The US Department of the Interior reaffirmed the 2008 sale of federal oil and gas leases in the Chukchi Sea offshore Alaska as it met a federal district court’s deadline to file a new record of decision for the sale on Oct. 3.
The ROD affirms a supplemental environmental impact statement that the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement completed on Aug. 26 in response to the court’s order to address specific concerns related to the sale’s National Environmental Policy Act analysis, according to one of BOEMRE’s successor agencies, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. It does not grant approval for lessees to begin operations there, BOEM added.
It said the SEIS, in accordance with the court order, provided additional analysis to supplement the NEPA examination completed in 2007 for OCS Lease Sale 193.
Specifically, the bureau analyzed potential gas development impacts and further reviewed the relevance and importance of information identified as missing or unavailable during the original analysis, BOEM said. The SEIS also analyzes the environmental impacts of a hypothetical very large oil spill scenario that was developed following the 2010 Macondo deepwater well accident and spill into the Gulf of Mexico, it said.
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