Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), Central Planning Area (CPA) in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), Oil and Gas Lease Sale 213 in 2010, 59646-59649 [E8-23975]

Download as PDF 59646 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 197 / Thursday, October 9, 2008 / Notices sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES 82 West, Sixth Principal Meridian, Colorado, was accepted on June 25, 2008. The plat and field notes, in duplicate, of the dependent resurvey and surveys in Township 35 North, Ranges 11 and 12 West, of the New Mexico Principal Meridian, Colorado, were accepted on August 26, 2008. The plat (in seven sheets) and field notes, in duplicate, of the dependent resurvey and the resurvey of certain mineral surveys in section 19, Township 1 North, Range 71 West, Sixth Principal Meridian, Colorado, were accepted on September 9, 2008. The plat and field notes, in duplicate, of the dependent resurvey and section subdivision in Township 43 North, Range 10 East, New Mexico Principal Meridian, Colorado, and the plat (in 3 sheets) and field notes, in duplicate of the dependent resurvey of a portion of the north and west boundaries of the Luis Maria Baca Land Grant No. 4, a portion of the south boundary of Township 43 North, Range 11 East, and the metes-and-bounds survey of the north, east, and a portion of the west boundary of the Baca National Wildlife Refuge within the Luis Maria Baca Land Grant No. 4, in the state of Colorado were accepted on September 12, 2008. The plat and field notes, in duplicate, of the dependent resurvey and survey, in section 33, Township 22 South, Range 69 West, Sixth Principal Meridian, Colorado, were accepted on September 16, 2008. The plat and field notes, in duplicate, of the dependent resurvey of a portion of the west boundary and subdivisional lines and the subdivision of section 7, in Township 21 South, Range 71 West, Sixth Principal Meridian, Colorado, were accepted on September 17, 2008. The plat and field notes, in duplicate, of the dependent resurvey and surveys in Township 50 North, Range 9 West, New Mexico Principal Meridian, Colorado, were accepted on September 22, 2008. The plat and field notes, in duplicate, of the dependent resurvey and section subdivision of sections 14, 23 and 26, Township 45 North, Range 6 East, New Mexico Principal Meridian, Colorado, were accepted on September 23, 2008. Randall M. Zanon, Chief Cadastral Surveyor for Colorado. [FR Doc. E8–23875 Filed 10–8–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–JB–P VerDate Aug<31>2005 21:01 Oct 08, 2008 Jkt 217001 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [UTU–42903, UTU–42913, UTU–42914, UTU– 42916, UTU–42922, UTU–079344, UTU– 087798, and UTU–0105337] Proposed Continuation of Withdrawals; Utah Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of Proposed Realty Action. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) proposes that 9 withdrawals for the Provo River Project be continued for 20 years. The lands are still needed for the purpose for which they were withdrawn. The lands would remain withdrawn as specified in the orders. DATES: Comments must be received on or before January 7, 2009. ADDRESSES: Comments should be sent to the Regional Director, BOR, Upper Colorado Regional Office, 125 South State Street, Room 6107, Salt Lake City, Utah 84138–1147, Attn. Dalia Hernandez. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dalia Hernandez, BOR, at the above address, 801–524–3763, or dhernandez@uc.usbr.gov or Rhonda Flynn, Bureau of Land Management, Utah State Office, 440 West 200 South, Suite 500, Salt Lake City, Utah 84101– 1345, 801–539–4132 or rhonda_flynn@blm.gov. The BOR has determined that the lands are still needed for reclamation purposes. Two of the Secretarial Orders have the same date. Copies of the Secretarial Orders and Public Land Orders containing a legal description of the lands involved are available from the BOR at the address above. The BOR proposes that the withdrawals made by the Secretarial Orders dated June 17, 1905, April 18, 1939, November 19, 1940, January 15, 1942, January 15, 1942, and September 23, 1943; and Public Land Order No. 3163 (28 FR 7986), Public Land Order No. 3169 (28 FR 7988), and Public Land Order No. 3170 (28 FR 7988) which withdrew lands on behalf of the Bureau of Reclamation for the Provo River Project be continued for a period of 20 years. The lands would remain withdrawn as specified in the orders. The lands referenced aggregate approximately 5,463 acres in Duchesne, Salt Lake, Summit, Utah, and Wasatch Counties. For a period of 90 days from the date of publication of this notice, all persons SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 who wish to submit comments, suggestions, or objections in connection with the proposed action may present their views in writing to the BOR Regional Director, at the address above. Comments, including names and street addresses of respondents, and records relating to the proposed land transfer will be available for public review during regular business hours at the BOR Regional Office at the address above. Individual respondents may request confidentiality. 