BLM seeks public comment for northeastern NPR-A

The US BLM is soliciting public comment on its draft supplemental EIS to address proposed oil and gas activities in the northeastern portion of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska area.

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Aug. 29 -- The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is soliciting public comment on its draft supplemental environmental impact statement to address proposed oil and gas activities in the northeastern portion of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) area.

The public comment period on the draft document is scheduled for Aug. 24-Oct. 23, a BLM release said. The northeastern NPR-A area covers 4.6 million acres.

The public comment is part of a mandatory process as outlined in the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). BLM anticipates a possible NPR-A lease sale in the second half of 2008, but no definite date will be set pending completion of the NEPA process, a BLM spokeswoman in Anchorage told OGJ on Aug. 29.

Tom Lonnie, BLM-Alaska state director, said the supplemental plan will allow the agency to consider the lands appropriate for leasing "and the restrictions we should place on exploration and development that will result in petroleum production while protecting the area's important resources."

BLM began developing the supplement in December 2006 in response to a Sept. 25, 2006, ruling from the US District Court for the District of Alaska that stated the 2005 northeastern NPR-A amended integrated activity plan-EIS failed to adequately address cumulative impacts.

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