Government Seeks Comment on DSEIS for GOM Oil and GAS

 BOEM has a new draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for  Gulf of Mexico, Central Planning Area Lease Sales 235, 241, and 247. The Comment period on this DSEIS ends May 5, 2014.  Representative statements from this DSEIS include:

 “Marine Mammals: Routine events related to a CPA proposed action are not expected to have adverse effects on the size and productivity of any marine  mammal  species or population in the northern Gulf   of Mexico.”

 BOEM says in this DSEIS that most oil and gas noise is at frequencies too low to bother GOM marine mammals:

 “As noted below and in Chapter of the  2012-2017 WPA/CPA Multisale EIS and Chapter of the WPA 233/CPA 231 Supplemental  EIS, it is believed that most of the oil and gas  industry-related noise is at lower frequencies than is  detectable or in the sensitivity range of most of the GOM marine mammal species.”

This DSEIS also distinguishes seismic from sonar:

“Noise and acoustic disturbance have been topics of great debate in the last several years, and there is general agreement that the use of sonar, particularly  by the military, has in some cases been associated with very severe impacts to certain species of marine mammals in recent years. Seismic airgun sounds are  often incorrectly lumped with sonar noise as source of marine mammal disturbance. Although there are anecdotal associations between marine mammal disturbance and airgun noise, most of those have other factors occurring at the same time (i.e., sonar use) that may be responsible for any adverse     impacts.”

This DSEIS also states that the current regulation “minimizes potential of harm from seismic operations to marine mammals”:

“NTL 2012-JOINT-G02, ‘Implementation of   Seismic Survey Mitigation Measures and Protected  Species Observer Program,’ minimizes the potential  of harm from seismic operations to marine  mammals. These mitigations include onboard  observers, airgun shut-downs for whales in the  exclusion zone, ramp-up procedures, and the use of a minimum sound source. Therefore, no significant  cumulative impacts to marine mammals would be expected as a result of the proposed exploration  activities when added to the impacts of past,  present, or reasonably foreseeable oil and gas development in the area, as well as other ongoing activities in the area.”

Click here to read DSEIS.


Leave a Reply

Please Answer: *