditional breeding area for grouse species where territorial males display and establish dominance. lenticular - Term describing a body of rock or earth that thins out in all directions from the center like a double convex optical lens. limb (geologic) - One side of a fold (syncline or anticline). lineament - A linear topographic feature of regional extent that is believed to reflect crustal structure. loadout facilities - The mine facilities used to load the mined coal for transport out of the mine. loam - A rich, permeable soil composed of a mixture of clay, silt, sand, and organic matter. maintenance tract - A federal coal tract that would continue or extend the life of an existing coal mine.

7-6

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

7.0 Glossary major federal action - An action with effects that may be major and which is potentially subject to federal control and responsibility (see 40 CFR 1508.18). meteorological - Related to the science dealing with the atmosphere and its phenomena, especially as relating to weather. methane - A colorless, odorless, and inflammable gas; the simplest hydrocarbon; chemical formula = CH4. It is the principal constituent of natural gas and is also found associated with crude oil and coal. mineable coal - Coal that can be economically mined using present day mining technology. mineral rights - The rights of one who owns the mineral estate (subsurface). mining permit - A permit to conduct surface coal mining and reclamation operations issued by the state regulatory authority pursuant to a state program or by the Secretary pursuant to a federal program (see 30 CFR 701.5). mitigation - An action to avoid, minimize, reduce, eliminate, replace, or rectify the impact of a management practice. National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) - A list of districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects significant in American history, architecture, archeology and culture maintained by the Secretary of the Interior. Expanded as authorized by Section 2(b) of the Historic Sites Act of 1935 (16 U.S.C. 462) and Section 101(a)(1) (A) of the National Historic Preservation Act. natural gas - Combustible gases (such as hydrocarbons) or mixtures of combustible gases and non-combustible gases (such as helium) which are in a gaseous phase at atmospheric conditions of temperature and pressure. NEPA process - All measures necessary for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (see 40 CFR 1508.21). no-action alternative - An alternative where no activity would occur. The development of a no action alternative is required by regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (40 CFR 1502.14). The no action alternative provides a baseline for estimating the effects of other alternatives. outcrop -A rock formation that appears at or near the surface; the intersection of a rock formation with the surface. overburden - Material of any nature, consolidated or unconsolidated, that overlies a coal or other useful mineral deposit, excluding topsoil.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

7-7

7.0 Glossary paleontological resource - A site containing evidence of plant or non-human animal life of past geological periods, usually in the form of fossil remains. peak discharge or flow - The highest discharge of water recorded over a specified period of time at a given stream location; also called maximum flow. Often thought of in terms of spring snowmelt, summer, fall or winter rainy season flows. perennial species (vegetation) - Vegetation that lives over from season to season. perennial stream - A stream or part of a stream that flows continuously during the calendar year as a result of groundwater discharge or surface runoff. permeability - The ability of rock or soil to transmit a fluid. permit application package - A proposal to conduct surface coal mining and reclamation operations on federal lands, including an application for a permit, permit revision, or permit renewal and all the information required by SMCRA, the applicable state program, any applicable cooperative agreement, and all other applicable laws and regulations including, with respect to federal leased coal, the Mineral Leasing Act and its implementing regulations. permit area - The area of land, indicated on the approved map submitted by the operator with his or her application, required to be covered by the operator’s performance bond under the regulations at 30 CFR Part 800 and which shall include the area of land upon which the operator proposes to conduct surface coal mining and reclamation operations under the permit, including all disturbed areas (see 30 CFR 701.5). physiography - Physical geography. playa - The sandy, salty, or mud-caked flat floor of a basin with interior drainage, usually occupied by a shallow ephemeral lake during or after rain or snow storms. point source (pollution) - A point at which pollution is added to a system, either instantaneously or continuously. An example is a smokestack. pore volume - the amount of fluid necessary to fill the void space in an unsaturated porous medium (i.e., mine backfill). postmining topography - The relief and contour of the land that remains after mining has been completed.

7-8

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

7.0 Glossary potentiometric surface - The surface that coincides with the static level of water in an aquifer. The surface is represented by the levels to which water from a given aquifer will rise under its full hydrologic head. predator - An animal that obtains food by killing and consuming other animals. prime or unique farmland - Those lands which are defined by the Secretary of Agriculture in 7 CFR part 657 (Federal Register Vol. 4 No. 21) and which have historically been used for cropland (see 30 CFR 701.5). proposed action - In terms of National Environmental Policy Act, the project, activity, or action that a federal agency proposes to implement or undertake and which is the subject of an environmental analysis. raptor - Bird of prey, such as an eagle, falcon, hawk, owl, or vulture. recharge - The processes by which groundwater is absorbed into a zone of saturation. reclamation - Rehabilitation of a disturbed area to make it acceptable for designated uses. This normally involves regrading, replacement of topsoil, revegetation and other work necessary to restore the disturbed area for postmining use. record of decision (ROD) - A document separate from, but associated with, an environmental impact statement that publicly and officially discloses the responsible official's decision on the proposed action (see 40 CFR 1505.2). recoverable coal- The amount of coal that can actually be recovered for sale from the demonstrated coal reserve base. resource management plan - A land use plan, as prescribed by FLPMA, that directs the use and allocation of public lands and resources managed by BLM. Prior to selection of the RMP, different alternative management plans are compared and evaluated in an environmental impact statement (EIS) to determine which plan will best direct the management of the public lands and resources. revegetation - The reestablishment and development of self-sustaining plant cover following land disturbance. This may occur through natural processes, or the natural processes may be enhanced by human assistance through seedbed preparation, reseeding, and mulching. riparian - The area adjacent to rivers and streams that lies between the stream channel and upland terrain and that supports specific vegetation influenced by perennial and/or intermittent water. Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange 7-9

7.0 Glossary royalty (mineral) - A share of production that is free of the expense of production. It is generally paid by a lessee to a lessor of a mineral lease as part of the terms of the lease. runoff - That portion of rainfall that is not absorbed; it may be used by vegetation, lost by evaporation, or it may find its way into streams as surface flow. salinity - Refers to the solids, such as sodium chloride (table salt) and alkali metals, that are dissolved in water. Often in non saltwater areas, total dissolved solids is used as an equivalent term. sandstone - A common sedimentary rock primarily composed of sand grains, mainly quartz, that are cemented together by other mineral material. scoping - A public informational process required by the National Environmental Policy Act to determine private and public concerns, scope of issues, and/or questions regarding a proposed action to be evaluated in an environmental impact analysis. scoria (clinker) - Baked and fused rock resulting from in-place burning of coal deposits. sedimentation pond - An impoundment used to remove solids from water in order to meet water quality standards or effluent limitations before the water leaves the permit area (see 30 CFR 701.5). severance tax - A tax on the removal of minerals from the ground. shale - A very fine-grained clastic rock or sediment consisting predominately of clay-sized particles that is laminated; lithified, layered mud. significant impact - A qualitative term used to describe the anticipated importance of impacts to the human environment as a result of an action. siltstone - A fine-grained clastic rock consisting predominately of silt-sized particles. socioeconomics - The social and economic situation that might be affected by a proposed action. sodium adsorption ratio (SAR) - The ratio of the concentration of sodium cations to the combined concentration of calcium and magnesium cations in water. High values of SAR are indicative of potential problems in agricultural applications, as it implies a hazard of sodium replacing adsorbed calcium and magnesium, and this replacement is damaging to soil structure.

7-10

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

7.0 Glossary soil survey - The systematic examination, description, classification, and mapping of soils in an area, usually a county. Soil surveys are classified according to the level of detail of field examination. Order I is the most detailed and Order V is the least detailed. spontaneous combustion - The heating and slow combustion of coal and coaly material initiated by the absorption of oxygen. stipulations - Requirements that are part of the terms of a mineral lease. Some stipulations are standard on all Federal leases. Other stipulations may be applied to specific leases at the discretion of the surface management agency to protect valuable surface resources or uses existing on those leases. storage coefficient - The volume of water that can be released from storage per unit surface area of a saturated confined aquifer, per unit decline in the component of hydraulic head normal to the surface. It is calculated by taking the product of the specific storage and the aquifer thickness. stratigraphic - Of, relating to, or determined by stratigraphy, which is the branch of geology dealing with the study of the nature, distribution, and relations of layered rocks in the earth's crust. subirrigation - In alluvial valley floors, the supplying of water to plants from underneath, or from a semi-saturated or saturated subsurface zone where water is available for use by vegetation (see 30 CFR 701.5). subbituminous -A lower rank of coal (35-45% carbon) with a heating value between that of bituminous and lignite, usually 8,300-11,500 Btu per pound. Subbituminous coal contains a high percentage of volatile matter and moisture. surface disturbance - Any disturbance by mechanical actions which alters the soil surface. suspended solids - The very fine soil particles which remain in suspension in water for a considerable period of time without contact with the stream or river channel bottom. tectonic fracture - Fractures caused by deformation of the earth’s crust. threatened and endangered (T&E) species - These species of plants or animals classified as threatened or endangered pursuant to section 4 of the Endangered Species Act. Any species which is in danger of extinction, or is likely to become so within the foreseeable future. Category 1 - Substantial biological information on file to support the appropriateness of proposing to list as endangered or threatened.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

7-11

7.0 Glossary Category 2 - Current information indicates that proposing to list as endangered or threatened is possibly appropriate, but substantial biological information is not on file to support an immediate ruling (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service). topography - Physical shape of the ground surface; the configuration of land surface including its relief, elevation, and the position of its natural and manmade features. topsoil - The surface layer of a soil. total dissolved solids (TDS) - The total quantity in milligrams per liter of dissolved materials in water. transmissivity - The rate at which water is transmitted through a unit width of an aquifer under a unit hydraulic gradient. Equals the hydraulic conductivity multiplied by the aquifer thickness. Values are given in units of gallons per day per foot. truck and shovel - A mining method used to remove overburden and coal in a strip mining operation. Truck and shovel operations use large bucketequipped digging and loading machines (shovels) and large dump trucks to remove overburden instead of using a dragline for overburden removal. unconfined aquifer - an aquifer where the water table is exposed to the atmosphere through openings in the overlying materials. unsuitability criteria - The 20 criteria described in 43 CFR 3461, the application of which results in an assessment of federal coal lands as suitable or unsuitable for surface coal mining. vegetation type - A kind of existing plant community with distinguishable characteristics described in terms of the present vegetation that dominates an area. vertebrate fossils - The remains of animals that possessed a backbone; examples are fish, amphibians, reptiles, dinosaurs, birds, and mammals. visual resources - The physical features of a landscape which can be seen (e.g., land, water, vegetation, structures, and other features). Visual Resource Management (VRM) - The systematic means to identify visual values, establish objectives which provide the standards for managing those values, and evaluate the visual impacts of proposed projects to ensure that objectives are met.

7-12

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

7.0 Glossary volatile matter - In coal, those substances, other than moisture, that are given off as gas or vapor during combustion. waterfowl - A bird that frequents water, especially a swimming bird. wetlands - Those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient, under normal circumstances, to support a prevalence of vegetative or aquatic life that requires saturated or seasonally saturated soil conditions for growth and reproduction. Wetlands include marshes, bogs, sloughs, potholes, river overflows, mud flats, wet meadows, seeps, and springs [see 33 CFR 328.3(a)(7)(b)]. wilderness - An area of undeveloped Federal land designated wilderness by Congress, retaining its primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements or human habitation, protected and managed to preserve its natural conditions and that (1) generally appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature with the imprint of man's work substantially unnoticeable, (2) has outstanding opportunities for solitude or primitive and unconfined recreation, (3) has at least 5,000 acres or is of sufficient size to make practical its preservation and use in an unimpaired condition, and (4) also may contain features that are of ecological, geological, scientific, educational, scenic, or historical value. These characteristics were identified by Congress in the Wilderness Act of 1964.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

7-13

8.0 Index 8.0 INDEX agriculture ..................................................ES-17, 2-20, 3-58, 3-59, 3-82,
 3-83, 3-88, 4-32, 4-50, 4-84, 4-93, 5-7, E-49 alluvial valley floor or AVF...........................ES-16, ES-17, ES-21, 2-17, 2-18, 2-20, 2-25, 3-13, 3-14, 3-58, 3-59, 4-25, 4-30, 4-32, 4-47, 4-50, 4-51, 4-53, 4-55, 4-84, 5-2, C-2 blasting.......................................................ES-16, ES-19, 1-16, 3-37, 3-38, 3-43, 3-44, 4-13, 4-14, 4-19, 4-23, 4-42, 4-53, 4-54, 4-64, 4-74, 4-76, 4-82 coal bed methane or CBM ...........................ES-13, ES-15, ES-19, ES-22, ES-23, 2-19, 2-22, 2-24, 2-25, 3-5, 3-13, 3-15, 3-23, 3-224, 3-25, 3-31, 3-37, 3-38, 3-53, 3-54, 3-57, 3-67, 3-69, 3-71, 3-72, 3-74, 3-87, 3-88, 3-91, 3-92, 3-93, 3-94, 3-96, 4-1, 4-8, 4-9, 4-29, 4-31, 4-39, 4-40, 4-43, 4-54, 4-57, 4-58, 4-60, 4-61, 4-62, 4-63, 4-64, 4-65, 4-66, 4-67, 4-69, 4-76, 4-77, 4-78, 4-79, 4-83, 4-84, 4-86, 4-87, 4-90, 4-94, 4-95, 4-96, 4-97, E-34, E-41, E-42, E-45, E-49 Crow Indian Reservation .............................ES-20, ES-21, 3-35, 3-38, 3-84, 3-97, 4-47, 4-66, 4-68, E-29 fair market value.........................................ES-7, 1-8, 2-8, 4-40, 4-44 
 fugitive dust................................................2-9, 3-37, 3-38, 4-64, 4-65 
 grazing........................................................ES-8, ES-12, ES-13, ES-19, 1-9, 1-10, 1-16, 2-17, 2-18, 2-22, 3-3, 3-7, 3-14, 3-69, 3-82, 4-2, 4-3, 4-4, 4-33, 4-39, 4-40, 4-50, 4-51, 4-55, 4-85, 4-86, 4-87, 4-88, 4-90, 4-92, 4-93, 4-95, E-7, E-9, E-49, E-66

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

8-1

8.0 Index hunting.......................................................ES-12, ES-13, ES-19, 2-26, 3-4, 3-7, 3-14, 3-73, 3-74, 3-75, 3-79, 4-3, 4-4, 4-40, 4-90, 4-91, 4-96, E-6, F-2, F-3 mitigation ...................................................ES-15, ES-20, ES-23, 2-6, 4-1, 4-5, 4-19, 4-23, 4-29, 4-35, 4-37, 4-39, 4-41, 4-48, 4-49, 4-50, 4-51, 4-52, 4-53, 4-73, 4-88, 4-89, 4-91, 4-92, C-1, E-48, E-49 mining plan or mining and reclamation plan ............................................................ES-20, ES-24, 1-10, 2-6, 2-8, 2-11, 3-77, 3-87, 4-6, 4-41, 4-48, 4-49, 4-78, 4-85, 4-89, C-2, E-48 monitoring plan ..........................................4-8, 4-14, 4-37, 4-48, 4-49, 4-50, 4-31, 4-52, 4-53 nitrogen oxide or NO2 ..................................ES-13, ES-16, ES-23, 2-24, 3-34, 3-37, 3-38, 3-42, 3-43, 4-12, 4-13, 4-14, 4-18, 4-19, 4-22, 4-23, 4-53, 4-64, 4-66, 4-68, 4-69, 4-70, 4-76 3-33, 4-11, 4-20, 4-67,

Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation .......ES-20, 2-24, 3-35, 3-84, 4-12, 4-20, 4-69, 4-70, 4-75 PM10 ...........................................................ES-15, ES-23, 2-24, 3-31, 3-33, 3-34, 3-36, 3-38, 3-39, 3-41, 4-11, 4-12, 4-13, 4-15, 4-18, 4-19, 4-20, 4-21, 4-23, 4-62, 4-64, 4-65, 4-66, 4-67, 4-69, 4-70, 4-74 power plant(s) .............................................ES-22, 3-38, 4-57, 4-94 
 public interest determination ......................ES-7, ES-24, 1-7, 1-8, A-4 
 reclamation bond ........................................ES-17, 2-15 
 3-32, 3-40, 4-16, 4-49, 4-68,

8-2

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

8.0 Index recreation ...................................................ES-12, ES-13, ES-14, ES-19, ES-21, 1-7, 1-9, 2-17, 2-18, 2-22, 2-26, 3-4, 3-7, 3-14,3-35, 3-73, 3-87, 3-94 ,3-95, 4-2, 4-3, 4-4, 4-39, 4-44, 4-47, 4-55, 4-56, 4-90, 4-91, 4-93, 4-96, 4-97, C-1, E-36, E-41, E-43, E-49, F-2 Resource Management Plan or RMP ............ES-13, ES-22, 1-9, 1-10, 1-11, 1-12, 1-13, 1-14, 1-15, 2-2, 3-15, 3-24, 3-31, 3-86, 3-88, 4-2, 4-3, 4-58, 4-61, 4-62, 4-77, C-1, E-10, E-22, E-42, E-69, E-70 royalty ........................................................2-16, 3-92, 4-44, 4-52 
 sodium adsorption ratio or SAR ..................3-53, 3-57, 4-9 
 total dissolved solids or TDS .......................ES-17, 3-49, 3-53, 3-54, 3-57, 4-30, 4-31, 4-82 U.S. Forest Service or USFS ........................ES-1, ES-7, ES-8, ES-9, ES-12, 1-1, 1-9, 1-10, 1-12, 1-16, 1-17, 2-1, 2-2, 2-13, 2-17, 3-1, 3-2, 3-3, 3-4, 3-6, 3-7, 3-14, 3-73, 3-75, 4-2, 4-40, 4-46, 4-48, 4-55, 4-63, 4-70, 4-71, 4-72, 5-1, 5-2, 5-4, 5-6, A-1, A-4, C-1, D-6, D-12, E-1, E-2, E-13, E-16, E-17, E-18, E-19, E-20, E-21, E-36, E-50, E-52, E-55, E-56, E-68, E-70, F-2 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or EPA ............................................................1-17, 2-12, 3-31, 3-33, 3-36, 3-40, 3-45, 3-59, 4-10, 4-12, 4-14, 4-18, 4-19, 4-26, 4-49, 4-62, 4-63, 4-68, 4-71, 4-73, 4-75, A-3, D-9, E-2, E-4, E-5, E-6, E-7, E-8, E-9, E-410, E-11, E-12, E-14, E-16, E-23, E-31, E-32, E-34, E-39, E-40, E-41, E-42, E-63, E-65, E-66, E-67, E-68, E-69

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

8-3

8.0 Index U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or USFWS .....ES-12, ES-13, ES-19, 1-14, 2-6, 3-2, 3-3, 3-6, 3-7, 3-13, 3-14, 3-61, 3-65, C-2 water rights ................................................1-16, 3-51, 3-58, 4-37, 4-71, 4-72, 4-89 wetland(s) ...................................................ES-12, ES-17, ES-21, 2-17, 2-18, 2-20, 2-25, 3-1, 3-2, 3-27, 3-59, 3-60, 4-24, 4-30, 4-50, 4-80, B-3, E-6, E-9, E-42, E-65 Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality or WDEQ ........................................ES-16, ES-17, ES-24, 1-11, 2-10, 2-11, 2-12, 2-20, 3-9, 3-13, 3-14, 3-22, 3-26, 3-31, 3-34, 3-36, 3-37, 3-38, 3-40, 3-42, 3-43, 3-44, 3-57, 3-58, 3-61, 3-65, 3-78, 3-84, 3-92, 4-4, 4-6, 4-7, 4-10, 4-14, 4-18, 4-19, 4-20, 4-23, 4-24, 4-27, 4-29, 4-32, 4-34, 4-36, 4-38, 4-39, 4-50, 4-53, 4-63, 4-73, 4-74, 4-76, 4-78, 4-79, 4-83, 4-90, 5-2, 5-7, B-3, E-37 1-12, 3-12, 3-33, 3-41, 3-59, 3-97, 4-15, 4-25, 4-37, 4-64, 4-81, D-9,

Wyoming Game and Fish Department or WGFD.........................................................ES-23, 1-14, 1-15, 3-61, 3-62, 3-73, 3-74, 3-75, 3-76, 4-36, 4-39, 4-88, 4-89, 4-90, 4-91, 5-2, 5-7, E-37, E-39, E-52, E-63, E-65, E-66, E-67, E-70 Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission or WOGCC ..............................3-1, 3-5, 3-13, 3-69, 3-72, 4-60, 4-61

8-4

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

APPENDIX A PROCESSING STEPS FOR 
 LAND EXCHANGES INVOLVING COAL 
 (43 CFR 2200) 


Appendix A
Processing Steps for Land Exchanges Involving Coal 43 CFR 2200
9 BLM and private landowners initiate exchange negotiations and discussions 9 BLM receives a formal exchange proposal 9 Analyze exchange proposal to determine if the public interest is served by the exchange proposal 9 Prepare draft Notice of Exchange Proposal (NOEP) 9 Review and approval of Draft NOEP by the Solicitor/Office of General Counsel*, the National Exchange Team(s), the WO Peer Review, & the Assistant Director Review 9 Execute an Agreement to Initiate an Exchange (ATI). The ATI addresses the steps needed to process the specific exchange, including assignment of responsibilities, costs, and a proposed schedule 9 Serialize case file and segregate public lands involved in exchange 9 Hold EIS Scoping Meetings 9 Initiate Appraisal 9 Publish NOEP for 4 consecutive weeks in local newspaper(s) 9 Prepare Draft EIS 9 Notice of Availability of DEIS – Federal Register 9 Distribute DEIS (includes County Commissioners, State Clearinghouse, Governor, Congressional Delegation, Tribal Governments, and other agencies, and notifying permittees, lessees, and adjoining landowners) 9 Initiate Mineral Report on Federal land, and if necessary, on private land ** 9 Prepare Hazardous Material report on all lands 9 Seek SHPO concurrence on exchange action 9 Prepare T&E Species Report and initiate any necessary consultation *** 9 Analyze public and interagency comments and revise DEIS as appropriate 9 Prepare FEIS 9 Interagency Review of draft FEIS (Including all BLM offices and USFS) 9 Finalize FEIS 9 Prepare notices, letters, and distribution list 9 Submit NOA and Public Meeting Notice for WO Review 9 Issue, print and mail FEIS; publish BLM/USFS* Notices and & Press Releases 9 EPA Notice of Availability – Federal Register 9 BLM Notice of Availability – Federal Register

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Appendix A
9 Hold Public Interest Meeting 9 Finalize Appraisal and have independent review appraisals completed 9 Evaluate comments received at the public interest meeting 9 Complete public interest determination, and prepare draft ROD 9 Submit draft ROD, NOA and Issue Paper to Solicitor/General Counsel* for review and concurrence 9 Submit draft ROD, NOA, and Issue Paper for review and concurrence by the BLM/USFS* National Exchange Teams, Washington Office Peer Reviews 9 BLM Director approves the exchange. The Forest Service will also need to approve the exchange if they are involved 9 For all exchanges involving coal, the draft ROD is submitted to the Department of Justice for an anti-trust review. (This happens concurrently during the internal review of the draft ROD.) 9 Sign ROD 9 Publish ROD Notice of Availability - Federal Register 9 Distribute ROD 9 Allows 45 day protest period for Exchange Decision after the date on which the ROD was published. (This period accommodates both the timeframes provided by regulations at 43 CFR 2201.7-1(b), and by The National Environmental Policy Act Handbook (BLM 1988) 9 Provide a right of appeal from a protest decision in accordance with procedures at 43 CFR Part 4 9 Prepare Certificates of Inspection and Possession for the private lands. (Utilize BLM and USFS* forms as appropriate) 9 Prepare draft deed(s) to non-Federal land; draft patent; and draft escrow instructions 9 Request Preliminary Title Opinion from Solicitor and Office of General Counsel* on Deeds and Preliminary Title Commitment 9 Prepare Supplemental Certificate of Inspection and Possession for the private lands. (Utilize BLM and USFS* forms as appropriate) 9 Deliver executed patent and escrow instructions to closing company. Proceed with closing 9 Send recorded deed(s) and title policy to Solicitor/Office of General Counsel* for Final Title Opinion(s). (Title to the Federal and Non-Federal land is transferred upon recordation of the documents in the County Clerk’s or other local recorder’s office.) 9 Note Records; update LR 2000; and close case * ** *** These steps are followed if the USFS is a party to the exchange. 
 Analyzed during EIS process – BLM will only convey the coal underlying private surface. Almost all of the 
 remaining mineral estate is privately owned, with low potential for development. T&E Species consultation is being conducted as part of the EIS process.

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APPENDIX B FEDERAL AND STATE AGENCIES 
 AND PERMITTING REQUIREMENTS 


Appendix B

APPENDIX B: FEDERAL AND STATE AGENCIES & PERMITTING REQUIREMENTS Agency Lease/Permit/Action FEDERAL
Bureau of Land Management Coal Lease and/or Exchange Resource Recovery & Protection Plan Scoria Sales Contract Exploration Drilling Permit Safety Permit and Legal ID Ground Control Plan Major Impoundments Explosives Use and Storage Permit Explosives Manufacturer’s License Explosives Use and Storage Permit Radio Permit: Ambulance Mobile Relay System Radio License Radioactive By-Products Material License Authorization of Impacts to Wetlands and Other Waters of the U.S. Hazardous Waste Shipment Notification Radio Tower Permits

Mine Safety and Health Administration

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Federal Communication Commission Nuclear Regulatory Commission Army Corps of Engineers Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration

STATE
Department of Environmental Quality-Land Quality Division Department of Environmental Quality-Air Quality Division Department of Environmental Quality-Water Quality Division Permit and License to Mine Reclamation Performance Bond Air Quality Permit to Construct Air Quality Permit to Operate National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Water Discharge Permit Permit to Construct Sedimentation Pond Authorization to Construct Septic Tank & Leach Field Authorization to Construct and Install a Public Water Supply and Sewage Treatment System Solid Waste Disposal Permit-Permanent and Construction Appropriation of Surface Water Permits Appropriation of Ground Water Permits Industrial Siting Certificate of Non-Jurisdiction Radioactive Material Certificate of Registration

Department of Environmental Quality-Solid Waste Management Program State Engineer’s Office Industrial Siting Council Department of Health

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B-1

APPENDIX C UNSUITABILITY CRITERIA FOR 
 THE PSO TRACT


Appendix C Appendix C. Unsuitability Criteria for the PSO Tract
GENERAL FINDINGS FROM APPROVED RMP FOR PUBLIC LANDS ADMINISTERED BY BLM BUFFALO FIELD OFFICE (BLM 2001) None of the listed federal lands categories are present within the study area.

UNSUITABILITY CRITERIA 1. Federal Land Systems. With certain exceptions that do not apply to this tract, all federal lands included in the following systems are unsuitable for mining: National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges, National System of Trails, National Wilderness Preservation System, National Wild and Scenic Rivers, National Recreation Areas, Lands Acquired through the Land and Water Conservation Fund, National Forests and federal lands in incorporated cities, towns and villages. Rights-Of-Way and Easements. Federal lands that are within rights-of-way or easements or within surface leases for residential, commercial, industrial or other public purposes, on federally owned surface, are unsuitable for mining. Dwellings, Roads, Cemeteries, and Public Buildings. Federal lands within 100 feet of a right-of-way of a public road or a cemetery; or within 300 feet of any public building, school, church, community or institutional building or public park; or within 300 feet of an occupied dwelling are unsuitable for mining. Wilderness Study Areas. Federal lands designated as wilderness study areas are unsuitable for mining while under review for possible wilderness designation. Lands with Outstanding Scenic Quality. Scenic federal lands designated by visual resource management analysis as Class I (outstanding visual quality or high visual sensitivity) but not currently on National Register of Natural Landmarks are unsuitable. Land Used for Scientific Study. Federal lands under permit by the surface management agency and being used for scientific studies involving food or fiber production, natural resources, or technology demonstrations and experiments are unsuitable for the duration of the study except where mining would not jeopardize the purpose of the study. Historic Lands and Sites. All publicly or privately owned places which are included in or are eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places and an appropriate buffer zone are unsuitable. Natural Areas. Federal lands designated as natural areas or National Natural Landmarks are unsuitable. Critical Habitat for Threatened or Endangered Plant and Animal Species. Federally designated critical habitat for T or E plant and animal species, and scientifically documented essential habitat for T or E species are unsuitable. State Listed Species. Federal lands containing habitat determined to be critical or essential for plant or animal species listed by a state pursuant to state law as T or E shall be considered unsuitable. Bald or Golden Eagle Nests. An active bald or golden eagle nest and appropriate buffer zone are unsuitable unless the lease can be conditioned so that eagles will not be disturbed during breeding season or unless golden eagle nests will be moved.

VALIDATION FOR PSO TRACT None of the listed federal lands are present on the PSO Tract, and the tract therefore is not unsuitable for mining.

2.

The federal lands in the study area contain no rights-of-way that meet the intent of this criterion.

No rights-of-way or easements are on the federal lands on the PSO tract, and the tract therefore is not unsuitable for mining.

3.

No federal lands in the study area meet the intent of this criterion.

None of the listed rights-of-way or buildings are on the PSO Tract, and the tract therefore is not unsuitable for mining.

4.

No lands in the general review area are within a wilderness study area.

There are no unsuitable findings, and the PSO Tract therefore is not unsuitable for mining. There are no unsuitable findings, and the PSO Tract therefore is not unsuitable for mining.

5.

No lands in Sheridan County meet the scenic criteria as outlined.

6.

No lands in the general review area are under permit except small enclosures being used to gage reclamation success on existing mines.

There are no unsuitable findings, and the PSO Tract therefore is not unsuitable for mining.

7.

On the basis of the consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office, there were no unsuitable findings under this criterion in the general review area. No lands in the general review area are designated as natural areas or as National Natural Landmarks. There is no habitat meeting federally designated criteria for T or E plant or animal species within the general review area.

There are no unsuitable findings, and the PSO Tract therefore is not unsuitable for mining.

8.

There are no unsuitable findings, and the PSO Tract therefore is not unsuitable for mining. There are no unsuitable findings, and the PSO Tract therefore is not unsuitable for mining.

9.

10.

Wyoming does not maintain a state list of T or E species of plants or animals. Therefore, this criterion does not apply.

There are no unsuitable findings, and the PSO Tract therefore is not unsuitable for mining.

11.

The USFS found numerous eagle nests, and buffer zones were established. It was determined that coal leasing can occur within the buffer zone if the nests are protected with stipulations and site mitigation plans. There were no unsuitable findings under this criterion, but lands involved in buffer zones are subject to special lease stipulations.

No active eagle nests are found on the tract. There are no unsuitable findings, and the PSO Tract therefore is not unsuitable for mining.

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Appendix C
GENERAL FINDINGS FROM APPROVED RMP FOR PUBLIC LANDS ADMINISTERED BY BLM BUFFALO FIELD OFFICE (BLM 2001) No golden eagle roost or concentration areas occur in the general review area. Mining planned in the review area is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the bald eagle. Coal leasing can occur and adequate protection can be provided. There were no unsuitable findings in the general review area. After consultation with USFWS, it was determined that this criterion does not apply in the general area.

UNSUITABILITY CRITERIA 12. Bald and Golden Eagle Roost and Concentration Areas. Bald and golden eagle roost and concentration areas on federal lands used during migration and wintering are unsuitable unless mining can be conducted in such a way as to ensure that eagles shall not be adversely disturbed. Federal lands containing active falcon (excluding kestrel) cliff nesting sites and a suitable buffer zone shall be considered unsuitable unless mining can be conducted in such a way as to ensure the falcons will not be adversely affected. Habitat for Migratory Bird Species. Federal lands which are high priority habitat for migratory bird species of high federal interest shall be considered unsuitable unless mining can be conducted in such a way as to ensure that migratory bird habitat will not be adversely affected during the period it is in use. Fish and Wildlife Habitat for Resident Species. Federal lands which the surface management agency and state jointly agree are fish and wildlife habitat of resident species of high interest to the state, and which are essential for maintaining these priority wildlife species, shall be considered unsuitable. Floodplains. Federal lands in riverine, coastal, and special floodplains shall be considered unsuitable where it is determined that mining could not be undertaken without substantial threat of loss of life or property.

