Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), Eastern Gulf of Mexico (GOM), Oil and Gas Lease Sale 224 for 2008, 7070-7074 [E7-2498]

Download as PDF 7070 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 30 / Wednesday, February 14, 2007 / Notices The authority for this order is 43 CFR 8364.1(a) and 9268.3(d). Dated: January 9, 2007. Sandra A. Meyers, Field Office Manager. [FR Doc. E7–2415 Filed 2–13–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–DQ–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [CA–330–1220–MA] Notice of Temporary Restriction Order AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, ycherry on PROD1PC64 with PRELIMS Interior. SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Arcata Field Office will establish temporary restrictions pursuant to the Code of Federal Regulations, 43 CFR 8341.2 and 8364.1, to implement interim management guidelines for certain BLM-administered public lands hereafter referred to as ‘‘Lost Coast Headlands,’’ located in Township 2 North, Range 3 West, portions of Sections 13 and 24, Humboldt County, California. Lost Coast Headlands consists of approximately 400 acres and is located along the coastal bluffs approximately 6 miles southwest of Ferndale, CA. These restrictions are needed on a temporary basis until a Resource Management Plan (RMP) Amendment, which will be initiated in 2007, is completed for the area. The area is now open to dispersed recreation with an emphasis on accommodating pedestrian and equestrian access to the coastline. The temporary restrictions are as follows: The area will be open to day use, from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset; overnight camping, campfires, firearms use, and archery use will not be allowed; and motorized vehicle use off maintained roads and parking areas will not be allowed. Employees, agents, and permitees of the BLM may be exempt from these restrictions for administrative and emergency purposes only. Penalties include a fine not to exceed $1,000 and/or imprisonment not to exceed 12 months, and violators may be subject to the enhanced penalties under 18 U.S.C. 3571 and 18 U.S.C. 3581. These restrictions are necessary to (1) Protect aquatic and terrestrial species from the effects of unregulated impacts, (2) ensure public safety, (3) reduce the potential for wildfires in this wildland urban interface, and (4) minimize inadvertent trespass onto adjoining private property. They will remain in VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:27 Feb 13, 2007 Jkt 211001 effect until the RMP Amendment, with full public participation, is completed. DATES: These temporary restrictions will be effective on March 16, 2007 and once they are posted at the designated site location and the BLM Arcata Field Office. ADDRESSES: Maps and supporting documentation are available for review at the following location: Bureau of Land Management, Arcata Field Office, 1695 Heindon Road, Arcata, CA, 95521. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lynda J. Roush, BLM, Arcata Field Manager, 1695 Heindon Road, Arcata, CA 95521. Ms. Roush may also be contacted by telephone: (707) 825–2300. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The BLM recently acquired two parcels, totaling approximately 400 acres, thanks to the cooperative effort and funding by the California Coastal Conservancy and The Conservation Fund as a third party cooperator. The parcels cover approximately 3 miles of rugged coastal bluffs and include 2 small beach areas at the mouths of Guthrie Creek and Fleener Creek. Located at the south end of the area is a small parking area and hiking/equestrian trail that provides access to the beach. At the north end of the area, another parking area exists with a beach access trail to be constructed during the summer of 2006. A considerable amount of public scoping occurred during the acquisition process. During the scoping, adjoining residents and ranchers and other members of the public expressed concerns regarding trespassing onto private property, safety of the public and adjacent residents related to firearms use, and the increased fire danger that would occur from overnight camping and associated campfires. The BLM assured these neighboring owners that their concerns would be addressed in a comprehensive plan for the area that incorporated full public involvement. The BLM will limit use of the Lost Coast Headlands to daytime access, that is, beginning one hour before sunrise and ending one hour after sunset. Motorized vehicles will be limited to use along the county road and designated parking areas. These two temporary restrictions will provide interim protection for a threatened species, the Northern California Steelhead, and its aquatic habitat and associated riparian vegetation. By taking this interim action, the BLM contributes to the conservation of a threatened species in accordance with Section 7(a)(1) of the Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. 1536(a)(1). The camping and campfire restriction will also reduce the PO 00000 Frm 00065 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 potential for wildfires, which could otherwise occur in this area of flashy fuels (dry grass). The temporary firearms and archery use restrictions are needed to prevent accidents and ensure public safety in this relatively small public land area, due to the proximity of these lands to residences and cattle pastures. Inadvertent trespass onto adjoining private lands will be reduced. These temporary restrictions will be posted in the BLM Arcata Field Office and at places near and/or within the affected public lands. Dated: December 18, 2006. Donald Holmstrom, Assistant Arcata Field Manager. [FR Doc. E7–2420 Filed 2–13–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–40–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Minerals Management Service Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), Eastern Gulf of Mexico (GOM), Oil and Gas Lease Sale 224 for 2008 Minerals Management Service (MMS), Interior. ACTION: Call for Information and Nominations/Notice of Intent (Call/NOI) to Prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS). AGENCY: SUMMARY: The purpose of the Call/NOI is to gather information on oil and gas leasing, exploration, and development that might result from an OCS oil and gas lease sale tentatively scheduled in early 2008. As mandated in the recently enacted Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) of 2006 (Pub. L. 109– 432, December 20, 2006), MMS shall offer a portion of the ‘‘181 Area,’’ located in the Eastern Planning Area, more than 125 miles from Florida for oil and gas leasing. The NOI seeks input for scoping a SEIS. DATES: Comments must be received no later than March 16, 2007 at the address specified below. