DWH NRDA Restoration - Louisiana - Draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment for the Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Recreational Use Enhancement Project
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 recreational use enhancement project for the Ponte-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area (PACWMA). This supplemental environmental assessment proposes changes to that project.
In this supplemental environmental assessment we evaluated three alternatives: In Alternative A, the small boat launch, listed as "pirogue launch," in the plan, is in the location described in the original Restoration Plan #4, in the Montegut Unit of the PACWMA, near the town of Montegut, Louisiana. The project area includes native vegetation and hardwood forest that transitions to intermediate marsh, which would be affected by construction of the launch. In the preferred Alternative B, the pirogue launch is moved to a new area, on top of the Terrebonne Parish 4-3C Levee and the Morganza Levee. The new location provides access to tidally influenced brackish and intermediate marsh without requiring clearing any vegetation or causing adverse effects to sensitive habitats. A "No Action" alternative, Alternative C, was also evaluated.
The modifications under consideration are consistent with the restoration alternatives selected in the PDARP/PEIS.
LA: Ann Howard (225) 765-2838
EPA: Doug Jacobson (214) 665-6692