DWH NRDA Restoration - Mississippi TIG Draft Restoration Plan 3/Environmental Assessment: Habitat Projects on Federally Managed Lands, Sea Turtles, Marine Mammals, Birds; and Provide and Enhance Recreational Opportunities.
Under a global settlement reached on April 4, 2016, the Trustees released 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 this timeframe the trustees will provide many opportunities for public participation, including the opportunity to submit project ideas and proposals and to comment on draft restoration plans.
Consistent with the PDARP/PEIS, the Mississippi Trustee Implementation Group has completed the Draft Restoration Plan 3/Environmental Assessment, which contains seven preferred alternatives to help restore natural resources injured by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. These include habitats on federally managed lands, sea turtles, marine mammals, and birds; and to compensate for lost recreational use in the Mississippi Restoration Area. The total estimated cost to implement the preferred alternatives is approximately $19 million.
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), each party responsible for a vessel or facility from which oil is discharged, or which poses the substantial threat of a discharge, is liable for, among other things, removal costs and damages for injury to, destruction of, loss, or loss of use of natural resources, including the reasonable cost of assessing the damage. Pursuant to OPA, federal and state natural resource trustees, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and trustee agencies from the states of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, were charged with assessing and restoring for injuries to affected Gulf resources.