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information on this Call, please contact Mr. Carrol Williams, Minerals Management Service, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123–2394, telephone (504) 736–2803. For information on the NOI, you may contact Mr. Dennis Chew, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123–2394, telephone (504) 736–2793. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The recently enacted Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) of 2006, (Pub. E:\FR\FM\14FEN1.SGM 14FEN1 ycherry on PROD1PC64 with PRELIMS Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 30 / Wednesday, February 14, 2007 / Notices L. 109–432, December 20, 2006), mandated MMS to offer a portion of the ‘‘181 Area’’ located in the newly defined Eastern Planning Area, more than 125 miles from Florida, and west of the Military Mission Line (86 degrees, 41 minutes West longitude) for oil and gas leasing ‘‘as soon as practicable, but not later than 1 year, after the date of enactment of this Act.’’ The Act mandates offering this area ‘‘notwithstanding the omission of the 181 Area * * * from any outer Continental Shelf leasing program under section 18 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1344).’’ However, this action is not exempted from other legal requirements, such as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) or the Coastal Zone Management Act. The MMS has decided to prepare a supplemental EIS to the original Sale 181 Area EIS (2001) in order to address these requirements. The earliest MMS would be able to meet these requirements and offer this area would be approximately March 2008. To meet the 1-year requirement of the Act, this sale should be held no later than December 2007; however, MMS feels that it is in the best interests of all parties, including the American public as owners of these resources, that MMS take the time necessary to fully comply with all pertinent laws, rules and regulations and allow the public an opportunity to participate in the NEPA process. It also is more economical and efficient for the government and industry to hold this sale in conjunction with Central Gulf of Mexico Sale 206 at the same time and location. The area to be offered in Sale 224 is small, approximately 130 tracts. Recent Central Gulf sales have offered over 4,000 tracts. The logistics of holding a sale are intensive and relatively costly; therefore, it makes sense to hold the smaller sale in conjunction with a larger sale. Additionally, holding Sale 224 in conjunction with Sale 206 would help ensure that a sufficient number of companies would be represented in bidding, which may enhance the number of bids and possibly the revenue generated by more competitive bidding. This Call/NOI is the initial step in the prelease process for the sale. The SEIS associated with this NOI will update the environmental and socioeconomic analyses in the Gulf of Mexico OCS Oil and Gas Lease Sale 181 Final EIS (OCS EIS/EA MMS 2001–051) which addressed the original ‘‘Sale 181 Area.’’ The MMS plans to complete National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), OCS Lands Act, and Coastal Zone VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:27 Feb 13, 2007 Jkt 211001 Management Act (CZMA) coverage for the proposed lease sale. Call for Information and Nominations 1. Authority This Call is published pursuant to the OCSLA as amended (43 U.S.C. 1331– 1356), and the regulations issued thereunder (30 CFR part 256). 2. Purpose of Call The purpose of the Call is to gather information for the following tentatively scheduled OCS Lease Sale in a portion of the ‘‘181 Area’’: Lease Sale, OCS Planning Area: Lease Sale 224, Eastern GOM (portion). Tentative Lease Sale Date: March 2008. Information on oil and gas leasing, exploration, development and production within this portion of the Eastern Planning Area is sought from all interested parties. This early planning and consultation step is important for ensuring that all interests and concerns are communicated to the Department of the Interior for future decisions in the leasing process pursuant to the OCSLA and regulations at 30 CFR part 256. This Call is in response to the mandate for a lease sale contained in the GOMESA. Final delineation of this area for possible leasing will be made at a later date and in compliance with applicable laws including all requirements of the NEPA, CZMA and OCSLA. Established Departmental procedures will be employed. 3. Description of Area The general area of this Call encompasses about 134 unleased blocks covering approximately 584,817 acres in that portion of the ‘‘181 Area’’ that is west of the Military Mission Line and more than 125 miles from Florida. A standard Call for Information Map depicting this portion of the Eastern Planning Area is available without charge from: Minerals Management Service, Public Information Unit (MS 5034), 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123–2394, or telephone: 1–800–200–GULF. The map is also available via the MMS Web site at http://www.mms.gov. 4. Instructions on Call Comments must be received no later than 30 days following publication of this document in the Federal Register in envelopes labeled ‘‘Comments on the Call for Information and Nominations for Proposed Lease Sale 224 for 2008,’’ submitted to the Gulf of Mexico Region’s Leasing Activities Section PO 00000 Frm 00066 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 7071 (Attention: Mr. Carrol Williams) at the previously noted address. The standard Call for Information Map delineates the Call area, all of which has been identified by the MMS as having potential for the discovery of accumulations of oil and gas. Comments are sought from all interested parties about particular geological, environmental (including natural disasters), biological, archaeological and socioeconomic conditions or conflicts, or other information that might bear upon the potential leasing