Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), Alaska OCS Region, Chukchi Sea Planning Area, Proposed Oil and Gas Lease Sale 237, 59715-59718 [2013-23670]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 188 / Friday, September 27, 2013 / Notices sensing-derived monitoring products for the Arctic will provide participants an opportunity to generate a requirements document that defines remote sensing needs for the Arctic. All meetings are open to the public. The public may present written comments to the Science Technical Advisory Panel through the Executive Director, North Slope Science Initiative. Each formal meeting will also have time allotted for hearing public comments. Depending on the number of persons wishing to comment and time available, the time for individual oral comments may be limited. Individuals who plan to attend and need special assistance, such as sign language interpretation, transportation, or other reasonable accommodations, should contact the Executive Director, North Slope Science Initiative. Before including your address, phone number, email 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. Dated: September 20, 2013. Bud C. Cribley, State Director. [FR Doc. 2013–23586 Filed 9–26–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1310–JA–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLCON06000–L16100000–DQ0000] Notice of Resource Advisory Council Meetings for the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area Advisory Council Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of public meetings AGENCY: In accordance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 and the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972, notice is hereby given that the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area (NCA) Advisory Council (Council) is scheduled to meet as indicated below. DATES: The meetings will be held on October 22, 2013, and October 24, 2013. The meetings begin at 3 p.m. and will pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:21 Sep 26, 2013 Jkt 229001 normally adjourn at 6 p.m. Any adjustments to the meetings will be advertised on the Dominguez-Escalante NCA Resource Management Plan (RMP) Web site, http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/ nca/denca/denca_rmp.html. ADDRESSES: The meeting on October 22 will be held at the Bill Heddles Recreation Center, 530 Gunnison River Drive, Delta, CO 81416. The meeting on October 24 will be held at the Whitman Educational Center, 248 S. 4th St., Grand Junction, CO 81501. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Collin Ewing, Advisory Council Designated Federal Official, 2815 H Road, Grand Junction, CO 81506. Phone: (970) 244–3049. Email: cewing@blm.gov. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877–8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The 10member Council advises the Secretary of the Interior, through the BLM, on a variety of planning and management issues associated with the RMP process for the Dominguez-Escalante NCA and Dominguez Canyon Wilderness. Topics of discussion during the meetings may include informational presentations from various resource specialists working on the RMP, as well as Council reports on the following topics: recreation, fire management, land-use planning process, invasive species management, travel management, wilderness, land exchange criteria, cultural resource management and other resource management topics of interest to the Council raised during the planning process. These meetings are anticipated to occur monthly, and may occur as frequently as every two weeks during intensive phases of the planning process. Dates, times and agendas for additional meetings may be determined at future Council meetings, and will be published in the Federal Register, announced through local media and on the BLM’s Web site for the DominguezEscalante planning effort, www.blm.gov/ co/st/en/nca/denca/denca_rmp.html. These meetings are open to the public. The public may present written comments to the Council. Each formal Council meeting will have time allocated at the middle and end of each meeting to hear public comments. Depending on the number of persons wishing to comment and time available, PO 00000 Frm 00069 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 59715 the time for individual, oral comments may be limited at the discretion of the chair. Helen M. Hankins, BLM Colorado State Director. [FR Doc. 2013–23445 Filed 9–26–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–JB–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Ocean Energy Management [MMAA104000; Lease Sale 237] Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), Alaska OCS Region, Chukchi Sea Planning Area, Proposed Oil and Gas Lease Sale 237 Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), Interior. ACTION: Call for Information and Nominations. AGENCY: This Call for Information and Nominations (‘‘Call’’) is the initial step in the prelease process for Lease Sale 237 in the Chukchi Sea Planning Area, scheduled to be held in 2016, as included in the Proposed Final OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program 2012–2017 (‘‘Five Year Program’’). The purpose of this Call is to obtain nominations and information on oil and gas leasing, exploration, and development that might result from an OCS oil and gas lease sale for the Chukchi Sea Planning Area. The lease sale area addressed in this Call (‘‘Program Area’’) is located offshore Alaska in the Chukchi Sea Planning Area. As identified in the Five Year Program, the Program Area is a sub-area of the larger Chukchi Sea Planning Area. DATES: All responses to the Call must be received no later than November 12, 2013. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael S. Rolland, Chief, Leasing Section, BOEM, Alaska OCS Region, 3801 Centerpoint Drive, Suite 500, Anchorage, Alaska 99503–5823, or at (907) 334–5271. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Five Year Program states: While BOEM has determined that it is appropriate to continue areawide leasing in the GOM. . . . BOEM will not be conducting areawide leasing in the Arctic, consistent with rigorous internal analysis as well as a number of outside recommendations to develop alternative leasing approaches for Arctic areas. Rather, potential sales are deliberately set late in the five year program schedule to allow for further analysis and information-gathering. These would be geographically targeted in scope, in SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\27SEN1.SGM 27SEN1 pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 59716 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 188 / Friday, September 27, 2013 / Notices order to achieve an appropriate balance between making resources available while limiting conflicts with environmentally sensitive areas and subsistence use by making certain determinations from the outset about which blocks within the planning areas are most suitable for leasing. See, Proposed Final Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program 2012– 2017, page 94. In light of the targeted leasing strategy for the Arctic in the current Five Year Program, this Call differs in two ways from Calls issued in the Gulf of Mexico and in earlier Calls issued in the Alaska OCS Region under previous Five Year Programs: (1) Because the leasing will not be areawide, BOEM is requesting more specific nominations within the Program Area (as defined below), including specific support of those nominations in terms of geological and geophysical data, and (2) this Call is not accompanied by a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (NOI). After BOEM identifies the area for the proposed lease sale based upon the information and nominations received from this Call, BOEM will initiate the formal National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process through publication of an NOI. By proceeding in this order, BOEM will be able to use the information obtained through this Call in developing the proposed action and possible alternatives to be identified and scoped in the NOI. In addition to seeking area nominations, this Call is requesting information concerning geological conditions, including bottom hazards; archaeological sites on the seabed or nearshore; multiple uses of the Program Area, including navigation, recreation, and fisheries; and other socioeconomic, biological, and environmental information, including but not limited to, information regarding oil and gas resource potential, sensitive habitats, subsistence use, unique conditions, and important other uses of the Program Area. This Call and targeted leasing strategy also embraces the principles of an Integrated Arctic Management (IAM) approach as defined by the Interagency Working Group on Coordination of Domestic Energy Development and Permitting in Alaska in its Report to the President: Managing for the Future in a Rapidly Changing Arctic dated March 2013. The IAM approach was also adopted as a key component of the President’s National Strategy for the Arctic Region, dated May 2013. VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:21 Sep 26, 2013 Jkt 229001 Call for Information and Nominations 4. Nominations on This Call 1. Authority Written nominations must be received no later than November 12, 2013. In their letters of nomination, interested parties should describe explicitly their interest by ranking the areas nominated according to priority using five interest classifications: (1) Critical interest, (2) high interest, (3) general interest, (4) low interest, or (5) no interest. The area(s) nominated must be described accurately and shown on the large-scale Call map available at http://www.boem.gov/ leasesale237. An interested party nominating areas for inclusion in the sale must provide a detailed explanation of the basis for classifying each nominated area as (1) through (5), including a summary of the relevant geologic, geophysical, and economic information. Interested parties are encouraged to be as specific as possible in prioritizing blocks and supporting nominations of specific blocks in the Program Area with detailed data and/or information. Interested parties should be prepared to discuss their range of interest classifications and anticipated activity regarding the nominated area(s). Interested parties are requested to provide the telephone number and name of the individual to contact. BOEM’s Alaska OCS Region office will contact this individual to set up a mutually agreeable meeting date and time to review more fully the interested parties level of interest where an area is classified as critical interest or high interest, and possibly as general interest. Submittals should indicate ‘‘Nominations to Call for Chukchi Sea Lease Sale 237.’’ To avoid inadvertent release of proprietary information, interested parties should mark all documents and every page containing such information with ‘‘Confidential—Contains Proprietary Information.’’ To the extent a document contains a mix of proprietary and nonproprietary information, interested parties should mark clearly which portion of the document is proprietary and which is not. The OCSLA states that the ‘‘Secretary shall maintain the confidentiality of all privileged or proprietary data or information for such period of time as is provided for in this subchapter, established by regulation, or agreed to by the parties’’ (43 U.S.C. 1344(g)). BOEM considers each interested parties written nominations of specific blocks to be proprietary, and it will not release such information to the public. This Call is published pursuant to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), as amended (43 U.S.C. 1331– 1356), and the regulations issued thereunder (30 CFR part 556). 2. Purpose of This Call The purpose of this Call is to gather information to determine the Area Identification under 30 CFR 556.26 for Lease Sale 237 in the Program Area. BOEM seeks information and nominations on oil and gas leasing, exploration, development, and production in the Program Area from all interested parties. This early planning and consultation step is important to ensure that all interests and concerns are communicated to the U.S. Department of the Interior for consideration in future decisions in the leasing process pursuant to OCSLA and the regulations at 30 CFR part 556. 3. Description of Program Area The Program Area is located offshore Alaska in the Chukchi Sea Planning Area. The Chukchi Sea Planning Area extends from the 3-nautical mile (4.8kilometer) limit of State of Alaska waters, northward from approximately latitude 68° 30′ N to latitude 75° N, and from longitude 156° W (roughly north of the village of Barrow) on the east to the United States-Russia Provisional Maritime Boundary on the west at longitude 168° 58′ 37″ W. As identified in the Five Year Program, the Program Area is a sub-area of the larger Chukchi Sea Planning Area. As depicted on the page-size map accompanying this Call, the southern boundary of the Program Area generally begins about 25 nautical miles offshore along the coastline, except near Barrow, where it begins approximately 50 nautical miles offshore. The northern boundary of the Program Area is approximately 300 nautical miles from shore. Water depths vary from approximately 65 feet (20 meters) to more than 13,100 feet (4,000 meters) in the Program Area. This Program Area consists of approximately 10,128 whole and partial blocks (about 55.16 million acres, or 22.32 million hectares). A larger scale Call map showing the boundaries and blocks of the Program Area is available without charge on the BOEM Web site at http://www.boem.gov/leasesale237. Copies of Official Protraction Diagrams also are available without charge on the Web site at http://www.boem.gov/Oiland-Gas-Energy-Program/Mapping-andData/Alaska.aspx. PO 00000 Frm 00070 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\27SEN1.SGM 27SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 188 / Friday, September 27, 2013 / Notices pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 5. Exclusion Areas and Other Comments BOEM is seeking recommendations either to exclude specific blocks or areas from oil and gas leasing, or to be leased under special conditions due to conflicting values, uses or environmental concerns (hereinafter referred to as ‘‘proposed exclusion areas’’). Interested parties should indicate proposed exclusion areas on the large-scale Call map available at http://www.boem.gov/leasesale237. Interested parties also may use the interactive map tool for the Arctic at http://www.boem.gov/Oil-and-GasEnergy-Program/Leasing/Five-YearProgram/Lease-Sale-Schedule/ Interactive-Maps.aspx. Interested parties are encouraged to be as specific as possible in explaining why the area should be excluded or leased under special conditions, provide supporting information, and be prepared to discuss the proposed exclusion areas with BOEM. Interested parties are requested to provide the telephone number and name of the individual to contact. BOEM’s Alaska OCS Region office may contact this individual to set up a mutually agreeable meeting date and time to review more fully the proposed exclusion areas. BOEM also is seeking comments and information from all interested parties regarding areas that should receive more detailed consideration and analysis; geological conditions, including bottom hazards; archaeological sites on the seabed or nearshore; other uses of the Program Area, including navigation and subsistence; and other socioeconomic, biological, or environmental information. BOEM previously had received comments on the Program Area as part of the Five Year Program process. Those comments included information on the importance of Hanna Shoal and Herald Shoal. While already excluded from the Program Area, comments were also received on the Pt. Barrow area, Kaseguluk Lagoon, Peard Bay, the nearshore lead system, and the bowhead whale migration area. While BOEM will consider information submitted previously on the Five Year Program, BOEM also encourages interested parties who submitted comments on the Five Year Program to refine their earlier comments and provide greater detail or new information, where appropriate, concerning the importance of these areas or associated activities. VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:21 Sep 26, 2013 Jkt 229001 6. Submissions of Nominations, Requests for Exclusion Areas, and Other Comments Interested parties who are requesting area(s) for inclusion in the sale should send their recommendations, along with an explanation of the basis of their interest priority, including a summary of the relevant geologic, geophysical, and economic information supporting their nomination, to: Chief, Leasing Section, BOEM, Alaska OCS Region, 3801 Centerpoint Drive, Suite 500, Anchorage, Alaska 99503–5823. Requests for proposed exclusion areas or general proposed inclusion areas (absent a formal nomination) and all other comments to this Call, including general information from interested parties, Federal agencies, state and local governments, tribes, and other interested parties, will be accepted only through http://www.regulations.gov, using docket designation BOEM–2013– 0015. All comments received via this Web site, including names and addresses of the commenter, are public and will be posted for public review. BOEM will not consider anonymous comments. BOEM will make available all nonproprietary submissions in their entirety on http://www.regulations.gov. 7. Tracking Table and Interactive Map In the Five Year Program, BOEM established a mitigation/program tracking table (hereinafter referred to as the ‘‘Table’’), which is designed to track the history and treatment of suggestions for inclusion or exclusion of acreage, temporal deferrals, and/or mitigation from the Five Year Program stage through the lease sale stage to the plan stage. This Table will allow commenters to see how and where their concerns are considered, while ensuring that a reasonable concern not suitable for consideration during one stage will be considered at an appropriate subsequent stage. The Table may be viewed at http://www.boem.gov/Oil-and-GasEnergy-Program/Leasing/Five-YearProgram/Lease-Sale-Schedule/TrackingTable.aspx. Appropriate suggestions collected during the comment period on this Call will be added to the Table and tracked throughout the process. Additionally, BOEM has created an interactive map through the Multipurpose Marine Cadastre (MMC) Web site for Alaska at http:// www.boem.gov/Oil-and-Gas-EnergyProgram/Leasing/Five-Year-Program/ Lease-Sale-Schedule/InteractiveMaps.aspx. The MMC is an integrated marine information system that provides a more comprehensive look at geospatial data and ongoing activities PO 00000 Frm 00071 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 59717 and studies occurring in the area being considered. If interested parties believe that a data layer should be added for consideration, they should provide this information by following the commenting instructions above. Questions about the interactive map may be addressed to Donna Dixon, Chief, Leasing Division, at (703) 787– 1215. 8. Use of Information From This Call BOEM is undertaking a strategy of targeted leasing, whereby the BOEM Director will use the information provided in response to this Call to make an Area Identification decision. BOEM will consider nominations, proposed exclusion areas, and areas proposed to receive special consideration and analysis, in light of resource estimates, information regarding exploratory drilling, environmental reviews, and other relevant information. Using this information, BOEM plans to target leasing by proactively determining which specific portions of the Program Area offer greater resource potential, while minimizing potential conflicts with environmental subsistence considerations. Information submitted in response to this Call will be used to: • Determine the Area Identification under 30 CFR 556.26(a) and (b); • Develop potential lease terms and conditions; • Identify potential use conflicts and potential mitigation measures; and • Assist in planning the NEPA scoping process. 9. Existing Information An extensive Environmental Studies Program, including environmental, social, and economic studies in the Chukchi Sea Planning Area, has been underway in the Alaska OCS Region since 1976. The emphasis has been on environmental characterization of biologically sensitive habitats, marine mammals, physical oceanography, ocean-circulation modeling, subsistence uses, and ecological and sociocultural effects of oil and gas activities. Information on the BOEM Environmental Studies Program, completed studies, and a program status report for continuing studies in this area is available on the BOEM Web site at http://www.boem.gov/akstudies, or it may be obtained from the Chief, Environmental Sciences Management Section, Alaska OCS Region, by telephone request at (907) 334–5200. NEPA analyses were prepared for previous OCS lease sales held in the Chukchi Sea Planning Area. Previous E:\FR\FM\27SEN1.SGM 27SEN1 59718 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 188 / Friday, September 27, 2013 / Notices NEPA analyses for Chukchi Sea lease sales and other actions are available at http://www.boem.gov/About-BOEM/ BOEM-Regions/Alaska-Region/ Environment/Environmental-Analysis/ Environmental-Impact-Statements-and-Major-EnvironmentalAssessments.aspx. Currently, there are 460 active OCS oil and gas leases in the Chukchi Sea Planning Area, encompassing an area of approximately 2.7 million acres (1.0 million hectares). Information on the leases and other lease-related activities is available at http://www.boem.gov/About-BOEM/ BOEM-Regions/Alaska-Region/Leasingand-Plans/Index.aspx. Dated: September 23, 2013. Tommy P. Beaudreau, Director, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. [FR Doc. 2013–23670 Filed 9–26–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–MR–P To submit comments: Send them to: By e-mail ..... pubcomment-ees.enrd@ usdoj.gov. Assistant Attorney General, U.S. DOJ—ENRD, P.O. Box 7611, Washington, DC 20044–7611. By mail ........ During the public comment period, the Consent Decree may be examined and downloaded at this Justice Department Web site: http:// www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_ Decrees.html. We will provide a paper copy of the Consent Decree upon written request and payment of reproduction costs. Please mail your request and payment to: Consent Decree Library, U.S. DOJ—ENRD, P.O. Box 7611, Washington, DC 20044–7611. Please enclose a check or money order for $9.00 (25 cents per page reproduction cost) payable to the United States Treasury. Thomas P. Carroll, Assistant Section Chief, Environmental Enforcement Section, Environment and Natural Resources Division. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Clean Air Act [FR Doc. 2013–23620 Filed 9–26–13; 8:45 am] On September 19, 2013, the Department of Justice lodged a proposed Consent Decree with the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas in the lawsuit entitled United States v CITGO Petroleum Corporation, Case No. 4:13-cv-02762. The Consent Decree resolves the claims of the United States set forth in the complaint against CITGO Petroleum Corporation for violations of Section 211 of the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. 7445, and the regulations promulgated thereunder at 40 CFR part 80 (the ‘‘fuels regulations’’), during production of gasoline at its Lake Charles, Louisiana, and Lemont, Illinois refineries. Under the proposed Consent Decree, CITGO has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $737,000 and to perform environmental mitigation projects valued at $500,000. The publication of this notice opens a period for public comment on the Consent Decree. Comments should be addressed to the Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, and should refer to United States of America v. CITGO Petroleum Corporation, D.J. Ref. No. 90– 5–2–1–10162. All comments must be submitted no later than thirty (30) days after the publication date of this notice. Comments may be submitted either by email or by mail: DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:21 Sep 26, 2013 Jkt 229001 BILLING CODE 4410–15–P Notice of Lodging of Proposed Settlement Agreement Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act On September 2, 2013, a proposed Settlement Agreement was lodged with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California in the case entitled In re Halaco Engineering Company, Case No. 9:02–bk–12255–RR (Bankr. C.D. Cal.). In 2006, the United States, on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (‘‘EPA’’), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce (‘‘NOAA’’), and the Fish and Wildlife Service of the Department of Interior (‘‘FWS’’) filed in the above bankruptcy action a Proof of Claim for environmental response costs, natural resource damages, and natural resource damage assessment costs pursuant to Section 107 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (‘‘CERCLA’’), 42 U.S.C. 9607, relating to the Halaco Superfund Site in Oxnard, California. In 2010, the United States filed a Request for Payment of Environmental Response Costs as Chapter 7 Administrative Expenses and Updated Proof of Claim. Under the PO 00000 Frm 00072 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 Settlement Agreement, the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee has agreed to provide to EPA an allowed $335,686 Chapter 7 administrative priority claim and an allowed $52,593,544 general unsecured claim; to NOAA, an allowed $487,199 general unsecured claim; and to FWS, an allowed $329,267 general unsecured claim. The Settlement Agreement further provides the United States with a judgment for the allowed claims above and an assignment of insurance rights and policies owned by the debtor, Halaco Engineering Company. The Settlement Agreement separately resolves non-CERCLA statelaw claims asserted in the bankruptcy action by the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Los Angeles Region, and the California State Water Quality Control Board. The publication of this notice opens a period for public comment on the proposed settlement agreement. Comments should be addressed to the Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, and should refer to In re Halaco Engineering Company, Case No. 9:02–bk–12255–RR (Bankr. C.D. Cal.), D.J. Ref. No. 90–11–2–08829. All comments must be submitted no later than thirty (30) days after the publication date of this notice. Comments may be submitted either by email or by mail: To submit comments: Send them to: By e-mail ..... pubcomment-ees.enrd@ usdoj.gov. Assistant Attorney General, U.S. DOJ—ENRD, P.O. Box 7611, Washington, DC 20044–7611. By mail ........ During the public comment period, the proposed consent decree may be examined and downloaded at this Justice Department Web site: http:// www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_ Decrees.html. We will provide a paper copy of the proposed consent decree upon written request and payment of reproduction costs. Please mail your request and payment to: Consent Decree Library, U.S. DOJ—ENRD, P.O. Box 7611, Washington, DC 20044–7611. Please enclose a check or money order for $12.75 (25 cents per page reproduction cost) payable to the United States Treasury. Henry Friedman, Assistant Section Chief, Environmental Enforcement Section, Environment and Natural Resources Division. [FR Doc. 2013–23500 Filed 9–26–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410–15–P E:\FR\FM\27SEN1.SGM 27SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 188 (Friday, September 27, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 59715-59718]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-23670]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

