Notice of Availability of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Final Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (Final PDARP/PEIS), 8483-8485 [2016-03299]

Download as PDF asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 33 / Friday, February 19, 2016 / Notices 3. The Committee will receive an overview of the Implementation Plan for Commercial Logbook Electronic Reporting, the status of eTrips, discuss and provide direction to staff. 4. The Committee will also receive an overview of the Atlantic For-Hire Reporting Amendment, a demonstration of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources’ Electronic For-Hire Logbook reporting process, review public hearing input, discuss and modify the document as appropriate and approve all actions. 5. The Committee will receive an update on the Council’s Citizen Science Workshop, an overview of the draft Citizen Science Blueprint, discuss and take action as appropriate. Executive Finance Committee, Thursday, March 10, 2016, 2:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. 1. The Committee will receive an update on the Calendar Year (CY) 2015 budget expenditures, the Draft Activity Schedule, the Status of the CY 2016 budget, and the Council Follow-up and priorities, and take action as appropriate. 2. The Committee will discuss standards and procedures for participating in Council webinar meetings, receive a report from the Council Coordinating Committee meeting, address other issues, and take action as appropriate. Council Session: Thursday, March 10, 2016, 3:45 p.m. until 5 p.m. and Friday, March 11, 2016, 8:30 a.m. until 12 p.m. Council Session: March 10, 2016 3:45–4 p.m.: Call the meeting to order, adopt the agenda, and approve the December 2015 meeting minutes. 4–5 p.m.: The Council will receive a report from the Snapper Grouper Committee, approve/disapprove Snapper Grouper Amendment 36 (Spawning Special Management Zones) for formal Secretarial Review; approve/ disapprove the Oculina Review Report, and approve/disapprove the System Management Plan for Marine Protected Areas. The Council will consider other Committee recommendations and take action as appropriate. Council Session: March 11, 2016 8:30–9 a.m.: The Council will receive a report from the Mackerel Committee, approve/disapprove Amendment 26 to the Coastal Migratory Pelagics FMP for formal Secretarial review, consider other Committee recommendations, and take action as appropriate. 9–9:10 a.m.: The Council will receive a report from the Law Enforcement Committee, consider recommendations and take actions as appropriate. 9:10–9:30 a.m.: The Council will receive a report from the Joint Dolphin VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:59 Feb 18, 2016 Jkt 238001 Wahoo and Snapper Grouper Committees, consider recommendations and take action as appropriate. 9:30–9:40 a.m.: The Council will receive a report from the Protected Resources Committee, approve/ disapprove the ESA/MSA Integration Agreement, consider other recommendations and take action as appropriate. 9:40–9:50 a.m.: The Council will receive a report from the SEDAR Committee, consider Committee recommendations and take action as appropriate. 9:50–10 a.m.: The Council will receive a report from the Data Collection Committee, consider Committee recommendations and take action as appropriate. 10–10:10 a.m.: The Council will receive a report from the AP Selection Committee, consider committee recommendations and take action as appropriate. 10:10–10:30 a.m.: The Council will receive a report from the Executive Finance Committee, approve the Council activity schedule, approve the Council Follow-Up and Priorities, consider other Committee recommendations and take action as appropriate. 10:30–12 noon: The Council will receive a presentation on proposed scoping measures for the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, status reports from NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office and the Southeast Fisheries Science Center; review and develop recommendations on Experimental Fishing Permits as necessary; receive agency and liaison reports; and discuss other business and upcoming meetings. Documents regarding these issues are available from the Council office (see ADDRESSES). Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during these meetings. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council’s intent to take final action to address the emergency. Special Accommodations These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for auxiliary aids should be PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 8483 directed to the council office (see ADDRESSES) 3 days prior to the meeting. Note: The times and sequence specified in this agenda are subject to change. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: February 16, 2016. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2016–03470 Filed 2–18–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XE201 Notice of Availability of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Final Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (Final PDARP/PEIS) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Commerce. ACTION: Notice of availability of a Final Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement. AGENCY: In accordance with the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Deepwater Horizon Federal and State natural resource trustee agencies (Trustees) have prepared a Final Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (Final PDARP/PEIS). As required by OPA, in this Final PDARP/ PEIS, the Trustees present the assessment of impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on natural resources in the Gulf of Mexico and on the services those resources provide, and determine the restoration needed to compensate the public for these impacts. The Final PDARP/PEIS describes the Trustees’ programmatic alternatives considered to restore natural resources, ecological services, and recreational use services injured or lost as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Trustees evaluate these alternatives under criteria set forth in the OPA natural resource damage assessment regulations, and also evaluate the environmental consequences of the restoration alternatives in accordance with NEPA. The purpose of this notice is to inform the public of the availability of the Final PDARP/PEIS. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\19FEN1.SGM 19FEN1 8484 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 33 / Friday, February 19, 2016 / Notices Obtaining Documents: You may download the Final PDARP/PEIS at http://www.gulfspillrestoration .noaa.gov. Alternatively, you may request a CD of the Final PDARP/PEIS (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). You may also view the document at any of the public facilities listed at http:// www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov. The Final PDARP/PEIS also will be available for download at http://www.justice.gov/ enrd/deepwater-horizon. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Courtney Groeneveld at gulfspill.restoration@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: ADDRESSES: asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Introduction On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon mobile drilling unit exploded, caught fire, and eventually sank in the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in a massive release of oil and other substances from BP’s Macondo well. Tragically, 11 workers were killed and 17 injured by the explosion and fire. Initial efforts to cap the well following the explosion were unsuccessful, and for 87 days after the explosion, the well continuously and uncontrollably discharged oil and natural gas into the northern Gulf of Mexico. Approximately 3.19 million barrels (134 million gallons) of oil were released into the ocean, by far the largest offshore oil spill in the history of the United States. Oil spread from the deep ocean to the surface and nearshore environment, from Texas to Florida. The oil came into contact with and injured natural resources as diverse as deep-sea coral, fish and shellfish, productive wetland habitats, sandy beaches, birds, endangered sea turtles, and protected marine life. The oil spill prevented people from fishing, going to the beach, and enjoying their typical recreational activities along the Gulf. Extensive response actions, including use of dispersants, cleanup activities, and actions to try to prevent the oil from reaching sensitive resources, were undertaken to try to reduce harm to people and the environment. However, many of these response actions had collateral impacts on the environment. The oil and other substances released from the well in combination with the extensive response actions together make up the Deepwater Horizon incident. The Trustees conducted the natural resource damage assessment for the Deepwater Horizon incident under the Oil Pollution Act 1990 (OPA; 33 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.). Pursuant to OPA, Federal and State agencies act as trustees on behalf of the public to assess natural VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:59 Feb 18, 2016 Jkt 238001 resource injuries and losses and to determine the actions required to compensate the public for those injuries and losses. OPA further instructs the designated trustees to develop and implement a plan for the restoration, rehabilitation, replacement, or acquisition of the equivalent of the injured natural resources under their trusteeship, including the loss of use of those resources and the loss of services they provide from the time of injury until the time restoration to baseline (the resource quality and conditions that would exist if the spill had not occurred) is complete. The Trustees 1 are as follows: • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Commerce; • U.S. Department of the Interior, as represented by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Land Management; • U.S. Department of Agriculture; • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; • State of Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office, Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and Department of Natural Resources; • State of Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality; • State of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Geological Survey of Alabama; • State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; and • For the State of Texas: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas General Land Office, and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Background Notice of availability of the Draft PDARP/PEIS was published in the Federal Register on October 5, 2015 (80 FR 60126). The Draft PDARP/PEIS presented the assessment of impacts of the Deepwater Horizon incident on natural resources in the Gulf of Mexico and on the services those resources provide, and determined the restoration needed to compensate the public for these impacts. The Trustees provided the public with 60 days to review and comment on the Draft PDARP/PEIS. The Trustees also held public meetings in Houma, LA; Long Beach, MS; New Orleans, LA; Mobile, AL; Pensacola, FL; 1 Although a trustee under OPA by virtue of the proximity of its facilities to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is not a member of the Trustee Council and did not participate in development of this Final PDARP/ PEIS. PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 St. Petersburg, FL; Galveston, TX; and Washington, DC, to facilitate public understanding of the document and provide opportunity for public comment. The Trustees considered the public comments received, which informed the Trustees’ analysis of programmatic alternatives in the Final PDARP/PEIS. The Trustees actively solicited public input through a variety of mechanisms, including convening public meetings, distributing electronic communications, and using the Trusteewide public Web site and database to share information and receive public input. A summary of the public comments received and the Trustees’ responses to those comments are addressed in Chapter 8 of the Final PDARP/PEIS. Overview of the Final PDARP/PEIS The Final PDARP/PEIS is being released in accordance with the OPA, the Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA) regulations found in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 15 CFR part 990, and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). In the Final PDARP/PEIS, the Deepwater Horizon Trustees present to the public their findings on the extensive injuries to multiple habitats, biological species, ecological functions, and geographic regions across the northern Gulf of Mexico that occurred as a result of the Deepwater Horizon incident, as well as their programmatic plan for restoring those resources and the services they provide. The injuries caused by the Deepwater Horizon incident cannot be fully described at the level of a single species, a single habitat type, or a single region. Rather, the injuries affected such a wide array of linked resources over such an enormous area that the effects of the Deepwater Horizon incident constitute an ecosystem-level injury. The Final PDARP/PEIS presents four programmatic alternatives evaluated in accordance with OPA and NEPA. The four alternatives under the Final PDARP/PEIS are as follows: • Alternative A (Preferred Alternative): Comprehensive Integrated Ecosystem