BOEMRE Director Michael R. Bromwich has announced what he calls an "important step in the offshore resource and development process." His agency is to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for proposed oil and gas lease sales in the Western and Central Planning Areas of the Gulf of Mexico, off the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, for the 2012 to 2017, 5-year oil and gas leasing program. Director Bromwich says this will "help ensure that all interests and concerns regarding oil and gas leasing, exploration, development and production from proposed sales are appropriately considered."
BOEMRE is proposing to prepare a single EIS (multi-sale EIS) for all proposed 2012-2017 Central and Western Planning Area sales. As part of the scoping process, federal, state and local government agencies and other interested parties can submit comments that will assist BOEMRE in determining significant issues and alternatives to be analyzed in the multi-sale EIS. The multi-sale EIS is one step in a multi-tiered environmental review process that goes from the planning phase through the permitting phase.
BOEMRE will be holding public scoping meetings in Houston, New Orleans and Mobile to collect public comments. These scoping meetings will be held in combination with the scoping meetings for the preparation of the overall Programmatic EIS on the 5-Year OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012-2017.