VALIDATION FOR PSO TRACT There are no unsuitable findings, and the PSO Tract therefore is not unsuitable for mining.

13.

There are no unsuitable findings, and the PSO Tract therefore is not unsuitable for mining.

14.

After BLM’s consultation with USFWS of intent to drop unsuitability designation of Lewis’ woodpecker habitat within the PSO Tract, USFWS concurred August 2001; however, they requested that the scoria hillsides on the western edge of the exchange area be removed from the exchange or monitoring will be required in the mining permit. Sage grouse leks were found on and near the TBNG review area. However, methods of mining can be developed which will not have a significant long-term impact on the grouse or their habitat. Therefore, the areas involved in leks and buffer zones are not unsuitable. After consultation with the USGS, it was determined that floodplains can be mined with site specific stipulations and resource protection safeguards to be developed during mining and reclamation planning. Therefore, all lands within the general review area are not unsuitable for mining. There are no municipal watersheds in the general review area.

There are no unsuitable findings, and the PSO Tract therefore is not unsuitable for mining.

15.

There are no unsuitable findings, and the PSO Tract therefore is not unsuitable for mining.

16.

There are no unsuitable findings, and the PSO Tract therefore is not unsuitable for mining.

17.

Municipal Watersheds. Federal lands which have been committed by the surface management agency to use as municipal watersheds shall be considered unsuitable. National Resource Waters. Federal lands with national resource waters, as identified by states in their water quality management plans, and 1/4-mile buffer zones shall be unsuitable. Alluvial Valley Floors. All lands identified by the surface management agency, in consultation with the state, as AVFs where mining would interrupt, discontinue or preclude farming, are unsuitable. Additionally, when mining federal lands outside an AVF would materially damage the quality or quantity of water in surface or underground water systems that would supply AVFs, the land shall be considered unsuitable. State or Indian Tribe Criteria. Federal lands to which is applicable a criterion proposed by the state or Indian tribe located in the planning area and adopted by rulemaking by the Secretary are unsuitable.

There are no unsuitable findings, and the PSO Tract therefore is not unsuitable for mining. There are no unsuitable findings, and the PSO Tract therefore is not unsuitable for mining.

18.

There are no national resource waters in the general review area.

19.

Lands along prominent drainages were considered potential AVFs pending a final determination by the state. These lands are placed in an "available pending further study" category and are not considered unsuitable.

The State will make a final determination during the mine permit application review process. No heretofore undisturbed stream valleys are included in the PSO Tract, and there is no unsuitability finding.

20.

The state has no applicable criteria and there is no Indian tribe located in or near the planning area. Therefore there is no unsuitability finding.

There are no unsuitability findings for this criterion on the PSO Tract.

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Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

APPENDIX D TECHNICAL REPORT ON THE WELCH RANCH COAL FIRE

Appendix D

Technical Report on the Welch Ranch Coal Fire 
 Sheridan County, Wyoming 

April 28, 2003 By Ed Heffern, Branch of Solid Minerals, BLM Wyoming State Office (SO) 
 Jerry Queen, Buffalo Field Office (FO), and 
 Ken Henke, Division of Resources Policy and Management, BLM Wyoming SO 
 Description of Site Visits On May 22, 2002, Richard Zander, Willy Frank, and Mike McKinley of the Buffalo FO, Ed Heffern and Ken Henke of the Wyoming SO, and Randy McKinley of the USGS EROS remote sensing data center in Sioux Falls, SD, visited the Welch Ranch along the Tongue River about nine miles north of Sheridan, Wyoming. This private ranch is owned by the Pittsburg and Midway Coal Mining Company (P&M), under their parent company ChevronTexaco, and is part of a proposed exchange for Federal coal in the Ash Creek area several miles northwest of the Welch Ranch. We visited the area to evaluate concerns about a coal fire on the Welch Ranch property raised by Mr. Frank Mommsen, a local landowner, in a congressional inquiry from Senator Enzi of Wyoming. Mr. Mommsen has stated on several occasions that a coal fire was burning on the Welch Ranch north of the abandoned Acme mine. Some BLM staff had been aware of the fire since early in the exchange negotiations, when Western Water Consultants discussed and photographed the fire in an environmental site study prepared for the exchange (WWC 2001). The mineral report prepared for the exchange by Jerry Queen, the Buffalo Field Office geologist, also mentioned and photographed the fire (Queen 2000). However, this fire was only briefly mentioned in the draft EIS for the exchange proposal. On page 3-9 of the draft, after discussing reclamation of underground coal fires in the abandoned Acme Mine just south of the Welch Ranch, one sentence states: “Spontaneous coal fires still occur along outcrops adjacent to the Tongue River within the Welch lands, specifically in the southwest portion of T.58N., R.84W., Section 2 (WWC 2001)”. The actual location is in T.57N., rather than T.58N. We saw evidence that the coal underlying a hillside between and north of two draws along the west bank of the Tongue River is actively burning, in the area of the proposed exchange. The day was cold, with drizzle and sleet, so we left after taking some pictures and videotape of the fire. The next day, BLM geologists Jerry Queen of the Buffalo FO and Ed Heffern of the Wyoming SO returned and used a Trimble Pathfinder Pro XR GPS unit to map the fissures and the extent of the fire, and an Industrial Scientific ATX 620 unit to collect oxygen, methane, and carbon monoxide spot readings at several fissures and vents (Photo 1). These data were downloaded into ArcView GIS to produce Figure 1 of this report. Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange D-1

Appendix D Figure 1 shows that the treeless area associated with the coal fire covers about 13 acres. The lack of trees may be a result of the ground being too hot for plants with deep roots, or have something to do with fumes coming from the fissures. The coal underlying the upper part of the hillside appears to be actively burning, as evidenced by fissures several feet deep. Figure 2 is a black and white enlargement of a small part of a NAPP color infrared aerial photo of the Acme area, taken on September 20, 2001. The active coal fire is visible in the north central part of the picture as a treeless area along the west bank of the Tongue River. Fissures are especially visible along the north edge of the fire and the land surface appears to be slumping south and east towards the river. The northern limit of the fissures (and underground coal fire) is near the top of the hill (see Photo 2). In places, these fissures emit heat and vapor. At vent #6, the plastic funnel attached to the ATX 620 gas monitor partially melted as we were taking gas readings in the fissure about a foot below the surface (Photo 3). Gas readings in the fissures showed elevated levels of methane and carbon monoxide, and depleted levels of oxygen (Table 1). Methane concentrations varied from 100 to 5,000 ppm, and averaged 1,600 ppm. Carbon monoxide levels varied from 1 to 1,000 ppm and averaged 300 ppm; the two highest readings (1,000 ppm) were at the instrument’s maximum detection limit and caused the over range alarm to go off. Oxygen levels varied from 18.0 to 20.8 percent and averaged 19.5 percent. In the area where the coal is actively burning, only grass grows (Photos 4 and 5). Some burned logs are present. In the hottest areas, not even grass grows on the ground. Partly burned ponderosa pine and juniper trees are present along the perimeter of the fire; some of these have dead or discolored branches, probably due to the vapor and/or heat coming off the coal (Photos 6 and 7). The junipers grow in an unusual columnar fashion. Table 1. Gas Readings at Welch Ranch Coal Fire. Data Point Vent 1 Vent 2 Vent 3 Vent 4 Vent 5 Vent 6 Vent 7 Vent 8 Vent 9 Hot Spot Carbon Monoxide (ppm) 1 1,000 239 67 1,000 163 132 210 30 158 Methane (ppm) 100 5,000 2,500 800 2,300 1,000 1,000 1,500 300 1,500 Oxygen (percent) 20.5 19.3 20.1 18.0 18.8 19.0 20.4 18.4 20.8 19.9

In September of 2002, contractors for the Wyoming State Abandoned Mine Land Division, Department of Environmental Quality (AMLD), worked onsite to stabilize the north end of the fire. On September 17, 2002, Dennis Stenger and Richard Zander of the Buffalo Field Office toured the reclamation site with D-2 Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix D Rodney Gaines of P&M. They discussed the reclamation efforts with David Murja of Spectrum Engineering (the AMLD consultant) and possible safety fencing and educational interpretation needs if BLM decides to acquire the site. On September 26, 2002, Ed Heffern of the Wyoming State Office and Mike McKinley of the Buffalo Field Office returned to check the progress of the reclamation effort. The northern edge of the fire was in the final stages of being regraded (Photos 12–14). The foreman for the AMLD contractor, Everett Seaton of S&T Excavating in Thermopolis, Wyoming, said that they had worked on the site for the past three weeks with Spectrum Engineering to fill the fissures. The smaller cracks were excavated to the base of the crack (six to eight feet deep on average), filled with two feet of reject fines from crushed clinker (scoria), and backfilled the rest of the way with country rock. The larger cracks were filled with a slurry of clinker fines and water. A D-8 bulldozer was busy regrading the surface. The fissures on the steep hill to the south had not been reclaimed due to concerns about stability of the excavation equipment on the slope. On the morning of February 25, 2003, Jerry Queen, Bob Hartman and Barney Whiteman of the Buffalo Field Office visited the Welch fire site. The air temperature was 15 to 20 degrees F., which was the warmest since a snowstorm had blanketed the area two days before. However, vapor was rising from areas of melting snow and bare spots and fissures were exposed in the regraded area near the top of the hill at the north end of the fire and along the ridge to the east. Snow covered the rest of the landscape, indicating that coal is still smoldering at depth despite the reclamation efforts. They took photographs and GPS measurements (Photos 15-16). Geology Figures 3 and 5 of this report provide a picture of the geology at the site. They are based on the structure and isopach maps for the Monarch, Dietz 2, and Dietz 3 coal beds (Figures 2.5-5, 6, and 7) and cross-sections A through D (Figures 2.5-8 through 12) in the geology section of the Welch No. 1 North mine permit application (Sheridan Enterprises 1983). Three coal beds are present below the surface of the hillside. They dip to the east at a slope of about 200 feet per mile. The uppermost Dietz 2 bed is about eight feet thick; its top drops from an elevation of about 3,730 feet in the west side of the active burn area to 3,700 feet on the east side. It has partially burned in prehistoric times to form clinker near the top of the hill. The Dietz 2 is separated by 80 to 90 feet of shale, siltstone, sandstone, and thin coal stringers from the underlying Dietz 3 bed, which is about 26 feet thick and whose top dips from an elevation of about 3,630 feet on the west side to 3,600 feet on the east side. The main burning at the site appears to be occurring in the Dietz 3 coal bed, which is between zero and 140 feet deep. A prehistoric burn of the Dietz 3 occurs in the draw a hundred yards north of the north end of the active fire. About 15 to 40 feet of Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange D-3

Appendix D shale, siltstone, and sandstone separate the Dietz 3 from the underlying Monarch bed, which is about 16 feet thick and whose top dips from an elevation of about 3,580 feet on the west side to 3,540 feet on the east side at the edge of the Tongue River by the diversion dam. The Monarch bed is from zero to 180 feet deep. Data are lacking as to whether any of the Monarch bed has burned at the site; however, the Monarch has burned or is burning over a large area south of the Welch Ranch. Aqua Terra Associates, Inc. of Sheridan, Wyoming, currently provides access to and manages activities on the Welch No. 1 North mine permit area for the Pittsburg-Midway Coal Company, along with Rodney Gaines of P&M. Julie Gerlach of Aqua Terra Associates is the mine manager. The Welch fire is a few hundred yards north and east of the abandoned Acme No. 42 underground coal mine (Figure 4). According to Dunrud and Osterwald (1980), this mine was active from 1911 through 1940 and produced from the Monarch coal bed. Other records (WWC 2001) indicate that mining continued until about 1942 and produced from the underlying Carney bed as well as the Monarch coal bed. The Monarch bed has been burning sporadically due to air inflow from collapse of the rooms between the pillars in the old workings at the Acme mine. The Wyoming AMLD has done a number of reclamation and emergency rehabilitation projects over the past 20 years to extinguish these fires. As the fire advances in the Monarch bed, and the overburden collapses, the overlying Dietz 3 and Dietz 2 beds also collapse and the resulting set of fractures may be allowing oxygen in and causing these overlying beds to catch on fire as well (Figure 3 and Photos 8 and 9). Mine maps obtained from the U.S. Office of Surface Mining’s Mine Map Repository show that as of August 1940, the year that the Acme mine lost its lease, mining had advanced northward up to the boundary between Sections 2 and 11, and eastward to the boundary between Sections 2 and 3 (Figure 4). The mine maps show that most of the Monarch coal seam in the S2 SE of Section 3 was mined out, and that a prehistoric burn line kept the mine from advancing any further north. An entry had been driven diagonally into the SW SW corner of Section 2 but no mining was shown. However, it is possible that unauthorized mining could have advanced into the southwest part of Section 2 after that date. Earlier mining in Section 2 also occurred. Taff (1909, p. 141), in his U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 341-B report on the Sheridan Coal Field, states that a Mr. Evans mined a coal bed (probably the Monarch) for domestic use in the south half of Section 2. Over 14 feet of this coal was exposed along the bank of the Tongue River, and the base was concealed below the water line. Plate VIII of his report shows an entry along the west bank of the Tongue River in the SW of Section 2. This mine could have underlain the area of the active fire. A fissure near the 3,560-foot elevation contour (see Figure 1) may mark collapse of the Monarch coal bed just above the level of the Tongue River in the active fire area. WWC (2001) reports that mine maps show that the Carney bed, as well as the overlying Monarch, was mined in the SE of Section 3. D-4 Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix D Figure 5 shows the limits of the Acme mine in relation to the coal beds as mapped in the Welch No. 1 North mine permit application, on file with the Land Quality Division of the State Of Wyoming’s Department of Environmental Quality. This application was filed in January 1983 by Sheridan Enterprises, Inc. Figure 5 was compiled by Spectrum Engineering, Inc., of Billings, Montana (Murja 2002, Attachment 3). Current Activity and Research A coal fire is eligible for full reclamation funding through AMLD’s SMCRA program if: 1) the fire is the result of historic coal mining activity that occurred prior to the eligibility dates established in SMCRA; 2) the fire constitutes an extreme danger or potential adverse effect to public health, safety and property; 3) there is no responsible party with outstanding reclamation obligations for the site; and 4) if the site is located within the boundaries of an active coal mine permit area, the permittee must not have re-disturbed the site after the eligibility date. Currently, the area of the Welch fire is within the active permit area of the proposed Welch No. 1 North mine. In addition to these considerations, AMLD prioritizes all potential reclamation sites based on the level of hazard, accessibility to the public, and budgetary constraints. In the case of mine fires, AMLD involvement may depend on the degree to which success is expected in controlling or extinguishing the fire. The AMLD contracted with Spectrum Engineering to evaluate the Welch fire and perform emergency stabilization work. From September 9 through 27, 2002, David Murja of Spectrum Engineering, and the AMLD subcontractors, stabilized fissures at the north end of the Welch Ranch fire (Photos 12-14). Ernie Robb of the AMLD’s Casper office and Kent Simon of the AMLD’s Lander office served as project officers. The contractors graded the road to the top of the hill with a dozer and constructed a pad there, then excavated fissures, filled them with inert material, and regraded the slope. The control effort was limited to repairing and sealing cracks on top of the ridge at the north end of the site. The work was intended to reduce site hazards and to impede air circulation along the advancing edge of the underground fire by sealing cracks that were functioning as chimneys. The fissures on the hill at the south end of the fire (including vents 4, 7, 8, and 9 on Figure 1) were not reclaimed and are still open and warm. The AMLD hoped that this action would help to control surface evidence of the fire and retard its advance to the north, at least in the short term (Gillette News-Record 9/16/2002). On October 7, 2002, Spectrum submitted its final report to AMLD (Murja 2002).

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D-5

Appendix D The Spectrum report describes the state of the fire during the summer of 2002 and details the methods used to seal the cracks. Several sets of fissures, several feet wide and as much as seven feet deep, were on the ridge at the north end of the site; most of these fissures trended east-west. Toward the east end of the ridge, steam vents were developing. Further south and east, wide cracks had opened up in the siltstone layers at the top of the ridge. These were producing elevated temperature, methane, and carbon monoxide readings and depleted oxygen readings. Older cracks, which had nearly filled in, extended down the nose of the ridge. The fissure repair started with the cracks furthest to the north and worked south from the ridge top down the slope. The contractors dug down with a track hoe excavator to create trenches about eight feet deep, then used a wheel loader to fill the base of each trench with two to three feet of dry, finely ground clinker waste which had been trucked in from a crushing operation north of Ranchester. The excavator compacted the fines, then backfilled the trench to the surface with excavated material. For the deeper cracks extending down the nose of the ridge, and for those cracks furthest downhill where it was difficult to get equipment in, a slurry of clinker fines and water was pumped in to seal the fissures. In total, the contractors repaired 23 cracks and vents totaling 2,410 linear feet. Temperatures at the base of the trenches ranged from ambient air temperature to 359 degrees F. Several remote sensing projects have been conducted, or are pending, in the area. In August 2002, Airborne Data Systems completed a thermal imaging project of the entire Acme area. Results were inconclusive. Attachment 1 of the Murja (2002) report is a thermal scan of the fire area by Airborne Data Systems; the report recommends periodic thermal scans early in the morning and during winter months so problems with solar heating can be negated. Randy McKinley of the USGS EROS remote sensing data center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, who visited the fire on May 22 with the BLM staff, obtained a thermal LANDSAT satellite image dated June 24, 2002, of the area extending from Decker, Montana south to the Acme mine area north of Sheridan, Wyoming. The image resolution is coarse, and the area is partially cloudcovered. The sky over the area of the Welch Ranch is clear, however, and there appears to be a slight thermal anomaly in that area. The resolution is not good enough to provide details of the fire. Randy also is analyzing the Airborne Data Systems images to better define thermal anomalies, and is collecting Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) interferometry images of the area, to determine if it is possible to detect minute changes in elevation of the fire area over time, due to slumps or landslides as coal is consumed. Nancy Russell of the BLM National Science and Technology Center in Denver was trying to arrange to have the U.S. Forest Service fly and photograph the Welch Ranch and Acme Mine area, as well as two other sites in Colorado, with their Phoenix thermal infrared sensor during the winter. However, to date the sensor has not been available. D-6 Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix D Origin of the Coalbed Fire The authors think that the Welch Ranch coalbed fire is probably related to an abandoned coal mine fire at the Acme No. 42 mine, immediately south of the Welch Ranch. The mine fire appears to have migrated further north into the area of the current fire since the Acme fire was mapped in 1978 as part of US Geological Survey Professional Paper 1164 (Dunrud and Osterwald 1980). According to this publication, coal fires have been burning in the abandoned Acme mine for many years, as rooms in the underground mine collapsed and allowed air from the surface to enter. Figure 4 of Professional Paper 1164 shows the north edge of the Acme mine fire to extend into the S2 SW of Section 2 as well as the SE SE of Section 3, both within the proposed exchange area of the Welch Ranch. The extent of the fire was based on aerial photos taken in February of 1978 that showed bare ground at a time when deep snow covered the landscape. Notes on an Acme mine map dated August 1940 and received in September 1952 (by whom is undetermined), from the U.S. Office of Surface Mining’s Mine Map Repository, tend to support the migration hypothesis. The notes show a fire in a mined area in the E2 NW NW of Section 11, just south of the Welch Ranch and just west of the Tongue River, suggesting that mine collapse near the coal outcrop caused the fire to spread north along the outcrop. Less likely alternatives are that the Welch Ranch fire originated naturally from a coal fire on the outcrop in the SW of Section 2 or resulted from collapse of the old Evans mine in that area. In 1987, the AMLD extinguished and reclaimed coal fires which were advancing upstream in a drainage located in the NE of Sec. 10, T.57N., R.84W., several hundred yards southwest of the current fire (WWC 2001). The Fire Hole Draw project (OSM/AML Project 8-13) covered the area with a mantle of fill in an effort to smother the fire. According to Murja (2002), that fire had broken through to the surface from the underground mine workings during the 1970s. Figure 4 of our report compares the 1978 fire extent with the mined-out area, the 1940-era fire area, the 1987 fire control project, and the area of current burning in Section 2. The maps indicate that the fire has moved north about 300 feet within the past 24 years. Murja (2002) states that the fire burned as much as 700 feet north during that period. Figure 4 also shows the extent of the Thunder Child forest fire (ArcView shapefiles of forest fire perimeter and limits of Acme Mine courtesy of Julie Gerlach, Aqua Terra Associates, Sheridan, Wyoming). The Spectrum report (Murja 2002, p. 3) concurs with our view that the Welch fire may be related to the Acme fire. It states, “Available information suggests that this underground coal seam fire is an extension of the Acme Mine Fire. Prior to 1978, the fire in the mine apparently broke out of the mine and began burning northward following the outcrops of the Monarch and Dietz 3 coal seams along bluffs on the west side of the Tongue River. The underground fire has now moved approximately a quarter of a mile north from the mine. If the Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange D-7

Appendix D fire continues to the north, it will reach the Dietz 3 outcrop on the opposite side of the ridge within 800 feet.” The fire shown on the 1978 map in the SE SE of Section 3 does not appear to have advanced to the north or east. Although there are subsidence cracks on the surface resulting from collapse of the overburden above mined cavities in the underlying Monarch bed (see Photo 17), heat is not escaping from the cracks. The areas in Sections 3 and 10 just west and south of the fence line marking the limits of the quarter quarter section within the Welch Ranch have been reclaimed in previous AMLD projects over the past 20 years (see Photo 18); this appears to have extinguished any fires in the SE SE of Section 3 as well. Origin of the Forest Fire Richard Zander and Ed Heffern visited with neighboring landowner Mr. Frank Mommsen at his carburetor shop in Sheridan on the afternoon of May 22, 2002. Mr. Mommsen contends the Thunder Child forest fire of July 2001 started from the coal fire in a draw in the SE SW SW of Section 2 that had been spouting blue smoke all the previous winter. He showed us photos he had taken of this area, including aerial views of the fracture pattern on the bare hillside. He said that a strong wind from the southeast the day of the forest fire caused the coal fire to spread out of control towards the northwest. He said there was no lightning in the area the day the forest fire started, and showed us his results from an Internet lightning detection service, which also did not detect lightning. Mr. Mommsen said he was concerned about BLM acquiring a safety hazard. Jerry Queen and Ed Heffern found the same site as in his photo in the field the following day (Vent #9 on Figure 1, Photos 10 and 11). Other local residents contend that lightning did occur in the area the day the Thunder Child fire started. One nearby landowner said that lightning struck cottonwood trees in the Tongue River floodplain, and that the fire started on top of a ridge within a few hundred yards of the coal fire. However, apart from the question of whether the coal fire is likely to start additional forest fires, the cause of the forest fire is not a BLM issue, as the fire originated on surface estate that was private at the time. The Spectrum report states that the cause of the forest fire is not certain. Many of the trees around the site of the underground coal fire were charred. Few trees were present in the central area and eastern edge of the active coal fire, before the forest fire; however, there are many burned trees around the west, south, and north edges of the coal fire.

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Appendix D Hazards The coal seam fire will probably continue to burn northward and westward until: 1) it runs out of coal, either by hitting an outcrop or prehistoric burn line; 2) the supply of oxygen is cut off because fissures fail to reach the surface; 3) the coal drops below the water table; or 4) the area is fully reclaimed by DEQ (which may be very difficult due to the depth of the fire). Burning could continue for tens to hundreds of years. Potential hazards to the public, if the exchange is consummated and access is allowed, include: 1. Noxious or explosive gases (methane, carbon monoxide, and most likely others that were not evaluated); 2. Depleted levels of oxygen near the fissures; 3. Hot spots on the ground which may mask a fissure or cause burns if someone stepped on them; 4. Unstable ground near fissures which could collapse under weight; 5. Danger of burns or suffocation if someone fell in a fissure; and 6. Risk of the coal fire igniting additional forest and range vegetation. Toxic and explosive limits for the gases measured are found in a number of publications. Kim and Chaiken (1993, p. 9) stress that carbon monoxide is the most serious hazard in coal fires and cite a threshold limit value of 50 ppm, at which point formation of carboxyhemoglobin will start to produce carbon monoxide poisoning. The NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (1990, p. 170) gives a 10-hour time-weighted average permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 35 ppm for carbon monoxide in a confined space. EPA has an ambient air standard of 9 ppm for carbon monoxide. Methane of itself is not a toxic gas; however, it is explosive at a concentration in air of between 5% and 15% (50,000 to 150,000 ppm). The main respiratory danger of high levels of methane is that oxygen may be displaced to a level below 19.5%, at which point breathing and pulse rates start to increase (29 CFR 1910, Occupational Safety and Health Standards). Below 10% oxygen, nausea, vomiting, and loss of consciousness occur; below 6% oxygen, convulsions and respiratory failure occur (Kim and Chaiken 1993, p. 10). The data in Table 1 show that carbon monoxide levels are a definite concern and that low oxygen levels may also exist in some areas, especially inside partially confined spaces such as fissures. Possible methods to control the fire include excavating and removing the coal, digging a trench and filling it with inert material to isolate the coal fire area from unburned coal further back in the hill, injecting liquid nitrogen, fine particles, or foaming grouts into fissures to cut off the oxygen supply, sealing the surface, and/or injecting water (Kim and Chaiken 1993). Water injection may not be effective due to the danger of steam explosions, the fact that the coal beds dip towards the river (which could cause injected water to flow back toward the outcrop instead of toward unburned coal), and the fact that adsorption of water on a dry coal surface (the “heat of wetting” reaction) actually increases the likelihood of combustion. As mentioned earlier, AMLD Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange D-9

Appendix D did emergency stabilization at the site, using inert material to fill fissures. This may reduce surface expressions of the fire in the short term. The fire is still smoldering underneath the regraded area, as of February 2003. In the long term, it may be difficult and expensive to completely isolate and extinguish the fire, as the fire appears to be fairly extensive and at a depth that would require major excavation to isolate the fire area from unburned coal. Management Alternatives We have identified several options for management consideration. They are divided into two sets. One set addresses the land exchange decision process, and the other set addresses possible future BLM management actions if the land exchange is completed in the area of the coal fire. It is important to remember that additional land use planning would need to be completed to address the management of the Welch Ranch if it is acquired. It may be that pieces of several options can be combined to reach a preferred solution. The solution will depend on the level of liability risk that BLM management is willing to assume in exchange for the resources to be acquired, and whether part of the Welch Ranch can or should be deleted from the exchange proposal. The main concern is safety and potential liability for accidents; a recent U.S. District Court decision in Wyoming refused to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a person who was severely burned when he fell into a thermal pool in Yellowstone National Park. The BLM is limited from acquiring private land contaminated with hazardous waste, but coal fires are not defined as hazardous waste. The appraisal staff would need to review and document how potential hazards presented by acquiring lands containing an active coal fire and tonnages of coal involved in the fire would affect the estimated value of the Welch Tract, which could affect the estimate of minable coal reserves that the BLM would offer for exchange. According to the regulations governing exchanges (43 CFR 2200.0-6(c)), the value of the interests being acquired must be equal to the value of the lands or interests being conveyed into private ownership. The following options deal with the issue of whether or not BLM should acquire the area impacted by the existing coal seam fire: 1. Proceed with the exchange “as is”. 	 Under this option, BLM would acquire the entire Welch Ranch property, including that portion of the Welch Ranch impacted by the existing coal seam fire, and future management would consider the presence of the fire. BLM would assume responsibility as a landowner for any future liability claims related to the fire under this option. 2. Delete the 40-acre parcel that contains the fire from the exchange area. This involves the E2 SW SW and W2 SE SW of Section 2. Figure 6 shows the area covered by Options 2, 3, and 4. Option 2 would eliminate the possibility of BLM incurring liability from the existing coal seam fire on D-10 Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix D the hill above the Tongue River. It would not eliminate BLM’s future liability for claims from the public if the coal seam fire continues to burn and expand after the remaining Welch Ranch lands are acquired. Additionally, this would not remove liability from BLM if and/or when the fire moves onto Federal surface/coal. This option might also be crafted to delete the mineral estate on this parcel from the exchange and acquire the surface estate only, with the idea of limiting potential liability. Such an option might also eliminate the possibility of BLM incurring liability from the existing coal seam fire, but it has the same limitations as the previous option. If the fire continues to burn, any surface acquired by the BLM could be impacted in the future. 3. Delete the W2 SW SW of Section 2, and the SE SE of Section 3, which has been mined out by the Acme mine, from the exchange area, as well as the 40-acre parcel in Option 2 (a total of 100 acres). The 1980 USGS report showed that the southwest corner of the SE SE of Section 3 was on fire as well. However, a BLM field inspection of this area on September 26, 2002, showed no evidence of active burning. Further collapse in the mined area might allow more air to enter and a fire to ignite or spread. This option also might have the effect of limiting BLM’s liability from the existing coal seam fire. 4. Delete a larger area, including a buffer zone, around the mined area and fire. This would prevent the fire from encroaching into a public area for a longer period of time. The option listed here would remove a total of 210 acres, including the 100 acres in Option 3 as well as a buffer zone of 110 acres comprising the following lands: SE NE SW, S2 NW SE, and S2 NE SE of Section 3; and S2 NW SW, S2 NE SW, and E2 SE SW of Section 2. This buffer zone includes small mined out areas as well as outcrops of the Dietz 3 coal seam, past which it will be more difficult for the fire to advance. Management may wish to consider other configurations of the buffer zone, which would eliminate different acreages. The following options deal with future management of the coal seam fire area if BLM proceeds with the exchange proposal on the entire Welch Ranch without the modifications discussed above: 1. After the Welch Ranch is acquired, exclude the coal seam fire area from any designated recreation area. Fence off the fire area, post warning signs, and monitor advance of the fire with soil gas probes (perhaps setting a north-south row of three-foot long PVC/plastic tubing probes on the hilltop in the direction of fire advance, with a parallel row of gas sorbers, to compare different methods of soil gas analysis). 2. Designate the coal fire as a research natural area. 	 Conduct research on burning processes, types and rates of gases produced, and solicit outside research proposals. Allow educational geological tours of the area with Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange D-11

Appendix D authorized staff. Use remote sensing on a periodic basis to scan for thermal anomalies and escape of gases. 3. There are, or have been, burning coal seams in Theodore Roosevelt National Park and the Little Missouri National Grassland in North Dakota. If the decision is to include the area of the Welch fire in the exchange, it might be useful to visit these sites to see how they are managed and interpreted. We contacted Mr. Noel Poe, superintendent at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, who related that the park had a burning coal vein nature trail; the coal fire there started as a result of a lightning strike in the 1950s and burned until 1972. All coal fires in the park have been extinguished. We also contacted Mr. Curt Glasoe, an engineer with the Little Missouri National Grassland, who has extinguished a number of burning coal veins, especially near oil and gas production sites and pipelines. They have a program to dig out and isolate the burning veins, which ignite due to range fires and lightning. He mentioned a Burning Coal Vein campground on their lands (which the main author of this report has also visited). The Forest Service posted warning signs and fenced off the fire from the campground; they moved the fence every year as the fire advanced. That fire is now extinguished as well. He said there are about 30 active fire areas today in their district. 4. Reclaim the fire in cooperation with the State AMLD. 	 hey have already T done emergency stabilization of the north part of the active fire. Full reclamation would likely be much more involved, and would have to address the hot areas in the draw along the southwest edge of the fire as well as any resurgence of the north end of the fire. The AMLD may use SMCRA funds to reclaim only fires associated with mining which occurred prior to the SMCRA eligibility date, that present a hazard to public safety and property, and for which there is no responsible party with reclamation obligations for the site. Budgetary constraints may also limit AMLD involvement. The active mine permit may also complicate matters. The fire may be difficult and expensive to extinguish because of the rough topography and the fact that fires are burning in more than one coal bed and as deep as 100 to 200 feet underground. Under this option, additional detailed drilling would be needed to acquire a better understanding of the fire and what coal seams are involved in different areas of the fire. 5. Showcase the coal fire and subsidence areas to the public as an example of natural burning processes and/or coal fire reclamation methods. Develop environmental education signs and exhibits; design pathways to avoid unstable or dangerous areas; and post warning signs where needed. Consider whether P&M could contribute funds or equipment to help monitor future advance of the coal fire, extinguish any future flareups of the fire, and/or develop interpretive services. D-12 Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

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D-27

Appendix D References Dunrud, C.R. and Osterwald, F.W., 1980, Effects of coal mine subsidence in the Sheridan, Wyoming, area: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1164, 49 p. Gillette News-Record, September 16, 2002, Coal seam fire deemed a threat to safety: News article, Gillette, Wyoming. Kim, A.G. and Chaiken, R.F., 1993, Fires in abandoned coal mines and waste banks: U.S. Bureau of Mines Information Circular 9352, 58 p. Murja, David, October 2002, Acme-Welch coal fire construction report, Wyoming Project 17G – Statewide mine fires: Final unpublished report by Spectrum Engineering, Inc. to Wyoming State Department of Environmental Quality, Abandoned Mine Division, 10 p. plus attachments. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, June 1990, NIOSH pocket guide to chemical hazards: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services NIOSH Publication #90-117, 245 p. Queen, G.W., June 2000, Mineral potential report for Welch Place and PSO Ranch land and coal exchange in Sheridan County, Wyoming: U.S. Bureau of Land Management Mineral Report, 12 p. plus illustrations. Sheridan Enterprises, January 1983, Mine permit application for Welch No. 1 North Mine: Unpublished report submitted to Wyoming State Department of Environmental Quality, Land Quality Division. Taff, J.A., 1909, The Sheridan Coal Field, Wyoming: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 341-B, p. 123-150. U.S. Bureau of Land Management, April 2002, Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Pittsburg and Midway Coal Mining Company Land Exchange (WYW148816): Prepared for Casper BLM Field Office, Casper, Wyoming, by WWC Engineering, Sheridan, Wyoming. WWC Engineering, January 2001, Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment, Welch Property, Sheridan County, Wyoming: Unpublished report prepared for Pittsburg and Midway Coal Mining Company, 32 p. plus appendices.

