NMFS and MMS Will Produce a New Programmatic EIS for Seismic in the Chukchi and Beaufort
NMFS and MMS explain that their withdrawal of the old DPEIS, and their initiation of a new NEPA review, are based on
"new information (e.g., scientific study results, changes in projections of seismic activity) [that] has become available that may potentially alter the scope, set of alternatives, and analyses in the DPEIS. Also, there has been a renewed interest in exploratory drilling in both the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. Therefore, NMFS and MMS believe it is appropriate to withdraw the 2007 DPEIS and initiate a new NEPA
EIS process that will include this new information."
When it's finished, the new DPEIS will be used to
"assess the impacts of MMS' issuance of permits and authorizations under
the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act for the conduct of seismic
surveys in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off Alaska, and NMFS'
authorizations under the Marine Mammal Protection Act to incidentally
harass marine mammals while conducting those surveys."
NMFS and MMS have not yet provided a schedule for producing their new DPEIS. They do, however, state that they "will be entering into discussions with stakeholders to determine how best to proceed and will publish a Notice of Intent to prepare a new EIS with dates and locations of public meetings on this subject."
Click here to read NMFS/MMS' Federal Register notice about the new DPEIS
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