Final EIS Available for GOM Leasing Program 2002-2007

The MMS has made available the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and dates of public hearings for proposed Central Planning Area (CPA) Lease Sales 185, 190, 194, 198, and 201, and proposed Western Planning Area (WPA) Lease Sales 187, 192, 196, and 200. This EIS addresses nine proposed Federal actions that offer for lease areas on the Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) in the CPA and WPA that may contain economically recoverable oil and gas resources. Federal regulations allow for several related or similar proposals to be analyzed in one EIS (40 CFR 1502.4). Since each proposed lease sale and its projected activities are very similar for each planning area, a single EIS has been prepared for all nine Central and Western Gulf lease sales scheduled in the Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program: 2002-2007 (the 5-Year Program). Under the 5-Year Program, five annual areawide lease sales are scheduled for the CPA and five annual areawide lease sales are scheduled for the WPA. The first WPA lease sale under the 5-Year Program, Lease Sale 184, was held on August 21, 2002, and is not addressed in this multisale EIS; a separate environmental analysis was prepared for that proposal. The CPA lease sales addressed in this EIS are Sale 185 in 2003, Sale 190 in 2004, Sale 194 in 2005, Sale 198 in 2006, and Sale 201 in 2007. The WPA lease sales addressed in this EIS are Sale 187 in 2003, Sale 192 in 2004, Sale 196 in 2005, and Sale 200 in 2006. At the completion of this EIS process, a decision will be made only for proposed CPA Lease Sale 185 and proposed WPA Lease Sale 187. A National Environmental Policy Act review will be conducted for each subsequent CPA and WPA lease sale under the 5-Year Program.

Interested parties can find out which local libraries along the Gulf Coast have copies of this Final EIS or obtain a copy of this Final EIS (either on CD or a printed version) from the Minerals Management Service, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region.