Bureau of Land Management

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Open Recommendations (23 total)

Oil and Gas: Federal Actions Needed to Address Methane Emissions from Oil and Gas Development

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Bureau of Land Management The Director of BLM should consider whether to require gas capture plans that are similar to what states require, including gas capture percentage targets, from operators on federal lands. (Recommendation 2)
Open

 Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned.

Interior concurred with the recommendation. BLM stated that it is in the process of developing a proposed rulemaking that would require operators to submit waste minimization plans with every oil well application for permit to drill. The plans would provide BLM with information on anticipated associated gas production and the operator's capacity to capture that gas for sale or use. BLM stated that it did not plan to include gas capture percentage targets in the proposed rule, in part due to prior legal challenges. When we confirm what actions Interior has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Bureau of Land Management: Better Workforce Planning and Data Would Help Mitigate the Effects of Recent Staff Vacancies

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2 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Bureau of Land Management The Director of BLM should track data on vacancies and the use of details for all offices. (Recommendation 1)
Open

 Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned.

The Department of the Interior concurred with this recommendation. As of April 2022, the Bureau of Land Management said it intends to establish a more standardized process to track vacancies and detailees bureau-wide by June 30, 2022.
Bureau of Land Management
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Director of BLM should develop an agency-wide strategic workforce plan that aligns the agency's human capital program with emerging mission goals and includes long-term strategies for acquiring, developing, and retaining staff to achieve programmatic goals. (Recommendation 2)
Open

 Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned.

The Department of the Interior concurred with this recommendation. As of April 2022, the Bureau of Land Management said it is in the process of developing a process for bureau-wide strategic workforce planning by June 30, 2022.

Oil and Gas Leasing: BLM Should Update Its Guidance and Review Its Fees

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4 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Bureau of Land Management The Director of BLM should revise the agency's approach to conducting biennial fee reviews to ensure that future biennial reviews examine all costs BLM intended to recover with its application fees and, where appropriate, adjust fees accordingly. (Recommendation 3)
Open

 Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned.

In February 2022, BLM reported that DOI plans to initiate new regulations and revise existing rules. More specifically, Regulatory Information Number 1004-AE80 (proposed rule) would revise the BLM's fossil fuel regulations to update the leasing fees (e.g., competitive lease application, non-competitive lease application, leasing under right-of-way). .
Bureau of Land Management The Director of BLM should conduct a review to determine why the agency has had difficulty updating handbooks and its manual for oil and gas leasing as directed by BLM policy, and then adjust BLM's approach to updating them accordingly. (Recommendation 1)
Open

 Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned.

In February 2022, BLM reported that it will review its leasing manuals and handbooks to determine if the agency will move forward with smaller focused updates even if that may require more frequent revisions.
Bureau of Land Management The Director of BLM should re-examine whether to charge a fee for nominating lands for oil and gas development. (Recommendation 4)
Open

 Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned.

In February 2022, BLM reported that DOI plans to initiate new regulations and revise existing rules. More specifically, DOI is considering charging a fee for an Expression of Interest (land nomination) in the proposed rule (Regulatory Information Number 1004-AE80) that would revise the BLM's fossil fuel regulations.
Bureau of Land Management The Director of BLM should develop guidance regarding the status codes for nominations contained in NFLSS. (Recommendation 2)
Open

 Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned.

In February 2022, BLM reported that it will develop a guidance document that will define the nomination status codes. BLM added in its response that status codes are still being added to National Fluids Leasing Sale System (NFLSS) as further development occurs.

Federal Rulemaking: Selected Agencies Should Fully Describe Public Comment Data and Their Limitations

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Bureau of Land Management The Director of BLM should fully describe available public comment data, including any limitations, to external users of the data. This should include coordination with GSA, as the manager of Regulations.gov, as appropriate. (Recommendation 2)
Open – Partially Addressed

 Actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.

In August 2022, BLM provided support that it developed a webpage on rulemaking dockets to include information regarding public comments highlighted in our report. For example, BLM's webpage provides tips for useful comments, communicates its policy for personally identifiable information associated with comments, and explains BLM's comment-posting practices for duplicate comments. While this information is useful for potential commenters and individuals reviewing comments on BLM dockets, the BLM webpage is not currently linked on Regulations.gov. Including a link to this webpage on Regulations.gov will help Regulations.gov users find this useful information.

Oil and Gas: Interior Should Strengthen Management of Key Data Systems Used to Oversee Development on Federal Lands

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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Bureau of Land Management The Director of BLM should develop training plans for key data systems that identify users and how they will be trained. (Recommendation 3)
Open

 Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned.

In its comments on a draft of this report, Interior concurred with this recommendation. When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Bureau of Land Management The Director of BLM should define and document processes for developing and managing requirements for AFMSS II and MLRS in a manner consistent with existing or updated IT policies and guidance. (Recommendation 5)
Open

 Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned.

In its comments on a draft of this report, Interior concurred with this recommendation. When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.