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NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS 2101 Constitution Ave., N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures ap- proved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, non-profit, self-perpetuating society of distin- guished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autono- mous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and educa- tion. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. The project was supported by Department of the Interior contract number 14-35-0001 30627/C. Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 94-65019 International Standard Book No. 0-309-05036-7 B-302 Copyright 1993 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America Cover art: Juanisialu, 1963; Inuit Catching a Seal Through the Ice.
COMMITTED TO B;2EVl[W MASKER OUTED CO~Tl~E~TAL SHELF ~Vl~O~ME~TAL B~FOB;2M4TIO~ CHARIES G. GROAT (Chair9, Lousiana State University, Baton Rouge, . . . . . _oulslana JOHN J. AMORUSO, Amoruso Petroleum Company, Houston, Texas JOHN C. CROWELL, University of California, Santa Barbara, California F. GAINER ENGELHARDT, Marine Spill Response Corporation, Washington, D.C. WILLIAM R. FREUDENBURG, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin KATHRYN J. FROST, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Fairbanks, Alaska CHRISTOPHER J.R. GARRETT, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada GEORGE L. HUNT, JR., University of California, Irvine, California ROBERT R. JORDAN, Delaware Geological Survey, Newark, Delaware STEPHEN J. LANGDON, University of Alaska, Anchorage, Alaska JUNE LINDSTEDT-SIVA, Atlantic Richfield Company, Los Angeles, California El. JOSEPH N~AUER, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska JAMES OPALUCH, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island ROBERT T. PAINE, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington RICHARD M. PROCTER, PRAS Consultants, Calgary, Alberta, Canada WILFORD F. WEEKS, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska CLINTON D. WINANT, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, La Jolla, California Stat DAVID I. POLICANSKY, Project Director WILLIAM E. BENSON, Sr. Staff Officer TANIA WILLIAMS, Research Associate KATE KELLY, Editor RU rH CROSSGROVE, Information Specialist ADRIENNE DAVIS, Sr. Project Assistant SHIRLEY JONES, Project Assistant Sponsor U.S. Department of the Interior, Minerals Management Service . . .
BOARD 0~ ~~VlI20~ML~TAL STUDl[S DID TO`' CO LOGY PAUL G. RISSER (Chair) Miami University, Oxford, Ohio FREDERICK R. ANDERSON, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, Washington, D.C. MICHAEL4~. BEAN, Environmental Defense Fund, Washington, D.C. EULA BINGHAM, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio EDWIN H. CLARK, Clean Sites, Inc., Alexandria, Virg. ALLAN H. CONNEY, Rutgers University, New Bn~nswick, N.J. JO~ L. EMMERSON, Eli Lilly & Company, Greenfield, I'xl. ROBERT C. FORNEY, Unionville, Penn. ROBERT A. FROSCH, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. ALFRED G. KNUDSON, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Penn. KAI T me, Williams College, WilliamstowD, Mass. JANE LUBCHENCO, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Ore. HAROLD A. MOONEY, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif. GORDON ORIANS, University of Washington, Seattle, Wash. FRANK L. PARKER, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn., and Clemson University, Anderson, S. Car. GEOFFREY PLACE, Hilton Head, S. Car. DAVID P. RwL, Washington, D.C. IESLIE A. REAL, Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind. I~USTIN SHRADER_FRECHETT~, University of South Flor~dla, Tampa, Fla. GERALD VAN BELLE, University of Washington, Seattle, Wash. BAILUS WALKER, 'lR., University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Okla. IV
Stay JAMES J. REISA, Director DAVID J. POLICANSKY, Associate Director anti Program Director for Natural Resources and Applied Ecology RICHARD D. THOMAS, Associate Director and Program Director for Human Toxicology am1 Risk Assessment LEE R. PAULSON, Program Director for Information Systems am1 Statistics RAYMOND A. WASSEL, Program Director for Environmental Sciences and Engineering v
