BOEM Asks for Public Comment on Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Gulf of Mexico Geological and Geophysical Activities
Meetings scheduled in five Gulf Coast Cities
Contacts: Caryl Fagot
New Orleans-The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) invites the public to comment on the recently released Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for Gulf of Mexico Geological and Geophysical Activities.
The Draft PEIS evaluates the potential environmental impacts of geological and geophysical (G&G) activities, including surveys, on marine mammals, fish, corals, and other environmentally sensitive species in the seabed and water column of the Gulf’s Outer Continental Shelf, and recommends strong measures to protect marine mammals and coastal environments in the Gulf of Mexico from the potential impacts of G&G activities for oil, gas and minerals. Completion of the Draft PEIS was a condition of a federal court settlement between BOEM and the Natural Resources Defense Council and other co-plaintiffs announced earlier this year.
G&G surveys use various technologies to determine whether areas have high potential for energy development or extraction of minerals, such as sand used for coastal restoration; and to identify potential hazards and environmental concerns in Federal and adjacent state waters.
The draft PEIS was published in the Federal Register on September 30, 2016, triggering a 60-day comment period. BOEM will hold five public meetings in an open-house format to answer questions and gather comments. The public may attend any time between 4:00 p.m. CST and 7:00 p.m. CST, as follows:
- New Orleans, Louisiana: Wednesday, November 9, 2016, Wyndham Garden New Orleans Airport, 6401 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, Louisiana 70003;
- Gulfport, Mississippi: Thursday, November 10, 2016, Courtyard by Marriott, Gulfport Beachfront MS Hotel, 1600 East Beach Boulevard, Gulfport, Mississippi 39501;
- Fort Walton Beach, Florida: Monday, November 14, 2016, Four Points By Sheraton Destin-Fort Walton Beach, 1325 Miracle Strip Parkway SE, Fort Walton Beach, Florida 32548;
- Mobile, Alabama: Tuesday, November 15, 2016, The Admiral Hotel Mobile, Curio Collection by Hilton, 251 Government Street, Mobile, Alabama 36602; and
- Houston, Texas: Thursday, November 17, 2016, Houston Marriott North, 255 North Sam Houston Pkwy East, Houston, Texas 77060.
Comments received will help BOEM and the cooperating agencies further refine the analysis of the draft PEIS for publication of the Final PEIS. Comments will be accepted until November 29, 2016.
In addition to attending the meetings, comments may also be submitted in the following ways:
- Mail or hand deliver in an envelope labeled “Scoping Comments on the Gulf of Mexico G&G PEIS,” Attention: Dr. Jill Lewandowski, Chief, Division of Environmental Assessment, Office of Environmental Programs, BOEM, 45600 Woodland Road, VAM-OEP, Sterling Virginia 20166.
- Through the regulations.gov web portal at http://www.regulations.gov, search for “Geological and Geophysical Exploration Activities on Federal and State Waters of the Gulf of Mexico” (include the quotation marks in your search terms). Click on the “Comment Now!” button and enter your comment, then click “Submit”; or
- Through email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The draft PEIS is available at http://www.boem.gov/GOM-G-G-PEIS/.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) promotes energy independence, environmental protection and economic development through responsible, science-based management of offshore conventional and renewable energy resources.