On Jan. 4, 2018, the U.S. Dept. of Interior announced plans to open waters off of North Carolina and other Atlantic Coast states to offshore oil and gas exploration and development.
The state is under a 60-day public comment period on the Draft Proposed Program. The comment period ends on March 9. After the 60-day comment period, there will be a 90-day public comment period on the proposed program and draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS).
Finally, there will be a 60-day period for the President and Congress to review and approve the final program and draft a decision. See a more detailed graphic on the process and its timeline.
Hyde County hosted a public comment meeting with the Secretary of the NC Department of Environmental Quality, Michael Regan, on Feb. 20.
It will hold another public comment meeting on March 5 at 5 p.m. before the monthly Board of Commissioners meeting. This will be held at the Hyde County Government Center and the Ocracoke Community Center.
Citizens can also submit comments online or via mail/hand deliver to the Bureau of Ocean Management.