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ANCHORAGE – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is conducting the final public meeting at the National Housing Center in Washington, D.C. to provide input on the Coastal Plain Oil and Gas Leasing Program environmental impact statement (EIS). Public comments will be accepted through various other means until June 19, 2018.
Anyone desiring to provide public testimony can sign up from 3 p.m. until public testimony commences. Speakers will be chosen at random and must be present if their number is chosen. Public commenting guidelines are available on the BLM Alaska website at www.blm.gov/Alaska.
“We anticipate there will be more speakers than time available for public testimony,” said acting BLM Alaska State Director Karen Mouritsen. “A random drawing of speakers ensures we hear from a sampling of views from all who attend. Even if people attend and aren’t afforded the opportunity to provide public testimony, there are many other ways to provide input into this process.”
The project website is accessible through the BLM Alaska website and comments on the Coastal Plain Oil and Gas Leasing Program EIS may be submitted by any of the following methods:
The 60-day public scoping period began on April 20 and included meetings held across the state, in the communities of Arctic Village, Venetie, Kaktovik, Utqiaġvik, Fairbanks, and Anchorage.
The Leasing EIS will serve to inform the BLM’s implementation of the Tax Act, including the requirement to hold not fewer than two lease sales area-wide. It may also inform post-lease activities, including seismic and drilling exploration, development, and transportation of oil and gas in and from the Coastal Plain. Specifically, the Leasing EIS will consider and analyze the potential environmental impacts of various leasing alternatives, including the areas to offer for sale, and the terms and conditions (i.e., lease stipulations and best management practices) to be applied to leases and associated oil and gas activities to properly balance oil and gas development with existing uses and conservation of surface resources, and to limit the footprint of production and support facilities on Federal lands to no more than 2,000 surface acres. The area comprising the Coastal Plain includes approximately 1.6 million acres within the approximately 19.3 million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.