Mitigation

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Mitigation

EIGOA

Environmental Impacts of Offshore Natural Gas & Oil Exploration

& Production Activities in the Mediterranean (EIGOA)

Wohl center, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel.

US Environmental Regulations and

Mitigating Risks through Stipulations

Gregory J. Kozlowski, M.S.

Senior Physical Scientist

Operations Assessment Section, GOMR

1


Outer Continental Shelf

Sand and Gravel Program


Alternative Energy Program

3


Outer Continental Shelf (OCS)

Oil & Gas Leasing

Program 4


Regulatory Framework for BOEM’S

Environmental Review Process

5


OCS Lands Act

Section 18 (a)(2) Timing and location of

exploration, development, and production of oil

and gas among the oil and gas-bearing

physiographic regions of the outer Continental

Shelf shall be based on a consideration of—

(G) relative environmental sensitivity and marine

productivity of different areas of the outer

Continental Shelf;

6


5-Year OCS Leasing Program

Offshore Planning Areas (OPAs)

Includes areas in

the GOM, AK,

Atlantic and Pacific

Program Areas

Selected OPAs

(minus buffers,

deferrals, and

exclusion areas)

Leasing Blocks

Each block is 5000

Acres

(9 square mi)

7


Environmental Laws and Orders

Migratory Bird

Treaty Act

Marine

Mammal

Protection Act

Federal

Water

Pollution

Control Act

NEPA PROCESS

National

Historic

Preservation

Act

Clean Air Act

Coastal Zone

Management

Act

Magnuson-

Stevens Act

E.O. 12898:

Environmental

Justice

Endangered

Species Act

NEPA process coordinates compliance with other environmental requirements

8


The National Environmental Policy

Act - ″NEPA″

• Disclose Plans

• Involve Public

• Identify and Evaluate Alternatives

• Avoid Negative Effects

• Integrate Environmental Analysis

• Foster Better Decisions

9


Mitigation

10


Mitigation and Monitoring

Mitigation is used “to reduce environmental impacts

through modification of proposed actions and

consideration and development of mitigation

alternatives during the NEPA process.” (CEQ, Feb.

2010)

• Monitoring can also “improve the quality of overall

agency decision making by providing feedback on

the effectiveness of mitigation techniques and

commitments.” (CEQ, Feb. 2010)

11


Mitigation Under NEPA

Mitigation, as defined by NEPA regulations (40

CFR 1508.20), includes:

• Avoiding the impact

• Minimizing impacts by limiting the degree or

magnitude of the action

• Rectifying the impact by restoring the affected

environment.

• Reducing or eliminating the impact over time by

preservation and maintenance operations

• Compensating for the impact

12


Five-Year National Oil and Gas Program

Mitigations

Type:

• Deferrals

Sources:

• Public Scoping

• Environmental

analysis

Example: Expand buffer zones

to avoid sensitive coastal areas or

visual impacts

13


Lease Sale Mitigations

Type:

• Lease stipulations

Sources:

• Public Scoping

• Environmental analysis

• Consultations with Federal

and State agencies

Examples:

• NOAA Fisheries Service

Observer Program

• Coordination with the military to prevent multiuse

conflicts between OCS and military activities

14


Example of a Lease Stipulation

Stipulation No. 4 – Marine Protected Species

The operator must operate in accordance with Joint

NTL No. 2012-G02, to minimize the risk of vessel

strikes to protected species and to report

observations of injured or dead protected species.

The operator must operate in accordance with BSEE

NTL No. 2012-G01 to prevent intentional and/or

accidental introduction of debris into the marine

environment.

15


Activity-Specific

(Programmatic Mitigations)

Type:

• Conditions of approval

Source:

• Environmental Analysis

• Consultations with

Federal and State

agencies

Example:

• Ramp-up procedures

16


Site-Specific Project Mitigations

Type:

• Conditions of approval

Source:

• Technical and environmental evaluations of the proposed operations

• Comments from Federal and State agencies

Examples:

• Limiting the size of explosive charges used for structure removals

• Requiring placement explosive charges at least 15 ft below the mudline

• Requiring site-clearance procedures to eliminate potential snags to

commercial fishing nets

• Establishment of No Activity and Modified Activity Zones around high-relief

live bottoms

• Requiring remote-sensing surveys to detect and avoid biologically sensitive

areas such as low-relief live bottoms, pinnacles, and chemosynthetic

communities

17


Reduce Impacts

• Develop mitigation and monitoring measures

• Coordinate with environmental resource agencies

• Require implementation of measures and reporting

of outcomes

• Assess effectiveness of measures

• Analyze reported data and test scientifically

• Adjust measures based on analysis of effectiveness

18


Each project

adds new

information.

The analysis

produces

new and

better

mitigation

measures.

Each time the

public is

involved, they

are educated

further.

Improving Mitigation Effectiveness

New

Information

Baseline

Determination

of Research

Needs

Analysis of

Monitoring

Proposed

Project

Monitoring

of Effects

Data

Collection

Analysis of

Information

Identification

of Mitigating

Measures

19


Monitoring

Either part of mitigation (40 CFR §1505.2(c)) or

through BOEMRE’s Environmental studies program

Adaptive management –

monitoring may lead to

reassessment of mitigation

and adjustments

20


Monitoring within

Mitigation Measures

In deepwater, Remotely

Operated Vehicle surveys

required during two

periods of operations

(prespudding and

postdrilling).