BOARD OF - BETH SCIENCES AND ~1 SOUI2CI S WILLIAM L. FISHER (Chairs, University of Texas, Austin, Tex. SAMUEL S. ADAMS, Lincoln, N.H. GAIL M. ASHLEY, Rutgers University, Piscataway, N.J. MARK P. CLOSS, University of Texas, Austin, Tex. NEVILLE G.W. COOK, University of California, Berkeley, Calif. JOEL DARMSTADTER, Resources for the Future, Washington, D.C. DONALD J. DEPAOLO, University of California, Berkeley, Calif. GORDON P. EATON, I^mont Doherty Earth Observatory, Palisades, N.Y. W. GARY ERNST, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif. NORMAN lI. FOSTER, Denver, Colo. FREEMAN GILBERT, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, Calif. DONALD C. IIANEY, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Ky. THOMAS H. JORDAN, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass. ANDREW B. KNOLL, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. PHILIP E. LAMOREAUX, SR., LaMoreaux & Associates, ~c., Tuscaloosa, Ala. SUSAN M. LANDON, Thomasson Partner Associates, Denver, Colo. J. BERNARD MINSTER, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, Calif. CAREL OTTE, JR., LaCnn~`ln, Calif. JILL D. PASTERIS, Washington University, St. Louis, Ma. EDWARD C. ROY, JR., Trinity University, San Antonio, Tex. Stay JONATHAN G. PRICE, Director WILLIAM E. BENSON, Sr. Staff Officer Vl i
COMMISSION 0~ G[OSCBE~CES. [~O~ME~ AND RESOURCES M. GORDON WOLMAN (Chair3, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md. PATRICK R. ATKINS, Allonym Company of Amenca, Pittsburgh, Penn. PETER S. EAGI;P~ON, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass. EDWARD A. FRIEMAN, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, Calif. W. BARCLAY KAMB, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif. JACK E. OLIVER, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. FRANK L. PARKER, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn., and Clemson University, Anderson, S.C. RAYMOND A. PRICE, Queen's University at Kingston, Canada LARRY L. SMARR, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Ill. STEVEN M. STANLEY, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md. WARREN WASHINGTON, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colo. EDITH BROWN WEISS, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C. Sta,ff STEPHEN RATTIEN, Executive Director STEPHEN D. PARKER, Associate Executive Director MORGAN GOPNIK, Assistant Executive Director JEANETTE SPOON, Administrative Officer SANDRA FITZPATRICK, Administrative Associate . . Vl!
Ace The favorable geological setting for vast accumulations of of! and gas in Alaska's coastal and offshore areas has attracted the attention of hydrocarbon resource explorers for several decades. The discovery of the giant Prubhoe Bay field in 196S, troth an estimated ultimate recovery of 20 billion barrels of oil, assured a continuing interest in seeking and developing Alaska's hydrocarbon resources. Counterbalancing the great resource potential is a harsh physical environment and considerable concern about the imp acts of exploration and development on Be living resources, landscape, and livelihood and culture of the Native American population. Conflicting pres- sures from Alaska Natives, local and national environmental groups, and concerned individuals have had a strong influence on programs to explore for and develop of! resources on the Alaskan OCS and the Arctic National Wildlife Refine. Concern over Be adequacy of environmental information to assess planned lease sales in the Chukchi Sea, Beaufort Sea, and Navarin Basin in 1991 led to language in the House appropriations report recommending Mat the Miner- als Management Service (MMS) ask the National Research Council (NRC) to assess the adequacy of environmental information for leasing decisions. In conshtut~ng the committee to conduct the study, the NRC's Board on Environ- mental Studies and Toxicology (BEST) and the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources (BESR) selected individuals with expertise in environmental, social, and economic aspects of northern Alaska, as well as Be geological and resource assessment fields important in determining whether the resource base Mat has attracted the intense interest in Alaska of} has been adequately char- acterized. mix
The inclusion of geologists and resource assessment experts in the fabric of Be committee made the group a mode} of diversity. The strong sense of purpose and commitment to calming out a thorough and impartial assessment shared by ale committee members, combined with the mutual respect for each member's perspective, resulted in a remarkably congenial and productive atmosphere. Differences of opinion were discussed and resolved and egos did not get in the way of reasoned consensus. It was a mentally stimulating experience to work with these talented people and ~ thank them for the strong effort Hey put form and the positive working atmosphere Hey created. David Policansky of BEST directed the staff effort for the project. His considerable experience in dealing with the committee culture, his understanding of the issues and information resources relative to He study, and his effectiveness in honing consensus were