CSA Ocean Sciences Inc. served as the marine environmental consultant to a consortium of eight companies for permitting of proposed Outer Continental Shelf exploratory oil and gas drilling activities in a 21-block unit of the Manteo Area in the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Water depths for the proposed deepwater wells ranged from 650 to 1,160 m. CSA Ocean Sciences Inc. prepared various types of environmental documentation for the permitting process. The Exploration Plan for Manteo Area Block 467 contained operational and environmental information and followed regulations established by the Minerals Management Service (MMS). CSA Ocean Sciences Inc. also prepared an Oil Spill Contingency Plan. Shallow hazards data were interpreted for hard bottom. A live bottom survey was conducted and a report was prepared.
Monthly plankton, fish egg, and larvae surveys were conducted at 15 stations along three transects at and north and south of the proposed drill-site. Drilling muds and cuttings dispersion modeling was performed with the Offshore Operators Committee Mud Model. CSA Ocean Sciences Inc. assisted in preparing the 403(c) assessment document in support of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. CSA Ocean Sciences Inc. commented on the Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Certification, Findings of the Consistency Assessment, and appeal documents related to the Exploration Plan and NPDES permit. CSA Ocean Sciences Inc. provided presentations and attended meetings with the client, MMS, and the State of North Carolina. CSA Ocean Sciences Inc. also submitted comments on various documents associated with the CZM appeal process.