The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is initiating an environmental analysis evaluating the impacts of seismic and other geological and geophysical activities involved in oil and gas development and the potential siting of wind turbines in the Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf and adjacent state waters.

BOEM and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) are serving as the co-lead agencies for the programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS). Notices of the study and scoping meetings appear in the May 14 Federal Register.

The proposed project area will encompass BOEM’s Western, Central, and Eastern GOM Planning Areas, as well as adjacent state waters. It will not include estuaries. A draft PEIS is expected to be published in mid 2014.

The EIS will assess the potential environmental impacts associated with such activities as deep-penetration and high-resolution seismic surveys, electromagnetic surveys, magnetic surveys, gravity surveys, remote-sensing surveys and geological and geochemical sampling. These activities provide information about the location and extent of oil and gas resources, bottom conditions for oil and gas or renewable energy installations, and suitable locations of sand and gravel used for coastal protection and restoration.

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