and development of this area. Comments are also sought on possible conflicts between future OCS oil and gas activities that may result from the proposed lease sale and State Coastal Management Programs (CMP’s). If possible, these comments should identify specific CMP policies of concern, the nature of the conflict foreseen, and steps that the MMS could take to avoid or mitigate the potential conflict. Comments may be in terms of broad areas or restricted to particular blocks of concern. Those submitting comments are requested to list block numbers or outline the subject area on the standard Call for Information Map. 5. Use of Information From Call Information submitted in response to this Call will be used for several purposes. First, comments on possible environmental effects and potential use conflicts will be used in the analysis of environmental conditions in and near the Call area. Comments on environmental and other use conflicts will be used to make a preliminary determination of the potential advantages and disadvantages of oil and gas exploration and development to the region and the Nation. A second purpose for this Call is to use the comments collected in the scoping process to develop proposed actions and alternatives. Third, comments may be used in developing lease terms and conditions to ensure environmentally safe offshore operations, and, fourth, comments may be used to assess potential conflicts between offshore gas and oil activities and a State CMP. 6. Existing Information The MMS routinely assesses the status of information acquisition efforts and the quality of the information base for potential decisions on a tentatively scheduled lease sale. An extensive environmental studies program has been underway in the GOM since 1973. The emphasis, including continuing studies, has been on ‘‘environmental analysis’’ of biologically sensitive habitats, physical oceanography, ocean- E:\FR\FM\14FEN1.SGM 14FEN1 7072 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 30 / Wednesday, February 14, 2007 / Notices circulation modeling, and ecological effects of oil and gas activities. In response to impacts from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the MMS is funding studies regarding hurricane risks to onshore structures and their surrounding communities and environment. Socioeconomic profiles of communities with a high concentration of OCS-related activity will assess the social and environmental impacts of the 2005 hurricanes. These studies will also evaluate the effects of hurricane-related employment shifts on onshore labor and coastal communities. In addition, MMS recently awarded a number of studies to determine the impact of Hurricane Ivan on offshore oil and gas structures. These studies were designed to analyze and assess the damage to structures and pipelines, determine the effectiveness of current design standards and pollutionprevention systems, and develop recommendations for potential changes to industry standards and MMS regulations, if needed. Results of these studies will also apply to the impacts of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and future hurricanes. You may obtain a complete listing of available study reports and information for ordering copies from the Public Information Unit referenced above. You may also order the reports for a fee, from the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Technical Information Service, 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, Virginia 22161, or telephone (703) 605– 6000 or (800) 553–6847. In addition, you may obtain a program status report for continuing studies in this area from the Chief, Environmental Sciences Section (MS 5430), Minerals Management Service, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123–2394, or telephone (504) 736– 2752, or via the MMS Web site at http://www.gomr.mms.gov/homepg/ regulate/environ/studiesprogram.html. 7. Tentative Schedule MILESTONES FOR PROPOSED LEASE SALE 224 FOR 2008 NOI to Prepare a SEIS ...................................................................................................................................... Call for Information and Nominations ................................................................................................................ Comments received on Call/NOI ....................................................................................................................... Scoping Meetings ............................................................................................................................................... Area Identification Decision ............................................................................................................................... Draft SEIS published .......................................................................................................................................... Public Hearings on Draft SEIS .......................................................................................................................... Final SEIS .......................................................................................................................................................... Proposed Notice and Coastal Zone Management Consistency Determination ................................................ Final Notice of Sale ............................................................................................................................................ Tentative Lease Sale Date ................................................................................................................................ and production in the proposed lease sale area. Notice of Intent to Prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement 1. Authority The NOI is published pursuant to the regulations (40 CFR 1501.7) implementing the provisions of the NEPA of 1969 as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq. (1988)). ycherry on PROD1PC64 with PRELIMS 2. Purpose of Notice of Intent Pursuant to the regulations implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA, MMS is announcing its intent to prepare a SEIS on an oil and gas lease sale tentatively scheduled in early 2008 in the Eastern GOM offshore the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. The SEIS will update the analyses in the Gulf of Mexico OCS Oil and Gas Lease Sale 181 Final Environmental Impact Statement (OCS EIS/EA MMS 2001–051). The NOI also serves to announce the scoping process for this SEIS. Throughout the scoping process, Federal, State, and local government agencies, and other interested parties have the opportunity to aid MMS in determining the significant issues and alternatives for analysis in the SEIS. The SEIS analysis will focus on the potential environmental effects of oil and natural gas leasing, exploration, development, VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:27 Feb 13, 2007 Jkt 211001 February 2007. February 2007. March 2007. March 2007. March 2007. June–July 2007. August–September 2007. October–November 2007. 