Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the Effects of Oil and Gas Activities in the Arctic Ocean
Supplemental Draft EIS
On March 21, 2013, NOAA and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced the release of the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Effects of Oil and Gas Activities in the Arctic Ocean, which analyzes how a broad range of potential offshore oil and gas activities in the Arctic could affect marine mammals, other resources, and Alaska Native communities.
NOAA and BOEM's new analysis follows comments received from stakeholders after release of the initial draft EIS issued in December 2011. The original draft analyzed 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--providing an opportunity to assess potential individual and cumulative impacts.
To aid in review of the supplemental draft EIS, NOAA has prepared a summary indicating sections of the document that contain substantive changes [pdf] from the December 2011 draft EIS.
- Dear Reviewer letter [pdf]
- Press Release [pdf]
- Supplemental Draft EIS [pdf] [38.9 MB]
Comment on the Supplemental Draft EIS
The public comment period has been extended through June 27, 2013. Comments can be submitted by any of the following methods:
- Electronic Submission: Submit comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal in docket folder NOAA-NMFS-2013-0054.
- Mail: Submit written comments to:
Chief, Permits and Conservation Division,
1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705,
Silver Spring, MD 20910
- Fax: 301-713-0376, Attn: Candace Nachman
NMFS accepted written and oral comments in April 2013 at the following Public Hearing locations. Transcripts of the hearings are linked below:
Supporting Document on the Supplemental Draft EIS
- NOAA Federal Register Notice of Availability (March 2013)
- EPA Federal Register Notice of Availability (March 2013)
Draft EIS (December 2011)
NOAA Fisheries released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) to analyze the impacts of oil and gas offshore exploration activities (such as seismic surveys and exploratory drilling) in Federal and state waters of the U.S. Chukchi and Beaufort Seas off Alaska.
Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) [pdf] [41.3 MB]
- Dear Reviewer letter [pdf]
- Executive Summary [pdf]
- Volume I: Chapters 1-3 [pdf] [5.1 MB]
- Volume II: Chapters 4-6 [pdf] [6.1 MB]
- Volume III: Chapters 7-8, Appendices A-D [pdf] [32.2 MB]
The comment period closed on February 28, 2012.
- Public Comments Received on Draft EIS [pdf] [40.8 MB]
Draft EIS Public Meetings Schedule
Public meetings were held in January and February 2012.
NOAA Fisheries conducted public scoping meetings in the following cities and communities during February and March 2010. The individual meeting transcripts are linked below:
- Anchorage [pdf]
- Barrow [pdf]
- Kaktovik [pdf]
- Kotzebue [pdf]
- Nuiqsut [pdf]
- Point Hope [pdf]
- Point Lay [pdf]
- Wainwright [pdf]
NOAA Fisheries invited comments and input from the public, organizations and interest groups, local governments, and Federal and state agencies on issues surrounding the proposal, including input on the range of actions, alternatives, and impacts that should be considered in the EIS. NOAA Fisheries received handwritten comments at public scoping meetings and comments that were submitted via mail, e-mail, and fax.
Supporting Documents on the Draft EIS
- Public Newsletter #3 (January 2012)
- NOAA Federal Register Notice of Availability (December 2011)
- Federal Register Notice of Comment Period Extension (January 2012)
- EPA Federal Register Notice of Availability (December 2011)
- EPA Federal Register Notice of Comment Period Extension (January 2012)
- Public Newsletter #2 (July 2010)
- Public Newsletter #1 (February 2010)
- Federal Register Notice of Intent - (February 2010)
Updated: May 6, 2013