Sea Technology

AUG 2017

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46 st / August 2017 www.sea-technology.com the Anchorage-based North Pacific Fishery Management Council. Originally from Texas, Oliver worked on Gulf of Mexico shrimp fishery management issues before moving to Alaska. The move comes at a critical time for NMFS, which is ac- cepting comments for the so-called Incidental Harassment Authorization for Atlantic seismic surveys that would open up seismic surveys in the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf. Trump Administration Moves To Repeal Waters of the U.S. Rule By starting the process of repealing the Waters of the U.S. Rule, also known as the Clean Water Rule, the Donald Trump Administration put the sources of drinking water for more than 117 million Americans at greater risk, along with the streams and wetlands that filter pollution and provide habitat for wildlife, according to the Potomac Riverkeeper Network. One in three Americans source at least some of their drinking water from streams and wetlands. The Waters of the U.S. Rule helps to define which riv- ers, streams, lakes and marshes fall under protection by the Clean Water Act. Repealing the rule means these areas could, for example, become open to pipeline crossings. The rule restored federal protections to half the nation's streams and thousands of wetlands across the country, ac- cording to Environment Virginia. BOEM Completes Evaluation Of Bids in Lease Sale 247 The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) completed its required evaluation to ensure the public re- ceives fair market value for tracts leased in Central Gulf of Mexico Oil and Gas Lease Sale 247, held in March. After extensive geological, geophysical, engineering and economic analysis, BOEM awarded 153 tracts receiving bids and rejected 10 high bids. BOEM has determined that the value of those bids was insufficient to provide the public with fair market value for the tracts and will re-offer these tracts as part of the next lease sale, Sale 249 in August. BOEM is setting the royalty rate at 12.5 percent for shal- low-water leases (less than 200 m) in Gulf of Mexico Sale 249. This is lower than the proposed 18.75 percent royalty rate for shallow-water leases that was published in the pro- posed notice of sale and matches the federal onshore oil and gas lease royalty rate of 12.5 percent, NOIA reported. BOEM says the royalty rate reduction reflects changing market conditions and should spur a more competitive lease sale. BOEM is analyzing a price-based royalty system. DOE Funds $12 Million In New MHK Projects The U.S. Energy Department (DOE) announced up to $12 million in new projects to support the development of innovative technologies capable of generating reliable and cost-effective electricity from U.S. water resources. The four projects will advance marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) en- ergy technologies. Two projects will test and validate wave energy converter prototypes in open water to demonstrate wave energy's po- tential to compete with other forms of energy in the longer term. Two other projects will address important early-stage MHK technology development challenges. ST

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