[MARMAM] NMFS releases Supplemental Draft EIS on the Effects of Oil and Gas Activities in the Arctic Ocean

Candace Nachman - NOAA Federal candace.nachman at noaa.gov
Mon Mar 25 06:12:57 PDT 2013


All,

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is pleased to announce the
availability of the Effects of Oil and Gas Activities in the Arctic Ocean
Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Supplemental DEIS).  The
Supplemental DEIS is now available on the project website:
http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/eis/arctic.htm.

The purpose of the EIS is to evaluate, in compliance with the National
Environmental Policy Act, the potential direct, indirect, and cumulative
impacts of implementing the alternative approaches for authorizing the take
of marine mammals incidental to oil and gas exploration activities in the
Arctic Ocean pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act.  The U.S.
Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is a
cooperating agency on this EIS, and as such, this EIS also evaluates the
potential direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of implementing the
alternative approaches for authorizing geological and geophysical surveys
and ancillary activities under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act in the
Arctic Ocean.  The North Slope Borough is also a cooperating agency on this
EIS.

After releasing the initial draft environmental impact statement for public
comment in December 2011, NNMFS and BOEM broadened the scope of analysis in
light of comments from stakeholders. The initial EIS analyzed the effects
of up to two exploratory drilling programs per year in both the Chukchi and
Beaufort seas. The supplemental draft EIS analyzes the effects of up to
four drilling programs per year in each area. The revised draft also
expands discussion of mitigation measures designed to reduce the effects of
offshore oil and gas activities on marine mammals and marine mammal
subsistence users.

 NMFS approved the Supplemental DEIS for public review, and the Notice of
Availability (NOA) will be published in the Federal Register on March 29,
2013. Once published, a link to the NOA can be found on the project website
listed above.

*Public Comment Period:* Comments on the Effects of Oil and Gas Activities
in the Arctic Ocean Supplemental DEIS will be accepted during the public
comment period until May 28, 2013.  Comments on the EIS should be
identified by NOAA-NMFS-2013-0054 and can be submitted by any of the
following methods:

   - Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the
   Federal e-Rulemaking portal www.regulations.gov. To submit comments via
   the Federal e-Rulemaking portal, enter NOAA-NMFS-2013-0054 in the keyword
   search.  Locate the document you wish to comment on from the resulting list
   and click on the "Comment Now" icon on the right of that line.  (Please
   note that this method for commenting will not be available until the Notice
   of Availability publishes in the Federal Register on Friday, March
29).<arcticeis.comments at noaa.gov>
   - Mail: Director, Office of Protected Resources, 1315 East-West Highway,
   Silver Spring, MD 20910
   - Fax: (301) 713-0376 attn: Candace Nachman

We request that you include background documents to support your comments
as appropriate.

*THE DEADLINE FOR PROVIDING COMMENTS IS MAY 28, 2013.*

The Supplemental DEIS may be viewed online at:
http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/eis/arctic.htm.

To obtain a paper copy of the Supplemental DEIS, please send a written
request to Candace Nachman at Candace.Nachman at noaa.gov with your physical
address. The document will be provided within 10 days of processing the
request.

To read the press release about this DEIS go to:

http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/mediacenter/2013/03/03_nmfs_arctic_drilling_eis.html

Thank you for your interest and participation in the Effects of Oil and Gas
Activities in the Arctic Ocean EIS.

-- 
Candace Nachman
Fishery Biologist

NOAA Fisheries
Office of Protected Resources
Permits and Conservation Division
1315 East West Highway, Rm 13115
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Ph: (301) 427-8429
Fax: (301) 713-0376

Web: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/
 <first.last at noaa.gov> <http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/>
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