The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has published notice of its intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for proposed Lease Sale 244 in the Cook Inlet Program Area. The EIS will focus on the potential effects of leasing, exploration, development and production of oil and natural gas in the proposed lease sale area. In addition to the no-action alternative (i.e., not holding the lease sale), other alternatives may be considered, such as deferring additional areas within the Cook Inlet proposed lease sale area.
The proposed BOEM lease sale excludes the majority of the designated critical habitat areas for beluga whale
and northern sea otter, and excludes the critical habitat areas for Steller sea lions
and the North Pacific right whale;
• reduces potential effects to parks, preserves, and wildlife refuges by placing a
buffer between the area considered for leasing and the Katmai National Park
and Preserve, the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, and the Alaska Maritime
National Wildlife Refuge; and
• excludes many of the subsistence use areas for the Native Villages of Nanwalek
and Port Graham identified during the Cook Inlet Lease Sale 191 process.
BOEM will hold public scoping meetings on the EIS The purpose of these meetings is to solicit comments on the scope of the Lease Sale 244 EIS. These meetings are scheduled as follows:
• November 12, 2014, Tribal Conference Center, Seldovia, Alaska;
• November 13, 2014, Tribal Community Center, Nanwalek, Alaska;
• November 13, 2014, Best Western Bidarka Inn, 575 Sterling Highway,
• November 14, 2014, Kenai Peninsula College, 156 College Road,
Soldotna, Alaska; and
• November 24, 2014, Loussac Library Complex, 3600 Denali Street,
Comments on the EIS are due December 8, 2014.
BOEM’s website for this lease sale is at http://www.boem.gov/press10212014/ .