[MMAA104000; Lease Sale 237]


Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), Alaska OCS Region, Chukchi Sea 
Planning Area, Proposed Oil and Gas Lease Sale 237

AGENCY: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), Interior.

ACTION: Call for Information and Nominations.

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

SUMMARY: This Call for Information and Nominations (``Call'') is the 
initial step in the prelease process for Lease Sale 237 in the Chukchi 
Sea Planning Area, scheduled to be held in 2016, as included in the 
Proposed Final OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program 2012-2017 (``Five Year 
Program''). The purpose of this Call is to obtain nominations and 
information on oil and gas leasing, exploration, and development that 
might result from an OCS oil and gas lease sale for the Chukchi Sea 
Planning Area. The lease sale area addressed in this Call (``Program 
Area'') is located offshore Alaska in the Chukchi Sea Planning Area. As 
identified in the Five Year Program, the Program Area is a sub-area of 
the larger Chukchi Sea Planning Area.

DATES: All responses to the Call must be received no later than 
November 12, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael S. Rolland, Chief, Leasing 
Section, BOEM, Alaska OCS Region, 3801 Centerpoint Drive, Suite 500, 
Anchorage, Alaska 99503-5823, or at (907) 334-5271.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Five Year Program states: While BOEM has 
determined that it is appropriate to continue areawide leasing in the 
GOM. . . . BOEM will not be conducting areawide leasing in the Arctic, 
consistent with rigorous internal analysis as well as a number of 
outside recommendations to develop alternative leasing approaches for 
Arctic areas. Rather, potential sales are deliberately set late in the 
five year program schedule to allow for further analysis and 
information-gathering. These would be geographically targeted in scope, 
in

[[Page 59716]]

order to achieve an appropriate balance between making resources 
available while limiting conflicts with environmentally sensitive areas 
and subsistence use by making certain determinations from the outset 
about which blocks within the planning areas are most suitable for 
leasing. See, Proposed Final Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas 
Leasing Program 2012-2017, page 94.
    In light of the targeted leasing strategy for the Arctic in the 
current Five Year Program, this Call differs in two ways from Calls 
issued in the Gulf of Mexico and in earlier Calls issued in the Alaska 
OCS Region under previous Five Year Programs: (1) Because the leasing 
will not be areawide, BOEM is requesting more specific nominations 
within the Program Area (as defined below), including specific support 
of those nominations in terms of geological and geophysical data, and 
(2) this Call is not accompanied by a Notice of Intent to Prepare an 
Environmental Impact Statement (NOI). After BOEM identifies the area 
for the proposed lease sale based upon the information and nominations 
received from this Call, BOEM will initiate the formal National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process through publication of an NOI. 
By proceeding in this order, BOEM will be able to use the information 
obtained through this Call in developing the proposed action and 
possible alternatives to be identified and scoped in the NOI.
    In addition to seeking area nominations, this Call is requesting 
information concerning geological conditions, including bottom hazards; 
archaeological sites on the seabed or nearshore; multiple uses of the 
Program Area, including navigation, recreation, and fisheries; and 
other socioeconomic, biological, and environmental information, 
including but not limited to, information regarding oil and gas 
resource potential, sensitive habitats, subsistence use, unique 
conditions, and important other uses of the Program Area. This Call and 
targeted leasing strategy also embraces the principles of an Integrated 
Arctic Management (IAM) approach as defined by the Interagency Working 
Group on Coordination of Domestic Energy Development and Permitting in 
Alaska in its Report to the President: Managing for the Future in a 
Rapidly Changing Arctic dated March 2013. The IAM approach was also 
adopted as a key component of the President's National Strategy for the 
Arctic Region, dated May 2013.

Call for Information and Nominations

1. Authority

    This Call is published pursuant to the Outer Continental Shelf 
Lands Act (OCSLA), as amended (43 U.S.C. 1331-1356), and the 
regulations issued thereunder (30 CFR part 556).

2. Purpose of This Call

    The purpose of this Call is to gather information to determine the 
Area Identification under 30 CFR 556.26 for Lease Sale 237 in the 
Program Area. BOEM seeks information and nominations on oil and gas 
leasing, exploration, development, and production in the Program Area 
from all interested parties. This early planning and consultation step 
is important to ensure that all interests and concerns are communicated 
to the U.S. Department of the Interior for consideration in future 
decisions in the leasing process pursuant to OCSLA and the regulations 
at 30 CFR part 556.

3. Description of Program Area

    The Program Area is located offshore Alaska in the Chukchi Sea 
Planning Area. The Chukchi Sea Planning Area extends from the 3-
nautical mile (4.8-kilometer) limit of State of Alaska waters, 
northward from approximately latitude 68[deg] 30' N to latitude 75[deg] 
N, and from longitude 156[deg] W (roughly north of the village of 
Barrow) on the east to the United States-Russia Provisional Maritime 
Boundary on the west at longitude 168[deg] 58' 37'' W. As identified in 
the Five Year Program, the Program Area is a sub-area of the larger 
Chukchi Sea Planning Area. As depicted on the page-size map 
accompanying this Call, the southern boundary of the Program Area 
generally begins about 25 nautical miles offshore along the coastline, 
except near Barrow, where it begins approximately 50 nautical miles 
offshore. The northern boundary of the Program Area is approximately 
300 nautical miles from shore. Water depths vary from approximately 65 
feet (20 meters) to more than 13,100 feet (4,000 meters) in the Program 
Area. This Program Area consists of approximately 10,128 whole and 
partial blocks (about 55.16 million acres, or 22.32 million hectares). 
A larger scale Call map showing the boundaries and blocks of the 
Program Area is available without charge on the BOEM Web site at http://www.boem.gov/leasesale237. Copies of Official Protraction Diagrams 
also are available without charge on the Web site at http://www.boem.gov/Oil-and-Gas-Energy-Program/Mapping-and-Data/Alaska.aspx.

