ANCHORAGE, Alaska— In support of the administration’s goals of achieving energy dominance and sustainable development of our natural resources, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is seeking public input on the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Willow Master Development Plan (MDP) in the Bear Tooth Unit (BTU) of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A).
The proposed project includes the construction, operation, and maintenance of a central processing facility, infrastructure pad, up to five drill pads with up to fifty wells on each pad, access and infield roads, an airstrip, pipelines, and a gravel mine on BLM-managed lands within the NPR-A. In addition, the MDP/EIS will analyze the connected action of a temporary island to facilitate module delivery via sealift barges which would occur within waters managed by the State of Alaska. ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc. (ConocoPhillips) submitted a letter requesting the development of the Willow prospect in May 2018.
“Analyzing the proposed Willow prospect in a single MDP/EIS will result in a quicker and more efficient process for the approval of applications for permits to drill,” said Acting State Director Karen E. Mouritsen. “Public input on this project is important and we look forward to hosting public meetings and listening to the comments people may have.”
Throughout development of the MDP/EIS, the BLM will consult with federally recognized Alaska Native Tribes on a government-to-government basis. The BLM is also consulting with the regional and local Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act corporations (Arctic Slope Regional Corporation and Kuukpik Corporation, respectively).
The BLM will hold public scoping meetings in: Anaktuvuk Pass, Anchorage, Atqasuk, Fairbanks, Nuiqsut, and Utqiaġvik at times and locations to be announced in local media, newspapers, and on the BLM website. All meetings will afford the public an opportunity to provide input on the process. At the meetings, the BLM seeks to identify relevant comments, concerns and/or issues that will influence the scope of the MDP/EIS and guide its development, including the formation of alternatives to the proposal. Meeting procedures will be available on the BLM Alaska website at www.blm.gov/alaska.
Those unable to attend one of the meetings are encouraged to participate via BLM’s project website, which includes a project area map and frequently asked questions. Comments can be submitted via the project website or emailed to: BLM_AK_Willow_Comments@blm.gov. BLM will accept comments through September 6, 2018.
The project website is accessible through the BLM Alaska website and comments on the Willow MDP/EIS may be submitted by any of the following methods:
Mail: Attn: Willow MDP/EIS
222 West 7th Avenue, Stop #13
Anchorage, AK, 99513-7504
Bureau of Land Management
Alaska State Office
Office of Communications