API RP 51R-2009 pdf download.Environmental Protection for Onshore Oil and Gas Production Operations and Leases.
4 Government Agencies 4.1 General Before drilling or construction, and, in some instances, before modification of onshore oil and gas production facilities, it may be necessary to obtain approvals from one or more government agencies. In addition to drilling and building permits, permits may be required because of air emissions, discharges to surface waters or sewer systems, injection activities, stormwater discharges (including during construction activities), impacts to threatened or endangered species or their critical habitat, impacts to wetlands and other environmental impacts, or impacts to other cultural resources. Operators should ensure that all necessary permits have been obtained before commencing operations. Operators should ensure that operations are conducted in accordance with local, state or federal regulatory requirements. 4.2 Surface Owners and Users The footprint of drilling and production operations for oil and gas projects is variable and dependent upon the operator’s equipment and operational needs, and the mutual objectives established by the operator, appropriate regulatory agencies, and the owner of the surface rights. Operators will need to be familiar with land use plans, regulations and ordinances that have been adopted by federal, state, and (in certain cases) local governments. Different land uses may require operators to adjust their approaches during site preparation, construction, development or production to avoid or minimize impacts to existing land uses. The development of surface use plans will allow for more efficient use of the land while balancing protection of important local resources, by minimizing surface disturbance and mitigating those impacts that are unavoidable.
Before drilling or construction on lands on which the surface estate is privately held, it is recommended that the operator communicate with land owners or surface users concerning activities planned for the site and measures to be taken for safety, protection of the environment, and for minimization of impacts to surface uses. Additional recommendations may be found in API 75L, Annex B—“Good Neighbor Guidelines.” Operators of federal oil and gas leases under private surface ownership are encouraged to consult the BLM publication, Surface Operating Standards and Guidelines for Oil and Gas Exploration and Development (The Gold Book) for BLM guidance with respect to communication and recommended practices to address concerns of surface owners. 5 Lease Roads 5.1 Introduction Lease roads are constructed and used to support various exploration and production (E&P) operations. The environmental impact of the construction of a roadway can have long lasting effects well beyond the limits of the right- of-way. Existing roads should be utilized, where feasible, to limit the extent of new road construction, when they meet regulatory standards, transportation and development needs, and safety and environmental objectives. When it is necessary to build new roadways, they should be developed in an environmentally acceptable manner consistent with landowner recommendations. 5.2 Planning 5.2.1 Road alignment and right-of-way selection is a multidisciplinary process. Goals of the planning effort should include affected resource values and safety, and avoidance of haphazard or unnecessary development of roads and associated utility corridors. The total infrastructure that may later be developed should be considered during the selection process. Government agencies, landowners, tenants, and other users may need to be consulted during the planning process. 5.2.2 Standards should be established for the road based on its short-term and long-term function considering geography, traffic density, and load expectations. 5.2.3 Alternative alignments should be developed considering the following parameters as appropriate: a) topography; b) hydrology, drainage, and watercourses, whether intermittent or permanent; c) engineering properties of soils, erodible soils; d) location and amounts of excavation and fill materials; e) type and location of materials for road construction; f) air, water, and noise pollution; g) wetlands and wetland drainage; h) consistency with community character and local government needs and plans; i) proximity to dwellings or other permanent structures occupied or used by the public; j) visual sensitivity; k) power lines and pipelines; l) other geotechnical factors, particularly in areas of complex terrain, such as landslide areas, subgrade conditions indicating a need for surfacing, potential cut slope problems, and subsurface or surface water problem areas. 5.2.4 Road alignments and potential environmental impacts should be reviewed. Routes and alignment should be selected to minimize erosion. Environmentally significant areas should be identified and avoided to the maximum extent practical, including: a) sensitive wildlife and critical habitats; b) areas with endangered and threatened animals and plants; c) cultural and historical sites; d) federal, state, or local areas of concern; e) areas with the potential for flooding or snow drifting; f) wetlands. 5.2.5 When required, mitigation strategies should be developed in the planning process, including: a) road operation schedules and/or use of special designs to minimize any adverse impacts in areas with sensitive wildlife and