Liberte Environmental Associates

BOEM Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (DPEIS)
For the Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program: 2012-2017
Public comment beginning November 10, 2011 through January 9, 2012.


BOEMRE means the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement. In October 2011, BOEMRE split into the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE).

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Draft 2012-2017 Programmatic EIS Related Documents
The focus of this discussion is on BOEM's National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) implementation as it pertains to the Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (DPEIS) for the Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program: 2012-2017. The DPEIS is a far-reaching document and affects oil and gas waste discharge permit conditions in the Gulf of Mexico, the Arctic Ocean, Alaska's Cook Inlet, the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. The DPEIS is out for public comment beginning November 10, 2011 through January 9, 2012. The following table, excerpted from the DPEIS Summary, describes the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Planning Areas projected for lease during the 2012-2017 period.

TABLE S-1 Proposed 2012-2017 Program Lease Sale Schedule
OCS Planning Area Proposed Lease Sale Year
Western Gulf of Mexico Annual sales beginning in 2012
Central Gulf of Mexico Annual sales beginning in 2013
Eastern Gulf of Mexico 2014 and 2016
Cook Inlet, Alaska 2013
Chukchi Sea, Alaska 2016
Beaufort Sea, Alaska 2015

To sort through the several entity name changes in recent years recall the that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) was known as the Minerals Management Service (MMS) prior to the BP oil spill (BPOS), which began in April 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM). Note that BOEM, a new successor bureau to BOEMRE, uses the phrase "Deepwater Horizon (DWH) event" in Subsection 1.3.1.1 of the DPEIS 2012-2017 to describe to the BP oil spill in the GOM (see DPEIS p. 1-8, 3rd sentence of 3rd paragraph). BOEM also refers to the "DWH event", describing the BPOS, in the Affected Environment section (DPEIS, p. 3-35, 1st sentence in Subsection 3.4.1.4 ). Additional examples of the BPOS being described as the "DWH event" exist throughout the DPEIS 2012-2017.

BOEM's Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (DPEIS) Webpage for the Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program: 2012-2017 contains additional information. The original BOEM DPEIS documents can be downloaded here but these files are more cumbersome with unnecessarily large files sizes and mostly undescriptive filenames. Accordingly, some of the DPEIS and appendices links below contain reduced file sizes without loss of information as well as descriptive filenames.

Review Documents for BOEM's Draft Programmatic EIS for the Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program: 2012-2017
Discussion of Some Present and Proposed Oil and Gas Operations in the OCS Planning Areas



Review Documents for BOEM's 2012-2017 DPEIS
BOEM Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (DPEIS) with All Appendices* for the Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program: 2012-2017 (November 2011). This document has a fairly large file size at about 25.1 MB (the original is 28.4 MB) because it contains all the appendices as well as the main EIS report. Many of BOEM's 2012-2017 DPEIS documents and appendices are oversized for efficient file handling. Accordingly, some of the links to the chapters and appendices for BOEM's 2012-2017 DPEIS include reduced file sizes without loss of information as indicated below. The DPEIS is out for Public Comment beginning November 10, 2011 and ending January 9, 2012.

Table of Contents and Summary* of the: proposed action; alternatives; principal issues and concerns; sensitive biological and ecological resources and critical habitats; social, cultural, and economic resources; and climate change.

Chapter 1: Introduction* stating the need for Environmental Review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in Subsection 1.3 (p. 1-5). The DPEIS Table 1-1 lists the NEPA Assessments Conducted within the OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program.

Chapter 2: Alternatives evaluation for: Alternative 1 Proposed Action; Alternative 2 Exclude the Eastern Planning Area; Alternative 3 Exclude the Western GOM Planning Area; Alternative 4 Exclude the Central GOM Planning Area; Alternative 5 Exclude the Beaufort Sea Planning Area; Alternative 6 Exclude the Chukchi Sea Planning Area; Alternative 7 Exclude the Cook Inlet Planning Area; and Alternative 8 No Action.

Chapter 3: Affected Environment* for: marine and coastal ecoregions; considerations of climate change and baseline environment; water quality; meteorology and air quality; acoustic environment; marine, coastal, and other adjacent habitats; marine benthic habitats; marine pelagic habitats; essential fish habitat; marine and coastal fauna; areas of special concern; population, employment and income; land use and infrastructure; commercial and recreational fisheries; tourism and recreation; sociocultural systems and subsistence; and archaeological and historic resources.

Chapter 4: Environmental Consequences* associated with OCS Oil and Gas Activities including; Physical Environment Relationship to Oil and Gas Operations; Assessment of Issues of Programmatic Concern; Environmental Impacts of Alternatives; and Cumulative Environmental Impacts.

Chapter 5: Unavoidable and Adverse Effects on Physical and Ecological Resources; and Social, Cultural, and Economic Resources.

Chapter 6: Temporal Effects, or as stated by BOEM: "Relationship Between Short-Term Uses of Man's Environment and the Maintenance and Enhancement of Long-Term Productivity".

Chapter 7: Sunk Resources, or as stated by BOEM: "Irreversible and Irretrievable Commitments of Resources".

Chapter 8: Consultation and Coordination including the process for the Preparation of the 2012-2017 OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement.

Chapter 9: List of Preparers.

Appendix A - Glossary.

Appendix B - Assumed Mitigation Measures.

Appendix C - Federal Laws and Executive Orders*.

Discussion of Some Present and Proposed Oil and Gas Operations in the OCS Planning Areas
See LEA's webpage for the Gulf of Mexico BP Oill Spill (BPOS) - Operative Regulatory Documents and related documents for wastewater discharges into the Gulf of Mexico.

See LEA's webpage for Cook Inlet, Alaska NPDES general permit review for oil and gas exploration and development and related documents for wastewater discharges into Cook Inlet.

BOEM's Alaska Region webpage for the Oil and Gas Lease Sales 193 in the Arctic Ocean's Chukchi Sea contains additional information on lease environmental impact statements (EIS). BOEM's webpage for Alaska Region Development/Exploration/Production Activities contains additional information regarding Chukchi Sea exploration plans (EP), oil discharge prevention and contingency plans (ODPCP) and other activities.

See LEA's webpage on EPA's progress in renewing the NPDES general permits for oil development in the Arctic Ocean and related documents for wastewater discharges into the Arctic Ocean.

Sea ice recession because of climate change is also a factor in oil and gas development in the Arctic Ocean. For additional information see Arctic sea ice reduction and sea ice recession.

See LEA's webpage on NOAA Fisheries progress on the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the Effects of Oil and Gas Activities in the Arctic Ocean . Other documents are also referenced on this webpage relating to Arctic Ocean organisms and ecosystems.

LEA webpages for recent BOEMRE environmental impact statements and assessments for Arctic Ocean oil and gas drilling are provided for the Beaufort Sea and the Chukchi Sea. Oil industry drilling is planned in the Chukchi Sea Exploration Plans (CSEPs) for Shell in 2012 and ConocoPhillips in 2013 and Shell's Notices of Intent (NOIs) to discharge waste into the Beaufort Sea.

*LEA Disclaimer for compiled, unlocked and OCR documents: From time to time LEA will post on this website scanned documents, and additional documents otherwise limited in accessibility. Accordingly, LEA may use document unlocking and optical character recognition (OCR) capabilities to provide accessible, tagged text documents for use by people with visual impairments, and also provide searchable documents. The unlocking and OCR processes are not faultless, and hence LEA cannot guarantee document perfection. However, taking these caveats into account, document accessibility is greatly increased. LEA also posts the original document where necessary, as obtained by LEA, such that users may compare any potential imperfections in the unlocked and OCR documents.

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