Marine Resources Department Asks for Feedback on DrillingBy Evelina Burnett | Published 09 Sep 2013 06:00am |
A map of the leaseable areas in Mississippi waters. (Source: msenergyfuture.com)
The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources is asking for public feedback as it reviews the state's offshore drilling rules. It's the next step as the state moves closer to setting the date of an offshore lease sale.
The Department of Marine Resources says it’s been asked by the Mississippi Development Authority to review the state’s offshore drilling regulations to see if they’re consistent with the Mississippi Coast Program, which it manages. Marine Resources spokeswoman Melissa Scallan says the drilling rules and regulations will need to be consist with the DMR's rules.
Scallan says the DMR has also asked for feedback from local governments and a number of state and federal agencies. Feedback from the public is due September 30.
For more information, see the Department of Marine Resources website.
Raleigh Hoke is with the Gulf Restoration Network, which has filed suit to challenge the offshore drilling rules set by the Mississippi Development Authority. Hoke says he doubts the drilling rules would mesh well with a coastal management plan.
The Mississippi Development Authority says the review is a step in the offshore lease process. If the DMR gives the go-ahead after its review, a date for a lease sale will be set, possibly later this year or early next year. A development authority spokesman says the last time an offshore lease was sold in Mississippi was in the mid-1980s.
More information about offshore drilling in Mississippi can be found at the following websites:
http://www.12milessouthcoalition.com, a coalition of environmental groups that includes the Gulf Restoration Network and the Sierra Club
http://www.msenergyfuture.com, a site created by the Mississippi Development Authority
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