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AL TIG Weeks Bay Land Acquisition (Lloyd Tract) Draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was the largest maritime oil spill in U.S. history. It resulted in the discharge of millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Under the Oil Pollution Act (OPA), those responsible for an oil spill incur liability to clean up the oil and to restore injured public natural resources. As a result, federal and state natural resource trustees, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, the US Department of Agriculture, and trustee agencies from the states of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, are leading efforts to assess and restore affected Gulf resources.

A global settlement reached on April 4, 2016 has allowed the trustees to move forward with the Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan/Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PDARP/PEIS). The settlement agreement includes a funding schedule that will extend through 2031. During that time frame the trustees will provide many opportunities for public participation, such as during plan scoping and when draft restoration plans are available for public review and comment.

Consistent with the PDARP/PEIS, the Alabama Trustee Implementation Group (TIG) approved a Final Restoration Plan III/Environmental Assessment: Provide and Enhance Recreational Opportunities and Birds. The Weeks Bay Land Project (Harrod Tract) was evaluated in the Final Restoration Plan II. As a result of the due diligence and associated planning that occurred after the Record of Decision, the Trustee Implementation determined that acquisition of the Harrod Tract, while possibly a viable future restoration project, should not be pursued at this time.

The Draft Supplemental Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for the Weeks Bay Land Acquisition (Lloyd Tract) Project evaluates the use of the funds previously allocated for the Harrod Tract to be used to acquire an alternative neighboring tract known as the Lloyd Tract, which has a willing seller, is at risk of development, contains relevant habitats, and would provide Wetlands, Coastal and Nearshore Habitat restoration benefits.
Comment Period: Closed        Dec 6, 2021 - Jan 6, 2022
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