Public Hearings Scheduled to provide opportunities for public input.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has completed a draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS), providing updated environmental and socioeconomic analysis to support two proposed lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico. Western Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 233 is tentatively scheduled for 2013 in the Western Planning Area (WPA), offshore Texas; and Central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 231 is scheduled for 2014 in the Central Planning Area (CPA), offshore the states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
BOEM will hold public hearings to provide an opportunity for interested citizens and organizations to comment on the environmental impact statement. Comments will be used to prepare the final SEIS.
Public hearings on the environmental impact statements will be held at the following locations:
Houston, Texas: December 03, 2012, Houston Airport Marriott at George Bush Intercontinental, 18700 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77032, beginning at 1:00 p.m. CST;
New Orleans, Louisiana: December 04, 2012, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123, beginning at 1:00 p.m. CST;
Gulfport, Mississippi: December 05, 2012, Courtyard by Marriott Gulfport Beachfront MS Hotel, 1600 East Beach Boulevard, Gulfport, Mississippi 39501, beginning at 1:00 CST;
Mobile, Alabama: December 06, 2012, Five Rivers-Alabama's Delta Resource Center, 30945 Five Rivers Boulevard, Spanish Fort, Alabama 36527, beginning at 1:00 p.m. CST.
BOEM will also accept written comments on the SEIS from federal, state and local government agencies and other interested groups or individuals by email at LS_233-231SEIS@boem.gov, or by mail at:
Mr. Gary D. Goeke
Chief, Regional Assessment Section
Office of Environment (GM 623E)
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
Gulf of Mexico OCS Region
1201 Elmwood Park Blvd.
New Orleans, Louisiana 70123-2394
Comments should be submitted no later than 45 days following the publication of the Notice of Availability in the Federal Register on November 9, 2012.
The SEIS is available for review online at this url: http://www.boem.gov/Environmental-Stewardship/Environmental-Assessment/NEPA/nepaprocess.aspx. Copies are available from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region, Public Information Office (GM 250G), 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, Room 250, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123-2394 (1-800-200-GULF).
The upcoming Western Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 229, which will be held on November 28, 2012, in New Orleans, will build on two major Gulf of Mexico lease sales in the past year-a 21 million acre sale held last December and a 39 million acre sale held in June. This supports the Administration's goal of continuing to increase domestic oil and gas production, which has grown each year the President has been in office, with domestic oil production in 2011 higher than any time in nearly a decade and natural gas production at its highest level ever. Foreign oil imports now account for less than 50 percent of the oil consumed in America - the lowest level since 1995