Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), Alaska OCS Region, Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea, Proposed Oil and Gas Lease Sales for Years 2007 to 2012, 48295-48300 [07-4134]

Download as PDF 48295 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 163 / Thursday, August 23, 2007 / Notices Activity/Operator Location TDC Energy, LLC, Structure Removal, SEA ES/SR 07–063 ....... High Island, Block 233, Lease OCS–G 22241, located 31 miles from the nearest Texas shoreline. Ship Shoal, Block 184, Lease OCS–G 22711, located 24 miles from the nearest Louisiana shoreline. Vermilion, Block 221, Lease OCS–G 04424, located 60 miles from the nearest Louisiana shoreline. Viosca Knoll, Block 114, Lease OCS–G 16536, located 30 miles from the nearest Mississippi shoreline. Viosca Knoll, Block 161, Lease OCS–G 06876, located 43 miles from the nearest Louisiana shoreline. West Cameron (South Addition), Block 492, Lease OCS–G 16195, located 41 miles from the nearest Louisiana shoreline. Ship Shoal, Block 57, Lease OCS–G 22696, located 15 miles from the nearest Louisiana shoreline. Chandeleur, Block 25, Lease OCS–G 04494, located 35 miles from the nearest Louisiana shoreline. Vermilion, Block 318, Lease OCS–G 04427, located 86 miles from the nearest Louisiana shoreline. Hunt Petroleum (AEC), Inc., Structure Removal, SEA ES/SR 07–066. TDC Energy, LLC, Structure Removal, SEA ES/SR 07–062 ....... Chevron, U.S.A., Inc., Structure Removal, SEA ES/SR 07–038A Chevron, U.S.A., Inc., Structure Removal, SEA ES/SR 07–017A ATP Oil & Gas Corporation, Structure Removal, SEA ES/SR 07–065. Newfield Exploration Company, Structure Removal, SEA ES/SR 07–034A. Maritech Resources, Inc., Structure Removal, SEA ES/SR 07– 064. ATP Oil and Gas Corporation, Structure Removal, SEA ES/SR 07–060. Persons interested in reviewing environmental documents for the proposals listed above or obtaining information about SEAs and FONSIs prepared for activities on the Gulf of Mexico OCS are encouraged to contact MMS at the address or telephone listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Dated: July 11, 2007. Kevin Karl, Acting Regional Director, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region. [FR Doc. E7–16709 Filed 8–22–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–MR–P 2007 and is not addressed by this Call.) Simultaneously with this Call, MMS is giving notice of its intent to prepare a multiple-sale EIS for the four sales. Nominations and comments must be received no later than 45 days following publication of this document in the Federal Register. Submittals should be labeled ‘‘Nominations for Proposed Lease Sales in the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea, 2007–2012’’ or ‘‘Comments on Call for Information and Nominations for Proposed Lease Sales in the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea, 2007–2012, as appropriate. DATES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Date 6/26/2007 6/26/2007 6/26/2007 6/26/2007 6/26/2007 6/26/2007 6/27/2007 6/28/2007 6/28/2007 Call for Information and Nominations 1. Authority This Call is published pursuant to the OCS Lands Act as amended (43 U.S.C. 1331–1356, (1994)) and the regulations issued thereunder (30 CFR 256); and in accordance with the proposed final OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program, 2007– 2012. 2. Purpose of Call The purpose of the Call is to gather information for the following tentatively scheduled OCS Oil and Gas Lease Sales in the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea: Lease sale, OCS planning area Sale year Minerals Management Service Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), Alaska OCS Region, Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea, Proposed Oil and Gas Lease Sales for Years 2007 to 2012 Please contact Fred King at (907) 334– 5271 in MMS’s Alaska OCS Region, 3801 Centerpoint Drive, Ste 500, Anchorage, AK 99503–5823 regarding questions on the Call/NOI. Sale Sale Sale Sale SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The multiple-sale review process is based on more than 30 years of leasing in the Beaufort Sea and more than 20 years in the Chukchi Sea. In 2001, MMS initiated the multiple-sale review process by issuing a multiple-sale Call for three sales in the Beaufort Sea (sales 186, 195 and 202), held under the OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program, 2002– 2007. The MMS is now issuing a multiple-sale Call for the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea sales in the proposed final program for 2007–2012. The final multiple-sale EIS will serve as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) Consistency Determination (CD) analysis for Beaufort Sea Sale 209 and Chukchi Sea Sale 212. MMS will prepare additional NEPA, CZMA, and Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) documents, as appropriate. Sale 193 in the Chukchi Sea is not part of this Call. Sale 193 was initiated in 2005 (70 FR 6903) as part of the OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program, 2002– 2007, and was carried over to the Program for 2007–2012 to allow adequate time to complete necessary pre-lease steps and environmental assessment and documentation. Sale 193 is scheduled for February 2008. Information and nominations on oil and gas leasing, exploration, and development and production within the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea are sought from all interested parties. This early planning and consultation step is important for ensuring that all interests and concerns are communicated to the U.S. Department of the Interior for its consideration in future decisions in the leasing process pursuant to the OCS Lands Act and regulations at 30 CFR 256. Responses are requested for the four sales listed in the Call proposed in DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Minerals Management Service (MMS), Interior. ACTION: Call for information and nominations and Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). ebenthall on PRODPC61 with NOTICES AGENCY: SUMMARY: This Call for Information and Nominations (hereinafter referred to as ‘‘Call’’) is the initial step in a multiplesale process that incorporates planning and analysis for lease sales in the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea planning areas included in the proposed final OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program 2007– 2012 (see 72 Federal Register (FR) 24326, May 2, 2007). Four lease sales are addressed in this Call; two in the Beaufort Sea (sales 209 and 217) and two in the Chukchi Sea (sales 212 and 221). (Sale 193 in the Chukchi Sea is a carryover from the Program for 2002– VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:04 Aug 22, 2007 Jkt 211001 PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 209, 212, 217, 221, E:\FR\FM\23AUN1.SGM Beaufort Sea .................... Chukchi Sea ..................... Beaufort Sea .................... Chukchi Sea ..................... 