Pacific OCS Region NEPA Activities
The Pacific Region conducts environmental analyses and reviews on all OCS oil & gas projects. Environmental reviews are conducted in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and projects are inspected, as appropriate, for compliance with the full spectrum of conditions placed upon them.
BSEE and BOEM Publish Joint Environmental Assessment on Use of Well Stimulation Treatments in Federal Waters off California
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) have completed a comprehensive environmental analysis evaluating the potential impacts from the use of well stimulation treatments on the 23 oil and gas platforms currently in operation on the Outer Continental Shelf offshore California.
Based on the analysis in this joint Programmatic Environmental Assessment (EA), BSEE and BOEM issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) from the use of specific well stimulation treatments in oil and gas activities on the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The EA and the FONSI are available for viewing at http://pocswellstim.evs.anl.gov/.
Carpinteria Offshore Field Redevelopment Project
On October 1, 2011, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (formerly the Minerals Management Service) was reorganized into two new bureaus: the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). BSEE, as the approving bureau for the projects listed below, was supported by BOEM with the development of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents; BSEE was the lead agency and BOEM a cooperating agency for these documents. BSEE issues decisions based on these analyses. The mitigations included in the Environmental Assessments were cooperatively developed by BSEE and BOEM.
ExxonMobil Proposal to Install Impressed Current Cathodic Protection System. The Office of Leasing and Environment has reviewed ExxonMobil's proposal to install a new impressed current cathodic protection system on Platform Heritage offshore Santa Barbara County (Lease OCS-P 0182). This proposal was originally submitted in July 2010 and later amended in February and March of 2011.
The Pacific Region has completed an Environmental Assessment for Beta Operating Company, LLC's proposed Platform Edith to Platform Elly Power Cable Installation Project. The proposed activities involve installing a 34.5 kV alternating current (AC) submarine power cable approximately 2.4 km (7800 ft) long in 49 to 77 m (161 to 255 ft) water depths on Lease OCS-P 0296 and OCS-P 0300. This new power cable will supply electricity to offshore oil and gas facilities within the Beta Unit (Platforms Ellen, Elly and Eureka), and reduce Beta Operating's reliance on diesel generators.
Environmental Impact Statement Process
NEPA Environmental Reviews: As a primary component of the Environmental Analysis Program, NEPA environmental reviews are undertaken for all plans, revisions, and significant changes to operations. Federal agencies must comply with numerous environmental laws, regulations, and executive orders to carry out its mission. To achieve this, staff scientists and analysts conduct pre-project environmental reviews and analyses and consult and coordinate with other Federal, state and local agencies on all applicable laws and regulations affecting OCS oil & gas projects. The development of environmental mitigation measures to minimize project-specific impacts often results from such analyses and consultation.
Environmental Compliance Monitoring Program: The Pacific Region conducts environmental compliance inspections during projects to ensure conditions of approval placed on projects are implemented and effective in protecting coastal and marine resources. The Region may be assisted by other agencies and requires industry to check for compliance with mitigation measures identified during the NEPA reviews and for compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The Region has the authority to monitor and enforce these conditions and regulations pursuant to 30 CFR 250 Subpart N (Civil Penalties). Operators who fail to comply with the conditions of permit approvals or regulations, including mitigating measures, are subject to warnings, equipment or facility shut-ins, and civil or criminal penalties.
Pacific Region Dive Team: The Pacific Region supports an underwater dive team of scientists who work with other Federal and state agencies in Southern California to ensure baseline conditions are understood, mitigations are being implemented and there is no residual damage from offshore oil and gas projects.
The following NEPA documents were developed by the agencies (either BOEMRE, MMS or USGS) prior to the October 1, 2011 reorganization: