Public Notice from AMHT – Coal Gasification Licensing

Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority
Trust Land Office
Public Notice under 11 AAC 99.050
Decision to Conduct a Competitive Underground Coal Gasification Licensing Program Pursuant to AS 38.05.801 and 11 AAC 99

Notice is hereby given that, pursuant to the provisions of AS 38.05.801 and 11 AAC 99, the Executive Director of the Alaska Mental Health Trust Land Office (TLO) has determined that it is in the best interest of the Alaska Mental Health Trust and its beneficiaries to conduct a competitive underground coal gasification licensing program involving approximately 190,000 acres of unencumbered Trust land located on the northern Kenai Peninsula, the northern and western Cook Inlet Basin, and in the vicinity of Anderson, Healy, and Nenana. The basis for this determination is explained in a written best interest decision prepared by the Executive Director pursuant to 11 AAC 99.040. Acreage not licensed as a result of this offering may be offered again at a future date without additional public review, unless the terms and conditions of the subsequent offerings are significantly different than those described in the best interest decision. It is anticipated that the exploration program, if successful, will lead to a reduced land package that the licensee could lease for development without an additional public leasing process.

The Trust land affected by the decision is generally described as all unencumbered Trust coal estate within all or portions of the following townships: T5N, R8W; T6N, R11W; T7N, R11W; T8N, R11W; T12N, R12-13W; T13N, R10-13W; T14N, R12-13W; T16N, R1-3W; T17N, R4W; T18N, R1W, all Seward Meridian, and T4S, R7-8W; T6S, R8W; T11S, R7W; T12, R6-7W, all Fairbanks Meridian, consisting of approximately 190,000 acres.

Persons who believe that the written decision should be altered because it is not in the best interests of the Trust or its beneficiaries, or because the decision is inconsistent with Trust management principles set out in 11 AAC 99.020, or any other provision of 11 AAC 99, must provide written comments on or before 4:30 PM on July 20, 2010. Following the comment deadline, the Executive Director will consider timely comments that question the decision on the basis of the best interest of the Alaska Mental Health Trust and its beneficiaries or inconsistency with 11 AAC 99, and the best interest decision may be changed in response to such written comments or other information. Commenting parties will be provided a copy of the final best interest decision after the end of the notice period.

To be eligible to file for reconsideration of the best interest decision, or to file a subsequent appeal to the Superior Court, a person must have submitted written comments during the notice period. Eligible persons will have twenty (20) calendar days after receipt of the final written decision to request that the Executive Director reconsider the decision under 11 AAC 99.060(b).

Copies of the written decision are available at the Trust Land Office, 718 L Street, Suite 202, Anchorage, Alaska 99501, or at www.mhtrustland.org. If you have any questions concerning this action, please contact the Trust Land Office at (907) 269-8658.

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Alaska Mental Health Trust is prepared to accommodate individuals with disabilities. Please contact the Trust Land Office at (907) 269-8658 for assistance. Requests for assistance must be received at least 48 hours prior to the comment deadline in order to ensure that any necessary accommodations can be provided.

The Executive Director of the TLO reserves the right to waive technical defects in this notice or to amend, postpone, or vacate the best interest decision.

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2 thoughts on “Public Notice from AMHT – Coal Gasification Licensing

  • August 2, 2010 at 10:54 am
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    As irresponsible and unceasingly militant as you have been in opposing Usibelli’s shallow gas exploration permit, you are strangely silent with respect to AMHT’s coal gasification licensing. Do you not understand there will be no further public input on this process? There will be no opportunity for your running dog lawyers to make any money. Your lives and homes will be threatened by a potentially very heavy industrial process with total disregard for your interests. As an aside, if you reviewed the maps provided with the BIF, you might discover some of the same lands apparently threatened by shallow gas exploration will also be impacted by coal gasification but without the public’s obstructionism.
    I understand that by making this comment I am exposing myself to response from members of DCC. I welcome the discussion and am prepared to defend my position, but you do not have my permission to further divulge my statements or address.
    Sincerely,
    John Miner

  • August 2, 2010 at 11:39 am
    Permalink

    Hi John,
    We actually have been following this…

    In our request for reconsideration to DNR (posted on the website), we asked DNR to weigh in on how the MHT lands UCG offering would affect the gas license proposal, as there are Trust lands within the license area, as you accurately point out, east of the River within the license area. We know that Usibelli and others have cooperated with the Mental Health Trust over using their lands before, for instance down in Nenana for their gas test well, which is located west of Nenana.

    Potential for cooperation in gas exploration exists, although it is early to speculate on it ever actually happening. Whether the Mental Health lands folks would prefer to continue with UCG prospects or cooperate with Usibelli over gas drilling is an unknown at this time. The BIF is still being reconsidered in its entirety so it is early to speculate, but we at DCC are not entirely opposed to gas development, especially east of the river. If it came down to it, I think the economics of UCG will make it less attractive than shallow gas exploration, if anything at all happens.

    It is disturbing, however, as you accurately point out, that Mental Health Trust lands are not subject to public scrutiny the way that DNR lands are. There are some additional MHT lands under this UCG proposal that are north of the license area. We did not engage the Trust on these, however I did call them and inquire about the process, and if they are able to get some proposals, we will weigh in. Thanks for your input.

    Nancy Bale, President DCC

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