Restoration Plan based on programmatic Trustee goals; • Alternative B: Resource-Specific Restoration Plan based on programmatic Trustee goals; • Alternative C: Continued Injury Assessment and Defer Comprehensive Restoration Plan; and • Alternative D: No Action/Natural Recovery. These programmatic alternatives are comprised of restoration types and E:\FR\FM\19FEN1.SGM 19FEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 33 / Friday, February 19, 2016 / Notices asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES approaches to restore, replace, rehabilitate, or acquire the equivalent of the injured natural resources and services. The Trustees’ preferred alternative for a restoration plan utilizes a comprehensive integrated ecosystem approach to best address these ecosystem-level injuries. The Trustees’ evaluation determined this alternative is best, among several other alternatives, at compensating the public for the losses to natural resources and services caused by the Deepwater Horizon incident. The Trustees’ proposed decision is to select a comprehensive restoration plan to guide and direct subsequent restoration planning and implementation during the coming decades. The Final PDARP/PEIS is programmatic; it describes the framework by which subsequent project specific restoration plans will be identified and developed, and sets forth the types of projects the Trustees will consider in each of the described restoration areas. The subsequent restoration plans will identify, evaluate, and select specific restoration projects for implementation that are consistent with the restoration framework laid out by the Final PDARP/PEIS. The Trustees considered this programmatic restoration planning decision in light of the proposed settlement among BP, the United States, and the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Texas to resolve BP’s liability for natural resource damages associated with the Deepwater Horizon incident. Under this proposed settlement, BP would pay a total of $8.1 billion for restoration to address natural resource injuries (this includes $1 billion already committed for early restoration), plus up to an additional $700 million to respond to natural resource damages unknown at the time of the settlement and/or to provide for adaptive management. The proposed Consent Decree for the proposed settlement was the subject of a separate public notice and comment process; the Notice of Lodging of the proposed Consent Decree under the Clean Water Act and Oil Pollution Act was published in the Federal Register on October 5, 2015 (80 FR 60180). Next Steps In accordance with NEPA, a Federal agency must prepare a concise public Record of Decision (ROD) at the time the agency makes a decision in cases involving an EIS (40 CFR 1505.2). The Trustees will issue a ROD pursuant to NEPA regulations at 40 CFR 1505.2 and OPA regulations at 15 CFR 990.23. Accordingly, the ROD for the Final PDARP/PEIS will provide and explain VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:59 Feb 18, 2016 Jkt 238001 the Trustees’ decisions regarding the selection of a preferred alternative. The Trustees will issue the ROD no earlier than 30 days after the Environmental Protection Agency publishes a notice in the Federal Register announcing the availability of the Final PDARP/PEIS (40 CFR 1506.10). Administrative Record The documents included in the Administrative Record can be viewed electronically at the following location: http://www.doi.gov/deepwaterhorizon/ adminrecord. The Trustees opened a publicly available Administrative Record for the NRDA for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, including restoration planning activities, concurrently with publication of the 2011 Notice of Intent (NOI) to Begin Restoration Scoping and Prepare a Gulf Spill Restoration Planning PEIS (pursuant to 15 CFR 990.45). The Administrative Record includes the February 17, 2011, NOI for a 90-day formal scoping (76 FR 9327) and public comment period for this Final PDARP/ PEIS. The Trustees conducted the scoping in accordance with OPA (15 CFR 990.14(d)), NEPA (40 CFR 1501.7), and State authorities. As part of the scoping process, the Trustees hosted public meetings across all the Gulf States during spring 2011. Authority The authority of this action is the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (33 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.) and the implementing NRDA regulations found at 15 CFR part 990. Dated: February 11, 2016. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2016–03299 Filed 2–18–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request: Socioeconomics of Recreational Fishing in Florida’s Gulf Coast National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 8485 public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before April 19, 2016. ADDRESSES: Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at JJessup@doc.gov). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Dr. Danielle Schwarzmann, 301–713–7254 danielle.schwarzmann@ noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract This request is for a new information collection. Through a partnership with The Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami, we will collect information from recreational fishers to complete quantitative economic valuations of ecosystem goods and services produced for recreational fisheries in Florida’s Gulf Coast. The survey will utilize the stated choice method to estimate the marginal value of a change in catch rates and other biological or economic attributes of the recreational fishery. These may include; size, type of fish and/or method of fishing. This information will be utilized by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC) and the National Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC) fisheries scientists and managers to enhance the scope of information used for stock assessment. Additionally, this economic data will be integrated into the recreational fisheries management decision-making processes. The information will directly benefit Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), as it will help us to identify socioeconomic indicators for recreational fishing that we can incorporate into management process/ decisions and future condition reports to evaluate the status and trends of the recreational fishing ecosystem service. II. Method of Collection Internet and mail. III. Data OMB Control Number: 0648–XXXX. Form Number: None. E:\FR\FM\19FEN1.SGM 19FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 33 (Friday, February 19, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 8483-8485]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-03299]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XE201


