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Public comments sought on environmental assessment for a proposed seismic study to evaluate hydrocarbon reserves in N.D.

Published Aug. 8, 2014

OMAHA, Neb. – A draft environmental assessment for a proposed seismic study to evaluate hydrocarbon reserves in McKenzie and Williams Counties, N.D. is currently available for public review. The draft EA evaluates the environmental impacts of seismic exploration activities on federal and non-federal lands within the project area.

Hess Corporation proposes a seismic study to effectively evaluate hydrocarbon reserves underlying the project area for further development of oil and natural gas reserves on the lands and waters managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and surrounding area, located in Williams and McKenzie Counties, N.D. Geophysical survey would encompass 71.3 square miles, of which 39.12 square miles of the surface area is private property, 29.55 square miles is managed by the Corps, and 2.64 square miles is owned by the state of North Dakota.

The Stony Creek 3D seismic project would be conducted over a grid pattern of seismic source points and receiver points. At each source point, acoustic energy (sound waves) would be transmitted through the geologic layers to provide a high-resolution image of subsurface geological features. At each receiver point, a series of motion- or pressure-sensing devices and recording boxes would record the transmitted sound waves. Source points would be located on land above the ordinary high water mark of Lake Sakakawea. Receiver points would encompass the land, river, and lake environments.

This draft EA is consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended; the Council on Environmental Quality's regulations for implementing NEPA (40 CFR 1500-1508); the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' regulations for implementing NEPA (33 CFR 325 and Engineering Regulation 200-2-2); and other applicable environmental laws and regulations.

The draft Stony Creek EA is available for viewing at http://www.nwo.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Planning/EnvironmentalPlanning/DraftDocuments.aspx and hardcopies are available at the Williston Community Library, N.D. Written comments can be mailed to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District; CENWO-PM-AC, ATTN: Stony Creek Seismic EA, 1616 Capitol Avenue, Omaha, Nebraska, 68012. Comments can also be emailed to johnathan.a.shelman@usace.army.mil. Comments must be postmarked or received no later than Sept. 7, 2014.

Eileen Williamson
John Shelman

Release no. 20140808-001