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National Oil and Gas Leasing Plan and Seismic Testing

On Jan. 4, 2018, the U.S. Dept. of Interior announced plans to open waters off of North Carolina and other Atlantic Coast states to offshore oil and gas exploration and development. 

A 60-day public comment period on the Draft Proposed Program ended on March 9 and the state submitted comments. After the 60-day comment period, there will be a 90-day public comment period on the proposed program and draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS).

Finally, there will be a 60-day period for the President and Congress to review and approve the final program and draft a decision. See a more detailed graphic on the process and its timeline. 

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management held a public meeting to accept written comments on the draft proposed plan on Feb. 27 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the North Raleigh Hilton, 3415 Wake Forest Road in Raleigh. 

Related Documents 

Timeline of Events 

2019-24 National Oil and Gas Leasing Draft Proposed Program 

Federal Register Notice from the National Marine Fisheries Service 

June 29, 2017: Letter to Gov. Cooper from BOEM requesting information on Draft Proposed Program 

Aug. 17, 2017: Response to BOEM from Gov. Cooper and DEQ 

Seismic Survey Information

July 21, 2017: Letter to US Dept. of Commerce and the National Marine Fisheries Service from Gov. Cooper and DEQ 

Dec. 22, 2017: Press release asking seismic companies for supplemental consistency information 

March 13, 2018: Response letter to BOEM asking them to refrain from issuing permits to seismic companies

Nov. 30, 2018:  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued incidental harassment authorizations (IHAs) to five separate applicants to incidentally harass marine mammals during geophysical survey activities in the Atlantic Ocean. 

Nov. 30, 2018: NC DEQ’s Secretary Michael S. Regan sent out a statement in response

Dec. 14, 2018: Complaints filed challenging the Incidental Harassment Authorizations:

  1. SELC/NGOs complaint
  2. SCELP/SC Municipalities complaint


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