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APPENDIX E BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT,
 USFS SENSITIVE SPECIES EVALUATION, 
 BLM SENSITIVE SPECIES EVALUATION, 
 AND STATE SPECIES OF SPECIAL CONCERN 
 FOR THE P&M LAND EXCHANGE EIS


Appendix E TABLE OF CONTENTS 
 Page

E-1.0 BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT INTRODUCTION ..................................E-1 
 E-1.1 DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPOSED ACTION AND 
 ALTERNATIVES.......................................................................E-1 E-1.1.1 The Proposed Action .................................................E-1 
 E-1.1.2 Alternatives to the Proposed Action ...........................E-2 
 E-1.2 CONSULTATION TO DATE ....................................................E-2 
 E-1.3 BIOLOGY AND HABITAT REQUIREMENTS .............................E-4 
 E-1.3.1 Threatened Species ....................................................E-5 
 E-1.3.1.1 Bald eagle......................................................E-5 E-1.3.1.2 Canada lynx ..................................................E-6 E-1.3.1.3 Platte River species ........................................E-6 
 E-1.3.1.4 Ute ladies’-tresses…………………………………..E-6 E-1.3.2 Endangered Species ...................................................E-7 
 E-1.3.2.1 Black-footed ferret .........................................E-7 E-1.3.2.2 Colorado River fish species ............................E-8 
 E-1.3.2.3 Blowout penstemon .......................................E-8 E-1.3.2.4 Platte River species ........................................E-9 
 E-1.3.3 Proposed Species .......................................................E-9 
 E-1.3.3.1 Mountain plover ............................................E-9 E-1.3.4 Experimental Species.................................................E-10 E-1.3.4.1 Gray wolf .......................................................E-10 E-1.3.5 Candidate Species......................................................E-11 E-1.3.5.1 Black-tailed prairie dog..................................E-11 E-1.3.5.2 Western boreal toad.......................................E-12 E-1.3.5.3 Yellow-billed cuckoo ......................................E-12 E-1.3.5.4 Arctic grayling ...............................................E-13 E-1.4 SUMMARY OF DETERMINATIONS .........................................E-13 E-1.5 BRIDGER LANDS ...................................................................E-13 E-1.5.1 Threatened Species ....................................................E-16 E-1.5.1.1 Bald eagle......................................................E-16 E-1.5.1.2 Canada lynx ..................................................E-18 E-1.5.1.3 Ute ladies’-tresses..........................................E-18 E-1.5.2 Endangered Species ...................................................E-18 E-1.5.2.1 Black-footed ferret .........................................E-18 E-1.5.2.2 Colorado River fish species ............................E-19 E-1.5.3 Proposed Species .......................................................E-19 E-1.5.3.1 Mountain plover ............................................E-19 E-1.5.4 Experimental Species.................................................E-19 E-1.5.4.1 Gray wolf .......................................................E-19 E-1.5.5 Candidate Species......................................................E-20 E-1.5.5.1 Black-tailed prairie dog..................................E-20 E-1.5.5.2 Western boreal toad.......................................E-20 E-1.5.5.3 Yellow-billed cuckoo ......................................E-20 E-1.5.5.4 Arctic grayling ...............................................E-21 Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange E-i





 
 
 
 



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Appendix E E-1.5.6 Cumulative Effects ....................................................E-21 E-1.6 JO RANCH LANDS .................................................................E-21 E-1.6.1 Threatened Species ....................................................E-23 E-1.6.1.1 Bald eagle......................................................E-23 E-1.6.1.2 Canada lynx ..................................................E-24 E-1.6.1.3 Platte River species ........................................E-25 E-1.6.1.4 Ute ladies’-tresses .........................................E-25 E-1.6.2 Endangered Species ...................................................E-25 E-1.6.2.1 Black-footed ferret .........................................E-25 E-1.6.2.2 Colorado River fish species ............................E-26 E-1.6.2.3 Blowout penstemon .......................................E-26 E-1.6.2.4 Platte River species ........................................E-26 E-1.6.3 Proposed Species .......................................................E-27 E-1.6.3.1 Mountain plover ............................................E-27 E-1.6.4 Candidate Species......................................................E-27 E-1.6.4.1 Black-tailed prairie dog..................................E-27 E-1.6.4.2 Western boreal toad.......................................E-27 E-1.6.4.3 Yellow-billed cuckoo ......................................E-28 E-1.6.4.4 Arctic grayling ...............................................E-28 E-1.6.5 Cumulative Effects ....................................................E-28 E-1.7 WELCH LANDS ......................................................................E-28 E-1.7.1 Threatened Species ....................................................E-32 E-1.7.1.1 Bald eagle......................................................E-32 E-1.7.1.2 Canada lynx ..................................................E-32 E-1.7.1.3 Ute ladies’-tresses..........................................E-33 E-1.7.2 Endangered Species ...................................................E-33 E-1.7.2.1 Black-footed ferret .........................................E-33 E-1.7.3 Proposed Species .......................................................E-34 E-1.7.3.1 Mountain plover ............................................E-34 E-1.7.4 Candidate Species......................................................E-34 E-1.7.4.1 Black-tailed prairie dog..................................E-34 E-1.7.4.2 Western boreal toad.......................................E-35 E-1.7.4.3 Yellow-billed cuckoo ......................................E-35 E-1.7.4.4 Arctic grayling ...............................................E-35 E-1.7.5 Cumulative Effects ....................................................E-36 E-1.8 PSO TRACT ............................................................................E-36 E-1.8.1 Threatened Species ....................................................E-39 E-1.8.1.1 Bald eagle......................................................E-39 E-1.8.1.2 Canada lynx ..................................................E-41 E-1.8.1.3 Ute ladies’-tresses..........................................E-42 E-1.8.2 Endangered Species ...................................................E-42 E-1.8.2.1 Black-footed ferret .........................................E-42 E-1.8.3 Proposed Species .......................................................E-45 E-1.8.3.1 Mountain plover ............................................E-45 E-1.8.4 Candidate Species......................................................E-46 E-1.8.4.1 Black-tailed prairie dog..................................E-46 E-1.8.4.2 Western boreal toad.......................................E-47 E-ii Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Appendix E E-1.8.4.3 Yellow-billed cuckoo ......................................E-47 E-1.8.4.4 Arctic grayling ...............................................E-47 E-1.8.5 Regulatory Requirements and Mitigation for the 
 PSO Tract..................................................................E-48 E-1.8.6 Cumulative Impacts ...................................................E-49 
 E-2.0 USFS INTERMOUNTAIN REGION SENSITIVE SPECIES ...................E-50 
 E-2.1 FISH AND WILDLIFE..............................................................E-50 
 E-2.1.1 Spotted Frog: Population and Habitat Status.............E-51 
 E-2.1.2 Flammulated Owl: Population and Habitat Status .....E-51 
 E-2.1.3 Boreal Owl, Three-toed woodpecker, Great gray owl, 
 Northern goshawk: Population and Habitat Status ....E-51 
 E-2.1.4 Wolverine and Fisher: Population and Habitat 
 Status ........................................................................E-52 E-2.2 PLANT SPECIES .....................................................................E-52 
 E-2.2.1 Population and Habitat Status ...................................E-52 
 E-2.3 EFFECTS OF THE PROPOSED PROJECT ON USFS 
 INTERMOUNTAIN REGION SENSITIVE SPECIES ...................E-55 
 E-3.0 BLM SENSITIVE SPECIES EVALUATION .........................................E-56 
 E-3.1 DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPOSED ACTION ..........................E-56 
 E-3.2 SPECIES OCCURRENCE AND HABITAT DESCRIPTIONS........E-57 
 E-3.3 DETERMINATION OF EFFECTS .............................................E-57 
 E-3.3.1 Bridger Lands, JO Ranch Lands, and Welch Lands ....E-57 
 E-3.3.2 PSO Tract ..................................................................E-57 
 E-4.0 STATE SPECIES OF SPECIAL CONCERN.........................................E-63 
 E-5.0 CREDENTIALS OF SURVEY PERSONNEL ........................................E-65 
 E-6.0 PERSONAL CONTACTS AND REFERENCES CITED .........................E-66 
 LIST OF FIGURES Figure E-1 	 Figure E-2 	 Figure E-3 	 Figure E-4 	 Figure E-5 	 General Location of Lands Being Offered for Exchange 
 by P&M and the PSO Tract..................................................E-3 
 Bridger Lands Location Map................................................E-15 
 JO Ranch Lands Location Map............................................E-22 
 Welch Lands Location Map..................................................E-29 
 T&E Animal Species Survey Areas for the Ash Creek 
 Mine and PSO Tract ...........................................................E-38 
 
 
 





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E-iii

Appendix E Figure E-6 	 Raptor Nest Sites, Sage Grouse Leks, and Prairie Dog 
 Towns Within and Adjacent to the PSO Tract ......................E-44 
 LIST OF TABLES Table E-1.1 	 Effects Evaluation of Federal Threatened, Endangered, 
 Proposed, Experimental, and Candidate Species in the 
 Areas of the Bridger Lands, JO Ranch Lands, Welch 
 Lands, and PSO Tract .........................................................E-14 
 Occurrence of Threatened, Endangered, Proposed, 
 Experimental, and Candidate Species in the Area of 
 The Bridger Lands...............................................................E-17 
 Occurrence of Threatened, Endangered, Proposed, and 
 Candidate Species in the Area of the JO Ranch Lands.........E-24 
 Occurrence of Threatened, Endangered, Proposed, and 
 Candidate Species in the Area of the Welch Lands and 
 the PSO Tract .....................................................................E-31 
 USFS Intermountain Fish and Wildlife Sensitive Species .....E-50 
 Region 4 – BTNF Potential Sensitive Plant Species ...............E-53 
 Bureau of Land Management Sensitive Species, Habitat 
 Requirements, and Occurrence by Field Office ....................E-58 


Table E-1.2 	

Table E-1.3 	 Table E-1.4 	

Table E-2.1 	 Table E-2.2 	 Table E-3.1 	

E-iv

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Appendix E E-1.0 BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT INTRODUCTION Threatened and endangered species are managed under the authority of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973 (PL 93-205, as amended). The ESA requires Federal agencies to ensure that all actions which they authorize, fund, or carry out are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or threatened species, or result in the destruction or adverse modification of their critical habitat. This Biological Assessment was prepared to display the possible effects to endangered, threatened, experimental, proposed, or candidate wildlife or vegetative species (terrestrial and aquatic) known to occur, or that may occur within the area influenced by the Proposed Action, which is the Preferred Alternative of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). It was prepared in accordance with Section 7 of the ESA. Biological Assessment objectives are: 1. To comply with the requirements of the ESA that actions of Federal agencies not jeopardize or adversely modify critical habitat of Federally listed species. 2. To provide a process and standard by which to ensure that threatened, endangered, and proposed species receive full consideration in the decision making process. In addition, the Regional Forester has identified sensitive plant and animal species that are known to be present or are potentially present on the Bridger lands which lie within the Bridger-Teton National Forest (BTNF). The USFS objective for sensitive species is to “develop and implement management practices to ensure that species do not become threatened or endangered because of Forest Service actions” (USFS Manual 2670.22). The Wyoming BLM has also prepared a list of sensitive species to focus species management efforts towards maintaining habitats under a multiple use mandate. The authority for this policy and guidance comes from the ESA of 1973, as amended; Title II of the Sikes Act, as amended; the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) of 1976; and the Department Manual 235.1.1A. E-1.1 DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPOSED ACTION AND ALTERNATIVES E-1.1.1 The Proposed Action Pittsburg and Midway Coal Mining Company (P&M) has filed a proposal with BLM and USFS to exchange P&M-owned land and minerals in Lincoln, Carbon, and Sheridan Counties in Wyoming for federally–owned coal in northern Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange E-1

Appendix E Sheridan County, Wyoming. Figure E-1 is a general location map showing all of the lands that have been proposed for exchange. Under the Proposed Action, which is the preferred alternative of the BLM and the USFS, the USFS would acquire ownership of the Bridger lands which lie within the BTNF and BLM would acquire the Bridger lands which lie outside of BTNF, the JO Ranch lands, and the Welch lands. P&M would acquire an amount of federal coal underlying the PSO Tract that would be equivalent in value to the properties they are offering for exchange. P&M has indicated that if they acquire the coal, they propose to open a surface coal mine on the PSO Tract. For the purposes of this analysis, it is assumed that P&M would acquire all of the federal coal underlying the PSO Tract and that they would proceed with their proposal to open a surface coal mine. These lands proposed for exchange are described in more detail in subsequent sections of this appendix. E-1.1.2 Alternatives To The Proposed Action Alternative 1 is the No-Action Alternative. Under the No-Action Alternative, the exchange would not be completed. Under the No-Action Alternative the federal coal in the PSO Tract would not be exchanged. Selection of this alternative would not preclude leasing of this federal coal in the future. The Bridger lands, JO Ranch lands, and Welch lands would remain in private ownership. If the exchange is not completed, P&M has indicated that it would consider subdividing these properties to maximize their value and marketing them for sale to the public. The No-Action Alternative is not the preferred alternative of the BLM or the USFS because the lands P&M is offering for exchange have important public resource values. Other alternatives were considered but not analyzed in detail. These alternatives considered potential methods that BLM and USFS could use to purchase of the lands P&M is offering for exchange. These alternatives, which would have potentially similar impacts to the Preferred Action, were not selected as the preferred alternative of the BLM or the USFS because P&M has indicated that they are not offering the lands proposed for exchange for sale to the BLM or the USFS. E-1.2 CONSULTATION TO DATE Informal consultation on this exchange began with the BLM and USFS publication of a Notice of Exchange Proposal in newspapers in the areas where the lands are located in December 2000 and January 2001. On January 25, 2001, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) provided preliminary scoping comments related to the unsuitability of several areas included in the PSO Tract for coal leasing and development due to the presence of breeding habitat for the Lewis’ woodpecker and a preliminary species list for the PSO Tract E-2 Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix E

WELCH LANDS

PSO TRACT

Welch Lands and PSO Tract

JO Ranch Lands

State of Wyoming

Figure E-1. General Location of Lands Being Offered for Exchange by P&M and the PSO Tract.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

E-3

Bridger Lands

N.T.S.

SCALE: 1" = 30,000'

Appendix E (USFWS 2001a). In July 2001, BLM requested USFWS concurrence with a determination that the unsuitability designation is no longer necessary because the Lewis’ woodpecker is no longer considered a species of high federal interest in Sheridan County, Wyoming. On August 20, 2001, USFWS responded that they were willing to concur with the change in the unsuitability determination due to the change in status of the Lewis’ woodpecker; however, USFWS requested that BLM consider excluding potential nesting areas for the Lewis’ woodpecker from the land exchange (USFWS 2001b). BLM approved a maintenance action updating the Buffalo Resource Management Plan (RMP) with respect to the changed status of the Lewis’ woodpecker in October 2001. The Draft P&M Land Exchange EIS was distributed in May, 2002. USFWS submitted comments on the Draft P&M Land Exchange EIS on July 19, 2002 (USFWS 2002a). In response to those comments, BLM requested updated species lists for Lincoln, Carbon, and Sheridan Counties, Wyoming. USFWS provided updated lists for these counties in writing on September 11, 2002 (USFWS 2002b) and verbally on April 4, 2003. E-1.3 BIOLOGY AND HABITAT REQUIREMENTS The following threatened, endangered, proposed, experimental, and candidate species have been identified by the USFWS in Carbon, Lincoln, and Sheridan Counties, Wyoming as having the potential to be affected by the proposed exchange (USFWS 2002b, verbally updated 4/2003). All of the following species were considered; however, not all species listed here necessarily occur within the proposed exchange areas. Bald eagle (Haliaetus leucocephalus): Threatened (Proposed for delisting). Canada lynx (Lynx Canadensis): Threatened Ute ladies=-tresses (Spiranthes diluvialis): Threatened Mountain plover (Charadrius montanus): Proposed Threatened Platte River Species: Threatened and Endangered Black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes): Endangered Colorado River Fish Species: Endangered Blowout Penstemon (Penstemon haydenii): Endangered Gray wolf (canis lupus): Experimental Black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus): Candidate Western boreal toad (Bufo boreas boreas): Candidate E-4 Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix E Yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus): Candidate Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus): Candidate E-1.3.1 Threatened Species E-1.3.1.1 Bald eagle (Haliaetus leucocephalus) On February 14, 1978, the bald eagle was listed as endangered in all of the coterminous United States except Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Oregon, and Washington, where it was classified as threatened (43 F.R. 6233). The USFWS reclassified the bald eagle from endangered to threatened throughout its range in the lower 48 states on July 12, 1995 (60 F.R. 36000). The bald eagle was proposed for delisting on July 6, 1999 (64 F.R. 36454). Currently, the proposal has not been finalized or withdrawn. Bald eagles nest primarily in remote areas free of disturbance, containing large trees that are within one mile of water bodies containing reliable fisheries. In Wyoming, this species builds large nests in the crowns of large mature trees such as cottonwoods or pines. Typically, there are alternate nests within or in close proximity to the nest stand. Snags and open-canopied trees near the nest site and foraging areas provide favorable perch sites. Old-growth stands with their structural diversity and open canopies are an important habitat for bald eagles. This species is an uncommon breeding resident in Wyoming utilizing mixed coniferous and mature cottonwood-riparian areas near large lakes or rivers as nesting habitat (Luce et al. 1999). Food availability is probably the single most important determining factor for bald eagle distribution and abundance (Steenhof 1976). Fish and waterfowl are the primary sources of food. Big game and livestock carrion, as well as larger rodents (e.g., prairie dogs) also can be important dietary components where these resources are available (Ehrlich et al. 1988). Bald eagles are opportunistic foragers. They prefer to forage in areas with the least human disturbance (USFWS 1978, McGarigal et al. 1991). Bald eagles that have open water or alternate food sources near their nesting territories may stay for the winter; other eagles migrate southward to areas with available prey. During migration and in winter, eagles often concentrate on locally abundant food resources and tend to roost communally. Communal roosts usually are located in stands of mature old growth conifers or cottonwoods. Large, live trees in sheltered areas provide a favorable thermal environment and help minimize the energy stress encountered by wintering eagles. Communal roosting also may facilitate food finding (Steenhof 1976) and pair bonding. Freedom from human disturbance is also important in communal roost site selection (Steenhof et al. 1980, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation 1981, USFWS 1986, Buehler et al. 1991). Continued human disturbance of a night roost may cause eagles to abandon an area (Hansen et Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange E-5

Appendix E al. 1981, Keister 1981). The proximity of night roosts to the other habitats required by wintering eagles, such as hunting perches and feeding sites, is important (Steenhof et al. 1980). Roosts may be several miles from feeding sites. The absence of a suitable roost may limit the use of otherwise suitable habitat. E-1.3.1.2 Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) The Canada lynx was listed as a threatened species in March 2000. Lynx habitat is closely associated with the habitat requirements of snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus), its primary prey. Hares prefer dense mixed conifer stands for cover, with meadows and other openings for feeding. Red squirrels, ground squirrels, and grouse can be alternate prey items. Mature forests with downed logs and windfalls provide denning and security cover for lynx. Lynx are found in high elevation areas with deep snows where lynx have a competitive advantage over other predators. It appears that historic tie hack areas are currently providing high quality lynx habitat within the Wyoming Range. These old tie hack areas contain multiple storied, mixed conifer stands with a dense understory of regenerating spruce and fir. E-1.3.1.3 Platte River species: Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), Piping plover (Charadrius melodus), and Western prairie fringed orchid (Platanthera praeclara)

These species are associated with the Platte River drainage downstream in Nebraska. The different species require a variety of habitats ranging from the actual river for the fish and water birds to riparian and wetlands habitats for the waterbirds and plants. The orchid is indigenous to this river system, while the bird species range from migrants (plover) using the area during migration or for feeding and breeding, to year-long residents (bald eagle), breeding and wintering along the river. Any depletions of water in the Platte River drainage system in Wyoming could affect these species downstream (USFWS 2002b). E-1.3.1.4 Ute ladies’-tresses (Spiranthes diluvialis) Ute ladies’-tresses was listed as threatened on January 17, 1992 due to a variety of factors, including habitat loss and modification, and hydrological modifications of existing and potential habitat areas. At the time of listing, Ute ladies’-tresses was only known from Colorado, Utah, and extreme eastern Nevada. It was then discovered in Idaho in September 1996. It is currently known from western Nebraska, southeastern Wyoming, north-central Colorado, northeastern and southern Utah, east-central Idaho, southwestern Montana, and central Washington. Ute ladies’-tresses is a perennial herb with erect, glandular-pubescent stems 12 to 50 centimeters tall arising from tuberous-thickened roots. This species flowers from late July to September. Plants probably do not flower every year E-6 Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix E and may remain dormant below ground during drought years. The total known population of this species is approximately 25,000 to 30,000 individuals. Occurrences range in size from one plant to a few hundred individuals. Ute ladies’-tresses occurs primarily on moist, subirrigated or seasonally flooded soils in valley bottoms, gravel bars, old oxbows, or floodplains bordering springs, lakes, rivers, or perennial streams at elevations between 1,780 and 6,800 feet (ft) in elevation (Fertig and Beauvais 1999). Suitable soils vary from sandy or coarse cobbley alluvium to calcareous, histic or fine-textured clays and loams. Populations have been documented from alkaline sedge meadows, riverine floodplains, flooded alkaline meadows adjacent to ponderosa pine, Douglas-fir woodlands, sagebrush steppe, and streamside floodplains. Some occurrences are also found on agricultural lands managed for winter or early season grazing or hay production. Known sites often have low vegetative cover and may be subjected to periodic disturbances such as flooding or grazing. Populations are often dynamic and “move” within a watershed as disturbances create new habitat or succession eliminates old habitat (Fertig and Beauvais 1999). The orchid is well adapted to disturbances from stream movement and is tolerant of other disturbances, such as grazing, that are common to grassland riparian habitats (USFWS 1995). Ute ladies’-tresses colonize early successional riparian habitats such as point bars, sand bars, and low-lying gravelly, sandy, or cobbly edges, persisting in those areas where the hydrology provides continual dampness in the root zone through the growing season. The orchid establishes in heavily disturbed sites, such as revegetated gravel pits, heavily grazed riparian edges, and along well-traveled foot trails on old berms (USFWS 1995). The species occurs primarily in areas where the vegetation is relatively open and not overly dense, overgrown, or overgrazed. Ute ladies’-tresses orchid is commonly associated with horsetail, milkweed, verbena, blue-eyed grass, reedgrass, goldenrod, and arrowgrass. This species is known from four occurrences in Wyoming, within Converse, Goshen, Laramie, and Niobrara Counties, all discovered between 1993-1997 (Fertig and Beauvais 1999). One of these occurrences is recorded from northwestern Converse County, within the Antelope Creek watershed. E-1.3.2 Endangered Species E-1.3.2.1 Black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) The black-footed ferret is a federally-listed endangered species. The blackfooted ferret historically occurred throughout Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Kansas, North and South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Colorado. The black-footed ferret, a nocturnally active mammal, is closely associated with prairie dogs, depending almost entirely upon the prairie dog for its survival. The decline in ferret populations has been Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange E-7

Appendix E attributed to the reduction in the extensive prairie dog colonies that historically existed in the western United States. Ferrets may occur within colonies of white-tailed or black-tailed prairie dogs. The USFWS has determined that, at a minimum, potential habitat for the black-footed ferret must include a single white-tailed prairie dog colony of greater than 200 acres, or a complex of smaller colonies within a 4.3 mile (7 km) radius circle totaling 200 acres (USFWS 1989). Minimum colony size for black-tailed prairie dog is 80 acres (USFWS 1989). The last known wild population was discovered in Meeteetse, Wyoming. Individuals from this population were captured and raised in protective captive breeding facilities in an effort to prevent the species’ extinction (Clark and Stromberg 1987). Recent survey efforts in the Shirley Basin have identified a population at this former re-introduction site. This is the only known population in Wyoming. E-1.3.2.2 Colorado River fish species: Bonytail chub (Gila elegans), Colorado pikeminnow/squawfish (Ptychocheilus lucius), Humpback chub (Gila cypha), and Razorback sucker (Xyrauchen texanus) These four species are native to the upper Colorado River Basin within mainstem river channels. Although once abundant throughout both the Green and Colorado River systems, all four species are now limited to reaches of river that are either relatively undisturbed or controlled to provide appropriate flows. Reservoir impoundments and water diversions are the main threats to these species. It is likely that the closest occurrence of these species is in the lower Little Snake River drainage of Colorado (Tyus and Karp 1989). Federal agency actions resulting in water depletions to the Colorado River system may affect these four endangered fish species downstream in the Colorado River systems. The USFWS has determined that where projects may lead to depletions of water to the Colorado River system, these species may be affected and formal consultation is required. In general, depletions include evaporative losses and/or consumptive use of surface or groundwater within the affected basin, often characterized as diversions less return flows. Project elements that could be associated with depletions include, but are not limited to ponds, lakes, reservoirs, pipelines, wells, diversion structures, and water treatment facilities. Any actions that may result in water depletions should be identified and include an estimate of the amount and timing of average annual water depletion (both existing and new), and describe methods of arriving at such estimates. E-1.3.2.3 Blowout penstemon (Penstemon haydenii) The blowout penstemon is a federally listed endangered species that is known to occur in south-central Wyoming and western Nebraska. In Wyoming this species has been recorded in Carbon County. This species is only found in blowout-like sand dunes in early successional stages where vegetation is very sparse. In Wyoming, blowout penstemon is found on steep, northwest facing E-8 Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix E slopes of active sand dunes with less than five percent vegetative cover. Flowering in Wyoming generally occurs from late June to early July and seeds are released from late August to September. Blowout penstemon has declined due to stabilization of sand dunes through conservation and other management practices. Once a sand dune is stabilized, other plants invade and out-compete this penstemon. To a lesser extent, this species may be impacted from livestock grazing, prolonged drought and off-road vehicles (Fertig 2002). E-1.3.2.4 Platte River species: Whooping crane (Grus americana), Interior least tern (Sterna antillarum), Pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus), and Eskimo curlew (Numenius borealis) These species are associated with the Platte River drainage downstream in Nebraska. The different species require a variety of habitats ranging from the actual river for the fish and water birds to riparian and wetlands habitats for the waterbirds and plants. The sturgeon are indigenous to this river system, while the bird species (crane, tern, curlew) are migrants, using the area during migration or for feeding and breeding along the river. Any depletions of water in the Platte River drainage system in Wyoming could affect these species downstream (USFWS 2002b). E-1.3.3 Proposed Species E-1.3.3.1 Mountain plover (Charadrius montanus) The mountain plover is proposed for federal listing (USFWS 1999a). The USFWS has 60 days to seek input from three species experts, the public, scientific community, and Federal and State agencies. The USFWS published a 60-day extension to the comment period on April 19, 1999 (USFWS 1999b). In October 2001, the USFWS designated the mountain plover as a proposed threatened species (USFWS 2001c). The mountain plover is a migratory species of the shortgrass prairie and shrubsteppe eco-regions of the arid West. This species utilizes high, dry, shortgrass prairie with vegetation typically shorter than four inches tall. Within this habitat, areas of blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis) and buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides) are most often utilized, as well as areas of mixed-grass associations dominated by needle-and-thread (Stipa comata) and blue grama (Dinsmore 1983). Mountain plovers often use black-tailed prairie dog towns for breeding, nesting, and feeding. Not all prairie dog towns offer suitable habitat for mountain plover, mostly due to topographic incompatibility. There are habitats other than prairie dog towns that provide nesting, feeding, and breeding habitat for mountain plover. Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange E-9

Appendix E The nest of the mountain plover consists of a small scrape on flat ground in open areas. Most nests are placed on slopes of less than five degrees in areas where vegetation is less than three inches tall in April. More than half of identified nests occurred within 12 inches of old cow manure piles and almost twenty percent were found against old manure piles in similar habitats in Colorado. Nests in similar habitats in Montana (Dinsmore 1983) and other areas (Ehrlich et al. 1988) were nearly always associated with the heavily grazed shortgrass vegetation of prairie dog colonies. Mountain plovers arrive on their breeding grounds in late March with egglaying beginning in late April. Breeding plovers show close site fidelity, often returning to the same territory in subsequent years. Clutches are hatched by late June and chicks fledge by late July. The fall migration begins in late August and most birds are gone from the breeding grounds by late September. E-1.3.4 Experimental Species E-1.3.4.1 Gray wolf (Canis lupus) In 1973, the northern Rocky Mountain wolf subspecies (then known as Canis lupus irremotus) was listed as endangered, and in 1978 the legal status of the gray wolf south of Canada was listed as endangered, while the Minnesota wolf population was listed as threatened. Then in 1994, the USFWS made the decision to reintroduce the gray wolf into Yellowstone National Park and classify this population as nonessential experimental wolves according to section 10(j) of the ESA as amended (USFWS 1994). All wolves occurring in the state of Wyoming are classified as nonessential experimental. Although gray wolves are native to BTNF, human persecution resulted in the extirpation of wolves by the late 1920s. Unverified reports of wolves or wolf tracks have been received since the late 1960s within Grand Teton National Park (Grand Teton National Park wildlife observation files) and in and around BTNF (BTNF wildlife files). Human caused mortality is still a major factor limiting wolf numbers. Reintroduction efforts in Yellowstone began in the winter of 1994-1995, and a total of 31 wolves were released over two years. The Recovery Plan for wolves in the Rocky Mountain area established a biological goal of a minimum of 10 breeding pairs of wolves in each of the three recovery areas (northwestern Montana, central Idaho, and Greater Yellowstone Area) for three successive years. After the wolf population reaches recovery levels and, as required by the ESA, the USFWS is assured that state management practices would adequately conserve the wolf population, the USFWS will propose that wolves be removed from the protection of the ESA. The delisting process includes extensive public involvement and the opportunity for comment which could begin in early 2003 (USFWS 2001d). Wolf recovery has progressed faster than predicted, and the USFWS announced that the three-year countdown to wolf recovery started in E-10 Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix E 2000 (USFWS 2001d). In 1999, at least 118 wolves were known to be present in the Greater Yellowstone Wolf Recovery Area, in 11 established packs averaging 9.2 wolves per pack. As of December 31, 2001, about 216 wolves inhabited the Yellowstone Ecosystem in about 24 packs or groups, most of which inhabited territories in Yellowstone or Grand Teton National Parks. The rough draft monitoring tally for 2002 was as follows: • northwestern Montana – 116 wolves in 13 breeding pairs; • central Idaho – 285 wolves in 10 breeding pairs, and; • Greater Yellowstone Area – 280 wolves in 18 breeding pairs. That is an estimate of 681 wolves in 41 breeding pairs, meaning the three-year count down was achieved on December 31, 2002 (USFWS 2003). The USFWS also determined “when six or more breeding pairs are established in an experimental population area, no land-use restrictions may be employed outside of national parks or national wildlife refuges, unless wolf populations fail to maintain positive growth rates toward population recovery levels for two consecutive years” (USFWS 1994). E-1.3.5 Candidate Species E-1.3.5.1 Black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) The black-tailed prairie dog was added to the list of candidate species for federal listing on February 4, 2000 (USFWS 2000a). At that time, the USFWS concluded that listing the black-tailed prairie dog was warranted but precluded by other higher priority actions to amend the lists of threatened and endangered (T&E) species. No specific date for proposal for listing was given, but the USFWS committed to reviewing the status of the species one year after publication of the above-mentioned notice (i.e., on February 4, 2001) (USFWS 2000b). As of June 2002, the USFWS was listing the black-tailed prairie dog as a candidate (USFWS 2002c). The black-tailed prairie dog is a highly social, diurnally active, burrowing mammal. Aggregations of individual burrows, known as colonies, form the basic unit of prairie dog populations. Found throughout the Great Plains in shortgrass and mixed-grass prairie areas (Fitzgerald et al. 1994), the blacktailed prairie dog has declined in population numbers and extent of colonies in recent years due to habitat destruction or disturbance and pest control activities. In Wyoming, this species is primarily found in isolated populations in the eastern half of the state (Clark and Stromberg 1987). Many other wildlife species, such as the black-footed ferret, swift fox, mountain plover, ferruginous hawk, and burrowing owl are dependent on the black-tailed prairie dog for some portion of their life cycle (USFWS 2000b).

