Comments on proposed 5-year OCS plan surpass 530,000

The number of public comments on the US Minerals Management Service’s evolving 5-year Outer Continental Shelf plan has surpassed 530,000, MMS Director S. Elizabeth Birnbaum said on Sept. 25.

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, Sept. 25 -- The number of public comments on the US Minerals Management Service’s evolving 5-year Outer Continental Shelf plan has surpassed 530,000, MMS Director S. Elizabeth Birnbaum said on Sept. 25.

The US Department of the Interior agency received the comments after Interior Secretary Ken Salazar added 6 months on Feb. 10 to obtain additional input on a draft proposed plan that his predecessor, Dirk A. Kempthorne, launched in late summer 2008.

MMS had counted more than 350,000 submissions after the extended comment period expired on Sept. 21, Birnbaum said (OGJ Online, Sept. 24, 2009). The total passed 530,000 after the agency reviewed more submissions, including several which had been mailed at the last minute, she indicated.

She said it will probably take several weeks to review and analyze the comments. After that time, the agency will initiate environmental analysis and public scoping opportunities on the draft proposed plan, Birnbaum said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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