BSEE Invites Public Comment on Study for Decommissioning Oil and Gas Infrastructure Off California Coast
WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement invites the public to comment on a proposal to conduct a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for decommissioning oil and gas platforms and other facilities on the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf. The Notice of Intent to prepare a PEIS is published in today’s Federal Register, and the input gathered will inform the scope of the PEIS and identify potentially relevant information, studies and analyses to inform future decommissioning application decisions.
“This is the first step toward a robust and efficient review of anticipated applications for decommissioning oil and gas infrastructure off the California coast,” said Mike Mitchell acting BSEE Pacific Region Director. “Throughout the process, federal, state, and local governmental agencies, along with all other interested parties, will have an opportunity to provide comments and alternatives for analysis as we prepare the PEIS under the National Environmental Policy Act.”
The preliminary proposed action is to authorize applications for complete removal of platforms and other facilities, including pipelines, and clearing the seafloor of all obstructions created by the lease or right-of-way operations on the Pacific OCS off the Southern California coast. In addition to the proposed action and a No Action alternative, an alternative for partial removal of platforms and associated facilities and pipelines will be evaluated. The proposed action and the alternative will evaluate various decommissioning tools and techniques for removal of OCS platforms, associated facilities, and pipelines. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is assisting BSEE in the preparation of the environmental analysis and will maintain information about the PEIS on their website but has no role in approving decommissioning applications.
Lessees and owners of operating rights must decommission their facilities, pipelines, and other equipment or obstructions in accordance with governing regulations and lease conditions. There are currently 23 oil and gas platforms off the Southern California coast, installed between the late 1960s and 1990, and all are subject to eventual decommissioning.
The public will have an opportunity to submit comments for 45 days following publication of this NOI in the Federal Register. Supplemental information is available at www.boem.gov/Pacific-decomm-PEIS to assist the public in providing scoping comments to inform a robust and efficient review of anticipated decommissioning applications for Pacific OCS facilities.