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

E-11

Appendix E The species is considered a common resident, utilizing shortgrass and midgrass habitats in eastern Wyoming (Luce et al. 1999). E-1.3.5.2 Western boreal toad (Bufo boreas boreas) The western boreal toad was listed as a candidate species only in the "Southern Rocky Mountain Distinct Population Segment (DPS)" and has retained this listing for over eight years. The Southern Rocky Mountain DPS covers southeastern Wyoming, Colorado, and northern New Mexico. Dry, non-forested basins and valleys geographically separate this southern population from the northern population. The northern population, which does not bear the candidate species listing, is found in western and northwestern Wyoming and high elevations in states to the north and west. This toad, which is a 3- to 4-inch long amphibian, is generally found in wet habitats in the foothills, montane, and subalpine areas including subalpine meadows, aspen and spruce-fir forests, and all riparian habitat types from 8,000-11,000 ft in elevation. Boreal toads have also been found in kettle ponds, beaver ponds, and old oxbow lakes with still, shallow water and a mud or silt bottom. Boreal toads eat a variety of insects. Breeding usually occurs from mid-May to mid-July depending on elevation and weather. Eggs hatch from late June to late September. Breeding and egg laying occur in shallow areas of ponds and lakes. Studies indicate that males do not breed until they are four years old and females do not breed until six years of age. Mortality is very high due to predation and infection by chytrid fungus (Keinath and Bennet 2000, Baxter and Stone 1985). E-1.3.5.3 Yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) The "Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo DPS" was listed as a candidate species in 2001. This DPS is found west of the continental divide. The candidate listing does not include the yellow-billed cuckoo within its range east of the continental divide. Therefore in Wyoming, the range of the candidate listing encompasses the western portion of the state. The western yellow-billed cuckoo is a medium-sized bird of about 12 inches in length and weighing about two ounces. This species breeds in large blocks of riparian habitats, primarily woodlands with cottonwoods and willows. Dense understory appears to be important for nest site selection, while cottonwoods provide important foraging habitat. Nesting usually peaks from mid-June through August and may be triggered by an abundance of cicadas, katydids, caterpillars, or other large prey, which form the bulk of the species' diet. The decline of the western yellow-billed cuckoo is generally attributed to loss of habitat (USFWS 2001e).

E-12

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix E E-1.3.5.4 Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) The Arctic grayling has been classified as a candidate species since prior to 1982 only for the “Fluvial Arctic Grayling, Upper Missouri River DPS” where this species is indigenous. This generally covers the extreme northwestern portion of Wyoming and portions of southwestern Montana. Populations of Arctic grayling that were introduced into other areas of Wyoming are not included in this candidate species listing. Therefore, although Arctic grayling are not expected to occur in any of the areas addressed in this EIS, any Arctic grayling that may be found on these lands would not be included in the candidate species classification. In Wyoming, the Arctic grayling is indigenous to the Madison River drainage in Yellowstone National Park. This species has also been introduced into a number of high plains habitats in other drainages in the state and has established viable populations in some of those areas. The Arctic grayling is a cold water salmonoid occurring in the northern regions of North America. Grayling generally prefer the clear waters of large rivers, creeks, and mountain lakes. This fish spawns in the spring, normally migrating into streams to spawn on gravel bars. Arctic grayling primarily feed on insects, with a high percentage of terrestrial insects, but diets sometimes include small fish (Baxter and Stone 1995). E-1.4 SUMMARY OF DETERMINATIONS Table E-1.1 summarizes the determinations for the federally listed threatened, endangered, proposed, experimental, and candidate species in the Bridger lands, JO Ranch lands, Welch lands, and PSO Tract if the exchange is completed. E-1.5 BRIDGER LANDS The location of the Bridger lands is shown in Figure E-2. The legal description of the Bridger lands and mineral interests that P&M is offering to exchange is as follows: Lands to be administered by BLM: T.26N., R.115W., 6th P.M., Wyoming Tracts 49, 57, and 71. Total: 638.37 acres more or less. Lands to be administered by USFS: T.26N., R.116W., 6th P.M., Wyoming Tracts 39, 41, and 42; T.26N., R.117W., 6th P.M., Wyoming Tracts 37 through 43; Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange E-13

Appendix E

Table E-1.1. Effects Evaluation of Federal Threatened, Endangered, Proposed, Experimental, and Candidate Species in the Areas of the Bridger Lands, JO Ranch Lands, Welch Lands, and PSO Tract.
Species Common Name Bald eagle Canada lynx Ute ladies’-tresses BL May affect2 May affect2 No effect No effect May affect2 May affect2 May affect2 May affect2 No effect4 No effect4 No effect May affect5 No effect No effect8 May affect2 No effect8 May affect5 No effect4 No effect No effect8 May affect2 No effect8 May affect2 May affect2 May affect2 May affect2 May affect2 No effect No effect May affect2 No effect4 No effect4 No effect4 No effect4 No effect4 No effect4 May affect5 No effect4 May affect2 No effect8 No effect8 No effect8 Black-footed ferret Bonytail chub Colorado pikeminnow Humpback chub Razorback sucker Blowout penstemon Platte River Species Mountain plover Gray wolf Black-tailed prairie dog Western boreal toad Yellow-billed cuckoo Arctic grayling Potential Effects by Area1 JO WL May affect2 May affect2 No effect2 May effect2 2 May effect2 May affect PSO May affect3 May effect3 May effect3 May affect3 No effect4 No effect4 No effect4 No effect4 No effect4 No effect4 May affect6 No effect4 Would affect7 No effect8 No effect8 No effect8

Status Threatened:

Endangered:	

Proposed:	

Experimental:	

Candidate:	

1

2

Potential Effects by Area: BL = Bridger Lands; JO = JO Ranch Lands; WL = Welch Lands; PSO = PSO Tract.
 Not likely to adversely affect individuals or populations. Any effects are likely to be beneficial. 
 3 Not likely to adversely affect individuals or populations.
 4 USFWS does not list this species for this area. 
 5 Not likely to jeopardize continued existence of proposed or experimental individuals or populations. Any effects are likely to be beneficial. 
 6 Not likely to jeopardize continued existence of proposed individual or populations.
 7 Mining disturbance would have direct and indirect effects on individuals and populations 
 8 Not within the range of the Distinct Population Segment (DSP) provided Candidate Status.


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R. 117 W.

R. 117 W. R. 116 W.

R. 116 W. R. 115 W.

� � � � � �� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � �� �� �� �� �� �� ���� �� �� �� ��

� � � �� � � � � � � �� � � � � � � � � �� �

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange
T. 27 N. T. 26 N.

Figure E-2. Bridger Lands Location Map.
R I D G E
T. 26 T. 25

T.

27 N.

T.

26

N.

T.

26 N.

R. 117 W.

N.

T.

25

Appendix E

N. R. 117 W. R. 116 W. R. 116 W. R. 115 W.

E-15


SCALE: 1" = 10,000'

N.

R. 117 W.

Appendix E T.27N., R.117W., 6th P.M., Wyoming Tracts 37 through 42. Total: 2,447.88 acres more or less. Minerals to be administered by BLM: T.26N., R.115W., 6th P.M., Wyoming Tracts 49, 57, and 71. Total: 638.37 acres more or less. Minerals to be administered by USFS: T.26N., R.116W., 6th P.M., Wyoming Tracts 39, 41, and 42; T.26N., R.117W., 6th P.M., Wyoming Tracts 37 through 43; T.27N., R.117W., 6th P.M., Wyoming Tracts 37 through 42. Total: 2,447.88 acres more or less. The Bridger lands are surrounded by public lands and minerals administered by the BLM and the USFS. Under the Proposed Action, if these lands become public lands, the acquired surface and mineral estates would be managed like the surrounding public lands in accordance with the BLM Pinedale Resource Management Plan and the USFS BTNF Land and Resource Management Plan. USFS also provided general resource information for the Bridger parcels that lie within the BTNF, which is included as Appendix F of this EIS. Within the analysis area, there is no “critical” habitat designated by USFWS for threatened or endangered species. Table E-1.2 is a list of threatened, endangered, proposed, experimental, and candidate species known or suspected to occur in the area of Bridger lands (Lincoln County, Wyoming) that was provided to the BLM by the USFWS in September 2002 (USFWS 2002b) and verbally updated in April 2003. E-1.5.1 Threatened Species E-1.5.1.1 Bald eagle (Haliaetus leucocephalus) Existing Environment: There is bald eagle habitat available in the analysis area, however the majority of the Bridger parcels are not typically considered bald eagle habitat (lodgepole pine, aspen, sagebrush meadow). Eagles forage on gut piles and game parts leftover from hunters in the fall regardless of the habitat type where they occur. Effects of Proposed Project: The Proposed Action may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect, bald eagles or their habitat. Any effects are likely to be E-16 Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix E Table E-1.2.
Status Threatened:

Occurrence 	 of Threatened, Endangered, Proposed, Experimental, and Candidate Species in the Area of the Bridger Lands.
Name Bald eagle (Haliaetus leucocephalus) Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) Ute ladies’-tresses (Sprianthes diluvialis) Black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) Bonytail chub (Gila elegans) Colorado pikeminnow (Ptychocheilus lucius) Humpback chub (Gila cypha) Razorback sucker (Xyrauchen texanus) Mountain plover (Charadrius montanus) Gray wolf (Canis lupus) Black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) Western boreal toad (Bufo boreas boreas) Yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) Occurrence* K K NS NS NS NS NS NS

Endangered:

Proposed:

NS

Experimental:

S

Candidate:

NS NS S NS

*Occurrence Key:

K = known, S = suspected in area of influence of Proposed Action, NS = not suspected in area of influence of Proposed Action

beneficial. If the exchange is completed, USFS and BLM would acquire surface and mineral ownership of the Bridger lands shown in Figure E-2, which would extend USFS and BLM management onto the Bridger parcels. This would facilitate habitat management and protection of T&E species on the tracts by the USFS and BLM. The lands and minerals would not be available for subdivision and/or private development that could potentially adversely affect bald eagles in this area in the future.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

E-17

Appendix E E-1.5.1.2 Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) Existing Environment: It appears that historic tie hack areas are currently providing high quality lynx habitat within the Wyoming Range. These old tie hack areas contain multiple storied, mixed conifer stands with a dense understory of regenerating spruce and fir. There was extensive tie-hacking within the Hams Fork drainage between 1881 and 1937. It appears wildfire effects were widespread because current stand structure tends to be single canopy and with limited ground vegetation or coarse woody debris. Also, mesic spruce/subalpine fir stands, which tend to produce complex structure favorable for snowshoe hares and lynx, appear to be smaller and more discontinuous than in areas further north in the Wyoming Range. There is a light scatter of historic lynx locations across the USFS Kemmerer District and recent radio telemetry locations have been recorded in the Hams Fork drainage. A winter track survey was conducted winter 2000/2001 on portions of the Kemmerer District although not in the project area. A resident population is present to the north on the Big Piney Ranger District. Although no lynx activity has been documented within the Bridger parcels, lynx are likely to travel through the project area. Effects of Proposed Project: The Proposed Action may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect, Canada lynx and their habitat. Any effects are likely to be beneficial. If the exchange is completed, USFS and BLM would acquire surface and mineral ownership of the Bridger lands shown in Figure E-2, which would extend USFS and BLM management onto the Bridger parcels. This would facilitate habitat management and protection of T&E species on the tracts by the USFS and BLM. The lands and minerals would not be available for subdivision and private development that could potentially adversely affect Canada lynx if they do establish a presence in this area in the future. E-1.5.1.3 Ute ladies=-tresses (Spiranthes diluvialis) Existing Environment: Ute ladies=-tresses has not been located and is not expected to occur as the analysis area is above the expected elevation range of this plant. However, no survey work has occurred. Effects of Proposed Project: The Proposed Action will have no effect on Ute ladies=-tresses. The elevation of the Bridger lands is above the expected range of the orchid. E-1.5.2 Endangered Species E-1.5.2.1 Black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) Existing Environment: Black-footed ferrets are potential residents in prairie dog (Cynomys sp.) colonies. Based on USFS observations, there are no prairie dog colonies in or near the project area. E-18 Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix E Effects of the Proposed Project: The Proposed Action will have no effect on black-footed ferrets. There is no identified habitat for black-footed ferrets on the Bridger lands. E-1.5.2.2 Colorado River fish species: Bonytail chub (Gila elegans), Colorado pikeminnow (Ptychocheilus lucius), Humpback chub (Gila cypha), and Razorback sucker (Xyrauchen texanus) Existing Environment: Bonytail chub, Colorado pikeminnow, humpback chub, and razorback sucker are native to the Upper Colorado River Basin within mainstem river channels, not the project area’s headwater streams. The streams in the area of the Bridger lands are Upper Colorado River headwater streams. Effects of the Proposed Action: The Proposed Action may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect these four fish species and their habitat. Any effects are likely to be beneficial. If the exchange is completed, USFS and BLM would acquire surface and mineral ownership of the Bridger lands shown in Figure E­ 2, which would extend USFS and BLM management onto the Bridger parcels. The lands and minerals would not be available for private subdivisions and development, which could potentially lead to development of water depletion projects in the Colorado River System headwater streams in the area of the Bridger lands that could adversely impact these species inhabiting the downstream reaches of the basin. E-1.5.3 Proposed Species E-1.5.3.1 Mountain plover (Charadrius montanus) Existing Environment: Mountain plover is a potential resident in shortgrass prairie and shrub-steppe landscapes. The Bridger lands are primarily forested. No potential habitat exists in the project area. Effects of the Proposed Project: mountain plover. E-1.5.4 Experimental Species E-1.5.4.1 Gray wolf (Canis lupus) Existing Environment. Three of the Greater Yellowstone Area packs, the Teton, Gros Ventre, and Soda Butte packs, all included the BTNF within their home range in 1999. Two of these packs used the BTNF in 2000 and 2001 (Teton and Gros Ventre packs). Pack activity has been predominantly on the Teton Division of BTNF, a considerable distance north of the project area. Single wolves have been documented on the Pinedale Ranger District, Grey’s River District, and as far south as Kemmerer. Conflicts have occurred between Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange E-19 The Proposed Action will have no effect on

Appendix E wolves and domestic livestock and dogs both on USFS system lands and on private lands as far south as Kemmerer. No single wolf or pack activity has been documented on the Bridger parcels. Effects of Proposed Project: The Proposed Action may affect but is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the experimental gray wolf population. If the exchange is completed, USFS and BLM would acquire surface and mineral ownership of the Bridger lands shown in Figure E-2, which would extend USFS and BLM management onto the Bridger parcels. This would facilitate habitat management and protection of gray wolves on the tracts by the USFS and BLM. The lands and minerals would not be available for private subdivision and development that could potentially adversely affect gray wolves if they do establish a presence in this area in the future. E-1.5.5 Candidate Species E-1.5.5.1 Black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) Existing Environment: Black-tailed prairie dogs are primarily found in the eastern half of Wyoming. Based on USFS observations, there are no prairie dog colonies in or near the project area. Effects of the Proposed Project: The Proposed Action will have no effect on black-tailed prairie dogs as there are no prairie dog colonies on or near the Bridger lands. E-1.5.5.2 Western boreal toad (Bufo boreas boreas) Existing Environment: The western boreal toad is provided candidate status only in the "Southern Rocky Mountain DPS". In Wyoming, the southeastern portion of the state is where this DPS is located. The Bridger lands are not within the range of this western boreal toad DPS. Effects of the Proposed Project: In the BTNF, the Proposed Action will have no effect on this western boreal toad DPS. E-1.5.5.3 Yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) Existing Environment: The range of the western yellow-billed cuckoo encompasses the Bridger lands. This species prefers primarily riparian areas dominated by cottonwoods and willows. The Bridger lands provide only marginal habitat for this species. The yellow-billed cuckoo has never been recorded on these lands. Effects of the Proposed Project: The Proposed Action may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the yellow-billed cuckoo. Any effects would be likely to be beneficial. If the exchange is completed, the USFS and BLM would acquire E-20 Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix E surface and mineral ownership of the Bridger Lands shown in Figure E-2, which would extend USFS and BLM management onto the Bridger parcels. The lands and minerals would not be available for private development that could potentially lead to loss of the marginal yellow-billed cuckoo habitat that is present on the Bridger lands. E-1.5.5.4 Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) Existing Environment: The arctic grayling is provided candidate status within the “Fluvial Arctic Grayling, Upper Missouri River DPS”. Within Wyoming, this range is confined to the extreme northwestern portion of the state and does not include these Bridger lands. Effects of the Proposed Project: The Proposed Action for these BTNF and BLM lands will have no effect on this arctic grayling DPS. E-1.5.6 Cumulative Effects Acquisition of the Bridger lands would have small but beneficial cumulative effects on the threatened, endangered, proposed, and candidate plant and animal species in these areas because the tracts offered for exchange are relatively small inholdings of private land surrounded by USFS- and BLMadministered lands. Federal surface management would be extended onto the Bridger inholdings and the opportunity for private surface development, such as subdivisions and/or construction activities that could potentially impact threatened, endangered, proposed, and candidate species or their habitats on these lands and the surrounding public lands, would be eliminated. E-1.6 JO RANCH LANDS The location of the JO Ranch lands is shown in Figure E-3. The legal description of the JO Ranch lands and mineral interests that P&M is offering to exchange is as follows: Lands T.16N., R.90W., 6th P.M., Wyoming Tract 46; Section 6: Lots 20, 23, 24, 27, NE¼SW¼; Section 17: SW¼SW¼; Section 18: NE¼SE¼; T.16N., R.91W., 6th P.M., Wyoming Section 12: NE¼NE¼, SW¼NE¼, SW¼SW¼, E½SW¼, W½SE¼; Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange E-21

Appendix E
R. 91 W. R. 90 W. R. 90 W. R. 89 W.

T. 17 N. T. 16 N.

T. 17 N. T. 16 N.

� �� ��� �

T. 16 N. T. 15 N.

T. 16 N. T. 15

� �� �

N.

SCALE: 1" = 10,000'

R. 91 W.

R. 91 W. R. 90 W.

R. 90 W.

Figure E-3. JO Ranch Lands Location Map.

E-22

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix E Section 13: W½NW¼, SE¼NW¼, NW¼SW¼; Section 14: SE¼NE¼, NE¼SE¼, S½SE¼; Section 22: SE¼SE¼, SE¼SE¼SW¼SE¼; Section 23: W½NE¼, S½NW¼, N½SW¼, SW¼SW¼. Total: 1,233.55 acres more or less. Minerals P&M does not own and is not offering for exchange any of the mineral estate underlying the JO Ranch lands. The JO Ranch lands are surrounded by public lands and minerals administered by the BLM. Under the Proposed Action, if these lands become public lands, future management of the acquired surface estate will be determined through additional NEPA analyses and planning decisions. Table E-1.3 is a list of threatened, endangered, proposed, and candidate species that might be present in the area of JO Ranch lands (Carbon County, Wyoming) based on information provided to the BLM by the USFWS in September 2002 (USFWS 2002b) and verbally updated in April 2003. E-1.6.1 Threatened Species E-1.6.1.1 Bald eagle (Haliaetus leucocephalus) Existing Environment: The JO Ranch lands are generally not considered bald eagle habitat due to the lack of large trees for nesting and/or large perennial streams for foraging. There is the potential for bald eagles to migrate through the area or to winter in the region. Effects of Proposed Project: The Proposed Action may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect, bald eagles or their habitat. Any effects are likely to be beneficial. If the exchange is completed, the BLM would acquire the surface ownership of the JO Ranch lands shown on Figure E-3. This would extend BLM management onto the JO Ranch lands. The surface lands would not be readily available for private subdivision and development that could lead to habitat loss. The rights to develop the mineral estate would not be changed if the exchange is completed, but BLM would be involved in any proposed development projects as the surface owner.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

E-23

Appendix E Table E-1.3.
Status Threatened:

Occurrence of Threatened, Endangered, Proposed, Candidate Species in the Area of the JO Ranch Lands.
Name Bald eagle
 (Haliaetus leucocephalus)
 Canada lynx 
 (Lynx canadensis)
 Ute ladies’-tresses (Spiranthes diluvialis)
 Platte River Species 
 Black-footed ferret 
 (Mustela nigripes)
 Bonytail chub 
 (Gila elegans)
 Colorado pikeminnow 
 (Ptychocheilus lucius)
 Humpback chub 
 (Gila cypha)
 Razorback sucker (Xyrauchen texanus)
 Blowout penstemon 
 (Penstemon haydenii)
 Platte River Species 
 Mountain Plover (Charadrius montanus) Black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) Western boreal toad (Bufo boreas boreas) Yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) Occurrence* K NS 
 NS NS NS NS NS NS 
 NS NS NS NS NS NS NS NS

and

Endangered:

Proposed:
 Candidate:


*Occurrence Key: K = known, S = suspected in area of influence of Proposed Action, NS = not suspected in area of influence of Proposed Action E-1.6.1.2 Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) Existing Environment: Habitat for the Canada lynx does not occur on the JO Ranch lands. The Canada lynx has not been recorded in this area. Effects of Proposed Project: If the exchange is completed as proposed, there should be no effect on Canada lynx because habitat for this species is not present on the JO Ranch lands or in the vicinity. E-24 Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix E E-1.6.1.3 Platte River species: Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), Piping plover (Charadrius melodus), and Western prairie fringed orchid (Platanthera praeclara)

Existing Environment: Concerns for these species were presented in association with the Platte River drainage system. The JO Ranch lands are located within the Colorado River drainage system, on the opposite side of the continental divide from the Platte River drainage system. Effects of Proposed Project: If the exchange is completed as proposed, there should be no effect on the Platte River species because the JO Ranch is not within the Platte River drainage system. E-1.6.1.4 Ute ladies’-tresses (Sprianthes diluvialis) Existing Environment: There is potential for Ute ladies=-tresses to occur on these lands; however, there are no known occurrences of the plant in Carbon County. The JO Ranch lands have not been surveyed for Ute ladies’-tresses. Effects of Proposed Project: The Proposed Action may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect, Ute ladies’-tresses or their habitat. Any effects are likely to be beneficial. If the exchange is completed, the BLM would acquire the surface ownership of the JO Ranch lands shown on Figure E-3. This would extend BLM habitat management onto the JO Ranch lands. The surface lands would not be available for subdivision and/or private development that could lead to habitat loss. The rights to develop the mineral estate would not be changed if the exchange is completed, but BLM would be involved in any proposed development projects as the surface owner. E-1.6.2 Endangered Species E-1.6.2.1 Black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) Existing Environment: Black-footed ferrets are potential residents in prairie dog (Cynomys sp.) colonies. The JO Ranch lands could potentially be inhabited by prairie dogs, probably white-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys leucurus), because black-tailed prairie dogs are primarily found in the eastern half of Wyoming. No occurrences of black-footed ferrets have been reported in this area. Effects of Proposed Project: The Proposed Action may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the black-footed ferret and its habitat. If the exchange is completed as proposed, the BLM would acquire the surface ownership of the JO Ranch lands shown in Figure E-3, which would extend BLM management onto the JO Ranch lands. This would allow habitat management and protection of T&E species on these lands by the BLM. These surface lands would not be available for subdivision and/or private development, which could possibly affect potential black-footed ferret habitat. The rights to develop the Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange E-25

Appendix E mineral estate would not be changed if the exchange is completed, but BLM would be involved in any proposed development projects as the surface owner. E-1.6.2.2 Colorado River fish species: Bonytail chub (Gila elegans), Colorado pikeminnow (Ptychocheilus lucius), Humpback chub (Gils cypha), and Razorback sucker (Xyrauchen texanus) Existing Environment: The bonytail chub, Colorado pikeminnow, humpback chub, and razorback sucker are native to the Upper Colorado River Basin within mainstream channels. Cow Creek, which flows through the JO Ranch lands, is a tributary of the Little Snake River. The Colorado River fish species do occur in the Little Snake River in Colorado. Effects of Proposed Project: The Proposed Action may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect these four fish species or their habitat. Any effects are likely to be beneficial. These fish species do not inhabit the JO Ranch lands, although Cow Creek is a tributary to the Little Snake River. If the exchange is completed as proposed, the BLM would acquire the surface ownership of the JO Ranch lands shown in Figure E-3 and management of the portion of Cow Creek that crosses those lands. This would make any proposed water depletion project involving that stretch of Cow Creek a federal action, which would require formal consultation. These lands would not be available for subdivision and/or private development. The rights to develop the mineral estate would not be changed if the exchange is completed, but BLM would be involved in any proposed development projects as the surface owner. E-1.6.2.3 Blowout penstemon (Penstemon haydenii) Existing Environment: Habitats suitable for the presence of the blowout penstemon consist of blowout-like sand dunes in early successional stages with very little vegetative cover. No suitable habitat exists on the JO Ranch lands. Effects of Proposed Project: If the exchange is completed as proposed, there should be no effect on blowout penstemon because habitat for this species is not present on the JO Ranch lands. E-1.6.2.4 Platte River species: Whooping crane (Grus americana), Interior least tern (Sterna antillarum), Pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus), and Eskimo curlew (Numenius borealis) Existing Environment: Concerns for these species were presented in association with the Platte River drainage system. The JO Ranch lands are located within the Colorado River drainage system, on the opposite side of the continental divide from the Platte River drainage system.

E-26

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix E Effects of Proposed Project: The proposed action is not likely to affect the Platte River species because the JO Ranch is not within the Platte River drainage system. E-1.6.3 Proposed Species E-1.6.3.1 Mountain plover (Charadrius montanus) Existing Environment: The mountain plover could potentially occur on the JO Ranch lands on level, sparsely vegetated sites. However, this species has never been recorded breeding on these lands. Effects of Proposed Project: If the exchange is completed as proposed, the BLM would acquire the surface ownership of the JO Ranch lands. The proposed land exchange may affect, but is no likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the mountain plover. Any effects are likely to be beneficial. The acquisition of these lands by the BLM would allow protection of any mountain plover habitat that is present from surface development by the private sector. The rights to develop the mineral estate would not be changed if the exchange is completed, but BLM would be involved in any proposed development projects as the surface owner. E-1.6.4 Candidate Species E-1.6.4.1 Black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) Existing Environment: The JO Ranch lands are generally out of the habitat range of the black-tailed prairie dog, which is primarily found in eastern Wyoming. Black-tailed prairie dogs have not been recorded on or adjacent to the JO Ranch lands. Effects of Proposed Project: The proposed action should have no effect on black-tailed prairie dogs since they are not present in the area. E-1.6.4.2 Western boreal toad (Bufo boreas boreas) Existing Environment: The western boreal toad is provided candidate status only in the "Southern Rocky Mountain DPS". In Wyoming, the southeastern portion of the state is where this DPS is located. The JO Ranch lands are adjacent to, but not within, the range of this western boreal toad DPS. That is because the JO Ranch lands occur at elevations well below those required for this species and known suitable habitats for this species are not present. Effects of the Proposed Project: The Proposed Action will have no effect on this western boreal toad DPS since known suitable habitats for this species will not be affected. Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange E-27

Appendix E E-1.6.4.3 Yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) Existing Environment: The range of the western yellow-billed cuckoo DPS encompasses the JO Ranch lands. This species prefers primarily riparian areas dominated by cottonwoods and willows. The JO Ranch lands provide only marginal habitat for this species. The yellow-billed cuckoo has never been recorded on the JO Ranch lands. Effects of the Proposed Project: The Proposed Action may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the yellow-billed cuckoo. Any effects are likely to be beneficial. If the exchange is completed, the BLM would acquire surface ownership of the JO Ranch lands. The surface lands would not be available for private development that could potentially lead to the loss of the marginal yellow-billed cuckoo habitat present. The rights to develop the mineral estate would not be changed if the exchange is completed, but BLM would be involved in any proposed development projects as the surface owner. E-1.6.4.4 Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) Existing Environment: The arctic grayling is only provided candidate status within the “Fluvial Arctic Grayling, Upper Missouri River DPS”. Within Wyoming, this range is confined to the extreme northwestern portion of the state and does not include these JO Ranch lands. Effects of the Proposed Project: The Proposed Action for the transfer of the surface ownership of the JO Ranch lands to the BLM will have no effect on this arctic grayling DPS. E-1.6.5 Cumulative Effects Acquisition of the JO Ranch lands would have small but beneficial cumulative effects on the threatened, endangered, proposed, and candidate plant and animal species in these areas because the tracts offered for exchange are relatively small inholdings of private land surrounded by BLM-administered lands. Federal surface management in these areas would be consolidated and the opportunity for private surface development, such as subdivisions and/or construction activities that could potentially impact threatened, endangered, proposed, and candidate species or their habitats on these lands and the surrounding public lands, would be eliminated. E-1.7 WELCH LANDS The location of the Welch lands is shown in Figure E-4. The legal description of the Welch lands and mineral interests that P&M is offering to exchange is as follows:

E-28

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix E
R. 37 E. R. 37 E. R. 38 E. R. 38 E. R. 39 E. R. 39 E. R. 40 E. R. 40 E. R. 41 E.

T. 7 S.

314

T. 7 S. T. 8 S.

Crow Indian Reservation Boundary

T. 8 S.

Spring Creek Coal Mine

r Rive Re ser voi r

T. 8 S. T. 9 S.

T. 8 S. T. 9 S.

Tong ue

West Decker Coal Mine

T. 9 S.

PSO TRACT Big Horn County, Montana
R. 86 W. R. 85 W. T. 9 S. T. 10 S. R. 37 E. R. 38 E. R. 85 W. R. 84 W. T. 9 S. T. 10 S. R. 38 E. R. 39 E. R. 84 W.

DECKER

East Decker Coal Mine
T. 9 S.

