Environmental Protection

Ocean Energy Bureau Slates EIS Meetings for Oil & Gas Leasing

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement is developing a programmatic environmental impact statement for the Outer Continental Shelf and is seeking public comment.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement recently announced a series of public scoping meetings in February (Federal Register list of meetings, pdf) on the programmatic environmental impact statement for the proposed 2012-2017 Outer Continental Shelf Oil & Gas Leasing Program.

Members of the public may attend any of the meetings, which are scheduled at locations in Alaska, Louisiana, Alabama, Texas, and Virginia and provide their comments in-person. Of they can submit comments electronically at http://ocs5yeareis.anl.gov or via regular mail to J. F. Bennett, Chief, Branch of Environmental Assessment, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, 381 Elden St., Mail Stop 4042, Herndon, VA 20170-4817.

The public comment period will end March 31.

The bureau will not consider anonymous comments and cannot guarantee that those comments will not be made public.

On Dec. 1, 2010, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced an updated oil and gas leasing strategy for the Outer Continental Shelf and identified the areas that would be considered for environmental scoping for the 2012–2017 program.

“As we look to the future and identify areas to offer for oil and gas development under the next five year program, we will make decisions based upon the best scientific information available,” said Michael R. Bromwich, bureau director. “We strongly encourage public participation in this process to ensure we are reviewing all of the relevant and important information about these areas. This PEIS will inform our decisions on when and where to offer leases and will help identify specific requirements that may be needed to ensure potential risks to the environment are appropriately managed and mitigated.”

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