BOEM releases draft of Gulf surveying activities statement

BOEM releases draft of Gulf surveying activities statement
BOEM releases draft of Gulf surveying activities statement
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) recently released a draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) on geological and geophysical (G&G) surveys in the Gulf of Mexico, including strong protections for marine mammals and coastal environments.
 
The statement encompasses deep-penetration and high-resolution seismic surveys, electromagnetic surveys, magnetic surveys, gravity surveys, remote-sensing surveys and geological and geochemical sampling, all of which are used to identify areas with high mineral extraction or energy development potential.
 
“BOEM’s approach offers the strongest practicable safeguards in an effort to eliminate or reduce impacts to marine mammals and the environment,” BOEM Director Abigail Hopper said. “We continue to conduct research and monitor the science of this field and work with other agencies and stakeholders to create and maintain the protection of these resources.”
 
The bureau, which drafted the PEIS as part of a federal court settlement with the Natural Resources Defense Council, evaluated mitigations like posting protected species observers on boats conducting surveys, forcing vessels to avoid marine mammals and requiring that work stop when marine mammals are in the area.
 
BOEM also scheduled a series of public meetings in cities throughout the Gulf area, including New Orleans, Louisiana, on Nov. 9; Gulfport, Mississippi, on Nov. 10; Fort Walton Beach, Florida, on Nov. 14; Mobile, Alabama, on Nov. 15; and Houston, Texas, on Nov. 17.

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Bureau of Ocean Energy Management 1849 C St NW Washington, DC - 20240

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