23AUN1 2009 2010 2011 2012 48296 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 163 / Thursday, August 23, 2007 / Notices the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea planning areas between 2007 and 2012. This Call/NOI is being issued in accordance with the proposed final OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program, 2007– 2012, published on May 2, 2007 (72 FR 24326). This Call also does not indicate a preliminary decision to lease in the areas described below. Final decision and delineation of each area for possible leasing will be made at a later date and in compliance with applicable laws including all requirements of NEPA and OCSLA using established departmental procedures. ebenthall on PRODPC61 with NOTICES 3. Description of Area The area that is the subject of this Call is located offshore the State of Alaska in the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea planning areas. The ‘‘program area’’ is that subarea of the larger planning areas that may be offered in the OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program, 2007–2012. The Beaufort Sea program area extends offshore from about 3 nautical miles to approximately 205 statute miles, in water depths from approximately 25 feet to 3,000 feet. This area consists of approximately 6,045 whole and partial blocks (about 33 million acres). The Chukchi Sea program area extends offshore from 25 to approximately 275 statute miles, in water depths from approximately 60 to 660 feet (up to 3,000 feet in a portion of the program area). This area consists of 7,324 whole or partial blocks (about 40 million acres). A page size map of each area accompanies this Call. A large scale Call map showing the boundaries of the area on a block-by-block basis is available without charge from the Records Manager at the address given below, or by telephone request at 1–800–764– 2627. Copies of Official Protraction Diagrams (OPDs) are also available for $2 each from Alaska OCS Region, Minerals Management Service, 3801 Centerpoint Drive, Ste. 500, Anchorage, Alaska 99503–5823, http:// www.mms.gov/alaska. 4. Instructions on Call Nominations and information must be received no later than 45 days following publication of this Call in the Federal Register. Submittals should indicate ‘‘Nominations for Proposed Lease Sales in the Beaufort and Chukchi Sea, 2007– 2012’’ or ‘‘Comments on the Call for Information for Proposed Lease Sales in Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, 2007–2012’’ as appropriate. Nominations and comments may be submitted by any one the following methods: • Mail or hand-deliver comments to the Regional Supervisor, Leasing and VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:04 Aug 22, 2007 Jkt 211001 Environment, Alaska OCS Region, Minerals Management Service, 3801 Centerpoint Drive, Ste. 500, Anchorage, Alaska 99503–5823. • Submit comments by Internet through MMS Public Connect at https://ocsconnect.mms.gov/ pcs-public/. • Fax comments to the Regional Supervisor, Leasing and Environment, Alaska OCS Region, Minerals Management Service at (907) 334–5242. • E-mail comments to arcticmultisale@mms.gov. Please submit e-mail or Internet comments as an ASCII file, avoiding the use of special characters and any form of encryption. Please also include your name and return address in your e-mail or Internet message. If you do not receive a confirmation from the system that we have received your e-mail or Internet message, contact us directly at 1–800–764–2627. The Call for Information Map delineates the Call area, all of which has been identified by MMS as having potential for the discovery of accumulations of oil and gas. Respondents are requested to indicate nominations and comment on any or all of the Federal acreage within the boundaries of the Call area that they wish to have included in each of the proposed sales in the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea. Although individual nominations are considered to be privileged and proprietary information, the names of persons or entities indicating interest or submitting comments will be of public record. Nominations must be submitted using the large-scale Call for Information Map by outlining the areas of interest along block lines. Respondents should rank areas in which they have nominated according to priority of interest; for example, priority 1 (high), or 2 (medium). Blocks nominated that do not indicate priorities will be considered priority 3 (low). Respondents must be specific in indicating blocks by priority and be prepared to discuss their range of interest and activity regarding the nominated area(s). The telephone number and name of a person to contact in the nominator’s organization for additional information should be included in the response. The Alaska OCS Regional Office will contact this person to set up a mutually agreeable time and place for a meeting to more fully review the company’s nominations. Respondents may also submit a detailed list of blocks nominated by Official Protraction Diagram and Leasing Map designations to ensure correct interpretation of their nominations. Official Protraction PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Diagrams and Leasing Maps can be purchased from the Records Manager referred to above. Companies and individuals responding this Call are advised of a dispute between the United States and Canada regarding Beaufort Sea Planning Area blocks in OPD’s NR07–06, NR07– 04, NS07–02, and NS07–08. (See Map Attachment 4.) While these blocks are part of the 2007 to 2012 5-Year Program Area to be considered and evaluated in the NEPA process, resolution of the claims dispute may affect the timing, terms of conditions, and potentially the issuance of leases in these four OPD’s. Comments are sought from all interested parties about particular geological (including natural hazard areas), environmental, biological, archaeological, and socioeconomic conditions or conflicts, or other information that might bear upon the potential leasing and development of particular areas. Comments are also sought on possible conflicts between future OCS oil and gas activities that may result from the proposed sales and the standards of the Alaska Coastal Management Program (ACMP) and the enforceable policies of an approved local district coastal management plan. If possible, these comments should identify specific Coastal Management Program (CMP) policies of concern, the nature of the conflict foreseen, and steps that MMS could take to avoid or mitigate the potential conflict. Comments may be in terms of broad areas or restricted to particular blocks or areas of concern. Those submitting comments are requested to list block numbers or outline the subject area on the standard Call for Information Map. Our practice is to make comments, including names and addresses of respondents, available for public review during regular business hours. Individual respondents may request that we withhold their address from the rulemaking record, which we will honor to the extent allowable by law. There also may be circumstances in which we would withhold a respondent’s identity, as allowable by law. If you wish us to withhold your name or address, you must state this prominently at the beginning of your