DWH NRDA Restoration - Alabama
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 over a period of 87 days. 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 U.S. Department of Agriculture, and trustee agencies from the states of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, are leading efforts to assess and restore Gulf resources affected by the oil spill.
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 also includes a funding schedule that will extend through 2031. During that timeframe 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) has prepared a draft Restoration Plan II/Environmental Assessment: Wetlands, Coastal and Nearshore Habitats; Habitat Projects on Federally Managed Lands; Nutrient Reduction (Nonpoint Source); Sea Turtles; Marine Mammals; Birds and Oysters. This draft document describes the restoration project alternatives considered by the Alabama TIG to meet the Trustee's goals to restore and conserve habitat, to replenish and protect living coastal and marine resources, to restore water quality, and to provide for monitoring and adaptive management. The Alabama TIG evaluated these alternatives under criteria set forth in the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) and natural resource damage assessment regulations. The environmental consequences were evaluated in accordance with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).