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BOEM Completes Draft SEIS on Central Gulf Lease Sales

The Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEM) Wednesday released a draft supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) for proposed oil and gas Lease Sale 216/222 in the Central Planning Area of the Gulf of Mexico.

These are the last remaining sales scheduled for the Central Gulf Planning Area in the current five-year (2007-2012) Outer Continental Shelf leasing program, the agency said. The sales were delayed as a result of the deadly explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig over a year ago (see Daily GPI, April 22, 2010).

According to BOEM, the draft SEIS updates the findings in several previously published environmental reviews of the Gulf of Mexico and incorporates the latest available information following the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and subsequent oil spill.

The draft SEIS is available at www.gomr.boemre.gov. The agency said a notice announcing the draft SEIS will be published in the Federal Register on July 1, at which time BOEM will begin accepting comments at http://boemre.gov/PublicComment.htm. It said comments will be used to prepare the final SEIS for the lease sale.

BOEM said it also plans to have public hearings in New Orleans on Aug. 2, Houston on Aug. 9 and Mobile, AL, on Aug. 11 to receive comments on the draft SEIS.

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