comment. However, we will not consider anonymous comments. We will make all submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, available for public inspection in their entirety. E:\FR\FM\23AUN1.SGM 23AUN1 48297 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 163 / Thursday, August 23, 2007 / Notices 5. Use of Information from Call Information submitted in response to this Call will be used for several purposes. Responses will be used to: • Help identify areas of potential oil and gas development; • Identify environmental effects and potential use conflicts; • Assist in the scoping process for the EIS; • Develop possible alternatives to the proposed action; • Develop lease terms and conditions/mitigating measures; • Identify potential conflicts between oil and gas activities and the ACMP. 6. Existing Information The MMS has acquired a substantial amount of information, including that gained through the use of traditional knowledge, on the issues and concerns related to oil and gas leasing in the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea. An extensive environmental, social, and economic studies program has been underway in both areas since 1975. The emphasis has been on geologic mapping, environmental characterization of biologically sensitive habitats, endangered whales and marine mammals, physical oceanography, ocean-circulation modeling, and ecological and socio-cultural effects of oil and gas activities. Information on the studies program, completed studies, and a program status report for continuing studies in the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea may be obtained from the Chief, Environmental Studies Section, Alaska OCS Region, by telephone request at (907) 334–5281 or by written request at the address stated under Description of Area. A request may also be made via the Alaska Region Web site at http://www.mms.gov/alaska/ ref/pubindex/pubsindex.htm. 7. Tentative Schedule The following is a list of tentative milestone dates applicable to sales covered by this Call: Multiple-sale EIS process milestones for proposed Beaufort Sea Sales 209 and 217 and Chukchi Sea Sales 212 and 221 Call/NOI published ................................................................................................................................................................... Comments due on Call/NOI .................................................................................................................................................... Area Identification .................................................................................................................................................................... Draft EIS available ................................................................................................................................................................... Public Hearings ........................................................................................................................................................................ Final EIS available ................................................................................................................................................................... August 2007. September 2007. November 2007. July 2008. August 2008. March 2009. Consistency Determination, Proposed Notice of Sale, Section 19 Consultation, and Notice of Sale for Beaufort Sea Sale 209 Consistency Determination/Proposed Notice of Sale issued .................................................................................................. Governor’s Comments due ...................................................................................................................................................... Final Notice of Sale published ................................................................................................................................................. Sale held .................................................................................................................................................................................. March 2009. May 2009. October 2009. November 2009. Consistency Determination, Proposed Notice of Sale, Section 19 Consultation, and Notice of Sale for Chukchi Sea Sale 212 Consistency Determination/Proposed Notice of Sale issued .................................................................................................. Governor’s Comments due ...................................................................................................................................................... Final Notice of Sale published ................................................................................................................................................. Sale held .................................................................................................................................................................................. July 2009. October 2009. February 2010. March 2010. Multiple-sale NEPA process milestones for proposed Beaufort Sea Sale 217 and Chukchi Sea Sale 221 The Multiple-sale Supplemental EIS or Environmental Assessment for Sales 217 and 221 will commence about 21 months (Spring 2010) before Sale 217. If a Supplemental EIS is prepared, public hearings will occur approximately a year prior to Sale 217. The Final Supplemental EIS or EA will be completed and distributed to the public approximately 8 months prior to Sale 217. Consistency Determination, Proposed Notice of Sale, Section 19 Consultation, and Notice of Sale for Beaufort Sea Sale 217 Consistency Determination/Proposed Notice of Sale issued .................................................................................................. Governor’s Comments due ...................................................................................................................................................... Final Notice of Sale published ................................................................................................................................................. Sale 217 held ........................................................................................................................................................................... Spring 2011. Spring/Summer 2011. Fall 2011. Fall/Winter 2011. Consistency Determination, Proposed Notice of Sale, Section 19 Consultation, and Notice of Sale for Chukchi Sea Sale 221 Consistency Determination/Proposed Notice of Sale issued .................................................................................................. Governor’s Comments due ...................................................................................................................................................... Final Notice of Sale published ................................................................................................................................................. Sale 221 held ........................................................................................................................................................................... (NEPA) of 1969 as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq. (1988)) (NEPA). 