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Report of the Sec. of the Interior under Sec. 7 of Public Law 100-443 on the Presence or Absence of Significant Thermal Features Within Crater Lake National Park, 1992

 

 

IV. Recommendations Regarding Interior's Findings

 

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B. Procedures for Evaluating Future Lease Applications Outside of Crater Lake National Park

Interior Bureaus (National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Geological Survey) entered into an Interagency Agreement with the U.S. Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture in November 1987. Although the purpose of this IA is to establish the procedures to be used for ensuring compliance with the Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for 1987, this IA continues to be followed by the participating agencies in implementing the provisions of the Geothermal Steam Act Amendments of 1988. Since Crater Lake National Park is listed by the Congress as a unit of the National Park System containing significant thermal features, the provisions of this IA will apply to all lease applications received after the Secretarial moratorium on geothermal leasing is lifted. This IA will expire or come under consideration for renewal in the Fall of 1992, at which time the citations for incorporating the Geothermal Steam Act Amendments of 1988 will be updated and revised. This IA is included as Appendix C.

The IA defines the functions and roles of each participating agency. The National Park Service (NPS) identified areas directly adjacent to listed units of the National Park System in those counties within which NPS needs to review geothermal leasing proposals on a case-by-case basis. In the instance of Crater Lake NP, NPS took the opportunity to define the counties to which the geothermal leasing moratorium applied. Counties identified included the three surrounding counties of Jackson, Klamath and Douglas counties in the State of Oregon. NPS, after having received word that the Secretarial moratorium is lifted, will forward to the BLM a complete list of those lands surrounding Crater Lake National Park on which NPS needs to review geothermal leasing proposals on a case-by-case basis.

Section 111, B, of the IA provides that when the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) receives an application to lease lands, they will complete a checklist analysis of whether there is a potential for a geologic or hydrologic connection between the lease area and the significant thermal feature located in the park unit. If lands under consideration for leasing are on lands in the National Forest System, as could be the case outside of Crater Lake National Park, BLM will consult with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) for advice. If the BLM suspects a connection exists between the proposed lease area and the listed significant thermal feature in the park, BLM forwards their analysis to the NPS. USGS is asked to evaluate the adequacy of the data and to verify the potential for connection. USGS, in consultation with the BLM, will prepare a detailed analysis of the proposal. The detailed analysis will estimate the type, extent, and magnitude of likely effects, and consider the effectiveness of mitigating measures.

In accordance with Section III, C, 4, of the IA, the BLM, NPS, and USGS will consult to determine whether the proposed leasing actions are reasonably likely to result in no effect, an adverse effect, or a significant adverse effect. BLM will prepare a notice presenting the determination and announcing the action to be taken as a result of this determination. If it is determined that the geothermal proposal could cause significant adverse impacts, the lands will be withdrawn from leasing. If it is determined that the geothermal proposal could cause adverse impacts, the BLM will meet with the applicants to discuss proposed mitigating measures, lease stipulations, and a monitoring program to be required of the lessees. One of the lease stipulations to be adopted will be one that will allow cessation of operations, if they are found to offer significant adverse impacts to the listed thermal features. If it is determined that the geothermal proposal would result in neither significant adverse nor adverse effects, the BLM and FS, as appropriate, will proceed with NEPA compliance and the procedures of the Geothermal Steam Act as amended toward the goal of issuing a lease in the proposed area.

 

 

 

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