Gulf of Mexico Draft EA

BOEM has prepared a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) covering the entire Call Area to consider the potential impacts from site characterization (e.g., marine mammal surveys) and site assessment (e.g. installation of meteorological buoys) activities expected to take place following lease issuance. The public comment period on the draft EA has been extended 15 calendar days to September 2, 2022 at 11:59 pm Central Standard Time.

During the comment period, BOEM will hold two virtual public meetings where the public can learn more about the environmental review process. There will also be an opportunity for participants to ask questions and provide comments on the draft EA. The public meetings will be held on the following dates and times. All times are Central Standard Time:

Virtual Meeting Resources

To comment on the Draft EA, go to www.regulations.gov and enter in the search function BOEM-2021-0092. Anonymous comments will not be accepted. For more information on how to comment click here: GOM How to Comment

What are helpful types of comments?

  • Accuracy of information in the EA
  • Adequacy of, methodology for, or assumptions used in the environmental analysis
  • New information relevant to the analysis or that would change the conclusions
  • Where clarification is needed

More information on NEPA and how to have your voice heard can be found at https://ceq.doe.gov/docs/get-involved/citizens-guide-to-nepa-2021.pdf 

The analysis in the draft EA does NOT include information such as: 

  • Specific project layouts 
  • Specific project cable routes 
  • Visual impacts of a project 
  • ​​​​​​Wind Energy Area (WEA) identification

If BOEM decides to issue a lease, and it receives a project plan (i.e., Construction and Operations Plan) for a specific project, an environmental review will be conducted, and there will be additional opportunities for engagement and consultation.

What area is analyzed in the EA? 

  • The analysis covers the entire Gulf of Mexico Call Area

What is analyzed in the EA? 
 

  • Physical and Chemical Resources  
    • Air Quality 
    • Water Quality  
    • Biological Resources 
    • Coastal Communities and Habitats 
    • Benthic Communities and Habitats 
    • Pelagic Communities and Habitats 
    • Fish and Invertebrates 
    • Birds 
    • Bats 
    • Marine Mammals 
    • Sea Turtles 
  • Social and Economic Factors 
    • Land Use and Coastal Infrastructure 
    • Commercial Fisheries 
    • Recreational Fishing 
    • Subsistence Fishing 
    • Tourism and Recreational Resources 
    • Social Factors (including Environmental Justice) 
    • Economic Factors 
    • Cultural, Historic, and Archaeological Resources 
  • Impact-Producing Factors (IPF) 
    • Air emissions and pollution  
    • Discharges and wastes  
    • Bottom disturbance 
    • Noise 
    • Coastal land use 
    • Lighting and visual impacts 
    • Offshore habitat modification/space use 
    • Socioeconomic changes and drivers 
    • Unintentional releases into the environment 
    • Response activities 
    • Vessel strikes 
  • Cause and Effect Analysis 
    • How could each IPF affect each resource? 

 

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