5 months before lease sale. 1 month before lease sale. March 2008 (Lease Sale 224). contact Mr. Chew by telephone at (504) 736–2793. 3. Supplemental Information As mandated in the recently enacted Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006, MMS shall offer the ‘‘181 Area’’ for oil and gas leasing pursuant to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq.). In October 2007, proposed Lease Sale 205 would offer the portion of the ‘‘181 Area’’ located in the Central Planning Area, and this is being addressed by a separate EIS. The MMS is proposing to prepare a SEIS to address the proposed lease sale in the remaining portion of the ‘‘181 Area.’’ (see map). The resource estimates and scenario information for the SEIS analyses will be presented as a range that would encompass the resources and activities estimated for the proposed lease sale. At the completion of this SEIS process, a decision will be made for the proposed sale in 2008. This SEIS will supplement the Gulf of Mexico OCS Oil and Gas Lease Sale 181 Final Environmental Impact Statement (OCS EIS/EA MMS 2001–051), which addressed the original ‘‘181 Area.’’ For more information on the SEIS, you may contact Dennis Chew, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, MS 5410, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123–2394 or e-mail environment@mms.gov. You may also 4. Cooperating Agency The MMS invites other Federal agencies and State, tribal, and local governments to consider becoming cooperating agencies in the preparation of the SEIS. We invite qualified government entities to inquire about cooperating agency status for the SEIS. Following the guidelines from the Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ), qualified agencies and governments are those with ‘‘jurisdiction by law or special expertise.’’ Potential cooperating agencies should consider their authority and capacity to assume the responsibilities of a cooperating agency and note that an agency’s role in the environmental analysis neither enlarges nor diminishes the final decisionmaking authority of any other agency involved in the NEPA process. Upon request, MMS will provide potential cooperating agencies with a written summary of ground rules for cooperating agencies, including time schedules and critical action dates, milestones, responsibilities, scope and detail of cooperating agencies’ contributions, and availability of predecisional information. The MMS anticipates this summary will form the basis for a Memorandum of Understanding PO 00000 Frm 00067 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\14FEN1.SGM 14FEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 30 / Wednesday, February 14, 2007 / Notices ycherry on PROD1PC64 with PRELIMS 5. Comments Federal, State, and local government agencies, and other interested parties are requested to send their written VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:27 Feb 13, 2007 Jkt 211001 comments on the scope of the SEIS, significant issues that should be addressed, and alternatives that should be considered in one of the following three ways: 1. Electronically using MMS’s Public Connect on-line commenting system at https://ocsconnect.mms.gov. From the Public Connect ‘‘Welcome’’ screen, search for ‘‘Lease Sale 224 SEIS’’ or select it from the ‘‘Projects Open for Comment’’ menu. 2. In written form enclosed in an envelope labeled ‘‘Comments on the Lease Sale 224 SEIS’’ 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. Comments should be submitted no later than 30 days from the publication of this NOI. of the NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321, et seq.), the MMS will hold public scoping meetings in Louisiana and Florida on the SEIS for the tentatively scheduled 2008 oil and gas leasing proposal in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. The purpose of these meetings will be to solicit comments on the scope of the SEIS. The public scoping meetings are scheduled as follows: • Thursday, March 1, 2007, New World Landing, 600 South Palafox Street, Pensacola, Florida, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. • Wednesday, March 7, 2007, Larose Civic Center, Larose Regional Park, Larose, Louisiana, 7 p.m. For further information about the scoping meetings contact Minerals Management Service, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123–2394, Mr. Dennis Chew, telephone (504) 736–2793. Notice of Public Scoping Meetings on the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement Summary: Pursuant to the regulations implementing the procedural provisions Dated: February 8, 2007. R.M. ‘‘Johnnie’’ Burton, Director, Minerals Management Service. PO 00000 Frm 00068 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\14FEN1.SGM 14FEN1 EN14FE07.001</GPH> between MMS and each cooperating agency. Agencies should also consider the ‘‘Factors for Determining Cooperating Agency Status’’ in Attachment 1 to CEQ’s January 30, 2002, Memorandum for the Heads of Federal Agencies: Cooperating Agencies in Implementing the Procedural Requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act. A copy of this document is available at http:// ceq.eh.doe.gov/nepa/regs/cooperating/ cooperatingagenciesmemorandum.html and http://ceq.eh.doe.gov/nepa/regs/ cooperating/ cooperatingagencymemofactors.html. The MMS, as the lead agency, will not provide financial assistance to cooperating agencies. Yet, even if an organization is not a cooperating agency, opportunities exist to provide information and comments to MMS during the normal public input phases of the NEPA/SEIS process. If further information about cooperating agencies is needed, please contact Mr. Dennis Chew at (504) 736–2793. 