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. Authority: 43 CFR 2310.3–1. Dated: October 2, 2008. Donald R. Banks, State Director, Acting. [FR Doc. E8–23969 Filed 10–8–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–MN–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Minerals Management Service Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), Central Planning Area (CPA) in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), Oil and Gas Lease Sale 213 in 2010 Minerals Management Service (MMS), Interior. ACTION: Call for Information and Nominations/Notice of Preparation (Call/NOP) of an Environmental Assessment (EA). AGENCY: SUMMARY: This Call for Information and Nominations (hereinafter referred to as the ‘‘Call’’) is the initial step in the prelease process. The purpose of the Call 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 2010. The purpose of the NOP is to announce MMS’s intent to prepare an EA for CPA Sale 213. DATES: Comments must be received no later than November 10, 2008 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 E:\FR\FM\09OCN1.SGM 09OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 197 / Thursday, October 9, 2008 / Notices Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123–2394, telephone (504) 736–2803. For information on the NOP, you may contact Mr. Gary Goeke, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123–2394, telephone (504) 736–3233. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On July 14, 2008, the President modified an Executive order, thereby making additional acreage available for leasing in the Central Planning Area of the Gulf of Mexico. The EA associated with this NOP will update the environmental and socioeconomic analyses. The MMS plans to complete National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), OCS Lands Act (OCSLA), 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). sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES 2. Purpose of Call The purpose of the Call is to gather information for the following tentatively scheduled OCS Lease Sale in the Central Planning Area. Lease Sale, OCS Planning Area: Lease Sale 213, Central Planning Area. Tentative Lease Sale Date: March 2010. Information and nominations on oil and gas leasing, exploration, development and production within this portion of the CPA 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. 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 A Call for the majority of the acreage in the CPA was issued in April 2006. This Call encompasses approximately 90,998.2424 acres in that portion of the CPA made available by the President’s action. A standard Call for Information Map depicting this portion of the Central Planning Area is available without charge from: Minerals VerDate Aug<31>2005 21:01 Oct 08, 2008 Jkt 217001 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 213 in 2010,’’ submitted to the Gulf of Mexico Region’s Leasing Activities Section, Sales and Support Unit (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. Second, comments may be used in developing lease terms and conditions to ensure environmentally safe offshore operations, and, third, comments may be used to assess potential conflicts PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 59647 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, oceancirculation modeling, ecological effects of oil and gas activities, and hurricane impacts on coastal communities and the environment. 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 213 in 2010 NOP for an EA, October 2008. Call for Information and Nominations, October 2008. Comments received on Call/NOP, November 2008. Area Identification Decision, December 2008–January 2009. NOA/Final EA, September–October 2009. Proposed Notice and Coastal Zone Management Consistency Determination, October 2009. Final Notice of Sale, February 2010. Tentative Lease Sale Date, March 2010 (Lease Sale 213). Notice of Preparation of an Environmental Assessment 1. Authority This NOP 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)). E:\FR\FM\09OCN1.SGM 09OCN1 59648 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 197 / Thursday, October 9, 2008 / Notices 2. Purpose of Notice of Preparation Pursuant to the regulations implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA, MMS is announcing its preparation of an Environmental Assessment on an oil and gas lease sale tentatively scheduled in early 2010 in the CPA offshore the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. The MMS is issuing this notice to facilitate public involvement. The preparation of this EA is an important step in the decision process for Lease Sale 213. The proposal for Lease Sale 213 was analyzed in the Gulf of Mexico OCS Oil and Gas Lease Sales: 2009– 2012; Western Planning Area Sales 210, 215, and 218; Central Planning Area Sales 208, 213, 216, and 222—Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (Supplemental EIS, OCS EIS/ EA MMS 2008–041). This EA for proposed Lease Sale 213 will reexamine the potential environmental effects of the proposed lease sale and its alternatives (i.e., excluding the unleased blocks near biologically sensitive topographic features; excluding the unleased blocks within 15 miles of the Baldwin County, Alabama, Coast; and no action) based on any new information regarding potential impacts and issues that were not available at the time the Supplemental EIS was prepared. This EA for proposed Lease Sale 213 will also examine the potential environmental effects of the addition of two small areas within the CPA, located greater than 100 miles from the coasts of Alabama and Florida, that were not previously examined by the Supplemental EIS (OCS EIS/EA MMS 2008–041) or Multisale EIS (OCS EIS/ EA MMS 2007–018), but were included in the 5-year program. 