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EPA PROVIDES COMMENTS REGARDING THE APPEAL OF FLORIDA'S OBJECTION TO CHEVRON, U.S.A.'S PROPOSED NATURAL GAS DRILLING PROJECT
Release Date: 10/05/1999
Contact Information: Carl Terry, EPA Region 4 press office, at 404-562-8325
NOTE TO CORRESPONDENTS:
Today U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator John H. Hankinson, Jr., in a letter to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, provided the Agency's comments regarding the Appeal of the State of Florida's objection to Chevron, U.S.A.'s proposed natural gas drilling project in the Gulf of Mexico, 26 miles south of Pensacola Beach.
Hankinson commented, “EPA is submitting these comments because we believe that Chevron's application is inconsistent with Florida's Coastal Zone Management Plan. EPA is firmly committed to protecting Florida's unique coastal resources and we are concerned about the potential adverse environmental impacts of this project.”
A copy of the letter is attached for your information. For further information, contact Carl Terry, EPA Region 4 press office, at 404-562-8325.
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UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
ATLANTA FEDERAL CENTER
61 FORSYTH STREET
ATLANTA, GEORGIA 30303-8960
OCT 5 1999
Deputy Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce
Herbert C. Hoover Building
14th and Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20230
RE: Notice of Appeal and Request for Comments Coastal Zone Management Act, Destin Dome 56 Unit (Florida)
Dear Mr. Gudes:
I am writing to provide the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) comments regarding the Appeal of the State of Florida's objection to the consistency certification provided in conjunction with the Chevron, U.S.A., Inc. Initial Development and Production Plan (DPP) for the Destin Dome Block 56 Unit. These comments are provided pursuant to Section 307(c) of the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA), 16 U.S.C. § 1451 et seq., and the regulations promulgated at 15 C.F.R. Part 930, and in response to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).request for comment, dated July 22, 1999.
As set forth in greater detail in the attached comments, the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) prepared jointly by EPA and the Department of Interior Minerals Management Service (MMS) documents potential adverse environmental impacts, supporting the factual basis for the State of Florida's determination that Chevron's DPP for the Destin Dome Block 56 Unit is inconsistent with the CZMA. While EPA defers to the Secretary of Commerce regarding the appropriate weight and significance to assign to the Destin Dome Block 56 Unit DPP in achieving the national interest and the purposes of the CZMA, as set forth in Sections 302 and 303, 16 U.S.C. §§ 1452, 1453, EPA believes that the attached comments would support a finding by the Secretary that the DPP, as proposed, is not consistent with the objectives of the CZMA. EPA has attached a copy of the DEIS for inclusion in the record for this decision.
Thank you for the opportunity to review this appeal. If you have any questions, please contact David M. Moore, Associate Regional Counsel, at (404) 562-9547.
/s/John H. Hankinson, Jr.
cc: Karl Gleaves, Assistant General Counsel Ocean Services, NOAA