Preparation of an Environmental Assessment for Proposed Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Lease Sale 201 in the Central Gulf of Mexico (2007), 34963 [E6-9482]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 116 / Friday, June 16, 2006 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Minerals Management Service Preparation of an Environmental Assessment for Proposed Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Lease Sale 201 in the Central Gulf of Mexico (2007) Minerals Management Service, Interior. ACTION: Preparation of an environmental assessment. wwhite on PROD1PC61 with NOTICES AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Minerals Management Service (MMS) is issuing this notice to advise the public, pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq., that MMS intends to prepare an environmental assessment (EA) for proposed Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) oil and gas Lease Sale 201 in the Central Gulf of Mexico (GOM) (Lease Sale 201) scheduled for March 2007. The MMS is issuing this notice to facilitate public involvement. The preparation of this EA is an important step in the decision process for Lease Sale 201. The proposal and alternatives for Lease Sale 201 were identified by the MMS Director in January 2002 following the Call for Information and Nominations/Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and were analyzed in the Gulf of Mexico OCS Oil and Gas Lease Sales: 2003–2007; Central Planning Area Sales 185, 190, 194, 198, and 201; Western Planning Area Sales 187, 192, 196, and 200—Final Environmental Impact Statement; Volumes I and II (Multisale EIS, OCS EIS/EA MMS 2002–052). This EA will reexamine the potential environmental effects of the proposed action (the offering of all available unleased acreage in the GOM Central Planning Area (CPA)) and its alternatives (the proposed action excluding the unleased blocks near biologically sensitive topographic features; the proposed action excluding the unleased blocks within 15 miles of the Baldwin County, Alabama, coast; and no action) based on any new information regarding potential impacts and issues that were not available at the time the Multisale EIS was prepared. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Dennis Chew, Minerals Management Service, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, MS 5410, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123– 2394. You may also contact Mr. Chew by telephone at (504) 736–2793. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In November 2002, MMS prepared a Multisale EIS that addressed nine VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:25 Jun 15, 2006 Jkt 208001 proposed Federal actions that offer for lease areas on the GOM OCS 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 each year for each planning area, a single EIS was prepared for the nine GOM CPA and Western Planning Area (WPA) lease sales scheduled in the OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program: 2002– 2007 (5-Year Program, OCS EIS/EA MMS 2002–006). Under the 5-Year Program, five annual areawide lease sales are scheduled for the CPA (Lease Sales 185, 190, 194, 198, and 201) and five annual areawide lease sales are scheduled for the WPA (Lease Sales 184, 187, 192, 196, and 200). Lease Sale 184 was not addressed in the Multisale EIS; a separate EA was prepared for that proposal. The Multisale EIS addressed CPA Lease Sales 185, 190, 194, 198, and 201 scheduled for 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007, respectively, and WPA Lease Sales 187, 192, 196, and 200 scheduled for 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006, respectively. Although the Multisale EIS addresses nine proposed lease sales, at the completion of the EIS process, decisions were made only for proposed CPA Lease Sale 185 and proposed WPA Lease Sale 187. In the year prior to each subsequent proposed lease sale, an additional NEPA review (an EA) will be conducted to address any new information relevant to that proposed action. After completion of the EA, MMS will determine whether to prepare a Finding of No New Significant Impact (FONNSI) or a Supplemental EIS. The MMS will then prepare and send Consistency Determinations (CD’s) to the affected States to determine whether the lease sale is consistent with their federally-approved State coastal zone management programs. Finally, MMS will solicit comments via the Proposed Notice of Sale (PNOS) from the governors of the affected States on the size, timing, and location of the lease sale. The tentative schedule for the prelease decision process for Lease Sale 201 is as follows: EA/FONNSI or decision to prepare a Supplemental EIS, October 2006; CD’s sent to affected States, October 2006; PNOS sent to governors of the affected States, October 2006; Final Notice of Sale published in the Federal Register, February 2007; and Lease Sale 201, March 2007. Public Comments: Interested parties are requested to send within 30 days of this Notice’s publication comments regarding any new information or issues that should be addressed in the EA. PO 00000 Frm 00094 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 34963 Comments may be submitted in one of the following three ways: 1. Electronically using MMS’s new Public Connect on-line commenting system at https://ocsconnect.mms.gov. This is the preferred method for commenting. From the Public Connect ‘‘Welcome’’ screen, search for ‘‘CPA Lease Sale 201 EA’’ or select it from the ‘‘Projects Open for Comment’’ menu. 2. In written form enclosed in an envelope labeled ‘‘Comments on CPA Lease Sale 201 EA’’ and mailed (or hand carried) 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. 3. Electronically to the MMS e-mail address: environment@mms.gov. To obtain single copies of the Multisale EIS, you may contact the Minerals Management Service, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region, Attention: Public Information Office (MS 5034), 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, Room 114, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123–2394 (1– 800–200–GULF). You may also view the Multisale EIS or check the list of libraries that have copies of the Multisale EIS on the MMS Web site at http://www.gomr.mms.gov. Dated: April 26, 2006. Chris C. Oynes, Regional Director, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region. [FR Doc. E6–9482 Filed 6–15–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–MR–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service Burr Trail Modifications, Final Environmental Impact Statement, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah National Park Service, Department of the Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for Burr Trail Modifications, Capitol Reef National Park. AGENCY: SUMMARY: Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, 42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C), the National Park Service announces the availability of a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for Burr Trail Modifications for Capitol Reef National Park, Utah. DATES: The National Park Service will execute a Record of Decision (ROD) no sooner than 30 days following publication by the Environmental Protection Agency of the Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement. E:\FR\FM\16JNN1.SGM 16JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 116 (Friday, June 16, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Page 34963]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-9482]



[[Page 34963]]

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Minerals Management Service


Preparation of an Environmental Assessment for Proposed Outer 
Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Lease Sale 201 in the Central Gulf of 
Mexico (2007)

AGENCY: Minerals Management Service, Interior.

