The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) on Wednesday issued provisional proposals for protecting marine life and habitats in the US Gulf of Mexico from possible damaging effects of geological and geophysical surveys for hydro carbons and minerals.
The document, called a Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS), includes measures such as requiring protected species observers on each boat, mandatory vessel avoidance of marine mammals and start up/shut down rules that apply if marine mammals are observed in the area.
The draft PEIS will be open for public comment for 60 days after publication of the Notice of Availability in the Federal Register ton Friday (September 30).
BOEM will hold five public meetings – one each in Gulf Coast states Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida – to glean input and answer queries.
A final version of the PEIS should be complete by September next year.
BOEM is part of the Department of the Interior since being established in 2010. It manages the exploration and development of the US’ offshore energy and mineral resources.