BSEE Invites Public Comment on Decom Study
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has invited the public to comment on a proposal to conduct a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for decommissioning oil and gas platforms and other facilities on the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf.
The input gathered will inform the scope of the PEIS and identify potentially relevant information, studies, and analyses to inform future decommissioning application decisions, the BSEE noted. The public will have an opportunity to submit comments for 45 days following the publication of the notice of intent to prepare a PEIS in the Federal Register on July 22.
“This is the first step toward a robust and efficient review of anticipated applications for decommissioning oil and gas infrastructure off the California coast,” Mike Mitchell, the acting BSEE Pacific region director, said in an organization statement.
“Throughout the process, federal, state, and local governmental agencies, along with all other interested parties, will have an opportunity to provide comments and alternatives for analysis as we prepare the PEIS under the National Environmental Policy Act,” he added.
The preliminary proposed action is to authorize applications for complete removal of platforms and other facilities, including pipelines, and clearing the seafloor of all obstructions created by the lease or right of way operations on the Pacific OCS off the Southern California coast, the BSEE stated. In addition to the proposed action and a ‘no action’ alternative, an alternative for partial removal of platforms and associated facilities and pipelines will be evaluated, the BSEE revealed.
Lessees and owners of operating rights must decommission their facilities, pipelines, and other equipment or obstructions in accordance with governing regulations and lease conditions, the BSEE highlights. There are currently 23 oil and gas platforms off the Southern California coast, installed between the late 1960s and 1990, and all are subject to eventual decommissioning.
The BSEE regulates the U.S. offshore energy industry by promoting safety, protecting the environment, and conserving resources, according to its website. The organization is led by a director appointed by the Secretary of the Interior.
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