The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) announced that it will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for proposed oil and gas lease sales in the Western and Central Planning Areas of the Gulf of Mexico, off the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, for the 2012 to 2017, 5-year oil and gas leasing program.
The public notice, available for public inspection today through the Federal Register’s website (http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/public-inspection/index.html) also announced the start of the scoping process.
“This important step in the offshore resource evaluation and development process will help ensure that all interests and concerns regarding oil and gas leasing, exploration, development and production from proposed sales are appropriately considered,” said BOEMRE Director Michael R. Bromwich. “Every comment will be analyzed and considered as we continue to prepare for the next 5-year program.”
BOEMRE is proposing to prepare a single EIS (multi-sale EIS) for all proposed 2012-2017 Central and Western Planning Area sales. As part of the scoping process, federal, state and local government agencies and other interested parties can submit comments that will assist BOEMRE in determining significant issues and alternatives to be analyzed in the multi-sale EIS. The multi-sale EIS is one step in a multi-tiered environmental review process that goes from the planning phase through the permitting phase.
BOEMRE will be holding public scoping meetings in Houston, New Orleans and Mobile to collect public comments. These scoping meetings will be held in combination with the scoping meetings for the preparation of the overall Programmatic EIS on the 5-Year OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012-2017.
The meetings are scheduled as follows:
• Tuesday, February 15, 2011, at 1:00 p.m. CST in Houston, Texas: Houston Airport Marriott at George Bush Intercontinental, 18700 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
• Wednesday, February 16, 2011, at 1:00 p.m. CST in New Orleans, La.: New Orleans Airport Hilton, 901 Airline Dr.
• Thursday, February 17, 2011, at 1:00 p.m. CST in Mobile, Ala.: 5 Rivers – Alabama’s Delta Resource Center, 30945 Five Rivers Blvd.
Written comments should be labeled “Comments on the Multi-sale EIS” and delivered to:
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement
Gulf of Mexico Region
Gary D. Goeke, MS 5410
1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard
New Orleans, Louisiana 70123-2394.
In addition, comments may be e-mailed to BOEMRE: MultisaleEIS@BOEMRE.gov