R. 37 E. T. 58 N. T. 58 N. T. 57 N.

R. 39 E. R 40 E. R. 83 W. R. 83 W.

R. 40 E. R 41 E. R. 82 W. T. 58 N. T. 58 N.

Sheridan County, Wyoming
Ton gue Riv er

338

Ra ilro ad

BN SF Ra ilro ad

Big Horn Coal Mine (Reclaimed)

WELCH LANDS

RANCHESTER

Tongue R iver
T. 57 N. T. 56 N.
336

T. 57 N. T. 56 N.

BNSF

Old Surface Coal Mine (Reclaimed)

T. 57 N.

ek Cre ose Go

SHERIDAN

BN SF Ra ilroa d

T. 56 N. T. 55 N.

SCALE: 1" = 20,000'

331

T. 56 N. T. 55 N.

R. 86 W. R. 85 W.

R. 85 W. R. 84 W.

R. 84 W. R. 83 W.

R. 83 W. R. 82 W.

Figure E-4. Welch Lands and PSO Tract Location Map.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

E-29

Appendix E Lands T.57N., R.84W., 6th P.M., Wyoming Section 1: S½NE¼ (minus a metes and bounds exclusion area of 25.51 acres), SE¼NW¼, N½SW¼ (minus a metes and bounds exclusion area of 1.2 acres), SW¼SW¼ (minus a metes and bounds exclusion area of 10.6 acres); Section 2: Lots 2, 3, S½N½, S½ (minus a metes and bounds exclusion area of 5.6 acres); Section 3: Lots 3,4, S½N½, N½S½, SE¼SE¼; Section 4: Lots 1 through 4, S½NE¼, SE¼NW¼, N½SE¼. Total: 1,538.70 acres more or less. Minerals P&M owns and is offering to exchange the coal rights underlying the following lands: T.57N., R.84W., 6th P.M., Wyoming Section 1: 	 S½NE¼ (excluding 25.51 acres), SE¼NW¼, N½SW¼ (excluding 1.2 acres); Section 2: 	 Section 3: 	 S½NW¼, S½ S½NE¼, SE¼NW¼, N½SE¼, SE¼SE¼. (excluding 5.6 acres);

Total: 807.69 acres more or less.

E-30

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix E The remaining 731.01 acres of coal estate in the Welch lands are federally owned. P&M does not own and is not offering to exchange any non-coal mineral rights underlying the Welch lands. The Welch lands are surrounded by private lands and private and federal minerals. The federal minerals are administered by the BLM. Under the Proposed Action, if these lands are acquired the BLM Buffalo Field Office would determine future management of these lands through additional NEPA analyses and planning decisions. Table E-1.4 is a list of threatened, endangered, proposed, and candidate species known or suspected to occur in Sheridan County, Wyoming based on information provided to the BLM by the USFWS in September 2002 (USFWS 2002b) and verbally updated in April 2003. Both the Welch lands and the PSO Tract are in Sheridan County. Table E-1.4. 	 Occurrence of Threatened, Endangered, Proposed, and Candidate Species in the Area of the Welch Lands and the PSO Tract.
Name Bald eagle (Haliaetus leucocephalus) Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) Ute ladies’-tresses (Spiranthes diluvialis) Endangered: Black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) Mountain plover (Charadrius montanus) Black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) Western boreal toad (Bufo boreas boreas) Yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus)
* Occurrence Key:

Status Threatened:

Occurrence* K NS NS

NS

Proposed:

NS

Candidate:

K NS NS NS

K=known, S=suspected in area of influence of Proposed Action, NS=not suspected in area of influence of Proposed Action.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

E-31

Appendix E E-1.7.1 Threatened Species E-1.7.1.1 Bald eagle (Haliaetus leucocephalus) Existing Environment: There is bald eagle habitat available in the analysis area. Bald eagles are a common winter resident along the Tongue River that flows through the Welch lands and have been observed and documented on the Welch lands. No roost locations or nest sites have been identified on the Welch lands; however, there is an active bald eagle nest approximately two miles downstream from the Welch lands on the Tongue River (Figure E-4). Effects of the Proposed Project: The Proposed Action may affect, but is unlikely to adversely affect, bald eagles or their habitat on the Welch lands. Any effects are likely to be beneficial. If the exchange is completed, BLM would acquire ownership of the surface and remainder of the non-federal coal estate on the Welch lands. This would facilitate habitat management and protection of T&E species on these lands by the BLM. If the exchange is completed, future management of the land acquired in the Buffalo Field Office area would be determined through additional NEPA analysis/planning decisions. The surface lands and coal would not be available for subdivision and/or private development that could potentially adversely affect bald eagles utilizing this area in the future. The rights to develop the remainder of the mineral estate would not be changed if the exchange is completed, but BLM would be involved in any proposed development projects as the surface owner. E-1.7.1.2 Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) Existing Environment: The Canada lynx is listed by the USFWS as potentially occurring in the region; and the Bighorn National Forest has recorded five Canada lynx observations between 1969 and 1988. All of the sightings were northwest of Buffalo, Wyoming, and occurred at higher elevations than are present in the area of the Welch lands (Bills 2002). It is unlikely that habitat for this species exists in the area of the Welch lands. Effects of the Proposed Project: If the exchange is completed as proposed, it may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect Canada lynx because it is not likely that suitable habitat for this species occurs in the area of the Welch lands. Any effect is likely to be beneficial. If the exchange is completed, the BLM would acquire ownership of the surface and the remaining non-federal coal estate on the Welch Ranch lands, shown on Figure E-4. The surface lands would not be available for subdivision and/or private development. The rights to develop the oil and gas estate would not be changed if the exchange is completed, but BLM would be involved in any proposed development projects as the surface owner.

E-32

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix E E-1.7.1.3 Ute ladies’-tresses (Spiranthes diluvialis) Existing Environment: This species is known from four populations in Wyoming, within Converse, Goshen, Laramie, and Niobrara Counties. The occurrence on Antelope Creek in Converse County, which is the closest to the Welch lands, is located more than 100 miles southeast of the Welch lands. There is potential for Ute ladies=-tresses to occur in suitable habitats on these lands. The Welch lands have not been surveyed for Ute ladies’-tresses. Effects of Proposed Project: The Proposed Action may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect, Ute ladies-tresses’ or their habitat. Any effects are likely to be beneficial. If the exchange is completed, the BLM would acquire ownership of the surface and the remaining non-federal coal estate on the Welch lands, shown on Figure E-4. The surface lands would not be available for subdivision and/or private development that could adversely affect potential habitat for Ute ladies’-tresses. The rights to develop the oil and gas estate would not be changed if the exchange is completed, but BLM would be involved in any proposed development projects as the surface owner. E-1.7.2 Endangered Species E-1.7.2.1 Black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) Existing Environment: The Welch lands are within the historical range of the black-footed ferret, although no black-footed ferrets are presently known to occur in northeastern Wyoming. Surveys to identify any populations of this species within the area administered by the BLM Buffalo Field Office (Campbell, Johnson, and Sheridan Counties, Wyoming) have been unsuccessful, although suitable habitat exists. This endangered species is found almost exclusively living in prairie dog colonies. Black-tailed prairie dogs have been observed or documented on the Welch lands and there is a small (approximately 20 acre) black-tailed prairie dog town on the property. The colony is not large enough to support a black-footed ferret population. Effects of the Proposed Project: If the exchange is completed as proposed, it may affect but is unlikely to adversely affect, black-footed ferrets. Any effect is likely to be beneficial. BLM would acquire ownership of the surface estate and the remainder of the non-federal coal estate on the Welch lands. Although suitable habitat for black-footed ferrets exists in this area, occurrence of blackfooted ferrets in this area is unlikely, and the existing prairie dog colony on the Welch lands is not large enough to support a black-footed ferret population. The rights to develop the oil and gas estate would not be changed if the exchange is completed, but BLM would be involved in any proposed development projects as the surface owner.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

E-33

Appendix E E-1.7.3 Proposed Species E-1.7.3.1 Mountain plover (Charadrius montanus) Existing Environment: Mountain plover could potentially occur on the Welch lands. The BLM Buffalo Field Office contracted two mountain plover nesting surveys in 2001 (Good et al. 2002, Keinath and Ehle 2001). Keinath and Ehle (2001) located one plover in southern Campbell County, while Good et al. (2002) located five plovers in Johnson County between Buffalo and Kaycee. Localized coalbed methane (CBM)-related mountain plover surveys documented nesting mountain plovers in southern Campbell County. Mountain plover have never been observed in the area of the Welch lands. Both contracted surveys conclude mountain plover habitat within the Powder River Basin (PRB) may be sparse and fragmented (Good et al. 2002, Keinath and Ehle 2001). Much of the PRB is dominated by rolling sagebrush. Good et al. (2002) believe that bare ground and vegetation height are the limiting habitat components in the basin’s prairie communities; the areas they detected mountain plovers within the PRB appeared to receive less precipitation and have greater amounts of short grass prairie than the rest of the basin. However, both surveys caution more suitable mountain plover habitat exists than they were able to survey, as they were limited to public roads (Good et al. 2002, Keinath and Ehle 2001). Suitable habitat for this species potentially exists on the black-tailed prairie dog town on the Welch lands. Effects of the Proposed Project: Federal acquisition of the Welch lands may affect but is unlikely to jeopardize the continuing existence of the mountain plover as there is little suitable habitat and there are no known populations of this species in this area. Any effects are likely to be beneficial. If the exchange is completed as proposed, BLM would acquire ownership of the surface and the remainder of the non-federal coal estate on the Welch lands. The rights to develop the oil and gas estate would not be changed if the exchange is completed, but BLM would be involved in any proposed development projects as the surface owner. E-1.7.4 Candidate Species E-1.7.4.1 Black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) Existing Environment: There is black-tailed prairie dog habitat available in the analysis area. There is a small (approximately 20 acre) black-tailed prairie dog town on the Welch lands and black-tailed prairie dogs have been observed or documented in the area. Several other colonies are known to exist within several miles of the Welch lands. E-34 Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix E Effects of the Proposed Project: The Proposed Action may affect, but is unlikely to adversely affect, black-tailed prairie dog individuals or populations or their habitat on the Welch lands. Any effects are likely to be beneficial. If the exchange is completed, BLM would acquire ownership of the surface estate and part of the coal estate on the Welch lands. This would facilitate habitat management and protection of T&E species on these lands by the BLM. If the exchange is completed, future management of the land acquired in the Buffalo Field Office area would be determined through additional NEPA analysis/planning decisions. The lands would not be available for subdivision and/or private development that could potentially adversely affect black-tailed prairie dogs in the future. The rights to develop the oil and gas estate would not be changed if the exchange is completed, but BLM would be involved in any proposed development projects as the surface owner. E-1.7.4.2 Western boreal toad (Bufo boreas boreas) Existing Environment: The western boreal toad is provided candidate status only in the "Southern Rocky Mountain DPS". In Wyoming, the southeastern portion of the state is where this DPS is located. The Welch lands are not within the range of this western boreal toad DPS. Effects of the Proposed Project: The Proposed Action will have no effect on this western boreal toad DPS since this species does not occur on the Welch lands and known habitats for this species will not be affected. E-1.7.4.3 Yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) Existing Environment: The range of the western yellow-billed cuckoo DPS does not encompass the Welch lands. The western yellow-billed cuckoo is listed as a candidate species in the portion of this species’ range located west of the continental divide. Effects of the Proposed Project: The Proposed Action will not affect the western yellow-billed cuckoo DPS because this DPS does not occur on the Welch lands. E-1.7.4.4 Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) Existing Environment: The arctic grayling is provided candidate status within the "Fluvial Arctic Grayling, Upper Missouri River DPS". Within Wyoming, this range is confined to the extreme northwestern portion of the state and does not include these Welch lands. Effects of the Proposed Project: The Proposed Action for the Welch lands will have no effect on this arctic grayling DPS.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

E-35

Appendix E E-1.7.5 Cumulative Effects Acquisition of the Welch lands, which are surrounded by other private lands, would have a small but beneficial cumulative effect on threatened, endangered, proposed, and candidate species on these lands because the opportunity for private surface development, such as subdivisions or construction activities that could impact threatened, endangered, proposed, and candidate species or their habitat, would be eliminated. Under the Proposed Action, if these lands are acquired the BLM Buffalo Field Office would determine future management of these lands through additional NEPA analyses and planning decisions. Opportunities for recreational activities on the Welch lands would be increased if they become public lands, which may have impacts on threatened, endangered, proposed, and candidate species. Applications could be filed to lease the coal that would be acquired by the federal government on the Welch lands. Such a lease application would be reviewed for compliance with the Buffalo RMP and would be reviewed with respect to the four coal planning screens to determine if the coal is acceptable for further consideration for leasing. If the coal was determined to be acceptable for leasing, the application would be reviewed by the Powder River Regional Coal Team (PRRCT), as it would require a new mine start. If the PRRCT recommended BLM process the application, it would be processed as required under 43 CFR 3425, and a NEPA analysis would be prepared. Opportunities for oil and gas development would be unchanged on these lands because the oil and gas estate would remain in private ownership. E-1.8 PSO TRACT The location of the PSO Tract is shown in Figure E-4. If the exchange is completed under the Proposed Action, which is the preferred alternative of the BLM and USFS, P&M would acquire an amount of federal coal equivalent in value to the properties they are offering for exchange. For the purposes of this analysis, it is assumed that P&M would acquire all of the federal coal underlying the PSO Tract, which is described as follows: T.58N., R.84W., Section 15: Section 20: Section 21: Section 22: Section 23: Section 27: Section 28: Section 29: Section 33: 6th P.M., Wyoming Lot 1; SE¼; E½NE¼, S½; NW¼, W½SW¼; Lots 3 and 4; W½NW¼, W½SW¼; All NE¼, NE¼SE¼; N½NE¼;

E-36

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix E Section 34: SW¼NE¼, 	 NW¼NW¼. 
 


Total: 2,045.53 acres more or less. The majority of the surface of the PSO Tract is privately owned, and P&M is the primary private surface owner. There are 6.41 acres of BLM-administered public surface included in the PSO Tract. If P&M acquires the coal included in the PSO Tract, they propose to open a surface coal mine and recover the coal in the tract. There is privately-owned coal adjacent to the PSO Tract that could be mined when the PSO Tract is mined. P&M does not own this coal, which could also be mined with other private or federal coal in this area. There are currently no federal coal leases in Sheridan County, Wyoming. Federal coal is being mined at two nearby active surface coal mines in Montana (Decker and Spring Creek, see Figure E-4). Approval of this exchange would not constitute an authorization to mine, however this biological assessment considers the potential impacts of mining because that is a potential outcome of approving this exchange. The P&M Ash Creek Mine is a surface coal mine located north of Sheridan that was permitted with the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality/Land Quality Division (WDEQ/LQD) in 1976 as the PSO No. 1 Mine (Mine Permit No. 407) (Figure E-5). This was prior to the passage of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA). This mine is located in the northeast quarter of Section 22, T.58N., R.84W., adjacent to the federal coal being considered for exchange (Figure E-5). An initial box cut, overlying privately owned coal, was opened in the late 1970s. The majority of the topsoil and overburden were removed between 1976 and 1978. The mine plan was contingent upon approval and construction of a proposed railroad spur for an adjacent proposed mine in Montana. No method of coal transportation was built and all operations ceased in 1980. All activities were suspended from 1980 to 1995, when reclamation began. Reclamation was completed and a full area bond release request by the Ash Creek Mining Company was granted by WDEQ/LQD in 1996. WDEQ Permit No. 407 was transferred from Central and Southwest Services, parent company of the Ash Creek Mining Company, to P&M in 1997. Wildlife monitoring has been ongoing for the P&M Ash Creek Mine and the program was designed to meet the WDEQ/LQD and federal requirements for the annual monitoring and reporting of wildlife activity on coal mining areas (Figure E-5). Detailed procedures and site-specific requirements have been carried out as approved by WGFD and USFWS. The annual monitoring studies for a mine permit area of this size (less than 500 acres) involve the measurement and assessment of selected wildlife species, and studies are not as detailed as baseline inventories or monitoring programs for larger mines. The monitoring program has continued in accordance with Appendix B of the Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange E-37

Appendix E
R. 38 E. R. 39 E. R. 39 E. R. 40 E.

T. 9 S. T. 10 S. T. 58 N. R.85W. R.84W.

36

T. 9 S. T. 9 S.

29

T. 10 S. R. 38 E. 1

32

36

31

R. 39 E. R. 84 W. R. 83 W.

R. 39 E. R. 40 E.

T. 9 S. T. 58 N.

Ton gue Riv er

BALD EAGLE NEST

T. 58 N. T. 57 N.

36

36 31

31

1

6

1

6

T. 58 N. T. 57 N.

SCALE: 1" = 10,000'
R. 85 W. R. 84 W. R. 84 W. R. 83 W.

LEGEND
Wyoming - Montana State Line BALD EAGLE SURVEYS Winter survey area. Includes Ash Creek Mine permit area and one-mile radius. PSO Tract area was included in 2001. Spring survey area. Includes area of all previously inventoried raptor nests and potential nesting habitat on the Ash Creek Mine permit area and one-mile radius. PSO Tract area was included in 2001. Late spring-early summer survey area. Includes all active raptor nests previously inventoried and potential habitat on the Ash Creek Mine permit area and one-mile radius. PSO Tract area was included in 2001. P & M Ash Creek Mine Permit Area PSO Tract Welch Lands

BLACK-TAILED PRAIRIE DOG SURVEYS Includes all previously inventoried towns on the Ash Creek Mine permit area and a one-mile radius. PSO Tract area was included in 2000 and 2001. BLACK-FOOTED FERRET SURVEYS Watch is kept for the presence of ferrets within and near active prairie dog towns during all prairie dog town surveys for the Ash Creek Mine (see description above). The PSO Tract area was included in 2000 and 2001. No surveys have been conducted specifically for black-footed ferrets since 1987 in the Ash Creek Mine area. MOUNTAIN PLOVER SURVEYS Watch is kept for the presence of plovers during all wildlife surveys for the Ash Creek Mine, particularly within and near active prairie dog towns during all prairie dog town surveys (see description above). PSO Tract area was included in 2000 and 2001.

Figure E-5. T & E Animal Species Survey Areas for the Ash Creek Mine and PSO Tract.

E-38

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix E WDEQ/LQD Rules and Regulations. For the Ash Creek Mine, all wildlife species coincidentally observed during wildlife surveys are recorded. Any signs of species that are not visually sighted are also recorded. The most recent annual wildlife monitoring program for the P&M Ash Creek Mine was conducted by Intermountain Resources of Laramie, Wyoming and the results are included Ash Creek Mine’s 2002 Annual Mining and Reclamation Report to the WDEQ/LQD (P&M 2002). Background information on T&E species in the vicinity of the PSO Tract was drawn from the Intermountain Resources’ Ash Creek Mine annual wildlife surveys, WGFD and USFWS records, and personal contacts with WGFD and USFWS biologists. The majority of the PSO Tract has been surveyed during annual wildlife monitoring for the Ash Creek Mine. Surveying efforts were expanded as necessary to include the entire PSO Tract in July 2000 through July of 2001, the results of which are included in this EIS. Table E-1.4 is a list of threatened, endangered, proposed, and candidate species known or suspected to occur in Sheridan County, Wyoming based on information provided to the BLM by the USFWS in September 2002 (USFWS 2002b) and verbally updated in April 2003. E-1.8.1 Threatened Species E-1.8.1.1 Bald eagle (Haliaetus leucocephalus) Existing Environment: Three major wildlife surveying periods for the reclaimed Ash Creek Mine occur every year. Bald eagle surveys are basically conducted separately from, but in conjunction with, raptor surveys as follows: • 	 On the mine’s permit area and a one-mile radius during the winter surveys (January and February) observations are made to specifically record bald eagles’ and all other raptors’ winter use of the area. Suitable roost habitat within the same area is surveyed for possible new roosts. • 	 All previously inventoried nests are checked during the spring survey (March and April) to determine whether they are active. Potential nesting habitat on the mine’s permit area and a one-mile radius is surveyed for any new nests. • 	 All active nests are again observed in the late spring-early summer (June and early July) to determine nesting success. Potential nesting habitat on the mine’s permit area and a one-mile radius is also resurveyed for any new nests and late nesting species. Opportunistic observations noting the eagle’s general use of the area are ongoing during all wildlife monitoring activities for the Ash Creek Mine. The Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange E-39

Appendix E bald eagle is a common winter resident and migrant, although bald eagles are typically observed during all surveys. Eagles were not observed in 1994-1996, but have been observed from 1997-2002 during all surveys, either foraging on the area or as a transient. This species nests along the Tongue River and the closest active bald eagle nest to the PSO Tract and Ash Creek Mine is located about three miles east (Figure E-5). This nest has been active in many of the years since its discovery in 1983, including 1999 and 2000. Surveillance of this nest and the area between the nest and the Ash Creek Mine for the possible establishment of a new nest has been part of the Ash Creek Mine’s monitoring program for the last 20 years. A new nest is unlikely in this area because optimum nesting habitat does not exist. Within the BLM Buffalo Field Office Area, bald eagle nests tend to be associated with forested riparian areas that have mature cottonwood trees (Bills 2002). The bald eagle is the only federally listed species that has been observed on the Ash Creek Mine survey area in recent years (Intermountain Resources 2002). An abundant, readily available food supply, in conjunction with a suitable roost sites, is the primary feature of winter habitat. The majority of wintering eagles are found near open water where they feed on fish and waterfowl. In addition, eagles are known to feed on carrion, small mammals, and game birds. Eagles prefer to forage in areas with the least human disturbance (USFWS 1978, McGarigal et al. 1991). Food availability is probably the single most important factor affecting winter bald eagle distribution and abundance (Steenhof 1976). Although streams are locally important winter foraging habitat, within the BLM Buffalo Field Office area (which includes Sheridan County) small mammals and carrion are the primary food resources. Domestic sheep carrion is the most important winter food resource, and winter bald eagle numbers have correlated with domestic sheep populations (Bills 2002). Bald eagles are opportunistic foragers, and the PSO Tract could provide foraging opportunities. Effects of the Proposed Project: The proposed land exchange may affect, but is unlikely to adversely affect, bald eagles and their habitat. Freedom from disturbance is important in forage, nest, and roost site selection. Disturbance to nesting eagles can cause nest failure, nest abandonment, and unsuccessful fledging of young. If P&M acquires the federal coal in the PSO Tract and opens a surface coal mine, there would be new levels of human disturbance on the tract that could impact nesting and wintering bald eagles in the area. There are no nests on the PSO Tract or on adjacent areas that are proposed for mining related facilities, which is where disturbance associated with the PSO Tract would be concentrated. Eagles may alter foraging patterns as they fly around areas of active mining activity. Bald eagle foraging habitat would be lost on the tract during mining. This loss of potential prey habitat would be short-term; foraging habitat lost during mining would be replaced as reclamation proceeds on mined-out areas. The potential for eagles to collide with or be electrocuted by electric power lines on the mine site would be E-40 Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix E expected to be minimal; utilization of raptor-safe power lines is required under SMCRA [30 CFR 816.97 (e)(1)] and state regulations. An increase in the volume and frequency of traffic on the roads accessing the PSO Tract may result in an increase in vehicular collisions and roadside carcasses. This could result in an increase of bald eagle foraging along roads in this area, which would increase the potential for road kills of foraging bald eagles to occur. Cumulative Effects: Mineral development, including CBM development and surface coal mining, is the leading cause of habitat loss within the BLM Buffalo Field Office area, which includes Sheridan County. CBM development has occurred and is proposed in this area in both Montana and Wyoming. There are two operating surface coal mines in Big Horn County, Montana (Figure E-4) The Decker Coal Mine and the Spring Creek Coal Mine are located approximately six miles and seven and one-half miles, respectively, northeast of the PSO Tract. The West Decker mine was opened in 1972, the East Decker mine was opened in 1977, and the Spring Creek mine was opened in 1979. Both the Decker and Spring Creek mines are currently producing around 10 million tons of coal annually. E-1.8.1.2 Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) Existing Environment: The Canada lynx is listed by the USFWS as potentially occurring in the region and the Bighorn National Forest has recorded five Canada lynx observations between 1969 and 1988. All of the sightings were northwest of Buffalo, Wyoming, and occurred at higher elevations than are present in the area of the PSO Tract (Bills 2002). It is unlikely that suitable habitat for this species exists in the area of the PSO Tract. Effects of the Proposed Project: If the exchange is completed as proposed, it may affect, but is unlikely to adversely affect Canada lynx because it is not likely that suitable habitat for this species is present in the area of the PSO Tract. Lynx sightings in this area have been reported at higher elevations than are found in the area of the PSO Tract. Cumulative Effects: Human activities, associated with motorized access, result in the greatest known mortality of adult lynx. Usually this is the result of trapping, poaching, or road kills. Other factors impacting lynx and their habitat include vegetation management, increasing recreational activities (winter in particular), and increased competition from other predators. Packed ski and snowmobile trails enable predators such as bobcats (Felis rufus) and coyotes (Canis latrans) to access high elevation areas traditionally occupied only by lynx (Ruediger et al. 2000). Predator control activities may also affect Canada lynx. Bobcat and coyote control may reduce competition between lynx and these species. However, unintentional take of lynx would be detrimental to lynx recovery. Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange E-41

Appendix E Potential Canada lynx habitat within the BLM Buffalo Field Office is outside the coal seam and CBM development area. Mineral activities within the BLM Buffalo Field Office do not affect Canada lynx habitat (Bills 2002). E-1.8.1.3 Ute Ladies’-tresses (Spiranthes diluvialis) Existing Environment: This species is known from four populations in Wyoming, within Converse, Goshen, Laramie, and Niobrara Counties. There is potential for Ute ladies’-tresses to occur on the PSO Tract; however, suitable habitat is very limited because there are no perennial or ephemeral streams with subirrigation into late July or August within the tract area. Potential habitat for the orchid is limited to those areas on the tract that have been identified as wetlands, which are the 6.2 acres of jurisdictional wetlands associated with man-made stock ponds. Intermountain Resources surveyed all potential habitat areas on the PSO Tract during blooming season in July 2001 and no orchids were found. The two perennial streams that cross the proposed Ash Creek Mine area, Little Youngs Creek and Youngs Creek, provide more potential habitat for Ute ladies’-tresses, although these areas, which are outside of the PSO Tract, have not yet been surveyed. The existing P&M Ash Creek mine permit area (Figure E-5) was surveyed for Ute ladies’-tresses in 1980 and none were found at that time. Effects of the Proposed Project: Approval of the exchange may affect, but is unlikely to jeopardize the continued existence of the Ute ladies’-tresses. The nearest known population occurrence of this species lies more than 100 miles southeast of the PSO Tract on Antelope Creek in Converse County. Cumulative Effects: Alterations of stream morphology and hydrology are believed to have extirpated Ute ladies’-tresses from most of its historical range (USFWS 2002e). Disturbance and reclamation of streams by surface coal mining may alter stream morphology and hydrology. The large quantities of water produced with CBM development and discharged on the surface may also alter stream morphology and hydrology. Jurisdictional wetlands located in the PSO Tract and adjacent lands proposed for mining that are destroyed by mining operations would be replace in accordance with COE requirements. The replaced wetlands may not duplicate the exact function and landscape features of the pre-mine wetlands, but replacement would be in accordance with the requirements of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, as determined by COE. E-1.8.2 Endangered Species E-1.8.2.1 Black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) Existing Environment: The BLM Buffalo Field Office area is within the historical range of the black-footed ferret, although no black-footed ferrets are E-42 Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix E presently know to occur in northeastern Wyoming (Bills 2002). This endangered species is found almost exclusively living in prairie dog colonies. Several small black-tailed prairie dog towns occur on the PSO Tract and several other colonies are known to exist within several miles of the PSO Tract area (Figure E-6). The existence of these towns means that potential habitat for the black-footed ferret exists and ferrets could potentially occur in the PSO Tract area. As required by the Ash Creek Mine’s wildlife monitoring commitments, observations are made to determine the presence of any rare or endangered species within and near active prairie dog towns during the surveys that are within a one-mile radius of the permit area. The potential presence of blackfooted ferrets has been considered by wildlife surveyors (Intermountain Resources) during Ash Creek Mine’s surveys within active prairie dog towns. Watch is kept during all wildlife monitoring surveys for signs of ferrets but specific surveys have not been conducted for ferrets since 1987 in the Ash Creek Mine area. The larger towns that occur south and southeast of the Ash Creek Mine permit area were surveyed for ferrets during baseline inventories done in 1976 and again in 1987 according to the then-accepted ferret survey techniques. No sign of ferrets have ever been observed on the entire black-tailed prairie dog complex in the general area. Effects of the Proposed Project: Approval of the exchange may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect, black-footed ferrets. There is potential black-footed ferret habitat on the tract (several prairie dog towns) that would be affected if a surface coal mine is opened as proposed, but there are no known populations of this species in this area. P&M proposes to mine the coal if they acquire it. Ferret searches of the small prairie dog towns located on the PSO Tract have found no indication of ferrets. Cumulative Effects: Sylvatic plague, an introduced disease, can infect and eliminate entire prairie dog colonies. Recreational prairie dog shooting may locally reduce prairie dog populations, but seldom eliminates colonies. Mineral development within black-tailed prairie dog colonies is a leading cause of ferret habitat loss in the PRB. Surface coal mining tends to have more intense impacts on fairly localized areas, while oil and gas development tends to be less intensive but spread over larger areas. Oil and gas development and mining activities have requirements for reclamation of disturbed areas as resources are depleted. In reclaimed areas, vegetation cover may differ from undisturbed areas. In the case of surface coal mines, re-established vegetation would be dominated by species mandated in the reclamation seed mixtures (to be approved by WDEQ). The majority of the approved plant species are native to the area; however, reclaimed areas may not serve ecosystem functions presently served by undisturbed vegetation communities and habitats, particularly in the short-term, when species composition, shrub cover, and other environmental factors are likely to be different. Shifts in habitat Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange E-43

Appendix E
R. 38 E. R. 39 E. 28 27 26 25 20 21 22

T. 9 S.

33

34

35
Little You ngs Cree k

36

T. 9 S. T. 9 S.

29

28

27

gs un Yo k ee Cr

T. 10 S.

4

3

2

1

T. 10 S. 16

32

33

34

T. 9 S. T. 58 N.

13 R. 85 W. T. 58 N. 24

18 R. 84 W.

17

19 RT

20
We st

21

22

23

24

Branch

25 L ittle

30 Ash Creek

Ash

29
Cre ek

28

27

26

25

36 T. 58 N. T. 57 N. 1 R. 85 W. R. 84 W. Hid

31

32

33

34

35
Ash
Cre ek

36 T. 58 N. T. 57 N.

6

5

4

3

2
gue Ton

r Rive

1

LEGEND
Raptor Nest Location -Great Horned Owl -Coopers Hawk -Prairie Falcon -Golden Eagle -Red Tailed Hawk
0 2500

Black-Tailed Prairie Dog Town Sage Grouse Lek with Two-Mile Radius Wyoming - Montana State Line

GRAPHIC SCALE
5000 ( FEET )

10000

PSO Tract

E-44

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix E composition or distribution following reclamation could increase or decrease potential habitat for prairie dogs in this area. E-1.8.3 Proposed Species E-1.8.3.1 Mountain plover (Charadrius montanus) Existing Environment: The BLM Buffalo Field Office contracted two mountain plover nesting surveys in 2001 (Good et al. 2002, Keinath and Ehle 2001). Keinath and Ehle (2001) located one plover in southern Campbell County, while Good et al. (2002) located five plovers in Johnson County between Buffalo and Kaycee. Localized CBM-related mountain plover surveys documented nesting mountain plovers in southern Campbell County. Mountain plover have never been observed in the area of the PSO Tract. Both contracted surveys conclude mountain plover habitat within the PRB may be sparse and fragmented (Good et al. 2002, Keinath and Ehle 2001). Much of the PRB is dominated by rolling sagebrush. Good et al. (2002) believe that bare ground and vegetation height are the limiting habitat components in the basin’s prairie communities; the areas they detected mountain plovers within the Powder River Basin appeared to receive less precipitation and have greater amounts of short grass prairie than the rest of the basin. However, both surveys caution more suitable mountain plover habitat exists than they were able to survey, as they were limited to public roads (Good et al. 2002, Keinath and Ehle 2001). Several small black-tailed prairie dog towns occur on the PSO Tract and several other colonies are known to exist within several miles of the PSO Tract (Figure E-6). The existence of prairie dog towns means that potential habitat exists for mountain plovers. As required by the Ash Creek Mine’s wildlife monitoring commitments, observations are made to determine the presence of any rare or endangered species within and near prairie dog towns during the prairie dog town surveys that are within a one-mile radius of the permit area (Figures E-5 and E-6). Surveys of previously recorded prairie dog towns are conducted on the Ash Creek Mine’s permit area and a one-mile perimeter during the spring survey (March and April) and the late spring-early summer survey (June and early July). Watch is kept for plovers during all wildlife monitoring surveys conducted for the Ash Creek Mine. Suitable habitat on the PSO Tract was surveyed in 2001, but no mountain plovers were observed. Mountain plovers have never been observed on any of these black-tailed prairie dog towns and have not been documented on or near the PSO Tract (Intermountain Resources 2002). The black-tailed prairie dog towns southeast of the Ash Creek Mine and PSO Tract have not been surveyed specifically for mountain plovers, although they have never been observed during past prairie dog town surveys. Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange E-45

