BOEM Fact Sheets

About BOEM

BOEM Fact Sheet — This fact sheet explains BOEM's organizational structure, missions and responsibilities of the new bureau.

Responsibilities Guide (BOEM & BSEE) — The Department of Interior created two new, independent agencies to carry out the offshore energy management and enforcement functions of the Department. This fact sheet outlines the detailed responsibilities of each bureau.

 
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Environmental Stewardship
Arctic Environmental Research Fact Sheet — BOEM's Environmental Studies Program currently manages more than 50 ongoing study projects in Alaska. They include disciplines such as protected and endangered species; physical oceanography; fate and effects of pollutants; wildlife biology; subsistence and traditional knowledge studies; and economic forecasting. This fact sheet describes six ongoing studies.

Environmental Studies Program Fact Sheet — BOEM funds ocean research through the Environmental Studies Program to provide science in support of management decisions. The fact sheet describes the breadth of research that extends from microscopic and deep-sea coral communities to atmospheric science and ocean currents.

Environmental Studies since Deepwater Horizon — Reforms within BOEM since Deepwater Horizon are designed to provide environmental safeguards based on the best available science. This fact sheet contains summaries of some of the research either completed or in progress related to the 2010 spill.

Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body — Importance of Our Oceans and Regional Planning - The ocean waters of the Mid-Atlantic provide a wealth of economic and environmental services to local communities, states, and the Nation. State and federally managed waters are used in many ways: commercial fishing, shipping, military exercises, energy, aquaculture, sand mining, habitat for wildlife, and recreation.

Minimizing Impacts of Human-generated Sound on Marine Life - Through research and environmental reviews, BOEM plays a key role in improving the overall scientific understanding of the potential effects of anthropogenic, or human-generated, sound on marine life. This fact sheet describes BOEM’s adaptive management approach to developing and applying science for decisions on sound.

Selected Sound-Related Studies Funded and Co-Funded by BOEM - Since 1998, BOEM has invested more than $50 million on protected species and sound-related research, including marine mammals. This fact sheet links to a select group of sound-related studies funded or co-funded by BOEM.

 
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Marine Minerals Program

Atlantic Sand Assessment Project — To help coastal communities recover from Hurricane Sandy and promote resilient coastal systems, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is sponsoring an offshore survey to identify new sources of sand in federal waters from Miami, Florida to Maine in 2015 and several site specific surveys in 2016. BOEM initiated the idea for the geological and geophysical research, known as the Atlantic Sand Assessment Project (ASAP), following Hurricane Sandy in order to identify and assess new potential sand resources which might be needed in the future.

BOEM Partnerships Strengthen Coastal Resilience, Environmental Stewardship — In the October 2015 edition of Sea Technology magazine, BOEM Director Hopper notes progress made in helping coastal communities, states, and other federal agencies build coastal resilience along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts.

Hurricane Sandy Fact Sheet — BOEM was called upon along with partners at all levels of government to help restore coastlines and communities devastated by Hurricane Sandy.

Overview Fact Sheet for the MMP — BOEM is tasked with managing the extraction of offshore minerals from America's Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). While the largest component of this extraction is exploration and development of oil and gas resources, the bureau is also responsible for "non-energy minerals" (primarily sand and gravel) excavated from the ocean floor.

 
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Oil and Gas Energy

Atlantic Geological and Geophysical and Surveys Record of Decision on the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement — BOEM, in cooperation with NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries), and pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), released a final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) in February 2014 that evaluated potential environmental effects of proposed geological and geophysical (G&G) survey activities on the Mid- and South Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

Atlantic Geophysical and Geological Surveys Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement— BOEM, in cooperation with NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries), and pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), has developed a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) to evaluate potential environmental effects of proposed geological and geophysical (G&G) survey activities on the Mid- and South Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

Development Plan Flow Chart — BOEM has created a simplified flowchart outlining the approval process for a development plan, which involves reviews by BOEM and various federal and state agencies.

Exploration and Development Plan Approval and Plan Status Fact Sheet — Exploration and Development Plans both require the submittal of complex information and there are many reasons that an application may not be deemed submitted or require an amendment or modification after it is deemed submitted. This fact sheet reviews the approval process and plan status definitions.

Exploration Plan Flow Chart— BOEM has created a simplified flowchart outlining the approval process for an exploration plan, which involves reviews by BOEM and various federal and state agencies.

Oil Spill Risk in the Chukchi Sea Outer Continental Shelf — The 75-percent figure: What does it mean?

 
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Regulations and Guidance

Proposed Air Quality Regulations for Oil and Gas Activities on the OCS — The OCSLA requires BOEM to regulate air pollutant emissions from OCS activities to the extent they significantly affect the air quality of any State. The proposed rule would update BOEM’s current air quality regulations, which were promulgated in 1980

Reforms Fact Sheet — In response to the Deepwater Horizon explosion and resulting oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Department of the Interior launched the most aggressive and comprehensive reforms to offshore oil and gas regulation and oversight in U.S. history. This fact sheet describes the restructuring to provide independent regulatory agencies with clear missions and additional resources to safely and responsibly carry out their work while keeping pace with a rapidly evolving industry.

Reorganization Fact Sheet — The reorganization of the former Minerals Management Service was designed to remove the complex and sometimes conflicting missions of the agency by providing the two new bureaus with clear and focused missions and responsibilities. This fact sheet outlines the efforts that went into the reorganization, new reforms and the formation of BOEM and BSEE.

 
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Renewable Energy

Atlantic Geological and Geophysical and Surveys Record of Decision on the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement — BOEM, in cooperation with NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries), and pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), released a final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) in February 2014 that evaluated potential environmental effects of proposed geological and geophysical (G&G) survey activities on the Mid- and South Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

BOEM’s Renewable Energy Program — In 2009, President Barack Obama announced the final regulations for the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Renewable Energy Program, which was authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct). Since the regulations were enacted, BOEM has worked diligently to oversee responsible renewable energy development. This fact sheet provides an overview of BOEM’s recent milestones.

Environmental Studies Overview  BOEM is responsible for overseeing renewable energy development on the outer continental shelf in an environmentally sound manner. To assist in its mission, BOEM seeks the best available science and contributes to the collection of information about the offshore environment (e.g., marine mammals, fish birds, cultural resources).

Environmental Studies — Electromagnetic Fields Electromagnet fields (EMF) are generated by cables when an electric current is flowing through them. Some fish, sharks, rays, and eels can sense the EMF and may be attracted or repulsed by the field. The primary concern is that the cable emitting the field will act as a barrier for migration. BOEM is funding several studies on both the West and East coasts to address this issue.

Environmental Studies  Marine Mammals  BOEM is contributing to the collection of information about the presence, distribution, and migratory pathways of marine mammals in support of offshore energy development. While the information collected by BOEM provides a baseline on a regional basis for marine mammal and sea turtle distributions, industry will be required to collect site specific data based on species present and local concerns.

Overview of Renewable Energy on the Outer Continental Shelf — BOEM is responsible for offshore renewable energy development in Federal waters and anticipates future development on the OCS from three general sources: offshore wind, ocean wave, and ocean current energy.

The Renewable Energy Leasing Process — BOEM's renewable energy program occurs in four distinct phases: (1) planning and analysis, (2) lease issuance, (3) site assessment, and (4) construction and operations. This fact sheet discusses BOEM’s process for authorizing wind energy leases.

 
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