Provide Scoping Input to BLM on the Willow Project Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement
Comment deadline was March 9, 2022




In August 2021, the U.S. District Court for Alaska vacated the Record of Decision and Final EIS. The Bureau of Land Management will prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) to address deficiencies identified by the court decision, and to ensure compliance with applicable law. This process will rely on meaningful input from federal agencies, environmental organizations, Alaska Native organizations, numerous State of Alaska agencies and the affected communities along the North Slope. 

BLM Alaska is coordinating closely with eight cooperating agencies (US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, Inupiat Community of the Arctic Slope, North Slope Borough, State of Alaska, US Environmental Protection Agency, Native Village of Nuiqsut, and City of Nuiqsut) and external stakeholders to develop and evaluate alternatives.

Although the BLM will not be holding a formal scoping period with public meetings, members of the public are encouraged to submit comments and input through an informal scoping comment period. The BLM will accept public input and comments until March 9, 2022, and requests input concerning the scope of the analysis, and identification of relevant information, studies, and analyses to be considered in the SEIS.

The Willow Master Development Plan (MDP) for the Willow oil and gas prospect focuses on surface resource protection and appropriate mitigation for construction, operation, and maintenance of a central processing facility, an infrastructure pad, up to five drill pads with up to 50 wells per pad, access and infield roads, an airstrip, pipelines, a gravel mine, and an ice bridge across the Coleville River to support module delivery via sealift barges in the NPR-A. The prospect is centrally located in the Bear Tooth Unit of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A), west of the Alpine development, and will use infrastructure from Greater Mooses Tooth 1 and proposed Greater Mooses Tooth 2 developments.

The Bureau of Land Management prepared the Willow Master Development Plan EIS in response to a letter submitted by ConocoPhillips on May 10, 2018, and is supplementing the 2020 Willow MDP EIS in response to the Alaska District Court's decision vacating the Willow Record of Decision in August 2021. Analyzing the entire proposed Willow development in a single master development plan EIS will allow the BLM to make determinations of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) adequacy when individual applications for permits to drill or rights-of-way are submitted.


Action Requested:

RDC members are encouraged to provide scoping input to BLM on the Willow Project SEIS before the March 9th deadline.


Comments may be submitted to:

Stephanie Rice

BLM project manager
222 W. 7th Avenue,
Stop #13,
Anchorage, Alaska  99513




Points to consider: 

  • BLM’s extensive existing National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis was completed in cooperation with multiple state, federal and local cooperating agencies over a multi-year period and only requires supplementation. 

  • The 2022 Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement EIS (2022 SEIS) should focus on addressing the discrete issues identified by the Alaska District Court within the following topics: 
    • Climate change analysis (BLM) – Foreign Emissions
    • Range of Alternatives analysis (BLM)
    • Aspects of US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) Biological opinion
  • Multiple other aspects of BLM’s prior Willow Master Development Plan EIS were upheld by the court and don’t require further analysis in the 2022 SEIS.
  • There has been extensive public involvement, including more than 140 days of public comment, a public scoping period, and 13 in-person public meetings in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Nuiqsut, Utqiagvik, Atqasuk, and Anaktuvuk Pass since the EIS process commenced in 2018.
  • The BLM should complete an SEIS and Record of Decision in time to allow construction in the 2022-2023 winter season.
  • Timely project approval will avoid further delay in public benefits and reduce risk and uncertainty for the Alaska economy and North Slope stakeholders.
  • Willow has broad support from North Slope stakeholders and other Alaskans.

Comments were due on March 9, 2022