BOEM completes draft environmental review for Central and Western Gulf of Mexico oil and gas lease sales
The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has completed a draft environmental impact statement regarding multiple oil and gas lease sales tentatively scheduled between 2012 and 2017 in the Western and Central Gulf of Mexico planning areas, offshore the states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The proposed Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program: 2012-2017 schedules five annual area-wide lease sales in the Western Gulf and five in the Central Gulf.
BOEM says that the Proposed Program is informed by lessons learned from the Deepwater Horizon disaster and that reforms that have been implemented to make offshore drilling safer and more environmentally responsible, and to ensure better preparation in case a blowout or oil spill occurs.
The draft environmental impact statement evaluates baseline conditions and potential environmental effects of oil and natural gas leasing, exploration, development and production in the Western and Central Gulf. It is an important step toward implementing the Gulf of Mexico lease sales proposed in the next five-year program, and I strongly encourage the public to provide input on this document.—BOEM Director Tommy P. Beaudreau
The environmental impact statement will be available for review online at http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/public-inspection/index.html. BOEM will begin accepting comments on the environmental impact statement following the publication date of the Notice of Availability in the Federal Register.
BOEM will hold public hearings to provide an opportunity to comment on the environmental impact statement. These meetings will provide BOEM an opportunity to solicit comments from interested citizens and organizations. Comments will be used to prepare the final environmental impact statement for proposed Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas lease sales offshore Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.