Owl Ridge staff have extensive experience preparing Section 7 BAs for threatened and endangered species under the auspices of the USFWS and BEs addressing Forest Service sensitive species. Owl Ridge has addressed impacts to local wildlife from ski resort expansion, hydroelectric power projects, highway improvements, transmission lines, and forest practices relevant to montane species such as Canada lynx, gray wolves, grizzly bears, wolverines, marten, fisher, Rocky Mountain red foxes, Townsend’s big-eared bats, northern goshawks, and spotted owls. Many of the BAs were prepared in association with NEPA EAs and EISs.
Owl Ridge provided marine mammal support services for Buccaneer Alaska Operations, LLC (Buccaneer) for drilling operations at the Cosmopolitan lease site in Cook Inlet, Alaska, to ensure compliance with National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the USFWS regulations and permit conditions. Owl Ridge continues to provide such services for the current leaseholder, BlueCrest Alaska Operating, LLC (BlueCrest).
Owl Ridge prepared two IHA applications addressing marine mammals and a biological assessment addressing Steller’s eiders. Owl Ridge provided two crews of observers to perform full-time marine mammal monitoring. Observations were conducted from the platform of the Endeavour drill rig.
Owl Ridge coordinated the sound source verification studies relative to noise emanating from the drill rig and prepared a 90-day report detailing all drilling activities, marine mammal observations, sound source verifications, and mitigation measures conducted at the well site. To gather baseline data for future NEPA efforts, Owl Ridge conducted boat-based surveys for sea otters and Steller’s eider at the Cosmopolitan well site.
Owl Ridge conducted a desktop regulatory risk analysis for Buccaneer’s Cosmopolitan oil and gas development project in Cook Inlet, Alaska. The objective was to identify potential permitting and environmental issues that could result in a schedule or regulatory approval risk to the project. The project consisted of two components: offshore oil and gas leases and production wells and onshore natural gas processing facilities to deliver sales quality gas into the Kenai Kachemak Natural Gas Pipeline.
Owl Ridge provided regulatory risk analysis and strategic planning for a proposed LNG project using Cook Inlet gas with a facility located at Port MacKenzie in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough (MSB). The project involved managing information needs and negotiations with the Port and MSB planning department as well as addressing preliminary engineering requirements for project risk analysis.
Owl Ridge conducted the permitting and regulatory support for a complex exploration project 120 miles from infrastructure on Alaska’s North Slope. The project required construction of 120 miles of ice road, ice island and 5,000-ft ice airstrip in Smith Bay, and complex logistics for the movement and storage of equipment and fuel. The project required numerous permits, authorizations, and supporting documents from federal, state, and local agencies as well as coordination with tribal entities and private landowners. Examples of the complex permitting regime included IHAs, Subsistence Plan of Cooperation, and Letter of Authorization for operating in habitat used by endangered species.
Owl Ridge staff managed the preparation of an EIS ordered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to evaluate a range of locations for the SBCT other than Hawaii. The alternatives included stationing the SBCT at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; Fort Richardson, Alaska; Fort Lewis, Washington; Fort Carson, Colorado; and Fort Knox, Kentucky (Fort Lewis and Fort Knox were ultimately dropped from consideration because of irreconcilable issues). The effort required an extensive public participation process, including 15 scoping meetings held in five states over 2.5 weeks. The document essentially contained three EISs because the installations evaluated in detail were located in completely different environments (tropical, arctic, and semi-desert).
Based on the analysis documented in the EIS, the Court accepted the EIS and the Army senior leadership decided to permanently station the 2/25th SBCT in Hawaii.
Owl Ridge provided whole project management for Royale’s Aki Exploration and Evaluation Project, which was Royale’s first exploration drilling project in Alaska. This North Slope project was adjacent to the Colville River. Under Owl Ridge management, Royale conducted a 3D seismic survey and prepared for a drilling program. Royale does not have local staff and Owl Ridge provided high-level project management, logistics, civil engineering, drilling management, and procurement for a two-well winter drilling program.
Owl Ridge prepared IHA applications for SAExploration Inc.’s proposed 2014 seismic operations in Cook Inlet, Alaska, addressing NMFS jurisdiction of marine mammals and USFWS jurisdiction of sea otters. Owl Ridge also prepared a BA addressing Steller’s eiders.
A team lead by Owl Ridge staff prepared and managed an EIS for a natural gas exploration project in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. The EIS was completed and a Record of Decision was issued in 15 months. The effort included design and integration of key mitigation measures to address issues raised in the scoping process, allowing the process to move forward quickly. The EIS and Record of Decision were formed in a manner that allowed movement of pads without separate NEPA actions.