Notice of Availability of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Final 
Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Final 
Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (Final PDARP/PEIS)

AGENCY: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of availability of a Final Programmatic Damage 
Assessment and Restoration Plan and Final Programmatic Environmental 
Impact Statement.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: In accordance with the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) and the 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Deepwater Horizon Federal 
and State natural resource trustee agencies (Trustees) have prepared a 
Final Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Final 
Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (Final PDARP/PEIS). As 
required by OPA, in this Final PDARP/PEIS, the Trustees present the 
assessment of impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on natural 
resources in the Gulf of Mexico and on the services those resources 
provide, and determine the restoration needed to compensate the public 
for these impacts. The Final PDARP/PEIS describes the Trustees' 
programmatic alternatives considered to restore natural resources, 
ecological services, and recreational use services injured or lost as a 
result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Trustees evaluate these 
alternatives under criteria set forth in the OPA natural resource 
damage assessment regulations, and also evaluate the environmental 
consequences of the restoration alternatives in accordance with NEPA. 
The purpose of this notice is to inform the public of the availability 
of the Final PDARP/PEIS.

[[Page 8484]]


ADDRESSES: Obtaining Documents: You may download the Final PDARP/PEIS 
at http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov. Alternatively, you may 
request a CD of the Final PDARP/PEIS (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT). You may also view the document at any of the public 
facilities listed at http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov. The 
Final PDARP/PEIS also will be available for download at http://www.justice.gov/enrd/deepwater-horizon.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Courtney Groeneveld at 
gulfspill.restoration@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Introduction

    On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon mobile drilling unit 
exploded, caught fire, and eventually sank in the Gulf of Mexico, 
resulting in a massive release of oil and other substances from BP's 
Macondo well. Tragically, 11 workers were killed and 17 injured by the 
explosion and fire. Initial efforts to cap the well following the 
explosion were unsuccessful, and for 87 days after the explosion, the 
well continuously and uncontrollably discharged oil and natural gas 
into the northern Gulf of Mexico. Approximately 3.19 million barrels 
(134 million gallons) of oil were released into the ocean, by far the 
largest offshore oil spill in the history of the United States.
    Oil spread from the deep ocean to the surface and nearshore 
environment, from Texas to Florida. The oil came into contact with and 
injured natural resources as diverse as deep-sea coral, fish and 
shellfish, productive wetland habitats, sandy beaches, birds, 
endangered sea turtles, and protected marine life. The oil spill 
prevented people from fishing, going to the beach, and enjoying their 
typical recreational activities along the Gulf. Extensive response 
actions, including use of dispersants, cleanup activities, and actions 
to try to prevent the oil from reaching sensitive resources, were 
undertaken to try to reduce harm to people and the environment. 
However, many of these response actions had collateral impacts on the 
environment. The oil and other substances released from the well in 
combination with the extensive response actions together make up the 
Deepwater Horizon incident.
    The Trustees conducted the natural resource damage assessment for 
the Deepwater Horizon incident under the Oil Pollution Act 1990 (OPA; 
33 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.). Pursuant to OPA, Federal and State agencies 
act as trustees on behalf of the public to assess natural resource 
injuries and losses and to determine the actions required to compensate 
the public for those injuries and losses. OPA further instructs the 
designated trustees to develop and implement a plan for the 
restoration, rehabilitation, replacement, or acquisition of the 
equivalent of the injured natural resources under their trusteeship, 
including the loss of use of those resources and the loss of services 
they provide from the time of injury until the time restoration to 
baseline (the resource quality and conditions that would exist if the 
spill had not occurred) is complete.
    The Trustees \1\ are as follows:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Although a trustee under OPA by virtue of the proximity of 
its facilities to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the U.S. 
Department of Defense (DOD) is not a member of the Trustee Council 
and did not participate in development of this Final PDARP/PEIS.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, on behalf 
of the U.S. Department of Commerce;
     U.S. Department of the Interior, as represented by the 
National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of 
Land Management;
     U.S. Department of Agriculture;
     U.S. Environmental Protection Agency;
     State of Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration 
Authority, Oil Spill Coordinator's Office, Department of Environmental 
Quality, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and Department of 
Natural Resources;
     State of Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality;
     State of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural 
Resources and Geological Survey of Alabama;
     State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection 
and Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; and
     For the State of Texas: Texas Parks and Wildlife 
Department, Texas General Land Office, and Texas Commission on 
Environmental Quality.