7073 7074 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 30 / Wednesday, February 14, 2007 / Notices [FR Doc. E7–2498 Filed 2–13–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–MR–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service 60-Day Notice of Intention To Request Clearance of Collection of Information; Opportunity for Public Comment The Department of the Interior, National Park Service. ACTION: Notice and request for comments. ycherry on PROD1PC64 with PRELIMS AGENCY: SUMMARY: Under provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and 5 CFR part 1320, Reporting and Record Keeping Requirements, the National Park Service (NPS) invites public comments on an extension of a currently approved collection of information (OMB# 1024–0029). DATES: Public comments will be accepted on or before April 16, 2007. ADDRESSES: Send comments to Jo A. Pendry, Concession Program Manager, National Park Service, 1849 C Street, NW., (2410), Washington, DC 20240; email: jo_pendry@nps.gov. All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval. All comments will become a matter of public record. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jo A. Pendry, Concessions Program Manager, National Park Service, 1849 C Street, NW., (2410), Washington, DC 20240. Phone: 202/513–7144; Fax: 202/ 371–2090. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: Concessioner Annual Financial Report. Bureau Form Number(s): 10–356, 10– 356a, 10–356b. OMB Control Number: 1024–0029. Expiration Date of Approval: April 30, 2007. Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved information collection. Description of Need: The regulations at 36 CFR Part 51 primarily implement Title IV of the National Parks Omnibus Management Act of 1998 (Pub. L. 105– 391 or the Act), which requires that the Secretary of the Interior exercise authority in a manner consistent with a reasonable opportunity for a concessioner to realize a profit on his operation as a whole commensurate with the capital invested and the obligations assumed. It also requires that franchise fees be determined with consideration to the opportunity for net profit in relation to both gross receipts VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:27 Feb 13, 2007 Jkt 211001 and capital invested. The financial information being colleted is necessary to provide insight into and knowledge of the concessioner’s operation so that this authority can be exercised and franchise fees determined in a timely manner and without an undue burden on the concessioner. This program will measure performance in meeting goals as required by the 1995 Government Performance and Results Act. Comments are invited on: (1) The practical utility of the information being gathered; (2) the accuracy of the burden hour estimate; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden to respondents, including use of automated information collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Frequency of Collection: Annually. Description of Respondents: National Park Service concessioners. Total Annual Responses: 500. Estimate of Burden: Approximately 20 hours per response. Total Annual Burden Hours: 3,800. Total Non-hour Cost Burden: None. Dated: January 8, 2007. Leonard E. Stowe, NPS, Information Collection Clearance Officer. [FR Doc. 07–656 Filed 2–13–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4312–53–M DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service 60-Day Notice of Intention To Request Clearance of Collection Information; Opportunity for Public Comment The Department of the Interior, National Park Service. ACTION: Notice of request for comments. AGENCY: SUMMARY: Under provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and 5 CFR Part 1320, Reporting and Record Keeping Requirements, the National Park Service (NPS) invites public comments on an extension of a currently approved collection of information (OMB #1024–0231). PO 00000 Frm 00069 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Public comments will be accepted on or before April 16, 2007. ADDRESSES: Send comments to Jo A. Pendry, Concession Program Manager, National Park Service, 1849 C Street, NW., (2410), Washington, DC 20240; email: jo_pendry@nps.gov; All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval. All comments will become a matter of public record. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jo A. Pendry, Concession Program Manager, National Park Service, 1849 C St., NW., (2410), Washington, DC 20240. Phone: 202–513–7144; Fax: 202–371– 2090. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: Concession Contract—36 CFR 51. Form Number(s): None. OMB Control Number: 1024–0231. Expiration Date of Approval: April 30, 2007. Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved information collection. Description of Need: The information is being collected to meet the requirements of Sections 403(7) and (8) of the NPS Concessions Management Improvement Act of 1998 (the Act), concerning the granting of a preferential right to renew a concession contract, Section 405 of the Act, regarding the construction of capital improvements by concessioners, and Section 414 of the Act, regarding recordkeeping requirements of concessioners. The information will be used by the agency in considering appeals concerning preferred offeror determinations, agency review and approval of construction projects and determinations with regard to the leasehold surrender interest value of such projects, and when necessary, agency review of a concessioner’s books and records related to its activities under a concession contract. This program will also measure performance in meeting goals as required by the 1995 Government Performance and Results Act. Comments are invited on: (1) The practical utility of the information being gathered; (2) the accuracy of the agency’s burden hour estimate; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden to respondents, including use of automated information collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you DATES: E:\FR\FM\14FEN1.SGM 14FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 30 (Wednesday, February 14, 2007)]
[Notices]
[Pages 7070-7074]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-2498]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Minerals Management Service


Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), Eastern Gulf of Mexico (GOM), Oil 
and Gas Lease Sale 224 for 2008

AGENCY: Minerals Management Service (MMS), Interior.

ACTION: Call for Information and Nominations/Notice of Intent (Call/
NOI) to Prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS).

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

SUMMARY: The purpose of the Call/NOI is to gather information on oil 
and gas leasing, exploration, and development that might result from an 
OCS oil and gas lease sale tentatively scheduled in early 2008. As 
mandated in the recently enacted Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act 
(GOMESA) of 2006 (Pub. L. 109-432, December 20, 2006), MMS shall offer 
a portion of the ``181 Area,'' located in the Eastern Planning Area, 
more than 125 miles from Florida for oil and gas leasing. The NOI seeks 
input for scoping a SEIS.

DATES: Comments must be received no later than March 16, 2007 at the 
address specified below.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information on this Call, please 
contact Mr. Carrol Williams, Minerals Management Service, Gulf of 
Mexico OCS Region, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 
70123-2394, telephone (504) 736-2803. For information on the NOI, you 
may contact Mr. Dennis Chew, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region, 1201 Elmwood 
Park Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123-2394, telephone (504) 736-
2793.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The recently enacted Gulf of Mexico Energy 
Security Act (GOMESA) of 2006, (Pub.

[[Page 7071]]

L. 109-432, December 20, 2006), mandated MMS to offer a portion of the 
``181 Area'' located in the newly defined Eastern Planning Area, more 
than 125 miles from Florida, and west of the Military Mission Line (86 
degrees, 41 minutes West longitude) for oil and gas leasing ``as soon 
as practicable, but not later than 1 year, after the date of enactment 
of this Act.'' The Act mandates offering this area ``notwithstanding 
the omission of the 181 Area * * * from any outer Continental Shelf 
leasing program under section 18 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands 
Act (43 U.S.C. 1344).'' However, this action is not exempted from other 
legal requirements, such as the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA) or the Coastal Zone Management Act. The MMS has decided to 
prepare a supplemental EIS to the original Sale 181 Area EIS (2001) in 
order to address these requirements. The earliest MMS would be able to 
meet these requirements and offer this area would be approximately 
March 2008. To meet the 1-year requirement of the Act, this sale should 
be held no later than December 2007; however, MMS feels that it is in 
the best interests of all parties, including the American public as 
owners of these resources, that MMS take the time necessary to fully 
comply with all pertinent laws, rules and regulations and allow the 
public an opportunity to participate in the NEPA process. It also is 
more economical and efficient for the government and industry to hold 
this sale in conjunction with Central Gulf of Mexico Sale 206 at the 
same time and location. The area to be offered in Sale 224 is small, 
approximately 130 tracts. Recent Central Gulf sales have offered over 
4,000 tracts. The logistics of holding a sale are intensive and 
relatively costly; therefore, it makes sense to hold the smaller sale 
in conjunction with a larger sale. Additionally, holding Sale 224 in 
conjunction with Sale 206 would help ensure that a sufficient number of 
companies would be represented in bidding, which may enhance the number 
of bids and possibly the revenue generated by more competitive bidding.
    This Call/NOI is the initial step in the prelease process for the 
sale. The SEIS associated with this NOI will update the environmental 
and socioeconomic analyses in the Gulf of Mexico OCS Oil and Gas Lease 
Sale 181 Final EIS (OCS EIS/EA MMS 2001-051) which addressed the 
original ``Sale 181 Area.'' The MMS plans to complete National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), OCS Lands Act, and Coastal Zone 
Management Act (CZMA) coverage for the proposed lease sale.

Call for Information and Nominations

1. Authority

    This Call is published pursuant to the OCSLA as amended (43 U.S.C. 
1331-1356), and the regulations issued thereunder (30 CFR part 256).

2. Purpose of Call

    The purpose of the Call is to gather information for the following 
tentatively scheduled OCS Lease Sale in a portion of the ``181 Area'':
    Lease Sale, OCS Planning Area:
    Lease Sale 224, Eastern GOM (portion).
    Tentative Lease Sale Date:
    March 2008.
    Information on oil and gas leasing, exploration, development and 
production within this portion of the Eastern Planning Area is sought 
from all interested parties. This early planning and consultation step 
is important for ensuring that all interests and concerns are 
communicated to the Department of the Interior for future decisions in 
the leasing process pursuant to the OCSLA and regulations at 30 CFR 
part 256.
    This Call is in response to the mandate for a lease sale contained 
in the GOMESA. Final delineation of this area for possible leasing will 
be made at a later date and in compliance with applicable laws 
including all requirements of the NEPA, CZMA and OCSLA. Established 
Departmental procedures will be employed.

3. Description of Area

    The general area of this Call encompasses about 134 unleased blocks 
covering approximately 584,817 acres in that portion of the ``181 
Area'' that is west of the Military Mission Line and more than 125 
miles from Florida. A standard Call for Information Map depicting this 
portion of the Eastern Planning Area is available without charge from: 
Minerals Management Service, Public Information Unit (MS 5034), 1201 
Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123-2394, or 
telephone: 1-800-200-GULF. The map is also available via the MMS Web 
site at http://www.mms.gov.

