Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
On or about April 20, 2010, the mobile offshore drilling unit
Federal and State trustees (listed below) are conducting the natural resource damage assessment for the
The trustees are:
• U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), as represented by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Land Management;
• National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), on behalf of the
U.S. Department of Commerce;
• U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA);
• U.S. Department of Defense (DOD);
• U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA);
• State of Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, Oil Spill Coordinator's Office, Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Department of Natural Resources;
• State of Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality;
• State of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Geological Survey of Alabama;
• State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; and
• For the State of Texas: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas General Land Office, and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
On April 20, 2011, BP agreed to provide up to $1 billion toward early restoration projects in the Gulf of Mexico to address injuries to natural resources caused by the
The Trustees actively solicited public input on restoration project ideas through a variety of mechanisms, including public meetings, electronic communication, and creation of a Trustee-wide public Web site and database to share information and receive public project submissions. Their key objective in pursuing early restoration is to secure tangible recovery of natural resources and natural resource services for the public's benefit while the longer-term process of fully assessing injury and damages is underway. As the first step in this accelerated process, the Trustees released, after public review of a draft, a Phase I Early Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment (Phase I ERP/EA) in April 2012. The Phase I ERP is currently being implemented.
In a continuation of the early restoration process, the Trustees are proposing two additional early restoration projects to address response injuries from the
Because loggerhead sea turtles and beach nesting birds begin nesting along the Northeast Gulf coast in February, the Trustees recognize the need to implement these two proposed projects in a timely manner to be effective during the 2013 breeding season. Therefore, the Trustees are proposing these projects at this time while continuing to work with BP to develop additional restoration projects in accordance with the Framework Agreement. The Alternatives within this plan are not intended to, and do not fully, address all injuries caused by the spill or provide the extent of restoration needed to satisfy claims against BP.
The Draft ERP/ER is being released in accordance with the Oil Pollution Act, the Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA) regulations found in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 15 CFR part 990, the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321
Under the Proposed Action, the Trustees are considering two projects that meet the selection criteria, which are also described in the Draft ERP/ER.
The proposed restoration projects are intended to protect and enhance beach nesting habitats used by birds and sea turtles by, among other things, protecting bird nesting habitat with symbolic fencing and signs and reducing the presence of harmful lighting on certain beaches as described in the plan. The proposed projects are: (1) Comprehensive Program for Enhanced Management of Avian Breeding Habitat Injured by Response in the Florida Panhandle, Alabama, and Mississippi; and (2) Improving Habitat Injured by Spill Response: Restoring the Night Sky. Each of these projects will benefit coastal nesting habitats injured by response to the
After the public comment period ends, the Trustees will analyze and address the comments and will consider all input received before an ERP/ER is finalized. As described above, a public meeting is scheduled to facilitate the public review and comment process. During public review and subsequent revision of the ERP/ER, negotiations with BP will be completed and approved projects will proceed to implementation, pending compliance with all applicable state and federal laws.
Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment including your personal identifying information, may be publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.
The documents comprising the Administrative Record can be viewed electronically at the following location:
The primary author of this notice is Jim Haas (
The authority of this action is the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (33 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.), the implementing Natural Resource Damage Assessment regulations found at 15 CFR part 990, and the Framework Agreement for Addressing Injuries Resulting from the