BLM-Alaska Statement Regarding ConocoPhilips’ Alpine Satellite Development Plan Permit
Anchorage – The Bureau of Land Management Alaska State Director Bud C. Cribley releases the following statement regarding today's U.S. Army Corp of Engineers decision to permit ConocoPhilips’ Alpine Satellite Development Plan (CD-5) in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska:
“Today’s decision marks a critical milestone in the development of the infrastructure needed to explore, develop and deliver oil and gas resources from the NPR-A. But more important than the permit is what the permit represents – it shows industry and government can work together to find sensible solutions that allow safe and responsible development,” said Cribley. “If we want to encourage development within the NPR-A, we’re going to have to continue to find collaborative solutions for exploration and development that safeguard and balance all of the values within its boundaries.”
With the issuance of a final permit today, the construction of pipelines and a bridge over the Nigliq Channel of the Colville River will move forward. Today’s decision follows an agreement in principle reached earlier this month by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Environmental Protection Agency and ConocoPhillips in which, among engineering changes and mitigation proposed by the company based on consultations with the resource agencies, ConocoPhillips agreed to allow other companies that develop leases in the NPR-A to use the same crossing. This approach will reduce the environmental impacts associated with development of existing and future leases in the NPR-A west of the Colville River.
“This permit is the result of all of the groups coming back to the negotiating table and developing an agreement that establishes higher levels of protection for the resources,” said Cribley. “This may have delayed the process in the short-term, but over the long-term the bridge at CD-5 will minimize the environmental impacts to the area because it allows other companies that develop leases in the NPR-A to use the same crossing, rather than seek approval for additional channel crossings in the area.”
The BLM manages 245 million acres – more land than any other federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including 75 million acres in Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.
Posted: December 20, 2011