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DWH NRDA Restoration - Open Ocean TIG Restoration Plan 2 and Environmental Assessment

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Open Ocean TIG Draft Restoration Plan 2 and Environmental Assessment: Fish, Sea Turtles, Marine Mammals and Mesophotic and Deep Benthic Communities.

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.

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 Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group has prepared the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group Draft Restoration Plan 2 and Environmental Assessment: Fish, Sea Turtles, Marine Mammals, and Mesophotic and Deep Benthic Communities. This draft plan describes and proposes restoration project alternatives considered by the Open Ocean TIG to contribute to the restoration of natural resources and services injured in the Open Ocean Restoration Area as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The plan includes 18 preferred alternatives with a total estimated cost of $225,680,700.

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Laurie Rounds (850) 934-9284