DWH NRDA Restoration - Louisiana - Draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment for the Wetlands Center Project Modification
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 Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group prepared the Final Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #4: Nutrient Reduction and Recreational Use (July 2018). The Plan includes a Wetlands Center Project in the Town of Lafitte, Louisiana. This supplemental environmental assessment proposes changes to that project.
In this supplemental environmental assessment we evaluated four alternatives. Alternative A includes the facility in its original location. Two new alternatives, B and C, consider the facility in the new location described above. Alternative B, the preferred alternative, includes an observation deck. Alternative C does not include the observation deck. We also evaluated a "No Action" alternative, Alternative D. Besides finding that our preferred alternative does not cause significant impacts, our analysis also finds that it would provide enhanced recreational use benefits due to the addition of the observation deck. If approved, the project would be moved to a location adjacent to the town's library, multipurpose facility, and Lafitte's Barataria Museum.
The modification under consideration are consistent with the restoration alternatives selected in the PDARP/PEIS.
Louisiana - Matt Mumfry, 225-342-7308
EPA - Douglas Jacobson, 214-665-6692