invaluable. Tania Williams of BEST efficiently earned most of He operational load and effectively handed reams of informa- tion ~ went into He study and comparable reams of draft text that emerged. William Benson of BESR provided both staff support and valuable insight into the geological aspects of the resource and environmental picture. The Director of BEST, James Reisa, provided useful guidance, especially during He formative stages of the study. The study was carried out Trough meetings in Washington, at the NRC's Amold and Mabel Beckman Center in Irvine, California, and in Barrow and Anchorage, Alaska. T would like to thank those who briefed the committee: Jeslie Kaleak, Benjamin Nageak, and Tom Albert with the North Slope Borough, Don Long, mayor of Barrow, Ronald grower, president, and his staff at UIC/NARL, Burton Rexford, chair of the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission, Jacob Adams, president of the Arctic Slope Regional Corpora- hon, and many odler citizens of Barrow; ARCO and BP, who provided a tour of Heir Norm Slope production facilities; Paul Rusanowski of the Office of the Govemor of Alaska; Ken Boyd, wig He Alaska Department of Natural Resources; David Allen, Rosa Meehan, and Patrick Sousa with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Robert Spies and Art Wiener with the Exxon Valdez Oi! Spill Trustees; Dorothy Smith and Pam Miller with Greenpeace; David van den Berg with the Northem Alaska Environmental Center; Pamela E. Miller with He Wilderness Society; and finally, MMS staff including Jerry Tmm, chief of the Alaska region's Environmental Studies Branch, and Colleen Benner, our main contact with MMS for the study's duration. These people in Alaska, MMS staff members, state and federal agency personnel, oil and gas industry geologists, Alaska Natives and Heir organizations, and numerous over individuals provided reports and personal observations that constituted an Important part of the information base for He committee's work. x
The scientific community likes to believe Cat if good scientific information is available, good decisions will be made on that basis. Most of us know that other factors do, and in many cases should, enter into the resolution of re- source development and environmental issues. Nevertheless, ~ am hopefid ~ the substantial information base that characterizes the valuable environ- mental, human, and energy resource base of the Alaska OCS and adjacent onshore areas wall be used to its fittest extent in OCS decisions and that the gaps we have identified Hat need to be filled before new development takes place are filled expeditiously. Charles G. Groat Chair x~
COSTS EXECUTIVE SUMMA RY Adequacy of Information for OCS Decisions, 3 Major Information Gaps, 4 Alternatives to Additional Studies, 6 1 INTRODUCTION This Study and Report, 12 Description of the Area, 17 Management of OCS Activities, 20 2 DESCRIPTION OF OPERATIONS Physical Effects of Arctic Industrial Activity, 31 1 11 31 3 GEOLOGICAL SETTING AND HYDROCARBON RESOURCE BASE 41 Introduction, 41 General Geology of the Beaufort and Chukchi Outer Continental Shelves, 41 Petroleum Geology, 44 Adequacy of the Geological Data Base and Its Treatment by MMS, 53 Resource Assessments, 55 Quantitative Estimates, 56 Adequacy and Reliability of Estimates, 58 Engineering Geology, 62 Conclusion and Recommendation, 64 . . . Xlll
4 PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT Introduction, 67 Environmental Studies, 68 Arctic Ocean, 69 Southeastern Bering Sea, 71 Northern Bering Sea and Bering Strait, 72 Chukchi Sea, 73 Beaufort Sea, 74 Sea Ice, 76 Physical Oceanographic Studies, 79 Transmission of Noise in the Marine Environment, 83 Conclusions and Recommendations, 83 5 BIOTIC RESOURCES Introduction, 87 Marine Mammals, SS Birds, 97 Fishes and Fisheries, ·06 Ben~ic Organisms, ·09 Alternatives to Additional Studies, 112 Quality, Availability, and Use of Biological Information, Il3 Summary, 115 Conclusions and Recommendations, ·20 6 HUMAN ENVIRONMENT introduction, 129 Distinctiveness of He High Arctic and its Peoples, ·33 Social and Economic Studies, ·40 Conclusions and Recommendations, ·47 67 87 129 7 MITIGATION AND REMEDIATION OF OIL AND GAS ACTIVITIES 153 Introduction, 153 Areas Affected by Ice, ·54 Ice Gouging and Pipeline Placement, 157 Arctic Oil Spills: Incidence and Response, 160 Effectiveness of Response Measures, ·70 Restoration, 175 Mitigating Socioeconomic Effects, ·76 Conclusions and Recommendations, ·78 xzv
GENERAL C(~CLUS1-S AJAR AN ALIERNAT[~E 4 Sag ~1 Colt J87 ~ Eve ~ Ad~dom1 Shapes, Jag APPENDIX A: B1~1SIS OCS 01L ACED GAS DECEASE PROCESS ABBRE~]AT1-S ~ ACR(@n]~S GLOSSARY BI~RAPmCAL INFORMATION ON CO`1~u1TEE A1EB1BERS 187 197 231 239 243 249