production activities, including large and small oil spills. The DPP conflicts with the State of Washington’s laws, policies, and goals.
Furthermore, the DPP summarizes comments BOEM received to exclude the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary from the proposed leasing program. Under Public Law 102-587, Section 2207, oil and gas leasing is expressly prohibited in the 1994 federally-designated sanctuary. If the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary is included in the five-year program, it would violate current federal law, regulations, and management plans under CFR Title 15 Section 922.13(h).
In revising its five-year program, BOEM needs to clarify it lacks the legal authority to issue oil and gas leases in the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. Additionally, offshore oil and gas activities proposed elsewhere off Washington’s coast would pose unacceptable risks to resources within the sanctuary.
We have included an addendum that provides more detailed data and information about the location and types of ocean resources and uses on Washington’s coast and in the offshore area. We have also highlighted issues of concern that support our request to remove the Washington’s OCS from the 2019-2024 Oil and Gas Leasing Program. Our responses are organized by the eight factors the Interior Secretary must consider for choosing the size, timing, and location of oil and gas leases in the national program. The addendum includes recommendations for BOEM’s review and analysis and sources of information.
Since offshore oil and gas leasing, exploration, and development activities have a high potential to damage our environment, cause irreversible harm to our coastal communities and resources, and disrupt current ocean uses on Washington’s coast, they are completely at odds with our state’s vision for a sustainable and prosperous future.
Maia D. Bellon