After a comprehensive review and consideration of comments received from the public, stakeholders, and federal and state partner agencies and tribes, BOEM conditionally approves Shell Gulf of Mexico, Inc.’s revised multi-year Exploration Plan for the Chukchi Sea, which had been deemed submitted April 10, 2015.
Upon completing a preliminary review of
the Revised Chukchi Sea Exploration Plan received from Shell on March 31, 2015, BOEM determines that all the required components are in place to justify a full review, and deems the EP submitted. The Bureau now has 30 calendar days to analyze and evaluate the revised EP in accordance with federal law. As part of this analysis, the Bureau will prepare a
site-specific Environmental Assessment (EA) of the proposed exploration activities pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act.
This announcement initiates two separate (but partially concurrent) comment periods:
- A 10-day comment period for the public to comment on any issues that BOEM should consider in preparing the EA for the revised EP. This comment period ends at midnight Eastern Time on April 20, 2015.
- A 21-day comment period for the public to submit comments on the revised EP. This comment period ends at midnight Eastern Time on May 1, 2015.
BOEM receives from Shell Gulf of Mexico, Inc., a new version of their Chukchi Sea Exploration Plan. This version, still titled “Revision 2,” replaces the previous “Revision 2” received by BOEM on Aug. 28, 2014. BOEM analysts begin assessing this Revised EP to determine whether it contains all required elements to initiate a full review. BOEM staff have 15 working days to conclude this preliminary assessment.
- If BOEM staff determine that the agency requires further information in order to adequately review the Revised EP, a letter to that effect will be delivered to Shell.
- When/if the initial assessment determines that the Revised EP does in fact contain sufficient information to initiate a full review, the Revised EP will be "deemed submitted." At that time, an announcement to that effect will be posted to the BOEM website, the Revised EP and any supporting documents will be posted, and a public comment period will begin.
Upon a “deemed submitted” announcement, BOEM has 30 calendar days to approve the plan, disapprove the plan, or require modifications.