1. Authority ebenthall on PRODPC61 with NOTICES Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement 2. Purpose of Notice of Intent The NOI is published pursuant to the regulations (40 CFR 1501.7) implementing the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act Pursuant to the regulations (40 CFR 1501.7) implementing the procedural provisions of the NEPA of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), MMS is announcing its intent to prepare a VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:04 Aug 22, 2007 Jkt 211001 PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Summer 2011. Fall 2011. Winter 2011/2012. Spring 2012. multiple-sale EIS on four tentatively scheduled oil and gas lease sales; two in the Beaufort Sea OCS Planning Area (sales 209 and 217) and two in the Chukchi Sea OCS Planning Area (sales 212 and 221). (Sale 193 in the Chukchi Sea is a carryover from the 5-Year Program for 2002–2007 and is not the subject of the NOI.) The EIS analysis E:\FR\FM\23AUN1.SGM 23AUN1 48298 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 163 / Thursday, August 23, 2007 / Notices ebenthall on PRODPC61 with NOTICES will focus on the potential environmental effects of four sales and the exploration and development and production that could result. Alternatives to the proposals which may be considered for each individual sale are to delay the sale, modify the sale, or cancel the sale. These and any additional alternatives developed through the scoping process would be considered in the sale-specific decision process. This Notice of Intent also serves to announce the initiation of the scoping process for this EIS. Throughout the scoping process, Federal, State, Tribal, and local governments and other interested parties aid MMS in determining the alternatives, issues, and mitigation measures to be analyzed in the EIS and the possible need for additional information. The multiple-sale EIS will serve as the NEPA document for Beaufort Sea Sale 209 and Chukchi Sea Sale 212. Prior to Sales 217 (Beaufort Sea) and 221 (Chukchi Sea) MMS will gather and review the new environmental information applicable to the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea Planning Areas. The MMS will summarize and assess potential effects based on this information, including any new concerns and issues, in either a Supplemental EIS or an Environmental Assessment, as appropriate. This NEPA document will be available to the public for their review prior to the issuance of the Proposed Notice of Sale. The Department of the Interior invites other Federal, State, Tribal, and local governments to consider becoming cooperating agencies in the preparation of the EIS. We invite qualified government entities to inquire about cooperating agency status for this lease sale EIS. Per 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 to remember that their role in the environmental analysis neither enlarges nor diminishes the final decision VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:04 Aug 22, 2007 Jkt 211001 making 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. MMS anticipates this summary will form the basis for a Memorandum of Understanding between the MMS and each cooperating agency. You 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 on 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 be providing financial assistance to cooperating agencies. Even if you are not a cooperating agency, you will continue to have opportunities to provide information and comments to MMS during the normal public input phases of the NEPA/EIS process. MMS will also consult with Tribal governments on a Government-toGovernment basis. If you would like further information about cooperating agencies, please contact Dr. Cleve Cowles, Regional Supervisor, Leasing and Environment, at the address noted above or by phone at (907) 334–5230. 3. New NEPA Procedure As described above, the multiple-sale EIS will encompass the Beaufort Sea OCS Planning Area and the Chukchi Sea OCS Planning Area. The preparation of a multiple-sale, multiple-planning area EIS is a new approach for the MMS Alaska OCS Region, although it has been used for sales in the Gulf of Mexico Region. Federal offshore leasing in the Beaufort Sea began in 1978 and PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 in the Chukchi Sea in 1988 with the potential effects of ten out of the thirteen sales analyzed by an individual EIS. Starting with the Program for 2002 to 2007, the Alaska OCS Region prepared a multiple-sale EIS for the three sales held in the Beaufort Sea OCS Planning Area. For the proposed final Program for 2007 to 2012, we extend this approach by preparing a multiplesale, multiple-planning area EIS. This approach will provide several benefits. It will thoroughly describe the effects of individual proposed actions (the four lease sales) and cumulative effects of reasonably-foreseeable future actions within and across the two areas. It will focus the NEPA process by making impact types and levels that change between the first and second sale in each planning area more easily recognizable. New issues will be more easily highlighted for the decisionmakers and the public. It will also eliminate the repetitive issuance of a complete EIS for each sale, a practice that has resulted in ‘‘review burnout’’ in Federal, State, tribal, and local governments, and the public. 4. Instructions on Notice of Intent Federal, State, tribal, and local governments and other interested parties are requested to send their written comments on the scope of the EIS, including the alternatives, issues, and mitigation measures that should be addressed in the EIS, to the Regional Supervisor, Leasing and Environment, Alaska OCS Region, at the address stated under Instructions on Call above. Comments should be enclosed in an envelope labeled ‘‘Comments on the Notice of Intent to Prepare an EIS on Proposed Chukchi and Beaufort Sea Lease Sales included in the Program, 2007–2012.’’ Comments are due no later than 45 days from publication of this Notice. Scoping meetings will be held in appropriate locations to obtain additional comments and information regarding the scope of this EIS. Dated: August 8, 2007. Randall B. Luthi, Director, Minerals Management Service. BILLING CODE 4310–MR–P E:\FR\FM\23AUN1.SGM 23AUN1 VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:04 Aug 22, 2007 Jkt 211001 PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\23AUN1.SGM 23AUN1 48299 EN23AU07.003</GPH> ebenthall on PRODPC61 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 163 / Thursday, August 23, 2007 / Notices Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 163 / Thursday, August 23, 2007 / Notices [FR Doc. 07–4134 Filed 8–22–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–MR–C VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:04 Aug 22, 2007 Jkt 211001 PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\23AUN1.SGM 23AUN1 EN23AU07.004</GPH> ebenthall on PRODPC61 with NOTICES 48300

