Title 43

SECTION 2310.3-2

2310.3-2 Development and processing of the case file for submission to the Secretary.

§ 2310.3-2 Development and processing of the case file for submission to the Secretary.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in § 2310.3-6(b) of this title, the information, studies, analyses and reports identified in this paragraph that are required by applicable statutes, or which the authorized officer determines to be required for the Secretary or the Congress to make a decision or recommendation on a requested withdrawal, shall be provided by the applicant. The authorized officer shall assist the applicant to the extent the authorized officer considers it necessary or appropriate to do so. The qualifications of all specialists utilized by either the authorized officer or the applicant to prepare the information, studies, analyses and reports shall be provided.

(b) The information, studies, analyses and reports which, as appropriate, shall be provided by the applicant shall include:

(1) A report identifying the present users of the lands involved, explaining how the users will be affected by the proposed use and analyzing the manner in which existing and potential resource uses are incompatible with or conflict with the proposed use of the lands and resources that would be affected by the requested action. The report shall also specify the provisions that are to be made for, and an economic analysis of, the continuation, alteration or termination of existing uses. If the provisions of § 2310.3-5 of this title are applicable to the proposed withdrawal, the applicant shall also furnish a certification that the requirements of that section shall be satisfied promptly if the withdrawal is allowed or authorized.

(2) If the application states that the use of water in any State will be necessary to fulfill the purposes of the requested withdrawal, extension or modification, a report specifying that the applicant or using agency has acquired, or proposes to acquire, rights to the use of the water in conformity with applicable State laws and procedures relating to the control, appropriation, use and distribution of water, or whether the withdrawal is intended to reserve, pursuant to Federal law, sufficient unappropriated water to fulfill the purposes of the withdrawal. Water shall be reserved pursuant to Federal law for use in carrying out the purposes of the withdrawal only if specifically so stated in the relevant withdrawal order, as provided in § 2310.3-3(b) of this title and only to the extent needed for the purpose or purposes of the withdrawal as expressed in the withdrawal order. The applicant shall also provide proof of notification of the involved State's department of water resources when a land use needed to carry out the purposes of the requested withdrawal will involve utilization of the water resources in a State. As a condition to the allowance of an order reserving water, the applicant shall certify to the Secretary that it shall quantify the amount of water to be reserved by the order.

(3) An environmental assessment, an environmental impact statement or any other documents as are needed to meet the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C)), and the regulations applicable thereto. The authorized officer shall participate in the development of environmental assessments or impact statements. The applicant shall designate the Bureau of Land Management as a cooperating agency and shall comply with the requirements of the regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality. The Bureau of Land Management shall, at a minimum, independently evaluate and review the final product. The following items shall either be included in the assessment or impact statement, or they may be submitted separately, with appropriate cross references.

(i) A report on the identification of cultural resources prepared in accordance with the requirements of 36 CFR part 800, and other applicable regulations.

(ii) An identification of the roadless areas or roadless islands having wilderness characteristics, as described in the Wilderness Act of 1964 (16 U.S.C. 1131, et seq.), which exist within the area covered by the requested withdrawal action.

(iii) A mineral resource analysis prepared by a qualified mining engineer, engineering geologist or geologist which shall include, but shall not be limited to, information on: General geology, known mineral deposits, past and present mineral production, mining claims, mineral leases, evaluation of future mineral potential and present and potential market demands.

(iv) A biological assessment of any listed or proposed endangered or threatened species, and their critical habitat, which may occur on or in the vicinity of the involved lands, prepared in accordance with the provisions of section 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1536), and regulations applicable thereto, if the Secretary determines that assessment is required by law.

(v) An analysis of the economic impact of the proposed uses and changes in use associated with the requested action on individuals, local communities, State and local government interests, the regional economy and the Nation as a whole.

(vi) A statement as to the extent and manner in which the public participated in the environmental review process.

(4) A statement with specific supporting data, as to:

(i) Whether the lands involved are floodplains or are considered wetlands; and

(ii) Whether the existing and proposed uses would affect or be affected by such floodplains or wetlands and, if so, to what degree and in what manner. The statement shall indicate whether, if the requested action is allowed, it will comply with the provisions of Executive Orders 11988 and 11990 of May 24, 1977 (42 FR 26951; 26961).

(5) A statement of the consultation which has been or will be conducted with other Federal departments or agencies; with regional, State and local Government bodies; and with individuals and nongovernmental groups regarding the requested action.

(c) Prior to final action being taken in connection with an application, the applicant shall prepare, with the guidance and participation of the authorized officer, and subject to the approval of the authorized officer, the Secretary and other affected departments, agencies or offices, a resource management plan and implementation program regarding the use and management of any public lands with their related resources uses. Consideration shall be given to the impact of the proposed reservation on access to and the use of the land areas that are located in the vicinity of the lands proposed to be withdrawn. Where appropriate, the plan and program will be implemented by means of a memorandum of understanding between the affected agencies. Any allocation of jurisdiction between the agencies shall be effected in the public land order or legislation. In those cases where the Secretary, acting through the Bureau of Land Management, would continue to exercise partial jurisdiction, resource management of withdrawn areas may be governed by the issuance of management decisions by the Bureau of Land Management to implement land use plans developed or revised under the land use planning requirements of section 202 of the Act (43 U.S.C. 1712).

(d) In regard to national defense withdrawals that can only be made by an Act of Congress, and to the extent that they are not otherwise satisfied by the information, studies, analyses and reports provided in accordance with the provisions of this section, the provisions of section 3(7) of the Act of February 28, 1958 (43 U.S.C. 157(7)), shall be complied with.

(e) The authorized officer shall develop preliminary findings and recommendations to be submitted to the Secretary, advise the applicant of the findings and recommendations, and provide the applicant an opportunity to discuss any objections thereto which the applicant may have.

(f) Following the discussion process, or in the absence thereof, the authorized officer shall prepare the findings, keyed specifically to the relevant portions of the case file, and the recommendations to the Secretary in connection with the application. The authorized officer also shall prepare, for consideration by the Secretary, a proposed order or notice of denial. In the case of a national defense withdrawal which can only be made by an Act of Congress, the authorized officer shall prepare, with the cooperation of the applicant, a draft legislative proposal to implement the applicant's withdrawal request, together with proposed recommendations for submission by the Secretary to the Congress. The findings and recommendations of the authorized officer, and the other documents previously specified in this section to be prepared by the authorized officer shall be made a part of the case file. The case file shall then be sent to the Director, Bureau of Land Management. At the same time, a copy of the findings and recommendations of the authorized officer shall be sent to the applicant.

(1) If the applicant objects to the authorized officer's findings and recommendations to the Secretary, the applicant may, within 30 days of the receipt by the applicant of notification thereof, state its objections in writing and request the Director to review the authorized officer's findings and recommendations. The applicant shall be advised of the Director's decision within 30 days of receipt of the applicant's statement of objections in the Bureau of Land Management's Washington office. The applicant's statement of objections and the Director's decision shall be made a part of the case file and thereafter the case file shall be submitted to the Secretary.

(2) If the applicant disagrees with the decision of the Director, Bureau of Land Management, the applicant may, within 30 days of receipt by the applicant of the Director's decision, submit to the Secretary a statement of reasons for disagreement. The statement shall be considered by the Secretary together with the findings and recommendations of the authorized officer, the applicant's statement of objections, the decision of the Director, the balance of the case file and such additional information as the Secretary may request.