ACTION: Preparation of an environmental assessment.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Minerals Management Service (MMS) is issuing this notice 
to advise the public, pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act 
of 1969 (NEPA), as amended, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq., that MMS intends to 
prepare an environmental assessment (EA) for proposed Outer Continental 
Shelf (OCS) oil and gas Lease Sale 201 in the Central Gulf of Mexico 
(GOM) (Lease Sale 201) scheduled for March 2007. The MMS is issuing 
this notice to facilitate public involvement. The preparation of this 
EA is an important step in the decision process for Lease Sale 201. The 
proposal and alternatives for Lease Sale 201 were identified by the MMS 
Director in January 2002 following the Call for Information and 
Nominations/Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact 
Statement (EIS) and were analyzed in the Gulf of Mexico OCS Oil and Gas 
Lease Sales: 2003-2007; Central Planning Area Sales 185, 190, 194, 198, 
and 201; Western Planning Area Sales 187, 192, 196, and 200--Final 
Environmental Impact Statement; Volumes I and II (Multisale EIS, OCS 
EIS/EA MMS 2002-052). This EA will reexamine the potential 
environmental effects of the proposed action (the offering of all 
available unleased acreage in the GOM Central Planning Area (CPA)) and 
its alternatives (the proposed action excluding the unleased blocks 
near biologically sensitive topographic features; the proposed action 
excluding the unleased blocks within 15 miles of the Baldwin County, 
Alabama, coast; and no action) based on any new information regarding 
potential impacts and issues that were not available at the time the 
Multisale EIS was prepared.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Dennis Chew, Minerals Management 
Service, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, MS 
5410, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123-2394. You may also contact Mr. Chew 
by telephone at (504) 736-2793.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In November 2002, MMS prepared a Multisale 
EIS that addressed nine proposed Federal actions that offer for lease 
areas on the GOM OCS 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 each 
year for each planning area, a single EIS was prepared for the nine GOM 
CPA and Western Planning Area (WPA) lease sales scheduled in the OCS 
Oil and Gas Leasing Program: 2002-2007 (5-Year Program, OCS EIS/EA MMS 
2002-006). Under the 5-Year Program, five annual areawide lease sales 
are scheduled for the CPA (Lease Sales 185, 190, 194, 198, and 201) and 
five annual areawide lease sales are scheduled for the WPA (Lease Sales 
184, 187, 192, 196, and 200). Lease Sale 184 was not addressed in the 
Multisale EIS; a separate EA was prepared for that proposal. The 
Multisale EIS addressed CPA Lease Sales 185, 190, 194, 198, and 201 
scheduled for 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007, respectively, and WPA 
Lease Sales 187, 192, 196, and 200 scheduled for 2003, 2004, 2005, and 
2006, respectively. Although the Multisale EIS addresses nine proposed 
lease sales, at the completion of the EIS process, decisions were made 
only for proposed CPA Lease Sale 185 and proposed WPA Lease Sale 187. 
In the year prior to each subsequent proposed lease sale, an additional 
NEPA review (an EA) will be conducted to address any new information 
relevant to that proposed action. After completion of the EA, MMS will 
determine whether to prepare a Finding of No New Significant Impact 
(FONNSI) or a Supplemental EIS. The MMS will then prepare and send 
Consistency Determinations (CD's) to the affected States to determine 
whether the lease sale is consistent with their federally-approved 
State coastal zone management programs. Finally, MMS will solicit 
comments via the Proposed Notice of Sale (PNOS) from the governors of 
the affected States on the size, timing, and location of the lease 
sale. The tentative schedule for the prelease decision process for 
Lease Sale 201 is as follows: EA/FONNSI or decision to prepare a 
Supplemental EIS, October 2006; CD's sent to affected States, October 
2006; PNOS sent to governors of the affected States, October 2006; 
Final Notice of Sale published in the Federal Register, February 2007; 
and Lease Sale 201, March 2007.
    Public Comments: Interested parties are requested to send within 30 
days of this Notice's publication comments regarding any new 
information or issues that should be addressed in the EA. Comments may 
be submitted in one of the following three ways:
    1. Electronically using MMS's new Public Connect on-line commenting 
system at https://ocsconnect.mms.gov. This is the preferred method for 
commenting. From the Public Connect ``Welcome'' screen, search for 
``CPA Lease Sale 201 EA'' or select it from the ``Projects Open for 
Comment'' menu.
    2. In written form enclosed in an envelope labeled ``Comments on 
CPA Lease Sale 201 EA'' and mailed (or hand carried) 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.
    3. Electronically to the MMS e-mail address: environment@mms.gov.
    To obtain single copies of the Multisale EIS, you may contact the 
Minerals Management Service, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region, Attention: 
Public Information Office (MS 5034), 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, Room 
114, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123-2394 (1-800-200-GULF). You may also 
view the Multisale EIS or check the list of libraries that have copies 
of the Multisale EIS on the MMS Web site at http://www.gomr.mms.gov.

    Dated: April 26, 2006.
Chris C. Oynes,
Regional Director, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region.
 [FR Doc. E6-9482 Filed 6-15-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-MR-P