43 CFR 3410.2-2 - Environmental analysis.
(a) Before an exploration license may be issued, the authorized officer shall prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement, if necessary, of the potential effects of the proposed exploration on the natural and socio-economic environment of the affected area. No exploration license shall be issued if the exploration would:
(1) Result in disturbance that would cause significant and lasting degradation to the lands or injury to improvements, or in any disturbance other than that necessary to determine the nature of the overlying strata and the depth, thickness, shape, grade, quantity, quality or hydrologic conditions of the coal deposits; or
(2) Jeopardize the continued existence of a threatened or endangered species of fauna or flora or destroy or cause adverse modification to its critical habitat. No exploration license shall be issued until after compliance with sections 105 and 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470(f)) with respect to any cultural resources which might be affected by any activity under the exploration license.
(b) The authorized officer shall include in each exploration license requirements and stipulations to protect the environment and associated natural resources and to ensure reclamation of the lands disturbed by the exploration.