Comment on NMFS Proposed Take Authorization for LNG Project in Cook Inlet, Alaska

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has received a request from the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to Alaska LNG Project in Cook Inlet, over the course of five years (2020–2025). Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act, NMFS is proposing regulations to govern that take, and requests comments on the proposed regulations. NMFS will consider public comments prior to making any final decision on the issuance of the requested MMPA authorization, and agency responses will be summarized in the final notice of NMFS’ decision.

NMFS must receive comments and information no later than July 29, 2019.

Federal Government Files Supplemental Record in Atlantic IHA Case

Various parties have sued the U.S. Department of Commerce/National Marine Fisheries Service in the United Stated District Court for the District of South Carolina. The plaintiffs claim that NMFS violated several laws when it published Marine Mammal Protection Act Take Authorizations for oil and gas exploration off the U.S. Atlantic coast.

The federal defendants in the case have filed the second supplemental administrative record with the court. The administrative record is supposed to be the evidentiary basis for the court’s decision in the case.

BOEM Repeats Its Request for ICR Comments

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has filed another request for comment on renewal of Information Correction Request for authority to seek information required under the regulations in 30 CFR part 550, part 556, and part 560, Leasing of Sulfur or Oil and Gas in the Outer Continental Shelf. BOEM is seeking comments again because no comments were received in response to BOEM’s April 2019 request for comments.

The Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Lands Act, as amended (43 U.S.C. §§ 1331 et

ATLANTIC IHA COURT ORDERS SUMMARY JUDGMENT BRIEFING SCHEDULE

Several parties have sued NOAA/NMFS in U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina. These parties are challenging NOAA/NMFS’ issuance of Marine Mammal Protection Act Take authorizations for oil and gas seismic operations in parts of the Atlantic Ocean.

On June 19, 2019, the Court issued an order that establishes a summary judgment briefing schedule for all parties that extends into November 2019.

The court’s ruling on these summary judgment motions will probably dispose of this case on the district court level.  There will probably be appeals of whatever the district court rules.

NMFS Issues L-DEO IHA for Gulf of Alaska

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has issued an incidental harassment authorization to Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University to incidentally harass, by Level A and Level B harassment, marine mammals during seismic airgun activities associated with a marine geophysical survey in the Gulf of Alaska. This Authorization is issued under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and it is effective from June 1, 2019 through May 31, 2020.  Click here for more details and relevant links.

 

 

“Company seeks SC approval for oil blast testing offshore”

Editor’s Note: The International Association of Geophysical Contractors posted the above-tltled article on one of IAGC’s websites.  This article reads as follows:

By The Post and Courier One of six companies seeking federal permits to conduct seismic blast tests off South Carolina currently has its application up for review by state officials.

WesternGeco, a Texas-based exploration company, wants to test from Virginia to the Georgia border.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control is reviewing the request.

Read more- https://www.postandcourier.com/news/company-seeks-sc-approval-for-oil-blast-testing-offshore/article_52c1ee6c-86f1-11e9-9114-8347e3a8c7da.html

“Trump administration appeals ruling that blocked Arctic offshore drilling By Elizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage”

 

Editor’s Note–Alaska Public Media posted the above-titled article, which reads as follows:

 “The Trump administration Tuesday appealed a federal court decision that blocked plans to re-open vast portions of Alaska’s Arctic waters to oil drilling.

In March, U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason ruled that the president exceeded his authority when he issued an executive order undoing an Obama-era ban on oil leasing in large parts of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas.

An U.S. Interior Department spokesperson, Molly Block, declined to comment. The case will now go to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

“The Economic Impacts of Allowing Access to the Atlantic OCS for Oil and Natural Gas Exploration and Development Supplement: Projected State, Local and Federal Tax Receipts”

CALASH prepared the above-titled report for the American Petroleum Institute. The Report can be accessed here.

 

 

 

“Judicial obstruction is hindering offshore exploration and job creation By Bethany Marcum”

Editor’s Note: The Washington examiner posted the above-tilted article, which reads as follows—

“A federal district court judge recently blocked the Trump administration from approving oil leases off the coast of Alaska. The decision is terrible news for American workers, who will lose out on thousands of jobs if it stands.

Fortunately, the judge’s opinion contains more holes than a slice of Swiss cheese. The administration would be wise to finalize its offshore drilling plans. That way, officials will be ready to greenlight leases and permits as soon as higher courts overturn the judge’s flawed ruling.

Comment on Proposed MMPA Rules for Construction and Operation of the Liberty Drilling and Production Island, Beaufort Sea

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has received a request from Hilcorp Alaska for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to construction and operation of the Liberty Drilling and Production Island, over the course of five years. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is proposing regulations to govern that take, and requests comments on the proposed regulations.

NMFS will consider public comments prior to making any final decision on the issuance of the requested MMPA authorization and agency responses will be summarized in the final notice of our decision.  In order to be considered, comments and information must be received by NMFS no later than June 28, 2019.