pelican-bp-oil-spill-louisiana
Pelican covered in oil spilled during the BP Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has announced the availability of a Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) that recommends strong measures to protect marine mammals and coastal environments in the Gulf of Mexico from the potential impacts of geological and geophysical (G&G) surveys for oil, gas and minerals.

BOEM will conduct a public meeting in New Orlenas to solicit input on the Draft PEIS. Please attend and make your voice heard, or submit your written comment on the Environmental Impact Statement. 

  • WHAT: BOEM public meeting: Speak out against offshore drilling  
  • WHEN: Wednesday, Nov. 9, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
  • WHERE: Wyndham Garden New Orleans Airport, 6401 Veterans Memorial Blvd, Metairie, Louisiana 70003
  • RSVP -or- COMMENT: Please RSVP on the form below -or- submit your written comment that we will deliver electronically to BOEM.

Completion of the draft PEIS was a condition of a federal court settlement between BOEM and the Natural Resource Defense Council and other co-plaintiffs announced earlier this year.

The draft PEIS evaluates the potential environmental impacts of G&G survey activities on marine mammals, fish, corals, and other environmentally sensitive species in the seabed and water column of the Gulf’s Outer Continental Shelf. The surveys will inform oil and gas exploration and sand extraction in Federal and adjacent state waters. G&G surveys use various technologies to determine whether areas have high potential for energy development or extraction of minerals, such as sand used for coastal restoration; and to identify potential hazards and environmental concerns.

The G&G activities assessed in the draft PEIS include deep-penetration and high-resolution seismic surveys, electromagnetic surveys, magnetic surveys, gravity surveys, remote-sensing surveys and geological and geochemical sampling.

Among the mitigations BOEM has recommended in its preferred alternative are: requiring protected species observers on each boat, mandatory vessel avoidance of marine mammals and start up/shut down rules that apply if/when marine mammals are observed in the area.

OTHER UPCOMING BOEM PUBLIC MEETINGS: 

  • Gulfport, Mississippi: Thursday, November 10, 2016, Courtyard by Marriott, Gulfport Beachfront MS Hotel, 1600 East Beach Boulevard, Gulfport, Mississippi 39501; one meeting beginning at 4:00 p.m. CST and ending at 7:00 p.m. CST;
  • Fort Walton Beach, Florida: Monday, November 14, 2016, Four Points By Sheraton Destin-Fort Walton Beach, 1325 Miracle Strip Parkway SE, Fort Walton Beach, Florida 32548; one meeting beginning at 4:00 p.m. CST and ending at 7:00 p.m. CST;
  • Mobile, Alabama: Tuesday, November 15, 2016, The Admiral Hotel Mobile, Curio Collection by Hilton, 251 Government Street, Mobile, Alabama 36602; one meeting beginning at 4:00 p.m. CST and ending at 7:00 p.m. CST; and
  • Houston, Texas:Thursday, November 17, 2016, Houston Marriott North, 255 North Sam Houston Pkwy East, Houston, Texas 77060; one meeting beginning at 4:00 p.m. CST and ending at 7:00 p.m. CST.