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 163 (Thursday, August 23, 2007)]
[Notices]
[Pages 48295-48300]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 07-4134]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Minerals Management Service


Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), Alaska OCS Region, Beaufort Sea 
and Chukchi Sea, Proposed Oil and Gas Lease Sales for Years 2007 to 
2012

AGENCY: Minerals Management Service (MMS), Interior.

ACTION: Call for information and nominations and Notice of Intent (NOI) 
to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

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

SUMMARY: This Call for Information and Nominations (hereinafter 
referred to as ``Call'') is the initial step in a multiple-sale process 
that incorporates planning and analysis for lease sales in the Beaufort 
Sea and Chukchi Sea planning areas included in the proposed final OCS 
Oil and Gas Leasing Program 2007-2012 (see 72 Federal Register (FR) 
24326, May 2, 2007). Four lease sales are addressed in this Call; two 
in the Beaufort Sea (sales 209 and 217) and two in the Chukchi Sea 
(sales 212 and 221). (Sale 193 in the Chukchi Sea is a carryover from 
the Program for 2002-2007 and is not addressed by this Call.) 
Simultaneously with this Call, MMS is giving notice of its intent to 
prepare a multiple-sale EIS for the four sales.

DATES: Nominations and comments must be received no later than 45 days 
following publication of this document in the Federal Register. 
Submittals should be labeled ``Nominations for Proposed Lease Sales in 
the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea, 2007-2012'' or ``Comments on Call for 
Information and Nominations for Proposed Lease Sales in the Beaufort 
Sea and Chukchi Sea, 2007-2012, as appropriate.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Please contact Fred King at (907) 334-
5271 in MMS's Alaska OCS Region, 3801 Centerpoint Drive, Ste 500, 
Anchorage, AK 99503-5823 regarding questions on the Call/NOI.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The multiple-sale review process is based on 
more than 30 years of leasing in the Beaufort Sea and more than 20 
years in the Chukchi Sea. In 2001, MMS initiated the multiple-sale 
review process by issuing a multiple-sale Call for three sales in the 
Beaufort Sea (sales 186, 195 and 202), held under the OCS Oil and Gas 
Leasing Program, 2002-2007. The MMS is now issuing a multiple-sale Call 
for the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea sales in the proposed final 
program for 2007-2012.
    The final multiple-sale EIS will serve as the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) 
Consistency Determination (CD) analysis for Beaufort Sea Sale 209 and 
Chukchi Sea Sale 212. MMS will prepare additional NEPA, CZMA, and Outer 
Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) documents, as appropriate.

Call for Information and Nominations

1. Authority

    This Call is published pursuant to the OCS Lands Act as amended (43 
U.S.C. 1331-1356, (1994)) and the regulations issued thereunder (30 CFR 
256); and in accordance with the proposed final OCS Oil and Gas Leasing 
Program, 2007-2012.

2. Purpose of Call

    The purpose of the Call is to gather information for the following 
tentatively scheduled OCS Oil and Gas Lease Sales in the Beaufort Sea 
and Chukchi Sea:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   Sale
                 Lease sale, OCS planning area                     year
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sale 209, Beaufort Sea.........................................     2009
Sale 212, Chukchi Sea..........................................     2010
Sale 217, Beaufort Sea.........................................     2011
Sale 221, Chukchi Sea..........................................     2012
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Sale 193 in the Chukchi Sea is not part of this Call. Sale 193 was 
initiated in 2005 (70 FR 6903) as part of the OCS Oil and Gas Leasing 
Program, 2002-2007, and was carried over to the Program for 2007-2012 
to allow adequate time to complete necessary pre-lease steps and 
environmental assessment and documentation. Sale 193 is scheduled for 
February 2008. Information and nominations on oil and gas leasing, 
exploration, and development and production within the Beaufort Sea and 
Chukchi Sea are sought from all interested parties. This early planning 
and consultation step is important for ensuring that all interests and 
concerns are communicated to the U.S. Department of the Interior for 
its consideration in future decisions in the leasing process pursuant 
to the OCS Lands Act and regulations at 30 CFR 256. Responses are 
requested for the four sales listed in the Call proposed in

