The Bureau of Land Management today announced that it will be conducting a full Environmental Impact Statement on oil and gas production in the Monterey Shale Formation.

The statement on Monday, August 5, 2013 announced, “In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA), and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, as amended (FLPMA), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) intends to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and potential resource management plan (RMP) amendment to evaluate oil and gas leasing and development on public lands and Federal mineral estate in the Hollister Field Office.”

“The outcome of this effort to prepare an oil and gas leasing and development EIS may provide information for the BLM to potentially amend the Hollister RMP in order to establish additional stipulations, conditions of approval, best management practices, or terms and conditions to further guide safe and responsible lease development practices. The EIS will also analyze various current or reasonably foreseeable well completion and stimulation practices, including hydraulic fracturing and the use of horizontal drilling, in the Hollister Field Office. The EIS will further analyze a potential update to the reasonably foreseeable development scenario.”

“During the scoping process for this EIS, the high degree of public attention to oil and gas development will provide the BLM with input regarding the suite of oil and gas leasing and development issues and geographic areas that are of most concern to the public.”

“The scoping process will also provide input to assist the BLM in fully developing a range of potential RMP amendment alternatives to address leasing and development and well completion and stimulation practices of concern to the public. In conjunction with the independent science assessment, the BLM will use the results of scoping to refine the geographic scope of the potential plan amendment. In addition, information resulting from the planning and science review will further inform future oil and gas leasing decisions.”

“Preliminary issues for oil and gas leasing and development to be addressed within the Hollister planning area have been identified by BLM personnel, Federal, State, and local agencies, and other stakeholders, and include: surface water, groundwater, and air quality; greenhouse gases and climate change; the environmental effects of chemicals, if any, used; the potential for induced seismicity; endangered and threatened species; public health and safety; and socioeconomics.”