2017-2022 OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program
As required by the OCS Lands Act, a new Program—to cover the years 2017-2022—is under development. The first step in the development process, a Request for Information (RFI), was published in the Federal Register on June 16, 2014. On January 27, 2015, Secretary Jewell announced the first of three proposals, the Draft Proposed Program (DPP), for a 2017-2022 Program, which included a 60-day comment period.
On March 15, 2016, Secretary Jewell announced the second proposal, the Proposed Program, for the 2017-2022 Program. There are 13 potential lease sales in four program areas in all or parts of six OCS planning areas. This includes 10 sales in the combined Gulf of Mexico Program Area, and one sale each in the Chukchi Sea, Beaufort Sea, and Cook Inlet Program Areas offshore Alaska (see Table S-1). No lease sales are proposed for the Pacific or Atlantic OCS.
Decision Document and Federal Register Notice
Lease Sale Schedule and Maps
How to comment on the Proposed Program
- Comments can be submitted by visiting regulations.gov and searching for docket BOEM-2016-0003.
The implementation of the 2017-2022 Program may have economic, social, and environmental impacts. To evaluate these potential impacts, BOEM has prepared an environmental analysis following the process prescribed by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). On January 29, 2015, BOEM published a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the 2017-2022 Oil and Gas Leasing Program. On March 18, 2016, BOEM published a Notice of Availability of the Draft Programmatic EIS for the 2017-2022 Oil and Gas Leasing Program.
The development of the oil and gas program and the environmental analysis process occur simultaneously and in close coordination:
The Draft Programmatic EIS examined the activities that may stem from the schedule of lease sales as identified in the DPP. BOEM used the input received during the public scoping process in early 2015 to help develop alternatives to the Proposed Action and to focus the scope of the Draft Programmatic EIS analyses on the impacting factors and environmental resources that may result in moderate or major impacts. These alternatives and the analysis of the potential impacts associated with them are presented in the Draft Programmatic EIS.
The release of the NOA for the Draft Programmatic EIS initiates the official public comment process. This comment period is specific to the Draft Programmatic EIS and focuses on the analysis of potential impacts. The Draft Programmatic EIS does NOT analyze whether the proposed action should occur, but rather, what environmental impacts may occur from the proposed action and alternatives.
BOEM is seeking public comment on the Draft Programmatic EIS. BOEM invites public comment on the following:
- Are there any specific environmental concerns that have not been addressed in the Draft Programmatic EIS?
- Are there programmatic analyses that still may need to be incorporated by BOEM?
- Are there any additional information or resources that should be considered in the Draft Programmatic EIS?
- Are the additional data that should be included in the analysis?
The public comment period for the Draft Programmatic EIS runs from March 18, 2016 to May 2, 2016. Additional information on the Draft Programmatic EIS and information on how to provide effective comments is also available at www.BOEMOceanInfo.com.