MMS Plans EIS Meetings for Western and Central Gulf

The Minerals Management Service (MMS) plans to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for 11 proposed oil and gas lease sales in the Western and Central Planning Areas (WPA and CPA) of the Gulf of Mexico. The agency will hold several public meetings along the Gulf Coast to collect comments relating to the EIS.

The WPA and CPA lease sales are scheduled for 2007-2012 in the draft proposed Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program: 2007-2012. The sales are proposed WPA Sales 204, 207, 210, 215, and 218 and proposed CPA Sales 205 (portion), 206, 208, 213, 216, and 222.

MMS offers three ways for interested parties can provide written comments on the scope of the EIS, significant issues that should be addressed, and alternatives that should be considered. The agency prefers that participants use the Public Connect online commenting system on its Web site. Select "WPA and CPA Multisale EIS 2007-2012" from the "Projects Open for Comment" menu.

Written comments can also be mailed or hand carried in an envelope labeled "Comments on the Multisale EIS" to the Regional Supervisor, Leasing and Environment (MS 5410), Minerals Management Service, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123-2394.

Finally, comments may be submitted electronically to the MMS e-mail address.

MMS asks that comments, which are due by April 21, specifically address factors related to the scope of the draft.

The agency will hold scoping meetings to obtain additional comments and information regarding the scope of the EIS. The meeting schedule follows:

  • Tuesday, March 28, 2006, Wyndham Greenspoint, 12400 Greenspoint Drive, Houston, Texas, 1 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 29, 2006, Hampton Inn and Suites New Orleans-Elmwood, 5150 Mounes Street, Harahan, La., 1 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 30, 2006, Riverview Plaza Hotel, 64 South Water Street, Mobile, Ala., 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 6, 2006, Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center, 505 West Pensacola Street, Tallahassee, Fla., 1 p.m.
MMS also is preparing a separate EIS for the new 5-year OCS oil and gas leasing program for proposed lease sales to be held from 2007-2012. The MMS will also use the scoping meetings on the multisale EIS as an opportunity to solicit comments on the scope of the 5-year program EIS.
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