The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) today released a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for proposed oil and gas Lease Sale 216/222 in the Central Planning Area in the Gulf of Mexico. The draft SEIS updates the findings in several previously published environmental reviews covering the Gulf of Mexico and incorporates the latest available information following the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill.
“The analyses contained in this draft SEIS will allow us to make objective, science-based decisions regarding offshore energy exploration, development and production,” said BOEMRE Director Michael R. Bromwich. “The public hearings on the draft SEIS we are announcing today are vehicles for gaining broad public input on the environmental effects of oil and gas operations in the Gulf of Mexico.”
The Draft SEIS is available online at: http://www.gomr.boemre.gov/PDFs/2011/2011-027.pdf
The bureau is accepting public comment before the document is finalized.The Federal Register notice announcing the Draft SEIS will be published July 1, 2011, at which time BOEMRE will begin accepting public comments at:http://boemre.gov/PublicComment.htm. Comments will be used to prepare the Final SEIS for the lease sale.
Lease Sales 216 and 222 are the last remaining sales scheduled for the Central Gulf Planning Area in the 2007 – 2012 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Natural Gas Leasing Program. The sales were delayed due to the Deepwater Horizon tragedy and are being combined to maximize efficiency.
BOEMRE will hold public hearings in three cities to give interested parties an opportunity to comment on the draft SEIS. The meetings are scheduled as follows:
- New Orleans, La: Tuesday, August 2, 2011, BOEMRE, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, LA 70123, beginning at 1:00 p.m. CDT.
- Houston, Texas: Tuesday, August 9, 2011, Houston Airport Marriott at George Bush Intercontinental, 18700 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, Houston, TX 77032, beginning at 1:00 p.m. CDT.
- Mobile, Ala: Thursday, August 11, 2011, Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel, 64 South Water Street, Mobile, AL 36602, beginning at 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. CDT.
Federal, state and local government agencies and other interested parties are requested to send their comments on the draft SEIS no later than August 16, 2011, by email to CPA Supplemental EIS@boemre.gov or by mail to: Comments on the CPA Lease Sale 216/222 Draft SEIS, Regional Supervisor, Leasing and Environment (MS 5410), Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, LA 70123-2394.