4. Nominations on This Call

    Written nominations must be received no later than November 12, 
2013. In their letters of nomination, interested parties should 
describe explicitly their interest by ranking the areas nominated 
according to priority using five interest classifications: (1) Critical 
interest, (2) high interest, (3) general interest, (4) low interest, or 
(5) no interest. The area(s) nominated must be described accurately and 
shown on the large-scale Call map available at http://www.boem.gov/leasesale237. An interested party nominating areas for inclusion in the 
sale must provide a detailed explanation of the basis for classifying 
each nominated area as (1) through (5), including a summary of the 
relevant geologic, geophysical, and economic information. Interested 
parties are encouraged to be as specific as possible in prioritizing 
blocks and supporting nominations of specific blocks in the Program 
Area with detailed data and/or information. Interested parties should 
be prepared to discuss their range of interest classifications and 
anticipated activity regarding the nominated area(s). Interested 
parties are requested to provide the telephone number and name of the 
individual to contact. BOEM's Alaska OCS Region office will contact 
this individual to set up a mutually agreeable meeting date and time to 
review more fully the interested parties level of interest where an 
area is classified as critical interest or high interest, and possibly 
as general interest. Submittals should indicate ``Nominations to Call 
for Chukchi Sea Lease Sale 237.''
    To avoid inadvertent release of proprietary information, interested 
parties should mark all documents and every page containing such 
information with ``Confidential--Contains Proprietary Information.'' To 
the extent a document contains a mix of proprietary and nonproprietary 
information, interested parties should mark clearly which portion of 
the document is proprietary and which is not. The OCSLA states that the 
``Secretary shall maintain the confidentiality of all privileged or 
proprietary data or information for such period of time as is provided 
for in this subchapter, established by regulation, or agreed to by the 
parties'' (43 U.S.C. 1344(g)). BOEM considers each interested parties 
written nominations of specific blocks to be proprietary, and it will 
not release such information to the public.

[[Page 59717]]

5. Exclusion Areas and Other Comments

    BOEM is seeking recommendations either to exclude specific blocks 
or areas from oil and gas leasing, or to be leased under special 
conditions due to conflicting values, uses or environmental concerns 
(hereinafter referred to as ``proposed exclusion areas''). Interested 
parties should indicate proposed exclusion areas on the large-scale 
Call map available at http://www.boem.gov/leasesale237. Interested 
parties also may use the interactive map tool for the Arctic at http://www.boem.gov/Oil-and-Gas-Energy-Program/Leasing/Five-Year-Program/Lease-Sale-Schedule/Interactive-Maps.aspx. Interested parties are 
encouraged to be as specific as possible in explaining why the area 
should be excluded or leased under special conditions, provide 
supporting information, and be prepared to discuss the proposed 
exclusion areas with BOEM. Interested parties are requested to provide 
the telephone number and name of the individual to contact. BOEM's 
Alaska OCS Region office may contact this individual to set up a 
mutually agreeable meeting date and time to review more fully the 
proposed exclusion areas.
    BOEM also is seeking comments and information from all interested 
parties regarding areas that should receive more detailed consideration 
and analysis; geological conditions, including bottom hazards; 
archaeological sites on the seabed or nearshore; other uses of the 
Program Area, including navigation and subsistence; and other 
socioeconomic, biological, or environmental information. BOEM 
previously had received comments on the Program Area as part of the 
Five Year Program process. Those comments included information on the 
importance of Hanna Shoal and Herald Shoal. While already excluded from 
the Program Area, comments were also received on the Pt. Barrow area, 
Kaseguluk Lagoon, Peard Bay, the nearshore lead system, and the bowhead 
whale migration area. While BOEM will consider information submitted 
previously on the Five Year Program, BOEM also encourages interested 
parties who submitted comments on the Five Year Program to refine their 
earlier comments and provide greater detail or new information, where 
appropriate, concerning the importance of these areas or associated 
activities.