[[Page 48296]]

the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea planning areas between 2007 and 2012. 
This Call/NOI is being issued in accordance with the proposed final OCS 
Oil and Gas Leasing Program, 2007-2012, published on May 2, 2007 (72 FR 
24326).
    This Call also does not indicate a preliminary decision to lease in 
the areas described below. Final decision and delineation of each area 
for possible leasing will be made at a later date and in compliance 
with applicable laws including all requirements of NEPA and OCSLA using 
established departmental procedures.

3. Description of Area

    The area that is the subject of this Call is located offshore the 
State of Alaska in the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea planning areas. The 
``program area'' is that subarea of the larger planning areas that may 
be offered in the OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program, 2007-2012. The 
Beaufort Sea program area extends offshore from about 3 nautical miles 
to approximately 205 statute miles, in water depths from approximately 
25 feet to 3,000 feet. This area consists of approximately 6,045 whole 
and partial blocks (about 33 million acres). The Chukchi Sea program 
area extends offshore from 25 to approximately 275 statute miles, in 
water depths from approximately 60 to 660 feet (up to 3,000 feet in a 
portion of the program area). This area consists of 7,324 whole or 
partial blocks (about 40 million acres). A page size map of each area 
accompanies this Call. A large scale Call map showing the boundaries of 
the area on a block-by-block basis is available without charge from the 
Records Manager at the address given below, or by telephone request at 
1-800-764-2627. Copies of Official Protraction Diagrams (OPDs) are also 
available for $2 each from Alaska OCS Region, Minerals Management 
Service, 3801 Centerpoint Drive, Ste. 500, Anchorage, Alaska 99503-
5823, http://www.mms.gov/alaska.

4. Instructions on Call

    Nominations and information must be received no later than 45 days 
following publication of this Call in the Federal Register. Submittals 
should indicate ``Nominations for Proposed Lease Sales in the Beaufort 
and Chukchi Sea, 2007-2012'' or ``Comments on the Call for Information 
for Proposed Lease Sales in Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, 2007-2012'' as 
appropriate. Nominations and comments may be submitted by any one the 
following methods:
     Mail or hand-deliver comments to the Regional Supervisor, 
Leasing and Environment, Alaska OCS Region, Minerals Management 
Service, 3801 Centerpoint Drive, Ste. 500, Anchorage, Alaska 99503-
5823.
     Submit comments by Internet through MMS Public Connect at  
https://ocsconnect.mms.gov/pcs-public/.
     Fax comments to the Regional Supervisor, Leasing and 
Environment, Alaska OCS Region, Minerals Management Service at (907) 
334-5242.
     E-mail comments to arcticmultisale@mms.gov.
    Please submit e-mail or Internet comments as an ASCII file, 
avoiding the use of special characters and any form of encryption. 
Please also include your name and return address in your e-mail or 
Internet message. If you do not receive a confirmation from the system 
that we have received your e-mail or Internet message, contact us 
directly at 1-800-764-2627.
    The Call for Information Map delineates the Call area, all of which 
has been identified by MMS as having potential for the discovery of 
accumulations of oil and gas. Respondents are requested to indicate 
nominations and comment on any or all of the Federal acreage within the 
boundaries of the Call area that they wish to have included in each of 
the proposed sales in the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea. Although 
individual nominations are considered to be privileged and proprietary 
information, the names of persons or entities indicating interest or 
submitting comments will be of public record.
    Nominations must be submitted using the large-scale Call for 
Information Map by outlining the areas of interest along block lines. 
Respondents should rank areas in which they have nominated according to 
priority of interest; for example, priority 1 (high), or 2 (medium). 
Blocks nominated that do not indicate priorities will be considered 
priority 3 (low). Respondents must be specific in indicating blocks by 
priority and be prepared to discuss their range of interest and 
activity regarding the nominated area(s). The telephone number and name 
of a person to contact in the nominator's organization for additional 
information should be included in the response. The Alaska OCS Regional 
Office will contact this person to set up a mutually agreeable time and 
place for a meeting to more fully review the company's nominations. 
Respondents may also submit a detailed list of blocks nominated by 
Official Protraction Diagram and Leasing Map designations to ensure 
correct interpretation of their nominations. Official Protraction 
Diagrams and Leasing Maps can be purchased from the Records Manager 
referred to above.
    Companies and individuals responding this Call are advised of a 
dispute between the United States and Canada regarding Beaufort Sea 
Planning Area blocks in OPD's NR07-06, NR07-04, NS07-02, and NS07-08. 
(See Map Attachment 4.) While these blocks are part of the 2007 to 2012 
5-Year Program Area to be considered and evaluated in the NEPA process, 
resolution of the claims dispute may affect the timing, terms of 
conditions, and potentially the issuance of leases in these four OPD's.
    Comments are sought from all interested parties about particular 
geological (including natural hazard areas), environmental, biological, 
archaeological, and socioeconomic conditions or conflicts, or other 
information that might bear upon the potential leasing and development 
of particular areas. Comments are also sought on possible conflicts 
between future OCS oil and gas activities that may result from the 
proposed sales and the standards of the Alaska Coastal Management 
Program (ACMP) and the enforceable policies of an approved local 
district coastal management plan. If possible, these comments should 
identify specific Coastal Management Program (CMP) policies of concern, 
the nature of the conflict foreseen, and steps that MMS could take to 
avoid or mitigate the potential conflict. Comments may be in terms of 
broad areas or restricted to particular blocks or areas of concern. 
Those submitting comments are requested to list block numbers or 
outline the subject area on the standard Call for Information Map.
    Our practice is to make comments, including names and addresses of 
respondents, available for public review during regular business hours. 
Individual respondents may request that we withhold their address from 
the rulemaking record, which we will honor to the extent allowable by 
law. There also may be circumstances in which we would withhold a 
respondent's identity, as allowable by law. If you wish us to withhold 
your name or address, you must state this prominently at the beginning 
of your comment. However, we will not consider anonymous comments. We 
will make all submissions from organizations or businesses, and from 
individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of 
organizations or businesses, available for public inspection in their 
entirety.

