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Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Trustees Invite Public Comment on $627 Million in Proposed Early Restoration Gulf Projects
Public asked to consider 44 proposed projects and a plan for early restoration decisions;
10 public meetings scheduled in Gulf states
Gulf Coast (Dec. 6, 2013) ---The Deepwater Horizon oil spill Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees (Trustees) released a draft plan that proposes $627 million in early restoration projects across the Gulf states. The Draft Programmatic and Phase III Early Restoration Plan and Draft Early Restoration Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (draft) is available for public review and comment through Feb. 4.
This marks the third and largest phase of early restoration to date. Included in the draft are 44 proposed projects. Some aim to restore barrier islands, dunes, marshes, shorelines, and oyster beds. Others, such as boat ramps and park enhancements, seek to address the lost recreational use of natural resources.
The draft also proposes a programmatic plan for continuing to pursue early restoration. The draft, available at www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov, includes the programmatic plan and the complete list of proposed projects, with locations and descriptions. (Click here for a list of proposed projects.)
Of the $627 million, ecological projects comprise about $397 million, which is approximately 63 percent of the total. Lost recreational use projects make up the remaining $230 million. Both approaches meet criteria under the Oil Pollution Act and other applicable laws and guidelines.
The draft’s release opens a 60-day public comment period that runs through Feb. 4. The comment period will include 10 public meetings held across the Gulf states. All meetings will begin with an interactive open house during which Trustee staff will be available to discuss project details. The open house will be followed by a formal presentation and opportunity to provide comments to Trustee representatives. Meeting times, dates and locations are listed below.
Visit www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov to download an electronic copy of the draft and to view a list of public libraries and community locations across the Gulf in which copies of the draft have been placed for public review.
In addition to verbal comments at public meetings, the public may submit written comments:
• Online: www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov
• By U.S. Mail: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 49567, Atlanta, GA 30345
Early restoration projects represent an initial step toward fulfilling the responsible parties’ obligation to pay for restoration of injured natural resources. Ultimately, the responsible parties are obligated to compensate the public for the full scope of natural resource injuries caused by the spill, including the cost of assessment and restoration planning.
Department of the Interior: Nanciann Regalado, 678.296.6805, email@example.com
NOAA: Renata Lana, 301.427.8656,
USDA: Jody Holzworth, 202.720.5974,
U.S. EPA: Julia P. Valentine, 202-564-0496, 202-564-4355, firstname.lastname@example.org
Alabama: Patti Powell, 334.242.3484,
Florida: Kendra Parson, 850.245.2197,
Louisiana: Jenny Kurz, 225.342.0168,
Mississippi: Donna Lum, 601.948.3071,
Texas: Tom Harvey, 512.389.4453,