Robin M. Smith, 2004. "From Prospect to Giant Gas Field: History of the Environmental Analyses of Jonah Field", Jonah Field: Case Study of a Tight-Gas Fluvial Reservoir, John W. Robinson, Keith W. Shanley
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Jonah field and the area around it have been the subject of an immense amount of environmental study since the field was discovered. Between 1993 and 2001, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) completed one Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and four Environmental Assessments (EAs) (Figure 1). In addition, another EIS for downspacing in Jonah field is currently in preparation by the BLM. Before any surface disturbance is authorized, each project component is also subject to an additional, site-specific EA prior to final site approval and construction.
Each of these studies was conducted to comply with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), passed by Congress in 1969. NEPA-mandated environmental impact analysis and assessment is a discovery function for ascertaining the range of risks and benefits of proposed actions on public lands. Where practicable and technically feasible, the resulting decision recommends and requires various mitigation measures and alternatives designed to reduce project impacts. The NEPA was also written as a means to require the various agencies in the federal government to include the public in identifying issues and concerns and to disclose the estimated impacts of the proposed action under consideration.