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Soundings Archive

MMS Needs Help Paying for Atlantic Offshore PEIS
On January 21, 2009, the U.S. Minerals Management Service announced its intent to prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement under the National Environmental Policy Act. If performed, this PEIS would evaluate potential environmental effects of seismic surveys and other oil and gas geological and geophysical activities on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf. MMS' January 21st notice of intent initiates the scoping process for this PEIS. It also asks whether other Federal agencies--and whether State, tribal, and local governments--wish to become cooperating agencies in preparation of the PEIS.

MMS' public notice warns that without outside funding, the PEIS may not be performed:

    "With this NOI, MMS notes that this PEIS is dependent upon availability of funding. MMS welcomes participation from outside sources consistent with appropriate authorities and mechanisms to award a contract to conduct the essential analyses and prepare the PEIS. The MMS would maintain sole oversight over selection and management of contractors and would maintain full authority over the content of the PEIS, protected resources analyses, and final decisions. Outside sources that are considering participating in this PEIS process should submit an expression of interest, along with the requested information on potential activities and geographic scope, to the MMS, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region's Regional Supervisor for Leasing and Environment....

    If a PEIS is funded and started in early 2009, MMS estimates completion of the PEIS by late 2010. Without funding, completion of the PEIS would be uncertain."
Public comments on MMS' notice of intent should be submitted to MMS no later than March 23, 2009.
  • Click here to read MMS' Notice of Intent

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