The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) announced that it will hold a series of public scoping meetings in February 2011 on the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for the proposed 2012-2017 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program. The public notice is available for public inspection through the Federal Register’s website at: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/public-inspection/index.html
On December 1, 2010, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced an updated oil and gas leasing strategy for the OCS and identified the areas that would be considered for environmental scoping for the 2012 – 2017 program (http://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/Salazar-Announces-Revised-OCS-Leasing-Program.cfm). The final PEIS will cover areas in the Central and Western Gulf of Mexico along with a small portion of the Eastern Gulf that was set aside by the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act for Lease Sale 224. Additional areas to be considered are Alaska’s Chukchi and Beaufort Seas and Cook Inlet.
“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,” BOEMRE Director Michael R. Bromwich said. “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.”
The PEIS public scoping meetings are scheduled as follows:
• Monday, February 14, 2011 at 7:00 pm- Kotzebue Middle-High School, 744 Third Avenue, Kotzebue, Alaska.
• Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 1:00 pm- Houston Airport Marriott at George Bush International, 18700 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Houston, Texas.
• Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 7:00 pm- Point Hope School Library, Point Hope, Alaska
• Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 1:00 pm- New Orleans Airport Hilton, 901 Airline Dr., Kenner, Louisiana.
• Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 7:00 pm- Point Lay Community Center, Point Lay, Alaska.
• Thursday, February 17, 2011 at 1:00pm- Five Rivers-Alabama’s Delta Resource Center, 30945 Five Rivers Blvd., Spanish Fort, Alabama.
• Thursday, February 17, 2011 at 7:00pm- Alak School Library, Wainwright, Alaska.
• Monday, February 21, 2011 at 7:00 pm- Inupiat Heritage Center, Barrow, Alaska.
• Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 7:00 pm- Nuiqsut Community Center, Nuiqsut, Alaska.
• Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 7:00 pm- Kaktovik Community Center, Kaktovik, Alaska.
• Thursday, February 24, 2011 at 1:00 pm- Washington Dulles Airport Marriott, 45020 Aviation Dr., Dulles, Virginia.
• Friday, February 25, 2011 at 7:00 pm- BOEMRE Alaska Region Office, 3801 Centerpoint Dr., Anchorage, Alaska.
During the meetings in the Gulf of Mexico region, BOEMRE will also accept public comments on a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement being completed for the remaining Central and Western Gulf of Mexico lease sales under the current Five Year Program, which expires in 2012.
In addition to the scoping meetings, the public may submit written comments on the PEIS until March 31, 2011, via mail, to: J. F. Bennett, Chief, Branch of Environmental Assessment, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, 381 Elden Street, Mail Stop 4042, Herndon, Virginia 20170-4817, or online at: http://ocs5yeareis.anl.gov
Information concerning the leasing program and PEIS can be accessed at: http://www.boemre.gov/5-year/