Biden Administration Publishes Notice Regarding Decommissioning Oil Rigs Off the California Coast
On July 23, 2021, the Biden Administration published a notice of intent (“Notice”) to prepare a programmatic environmental impact statement (“PEIS”) “to support future Federal review of and action on decommissioning applications for platforms, pipelines, and other facilities,” including the current 23 platforms and associated wells, facilities and pipelines, located off of the Southern California shore, on the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf. To inform this decision, the Biden Administration, through the Notice, requests comments by September 7, 2021, regarding the scope of the analysis, potential alternatives, significant issues for analysis, and potentially relevant information to be considered in the PEIS. However, the PEIS will not authorize any specific activities nor approve any individual application.
The potential future decisions that may rely on the PEIS include: decisions on initial platform removal applications; decisions on final applications to remove a platform or other facility; decisions on pipeline decommissioning applications; decisions on departure requests; and decisions on alternative procedures or equipment requests. Currently, the draft PEIS is tentatively scheduled for publication in February 2022, and the final PEIS is tentatively scheduled for publication in June 2022. The Record of Decision (“ROD”) relating to the PEIS will be issued no sooner than 30 days after the final PEIS is published.
A copy of the Notice can be accessed here.