[[Page 48297]]

5. Use of Information from Call

    Information submitted in response to this Call will be used for 
several purposes. Responses will be used to:
     Help identify areas of potential oil and gas development;
     Identify environmental effects and potential use 
conflicts;
     Assist in the scoping process for the EIS;
     Develop possible alternatives to the proposed action;
     Develop lease terms and conditions/mitigating measures;
     Identify potential conflicts between oil and gas 
activities and the ACMP.

6. Existing Information

    The MMS has acquired a substantial amount of information, including 
that gained through the use of traditional knowledge, on the issues and 
concerns related to oil and gas leasing in the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi 
Sea.
    An extensive environmental, social, and economic studies program 
has been underway in both areas since 1975. The emphasis has been on 
geologic mapping, environmental characterization of biologically 
sensitive habitats, endangered whales and marine mammals, physical 
oceanography, ocean-circulation modeling, and ecological and socio-
cultural effects of oil and gas activities.
    Information on the studies program, completed studies, and a 
program status report for continuing studies in the Beaufort Sea and 
Chukchi Sea may be obtained from the Chief, Environmental Studies 
Section, Alaska OCS Region, by telephone request at (907) 334-5281 or 
by written request at the address stated under Description of Area. A 
request may also be made via the Alaska Region Web site at http://
www.mms.gov/alaska/ref/pubindex/pubsindex.htm.

7. Tentative Schedule

    The following is a list of tentative milestone dates applicable to 
sales covered by this Call:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Multiple-sale EIS process milestones for proposed Beaufort Sea Sales 209
                and 217 and Chukchi Sea Sales 212 and 221
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Call/NOI published..................  August 2007.
Comments due on Call/NOI............  September 2007.
Area Identification.................  November 2007.
Draft EIS available.................  July 2008.
Public Hearings.....................  August 2008.
Final EIS available.................  March 2009.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Consistency Determination, Proposed Notice of Sale, Section 19
       Consultation, and Notice of Sale for Beaufort Sea Sale 209
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Consistency Determination/Proposed    March 2009.
 Notice of Sale issued.
Governor's Comments due.............  May 2009.
Final Notice of Sale published......  October 2009.
Sale held...........................  November 2009.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Consistency Determination, Proposed Notice of Sale, Section 19
        Consultation, and Notice of Sale for Chukchi Sea Sale 212
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Consistency Determination/Proposed    July 2009.
 Notice of Sale issued.
Governor's Comments due.............  October 2009.
Final Notice of Sale published......  February 2010.
Sale held...........................  March 2010.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Multiple-sale NEPA process milestones for proposed Beaufort Sea Sale 217
                        and Chukchi Sea Sale 221
------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Multiple-sale Supplemental EIS or Environmental Assessment for Sales
 217 and 221 will commence about 21 months (Spring 2010) before Sale
 217. If a Supplemental EIS is prepared, public hearings will occur
 approximately a year prior to Sale 217. The Final Supplemental EIS or
 EA will be completed and distributed to the public approximately 8
 months prior to Sale 217.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Consistency Determination, Proposed Notice of Sale, Section 19
       Consultation, and Notice of Sale for Beaufort Sea Sale 217
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Consistency Determination/Proposed    Spring 2011.
 Notice of Sale issued.
Governor's Comments due.............  Spring/Summer 2011.
Final Notice of Sale published......  Fall 2011.
Sale 217 held.......................  Fall/Winter 2011.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Consistency Determination, Proposed Notice of Sale, Section 19
        Consultation, and Notice of Sale for Chukchi Sea Sale 221
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Consistency Determination/Proposed    Summer 2011.
 Notice of Sale issued.
Governor's Comments due.............  Fall 2011.
Final Notice of Sale published......  Winter 2011/2012.
Sale 221 held.......................  Spring 2012.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement

