This paper provides an overview of BOEM's environmental program, and a sense of how the Bureau integrates science with an array of environmental laws, executive orders, regulations or policies to fulfill its environmental responsibilities.
Protecting the environment while ensuring the safe development of the nation’s offshore energy and marine mineral resources is a critical part of BOEM’s mission. The Bureau, as with all Federal agencies, must consider the potential environmental impacts from exploring and extracting these resources.
For oil and gas development, these efforts begin with the preparation of a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement in support of the Five Year OCS Leasing Program. After the Secretary has decided on the size, timing, and location of lease sales for the 5-year period, lease sale specific Environmental Impact Statements are prepared. Additional environmental reviews are conducted for specific activities such as drilling a well or installing a platform.
Similarly, BOEM is responsible for leasing areas of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) for renewable energy (wind, wave, and ocean current technologies) and marine mineral projects (sand and gravel). Leasing of these resources must also undergo an environmental review based on the most recently available scientific information. To accomplish this, BOEM collects information about the environment through funding of ocean research. Cumulatively, these activities enable BOEM to pursue an adaptive and ecosystem-based approach to its stewardship responsibilities
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