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Interior releases timeline for Arctic lease review

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 23, 2014 at 4:39 pm •  Published: May 23, 2014
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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The U.S. Interior Department has laid out a timeline for completion of a new environmental review surrounding leases in the Arctic waters off Alaska.

A federal appeals court panel earlier this year sided with environmental groups that claimed the government had conducted a flawed review before selling $2.7 billion in oil and gas leases in the Chukchi Sea in 2008. The panel found the environmental assessment for the sale was based on minimal development.

The government, in filings with the trial court Friday, said the department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is undertaking a new review to correct the problems. That will include updating the modeling for the oil spill risk analysis.

Plans call for publication of a draft report by early October and for a final decision next March.