Appendix E Effects of the Proposed Project: The proposed land exchange may affect, but is unlikely to jeopardize the continued existence of the mountain plover. If the exchange is completed and P&M acquires and mines the coal in the PSO Tract, potentially suitable habitat for mountain plovers on the tract would be disturbed during mining operations. Mountain plovers have not been documented on or near the tract and mountain plovers were not observed during surveys of suitable habitat for this species in 2001 or in any of the past prairie dog town surveys conducted on the PSO Tract. Cumulative Effects: Mineral development is likely to have both beneficial and detrimental effects on mountain plover. Mining activities tend to have more intense impacts on fairly localized areas, while oil and gas development tends to be less intensive but spread over larger areas. Surface disturbance within suitable habitat will likely result in temporary habitat loss in areas to be reclaimed, and permanent or long-term loss where roads and permanent or long-term facilities are located. Powerpoles, conveyors, and other structures are likely to provide perch sites and hiding cover for mountain plover predators. Vehicle traffic may occasionally run over mountain plovers or their nests. Mineral development may benefit plovers where surface disturbance provides bare ground and reduces shrub cover (Dechant et al. 2001). Oil and gas development and mining activities have requirements for reclamation of disturbed areas as resources are depleted. In reclaimed areas, vegetation cover often differs from undisturbed areas. In the case of surface coal mines, re-established vegetation would be dominated by species mandated in the reclamation seed mixtures (to be approved by WDEQ). The majority of the approved plant species are native to the area, however, reclaimed areas may not serve ecosystem functions presently served by undisturbed vegetation communities and habitats, particularly in the short-term, when species composition, shrub cover, and other environmental factors are likely to be different. Shifts in habitat composition or distribution following reclamation could increase or decrease potential habitat for prairie dogs in this area, which could lead to an increase or decrease in potential habitat for mountain plovers in this area. E-1.8.4 Candidate Species E-1.8.4.1 Black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) Existing Surveys: There is black-tailed prairie dog habitat available in the analysis area. Surveys of previously recorded prairie dog towns and for the presence of any new colonies are conducted on the Ash Creek Mine’s permit area and a one-mile perimeter during the spring survey (March and April) and the late spring-early summer survey (June and early July) by Intermountain Resources (Figure E-5). Several small black-tailed prairie dog towns have been observed on the PSO Tract (Figure E-6). These colonies are located in the NE¼ Section 21, NW¼ Section 22, SE¼ Section 20, NE¼ Section 29, and NW¼ E-46 Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix E Section 27, T.58N., R.84W. Several other colonies are known to exist within several miles of the PSO Tract area. The small town in Sections 21 and 22 has been gradually expanding over the past few years. Prairie dog activity at the larger town located in Sections 22, 23, 26, and 27, T.58N., R.84W. was reduced in 2000 due to apparent control efforts by landowners (Intermountain Resources 2002). Effects of the Proposed Project: If the exchange is completed as proposed, P&M would acquire ownership of the federal coal included in the PSO Tract. If P&M acquires the federal coal in the PSO Tract and opens a surface coal mine, there would be new levels of human disturbance on the tract and there would be direct and indirect effects on individuals and populations of the black-tailed prairie dog. Individuals and colonies on the tract would be impacted by mine disturbance. Increased vehicle traffic would increase the potential for vehicle collisions, reducing population levels in colonies adjacent to existing and new roads. E-1.8.4.2 Western boreal toad (Bufo boreas boreas) Existing Environment: The western boreal toad is provided candidate status only in the "Southern Rocky Mountain DPS". In Wyoming, the southeastern portion of the state is where this DPS is located. The PSO Tract is not within the range of this western boreal toad DPS. Effects of the Proposed Project: The Proposed Action will have no effect on this western boreal toad DPS since this species does not occur on the PSO Tract and known habitats for this species will not be affected. E-1.8.4.3 Yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) Existing Environment: The range of the western yellow-billed cuckoo DPS does not encompass the PSO tract. The western yellow-billed cuckoo is only listed as a candidate species in the portion of this species range located west of the continental divide. Effects of the Proposed Project: The Proposed Action will not affect the western yellow-billed cuckoo DPS because this DPS does not occur on the PSO Tract. E-1.8.4.4 Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) Existing Environment: The arctic grayling is only provided candidate status within the "Fluvial Arctic Grayling, Upper Missouri River DPS". Within Wyoming, this range is confined to the extreme northwestern portion of the state and does not include the PSO Tract. Effects of the Proposed Project: The Proposed Action for the PSO Tract will have no effect on this arctic grayling DPS. Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange E-47

Appendix E E-1.8.5 Regulatory Requirements and Mitigation for the PSO Tract If the exchange is completed, P&M would acquire ownership of the federal coal included in the PSO Tract. Ownership of the coal would not authorize mining operations. Surface coal mining operations are regulated in accordance with the requirements of SMCRA and Wyoming State regulations. SMCRA gives OSM primary responsibility to administer programs that regulate surface coal mining operations and the surface effects of underground coal mining operations. Pursuant to Section 503 of SMCRA, the WDEQ developed, and in November 1980 the Secretary of the Interior approved, a permanent program authorizing WDEQ to regulate surface coal mining operations and surface effects of underground mining on nonfederal lands within the State of Wyoming. In January 1987, pursuant to Section 523(c) of SMCRA, WDEQ entered into a cooperative agreement with the Secretary of the Interior authorizing WDEQ to regulate surface coal mining operations and surface effects of underground mining on federal lands within the state. In order to get approval of this cooperative agreement, the state had to demonstrate that the state laws and regulations are no less stringent than, meet the minimum requirements of, and include all applicable provisions of SMCRA. If an exchange is completed and ownership of the coal is transferred to P&M, the company would be required to submit a detailed permit application package to WDEQ before starting surface coal mining operations. WDEQ/LQD reviews the permit application package to insure the permit application complies with the permitting requirements and the coal mining operation will meet the performance standards of the approved Wyoming program. If the permit application package does comply, WDEQ issues the applicant a permit to conduct coal mining operations. Protection of fish, wildlife, and related environmental values is required under the SMCRA regulations at 30 CFR 816.97, which state: “No surface mining activity shall be conducted which is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of endangered or threatened species listed by the Secretary of which is likely to result in the destruction or adverse modification of designated critical habitats of such species in violation of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended.”. In addition to requiring the operator to minimize disturbances and adverse impacts on fish, wildlife, and related environmental values, the regulations at 30 CFR 816.97 disallow any surface mining activity which is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of endangered or threatened species and require that the operator use the best technology currently available to minimize electrocution hazards to raptors; locate and operate haul and access roads to avoid or minimize impacts on important fish and wildlife species; and design fences, conveyors, and other potential barriers to permit passage of large mammals. Additional mitigation measures to ensure compliance with the ESA and SMCRA are developed when a detailed mining plan, which identifies E-48 Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix E the actual location of the disturbance areas, how and when they would be disturbed, and how they would be reclaimed, is developed and reviewed for approval. That plan is not available for evaluation or development of appropriate mitigation measures specific to an actual proposal to mine at this time. E-1.8.6 Cumulative Impacts If the exchange is completed as proposed and P&M acquires and mines the coal in the PSO Tract, the mining operations would contribute to cumulative effects to threatened, endangered, proposed, and candidate plant and wildlife species in the PRB. Other activities that are contributing to cumulative effects to threatened, endangered, proposed, and candidate plant and wildlife species in this area include active surface coal mining operations in Big Horn County, Montana; existing and proposed conventional oil and gas and CBM development in Wyoming and Montana; sand, gravel, and scoria mining; grazing; agriculture; recreational activities; and rural and urban housing development. Mining and construction activities and urban development tend to have more intense impacts on fairly localized areas, while ranching, recreational activities, and oil and gas development tend to be less intensive but spread over larger areas. Oil and gas development and mining activities have requirements for reclamation of disturbed areas as resources are depleted. The net area of energy disturbance in the Wyoming PRB has been increasing. In the short-term, this means a reduction in the available habitat for threatened, endangered, proposed, and candidate plant and wildlife species. In the long-term, habitat will be restored as reclamation proceeds. Cumulative effects would also occur to threatened, endangered, proposed, and candidate plant and wildlife resources as a result of indirect impacts. One factor is the potential import and spread of noxious weeds around roads and facilities. Noxious weeds have the ability to displace native vegetation and hinder reclamation efforts. If weed mitigation and preventative procedures are applied to all construction and reclamation practices, the impact of noxious weeds on threatened, endangered, proposed, and candidate plants and wildlife would be minimized. In reclaimed areas, vegetation cover often differs from undisturbed areas. In the case of surface coal mines, re-established vegetation would be dominated by species mandated in the reclamation seed mixtures (to be approved by WDEQ). The majority of the approved species are native to the area, however, reclaimed areas may not serve ecosystem functions presently served by undisturbed vegetation communities and habitats, particularly in the shortterm, when species composition, shrub cover, and other environmental factors are likely to be different. Establishment of noxious weeds and alteration of vegetation on reclaimed areas has the potential to alter threatened, endangered, proposed, and candidate plant and wildlife habitat composition and distribution. As a result, shifts in habitat composition or distribution may Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange E-49

Appendix E affect threatened, endangered, proposed, and candidate plant and wildlife species in the PRB. E-2.0 USFS INTERMOUNTAIN REGION SENSITIVE SPECIES The following paragraphs summarize the available information on USFS sensitive species that are known to be present or potentially present on the Bridger lands which lie within the BTNF. Sensitive species are defined as those plants and animal species identified by the Regional Forester for which population viability is a concern as evidenced by: 1) significant current or predicted downward trends in population numbers or density, or 2) significant current or predicted downward trends in habitat capability that would reduce a species’ existing distribution (USFS Manual 2670.5). The USFS objective for sensitive species management is to “develop and implement management practices to ensure that species do not become threatened or endangered because of Forest Service actions” (USFS Manual 2670.22). There are numerous sensitive species that do or could occur within the Bridger lands analysis area. E-2.1 FISH AND WILDLIFE Table E-2.1 lists fish and wildlife species that have been designated as Sensitive by the Intermountain Region of the USFS and may occur in the Bridger lands analysis area. Table E-2.1 USFS Intermountain Fish and Wildlife Sensitive Species.
Occurrence* K NS S NS NS NS S S S NS K NS S S NS NS

Name Fish: Colorado River cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki pleuriticus) Snake River fine spotted cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki sp.) Wildlife: Spotted frog (Rana pretiosa) Common loon (Gavia immer) Harlequin duck (Histrionicus histrionicus) Trumpeter swan (Cyngus buccinator) Boreal owl (Aegolius funereus) Flammulated owl (Otus flammeolus) Three-toed woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus) Townsend’s big-eared bat (Plecotus townsendii) Wolverine (Gulo gulo) Fisher (Martes pinnanti) Northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) Great gray owl (Strix nebulosa) Spotted bat (Euderma maculatum) Peregrine falcon (Falco pergrinus)
*Occurrence Key:

K = known, S = suspected in area of influence of proposed action, NS = not suspected in area of influence of Proposed Action.

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Appendix E Suitable habitat exists for spotted frog, flammulated owl, boreal owl, three-toed woodpecker, great gray owl, northern goshawk, wolverine, and fisher. E-2.1.1 Spotted frog: Population and Habitat Status No spotted frogs have been located on the Kemmerer Ranger District although suitable habitat exists. The most recent survey work was conducted in Ham’s Fork in 1999 (Patla 2000). No survey work has been done on the Bridger lands. Range maps for spotted frogs conflict; some include the Kemmerer Ranger District while others do not. Spotted frog habitat primarily includes oxbow ponds (without fish) with emergent sedges (Carex spp.) located in wet meadows at the edge of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) forest. Frogs move considerable distances from water after breeding, often frequenting mixed conifer and subalpine forests, grasslands, and shrublands of sagebrush and rabbitbrush. Beaver ponds also provide good spotted frog habitat. E-2.1.2 Flammulated owl: Population and Habitat Status Flammulated owls have not been documented on the Kemmerer Ranger District, but no survey work has occurred. This owl prefers ponderosa pine habitat, but will also utilize Douglas-fir, aspen, and/or limber pine. Douglasfir, aspen, and limber pine are present within the Bridger parcels but in limited quantities. The flammulated owl requires cavities for nesting and forages primarily on forest insects. This owl is suspected to be present, but rare. E-2.1.3 Boreal owl, Three-Toed woodpecker, Great gray owl, Northern goshawk: Population and Habitat Status

These species inhabit montane stands of coniferous, deciduous and mixed trees. No survey work has been done within the Bridger lands analysis area, but suitable habitat exists, and the lack of documented sightings is probably the result of a lack of survey efforts. Boreal owls have been documented to the north along the Grey’s River. All breeding sites were above 2,100 meters or approximately 6,900 ft (Clark 1994). The boreal owl prefers the high elevation spruce-fir forests or aspen for foraging and nesting. Nesting habitat structure consists of forest with a relatively high density of large trees, open understory, and multilayered canopy. Boreal owls are cavity nesters and are dependent on the presence of primary excavators such as the northern flicker. No documented sightings of three-toed woodpeckers exist for the Kemmerer Ranger District. These woodpeckers require snags in coniferous forests for nesting, feeding, perching, and roosting. In Wyoming forests, the three-toed woodpecker is found in only large, unbroken stands of mature spruce-fir and Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange E-51

Appendix E lodgepole pine. Snags with diameters of 12 to 16 inches and heights of 19.6 to 39.4 ft are preferred (USFS 1991). This woodpecker forages on insects, mainly in dead trees, but will also feed in live trees. Wood boring beetles are preferred, and this woodpecker is adapted to shift foraging areas to capitalize on high concentrations of these beetles. No documented sightings of great gray owls exist for the Kemmerer Ranger District. The great gray owl uses mixed coniferous forests usually bordering small openings or meadows. Semi-open areas where small rodents are abundant, near dense coniferous forests for roosting and nesting, is optimum habitat for the great gray owls. Broken top snags, stumps, dwarf-mistletoe platforms, or old hawk and raven nests are utilized for nesting. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) Wildlife Observation System contains 38 northern goshawk records since 1979 for the Kemmerer Ranger District. The goshawk prefers old growth forests for nesting but forages in a variety of habitats. Goshawk habitat was modeled for the Commissary Ridge/Tunp Range Landscape Scale Assessment (2001) utilizing the following factors: conifer vegetation, northerly aspects between 270 and 90 degrees, and slopes less than 30 percent. Potential habitat was mostly located in the lower elevations along Hams Fork and Fontenelle Creek. E-2.1.4 Wolverine and Fisher: Population and Habitat Status Wolverines inhabit high mountain forests of dense conifers; primarily in true fir (Abies) cover types as well as subarctic-alpine tundra. They are widespread, but occur in low densities. They are difficult to observe so frequency of sightings may not reflect population size. Maintenance of wolverine populations is dependent on large areas free from land-use activities that permanently alter their habitat (USFS 1994). Wolverines have been documented in several locations near the Bridger lands analysis area. Fishers use closed coniferous and mixed forests. They prefer extensive, mature to old growth spruce-fir forests with high canopy closure. There are no documented sightings on the Bridger parcels, either historic or recent. E-2.2 PLANT SPECIES Table E-2.2 lists plant species that have been designated as Sensitive by the Intermountain Region of the USFS that potentially occur in the BTNF. E-2.2.1 Population and Habitat Status Four sensitive plant species are known to occur on the Kemmerer Ranger District according to the Wyoming Natural Diversity database: creeping twinpod, Payson’s milkvetch, Payson’s bladderpod, and Starveling milkvetch. E-52 Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix E Table E-2.2.
Species Pink agoseris (Agoseris lackschewitzii) Sweet-flowered rock jasmine (Androsace chamaejasme var. carinata) Soft aster (Aster mollis)

Region 4 - BTNF Potential Sensitive Plant Species.
Habitat/ Community Subalpine wet meadow, saturated soils Montane rock crevices in rocky limestone or dolomite soils Elevation (ft) 8,500-10,600 Succession Mid to late

8,500-10,800

Mid to late

Sagebrush grasslands and mountain meadows in calcareous soils Moist, often alkaline meadows and swales in sagebrush valleys

6,400-8,500

Early to mid

Meadow milkvetch (Astragalus diversifolius var. diversifolius)

4,400-6,300

Mid

*Starveling milkvetch Dry barren ridges (Astragalus jejunus and bluffs of shale var. jejunus) and stone, clay or cobblestones *Payson’s milkvetch (Astragalus paysonii) Disturbed areas and recovering burns on sandy soil Alpine and subalpine moist tundra and wet rock ledges Alpine and subalpine moist tundra and wet rock ledges Subalpine wet meadows and stream sides

6,000-7,100

Early to late

6,700-9,600

Early

Seaside sedge (Carex incurviformis)

10,000-12,200

Late

Seaside sedge (Carex incurviformis)

10,000-12,200

Late

Black and purple sedge (Carex luzulina var. atropurpurea) Wyoming tansymustard (Descuraania torulosa)

10,000-10,600

Mid

Sparsely-vegetated sandy slopes at base of cliffs of volcanic breccia or sandstone

8,300-10,000

Early to mid

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E-53

Appendix E Table E-2.2.
Species Boreal draba (Draba borealis)

Region 4 - BTNF Potential Sensitive Plant Species.
Habitat/ Community Moist north-facing limestone slopes and cliffs and shady stream sides Elevation (ft) 6,200-8,600 Succession Mid

Moist gravelly alpine Rockcress draba (Draba densifolia var. meadows and talus apiculata) slopes, often on limestone-derived soils Wooly fleabane (Erigeron lanatus) Narrowleaf goldenweed (Haplopappus macronema var. linearis) *Payson’s bladderpod (Lesquerella paysonii) Naked-stemmed parrya (Parrya nudicaulis) *Creeping twinpod (Physaria integrifolia var. monticola) Greenland primrose (Primula egaliksensis) Weber’s saw-wort (Saussurea weberi) Alpine or subalpine limestone talus slopes Semi-barren, whitish clay flats and slopes, gravel bars, and sandy lake shores Rocky, sparsely­ vegetated slopes, often calcareous substrates Alpine talus, often on limestone substrates Barren, rocky, calcareous hills and slopes Wet meadows along streams and calcareous montane bogs Alpine talus and gravel fields, often on limestone

10,400-12,000

Mid to late

11,000

Mid to late

7,700-10,300

Mid to late

6,000-10,300

Mid to late

10,700-11,400

Early to late

6,500-8,600

Mid

6,600-8,000

Mid

10,200-11,200

Mid to late

* Present on Kemmerer Ranger District as per the Wyoming Natural Diversity database

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Appendix E These plants are not documented within the Bridger lands analysis area, although no survey work has occurred. The following sensitive plant species are probably not present as their habitat requirements are outside the elevation range of the project area (7,200 to 9,300 ft): meadow milkvetch, seaside sedge, black and purple sedge, rockcress draba, wooly fleabane, naked-stemmed parrya, and Weber’s saw-wort. Status of the following species is unknown; they may or may not occur in the Bridger lands analysis area: pink agoseris, sweet-flowered rock jasmine, soft aster, Wyoming tansymustard, boreal draba, narrowleaf goldenweed, and Greenland primrose. E-2.3 	 EFFECTS OF THE PROPOSED PROJECT ON USFS INTERMOUNTAIN REGION SENSITIVE SPECIES The Proposed Action would consolidate USFS management in the area of the Bridger parcels. This would facilitate habitat management and protection of USFS Intermountain Region sensitive species on the tracts by the USFS and ensure that the privately-owned Bridger lands would not be sold to another private party and potentially subdivided in the future.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

E-55

Appendix E E-3.0 BLM SENSITIVE SPECIES EVALUATION BLM Wyoming has prepared a list of sensitive species to focus species management efforts towards maintaining habitats under a multiple use mandate. The authority for this policy and guidance comes from the ESA, as amended; Title II of the Sikes Act, as amended; the Federal Land Policy Management Act (FLPMA); and the Department Manual 235.1.1A., General Program Delegation, Director, BLM. The goals of the sensitive species policy are to: • 	 Maintain vulnerable species and habitat components in functional BLM ecosystems. • 	 Ensure sensitive species are considered in land management decisions. • 	 Prevent a need for species listing under the ESA. • 	 Prioritize needed conservation work with an emphasis on habitat. The following paragraphs summarize the available information on BLM sensitive species that are known to be present or potentially present on the lands that would be acquired by the BLM under the Proposed Action. E-3.1 DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPOSED ACTION Under the Proposed Action, BLM would acquire the Bridger lands which lie outside of the BTNF, the JO Ranch lands, and the Welch lands (see Figures E­ 1, E-2, E-3, and E-4 and the land descriptions in Section 1 of this appendix). The Bridger and JO Ranch lands are private inholdings surrounded by lands administered by the USFS and BLM. The Welch lands are surrounded by private lands. The current owner of the lands being offered for exchange is P&M. P&M is offering to exchange the surface estate of the lands and the portion of the mineral estate that they own on those lands. P&M’s ownership of the mineral estate, which is described in Section 1 of this appendix, varies from tract to tract. If the exchange is completed under the Proposed Action, P&M would acquire an amount of federal coal equivalent in value to the properties they are offering for exchange. For the purposes of this analysis, it is assumed that P&M would acquire all of the federal coal underlying the PSO Tract (see Figures E-4 and the land description in Section E-1.8 of this appendix). The majority of the surface of the PSO Tract is privately owned, and P&M is the primary private surface owner. There are 6.41 acres of BLM-administered public surface included in the PSO Tract. If P&M acquires the coal included in the PSO Tract, they propose to open a surface coal mine and recover the coal in the tract as well as some privately-owned coal adjacent to the tract.

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Appendix E E-3.2 SPECIES OCCURRENCE AND HABITAT DESCRIPTIONS Sensitive species were listed for the BLM field offices within their range. Numerous sensitive species do or could occur within the tracts being exchanged. Specialized habitat requirements (i.e., caves, cliffs, calcareous rock outcrops) make occupation for other sensitive species unlikely. Table E-3.1 lists BLM sensitive species and summarizes their habitat requirements. E-3.3 DETERMINATION OF EFFECTS E-3.3.1 Bridger Lands, JO Ranch Lands, and Welch Lands The proposed land exchange will be a beneficial effect for sensitive species management on the lands being acquired by BLM. The BLM will acquire surface ownership of the Bridger lands outside the BTNF, the JO Ranch lands, and the Welch lands. Mineral estates owned by P&M within these tracts would also be exchanged to BLM. Development rights would not remain in private ownership, and the lands would not be available for private development that could impact sensitive species. Future management of the lands acquired by BLM would be determined through additional NEPA analysis/planning decisions where sensitive species management will be considered. E-3.3.2 PSO Tract If the exchange is completed, P&M would acquire ownership of the federal coal included in the PSO Tract. The majority of the surface estate of the PSO Tract is privately owned, and P&M is the majority land owner. The PSO Tract does include 6.41 acres of public surface estate, which is administered by BLM. If P&M acquires the federal coal underlying their private surface, they proposed to open a surface coal mine. Surface coal mining operations on the PSO Tract mineral estate may impact individuals and habitat, but is unlikely to lead towards federal listing of BLM sensitive species. BLM would be involved, as the surface managing agency, in reviewing proposed mining operations on the public surface estate included in the PSO Tract.

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E-57

Appendix E

Table E-3.1. Bureau of Land Management Sensitive Species, Habitat Requirements, and Occurrence by Field Office.
Habitat Pond margins, wet meadows, riparian areas Spring seeps, permanent and temporary water Beaver ponds, permanent water in plains and foothills Ponds, sloughs, small streams Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Kemmerer Field Office1 No No Yes Yes Rawlins Field Office2 Buffalo Field Office3

Common Name (scientific name) Amphibians Boreal toad 
 (Bufo boreas boreas)
 Great Basin Spadefoot 
 (Spea intermontana)
 Northern leopard frog 
 (Rana pipiens)
 Spotted frog 
 (Ranus pretiosa)


Grasslands, weedy fields Basin-prairie shrub Grasslands, basin-prairie shrub Grasslands Yes Yes No

No

Yes Yes Yes Yes

Yes Yes Yes No

Basin-prairie shrub, grasslands, rock outcrops Basin-prairie shrub, mountain-foothill shrub

Yes Yes

Yes Yes

Yes Yes

Basin-prairie shrub, mountain-foothill shrub Grasslands, plains, foothills, wet meadows

Yes Yes

Yes Yes

Yes Yes

Birds Baird’s sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii) Brewer’s sparrow (Spizella breweri) Burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) Columbian sharp-tailed grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus columbianus) Ferruginous hawk (Buteo regalis) Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) Loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus) Long-billed curlew (Numenius americanus)

1

2

3

Bridger lands to be managed by the Kemmerer Field Office. JO Ranch lands to be managed by the Rawlins Field Office. Welch lands to be managed by the Buffalo Field Office and the PSO Tract to be exchanged.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix E

Table E-3.1. 	 Bureau of Land Management Sensitive Species, Habitat Requirements, and Occurrence by Field Office (continued).
Habitat Conifer and deciduous forests Cliffs Basin-prairie shrub, mountain-foothill shrub Basin-prairie shrub, mountain-foothill shrub Lakes, ponds, rivers Marshes, wet meadows Open woodlands, streamside willow and alder groves Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Kemmerer Field Office1 Yes Rawlins Field Office2 Yes Buffalo Field Office3 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Common Name (scientific name) Northern goshawk 
 (Accipiter gentiles)
 Peregrine falcon 
 (Falco peregrinus)
 Sage sparrow 
 (Amphispiza billneata)
 Sage thrasher
 (Oreoscoptes montanus)
 Trumpeter swan
 (Cygnus buccinator)
 White-faced ibis 
 (Plegadis chihi)
 Yellow-billed cuckoo 
 (Coccyzus americanus)


Bear, Snake, and Green river drainages, all waters Bear River drainage Colorado River drainage Snake River drainage Colorado River drainage, large rivers, streams and lakes Bear, Snake, and Green river drainages

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Yes No Yes No Yes No

No No No No No No

Fish Bluehead sucker (Catostomus discobolus) Bonneville cutthroat (Oncorhynchus clarki utah) Colorado cutthroat (O. clarki pleuriticus) Fine-spotted cutthroat (O. clarki spp.)
 Flannelmouth sucker 
 (Catostomus latipinnis)
 Leatherside chub 
 (Gila copei)


1

2

3

Bridger lands to be managed by the Kemmerer Field Office. JO Ranch lands to be managed by the Rawlins Field Office. Welch lands to be managed by the Buffalo Field Office and the PSO Tract to be exchanged.

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E-59

Appendix E

Table E-3.1.
Kemmerer Field Office1 Rawlins Field Office2 Buffalo Field Office3

Bureau of Land Management Sensitive Species, Habitat Requirements, and Occurrence by Field Office (continued).
Habitat Colorado River drainage, mostly large rivers, streams and lakes Mountain streams and rivers in Yellowstone drainage

Common Name (scientific name)

Yes No No

Yes

No Yes

Roundtail chub (Gila robusta) Yellowstone cutthroat (O. clarki bouvieri)

Mountain foothill shrub, grasslands Conifer forests, woodland chaparral, caves and mines Conifer and deciduous forest, caves and mines Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes Grasslands and shrublands Basin-prairie and riparian shrub Cliffs over perennial water, basin-prairie shrub Grasslands Forests, basin-prairie shrub, caves and mines Basin-prairie shrub, grasslands No

Yes

Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes

Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes No

Mammals Dwarf Shrew (Sorex nanus) Fringed myotis (Myotis thysanodes) Long-eared myotis (Myotis evotis) Pocket gopher (Thomomys spp.) Pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis) Spotted bat (Euderma maculatum) Swift fox (Vulpes velox) Townsend’s big-eared bat (Corynorhinus townsendii) White-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys leucurus)

1

2

3

Bridger lands to be managed by the Kemmerer Field Office. JO Ranch lands to be managed by the Rawlins Field Office. Welch lands to be managed by the Buffalo Field Office and the PSO Tract to be exchanged.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix E

Table E-3.1.
Habitat Kemmerer Field Office1 Rawlins Field Office2 Buffalo Field Office3

Bureau of Land Management Sensitive Species, Habitat Requirements, and Occurrence by Field Office (continued).

Common Name (scientific name)

Yes No No Yes Yes Yes No No No

No

No Yes No No No

Plants Beaver Rim phlox (Phlox pungens) Cary beardtongue (Penstemon caryi) Sparsely vegetated slopes on sedimentary substrates; 6,000 to 7,400 ft Calcareous rock outcrops and rocky soil in sage, juniper, Douglas-fir and limber pine communities; 5,200 to 8,500 ft Chalky hills, gravelly slopes, & fine textured sandyshale draws; 6,700 to 7,200 ft Dry, calcareous-shaley soils in mountain mahogany and rabbitbrush communities; 6,500 to 7,200 ft Greasewood communities on clay hummocks and moist alkaline meadows; 6,200 to 6,770 ft

Sparsely vegetated shale or sandy-clay slopes; 5,500 to 7,700 ft Crevices in granite; 6,400 to 8,000 ft

No No

Yes Yes Yes No Yes

No No No No No

Cedar Rim thistle (Cirsium aridum) Dorn’s twinpod (Physaria dornii) Entire-leaved peppergrass (Lepidium integrifolium integrifolium) Gibbens’ beardtongue (Penstemon gibbensii) Laramie columbine (Aquilegia laramiensis) Laramie false sagebrush (Sphaeromeria simplex) Large-fruited bladderpod (Lesquerella macrocarpa) Nelson’s milkvetch (Astragalus nelsonianus)

Cushion plant communities on rocky limestone; No 7,500 to 8,600 ft Gypsum-clay hills, benches, and flats; 7,200 to Yes 7,700 ft Specialized habitats in sparsely vegetated No shrubland and cushion plant communities; 5,200 to 7,600 ft Pale blue-eyed grass Wet meadows, streambanks, roadside ditches, No (Sisyrinchium pallidum) and irrigated meadows; 7,000 to 7,900 ft 1 Bridger lands to be managed by the Kemmerer Field Office. 2 JO Ranch lands to be managed by the Rawlins Field Office. 3 Welch lands to be managed by the Buffalo Field Office and the PSO Tract to be exchanged.

