Administrative Record for Models in BOEM’s Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Gulf of Mexico

Dear Dr. Lewandowski:

You are listed as the contact person for questions about the DPEIS. Consequently, on behalf of the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness (“CRE”) I am asking you the following questions regarding the administrative record for the models identified and/or discussed in Appendix D of the DPEIS.

Is the “Literature Cited” in Appendix D, pages D-2005 through D-220, the entire administrative record for BOEM’s use and reliance on the Appendix D models? If not, then where is the rest of the administrative record for these models.

See complete letter boem-models-letter

NMFS Publishes Final EIS Arctic Ocean Oil and Gas

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.

NMFS Seeks Comment on Proposed Navy Sonar IHA

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has received a request from the U.S. Navy for authorization to take, by harassment, marine mammals incidental to conducting operations of Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System Low Frequency Active sonar for the period beginning August 2017 and ending August 2022. Pursuant to the implementing regulations of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, NMFS seeks information, suggestions, and comments on the Navy’s application and request. NMFS must receive any comments and information no later than November 21, 2016.

Click here for more information and for relevant links.

World Ocean Council Sustainable Ocean Summit

The International Association of Geophysical Contractors posted the following article about the WOC on the IAGC website:

“The World Ocean Council is an unprecedented international, cross-sectoral industry leadership alliance on “Corporate Ocean Responsibility”.

The World Ocean Council (WOC) brings together the diverse ocean business community to collaborate on stewardship of the seas. This unique coalition is working to improve ocean science in support of safe and sustainable operations, educate the public and stakeholders about the role of responsible companies in addressing environmental concerns, more effectively engage in ocean policy and planning, and develop science-based solutions to cross-cutting environmental challenges that cannot be solved by one company or industry, such as: invasive species, ocean noise, marine mammal impacts, marine debris, the Arctic, and others.

The Need for Arctic Oil and Gas Exploration

Randall Luthi is President of the National Ocean Industries Association. He recently wrote about the need for oil and gas exploration in the Arctic. There follows an excerpt from his article:

“The Arctic has long held the potential for abundant energy development, which is supported by most Alaskan natives. However, like much of the Arctic, the Alaska OCS remains largely unexplored. Economic conditions and politics have literally put oil and natural gas explorationin the US Arctic on ice. As demonstrated by the recent cruise through the Northwest Passage, thawing ice is allowing for a new source of economic and social development through the tourism industry. Likewise, the economics of the energy industry are expected to improve, providing incentive for oil and natural gas explorers to prove the energy potential of the Arctic.

NMFS Issues Atlantic IHA for Liquefied Natural Gas Deepwater Port

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has issued an authorization to Neptune LNG LLC, to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to maintenance, repair, and decommissioning activities at a liquefied natural gas deepwater port off the coast of Massachusetts. An electronic copy of the application, proposed IHA Federal Register notice (81 FR 58478; August 25, 2016), issued IHA, and a list of references used in this document may be obtained by visiting the internet here.

NAS Publishes Cumulative Effects Report

The Committee on the Assessment of the Cumulative Effects of Anthropogenic Stressors on Marine Mammals; Ocean Studies Board; Division on Earth and Life Studies; National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has published its report entitled “Approaches to Understanding the Cumulative Effects of Stressors on Marine Mammals.” This NAS report was funded by The Office of Naval Research, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission. Its purpose is to review the understanding of cumulative effects of anthropogenic stressors, including sound, on marine mammals and to identify new approaches that may improve the ability to estimate cumulative effects.”

Public Comment and Meetings on BOEM’S DPEIS for GOM Geological and Geophysical

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management seeks public comment on a Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement to evaluate potential environmental effects of multiple Geological and Geophysical activities on the Gulf of Mexico OCS. These activities include, but are not limited to: seismic surveys, sidescansonar surveys, electromagnetic surveys, and geological and geochemical sampling. In addition to soliciting public written comment, BOEM is also holding public meetings on the Draft PEIS.

This Draft PEIS considers G&G activities for the three program areas managed by BOEM: Oil and gas exploration and development; renewable energy; and marine minerals. After the public meetings and the written comment period, BOEM will publish a Final PEIS.

NMFS Seeks Comment on New Acoustic Guidance ICR

December 2, 2016, is the deadline for comment on the U.S. National Marine Fisheries’ Information Collection Request covering NMFS’ new Acoustic Guidance. This ICR is prepared and published by NMFS under the Paperwork Reduction Act. After NMFS receives and responds to comments on the ICR, there will be an additional 30-day comment period to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget on the ICR. Unless and until OMB approves this ICR, NMFS cannot require anyone to comply with any information collection requests based on the Acoustic Guidance (e.g., Acoustic Guidance based monitoring requirements in Take Permits issued by NMFS under the Marine Mammal Protection Act).