BOEM Completes Draft Environmental Review for Central and Western Gulf of Mexico Lease Sales

Public Hearings Scheduled

12-29-2011 NEW ORLEANS

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management 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.

“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,” said BOEM Director Tommy P. Beaudreau. “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.”

The environmental impact statement is 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.

Public hearings on the environmental impact statements will be held at the following locations:

Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012, at 1 p.m. Houston Airport Marriott at George Bush
Intercontinental, 18700 John F. Kennedy Blvd
Houston, Texas
Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012, at 1 p.m. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management,
1201 Elmwood Park Blvd
New Orleans, La
Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012, at 1 p.m. Five Rivers, Alabama’s Delta Resource Center,
30945 Five Rivers Blvd
Spanish Fort, Ala.

Submit comments online at multisaleEIS@boem.gov. Submit written comments by mail for 45 days following the publication date of the Notice of Availability in the Federal Register to:

Comments on the Draft Multisale EIS
Mr. Gary D. Goeke
Regional Assessment Section
Office of Environmental (MS 5410)
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
Gulf of Mexico OCS Region
1201 Elmwood Park Blvd.
New Orleans, Louisiana 70123-2394

For more information on the proposed Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program: 2012-2017, go to http://www.boem.gov/uploadedFiles/5-Year_Program_Factsheet.pdf.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management manages the exploration and development of the nation's offshore energy resources. The Bureau seeks to balance economic development, energy independence, and environmental protection through responsible management of offshore conventional and renewable energy development based on the best available science.

– BOEM –