NOAA Considers Effects of Arctic Oil and Gas Activities

Press Release
Friday, March 22, 2013

NOAA is seeking comments on a supplemental draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for oil and gas activities in the Arctic Ocean.

 

The draft, developed in collaboration with the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), includes analysis on how a broader range of potential offshore oil and gas activities could affect the environment, with a specific focus on marine mammals and the Alaska Native communities that depend on the animals for food and cultural traditions.


 
The Obama Administration's priority is ensuring that any development activities in the Arctic take place responsibly and will hold any future activities to the highest standards.



The environmental review addresses potential effects from both exploratory drilling and geological and geophysical (G&G) surveys, such as seismic surveys, in the Chuchki and Beaufort seas. After releasing the initial draft environmental impact statement for public comment in December 2011, NOAA and BOEM broadened the scope of analysis in light of comments from stakeholders. The initial EIS analyzed the effects of up to two exploratory drilling programs per year in both the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. The supplemental draft EIS analyzes the effects of up to four drilling programs per year in each area. The revised draft also expands discussion of mitigation measures designed to reduce the effects of offshore oil and gas activities on marine mammals and marine mammal subsistence users.
 


"We know how important marine mammals are to healthy Arctic ecosystems and the people who depend on them," said Sam Rauch, deputy assistant NOAA administrator for NOAA's Fisheries Service. "NOAA scientists are working hard to learn as much as we can about how oil and gas activities impact marine mammals. We will continue to work with our partners to develop and put into place strong mitigation measures that will help lessen the impacts of these and other activities in our oceans."



The supplemental draft EIS looks at measures NOAA could adopt when issuing incidental take authorizations under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The act provides for the incidental and unintentional take of small numbers of marine mammals by U.S. citizens, if these actions will have only a negligible effect on the species and will not reduce the availability of the marine mammals to the Alaska natives who rely on them. As part of its supplemental analysis, NOAA examined various measures to minimize potential harmful effects from sound, accidentaldischarge of pollutants including oil, and the presence of vessels that will be part of these oil and gas operations, such as closing areas to exploration during whale migration and feeding and during traditional whale and seal hunts.
 


The supplemental draft, which builds on the earlier draft EIS, is available for comment for 60 days, through Tuesday, May 28. NOAA will also host a series of public meetings during the week of April 8, 2013, to provide additional opportunities for comment. More information is available online at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/eis/arctic.htm.



NOAA will incorporate public comments and any new information received during the public comment period, and expects to issue the final EIS in early 2014. NOAA will use the final EIS to help make decisions concerning incidental take authorizations that allow unintentional take of small numbers of marine mammals during oil and gas exploration activities in the U.S. Beaufort and Chukchi seas in 2014 and beyond. The EIS will also support BOEM, the agency with jurisdiction over offshore leasing and planning, in making its decisions, pursuant to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.

 

Maritime Reporter January 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

NewLead Expands Fleet to 10 Vessels

NewLead Holdings Ltd. announced that it recently added five bitumen tanker vessels, expanding its fleet to 10 vessels in less than a year while performing on its

SKF Expands Electric Motor Repair Network

Electric motors are among the highest in reliability incident reports, said SKF Canada, noting that for many companies, electric motor failures lead to a continual

‘Landmark Year’ for RS in 2014

For Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS), 2014 marked the 101st year of its activities. The classification society said 2014 also marked a landmark year,

Environmental

US Proposes Allowing Oil, Gas Drilling off Atlantic Coast

The Obama administration on Tuesday proposed allowing for the first time oil and gas exploration in a wide swath of U.S. waters off the Atlantic Coast.   The

NOIA: Draft Offshore Lease Program Both Hits and Misses

National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) President Randall Luthi issued a statement on the 2017-2022 Draft Proposed OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program, stating the U.

News

US Proposes Allowing Oil, Gas Drilling off Atlantic Coast

The Obama administration on Tuesday proposed allowing for the first time oil and gas exploration in a wide swath of U.S. waters off the Atlantic Coast.   The

NewLead Expands Fleet to 10 Vessels

NewLead Holdings Ltd. announced that it recently added five bitumen tanker vessels, expanding its fleet to 10 vessels in less than a year while performing on its

SKF Expands Electric Motor Repair Network

Electric motors are among the highest in reliability incident reports, said SKF Canada, noting that for many companies, electric motor failures lead to a continual

Arctic Operations

‘Landmark Year’ for RS in 2014

For Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS), 2014 marked the 101st year of its activities. The classification society said 2014 also marked a landmark year,

‘Maritime Spectrum’ of CMMI a Big Draw

For The Company of Master Mariners of India, the conference “Maritime Spectrum” that comes at the turn of each year has become a brand in itself, and each one

Irving Celebrates Canadian AOPS Build Contract

Government of Canada & Irving Shipbuilding mark signing of $2.3 billion AOPS build contract; 3,600 Jobs across Canada generated from Irving’s NSPS commitments to

Offshore Energy

US Proposes Allowing Oil, Gas Drilling off Atlantic Coast

The Obama administration on Tuesday proposed allowing for the first time oil and gas exploration in a wide swath of U.S. waters off the Atlantic Coast.   The

NOIA: Draft Offshore Lease Program Both Hits and Misses

National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) President Randall Luthi issued a statement on the 2017-2022 Draft Proposed OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program, stating the U.

World's Largest Ship Sparks Outrage

Jewish groups in the Netherlands and Britain have reacted with rage and despair at the arrival in Rotterdam of the world's biggest ship, the Pieter Schelte, named

 
 
Maritime Security Maritime Standards Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.4468 sec (2 req/sec)