The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said it will open a public comment period and hold four public meetings concerning two proposed oil and gas lease sales in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
OCS Lease Sales 225 and 226 would include 657,905 acres more than 120 miles off the Alabama and Florida coasts, where there are active leases and known or anticipated hydrocarbon potential, as part of the 2012-17 US Outer Continental Shelf leasing program, the US Department of the Interior agency said on Mar. 19.
Other eastern gulf areas are not part of the 5-year OCS program because they are under a congressionally imposed leasing moratorium until June 20, 2022, it added.
BOEM Director Tommy P. Beaudreau said the agency would use information from submitted comments and the public meetings to determine issues which would be addressed in an environmental impact statement. Planning for an EIS does not represent a final decision about the sales’ inclusion in the 2012-17 plan, he noted.
The agency has scheduled public meetings about the proposed lease sales on Apr. 3 in Tallahassee, Fla.; Apr. 4 in Panama City Beach, Fla.; Apr. 5 in Spanish Fort, Ala.; and Apr. 9 at BOEM’s New Orleans offices. Comments will be accepted until May 4, it indicated.
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