Oil Drilling off Florida’s Atlantic Coast

13 Apr

“As part of President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Tommy P. Beaudreau today announced that Interior is taking steps to assess the conventional and renewable energy resource potential in the Mid- and South Atlantic. ”  Press release from the Department of the Interior

” The Area of Interest (AOI) for this Programmatic EIS includes U.S. Atlantic waters from the mouth
of Delaware Bay to just south of Cape Canaveral, Florida, and from the shoreline (excluding estuaries) to
350 nautical miles (nmi) (648 kilometers [km]) from shore….

The following types of G&G (Geological and Geophysical) activities are included in this Programmatic EIS:

  • various types of deep penetration seismic airgun surveys used almost exclusively for oil and gas exploration and development; other types of surveys and sampling activities used only in support of oil and gas exploration and development, including electromagnetic surveys, deep stratigraphic and shallow test drilling, and various remote sensing methods;
  • high-resolution geophysical (HRG) surveys used in all three program areas to detect geohazards, archaeological resources, and certain types of benthic communities; and geological and geotechnical bottom sampling used in all three program areas to assess the suitability of seafloor sediments for supporting structures (e.g., platforms, pipelines, cables, wind turbines) or to evaluate the quantity and quality of sand for beach nourishment projects.

Three alternatives are analyzed in detail in this Programmatic EIS:

  • Alternative A – The Proposed Action;
  •  Alternative B – Additional Time-Area Closures and Separation of Simultaneous Seismic Airgun Surveys; and
  •  Alternative C – No Action for Oil and Gas, Status Quo for Renewable Energy and Marine Mineral G&G Activity.

Alternatives A and B are identical with respect to the G&G activities that could be conducted and the
expected activity levels during the 2012-2020 period. They differ only with respect to certain mitigation
measures as summarized in the next section. Briefly, Alternative B would expand the time-area closure
for North Atlantic right whales that was developed for Alternative A; add a time-area closure offshore
Brevard County, Florida, to protect nesting sea turtles; require a 40-km (25-mi) separation distance
between concurrent seismic airgun surveys; and require the use of passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) as
part of the seismic airgun survey protocol.
Alternative C is the No Action Alternative required by the regulations implementing NEPA. Under
this alternative, no G&G activities associated with oil and gas exploration would occur in the AOI.
However, permitting and postlease G&G activities for renewable energy development and marine
minerals use would continue to occur on a case-by-case basis.
Several additional alternatives were identified during the scoping

Read more here http://www.boem.gov/oil-and-gas-energy-program/GOMR/GandG.aspx

“The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), Department of Interior, will hold its first public hearings on seismic mapping of the Atlantic outer continental shelf on April 16, 2012 at 1 pm and 7pm at the Jacksonville Marriott at 4760 Salisbury Road in Jacksonville, Florida. Persons wishing to speak may request to be placed on the speakers’ list may sign up to speak upon arrival or contact Gary D. Goeke at (504) 736–3233 in advance of the meeting.” Sierra Club Florida

Don’t let what happened on the Gulf happen on the Atlantic too.

E-mail ggeis@boem.gov and tell the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management you support Alternative C, no seismic exploration and no drilling off our coast. You have until May 30th to make public comment on this proposal.


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