3. Supplemental Information sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES The Multisale EIS (OCS EIS/EA MMS 2007–018) addressed CPA lease sales VerDate Aug<31>2005 21:01 Oct 08, 2008 Jkt 217001 Sale 205 in 2007, Sale 206 in 2008, Sale 208 in 2009, Sale 213 in 2010, Sale 216 in 2011, and Sale 222 in 2012; and WPA lease sales Sale 204 in 2007, Sale 207 in 2008, Sale 210 in 2009, Sale 215 in 2010, and Sale 218 in 2011. However, the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 repealed the Congressional moratorium on approximately 5.8 million acres located in the southeastern part of the Central Planning Area (CPA). Therefore, it was necessary to prepare additional NEPA documentation to address the MMS proposal to expand the CPA by the 5.8 million acre area. Federal regulations allow for several related or similar proposals to be analyzed in one EIS (40 CFR 1502.4). Since each proposed lease sale and its projected activities are very similar each year for each planning area, a single Supplemental EIS was prepared for the remaining seven Western Planning Area (WPA) and CPA lease sales scheduled in the OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program: 2007–2012 (5-Year Program). In September 2008, MMS published a Supplemental EIS (OCS EIS/EA MMS 2008–041) that addressed seven proposed Federal actions that would offer for lease areas on the GOM OCS that may contain economically recoverable oil and gas resources. After completion of this EA, MMS will determine whether to prepare a Finding of No New Significant Impact (FONNSI) or a Supplemental EIS. The MMS prepares a Consistency Determination (CD) to determine whether the lease sale is consistent with each affected State’s federally-approved coastal zone management program. Finally, MMS will solicit comments via the Proposed Notice of Sale (PNOS) from the governors of the affected States on the size, timing, and location of the lease sale. The tentative schedule for the prelease decision process for Lease Sale 213 is as follows: EA/FONNSI or PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Supplemental EIS decision, September– October 2009; CD’s will be sent to affected States five months before the lease sale; PNOS sent to governors of the affected States, five months before the lease sale; Final Notice of Sale, if applicable, published in the Federal Register, February 2010. For more information on the EA, you may contact Gary Goeke, 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. Goeke by telephone at (504) 736–3233. 4. Comments Federal, State, and local government agencies, and other interested parties are requested to send their written comments on the EA, 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 213 EA’’ or select it from the ‘‘Projects Open for Comment’’ menu. 2. In written form enclosed in an envelope labeled ‘‘Comments on the Lease Sale 213 EA’’ and mailed (or hand carried) to the Regional Supervisor, Leasing and Environment (MS 5410), Minerals Management Service, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123–2394. 3. Electronically to the MMS e-mail address: environment@mms.gov. Comments should be submitted no later than 30 days from the publication of this NOP. Dated: September 30, 2008. Randall B. Luthi, Director, Minerals Management Service. E:\FR\FM\09OCN1.SGM 09OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 197 / Thursday, October 9, 2008 / Notices BILLING CODE 4310–MR–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Minerals Management Service Notice on Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Lease Sales AGENCY: Minerals Management Service, Interior. List of Restricted Joint Bidders. sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES ACTION: SUMMARY: Pursuant to the authority vested in the Director of the Minerals Management Service by the joint bidding provisions of 30 CFR 256.41, each entity within one of the following groups shall be restricted from bidding with any entity in any other of the following groups at Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas lease sales to be held during the bidding period November 1, 2008 through April 30, 2009. The List of Restricted Joint Bidders published in the Federal Register April 22, 2008, and the correction published in the Federal Register on June 27, 2008, covered the period May 1, 2008 through October 31, 2008. Group I Exxon Mobil Corporation ExxonMobil Exploration Company VerDate Aug<31>2005 21:01 Oct 08, 2008 Jkt 217001 Group II Shell Oil Company Shell Offshore Inc SWEPI LP Shell Frontier Oil & Gas Inc. Shell Consolidated Energy Resources Inc. Shell Land & Energy Company Shell Onshore Ventures Inc. Shell Offshore Properties and Capital II, Inc. Shell Rocky Mountain Production LLC Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc. Group III BP America Production Company BP Exploration & Production Inc. BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. Group IV TOTAL E&P USA, Inc. Group VI ConocoPhillips Company ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc. ConocoPhillips Petroleum Company Phillips Pt. Arguello Production Company Frm 00054 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Group VII Eni Petroleum Co. Inc. Eni Petroleum US LLC Eni Oil US LLC Eni Marketing Inc. Eni BB Petroleum Inc. Eni US Operating Co. Inc. Eni BB Pipeline LLC Group VIII Group V Chevron Corporation Chevron U.S.A. Inc. Chevron Midcontinent, L.P. Unocal Corporation Union Oil Company of California Pure Partners, L.P. PO 00000 Burlington Resources Oil & Gas Company LP Burlington Resources Offshore Inc. The Louisiana Land and Exploration Company Inexeco Oil Company Petrobras America Inc. Group IX StatoilHydro ASA Statoil Gulf of Mexico LLC StatoilHydro USA E&P, Inc. StatoilHydro Gulf Properties Inc. Dated: September 24, 2008. Randall B. Luthi, Director, Minerals Management Service. [FR Doc. E8–23976 Filed 10–8–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–MR–P E:\FR\FM\09OCN1.SGM 09OCN1 EN09OC08.017</GPH> [FR Doc. E8–23975 Filed 10–8–08; 8:45 am] 59649

