NEWS BULLETIN

August 20, 2007 --- Vol. 13, No. 75August 2007

BLM set to release draft EIS for NE NPR-A

On Aug. 24 the U.S. Bureau of Land Management will release for public comment its draft supplemental environment impact statement for the Northeast portion of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

The public comment period for the draft supplemental EIS, which deals with the impact of oil and gas activities in NPR-A, is from Aug. 24 to Oct. 23.

“Petroleum in the 4.6-million-acre Northeast NPR-A is important for meeting our nation’s energy demands,” said Tom Lonnie, BLM-Alaska state director said in a press release this morning. “This supplemental plan will allow us to consider the lands appropriate for leasing and the restrictions we should place on exploration and development that will result in petroleum production while protecting the area’s important resources.”

BLM began developing the supplement in December in response to a Sept. 25 decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska, which said the 2005 Northeast NPR-A amended integrated activity plan/environmental impact statement failed to adequately address cumulative impacts.

In early 2007, the North Slope Borough signed a memorandum of understanding with BLM that gave it the formal status of a cooperating agency for this planning effort, BLM said in its release.

“The North Slope Borough has contributed valuable information, particularly on public health issues.” Lonnie said. “Their scientists have reviewed and submitted comments that have been used throughout the document.”

BLM said it used essentially the same alternatives that were in the agency’s amended integrated activity plan EIS, but “expanded its consideration of additional measures that would minimize impacts, as well as considered results from scientific studies completed since 2005.”

The additional information and analysis, it said, would allow the agency to complete a plan that provides for sound management of Northeast NPR-A.


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