4. Instructions on Call

    Comments must be received no later than 30 days following 
publication of this document in the Federal Register in envelopes 
labeled ``Comments on the Call for Information and Nominations for 
Proposed Lease Sale 224 for 2008,'' submitted to the Gulf of Mexico 
Region's Leasing Activities Section (Attention: Mr. Carrol Williams) at 
the previously noted address.
    The standard Call for Information Map delineates the Call area, all 
of which has been identified by the MMS as having potential for the 
discovery of accumulations of oil and gas.
    Comments are sought from all interested parties about particular 
geological, environmental (including natural disasters), biological, 
archaeological and socioeconomic conditions or conflicts, or other 
information that might bear upon the potential leasing and development 
of this area. Comments are also sought on possible conflicts between 
future OCS oil and gas activities that may result from the proposed 
lease sale and State Coastal Management Programs (CMP's). If possible, 
these comments should identify specific CMP policies of concern, the 
nature of the conflict foreseen, and steps that the MMS could take to 
avoid or mitigate the potential conflict. Comments may be in terms of 
broad areas or restricted to particular blocks of concern. Those 
submitting comments are requested to list block numbers or outline the 
subject area on the standard Call for Information Map.

5. Use of Information From Call

    Information submitted in response to this Call will be used for 
several purposes. First, comments on possible environmental effects and 
potential use conflicts will be used in the analysis of environmental 
conditions in and near the Call area. Comments on environmental and 
other use conflicts will be used to make a preliminary determination of 
the potential advantages and disadvantages of oil and gas exploration 
and development to the region and the Nation. A second purpose for this 
Call is to use the comments collected in the scoping process to develop 
proposed actions and alternatives. Third, comments may be used in 
developing lease terms and conditions to ensure environmentally safe 
offshore operations, and, fourth, comments may be used to assess 
potential conflicts between offshore gas and oil activities and a State 
CMP.

6. Existing Information

    The MMS routinely assesses the status of information acquisition 
efforts and the quality of the information base for potential decisions 
on a tentatively scheduled lease sale. An extensive environmental 
studies program has been underway in the GOM since 1973. The emphasis, 
including continuing studies, has been on ``environmental analysis'' of 
biologically sensitive habitats, physical oceanography, ocean-

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circulation modeling, and ecological effects of oil and gas activities. 
In response to impacts from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the MMS is 
funding studies regarding hurricane risks to onshore structures and 
their surrounding communities and environment. Socioeconomic profiles 
of communities with a high concentration of OCS-related activity will 
assess the social and environmental impacts of the 2005 hurricanes. 
These studies will also evaluate the effects of hurricane-related 
employment shifts on onshore labor and coastal communities. In 
addition, MMS recently awarded a number of studies to determine the 
impact of Hurricane Ivan on offshore oil and gas structures. These 
studies were designed to analyze and assess the damage to structures 
and pipelines, determine the effectiveness of current design standards 
and pollution-prevention systems, and develop recommendations for 
potential changes to industry standards and MMS regulations, if needed. 
Results of these studies will also apply to the impacts of Hurricanes 
Katrina and Rita and future hurricanes.
    You may obtain a complete listing of available study reports and 
information for ordering copies from the Public Information Unit 
referenced above. You may also order the reports for a fee, from the 
U.S. Department of Commerce, National Technical Information Service, 
5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, Virginia 22161, or telephone (703) 
605-6000 or (800) 553-6847. In addition, you may obtain a program 
status report for continuing studies in this area from the Chief, 
Environmental Sciences Section (MS 5430), Minerals Management Service, 
Gulf of Mexico OCS Region, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, 
Louisiana 70123-2394, or telephone (504) 736-2752, or via the MMS Web 
site at http://www.gomr.mms.gov/homepg/regulate/environ/
studiesprogram.html.

7. Tentative Schedule

             Milestones for Proposed Lease Sale 224 for 2008
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NOI to Prepare a SEIS......................  February 2007.
Call for Information and Nominations.......  February 2007.
Comments received on Call/NOI..............  March 2007.
Scoping Meetings...........................  March 2007.
Area Identification Decision...............  March 2007.
Draft SEIS published.......................  June-July 2007.
Public Hearings on Draft SEIS..............  August-September 2007.
Final SEIS.................................  October-November 2007.
Proposed Notice and Coastal Zone Management  5 months before lease sale.
 Consistency Determination.
Final Notice of Sale.......................  1 month before lease sale.
Tentative Lease Sale Date..................  March 2008 (Lease Sale
                                              224).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notice of Intent to Prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact 
Statement

1. Authority

    The NOI is published pursuant to the regulations (40 CFR 1501.7) 
implementing the provisions of the NEPA of 1969 as amended (42 U.S.C. 
4321 et seq. (1988)).

2. Purpose of Notice of Intent

    Pursuant to the regulations implementing the procedural provisions 
of NEPA, MMS is announcing its intent to prepare a SEIS on an oil and 
gas lease sale tentatively scheduled in early 2008 in the Eastern GOM 
offshore the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. 
The SEIS will update the analyses in the Gulf of Mexico OCS Oil and Gas 
Lease Sale 181 Final Environmental Impact Statement (OCS EIS/EA MMS 
2001-051). The NOI also serves to announce the scoping process for this 
SEIS. Throughout the scoping process, Federal, State, and local 
government agencies, and other interested parties have the opportunity 
to aid MMS in determining the significant issues and alternatives for 
analysis in the SEIS. The SEIS analysis will focus on the potential 
environmental effects of oil and natural gas leasing, exploration, 
development, and production in the proposed lease sale area.

