Interior approves BLM's Montana coalbed methane supplemental EIS

A final supplement to the Montana statewide oil and gas environmental impact statement won final approval on Dec. 30 at the US Department of the Interior's headquarters, the US Bureau of Land Management said.

A final supplement to the Montana statewide oil and gas environmental impact statement won final approval on Dec. 30 at the US Department of the Interior's headquarters, the US Bureau of Land Management said.

It said that Assistant US Interior Secretary for Land and Minerals Management C. Stephen Allred signed the record of decision on the final SEIS, which also included a proposed amendment to the Powder River and Billings resource management plans.

BLM said that the plan addresses management of coalbed methane development on public land that the DOI agency administers in 13 Montana counties. It uses an adaptive management approach with phased development while limiting impacts to environmental and cultural resources, the agency's Montana state office said.

"We've worked long and hard with our cooperators, partners and a number of interest groups to develop a plan that embraces adaptive management for coalbed natural gas development in the Montana Powder River Basin. The signing of the record of decision is an important step forward for implementation," said Elaine Raper, manager of BLM's field office in Miles City, Mont.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com

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