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 4/Environmental Assessment. In the Draft Plan, the MS Trustee Implementation Group proposes projects to partially restore injuries to wetlands, coastal, and nearshore habitats; reduce nutrient pollution (nonpoint source); and provide and enhance recreational opportunities to compensate for lost recreational use in the Mississippi Restoration Area as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. A No Action alternative is also evaluated for each of the restoration types. The approximate cost to implement the the seven preferred alternatives is $26.4 million.
The trustees will post a pre-recorded webinar to present an overview of the draft restoration plan and the proposed preferred alternatives. It will be available at https://www.mdeq.ms.gov/restoration/
no later than September 15, 2023.
Tina Nations, MS DEQ, (601) 961-5051
Ron Howard, USDA, (601) 812-9449
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.