1. Authority

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

2. Purpose of Notice of Intent

    Pursuant to the regulations (40 CFR 1501.7) implementing the 
procedural provisions of the NEPA of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), MMS 
is announcing its intent to prepare a multiple-sale EIS on four 
tentatively scheduled oil and gas lease sales; two in the Beaufort Sea 
OCS Planning Area (sales 209 and 217) and two in the Chukchi Sea OCS 
Planning Area (sales 212 and 221). (Sale 193 in the Chukchi Sea is a 
carryover from the 5-Year Program for 2002-2007 and is not the subject 
of the NOI.) The EIS analysis

[[Page 48298]]

will focus on the potential environmental effects of four sales and the 
exploration and development and production that could result. 
Alternatives to the proposals which may be considered for each 
individual sale are to delay the sale, modify the sale, or cancel the 
sale. These and any additional alternatives developed through the 
scoping process would be considered in the sale-specific decision 
process. This Notice of Intent also serves to announce the initiation 
of the scoping process for this EIS. Throughout the scoping process, 
Federal, State, Tribal, and local governments and other interested 
parties aid MMS in determining the alternatives, issues, and mitigation 
measures to be analyzed in the EIS and the possible need for additional 
information.
    The multiple-sale EIS will serve as the NEPA document for Beaufort 
Sea Sale 209 and Chukchi Sea Sale 212. Prior to Sales 217 (Beaufort 
Sea) and 221 (Chukchi Sea) MMS will gather and review the new 
environmental information applicable to the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi 
Sea Planning Areas. The MMS will summarize and assess potential effects 
based on this information, including any new concerns and issues, in 
either a Supplemental EIS or an Environmental Assessment, as 
appropriate. This NEPA document will be available to the public for 
their review prior to the issuance of the Proposed Notice of Sale.
    The Department of the Interior invites other Federal, State, 
Tribal, and local governments to consider becoming cooperating agencies 
in the preparation of the EIS. We invite qualified government entities 
to inquire about cooperating agency status for this lease sale EIS. Per 
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 to remember that their role in the environmental 
analysis neither enlarges nor diminishes the final decision making 
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 pre-decisional information. MMS anticipates this 
summary will form the basis for a Memorandum of Understanding between 
the MMS and each cooperating agency. You 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 
on 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 be providing financial 
assistance to cooperating agencies. Even if you are not a cooperating 
agency, you will continue to have opportunities to provide information 
and comments to MMS during the normal public input phases of the NEPA/
EIS process. MMS will also consult with Tribal governments on a 
Government-to-Government basis. If you would like further information 
about cooperating agencies, please contact Dr. Cleve Cowles, Regional 
Supervisor, Leasing and Environment, at the address noted above or by 
phone at (907) 334-5230.

3. New NEPA Procedure

    As described above, the multiple-sale EIS will encompass the 
Beaufort Sea OCS Planning Area and the Chukchi Sea OCS Planning Area. 
The preparation of a multiple-sale, multiple-planning area EIS is a new 
approach for the MMS Alaska OCS Region, although it has been used for 
sales in the Gulf of Mexico Region. Federal offshore leasing in the 
Beaufort Sea began in 1978 and in the Chukchi Sea in 1988 with the 
potential effects of ten out of the thirteen sales analyzed by an 
individual EIS. Starting with the Program for 2002 to 2007, the Alaska 
OCS Region prepared a multiple-sale EIS for the three sales held in the 
Beaufort Sea OCS Planning Area. For the proposed final Program for 2007 
to 2012, we extend this approach by preparing a multiple-sale, 
multiple-planning area EIS.
    This approach will provide several benefits. It will thoroughly 
describe the effects of individual proposed actions (the four lease 
sales) and cumulative effects of reasonably-foreseeable future actions 
within and across the two areas. It will focus the NEPA process by 
making impact types and levels that change between the first and second 
sale in each planning area more easily recognizable. New issues will be 
more easily highlighted for the decisionmakers and the public. It will 
also eliminate the repetitive issuance of a complete EIS for each sale, 
a practice that has resulted in ``review burnout'' in Federal, State, 
tribal, and local governments, and the public.

4. Instructions on Notice of Intent

    Federal, State, tribal, and local governments and other interested 
parties are requested to send their written comments on the scope of 
the EIS, including the alternatives, issues, and mitigation measures 
that should be addressed in the EIS, to the Regional Supervisor, 
Leasing and Environment, Alaska OCS Region, at the address stated under 
Instructions on Call above. Comments should be enclosed in an envelope 
labeled ``Comments on the Notice of Intent to Prepare an EIS on 
Proposed Chukchi and Beaufort Sea Lease Sales included in the Program, 
2007-2012.'' Comments are due no later than 45 days from publication of 
this Notice. Scoping meetings will be held in appropriate locations to 
obtain additional comments and information regarding the scope of this 
EIS.

    Dated: August 8, 2007.
Randall B. Luthi,
Director, Minerals Management Service.
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