Two rulemaking proposals published September 13 in the Federal Register would open national forests to increased energy and minerals extractions. The first advanced notice of proposed rule-making, seeks to “expedite energy-related projects by streamlining internal processes related to environmental review and permitting. . . The intent of these potential changes would be to decrease permitting times by removing regulatory burdens that unnecessarily encumber energy production. These potential changes would promote domestic oil and gas production by allowing industry to begin production more quickly.”

The second advanced notice of proposed rule-making sets forth the following goals:

The goals of the regulatory revision are to expedite Forest Service review of certain proposed mineral operations authorized by the United States mining laws, and, where applicable, Forest Service approval of some of these proposals by clarifying the regulations, to increase consistency with the United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) surface management regulations governing operations authorized by the United States mining laws to assist those who conduct these operations on lands managed by each agency, and to increase the Forest Service’s nationwide consistency in regulating mineral operations authorized by the United States mining laws by clarifying its regulations.

Public comments on both proposed regulatory revisions must be received by October 15.  Details on how to comment are contained in the respective Notices, which are linked above.  After comments are evaluated, each proposal will be re-drafted and published as a proposed rule that will be available for further public comment.

Forest Service Proposes Relaxing Restrictions on Resource Extraction
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