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Comment Period Open for Next Phase III of Gulf Coast Restoration


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Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling unit on fire (Credit: USCG)

Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling unit on fire (Credit: USCG)

On Friday December 6, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced  the release of the largest phase of the early restoration projects for the Gulf Coast from the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees.  After scoping meetings were conducted this summer, trustees – representing state and federal natural resource agencies – created the Draft Programmatic and Phase III Early Restoration Plan and Draft Early Restoration Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (Draft Phase III ERP/PEIS).  A 60 – comment period is open until February 4, 2014, with verbal comments accepted at 10 public meetings (see below for dates, times and locations).

The Draft Phase III ERP/PEIS proposes $627 million in restoration projects including 44 proposed projects as well as a programmatic plan for continuing early restoration projects, (downloads are available).  The majority of the funds, $397 million, are  for ecological projects to restore barrier islands, dunes, marshes, shorelines, and oyster beds, with the remaining $230 million for projects to restore recreational use to natural resource areas, such as boat ramps and park enhancements.

Submitting Comments: You may submit comments until February 4, 2014 on the Draft Phase III ERP/PEIS either. online at http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov or by mail to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 49567, Atlanta, GA 30345.

Public Meetings

public meetings

 

Sources:

Federal Register notice (December 6, 2013) Deep Water Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Press Release (December 6, 2013), Link to Draft Phase III ERP/PEIS documents and facts

Previous TWS article: Comment Opportunity for Deep Water Horizon Early Restoration Plan (June 5, 2013)



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