Effective March 15, 2018, Oil Search Alaska, LLC has officially assumed the role of Operator for the Nanushuk development. The schedule for addressing public and agency comments on the Draft EIS, and completing the Final EIS is being extended, to allow the new operator time to communicate with various interested parties and stakeholders to assess possible additional opportunities to avoid and minimize impacts to the environment as a result of project activities, and develop responses to the outstanding project related Requests for Information (RFIs) from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The comment period on the Nanushuk draft EIS closed on November 14, 2017. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers received comments from almost 200 people and organizations. These comments and transcripts from the public meetings on the draft EIS are available for review here. Comments received are being analyzed and the EIS team will be working to address substantive comments as part of preparing the final EIS for the project.
The draft EIS was made available for review and comment on September 1, 2017. The initial 45-day comment period has been extended to 75-days, with comments due November 14, 2017. Public meetings on the draft EIS will be held in September and October. Click here for the schedule. Hard copies of the draft EIS are also available for public review at the following locations:
Comments on the draft EIS can be provided here.
The draft EIS on the Nanushuk Project will be available for public review in early September 2017. Public meetings on the draft EIS will be held in Nuiqsut, Barrow, Fairbanks and Anchorage in late September and early October. Details will be posted on the Public Involvement page.
The USACE’s EIS team is well into preparing the draft EIS for the Nanushuk project. The draft EIS identifies a reasonable range of alternatives to the Applicant’s proposed project and evaluates the potential effects of each alternative on physical, biological and social resources. Examples of physical resources evaluated include permafrost, soils and air quality. Biological resources include fish, marine mammals, birds, terrestrial mammals and vegetation. Social resources include social and economic conditions as well as subsistence and cultural resources.
Look for the draft EIS to be released to the public in August 2017.
The USACE’s EIS team has been working with cooperating agencies to develop, evaluate and revise alternatives to be carried forward in the EIS. A wide range of alternatives were evaluated based on the project purpose and need, technical and economic feasibility and reasonableness, and with the intent to minimize environmental effects and concerns raised during the scoping process. The team has determined that five (5) alternatives will be carried forward for analysis in the EIS. The five include: 1) No Action Alternative (this is required to be carried forward in any EIS); 2) Applicant’s Proposed Project Alternative; 3) Southern Access Alternative; 4) Northern Access Alternative; and 5) Reconfigured Infield Roads Alternative. More information on these five alternatives is provided in the attached project newsletter.
The EIS team is currently drafting the affected environmental and environmental consequences sections of the EIS, as well as working with cooperating agencies to identify potential measures that could be used to avoid, minimize or mitigate the potential environmental effects anticipated from project development.
The Nanushuk EIS team has been working with the cooperating agencies to develop the reasonable range of alternatives to evaluate in the EIS. NEPA requires that the federal agencies evaluate a range of ways to meet the Purpose and Need for the project. Reasonable alternatives are those that are practical or feasible from a technical and economic standpoint and using common sense. NEPA's goal is to provide the decision makers with information on the potential environmental effects of the reasonable alternatives so that informed decisions can be made. To develop the range of reasonable alternatives, the Team is using information from public and agency scoping as well as information from the Applicant and other relevant sources. The Nanushuk Scoping Summary Report (SSR) is now available here. The SSR identifies potential impacts on air quality and subsistence resources and harvests as the major issues of concern in the local area. Outside the local area, there is extensive interest in the potential for State-wide fiscal and economic benefits from the project. All of these issues are being considered as the range of reasonable alternatives is being developed. In the next month, the range of alternatives should be identified and subject matter experts will begin documenting existing conditions and evaluating the potential effects of the various alternatives.
A draft summary of comments received during the scoping period is available, click here.
The USACE team is reviewing and analyzing the comments received from agencies and other stakeholders during the project scoping period. A total of 39 entities submitted scoping comments including federal, state and local agencies (including a tribe), Native corporations, businesses, organizations and the general public. The USACE team will be using information received during scoping and working with the cooperating agencies to develop a reasonable range of alternatives to be evaluated in the EIS.
The new applicant name is Armstrong Energy, LLC as of May 19, 2016,
The EIS scoping period for the Nanushuk EIS has been extended to May 31, 2016. A copy of the Special Public Notice extending the scoping period is availablehere.
Based on 2015 exploration work, Armstrong anticipates higher production rates (120,000 barrels per day) from the Nanushuk and Alpine reservoirs that was projected in the 404 permit application (60,000 barrels per day), submitted to the USACE in June 2015.
To accommodate this, the applicant is working on refinements to their project design, which may include the following changes (view maps here):
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers held well attended scoping meetings in Nuiqsut, Barrow, Anchorage and Fairbanks in March. Comments received during those meetings are being reviewed and considered. Scoping comments will continue to be accepted through May 1, 2016. A Scoping Summary Report will be released in June documenting comments received and how these comments were considered in determining the scope of the EIS. The Corps has received letters from Repsol E&P, USA and 70 & 148, LLC revising the permit application to reflect 70 & 148, LLC as the permit applicant. 70 & 148, LLC and Repsol E&P USA, Inc. are partners on the Nanushuk Project. 70 & 148, LLC will be the project operator and permit applicant.