The Sea Turtle Restoration Project submitted detailed comments to Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) demanding drastic improvements in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the 2012 to 2017 Oil and Gas Leasing Program. Click here to download the comment letter.
The new EIS must include a comprehensive re-evaluation of the threats and level of potential harm to sea turtles in response to the environmental harm and related outcomes from 2010 BP oil spill. Many of the assumptions about offshore oil drilling and operations made in previous environmental documents and biological opinions are completely outdated, disproven and no longer valid because of what happened with the BP oil spill.
For example, the 2007 National Marine Fisheries Service Endangered Species Act - Section 7 Consultation Biological Opinion issued on the 2007 – 2012 Oil and Gas Lease EIS (2007 Oil BiOp) stated that: “We estimate the following take of sea turtles from a major oil spill occurring during the 40-year lifetime of the proposed action: eight Kemp’s ridley juveniles; one Kemp’s ridley adult.”
Furthermore, the 2007 Oil BiOp concluded the estimated lethal takes to sea turtles from “a major oil spill occurring during the 40-year lifetime of the proposed action” total 66, while non-lethal takes total 147. The BP spill killed at least 608 sea turtles and impacted a minimum of 1,145!