Offshore Oil and Gas NPDES Permits: Creative Solutions—Three Case Studies

by Virginia Fox-Norse, US EPA, Washington, DC, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '87


The U. S. EPA has responsibility under the Clean Water Act (CWA) to maintain and enhance the quality of the Nation's waters. Section 402 of the CWA authorizes EPA to issue National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits for point source discharges to the waters of the U. S. , including ocean waters of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) for oil and gas exploration, development and production facilities. Case studies illustrate how EPA has resolved or proposed to resolve different permitting issues in 3 OCS lease sale areas. The planning areas discussed include: 1) offshore Southern California, an area of maturing OCS oil and gas operations; 2) the Mid-Atlantic, site of several lease sale proposals with no commercial discoveries to date; and 3) the St. George Basin, in the southern Bering Sea offshore Alaska, site of 2 lease sale proposals.

Subject Headings: Case studies | Offshore platforms | Permits | Water discharge | Water pollution | Environmental Protection Agency | Clean Water Act | Non-renewable energy | United States | California | Mid Atlantic | Bering Sea | Alaska

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