Yes

No

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

E-61

Appendix E

Table E-3.1. 	 Bureau of Land Management Sensitive Species, Habitat Requirements, and Occurrence by Field Office (continued).
Habitat Kemmerer Field Office1 Rawlins Field Office2 Buffalo Field Office3

Common Name (scientific name)

Riverbanks and shorelines on sandy soils 	

No

Yes

No

No Yes No

No

Yes No

Persistent sepal yellowcress (Rorippa calycina) Porter’s sagebrush (Artemisia porteri) Prostrate bladderpod (Lesquerella prostrata) Sparsely vegetated badlands of ashy or tufaceous mudstone and clay slopes; 5,300 to 6,500 ft Sparse communities on slopes and rims of clay & soft sandstones with fine gravel surface; 7,200 to 7,700 ft Sagebrush communities on shale or limestone outcrops or barren clay slopes; 6,500 to 8,200 ft Yes No Yes No No Yes

No

No No

Sparsely vegetated shale slopes and ridges; 6,500 to 7,000 ft Coniferous forest openings and scrub oak woodlands; 8,500 to 9,600 ft

Trelease’s milkvetch (Astragalus racemosus treleasei) Tufted twinpod (Physaria condensata) Weber’s scarlet gilia (Ipomopsis aggregata weberi) William’s wafer parsnip (Cymopterus williamsii)

No

Yes

1

2

3

Open ridgetops and upper slopes with exposed No limestone outcrops or rockslides; 6,000 to 8,300 ft Bridger lands to be managed by the Kemmerer Field Office. JO Ranch lands to be managed by the Rawlins Field Office. Welch lands to be managed by the Buffalo Field Office and the PSO Tract to be exchanged.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix E E-4.0 STATE SPECIES OF SPECIAL CONCERN The coal mining unsuitability criteria, which are listed in the federal coal management regulations at 43 CFR 3461, were applied to federal coal lands in Sheridan County in the early 1980s and in the mid 1990s by the BLM. The 1980s results were included in the 1985 Buffalo Resource Area RMP (BLM 1985). The results of the mid-1990s unsuitability criteria application are summarized in the 2001 Approved RMP for Public Lands Administered by the BLM Buffalo Field Office (BLM 2001). The unsuitability findings for the PSO Tract according to the BLM’s1985 and 2001 RMPs are summarized in Appendix C of this EIS. The 1985 findings for Criteria 14 and 15 are discussed in more detail below. Portions of the PSO Tract totaling about 520 acres were found to be unsuitable for coal leasing and development under Criterion 14 (Habitat for Migratory Birds) when the unsuitability criteria were applied in the early 1980s. The designation was applied due to the presence of important breeding habitat for the Lewis’ woodpecker. This species is known to breed in the ponderosa pine habitat in the area of Ash Creek. BLM has reviewed this unsuitability finding and determined that Lewis’ woodpeckers have been dropped from the list of “Migratory Non-Game Birds of Management Concern in the U.S.” BLM advised USFWS of their intent to drop the unsuitability designation for Lewis’ woodpecker habitat under Criterion 14 within this area and to complete a land use plan maintenance action to reflect this. In a letter dated August 20, 2001, USFWS indicated their willingness to concur with the proposed change in unsuitability designation for Criterion 14 and acknowledged that this species has been found to be more widely distributed in Wyoming than when the original designation of unsuitability was applied. The Lewis’ woodpecker is not listed within the 2002 USFWS “Migratory Bird Species of Management Concern in Wyoming, Coal Mine List” (USFWS 2002d). However, USFWS requested that the scoria hillsides on the western edge of the exchange area (which contain primary breeding habitat for the woodpeckers) be removed from the exchange. If those areas remain in the exchange tract, the USFWS will require monitoring of the Lewis’ woodpecker as part of their mining permit (USFWS 2001b). The 1985 BLM Buffalo Resource Area RMP found approximately 1,200 acres of federal coal to be unsuitable due to the presence of the Lewis’ woodpecker under Criterion 15, Habitat for State High-Interest Species, and some of this acreage overlaps with the western edge of the PSO Tract. The WGFD submitted comments in response to the land exchange notice identifying the Lewis’ woodpecker as a state species of special concern that is found in the Ash Creek area in a letter dated January 30, 2001 (WGFD 2001). In their comment letter, WGFD stated that they believe the exchange “will not significantly impact Lewis’ woodpeckers, and that any concerns related to the Lewis’ woodpecker could be adequately addressed during mine planning if active coal mining is proposed.” When contacted, WGFD indicated that, due to the extent of their Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange E-63

Appendix E occurrence in Wyoming, Lewis’ woodpeckers are not considered rare or in need of management emphasis. On October 24, 2001, the Buffalo Resource Area RMP designation of a portion of the Sheridan Review Area as “unsuitable pending further study” for Lewis’ woodpecker habitat was removed in a plan maintenance action signed by the Buffalo Field Office Manager.

E-64

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix E E-5.0 CREDENTIALS OF SURVEY PERSONNEL Intermountain Resources of Laramie, Wyoming Jim Orpet Mr. Orpet obtained a Master of Science degree in Range Management from the University of Wyoming and has accumulated 24 years of field experience in vegetation and plant surveys. This experience includes preparation of plant species lists for over 100 projects throughout Wyoming. Mr. Orpet was qualified in 1987 by the WDEQ/LQD to conduct T&E species and other plant and animal surveys on WDEQ/Abandoned Mine Land projects within the state. Qualification at that time was based on review and approval of Mr. Orpet’s credentials by the WGFD and the USFWS. Mr. Orpet has also completed numerous wetland surveys that have been approved by the U.S. Corps of Engineers. Russel Tait Mr. Tait obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Management from the University of Wyoming and has accumulated 11 years of field experience in vegetation and plant surveys in Wyoming. Mr. Tait has assisted Mr. Orpet in conduction of T&E species surveys for over six years on coal mines and other resource development projects in Wyoming.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

E-65

Appendix E E-6.0 PERSONAL CONTACTS AND REFERENCES CITED Baxter, G.T. and M.D. Stone, 1985, Amphibians and Reptiles of Wyoming. Second Edition. Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Cheyenne, Wyoming. ______, 1995, Fishes of Wyoming. Cheyenne, Wyoming. Wyoming Game and Fish Department,

Bills, Thomas E., 2002, Grazing Lease Renewals, Fiscal Year 2002, Amended Biological Assessment, Buffalo Field Office. BLM Buffalo Field Office. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), 1985, Buffalo Area Resource Management Plan Environmental Impact Statement. USDI, BLM. , 2001, Approved Resource Management Plan for Public Lands Administered by the Bureau of Land Management Buffalo Field Office, Buffalo, Wyoming. Available on the Internet at website . Buehler, D.A., T.J. Mersmann, J.D. Fraser, and J.K.D. Seegar, 1991, Nonbreeding bald eagle communal and solitary roosting behavior and roost habitat on the northern Chesapeake Bay. Journal of Wildlife Management 55(2):273-281. Clark, T.W., and M.R. Stromberg, 1987, Mammals in Wyoming. University of Kansas, Museum of Natural History. Dechant, J.A., M.L. Sondreal, D.H. Johnson, L.D. Igl, C.M. Goldade, M.P. Nennman, and B.R. Euliss, 2001, Effects of management practices on grassland birds: Mountain Plover. U.S. Geological Survey, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Jamestown, North Dakota, 15pp. Dinsmore, J.J., 1983, Mountain plover (Charadrius montanus). Pages 185-196 in J.S. Armbruster, editor. Impact of Coal Surface Mining on 25 Migratory Bird Species of High Federal Interest. USFWS FWS/OBS­ 83/35. 348 pages. Ehrlich, P.R., D.S. Dobkin, and D. Wheye, 1988, The Birder’s Handbook: A Field Guide to the Natural History of North American Birds. Simon and Schuster, New York. Fertig, W., and G. Beauvais, 1999, Wyoming Plant and Animal Species of Special Concern. Unpublished report. Wyoming Natural Diversity Databas, Laramie, Wyoming.

E-66

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix E Fertig, W., 2002, Status of Blowout Penstemon (Penstemon haydenii) in Wyoming. Prepared for the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, USFWS and WG&FD by the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming. Fitzgerald, J.P., C.A. Meaney, and D.M. Armstrong, 1994, Mammals of Colorado. Denver Museum of Natural History, Denver, Colorado. Good, R.E., D.P. Young Jr., and J. Eddy, 2002, Distribution of Mountain Plovers in the Powder River Basin, Wyoming. Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc. Cheyenne, Wyoming. 10pp. Hansen, A.J., M.V. Stalmaster, and J.R. Newman, 1981, Habitat characteristics, function, and destruction of bald eagle communal roosts in western Washington. In R.L. Knight, G.T. Allen, M.V. Stalmaster, and C.W. Servheen, eds. Proceedings of the Washington bald eagle symposium. The Nature Conservancy, Seattle, Washington. 254 pp. Intermountain Resources, 2002, Annual Wildlife Monitoring Report for Pittsburg and Midway Coal Mining Company, Ash Creek Mine, January 2003. On file with WDEQ/LQD, Sheridan, Wyoming. Keinath, D. and J. Bennett, 2000, Distribution and Status of the Boreal Toad (Bufo boreas boreas) in Wyoming. Prepared for the USFWS, Wyoming Field Office, by the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming. Keinath, D.A. and D. Ehle, 2001, Survey for Mountain Plover (Charadrius montanus) on Federal Lands in the Powder River Basin. Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, University of Wyoming. Laramie, Wyoming. 17pp. Keister, G.P., 1981, Characteristics of winter roosts and populations of bald eagles in Klamath Basin. M.S. Thesis. Oregon State University, Corvallis. 82 pp. Luce, B., A. Cerovski, B. Oakleaf, J. Priday, and L. Van Fleet, 1999, Atlas of Birds, Mammals, Reptiles, and Amphibians in Wyoming. Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Wildlife Division, Cheyenne, Wyoming. McGarigal, K., R.G. Anthony, and F.B. Isaacs, 1991, Interactions of humans and bald eagles on the Columbia River estuary. Wildlife Monograph 115:1-47. Patla, Debra, 2000, Amphibians of the Bridger-Teton National Forest; Species Distribution and Status. Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Amphibian Project. Idaho State University. Pocatello, Idaho. Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange E-67

Appendix E Pittsburg and Midway Coal Mining Company (P&M), 2002, Ash Creek Mine Permit 407-74, Annual Mining and Reclamation Report, January 2003. On file with WDEQ/LQD in Sheridan and Cheyenne, Wyoming. Ruediger, B., J. Claar, S. Mighton, B. Naney, T. Rinaldi, F. Wahl, N. Warren, D. Wenger, A. Williamson, L. Lewis, B. Holt, G. Patton, J. Trick, A. Vandehey, and S. Gniadek, 2000, Canada Lynx Conservation Assessment and Strategy. USDA Forest Service. Steenhof, K., 1976, The ecology of wintering bald eagles in southeastern South Dakota. M.S. Thesis. University of Missouri, Columbia. 148 pp. Steenhof, K., S.S. Berlinger, and L.H. Fredrickson, 1980, Habitat use by wintering bald eagles in South Dakota. Journal of Wildlife Management 44(4):798-805. Tyus, H.M., and C.A. Karp, 1989, Habitat use and streamflow needs of rare and endangered fishes, Yampa River, Colorado. U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Biological Report 89 (14). 27 pp. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, 1981, A survey of wintering bald eagles and their habitat in the Lower Missouri Region. Denver, Colorado. 96 pp. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), 1978, Management of wintering bald eagles. FWS/OBS-78/79. Washington, D.C. 59 pp. ______, 1986, Recovery plan for the Pacific bald eagle. Portland, Oregon. 160 pp. ______, 1989, Black Footed Ferret Survey Guidelines for Compliance with the Endangered Species Act. USDI Fish and Wildlife Service, Denver, Colorado and Albuquerque, New Mexico. , 1994, Establishment of a Nonessential Experimental Population of Gray Wolves in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Idaho, Montana; Central Idaho and Southwestern Montana; Final Rules. Federal Register 59(224): 60252-60281. , 1995, Ute ladies’-tresses draft recovery plan. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Denver, Colorado. 46 pp. , 1999a, Proposed Threatened status for the mountain plover. Federal Register 64 (30):7587-7601. , 1999b, Extension of comment period and announcement of public hearings on proposal to list the mountain plover as a threatened species. Federal Register 64(74):19108. E-68 Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix E , 2000a, 12-month administrative finding for a petition to list the blacktailed prairie dog from the National Wildlife Federation dated July 30, 1998. Available on the Internet at website , accessed August 22, 2000. , 2000b, 12-month finding for a petition to list the black-tailed prairie dog as threatened. Federal Register 65 (24):5476-5488. , 2001a, Memorandum from Mike Long, Field Supervisor, USFWS Wyoming Field Office, Cheyenne, Wyoming, to Jim Paugh, BLM Realty Officer, Wyoming State Office, Cheyenne, Wyoming, dated January 25, 2001. , 2001b, Memorandum from Mike Long, Field Supervisor, USFWS Wyoming Field Office, Cheyenne, Wyoming, to Dennis Stenger, Field Office Manager, BLM Buffalo Field Office, Buffalo, Wyoming, dated August 20, 2001. , 2001c, Annual notice of findings on recycled petitions. Federal Register 66 (5):1295-1300. , 2001d, New Information Reveals Three-Year Countdown to Wolf Recovery started in 2000. News release dated September 17, 2001. Available on the Internet at website . ______, 2001e, 12-Month Finding for a Petition to List the Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) in the Western Continental United States. Federal Register 66(143):38611-38626. , 2002a, Memorandum from Mike Long, Field Supervisor, USFWS Wyoming Field Office, Cheyenne, Wyoming, to Nancy Doelger, BLM, Casper Field Office, Casper, Wyoming, dated July 19, 2002. , 2002b, Memorandum from Mike Long, USFWS Field Supervisor, Cheyenne, Wyoming, to Mike Karbs, BLM Assistant Field Manager - Solid Minerals, Casper Field Office, Casper, Wyoming, dated September 11, 2002. , 2002c, Memorandum from Mike Long, Field Supervisor, USFWS Wyoming Field Office, Cheyenne, Wyoming, to BLM Casper Field Office Manager, Casper, Wyoming, dated June 7, 2002. , 2002d, Migratory Bird Species of Management Concern in Wyoming, Coal Mine List, May 2, 2002, USFWS, Wyoming Field Office, Cheyenne, Wyoming. Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange E-69

Appendix E ______, 2002e, Biological and Conference Opinion for the Powder River Basin Oil and Gas Project, Campbell, Converse, Johnson, and Sheridan Counties, Wyoming. Cheyenne, Wyoming. 51pp. , 2003, Gray Wolf Recovery Status Reports. Available on the Internet at website , accessed January 27, 2003. U.S. Forest Service (USFS), 1991, Threatened, Endangered, and Sensitive Species of the Intermountain Region. Edited by Robin Spahr, Lori Armstrong, Duane Atwood, and Mike Rath. United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Region, Ogden, Utah. , 1994, The Scientific Basis for Conserving Forest Carnivores: American Marten, Fisher, Lynx and Wolverine in the Western United States. Edited by L.F. Ruggiero, K.B. Aubry, S.W. Buskirk, L.J. Lyon, and W.J. Zielinski. General Technical Report RM-254. Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station and Rocky Mountain Region. Fort Collins, Colorado. 184 pp. Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD), 2001, Written comments regarding P&M land exchange, from Bill Wichers, WGFD Deputy Director, Cheyenne, Wyoming, to Art Reese, BLM Director of Office of Federal Land Policy, Cheyenne, Wyoming, dated January 30, 2001.

E-70

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

APPENDIX F SPECIFIC RESOURCE INFORMATION 
 FOR INDIVIDUAL P&M PARCELS WITHIN 
 THE BRIDGER-TETON NATIONAL FOREST


Appendix F SPECIFIC RESOURCE INFORMATION FOR INDIVIDUAL P&M PARCELS 
 WITHIN THE BRIDGER-TETON NATIONAL FOREST 
 East Fork of Hams Fork parcel, approximately 280 acres, located in the Blacks Fork sub-basin. This parcel has over one mile of perennial stream. A Colorado cutthroat trout (sensitive species) fishery exists in this creek. The majority of the parcel is lodgepole pine with some spruce and fir in the forested uplands. Willow and carex dominate the riparian area. The majority of the forested uplands have recently been partially harvested. A significant buffer strip of coniferous trees was left between the harvested area and the creek. It is nearly impossible to see the harvested area through this buffer strip while traveling along the creek. This buffer strip also reduced the likelihood of sediment from the road or from timber harvest activity from entering the creek. There is a single lane road (#10154) passing through this parcel from the northwest corner to the southeast corner. This road provides access to a large area including the headwaters of the East Fork, Pole Creek, and Beaver Creek. Many suitable dispersed camping sites are located within this parcel, primarily along the creek but upland campsites exist as well. Elk Creek Guard Station parcel, approximately 80 acres, located within the Blacks Fork sub-basin. This parcel is located just southwest of the historic Elk Creek Guard Station cabin. The main stem of the Hams Fork River passes through the northeast corner of this parcel (approximately ¼ mile of the river) Colorado River cutthroat trout are suspected to occupy the streams within this parcel. This parcel contains approximately 1/5 th riparian area, 2/5 th coniferous forest, and 2/5 th open sagebrush/grass vegetation types. Aspen is also a significant component of the vegetation types; it is dispersed within both the coniferous and the sagebrush/grass types. No harvest activity has taken place on this parcel. There has been no other development on this parcel that is known other than a faint trail that passes through the parcel from the West Fork Hams Fork Ridge Road (#10151) northeasterly toward the Elk Creek Guard Station historic cabin. There are remnants of an old access road across National Forest lands from road #10151 to the western side of the parcel. This road has naturally revegetated and is not open to motorized use. This parcel lends itself to non-motorized backcountry camping experience without being very far from a main road system. Shingle Mill Creek parcel, approximately 240 acres, located within the Blacks Fork sub-basin. This parcel lies between the South Fork of Elk Creek and Sawmill Creek, with the majority of the sub watershed draining into Shingle Mill Creek. Colorado River cutthroat trout are suspected to occupy the streams within this parcel. The majority of this parcel is lodgepole pine, but spruce, fir, and aspen are also present as well as small open patches of sagebrush and grass. There is approximately ½ mile of perennial and ephemeral streams crossing the parcel. The South Fork of Elk Creek bisects the northern most portion, and portions of the Upper Shingle Mill Creek begins within this parcel. There are two access roads, the Shingle Mill Road (#10200) and the North Fork Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange F-1

Appendix F Sawmill Creek Road (#10158). The Shingle Mill Road accesses the northern portion of the parcel. This road is open seasonally and controlled by a locking gate near the Hams Fork Road (#10062). The North Fork of Sawmill Creek Road accesses the southwestern portion of this parcel. There is no seasonal closure on this road. The forested areas on this parcel have been partially harvested in recent years. There are many opportunities for dispersed camping within this parcel. North Fork of Elk Creek parcel, approximately 320 acres, within the Blacks Fork sub-basin. This parcel lies between Indian Creek and Elk Creek. Approximately 1/10 th of a mile of the North Fork of Elk Creek passes through this parcel. Colorado River cutthroat trout are suspected to occupy the streams within this parcel. This parcel consists of a mosaic mix of coniferous forest, mostly lodgepole pine, aspen, and sagebrush/grass. Accessible portions of the lodgepole have been partially harvested. Access to this parcel is via the Elk Creek Road (#10063). This road accesses the northern portion of the parcel and has traditionally been gated closed at the P&M property boundary during the wet periods. The Forest Service Closure is on the east side of the P&M parcel about ¾ road mile to the east. An old jeep trail used to access the southern tip of this parcel via the Shingle Mill Creek Road but this road has been abandoned and reclaimed and is no longer open to motorized use. This parcel has proven to be very productive for elk and deer hunters due to the patchy vegetation and rolling topography. Motorized and non-motorized users could have an outstanding recreational experience here. Rock Creek parcel, approximately 80 acres within the Blacks Fork sub-basin. This parcel is situated between the Hams Fork River and Middle Ridge. The parcel is primarily on a north-facing slope dominated by lodgepole pine, but with noticeable amounts of spruce, fir, aspen, and a few patches of sagebrush/grass. The forested areas have been partially harvested; an access road was constructed within the parcel. This road has since been closed with earthen berms and with a gated closure. Access to the parcel across National Forest Lands is via road #10198. Due to the north aspect and lack of flat areas and riparian habitat, this parcel would not be expected to be used much by recreational campers although it is likely very valuable for big game hunting and habitat. Little Indian Creek parcel, approximately 80 acres within the Blacks Fork sub-basin. This parcel is situated just south of Little Indian Creek with a portion (1/8 th mile) bisecting the parcel. Colorado River cutthroat trout are suspected to occupy the streams within this parcel. This parcel is mostly forested with a mixed conifer and aspen overstory, sub-alpine fir appears to be the dominant species. No harvest activity has been conducted on this parcel. Access is via the Indian Creek Road (#10161). This parcel is very suitable for dispersed camping, hiking and hunting.

F-2

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix F Green Knoll parcel, approximately 560 acres within the Blacks Fork subbasin. This parcel lies between Middle Ridge and the Hams Fork River. Approximately ¾ mile of the Hams Fork River passes through this parcel. Colorado River cutthroat trout are known to occupy the streams within this parcel. The upland portions consist of a mosaic of coniferous forest, aspen, and sagebrush grass. Approximately half of the forested areas have been partially harvested within the last few years. Several logging roads were created to access the timber; these have mostly been physically closed with earthen berms and downed trees. Access to this parcel is via road #10198. Dispersed camping and hunting opportunities are numerous in this parcel. Fontenelle Creek / Mahogany Ridge parcel, approximately 800 acres within the Upper Green River sub-basin. This parcel is located along the eastern boundary of the BTNF between Fontenelle Creek and the Fontenelle Hogbacks. Fontenelle Creek and Mahogany Creek pass through this large parcel, totaling approximately 1 mile of stream and associated riparian area. Fontenelle Creek is known to contain Colorado cutthroat trout. This parcel abuts BLM lands outside of the forest boundary in addition to other P&M property that the BLM would acquire under the proposed action. This would create a much more contiguous block of public land in an area that is very critical to wintering wildlife, and heavily used by big game hunters in the fall. Moose, elk, and deer are known to use this area for winter forage. The dominant shrub, curlleaf mountain mahogany is very high in nutrition and the game uses it heavily, especially in harsh winters. This parcel also serves as a major migration corridor for wildlife passing from the forest to the shrub steppe. Mountain lions have been recorded frequenting this parcel as well. Sagebrush/grass, willow, and conifer make up the remainder of the major vegetation types on this parcel. There has been no timber harvest on this parcel and there are no developed trails. Road access to this parcel is limited on the National Forest side (west) but there are some two-track roads accessing the property from private and BLM lands to the east.

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

F-3

APPENDIX G NON-MINE GROUNDWATER AND 
 SURFACE WATER RIGHTS 
 WITHIN THE PSO TRACT


Appendix G
GROUNDWATER RIGHTS - WYOMING Permit No. Priority Tns
P087368W P118422W P105303W P097594W P063785W P014351W P034645W P035606W P059067W P074114W P048251W P033064W P098281W P018702P P018703P P018704P P025682P P025681P P095849W P094647W P034901W P034902W P005493W P034899W P034900W P018668P P018669P P026850W P074594W P091876W P002362W P111433W P127442W P127443W P127444W P111432W P127435W P127436W P127437W P127427W P127428W P127430W P130412W P130413W P130414W 3/19/1992 8/19/1999 3/24/1997 10/21/1994 4/21/1983 6/14/1972 7/30/1976 11/30/1976 12/7/1981 2/26/1987 5/23/1979 5/7/1976 2/7/1995 12/31/1909 12/31/1954 12/31/1954 1/25/1974 1/25/1974 6/20/1994 3/2/1994 8/24/1976 8/24/1976 5/12/1970 8/24/1976 8/24/1976 12/31/1935 12/31/1935 5/31/1974 5/5/1987 6/1/1993 10/7/1968 8/17/1998 7/7/2000 7/7/2000 7/7/2000 8/17/1998 7/7/2000 7/7/2000 7/7/2000 7/7/2000 7/7/2000 7/7/2000 10/23/2000 10/23/2000 10/23/2000 T57N T57N T57N T57N T57N T57N T57N T57N T57N T57N T57N T57N T57N T57N T57N T57N T57N T57N T57N T57N T57N T57N T57N T57N T57N T57N T57N T57N T57N T57N T57N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N

Rng
R83W R83W R83W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W

Sec
07 07 07 01 01 01 01 03 04 05 09 09 10 11 11 11 11 11 11 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 14 15 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19

qq
NW NW NW NW SW NW NW SE NE NW NE NW NW SE SW SW SE NW NE NW SE NE NW NW SE NW SE SW SE SW SE SW NE SE SE SE SE SE NE NE NW NE SW NE NE NW NE NW NE NW SW SE SW SE SW SE SW SE SE NE SE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE SW NE SW NE SW NE SW NE NE NW NE NW NE NW SW NW SW NW SW NW

Applicant
WILLIAM G. BARBULA**ARLINE M. BARBU DOUG/ANNA-JONES CRABTREE JACQUELYN J MORELAND GEORGE OR ALICE BAKER L. N. & S. A. DAVIS BERT STROUP GEORGE BAKER FLYING V CATTLE COMPANY CHEVRON USA INC. FLYING V CATTLE COMPANY FLYING V CATTLE COMPANY JAY R. HUTTON BIG HORN COAL COMPANY BARBARA CHERNI BARBARA CHERNI BARBARA CHERNI CLARENCE W. TERRY CLARENCE W. TERRY PETER KIEWIT & SONS, INC LOREN D. MINEAR GERALD W. MORAVEK GERALD W. MORAVEK WILLIAM J. EISELE GERALD W. MORAVEK GERALD MORAVEK DEAN MCCLURE DEAN MCCLURE HAROLD L. RILEY ROBERT W. MOREL**SHANE D. MOREL MICHAEL AND SUSAN TERRY FLYING V CATTLE COMPANY FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY FIDELITY FIDELITY FIDELITY FIDELITY FIDELITY FIDELITY FIDELITY FIDELITY FIDELITY FIDELITY FIDELITY FIDELITY EXPLORATION EXPLORATION EXPLORATION EXPLORATION EXPLORATION EXPLORATION EXPLORATION EXPLORATION EXPLORATION EXPLORATION EXPLORATION EXPLORATION EXPLORATION & & & & & & & & & & & & & PRODUCTION PRODUCTION PRODUCTION PRODUCTION PRODUCTION PRODUCTION PRODUCTION PRODUCTION PRODUCTION PRODUCTION PRODUCTION PRODUCTION PRODUCTION

Facility Name
HITSON #1 AD #1 J.J. #1 BAKER #2 DAVIS #2 STROUP #1 BAKER #1 MINE #2 MIKE-1 FLYING V #7 PADLOCK WW (BH429) HUTTON #1 P5 STOCK WELL #1 BARBARA CHERNI #1 BARBARA CHERNI #2 BARBARA CHERNI #3 SCHREIBEIS #2 SCHREIBEIS #1 TERRY #2 MINEAR #1 MORAVEK #3 MORAVEK #4 EISELE #1 MORAVEK #1 MORAVEK #2 MCCLURE #1 SHERIDAN MCCLURE #2 SHERIDAN RILEY #1 MOREL S1 TERRY #1 COAL PIT #1 CHEVRON 41D1-1983 CHEVRON 41C-1983 CHEVRON 41D2/3-1983 CHEVRON 41M-1983 CHEVRON 32C-1983 CHEVRON 32D1-1983 CHEVRON 32D2/3-1983 CHEVRON 32M-1983 CHEVRON 21C-1983 CHEVRON 21D1-1983 CHEVRON 21M-1983 CHEVRON 12C-1983 CHEVRON FED 12D1-1983 CHEVRON FED 12D2/3-1983

Status
UNA UNA UNA UNA

Uses
STO DOM DOM,STO DOM DOM DOM,STO DOM,STO DOM,STO STO STO STO DOM STO DOM DOM STO STO DOM DOM DOM DOM,STO DOM STO DOM,STO DOM,STO DOM,STO STO STO DOM,STO DOM,STO STO,IRR STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM

Yld Act
5 -3 10 17 14 9 3 2 1 5 8 5 3 8 3 25 8 10 5 5 3 1 9 25 25 10 25 4.5 10 2700 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 ----

T.D.
230 -440 160 82 220 Unknown 200 200 235 280 180 290 20 12 12 40 210 140.5 410 60 55 160 85 10 200 40 160 260 34 87 422 784 482 607.5 863 400 561 681 857 569.5 684 ----

UNA

UNA UNA UNA

UNA ADJ GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GSI GSI GSI

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

G-1

Appendix G
GROUNDWATER RIGHTS - WYOMING Permit No. Priority Tns
P130415W P140343W P140344W P140345W P140346W P030374W P032672W P127445W P127446W P127447W P132474W P127438W P127439W P127440W P127441W P140999W P141000W P141001W P141002W P127431W P127432W P127433W P127434W P130416W P130417W P130418W P130419W P128037W P128038W P128039W P128040W P140351W P140352W P140353W P140354W P128029W P128030W P128031W P128032W P128041W P128042W P128043W P128044W P140355W P140356W P140357W 10/23/2000 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 6/30/1975 4/1/1976 7/7/2000 7/7/2000 7/7/2000 1/22/2001 7/7/2000 7/7/2000 7/7/2000 7/7/2000 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 7/7/2000 7/7/2000 7/7/2000 7/7/2000 10/23/2000 10/23/2000 10/23/2000 10/23/2000 7/31/2000 7/31/2000 7/31/2000 7/31/2000 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 7/31/2000 7/31/2000 7/31/2000 7/31/2000 7/31/2000 7/31/2000 7/31/2000 7/31/2000 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N

Rng
R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W

Sec
19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20

qq
SW NW SW SE SW SE SW SE SW SE SW SE SW SE NE SE NE SE NE SE NE SE SW SE SW SE SW SE SW SE SW SW SW SW SW SW SW SW NE SW NE SW NE SW NE SW SW SW SW SW SW SW SW SW NE NW NE NW NE NW NE NW NE NW NE NW NE NW NE NW SW NW SW NW SW NW SW NW NE SW NE SW NE SW NE SW NE SW NE SW NE SW

Applicant
FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION CHEVRON USA INC. CHEVRON USA INC. FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION

Facility Name
CHEVRON FED 12M-1983 ENL.CHEVRON 34C-1983 ENL. CHEVRON 34D1-1983 ENL. CHEVRON 34D2/3-1983 ENL. CHEVRON 34M-1983 BT #5 BT 10 CHEVRON 43C-1983 CHEVRON 43D1-1983 CHEVRON 43D2/3-1983 CHEVRON 43M-1983 CHEVRON 34C-1983 CHEVRON 34D1-1983 CHEVRON 34D2/3-1983 CHEVRON 34M-1983 ENL CHEVRON 14C-1983 ENL CHEVRON 14D1-1983 ENL CHEVRON 14D2/3-1983 ENL CHEVRON 14M-1983 CHEVRON 23C-1983 CHEVRON 23D1-1983 CHEVRON 23D2/3-1983 CHEVRON 23M-1983 CHEVRON FED 14C-1983 CHEVRON FED 14D1-1983 CHEVRON FED 14D2/3-1983 CHEVRON FED 14M-1983 CHEVRON 21C-2083 CHEVRON 21D1-2083 CHEVRON 21D2/3-2083 CHEVRON 21M-2083 ENL. CHEVRON 21C-2083 ENL. CHEVRON 21D1-2083 ENL. CHEVRON 21M-2083 ENL. CHEVRON 21D2/3-2083 CHEVRON 12M-2083 CHEVRON 12D1-2083 CHEVRON 12D2/3-2083 CHEVRON 12C-2083 CHEVRON 23C-2083 CHEVRON 23D1-2083 CHEVRON 23D2/3-2083 CHEVRON 23M-2083 ENL. CHEVRON 23C-2083 ENL. CHEVRON 23D1-2083 ENL. CHEVRON 23D2-2083

Status
GSI GST GST GST GST

Uses
STO,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM STO STO STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM

Yld Act
-0 0 0 0 5 8 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 ----25 25 25 25 ----25 25 25 25 0 0 0 0 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 0 0 0

T.D.
-710 234.5 426 553 280 277 725 293.5 430 764 710 234.5 426 553 ----658 264 408.5 527 ----622 189.5 372.5 494 622 189.5 372.5 494 742 257 397.5 681 599 155.5 347 470.5 599 155.5 347

GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GSI GSI GSI GSI GST GST GST GST GSI GSI GSI GSI GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST

G-2

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix G
GROUNDWATER RIGHTS - WYOMING Permit No. Priority Tns
P140358W P128033W P128034W P128035W P128036W P140347W P140348W P140349W P140350W P134551W P134552W P134553W P134554W P141155W P134543W P134544W P134545W P134546W P141160W P134555W P134556W P134557W P134558W P141159W P134547W P134548W P134549W P134550W P141157W P112488W P134559W P134560W P134561W P134562W P141158W P030371W P116932W P130265W P130266W P130267W P140371W P140372W P140373W P134414W P130260W P140995W 10/4/2001 7/31/2000 7/31/2000 7/31/2000 7/31/2000 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 4/30/2001 4/30/2001 4/30/2001 4/30/2001 12/3/2001 4/30/2001 4/30/2001 4/30/2001 4/30/2001 12/3/2001 4/30/2001 4/30/2001 4/30/2001 4/30/2001 12/3/2001 4/30/2001 4/30/2001 4/30/2001 4/30/2001 12/3/2001 10/28/1998 4/30/2001 4/30/2001 4/30/2001 4/30/2001 12/3/2001 6/30/1975 7/11/1999 8/1/2000 8/1/2000 8/1/2000 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 5/7/2001 8/1/2000 10/4/2001 T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N