Visual required

monitoring during

seismic surveys

21


Monitoring Through the

Environmental Studies Program

Flower Gardens Monitoring Program

• Long-term monitoring to assess coral reef health

• Can assess any short- and long-term impacts of

activities

22


Types of NEPA Documentation

• Environmental Impact Statement (EIS);

• Environmental Assessment (EA); and

• Categorical Exclusions (CATEX)

23


Levels of NEPA

The Level of NEPA Analysis is based

upon Departmental and Agency

Guidelines/Policy and Regional Triggers

established for Potential Impact

Producing Factors (IPFs).

24


NEPA Oversight

BOEMRE’s NEPA Program is organized so that “Activity-Specific”

NEPA Analyses are “tiered”/linked to previous “Programmatic”

Analyses to increase efficiency and reduce repetition of general

resource and impact discussions.

25


Purpose of NEPA Documents

• Not just to prepare a document

• Designed to help officials:

• Make decision based on understanding of the

potential environmental consequences of the

proposed activities; and

• Take actions that protect, mitigate, restore, and

enhance the environment.

26


Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

• Is the “detailed statement” mandated under Section

102(2)(C) of NEPA.

• Appropriate when BOEM knows or suspects that

impacts of proposed action might be significant.

• Fulfills NEPA’s two legal mandates:

• Identification and analysis of all potentially

significant impacts, and

• Disclosure of these impacts to agency

decisionmakers, to other Federal and State

agencies, and to the public

27


Major Actions Normally Requiring an EIS

516 DM 15.4 (A)(B)

(1) Approval of a 5-year offshore oil and gas leasing

program.

(2) Approval of offshore lease sales.

(3) Approval of an offshore oil and gas development and

production plan in any area or region of the offshore,

other than the central or western Gulf of Mexico, when

the plan is declared to be a major Federal action in

accordance with section 25(e)(1) of the OCS Lands Act

Amendments of 1978.

If, for any of these actions, it is proposed not to prepare an EIS,

an environmental assessment will be prepared and handled in

accordance with Section 1501.4(e)(2).

28


EIS Process Steps

• Public Scoping Meetings and Comment Period

• Draft EIS

• Public Hearings and Comment Period

• Final EIS

• Record of Decision

29


Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

Sections

I

II

III

IV

Purpose and Need for Action

Alternatives Including the Proposed Action

Affected Environment

Environmental Consequences

-- Cumulative Effects

30


Public Involvement

31


Proponents and Opponents

32


Record of Decision (ROD)

• The final step for agencies in the EIS process.

• States what the decision is; identifies the alternatives

considered, including the environmentally preferred alternative;

• Discusses mitigation plans, including any enforcement and

monitoring commitments.

• Discusses all the factors, including any considerations of national

policy

• Discusses if all practical means to avoid or minimize

environmental harm have been adopted, and if not, why they

were not.

33


Environmental Assessments

• Describes the purpose and

need

• Identifies alternatives

• Evaluates potential

environmental impacts

• Includes consultations if

necessary

• Notifies/involves the public

34


When to Prepare an EA

516 DM 3.2(A)(B)

• An EA will be prepared for all proposed actions,

except:

• Categorical exclusion

• Major federal action (EIS decided)

• In addition, an EA may be prepared on any action at

any time in order to assist in planning and

decisionmaking (516 DM 3.2.B).

The purpose of an EA is to allow the responsible

official to determine whether to prepare an

EIS or a FONSI.

35


DOI Extraordinary Circumstances

43 CFR § 46.215

• Have significant impacts

• Highly controversial

• Unknown environmental risks

• Precedent

• Cumulative

• Violate law

• Effect on low income or minority

• Indian sacred sites

• Invasive species

36


BOEM Major Actions Normally

Requiring an EA

• G&G Permit applications

• Deepwater Exploration Plans (EPs)

• Development and Production Plans (DPPs)

• Development Operations Coordination

Documents (DOCDs) that include Drilling in

Deepwater

• Applications for pipelines that go to shore.

• Structure Removals

37


Results of an EA

If the impacts are:

• Insignificant, issue a Finding of No Significant

Impact (FONSI).

• Insignificant, but only if mitigating measures are

instituted, issue a FONSI.

• Potentially significant, prepare an Environmental

Impact Statement.

38


Public Involvement

Lease Sale EAs:

• Involve public throughout process.

• Scoping similar to EIS’s

Site Specific EAs:

• Make plan available to public during SEA

preparation.

• Make available to public upon completion.

39


Compliance

• Apply conditions of approval (mitigations) to

NEPA documents

• In many cases the operator will be required to

submit post approval submittals

• BSEE will review the post approval submittals

and coordinate with BOEM

• BOEM and BSEE SMEs coordinate with each

other to determine effectiveness of the

mitigations.

40


Significant Lessons:

Successful Energy Development

• Stakeholder Engagement Early in the

Planning Process

• Foster an Atmosphere of Mutual Respect

and Trust

• Use mitigations to protect the

environment and ensure compliance

• Monitor the environment and assess the

effectiveness of your regulations and

mitigations

41


EIGOA

Thank you.

42

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