Opportunities To Resolve Some Basic Conflicts over Outer Continential Shelf Leasing and Development

EMD-78-39: Published: Mar 16, 1978. Publicly Released: Mar 16, 1978.

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Development of Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) oil and natural gas resources has received public criticism in all coastal areas during the past several years. Conflicts over OCS development stem from questions about initial development and the needs of parties affected by the Department of the Interior's plans.

The Department of the Interior has made reasonably good progress in opening the OCS planning and management process to greater public participation. In recent lease sale planning, the Department has provided the States opportunities to influence leasing decisions and has limited leasing as a result of State and local concerns. One prevalent weakness is that affected parties have not been assured that their involvement and input in lease scheduling, tract selection, and environmental monitoring have been, or will be, given serious consideration by the Department. Specific concerns involve: how monitoring should be accomplished, how the monitoring results will be used and by whom, and what parties will have access to monitoring data as a basis for informed decisionmaking. Another weakness causing controversy involves the availability and adequacy of information supporting leasing decisions.

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