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 197 (Thursday, October 9, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Pages 59646-59649]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-23975]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Minerals Management Service


Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), Central Planning Area (CPA) in the 
Gulf of Mexico (GOM), Oil and Gas Lease Sale 213 in 2010

AGENCY: Minerals Management Service (MMS), Interior.

ACTION: Call for Information and Nominations/Notice of Preparation 
(Call/NOP) of an Environmental Assessment (EA).

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

SUMMARY: This Call for Information and Nominations (hereinafter 
referred to as the ``Call'') is the initial step in the prelease 
process. The purpose of the Call 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 2010. The purpose 
of the NOP is to announce MMS's intent to prepare an EA for CPA Sale 
213.

DATES: Comments must be received no later than November 10, 2008 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

[[Page 59647]]

Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123-2394, telephone (504) 736-2803. 
For information on the NOP, you may contact Mr. Gary Goeke, Gulf of 
Mexico OCS Region, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 
70123-2394, telephone (504) 736-3233.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On July 14, 2008, the President modified an 
Executive order, thereby making additional acreage available for 
leasing in the Central Planning Area of the Gulf of Mexico. The EA 
associated with this NOP will update the environmental and 
socioeconomic analyses. The MMS plans to complete National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), OCS Lands Act (OCSLA), 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 the Central Planning Area.

Lease Sale, OCS Planning Area:
    Lease Sale 213, Central Planning Area.
Tentative Lease Sale Date:
    March 2010.

    Information and nominations on oil and gas leasing, exploration, 
development and production within this portion of the CPA 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.
    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

    A Call for the majority of the acreage in the CPA was issued in 
April 2006. This Call encompasses approximately 90,998.2424 acres in 
that portion of the CPA made available by the President's action. A 
standard Call for Information Map depicting this portion of the Central 
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 213 in 2010,'' submitted to the Gulf of Mexico 
Region's Leasing Activities Section, Sales and Support Unit (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. Second, comments may be 
used in developing lease terms and conditions to ensure environmentally 
safe offshore operations, and, third, 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-
circulation modeling, ecological effects of oil and gas activities, and 
hurricane impacts on coastal communities and the environment.
    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 213 in 2010
    NOP for an EA, October 2008.
    Call for Information and Nominations, October 2008.
    Comments received on Call/NOP, November 2008.
    Area Identification Decision, December 2008-January 2009.
    NOA/Final EA, September-October 2009.
    Proposed Notice and Coastal Zone Management Consistency 
Determination, October 2009.
    Final Notice of Sale, February 2010.
    Tentative Lease Sale Date, March 2010 (Lease Sale 213).

Notice of Preparation of an Environmental Assessment

1. Authority

    This NOP 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)).

