A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Director Bromwich Discusses Offshore Drilling Reforms with Industry and Conservation Stakeholders
WASHINGTON, D.C.- Michael R. Bromwich, director of Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEM), and other officials from BOEM held discussions today with industry and conservation stakeholders and elected officials from Louisiana regarding offshore drilling safety issues and reforms that the agency is implementing to raise the bar for industry practices.
"As we move forward with implementing reforms to strengthen the safety of offshore oil and gas operations, it is vital that we hear from the public and from stakeholders who represent many different viewpoints," said Director Bromwich. "Secretary Salazar has asked us to quickly bring together ideas and input from the public and stakeholders to ensure we have the best information as we work to ensure that drilling is done right, done safely, and that communities and the environment are protected."
In a meeting with representatives of shallow water drilling companies and elected officials from Louisiana, including Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Louisiana Lt. Governor Scott Angelle, Director Bromwich said that shallow water drilling may continue to go forward in compliance with new safety requirements. Director Bromwich and industry officials also discussed steps that can be taken to help shallow water drillers implement the new safety standards effectively and in a timely manner. Director Bromwich committed to ensuring that BOEM provides clear and swift guidance on questions that operators may have as they move forward with shallow water drilling.
Director Bromwich also met with representatives from the drilling industry to discuss their progress in developing strategies and procedures for containing deepwater blowouts and responding to offshore oil spills.
Officials from BOEM also had discussions today with representatives from conservation organizations regarding the new offshore safety reforms and the deepwater drilling suspensions that Secretary Salazar recently ordered.
BOEM will be hosting a series of public meetings over the next several weeks to gather input and information about how to ensure that deepwater drilling is conducted safely and that operators are prepared to respond to blowouts and oil spills.
Status update on shallow water drilling permits
As of Friday, July 16, 9:00 a.m. EDT:
For those applications required to comply only with NTL-N05, 19 applications have been approved and 17 are pending.
For those applications required to comply with NTL –N05 and NTL-N06, 9 requests are pending.
In addition, since June 8, BOEM has approved 18 other shallow water permits, and 4 others are pending, to which there were no permit-specific requirements in either NTL. However, the applicants had to comply with NTL-N05's general (company-wide) certification requirements before these applications could be processed.
For the drilling permits that didn't need NTL-05 BOP information, most are revised permits for wells that have already started drilling.
These operators have resumed drilling or recently stopped drilling after reaching total depth.