The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has published its ‘‘Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Effects of Oil and Gas Activities in the Arctic Ocean.’’ The purpose of the FEIS is to evaluate, in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, the potential direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of implementing the alternative approaches for authorizing take of marine mammals incidental to oil and gas activities in the Arctic Ocean pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management was a cooperating agency on this FEIS, and as such, this FEIS also evaluates the potential direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of implementing the alternative approaches for authorizing geological and geophysical surveys and concurring on ancillary activities under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act in the Arctic Ocean.
The North Slope Borough was also a cooperating agency on this FEIS. The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service were consulting agencies, and NMFS coordinated with the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission pursuant to our co-management agreement under the MMPA.
Federal, State, and local agencies, as well as other interested parties, are invited to review this FEIS. Comments must be received on or before November 21, 2016, to be considered for our Record of Decision.
The Record of Decision will include information on the alternatives considered, the preferred alternative and why NMFS chose it, and required mitigation and monitoring.