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Key Documents:

Audio Recordings and Transcripts

  • Audio clips
    • An OSM official discusses how a benefit of the Obama Administration’s new propose rule is no coal mining.

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    • The proposed rule is characterized as "atomic" for small businesses, with OSM Director Pizarchik’s intent being described as wanting to make the company decide whether they are "willing to risk their ability to ever mine coal again, against the possibility that they won’t be able to restore the stream."

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    • An OSM official worries about how to "sell" the proposed rule to the public because it will only save 15 miles of stream, while costing millions in taxpayer dollars and thousands of American jobs.

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    • OSM officials telling contractors to "pretend" that the 2008 Stream Buffer Zone Rule was implemented and applied across the country when it was not, and explaining that this is "not the real world, this is rulemaking" as justification for using analysis that does not actually consider "conditions on the ground."

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    • An OSM official admitting that the contractors "did exactly what I told them to do" when completing the draft environmental impact statement. This conflicts with OSM Director Pizarchik’s testimony to the Committee and others who have criticized the work performed by the contractors when completing the draft environmental impact statement.

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  • Full copy of unofficial transcripts provided to the Committee.

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  • Full audio recordings of meetings between the Interior Department and contractors.

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Draft Regulatory Impact Analysis

  • December 2010 Draft RIA. This document shows the Obama Administration anticipated significant coal reduction as a result of implementing their new rule.

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  • February 2011 Draft RIA. Several tables and charts that were included in the December 2010 Draft RIA that showed loss of coal production, thousands of lost jobs and increased costs were removed from this document. This draft RIA still anticipated that small mining companies of less than 500 people would be "economically impacted in a catastrophic way."

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Documents Provided by Contractors:

Polu Kai Services, L.L.C

  • Documents related to their work on the project and their communications with OSM, including copies of emails between the contractors and OSM; a copy of the Notice to Cure that was sent to the contractors, and the response to the notice to cure that PKS provided to OSM.
  • Draft transcripts of the recordings from the meetings with OSM staff to discuss this project from the Kick-Off meeting through the end of their engagement.

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Plexus Scientific

  • Documents related to the project, including a few transcripts of meetings that took place in Washington, D.C. and Lexington, KY in 2010 that were attended by the team of contractors as well as staff from OSM; various emails from OSM employees praising the work performed by the contractors during the project; a copy of the Notice to Cure OSM sent to the contractors; and copies of emails discussing the economic impacts and potential job loss estimates that the propose rule may create.

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MACTEC, Inc. (now AMEC plc)

  • Documents related to their work on the project, including copies of the Notice to Cure that OSM issues to PKS; selected emails between the contractors discussing the project, selected emails between the contractors and OSM staff regarding the project; selected draft versions of documents that had already been publically released.

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Morgan Worldwide, Inc.

  • Documents including copies of the Cure Notice that was issued by OSM; some copies of documents discussing the job loss estimates and figures as discussed in the Regulatory Impact Analysis; and copies of their contract with PKS as a subcontractor.

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ECSI, LLC

  • Documents related to their contract with the OSM, including drafts of the Environmental impact statements, emails between OSM and the contractor team, as well as the cure notice sent to the contractors by OSM.

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Documents Provided by the Department of the Interior:

April 27, 2012

  • 11 documents including heavily redacted transcripts, copies of publically available Federal Register notices, and previously provided materials.

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April 12, 2012

  • 104 pages consisting of heavily redacted transcripts of audio recordings and two draft versions of the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking from October 30, 2009 and November 11, 2009. The November 20th draft is readily available on the Internet. The Department has claimed that some of the documents are "confidential" and are therefore not included in the PDF.

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February 9, 2012

  • 11 pages of documents including an April 15, 2010 memo from Director Pizarchik regarding the Notice of Intent to prepare an environmental impact statement as well as a memo from Deputy Director Glenda Owens regarding the decision to publish an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.
  • Publically available copies of the final publication of both notices in the Federal Register.

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February 2, 2012

  • 418 pages of documents, the vast majority of which are redacted transcripts of the 43 audio recordings the Department has continued to withhold, and a few pages of redacted meeting minutes. The Department has indicated that all of these documents are subject to Exemption 5 of FOIA and others are "pre-decisional" and are therefore not provided.

January 13, 2012

  • 76 pages of documents consisting of the settlement agreements with the environmental groups consolidated as two separate plaintiffs and the agreement that the tax payers have to pay over $60,000 in legal fees to the Plaintiffs, in a lawsuit the Department joined on the side of the Plaintiffs.

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December 2, 2011

  • 1,357 pages of documents - 221 of which consist of additional comments from the state coordinating agencies. The remaining 1,136 pages are heavily redacted documents that the Department has marked "confidential" and are therefore not included in the PDF.

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October 17, 2011

  • 493 pages of documents consisting of the consolidated comments from the state cooperating agencies and others.
  • An additional 98 pages of heavily redacted documents that the Interior Department has marked "confidential" and are therefore not included in the PDF.

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August 9, 2011

  • 336 pages of documents consisting mostly of additional comments from the various state cooperating agencies repeatedly expressing their concern that they were not given enough time to adequately review the draft environmental impact statement documents to provide thorough comments.
  • A copy of the prime contractor’s Technical Proposal, along with some internal OSM emails criticizing the contractors.

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June 17, 2011

  • 238 pages of documents including:
    • Memorandums of Understanding;
    • Communications with various state cooperating agencies, including a joint letter from a number of cooperating agencies from the Western states raising serious concerns regarding the "constrained timeframe" under which the states were able to provide comments on the Departments seriously flawed documents;
    • A concise timeline for the Stream Protection Rule’s environmental impact statement that shows the expedited manner in which this rule was undertaken, including allowing cooperating agencies only one week to review complex chapters of the environmental impact statement; and
    • A list of all staff that received all or part of the draft environmental impact statement.

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May 13, 2011

  • 8,703 pages of documents including the Original Contract with the Prime Contractor (113 pp.) and various subcontractors’ Subject Matter Expertise.
  • Hundreds of pages of publicly available information including notices on the Federal Registry; Department of Interior Manuals; significant excerpts from the Clean Water Act including a jurisdictional handbook; the Federal Water Pollution Control Act; the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System "Permit Writers’ Manual"; NEPA excerpts, Small Business Association regulation excerpts; and studies, some of which are over 30 years old or are random regulations including a list of tribal entities recognized by the federal government, a regulatory impact analysis for a final rule to "Improve the Process of Obtaining Mortgages and Reduce Consumer Costs; and part of the "Contract with America Advancement Act of 1996" dealing with the enactment of the Senior Citizen’s Right to Work Act of 1996, the Line item Veto Act, and the Small Business Growth and Fairness Act of 1996.

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April 6, 2011

  • 31 pages of documents containing materials the original prime contractor reviewed in developing the draft environmental impact statement.

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