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Soundings Archive

MMS Announces Public Meetings on Outer Continental Shelf Energy Plan
On February 10, 2009, the United States Minerals Management Service and the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior announced a strategy for developing a comprehensive energy leasing plan for the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf. This strategy includes four steps that involve marine mammal protection issues.

First, MMS and the Secretary extended the comment period on the Draft Proposed OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2010-2015 (DPP) by 180 days to September 21, 2009. A Request for Comments on the DPP and notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement was published in the Federal Register on January 21, 2009, 74 FR 3631. The DPP can be downloaded from the MMS Web site at http://www.mms.gov.

Second, MMS and the United States Geological Service will, by the end of March 2009, prepare a report on the information available on OCS energy resources, information regarding sensitive areas and resources in the OCS, and where there are gaps in the information.

Third, within 30 days of receipt of this information report, MMS and the Secretary will convene regional meetings on the report and to gather additional information.

Fourth, MMS and the Secretary will issue final regulations for offshore renewable energy in the near future, as mandated by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Pub. L. 109-58).

On March 18, 2009, MMS and the Secretary announced that they will convene four public meetings on this process. At the meetings, a panel will present the Report prepared by MMS and USGS on the information available on OCS energy resources, information regarding sensitive areas and resources in the OCS, and where there are gaps in the information. There will be an opportunity for public comment at the meetings.

The importance of these public meetings is indicated by the fact that they will be convened in the morning by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Kenneth L. Salazar. The meetings will occur on the following dates at the listed cities. Logistical information will be posted on the MMS home page (http://www.mms.gov) at least 2 weeks before the meetings.

    Monday, April 6, 2009--Atlantic City Convention Center; One Convention Boulevard; Atlantic City, New Jersey 08401

    Wednesday, April 8, 2009--Tulane University; 6823 St. Charles Avenue; New Orleans, Louisiana 70118

    Tuesday, April 14, 2009--Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center; 600 W. Seventh Avenue; Anchorage, Alaska 99501

    Thursday, April 16, 2009--University of California, San Francisco, Mission Bay Conference Center; Robertson Auditorium; 1675 Owens Street; San Francisco, California 94158
  • Click here to read MMS' Federal Register notice of the meetings

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