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).
Secretary Salazar, Director Beaudreau Announce Next Steps for Potential Energy Development in the Mid- and South Atlantic
Office of the Secretary
Release Geological and Geophysical Environmental Analysis for Public Comment
NORFOLK, Va. — 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. The draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS), released today for public comment, will help inform future decisions about whether, and if so where, leasing would be appropriate in these areas.
This milestone advances BOEM's regionally-tailored approach to Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) exploration and development, consistent with the Proposed OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012-2017, which stresses the importance of better understanding resource potential in the Mid- and South Atlantic. The draft PEIS assesses proposed geological and geophysical (G&G) activities, including seismic and other offshore surveys, in the Mid- and South-Atlantic planning areas.
“As we move forward with the safe exploration and production of our domestic energy supply, this environmental analysis will help provide the critical information we need to make smart decisions in the Mid- and South Atlantic,” said Salazar. “Making decisions based on sound science, public input, and the best information available is a critical component to this Administration's all-of-the-above energy strategy.”
Salazar and Beaudreau traveled to Norfolk, Va., today where they met with personnel from Fugro Atlantic, which provides geotechnical, hydrogeologic, environmental and marine survey services.
“Both government and industry rely on G&G surveys, using state-of-the-art technology, for information about the location and extent of our offshore resources,” said Beaudreau. “This analysis will move us forward toward developing an updated body of scientific information about the Mid- and South Atlantic regions that will support future decisions about potential conventional and renewable resource development.”
The PEIS evaluates the potential environmental effects of multiple G&G activities in these OCS planning areas and, where needed, outlines mitigation and monitoring measures that will reduce or eliminate potential impacts.
To explore, develop, produce and transport hydrocarbons safely and economically, the oil and gas industry needs modern and accurate G&G data on the location, extent and properties of hydrocarbon resources. These studies are also critical for identifying geologic hazards, archaeological resources, and hard bottom habitats that would need to be avoided during exploration and development. A variety of G&G techniques are also used to understand the extent, properties and geography of hydrocarbon resources, as well as the potential to site renewable energy structures and locate marine mineral resources like sand and gravel.
BOEM also uses G&G information to fulfill its statutory responsibilities to oversee the safety of offshore operations, support environmental impact analyses and protect the environment, ensure receipt of fair market value for leased federal lands, and conserve oil and gas resources.
Public meetings to receive comments are scheduled in Jacksonville, Fla.; Savannah, Ga.; Charleston, S.C; Norfolk, Va; Wilmington, N.C.; Annapolis, Md.; Wilmington, Del; and Atlantic City, N.J., to allow the public to comment on the draft PEIS and assist BOEM in developing the final PEIS. The complete public meeting schedule is available online at: www.boem.gov/oil-and-gas-energy-program/GOMR/GandG.aspx.
The public may submit written comments by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to:
“Comments on the Draft PEIS for Atlantic G&G Activities”
Mr. Gary D. Goeke, Chief, Regional Assessment Section