6. Submissions of Nominations, Requests for Exclusion Areas, and Other 
Comments

    Interested parties who are requesting area(s) for inclusion in the 
sale should send their recommendations, along with an explanation of 
the basis of their interest priority, including a summary of the 
relevant geologic, geophysical, and economic information supporting 
their nomination, to: Chief, Leasing Section, BOEM, Alaska OCS Region, 
3801 Centerpoint Drive, Suite 500, Anchorage, Alaska 99503-5823.
    Requests for proposed exclusion areas or general proposed inclusion 
areas (absent a formal nomination) and all other comments to this Call, 
including general information from interested parties, Federal 
agencies, state and local governments, tribes, and other interested 
parties, will be accepted only through http://www.regulations.gov, 
using docket designation BOEM-2013-0015. All comments received via this 
Web site, including names and addresses of the commenter, are public 
and will be posted for public review. BOEM will not consider anonymous 
comments. BOEM will make available all nonproprietary submissions in 
their entirety on http://www.regulations.gov.

7. Tracking Table and Interactive Map

    In the Five Year Program, BOEM established a mitigation/program 
tracking table (hereinafter referred to as the ``Table''), which is 
designed to track the history and treatment of suggestions for 
inclusion or exclusion of acreage, temporal deferrals, and/or 
mitigation from the Five Year Program stage through the lease sale 
stage to the plan stage. This Table will allow commenters to see how 
and where their concerns are considered, while ensuring that a 
reasonable concern not suitable for consideration during one stage will 
be considered at an appropriate subsequent stage. The Table may be 
viewed at http://www.boem.gov/Oil-and-Gas-Energy-Program/Leasing/Five-Year-Program/Lease-Sale-Schedule/Tracking-Table.aspx. Appropriate 
suggestions collected during the comment period on this Call will be 
added to the Table and tracked throughout the process.
    Additionally, BOEM has created an interactive map through the 
Multipurpose Marine Cadastre (MMC) Web site for Alaska at http://www.boem.gov/Oil-and-Gas-Energy-Program/Leasing/Five-Year-Program/Lease-Sale-Schedule/Interactive-Maps.aspx. The MMC is an integrated 
marine information system that provides a more comprehensive look at 
geospatial data and ongoing activities and studies occurring in the 
area being considered. If interested parties believe that a data layer 
should be added for consideration, they should provide this information 
by following the commenting instructions above. Questions about the 
interactive map may be addressed to Donna Dixon, Chief, Leasing 
Division, at (703) 787-1215.

8. Use of Information From This Call

    BOEM is undertaking a strategy of targeted leasing, whereby the 
BOEM Director will use the information provided in response to this 
Call to make an Area Identification decision. BOEM will consider 
nominations, proposed exclusion areas, and areas proposed to receive 
special consideration and analysis, in light of resource estimates, 
information regarding exploratory drilling, environmental reviews, and 
other relevant information. Using this information, BOEM plans to 
target leasing by proactively determining which specific portions of 
the Program Area offer greater resource potential, while minimizing 
potential conflicts with environmental subsistence considerations.
    Information submitted in response to this Call will be used to:
     Determine the Area Identification under 30 CFR 556.26(a) 
and (b);
     Develop potential lease terms and conditions;
     Identify potential use conflicts and potential mitigation 
measures; and
     Assist in planning the NEPA scoping process.

9. Existing Information

    An extensive Environmental Studies Program, including 
environmental, social, and economic studies in the Chukchi Sea Planning 
Area, has been underway in the Alaska OCS Region since 1976. The 
emphasis has been on environmental characterization of biologically 
sensitive habitats, marine mammals, physical oceanography, ocean-
circulation modeling, subsistence uses, and ecological and 
sociocultural effects of oil and gas activities. Information on the 
BOEM Environmental Studies Program, completed studies, and a program 
status report for continuing studies in this area is available on the 
BOEM Web site at http://www.boem.gov/akstudies, or it may be obtained 
from the Chief, Environmental Sciences Management Section, Alaska OCS 
Region, by telephone request at (907) 334-5200.
    NEPA analyses were prepared for previous OCS lease sales held in 
the Chukchi Sea Planning Area. Previous

[[Page 59718]]

NEPA analyses for Chukchi Sea lease sales and other actions are 
available at http://www.boem.gov/About-BOEM/BOEM-Regions/Alaska-Region/Environment/Environmental-Analysis/Environmental-Impact-Statements-and--Major-Environmental-Assessments.aspx. Currently, there are 460 active 
OCS oil and gas leases in the Chukchi Sea Planning Area, encompassing 
an area of approximately 2.7 million acres (1.0 million hectares). 
Information on the leases and other lease-related activities is 
available at http://www.boem.gov/About-BOEM/BOEM-Regions/Alaska-Region/Leasing-and-Plans/Index.aspx.

    Dated: September 23, 2013.
Tommy P. Beaudreau,
Director, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
[FR Doc. 2013-23670 Filed 9-26-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-MR-P