In response to requests from citizens, organizations and elected officials, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has added a public scoping meeting on the Outer Banks about the federal government’s proposal to conduct an oil and gas lease sale off the East Coast, including North Carolina.
As part of its environmental analysis, BOEM is asking all stakeholders to help identify areas or issues of concern for evaluation and to provide public comment on the plan.
The meeting will be on Monday, March 16, from 3 until 7 p.m. at the Ramada Inn, Nags Head Oceanfront, 1701 S. Virginia Dare Trail in Kill Devils Hills.
These meeting will feature information stations hosted by BOEM experts who will be available to discuss environmental issues with the public. Information gathered during these meetings will help BOEM determine which environmental issues to analyze further in the PEIS being prepared for the 2017-2022 oil and gas leasing program. In addition to information stations, attendees will be able to provide hand-written or electronic comments on-site and any other information they feel can assist BOEM in developing the PEIS.
The Draft Proposed Program (DPP), announced in January, includes 14 potential lease sales in eight planning areas — 10 sales in the Gulf of Mexico, three off the coast of Alaska, and one in a portion of the Mid- and South-Atlantic.
The BOEM had scheduled a meeting in Wilmington, N.C., but none in the northern part of the states, including the Outer Banks, where there is keen interest in the proposed program.
Anyone unable to attend the meetings has three other options for participating and submitting scoping comments, starting with the BOEM PEIS website, www.boemoceaninfo.com. This site includes a web-based mapping tool that allows the user to visualize the program areas and resource information, and create maps identifying specific areas or resources of concern. The maps and comments may be submitted through Regulations.gov (www.boemoceaninfo.com connects to Regulations.gov), by traditional mail or by hand delivery. The deadline for providing scoping comments is March 30.
To learn more about the PEIS and the 2017-2022 Oil and Gas Program development, click here.