BOEM Solicits Comments on Oil and Gas Lease Sales
New Orleans, La. — The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced that it will open a comment period and hold a series of public scoping meetings to gather information to be used in preparing an Environmental Impact Statement for two proposed oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico’s Eastern Planning Area.
As the President discussed in his State of the Union address, BOEM has issued a Proposed Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012–2017, which would make more than 75 percent of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and gas estimated on the OCS available for development. The Proposed Program schedules two sales (Lease Sales 225 and 226) in the Eastern Planning Area.
“BOEM will use this information to help determine the scope of the issues to be addressed in the Environmental Impact Statement, and to identify and evaluate potential environmental effects related to the proposed sales,” said BOEM Director Tommy P. Beaudreau.
The area for the proposed sales includes 657,905 acres more than 120 miles offshore Alabama and Florida, where there are currently active leases and where there is known or anticipated hydrocarbon potential. Other areas in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico — including the Straits of Florida — are not included in the proposed five-year leasing program because they are under a Congressionally-mandated leasing moratorium until June 30, 2022. For a map of the area, go to: http://www.boem.gov/uploadedFiles/OCS_Lower_48_Strategy_20111104_v1.pdf.
Planning for an Environmental Impact Statement relating to these potential lease sales does not constitute a final decision about their inclusion in the Proposed Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012–2017.
As part of the scoping process, the public is invited to comment during meetings to be held at the following places and times: April 3, 2012, at 1:00 p.m. (EDT) at Tallahassee Community College, 444 Appleyard Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32304; April 4, 2012, at 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. (CDT) at Wyndham Bay Point Resort, 4114 Jan Cooley Drive, Panama City Beach, FL 32408; April 5, 2012, at 1:00 p.m. (CDT) at Five River’s Delta Resource Center, 30945 Five Rivers Boulevard, Spanish Fort, AL, 36527; and April 9, 2012, at 1:00 p.m. (CDT) at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, 1201 Elmwood Park Blvd., New Orleans, LA, 70123.