The Powder River Basin
(PRB) contains millions of acres of public land in northeastern Wyoming and southeastern Montana. The Basin holds an extensive natural gas resource associated with the regional coal deposits.
Development of coalbed natural gas (CBNG) on federal lands requires a lease issued from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and approval of an application for permit to drill along with associated permits, approvals or reviews from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality or the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, and from other State and Federal agencies.
The PRB Interagency Working Group (PRB IWG) was established as the forum for government agencies to address and discuss issues of common concern to all parties involved in permitting and monitoring of CBNG development. Additionally, attention will be given to those issues that may result in cross-border effects requiring close coordination among the State and Federal agencies in Montana and Wyoming, and with Tribal governments. Through this cooperative management effort, each agency will achieve greater operational efficiency, enhance resource protection and better serve the public.
|To work together to protect the air, water, land, fish, wildlife, plants and cultural resources in the PRB for current and future generations while providing for natural gas development to address the nation's energy needs.
- Develop coordinated and complimentary best management practices, guidelines and programs related to CBNG activities to conserve and protect resources.
- Monitor the impact of CBNG activities and assess the effectiveness of mitigating measures.
- Provide for environmentally sound energy development.
- Develop and integrate the databases and scientific studies needed for effective resource management and planning.
- Promote compatibility in the application of each agency's mission.