Rng
R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W

Sec
20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30

qq
NE SW SW SW SW SW SW SW SW SW SW SW SW SW SW SW SW SW NE NW NE NW NE NW NE NW NE NW SW NW SW NW SW NW SW NW SW NW NE SW NE SW NE SW NE SW NE SW SW SW SW SW SW SW SW SW SW SW NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE SW NE SW NE SW NE SW NE SW NE SW NE SW NE SW NE SE NE NE NW NE NW

Applicant
FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FOREST/SUSAN DUNNING FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FORT UNION LTD. THE PITSBURG & MIDWAY COAL MINING FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FOREST DUNNING FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION

Facility Name
ENL. CHEVRON 23M-2083 CHEVRON 14C-2083 CHEVRON 14D1-2083 CHEVRON 14D2/3-2083 CHEVRON 14M-2083 ENL. CHEVRON 14C-2083 ENL. CHEVRON 14D1-2083 ENL. CHEVRON 14D2/3-2083 ENL. CHEVRON 14M-2083 DUNNING 21C-2983 DUNNING 21D1-2983 DUNNING 21D3-2983 DUNNING 21M-2983 DUNNING 21D2-2983 DUNNING 12 C-2983 DUNNING 12 D1-2983 DUNNING 12 D3-2983 DUNNING 12 M-2983 DUNNING 12D2-2983 DUNNING 23C-2983 DUNNING 23D1-2983 DUNNING 23D3-2983 DUNNING 23M-2983 DUNNING 23D2-2983 DUNNING 14C-2983 DUNNING 14D1-2983 DUNNING 14D3-2983 DUNNING 14M-2983 DUNNING 14D2-2983 DUNNING HOME #1 DUNNING 41C-3083 DUNNING 41D1-3083 DUNNING 41D3-3083 DUNNING 41M-3083 DUNNING 41D2-3083 BT #2 P & M #1 CHEVRON 32C-3083 CHEVRON 32D2/3-3083 CHEVRON 32M-3083 ENL. CHEVRON 32C-3083 ENL. CHEVRON 32D3-3083 ENL. CHEVRON 32M-3083 DUNNING 42WW-3083 CHEVRON 21M-3083 ENL CHEVRON 21C-3083

Status
GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI GST GST GST GST GSI GST GSI GSI GST GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI UNA GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI UNA UNA GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST

Uses
IRR,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM DOM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM DOM,STO DOM,STO STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM DOM STO,CBM IRR,CBM

Yld Act
0 25 25 25 25 0 0 0 0 -----25 25 25 25 -25 --25 ------8 -----5 20 25 25 25 0 0 0 17 25 0

T.D.
470.5 650.5 152 343 465.5 650.5 152 343 465.5 -----644 183 346.5 459 -683 --503 ------40 -----15 38 642 349 480 642 349 480 255 494.5 656.5

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

G-3

Appendix G
GROUNDWATER RIGHTS - WYOMING Permit No. Priority Tns
P140996W P140997W P140998W P128415W P128416W P128417W P130257W P130258W P130259W P140992W P140993W P140994W P130261W P130262W P130263W P130264W P140367W P140368W P140369W P140370W P112487W P124878W P134563W P134564W P134565W P134566W P141156W P130268W P130269W P130270W P130271W P136648W P136649W P136650W P140533W P140534W P140535W P140536W P140537W P140538W P142317W P142318W P142319W P144217W P144218W P144219W 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 8/21/2000 8/21/2000 8/21/2000 8/1/2000 8/1/2000 8/1/2000 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 8/1/2000 8/1/2000 8/1/2000 8/1/2000 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 10/28/1998 4/17/2000 4/30/2001 4/30/2001 4/30/2001 4/30/2001 12/3/2001 8/1/2000 8/1/2000 8/1/2000 8/1/2000 7/2/2001 7/2/2001 7/2/2001 10/31/2001 10/31/2001 10/31/2001 10/31/2001 10/31/2001 10/31/2001 1/29/2002 1/29/2002 1/29/2002 4/15/2002 4/15/2002 4/15/2002 T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N

Rng
R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W

Sec
30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 31 31 31 31 31 31 31 31 31 31 31 31 31 31 31

qq
NE NW NE NW NE NW SW NW SW NW SW NW SW NW SW NW SW NW SW NW SW NW SW NW NE SW NE SW NE SW NE SW NE SW NE SW NE SW NE SW NE SE NE SE NE SE NE SE NE SE NE SE NE SE SW SE SW SE SW SE SW SE NE SW NE SW NE SW SW SE SW SE SW SE NE SW NE SW NE SW SW NE SW NE SW SE SW SW SW SW SW SW

Applicant
FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FOREST/SUSAN DUNNING FOREST/SUSAN DUNNING FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION

Facility Name
ENL CHEVRON 21D1-3083 ENL CHEVRON 21D2/3-3083 ENL CHEVRON 21M-3083 CHEVRON 12C-3083 CHEVRON 12D2/3-3083 CHEVRON 12M-3083 CHEVRON 21C-3083 CHEVRON 21D1-3083 CHEVRON 21D2/3-3083 ENL CHEVRON 12C-3083 ENL CHEVRON 12D2/3-3083 ENL CHEVRON 12M-3083 CHEVRON 23C-3083 CHEVRON 23D1-3083 CHEVRON 23D3-3083 CHEVRON 23M-3083 ENL. CHEVRON 23C-3083 ENL. CHEVRON 23D1-3083 ENL. CHEVRON 23D3-3083 ENL. CHEVRON 23M-3083 DUNNING BARN #1 DUNNING HOME #2 DUNNING 43C-3083 DUNNING 43D1-3083 DUNNING 43D3-3083 DUNNING 43M-3083 DUNNING 43D2-3083 CHEVRON 34C-3083 CHEVRON 34D1-3083 CHEVRON 34D2/3-3083 CHEVRON 34M-3083 DUNNING 9-31 58-83 DUNNING 9D-31 58-83 DUNNING 9 M-31 58-83 ANKNEY 15-31 58-83 ANKNEY 15A-31 58-83 ANKNEY 15D3-31 58-83 ANKNEY 11M-31 58-83 ANKNEY 11-31 58-83 ANKNEY 11D3-31 58-83 ANKNEY 7D3-31 58-83 ANKNEY 7-31 58-83 ANKNEY 15M-31 58-83 DELAPP 13M-31 58-83 DELAPP 13K-31 58-83 DELAPP 13D-31 58-83

Status
GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST UNA GST GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI GST GST GST GST GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI

Uses
IRR,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM DOM,STO DOM,STO STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM CBM CBM CBM CBM CBM CBM CBM CBM CBM CBM CBM CBM CBM CBM CBM

Yld Act
0 0 0 25 25 25 25 25 25 0 0 0 25 25 25 25 0 0 0 0 16 25 -----25 25 25 25 ----------------

T.D.
217 380 494.5 618 328.5 446 656.5 217 380 618 328.5 446 620.5 128 340.5 448 620.5 128 340.5 448 40 43 -----595 95 337 464.5 ----------------

G-4

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix G
GROUNDWATER RIGHTS - WYOMING Permit No. Priority Tns
P144220W P144221W P144222W P144226W P144227W P016948P P143468W P143469W P143463W P143467W P016946P P143466W P143464W P143465W P143462W P127904W P127905W P127902W P127903W P125340W P125342W P126823W P126824W P126825W P140976W P140977W P140978W P125334W P125335W P125336W P125328W P125329W P125330W P126820W P126822W P125331W P125332W P125333W P125343W P126826W P125337W P125338W P125339W P126844W P126846W P126847W 4/15/2002 4/15/2002 4/15/2002 4/15/2002 4/15/2002 7/20/1960 3/18/2002 3/18/2002 3/18/2002 3/18/2002 8/25/1958 3/18/2002 3/18/2002 3/18/2002 3/18/2002 8/3/2000 8/3/2000 8/3/2000 8/3/2000 5/5/2000 5/5/2000 7/3/2000 7/3/2000 7/3/2000 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 5/5/2000 5/5/2000 5/5/2000 5/5/2000 5/5/2000 5/5/2000 7/3/2000 7/3/2000 5/5/2000 5/5/2000 5/5/2000 5/5/2000 7/3/2000 5/5/2000 5/5/2000 5/5/2000 7/3/2000 7/3/2000 7/3/2000 T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N

Rng
R83W R83W R83W R83W R83W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W

Sec
31 31 31 31 31 19 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 22 22 22 22 22 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 24 24 24

qq
SW NW SW NW SW NW NE NE NE NE NE SE NE NW NE NW SW NW SW NW SE NW NE SW SW SE SW SE NE SW NE SE NE SE SW SE SW SE NE NE NE NE SW NE SW NE SW NE SW NE SW NE SW NE NE NW NE NW NE NW SW NW SW NW SW NW NE SW NE SW SW SW SW SW SW SW NE SE NE SE SW SE SW SE SW SE NE NE NE NE NE NE

Applicant
J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J. VERNON STATES J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J. VERNON STATES J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY FIDELITY FIDELITY FIDELITY FIDELITY FIDELITY FIDELITY FIDELITY EXPLORATION EXPLORATION EXPLORATION EXPLORATION EXPLORATION EXPLORATION EXPLORATION EXPLORATION & & & & & & & & PRODUCTION PRODUCTION PRODUCTION PRODUCTION PRODUCTION PRODUCTION PRODUCTION PRODUCTION

Facility Name
DELAPP 5K-31 58-83 DELAPP 5M-31 58-83 DELAPP 5D-31 58-83 ANKNEY 1-31 58-83 ANKNEY 1D-31 58-83 BAKER #1 CHEVRON 3M-20 58-84 CHEVRON 3K-20 58-84 CHEVRON 5K-20 58-84 CHEVRON 5M-20 58-84 BOB. HERLAND #1 CHEVRON 11K-20 58-84 CHEVRON 15M-20 58-84 CHEVRON 15K-20 58-84 CHEVRON 11M-20 58-84 RESERVE 43C-2284 RESERVE 43M-2284 RESERVE 34C-2284 RESERVE 34M-2284 RESERVE 41M-2384 RESERVE 41M-2384 RESERVE 32C-2384 RESERVE 32D2/3-2384 RESERVE 32M-2384 ENL RESERVE 32C-2384 ENL RESERVE 32D-2384 ENL RESERVE 32M-2384 RESERVE 21C-2384 RESERVE 21D2/3-2384 RESERVE 21M-2384 RESERVE 12C-2384 RESERVE 12D2/3-2384 RESERVE 12M-2384 RESERVE 23C-2384 RESERVE 23M-2384 RESERVE 14C-2384 RESERVE 14D2/3-2384 RESERVE 14M-2384 RESERVE 43D2/3-2384 RESERVE 43D1-2384 RESERVE 34C-2384 RESERVE 34D2/3-2384 RESERVE 34M-2384 RESERVE 41C-2484 RESERVE 41D2/3-2484 RESERVE 41M-2484

Status
GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST UNA GST UNA UNA GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST

Uses
CBM CBM CBM CBM CBM STO CBM CBM CBM CBM STO CBM CBM CBM CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM

Yld Act
-----3 ----25 ----25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 0 0 0 25 25 -25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25

T.D.
-----Unknown ----3 ----429 299 437 284 358.5 477 394 166 305 394 166 305 594.5 369 -458.6 196 324 379 276 744 122 294 1147 422 750 481 636 973.5 689.5 814.5

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

G-5

Appendix G
GROUNDWATER RIGHTS - WYOMING Permit No. Priority Tns
P126839W P126840W P126841W P126833W P126834W P126835W P126827W P126828W P126836W P126837W P126838W P126829W P126830W P126831W P126832W P140979W P140980W P140981W P140982W P126848W P126849W P126850W P126851W P140985W P140986W P140987W P140988W P126842W P126843W P126856W P140983W P140984W P140991W P123715W P123716W P123717W P140967W P140968W P140969W P123709W P123710W P123711W P126853W P123703W P123704W P123705W 7/3/2000 7/3/2000 7/3/2000 7/3/2000 7/3/2000 7/3/2000 7/3/2000 7/3/2000 7/3/2000 7/3/2000 7/3/2000 7/3/2000 7/3/2000 7/3/2000 7/3/2000 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 7/3/2000 7/3/2000 7/3/2000 7/3/2000 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 7/3/2000 7/3/2000 7/3/2000 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 7/3/2000 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N

Rng
R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W

Sec
24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25

qq
SW NE SW NE SW NE NE NW NE NW NE NW SW NW SW NW NE SW NE SW NE SW SW SW SW SW SW SW SW SW SW SW SW SW SW SW SW SW NE SE NE SE NE SE NE SE NE SE NE SE NE SE NE SE SW SE SW SE SW SE SW SE SW SE SW SE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE SW NE SW NE SW NE SW NE NE NW NE NW NE NW

Applicant
FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY FIDELITY FIDELITY FIDELITY FIDELITY FIDELITY FIDELITY FIDELITY EXPLORATION EXPLORATION EXPLORATION EXPLORATION EXPLORATION EXPLORATION EXPLORATION EXPLORATION & & & & & & & & PRODUCTION PRODUCTION PRODUCTION PRODUCTION PRODUCTION PRODUCTION PRODUCTION PRODUCTION

Facility Name
RESERVE 32C-2484 RESERVE 32D-2484 RESERVE 32M-2484 RESERVE 21C-2484 RESERVE 21D-2484 RESERVE 21M-2484 RESERVE 12C-2484 RESERVE 12C-2484 RESERVE 23C-2484 RESERVE 23D2/3-2484 RESERVE 23M-2484 RESERVE 14C-2484 RESERVE 14D1-2484 RESERVE 14D2/3-2484 RESERVE 14M-2484 ENL RESERVE 14C-2484 RESERVE 14D1-2484 ENL RESERVE 14D2/3-2484 ENL RESERVE 14M-2484 RESERVE 43C-2484 RESERVE 43D1-2484 RESERVE 43D2/3-2484 RESERVE 43M-2484 ENL RESERVE 43C-2484 RESERVE 43D1-2484 ENL RESERVE 43D2/3-2484 ENL RESERVE 43M-2484 RESERVE 34C-2484 RESERVE 34M-2484 RESERVE 34D2/3-2484 ENL RESERVE 34C-2484 ENL RESERVE 34M-2484 ENL RESERVE 34D2/3-2484 CHEVRON 41C-2584 CHEVRON 41D2/3-2584 CHEVRON 41M-2584 ENL CHEVRON 41C-2584 ENL CHEVRON 41D2/3-2584 ENL CHEVRON 41M-2584 RESERVE 32C-2584 RESERVE 32D2/3-2584 RESERVE 32M-2584 RESERVE 32D1-2584 RESERVE 21C-2584 RESERVE 21D2/3-2584 RESERVE 21M-2584

Status
GST GST GSI UNA GST GST GSI GST GST GST GST GST GSI GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GSI GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST UNA UNA UNA GSI GST GST GST

Uses
STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM

Yld Act
25 25 -25 25 25 -25 25 25 25 25 -25 25 0 0 0 0 25 25 25 25 0 0 0 0 25 -25 0 -0 25 25 25 0 0 0 25 25 25 -25 25 25

T.D.
1016 666.5 -510 259 354 -500 787 536 645 681 -419 549 681 -419 549 723 330 432 540 723 330 432 540 666 -319 666 -319 584 334 436 584 334 436 608 314 418 -587 315 425.5

G-6

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix G
GROUNDWATER RIGHTS - WYOMING Permit No. Priority Tns
P126852W P140961W P140962W P140963W P140989W P123697W P123698W P123699W P140955W P140956W P140957W P123706W P123707W P123708W P123700W P123701W P123702W P140958W P140959W P140960W P123718W P123719W P123720W P126854W P140970W P140971W P140972W P140990W P123712W P123713W P123714W P140964W P140965W P140966W P123733W P123734W P123735W P140973W P140974W P140975W P123727W P123728W P123729W P125978W P125979W P125980W 7/3/2000 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 7/3/2000 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 10/4/2001 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 5/23/2000 5/23/2000 5/23/2000 T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N

Rng
R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W

Sec
25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26

qq
NE NW NE NW NE NW NE NW NE NW SW NW SW NW SW NW SW NW SW NW SW NW NE SW NE SW NE SW SW SW SW SW SW SW SW SW SW SW SW SW NE SE NE SE NE SE NE SE NE SE NE SE NE SE NE SE SW SE SW SE SW SE SW SE SW SE SW SE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE SW NE SW NE SW NE NE SW NE SW NE SW

Applicant
FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION REDSTONE GAS PARTNERS LLC FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY FIDELITY FIDELITY FIDELITY FIDELITY FIDELITY FIDELITY FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION

Facility Name
RESERVE 21D1-2584 ENL RESERVE 21C-2584 ENL RESERVE 21D2/3-2584 ENL RESERVE 21M-2584 ENL RESERVE 21D1-2584 RESERVE 12C-2584 RESERVE 12D2/3-2584 RESERVE 12M-2584 ENL RESERVE 12C-2584 ENL RESERVE 12D2/3-2584 ENL RESERVE 12M-2584 RESERVE 23C-2584 RESERVE 23D2/3-2584 RESERVE 23M-2584 RESERVE 14C-2584 RESERVE 14D2/3-2584 RESERVE 14M-2584 ENL RESERVE 14C-2584 ENL RESERVE 14D23-2584 ENL RESERVE 14M-2584 RESERVE 43C-2584 RESERVE 43D2/3-2584 RESERVE 43M-2584 RESERVE 43D1-2584 ENL RESERVE 43C-2584 ENL RESERVE 43D2/3-2584 ENL RESERVE 43M-2584 ENL RESERVE 43D1-2584 RESERVE 34C-2584 RESERVE 34D2/3-2584 RESERVE 34M-2584 ENL RESERVE 34C-2584 ENL RESERVE 34D2/3-2584 ENL RESERVE 34M-2584 RESERVE 41C-2684 RESERVE 41D2/3-2684 RESERVE 41M-2684 ENL RESERVE 41C-2684 ENL RESERVE 41D2/3-2684 ENL RESERVE 41M-2684 RESERVE 32C-2684 RESERVE 32D2/3-2684 RESERVE 32M-2684 RESERVE 21M-2684 RESERVE 21D2/3-2684 RESERVE 21C-2684

Status
GSI GST GST GST GSI GST UNA UNA GST GST GST UNA UNA UNA GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GSI GST GST GST GSI GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST GST UNA UNA UNA UNA GST UNA

Uses
STO,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM IRR,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM

Yld Act
-0 0 0 -25 25 25 0 0 0 25 25 25 25 25 25 0 0 0 25 -25 -0 0 0 -25 25 25 0 0 0 25 25 25 0 0 0 25 25 25 25 25 25

T.D.
-587 315 425.5 -648 369 499 648 369 499 632 370.5 496 598.5 323 448 598.5 323 448 654 -471 -654 364 471 -733 382.5 501 733 382.5 501 618 354.5 479 618 354.5 479 687 427.5 582.5 521 361 605.5

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

G-7

Appendix G
GROUNDWATER RIGHTS - WYOMING Permit No. Priority Tns
P125981W P125987W P125988W P123724W P123725W P123726W P134600W P123721W P123722W P123723W P134602W P123730W P123731W P123732W P134601W P123746W P123747W P123739W P123740W P123741W P123736W P123738W P130516W P123748W P123749W P123750W P123742W P123743W P123745W P143506W P143507W P016944P P143504W P143505W P130817W P130818W P130815W P130816W P016943P P016942P P016945P P016947P P057094W P100385W P130821W P130822W 5/23/2000 5/23/2000 5/23/2000 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 4/24/2001 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 4/24/2001 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 4/24/2001 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 10/24/2000 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 2/24/2000 3/18/2002 3/18/2002 8/15/1960 3/18/2002 3/18/2002 11/9/2000 11/9/2000 11/9/2000 11/9/2000 7/10/1961 5/15/1954 9/25/1961 9/10/1954 5/20/1981 9/21/1995 11/9/2000 11/9/2000 T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N

Rng
R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W

Sec
26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 28 28 28 28 28 28 28 28 28 29 29 29 29 30 33 34 34

qq
SW NW SW NW SW NW NE SW NE SW NE SW NE SW SW SW SW SW SW SW NE SE SW SE SW SE SW SE SW SE NE NE NE NE SW NE SW NE SW NE NE SW NE SW SW SW NE SE NE SE NE SE SW SE SW SE SW SE SW NE SW NE SE NE NE NW NE NW NE SE NE SE SW SE SW SE NE SW SE SW SE SW NE SE SW SE NW NW NE NE NE NE

Applicant
FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION J. M. HUBER CORPORATION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION J. M. HUBER CORPORATION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION J. M. HUBER CORPORATION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J. VERNON STATES J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION J. VERNON STATES J. VERNON STATES J. VERNON STATES J. VERNON STATES GEORGE BUSZKIEWIC FRANK/MARY MOMMSEN FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION

Facility Name
RESERVE 12M-2684 RESERVE 12C-2684 RESERVE 12D2/3-2684 RESERVE 23C-2684 RESERVE 23D2/3-2684 RESERVE 23M-2684 TREMBATH 11D3-26 5883 SHELL 14C-2684 SHELL 14D2/3-2684 SHELL 14M-2684 TREMBATH 9D3-26 5883 RESERVE 34C-2684 RESERVE 34D2/3-2684 RESERVE 34M-2684 TREMBATH 15D3-26 5883 RESERVE 41D2/3-2784 RESERVE 41M-2784 RESERVE 32C-2784 RESERVE 32D2/3-2784 RESERVE 32M-2784 RESERVE 23C-2784 RESERVE 23M-2784 DELAPP 14C-2784 SHELL 43C-2784 SHELL 43D2/3-2784 SHELL 43M-2784 DELAPP 34C-2784 DELAPP 34D2/3-2784 DELAPP 34M-2784 CHEVRON 7K-28 58-84 CHEVRON 7M-28 58-84 STATES #3 CHEVRON 3K-28 58-84 CHEVRON 3M-28 58-84 CHEVRON 43C-2884 CHEVRON 43M-2884 CHEVRON 34C-2884 CHEVRON 34M-2884 STATES #2 STATES #1 STATES #4 DEBSKI #1 VANATTA #1 FM #1 DELAPP 41C-3484 DELAPP 41M-3484

Status
UNA UNA UNA UNA UNA UNA GSI GST GST GST GSI UNA UNA UNA GST UNA UNA UNA UNA UNA UNA UNA GSI UNA UNA GST GST GST GST GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI

Uses

Yld Act

T.D.
492 593 356 495 231 358 -419.5 189.5 300 -457 199.5 299.5 491 408 546 590 327.5 451.5 422 290 -436.5 183.5 299.5 358 159 275 --380 ------175 150 1200 UNKNOWN 80 60 ---

STO,CBM 25 STO,CBM 25 STO,CBM 25 STO,CBM 25 STO,CBM 25 STO,CBM 25 -STO,MIS,CBM STO,CBM 25 STO,CBM 25 STO,CBM 25 -STO,MIS,CBM STO,CBM 25 STO,CBM 25 STO,CBM 25 STO,MIS,CBM 12.32 STO,CBM 25 STO,CBM 25 STO,CBM 25 STO,CBM 25 STO,CBM 25 STO,CBM 25 STO,CBM 25 STO,CBM -STO,CBM 25 STO,CBM 25 STO,CBM 25 STO,CBM 25 STO,CBM 25 STO,CBM 25 CBM -CBM -STO 13 CBM CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM DOM STO STO STO DOM DOM STO,CBM STO,CBM ------5 15 5 3 10 8 ---

UNA GSI GSI

G-8

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix G
GROUNDWATER RIGHTS - WYOMING Permit No. Priority Tns
P130819W P130820W P144416W P144417W P144418W P130823W P130824W P130825W P144393W P144421W P144422W P020042P P136276W P144419W P144420W P144423W P144391W P142168W P118193W P144213W P118194W P118196W P144211W P118197W P118796W P144212W P144509W P144510W P118195W P118798W P144214W P144215W P144216W P118198W P144210W P118797W P005490W P144208W P144209W P018214P P018215P P113528W P113527W P028852W P028852W P079514W 11/9/2000 11/9/2000 4/26/2002 4/26/2002 4/26/2002 11/9/2000 11/9/2000 11/9/2000 4/26/2002 4/26/2002 4/26/2002 12/31/1921 6/7/2001 4/26/2002 4/26/2002 4/26/2002 4/26/2002 1/15/2002 8/9/1999 4/15/2002 8/9/1999 8/9/1999 4/15/2002 8/9/1999 9/16/1999 4/15/2002 5/9/2002 5/9/2002 8/9/1999 9/16/1999 4/15/2002 4/15/2002 4/15/2002 8/9/1999 4/15/2002 9/16/1999 5/12/1970 4/15/2002 4/15/2002 8/1/1911 8/1/1957 1/13/1999 1/13/1999 1/15/1975 1/15/1975 4/21/1989 T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N T58N

Rng
R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R84W R85W R85W R85W R85W R85W R85W R85W

Sec
34 34 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 23 23 24 24 25 26 26

qq
NE NW NE NW SW SE SW SE SW SE NE NW NE NW NE NW NE NW NE NW NE NW SW NW SW NW SW NW SW NW SW NW SW SW NE SE NE NE NE NE NW NE SW NE SW NE SE NE NE NW NE NW SW NW SW NW SE NW NE SW NE SW SW SW SW SW NE SE NE SE NW SE SW SE SW SE SW SE SW SE SE SE NW SE SW SE SE NE SE NE SE NE

Applicant
FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION FIDELITY EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION REDSTONE GAS PARTNERS LLC REDSTONE GAS PARTNERS LLC REDSTONE GAS PARTNERS LLC J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION HOWARD JORGENSON J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION RALPH DELAPP J M HUBER CORPORATION J M HUBER CORPORATION WALTER R/PATRICIA ANN BAKER DUANE L. STATES ANNA LOU RANDAL ANNA LOU RANDAL GEORGE J. BUSZKIEWIC GEORGE J. BUSZKIEWIC GEORGE BUSZKIEWIC

Facility Name
DELAPP 21C-3484 DELAPP 21M-3484 WILSON 7M-35 58-84 WILSON 7K-35 58-84 WILSON 7D-35 58-84 DELAPP 21C-3584 DELAPP 21D1-3584 DELAPP 21M-3584 WILSON 3D-35 58-84 WILSON 3M-35 58-84 WILSON 3K-35 58-84 JORGENSON #4 TREMBATH 5D3-35 58-83 WILSON 5K-35 58-84 WILSON 5D-35 58-84 WILSON 5M-35 58-84 PADLOCK 13K-35 58-84 WILLSON 9-35 58-84 HUBER-DELAPP 1-36-58-84 DELAPP 1D-36 58-84 HUBER-DELAPP 2-36-58-84 HUBER-DELAPP 7-36-58-84 DELAPP 7D-36 58-84 HUBER-DELAPP 8-36-58-84 HUBER-DELAPP 3-36-58-84 DELAPP 3D-36 58-84 DELAPP 5D-36 58-84 DELAPP 5K-36 58-84 HUBER-DELAPP 6-36-58-84 HUBER-DELAPP 11-36-58-84 DELAPP 11D-36 58-84 DELAPP 13K-36 58-84 DELAPP 13D-36 58-84 HUBER-DELAPP 9-36-58-84 DELAPP 9D-36 58-84 HUBER-DELAPP 10-36-58-84 DELAPP #2 DELAPP 15K-36 58-84 DELAPP 15D-36 58-84 SCHOOL HOUSE #1 SHEEPHERDER #1 ANNA #2 ANNA #1 BUSZKIEWIC #1 (DEEPENED) BUSZKIEWIC #1 (DEEPENED) BUSZKIEWIC #2

Status
GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI GST UNA GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI GSI UNA GSI UNA UNA GSI UNA UNA GSI GSI GSI UNA UNA GSI GSI GSI UNA GSI UNA GSI GSI UNA UNA UNA UNA UNA UNA

Uses
STO,CBM STO,CBM CBM CBM CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM CBM CBM CBM DOM,STO CBM CBM CBM CBM CBM CBM STO,CBM CBM STO,CBM STO,CBM CBM STO,CBM CBM CBM CBM CBM STO,CBM CBM CBM CBM CBM STO,CBM CBM CBM DOM,STO CBM CBM STO STO STO STO DOM,STO DOM,STO DOM

Yld Act
----------31.61 25 ------------------------15 --25 3 --4 4 12

T.D.
----------483 200 ------------------------50 --3 2 --140 140 62

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

G-9

Appendix G
GROUNDWATER RIGHTS - MONTANA Permit No. Priority Tns
W038277-00 C003994-00 C039193-00 W048619-00 W048625-00 W048627-00 C052193-00 W048624-00 W183825 W183845 W183894 W183826-00 W048621-00 W183658-00 W111723 1868 1974 1981 1961 1961 1953 1983 1952 1930 1909 1930 1930 1973 1965 1868 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 10

Rng
38 39 39 39 39 39 39 39 39 39 39 39 39 39 38

Sec
25 21 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 33 32 35 5

qq
NESW SESE NWNE SWNE SWNE SWNE NWSE SENW SWNE SWNE SWNE NENW NENE SESE SWNE

Applicant
ROSA LYNNE STATES VERNON PUBLIC SERVICE CO OF OKLAHOMA PUBLIC SERVICE CO OF OKLAHOMA PUBLIC SERVICE CO OF OKLAHOMA PUBLIC SERVICE CO OF OKLAHOMA STATES VERNON PUBLIC SERVICE CO OF OKLAHOMA ANKNEY SHAWN ANKNEY TROY ANKNEY SHAWN WILLSON JOHN PUBLIC SERVICE CO OF OKLAHOMA CONSOLIDATION COAL CO PADLOCK RANCH CO INC

Facility Name
PLUM CREEK GROUNDWATER GROUNDWATER GROUNDWATER GROUNDWATER GROUNDWATER GROUNDWATER GROUNDWATER ALDERSON SPRING ALDERSON SPRING ALDERSON SPRING GROUNDWATER GROUNDWATER GROUNDWATER GROUNDWATER

Status

Uses
STOC GWCT GWCT STOC STOC STOC GWCT STOC STOC STOC STOC STOC STOC STOC STOC

Yld Act
615

T.D.
10 6 35 50 50 10 10 15 1.5 100 1.5 20 10 5 5

64

G-10

Final EIS, P&M Land Exchange

Appendix G
Abbreviations for status: A&C=Abandoned and Cancelled; E&C=Eliminated and Cancelled; ABA=Abandoned; ADJ=Adjudicated; AME=Amended (Lands moved to new location no longer
 under this permit); CAN=Cancelled; DSC=Description; ELI=Eliminated; EXP=Expired; GST=Good standing pending receipt of legally required notices; OTH=Other; PU or PUW=Point of use for
 a well (does not mean the right is valid - a further check should be made of the actural record); REJ=Rejected by the State Engineer; REC=Lands received from another permit;
 REM=Remaining; TEM=Temporary; TRA=Transferred to another permit; UNA=Unadjudicated; ?=No entry in the data base for this appropriation.
 Abbreviations for uses: DEW=Dewatering; DOM=Domestic; DSP=Domestic supply; FIS=Fish propagation; FLO=Flood control; HEX=Heat extraction; IND=Industrial; IRR=Irrigation;
 MAN=Manufacturing; MED=Medicinal; MIN=Mining; MIS=Miscellaneous; MON=Monitoring; MUN=Municipal; POW=Power development; REC=Recreation; RES=Reservoir supply; STO=Stock;
 TEM=Temporary use (normally construction of roads or oil well drilling); TST=Test Well; UTI=Public utility; WET=Wetlands; WIL=Wildlife.
 Abbreviations for supply types (SupTy): ORI=Original supply; SUP=Supplemental supply from another surface water source; SEC=Supply from a reservoir; ADD=Additional supply from a
 well.
 Record suffixes are denoted as follows: "A" indicates adjudicated or finalized water rights and unless the right is a territorial appropriation, there will be a match in the reference column
 from one of the following permit types for the unadjudicated portion of the water right. "C" permits are well statements of claim, filed from 1947 to 1957 for wells completed prior to April 1,
 1947. "G" permits are well registrations, filed for wells completed after April