3. Supplemental Information

    As mandated in the recently enacted Gulf of Mexico Energy Security 
Act of 2006, MMS shall offer the ``181 Area'' for oil and gas leasing 
pursuant to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331 et 
seq.). In October 2007, proposed Lease Sale 205 would offer the portion 
of the ``181 Area'' located in the Central Planning Area, and this is 
being addressed by a separate EIS. The MMS is proposing to prepare a 
SEIS to address the proposed lease sale in the remaining portion of the 
``181 Area.'' (see map). The resource estimates and scenario 
information for the SEIS analyses will be presented as a range that 
would encompass the resources and activities estimated for the proposed 
lease sale. At the completion of this SEIS process, a decision will be 
made for the proposed sale in 2008. This SEIS will supplement the Gulf 
of Mexico OCS Oil and Gas Lease Sale 181 Final Environmental Impact 
Statement (OCS EIS/EA MMS 2001-051), which addressed the original ``181 
Area.'' For more information on the SEIS, you may contact Dennis Chew, 
Gulf of Mexico OCS Region, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, MS 5410, New 
Orleans, Louisiana 70123-2394 or e-mail environment@mms.gov. You may 
also contact Mr. Chew by telephone at (504) 736-2793.

4. Cooperating Agency

    The MMS invites other Federal agencies and State, tribal, and local 
governments to consider becoming cooperating agencies in the 
preparation of the SEIS. We invite qualified government entities to 
inquire about cooperating agency status for the SEIS. Following the 
guidelines from the Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ), qualified 
agencies and governments are those with ``jurisdiction by law or 
special expertise.'' Potential cooperating agencies should consider 
their authority and capacity to assume the responsibilities of a 
cooperating agency and note that an agency's role in the environmental 
analysis neither enlarges nor diminishes the final decisionmaking 
authority of any other agency involved in the NEPA process. Upon 
request, MMS will provide potential cooperating agencies with a written 
summary of ground rules for cooperating agencies, including time 
schedules and critical action dates, milestones, responsibilities, 
scope and detail of cooperating agencies' contributions, and 
availability of predecisional information. The MMS anticipates this 
summary will form the basis for a Memorandum of Understanding

[[Page 7073]]

between MMS and each cooperating agency. Agencies should also consider 
the ``Factors for Determining Cooperating Agency Status'' in Attachment 
1 to CEQ's January 30, 2002, Memorandum for the Heads of Federal 
Agencies: Cooperating Agencies in Implementing the Procedural 
Requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act. A copy of this 
document is available at http://ceq.eh.doe.gov/nepa/regs/cooperating/
cooperatingagenciesmemorandum.html and http://ceq.eh.doe.gov/nepa/regs/
cooperating/cooperatingagencymemofactors.html.
    The MMS, as the lead agency, will not provide financial assistance 
to cooperating agencies. Yet, even if an organization is not a 
cooperating agency, opportunities exist to provide information and 
comments to MMS during the normal public input phases of the NEPA/SEIS 
process. If further information about cooperating agencies is needed, 
please contact Mr. Dennis Chew at (504) 736-2793.

5. Comments

    Federal, State, and local government agencies, and other interested 
parties are requested to send their written comments on the scope of 
the SEIS, significant issues that should be addressed, and alternatives 
that should be considered in one of the following three ways:
    1. Electronically using MMS's Public Connect on-line commenting 
system at https://ocsconnect.mms.gov. From the Public Connect 
``Welcome'' screen, search for ``Lease Sale 224 SEIS'' or select it 
from the ``Projects Open for Comment'' menu.
    2. In written form enclosed in an envelope labeled ``Comments on 
the Lease Sale 224 SEIS'' 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.
    Comments should be submitted no later than 30 days from the 
publication of this NOI.

Notice of Public Scoping Meetings on the Supplemental Environmental 
Impact Statement

    Summary: Pursuant to the regulations implementing the procedural 
provisions of the NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321, et seq.), the MMS will hold 
public scoping meetings in Louisiana and Florida on the SEIS for the 
tentatively scheduled 2008 oil and gas leasing proposal in the Eastern 
Gulf of Mexico. The purpose of these meetings will be to solicit 
comments on the scope of the SEIS.
    The public scoping meetings are scheduled as follows:
     Thursday, March 1, 2007, New World Landing, 600 South 
Palafox Street, Pensacola, Florida, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
     Wednesday, March 7, 2007, Larose Civic Center, Larose 
Regional Park, Larose, Louisiana, 7 p.m.
    For further information about the scoping meetings contact Minerals 
Management Service, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region, 1201 Elmwood Park 
Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123-2394, Mr. Dennis Chew, 
telephone (504) 736-2793.

    Dated: February 8, 2007.
R.M. ``Johnnie'' Burton,
Director, Minerals Management Service.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN14FE07.001


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 [FR Doc. E7-2498 Filed 2-13-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-MR-P