U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR  BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT  
ePlanning DOI-BLM-AK-0000-2018-0002-EIS (Coastal Plain Oil and Gas Leasing EIS)  
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Last Updated:
06/12/2018 15:17:10 MDT
FAQs 
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Q: What is a Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement?

A: A Notice of Intent (NOI) initiates the public process to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). It provides notification to the public that BLM is soliciting scoping comments on the proposed action, in this case to establish an oil and gas leasing program for the Coastal Plain. The purpose of the public scoping process is to determine relevant issues that will influence the scope of the EIS, including alternatives to the proposed action within the parameters outlined in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Q: Why is the action being proposed?

A: The proposed action is in accordance with the requirement in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (Tax Act) to implement a leasing program within the Coastal Plain. The Leasing EIS will serve to inform BLM’s implementation of the Tax Act, including the requirement to hold not fewer than two lease sales area-wide within seven years. It may also inform post-lease activities, including seismic and drilling exploration, development, and transportation of oil and gas in and from the Coastal Plain, which would require additional analysis under the NEPA before being authorized. Specifically, the Leasing EIS will consider and analyze the potential environmental impacts of various leasing alternatives, including the areas to offer for sale, and the terms and conditions (i.e., lease stipulations and best management practices) to be applied to leases and associated oil and gas activities to properly balance oil and gas development with existing uses and conservation of surface resources, and to limit the footprint of production and support facilities on Federal lands to no more than 2,000 surface acres as required by the Tax Act.

Q: What are the public lands affected by the Coastal Plain Oil and Gas Leasing Program Environmental Impact Statement?

A: Affected by the EIS are approximately 1.6 million acres of the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, as defined by the Tax Act (roughly 8 percent of total ANWR acreage). The area was previously known as the 1002 Area, which refers to that section of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) which previously addressed the Coastal Plain.

Q: What is the process for the Coastal Plain Leasing EIS?

A:
• Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare the EIS to be published in the Federal Register: April 20
• Conduct Public Scoping Meetings and Alaska Native Consultation: (time period specified in NOI April 20-June 19)
• Prepare the Draft EIS
• Publish Notice of Availability (NOA) for the Draft EIS. The Federal Register announcement will include the dates of the public review period and information concerning the location and dates of public meetings to be held in conjunction with the comment period.
• Publish Call for Nominations and Comment in the Federal Register to solicit interest in lease sale areas (potentially concurrent with the NOA for the Draft EIS).
• Assess comments received on the Draft EIS and the expressions of interest and prepare Final EIS.
• Publish a NOA for the Final EIS in the Federal Register.
• Issue a record of decision (ROD) and Lease Sale Notice.
• Hold Lease Sale.

Q: What kind of outreach are you conducting?

A: The Notice of Intent begins a 60-day public scoping period. During this time, we held public meetings in affected communities on the North Slope and in other relevant cities, and we are conducting Tribal and Alaska Native Corporation consultation. There will also be extensive outreach via social media and the BLM Alaska website. Scoping comments can be submitted through the BLM Alaska website, by email or regular mail, or can be dropped off to the BLM in person at the BLM Alaska State Office or at any of the public meetings.
            • webform:    Go to the 'Documents' page and click on 'Comment on Document' button next to 'Notice of Intent'

            • email:         blm_ak_coastalplain_EIS@blm.gov
            • mail:            Attn: Coastal Plain Oil and Gas Leasing Program EIS
                                  222 West 7th Avenue, Stop #13
                                  Anchorage, Alaska 99513. 


Q: What is a substantive comment?

A: To be most helpful, comments should be as specific as possible. A substantive comment provides new information about the Proposed Action, an alternative on the analysis; identifies a different way to meet the need; points out a specific flaw in the analysis; suggests alternate methodologies and the reason(s) why they should be used; makes factual corrections, or identifies a different source of credible research which, if used in the analysis, could result in different effects. Comments will be most helpful if you can state specifically what you like and what you don't like, and what improvements you think can be made. Suggest changes and be specific. It is helpful if you can reference a section or page number.