[[Page 59648]]

2. Purpose of Notice of Preparation

    Pursuant to the regulations implementing the procedural provisions 
of NEPA, MMS is announcing its preparation of an Environmental 
Assessment on an oil and gas lease sale tentatively scheduled in early 
2010 in the CPA offshore the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, 
and Florida. The MMS is issuing this notice to facilitate public 
involvement. The preparation of this EA is an important step in the 
decision process for Lease Sale 213. The proposal for Lease Sale 213 
was analyzed in the Gulf of Mexico OCS Oil and Gas Lease Sales: 2009-
2012; Western Planning Area Sales 210, 215, and 218; Central Planning 
Area Sales 208, 213, 216, and 222--Final Supplemental Environmental 
Impact Statement (Supplemental EIS, OCS EIS/EA MMS 2008-041). This EA 
for proposed Lease Sale 213 will reexamine the potential environmental 
effects of the proposed lease sale and its alternatives (i.e., 
excluding the unleased blocks near biologically sensitive topographic 
features; excluding the unleased blocks within 15 miles of the Baldwin 
County, Alabama, Coast; and no action) based on any new information 
regarding potential impacts and issues that were not available at the 
time the Supplemental EIS was prepared. This EA for proposed Lease Sale 
213 will also examine the potential environmental effects of the 
addition of two small areas within the CPA, located greater than 100 
miles from the coasts of Alabama and Florida, that were not previously 
examined by the Supplemental EIS (OCS EIS/EA MMS 2008-041) or Multisale 
EIS (OCS EIS/EA MMS 2007-018), but were included in the 5-year program.

3. Supplemental Information

    The Multisale EIS (OCS EIS/EA MMS 2007-018) addressed CPA lease 
sales Sale 205 in 2007, Sale 206 in 2008, Sale 208 in 2009, Sale 213 in 
2010, Sale 216 in 2011, and Sale 222 in 2012; and WPA lease sales Sale 
204 in 2007, Sale 207 in 2008, Sale 210 in 2009, Sale 215 in 2010, and 
Sale 218 in 2011. However, the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 
2006 repealed the Congressional moratorium on approximately 5.8 million 
acres located in the southeastern part of the Central Planning Area 
(CPA). Therefore, it was necessary to prepare additional NEPA 
documentation to address the MMS proposal to expand the CPA by the 5.8 
million acre area. Federal regulations allow for several related or 
similar proposals to be analyzed in one EIS (40 CFR 1502.4). Since each 
proposed lease sale and its projected activities are very similar each 
year for each planning area, a single Supplemental EIS was prepared for 
the remaining seven Western Planning Area (WPA) and CPA lease sales 
scheduled in the OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program: 2007-2012 (5-Year 
Program). In September 2008, MMS published a Supplemental EIS (OCS EIS/
EA MMS 2008-041) that addressed seven proposed Federal actions that 
would offer for lease areas on the GOM OCS that may contain 
economically recoverable oil and gas resources.
    After completion of this EA, MMS will determine whether to prepare 
a Finding of No New Significant Impact (FONNSI) or a Supplemental EIS. 
The MMS prepares a Consistency Determination (CD) to determine whether 
the lease sale is consistent with each affected State's federally-
approved coastal zone management program. Finally, MMS will solicit 
comments via the Proposed Notice of Sale (PNOS) from the governors of 
the affected States on the size, timing, and location of the lease 
sale. The tentative schedule for the prelease decision process for 
Lease Sale 213 is as follows: EA/FONNSI or Supplemental EIS decision, 
September-October 2009; CD's will be sent to affected States five 
months before the lease sale; PNOS sent to governors of the affected 
States, five months before the lease sale; Final Notice of Sale, if 
applicable, published in the Federal Register, February 2010.
    For more information on the EA, you may contact Gary Goeke, 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. Goeke by telephone at (504) 736-3233.

4. Comments

    Federal, State, and local government agencies, and other interested 
parties are requested to send their written comments on the EA, 
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 213 EA'' or select it from 
the ``Projects Open for Comment'' menu.
    2. In written form enclosed in an envelope labeled ``Comments on 
the Lease Sale 213 EA'' and mailed (or hand carried) to the Regional 
Supervisor, Leasing and Environment (MS 5410), Minerals Management 
Service, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New 
Orleans, Louisiana 70123-2394.
    3. Electronically to the MMS e-mail address: environment@mms.gov.
    Comments should be submitted no later than 30 days from the 
publication of this NOP.

    Dated: September 30, 2008.
Randall B. Luthi,
Director, Minerals Management Service.

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[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN09OC08.017

 [FR Doc. E8-23975 Filed 10-8-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-MR-P