Natural Resource Trustees to Hold Public Meetings on Gulf of Mexico Restoration

TALLAHASSEE – The Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Trustees (Trustees) for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill today announced new opportunities for the public to engage in the early restoration process.

In a Notice of Intent published today, the Trustees announced plans to prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, or PEIS, to evaluate the potential environmental effects of general types of early restoration actions, as well as specific projects including those that the Trustees intend to propose in the Phase III Draft Early Restoration Plan as announced in the Federal Register on May 6, 2013. The PEIS also will evaluate the cumulative effects of early restoration.

Early restoration was initiated by the April 2011 $1 billion Framework Agreement between the Trustees and BP. The Framework Agreement enables the Trustees to move forward in restoring the Gulf by beginning restoration projects before the completion of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill damage assessment.

Development of the PEIS will begin with a public scoping period, as prescribed by the National Environmental Policy Act. The 60-day scoping period, which extends from June 4 to August 2, 2013, will include the six public meetings listed below:

Galveston (Mon, 6/24)
Texas A&M University at Galveston
Seawolf Parkway on Pelican Island
Class Room Lab Building (CLB 100) Auditorium
(Building #3007 on campus map)
Galveston, TX 77554
Start time: 6:30 PM

Mobile (Thu, 6/27)
The Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa
Moonlight A
26 North Royal Street
Mobile, AL 36602
Start time: 6:30 PM

Long Beach (Tue, 7/16)
University of Southern Mississippi
FEC Auditorium
730 East Beach Boulevard
Long Beach, MS 39560
Start time: 6:30 PM

Houma (Thu, 7/18)
Courtyard Marriott
142 Library Boulevard
Houma, LA 70360
Start time: 6:30 PM

Washington, D.C. (Tuesday, 7/23)
U.S. Department of the Interior
Main Interior Building Auditorium
1849 C St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20240
Start time: 7:00 PM

Pensacola (Thu, 7/25)
Pensacola Bay Center
201 East Gregory Street
Pensacola, FL 32502
Start time: 6:30 PM

The Trustees invite the public to comment on the scope, content and any other significant issues the Trustees should consider in the PEIS. The public may comment in writing either via the internet or through the U.S. Postal Service.

•Web: http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov

•Email (for electronic submission of comments containing attachments): earlyrestorationcomments@fws.gov

•Mail: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 2099, Fairhope, AL 36533.

All written scoping comments must be received by the close of the scoping period to be considered.

A comprehensive Gulf Spill Restoration PEIS was initiated by the Trustees in February 2011 and is currently under development. The PEIS announced today is specifically and more narrowly focused on early restoration.

Early restoration is not intended to, and does not fully, address all injuries caused by the spill. Restoration beyond early restoration projects will be required to fully compensate the public for natural resource losses from the spill.

For updates on the restoration process as it continues to move forward, and to submit restoration project ideas for review, visit www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov.

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