BLM Releases Coastal Plain Oil and Gas Leasing Scoping Report
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Bureau of Land Management today released a scoping report that documents the results of the 60-day public scoping period to help guide the breadth of environmental analysis and development of alternatives for a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement related to the Coastal Plain Oil and Gas Leasing Program.
On President Biden’s first day in office, he issued Executive Order 13990, directing the Interior Department to review oil and gas activity under the previous administration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The review found deficiencies in the environmental analysis. As a result, in June, Secretary Haaland issued Secretary of the Interior Order 3401, which suspended all activities related to implementing the Coastal Plain Oil and Gas Leasing Program, pending completion of a comprehensive analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act to determine whether the leases should be reaffirmed, voided, or subject to additional mitigation measures.
Subsequently, on August 4, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced a 60-day public scoping period to solicit public input to determine the scope of issues to be addressed and to identify the significant issues, including any legal deficiencies in the 2019 FEIS, related to an oil and gas leasing program within the Coastal Plain. The comment period ended on October 4, 2021. In accordance with the BLM NEPA Handbook, the BLM must document the public scoping results. This scoping report summarizes the scoping process and the comments received during the formal scoping period, including those provided during internal and public scoping meetings.
The next step in the process will be preparation of a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, which will be released for public comment.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.