> Proposed Western Planning Area Lease Sales 229, 233, 238, 246, and 248 and
> Proposed Central Planning Area Lease Sales 227, 231, 235, 241, and 247
> The U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announces the availability of the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for 10 proposed Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) oil and gas lease sales in the Western Planning Area (WPA) and Central Planning Area (CPA) of the Gulf of Mexico. These proposed lease sales are scheduled for 2012-2017 in the proposed Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program: 2012-2017. The BOEM is proposing to offer for oil and gas leasing approximately 21.2 million acres in the WPA, excluding whole and partial blocks within the boundary of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary and whole and partial blocks that lie within the former Western Gap and are within 1.4 nautical miles north of the continental shelf boundary between the U.S. and Mexico. The BOEM is also proposing to offer for oil and gas leasing approximately 38.6 million acres in the CPA, excluding blocks that were previously included within the Eastern Planning Area and are within 100 miles (161 kilometers) of the Florida coast blocks east of the Military Mission line (86 degrees, 41 minutes West longitude) under an existing moratorium until 2022, as a result of the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 (December 20, 2006) blocks that are beyond the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone in the area known as the northern portion of the Eastern Gap and whole and partial blocks that lie within the former Western Gap and are within 1.4 nautical miles north of the continental shelf boundary between the U.S. and Mexico.
The BOEM published in the February 9, 2011, Federal Register, a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an EIS. The NOI sought input on the scope of the EIS, which covered oil and gas lease sales tentatively scheduled in 2012-2017 in the WPA and CPA offshore the States of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The BOEM published in the December 30, 2011, Federal Register, a NOA of a Draft EIS for five proposed annual areawide lease sales scheduled for the WPA and five proposed annual areawide lease sales scheduled for the CPA. The proposed WPA lease sales are Lease Sale 229 in 2012, Lease Sale 233 in 2013, Lease Sale 238 in 2014, Lease Sale 246 in 2015, and Lease Sale 248 in 2016 the proposed CPA lease sales are Lease Sale 227 in 2013, Lease Sale 231 in 2014, Lease Sale 235 in 2015, Lease Sale 241 in 2016, and Lease Sale 247 in 2017. This Draft Multisale EIS also analyzes relevant new information regarding the Deepwater Horizon event.
The BOEM will hold public meetings to obtain comments regarding the Draft Multisale EIS. The meetings are scheduled as follows:
> â€¢ Houston, Texas: January 10, 2012, Houston Airport Marriott at George Bush Intercontinental, 18700 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77032, beginning at 1:00 p.m. CDT
> â€¢ New Orleans, Louisiana: January 11, 2012, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123, beginning at 1:00 p.m. CDT and
> â€¢ Mobile, Alabama: January 12, 2012, Five Riversâ€”Alabamaâ€™s Delta Resource Center, 30945 Five Rivers Boulevard, Spanish Fort, Alabama, beginning at 1:00 p.m. CST.
Federal, State, and local government agencies and other interested parties are requested to send their comments on the Draft Multisale EIS no later than February 15, 2012, in one of the following two ways:
> 1. In an envelope labeled â€œComments on the Multisale Draft EISâ€ to Mr. Gary D. Goeke, Chief, Regional Assessment Section, Office of Environment (MS 5410), Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123-2394 and
> 2. BOEM email address: MultisaleEIS@BOEM.gov.
> Because this Draft Multisale EIS is over 2,000 pages, BOEM will be distributing a very limited number of paper copies. In keeping with the Department of the Interiorâ€™s mission of protection of natural resources, and to limit costs while ensuring availability of the document to the public, BOEM will primarily distribute digital copies of the EIS on compact discs. However, if you require a paper copy, BOEM will provide one upon request.
> 1. You may obtain a copy of this Draft Multisale EIS (either on CD-ROM or a printed version) from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123-2394, Attention: Public Information Office (MS 5034), 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, Room 250, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123-2394 (1 800-200-GULF).
> 2. You may download or view the Draft Multisale EIS on > BOEMâ€™s website at > http://www.boem.gov/Environmental-Stewardship/Environmental-Assessment/NEPA/nepaprocess.aspx.
> If you have any questions, please call Mr. Gary D. Goeke at (504) 736-3233.
Special thanks to Richard Charter