Background

    Notice of availability of the Draft PDARP/PEIS was published in the 
Federal Register on October 5, 2015 (80 FR 60126). The Draft PDARP/PEIS 
presented the assessment of impacts of the Deepwater Horizon incident 
on natural resources in the Gulf of Mexico and on the services those 
resources provide, and determined the restoration needed to compensate 
the public for these impacts. The Trustees provided the public with 60 
days to review and comment on the Draft PDARP/PEIS. The Trustees also 
held public meetings in Houma, LA; Long Beach, MS; New Orleans, LA; 
Mobile, AL; Pensacola, FL; St. Petersburg, FL; Galveston, TX; and 
Washington, DC, to facilitate public understanding of the document and 
provide opportunity for public comment. The Trustees considered the 
public comments received, which informed the Trustees' analysis of 
programmatic alternatives in the Final PDARP/PEIS. The Trustees 
actively solicited public input through a variety of mechanisms, 
including convening public meetings, distributing electronic 
communications, and using the Trustee-wide public Web site and database 
to share information and receive public input. A summary of the public 
comments received and the Trustees' responses to those comments are 
addressed in Chapter 8 of the Final PDARP/PEIS.

Overview of the Final PDARP/PEIS

    The Final PDARP/PEIS is being released in accordance with the OPA, 
the Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA) regulations found in the 
Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 15 CFR part 990, and the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).
    In the Final PDARP/PEIS, the Deepwater Horizon Trustees present to 
the public their findings on the extensive injuries to multiple 
habitats, biological species, ecological functions, and geographic 
regions across the northern Gulf of Mexico that occurred as a result of 
the Deepwater Horizon incident, as well as their programmatic plan for 
restoring those resources and the services they provide. The injuries 
caused by the Deepwater Horizon incident cannot be fully described at 
the level of a single species, a single habitat type, or a single 
region. Rather, the injuries affected such a wide array of linked 
resources over such an enormous area that the effects of the Deepwater 
Horizon incident constitute an ecosystem-level injury. The Final PDARP/
PEIS presents four programmatic alternatives evaluated in accordance 
with OPA and NEPA.
    The four alternatives under the Final PDARP/PEIS are as follows:
     Alternative A (Preferred Alternative): Comprehensive 
Integrated Ecosystem Restoration Plan based on programmatic Trustee 
goals;
     Alternative B: Resource-Specific Restoration Plan based on 
programmatic Trustee goals;
     Alternative C: Continued Injury Assessment and Defer 
Comprehensive Restoration Plan; and
     Alternative D: No Action/Natural Recovery.
    These programmatic alternatives are comprised of restoration types 
and

[[Page 8485]]

approaches to restore, replace, rehabilitate, or acquire the equivalent 
of the injured natural resources and services. The Trustees' preferred 
alternative for a restoration plan utilizes a comprehensive integrated 
ecosystem approach to best address these ecosystem-level injuries. The 
Trustees' evaluation determined this alternative is best, among several 
other alternatives, at compensating the public for the losses to 
natural resources and services caused by the Deepwater Horizon 
incident.
    The Trustees' proposed decision is to select a comprehensive 
restoration plan to guide and direct subsequent restoration planning 
and implementation during the coming decades. The Final PDARP/PEIS is 
programmatic; it describes the framework by which subsequent project 
specific restoration plans will be identified and developed, and sets 
forth the types of projects the Trustees will consider in each of the 
described restoration areas. The subsequent restoration plans will 
identify, evaluate, and select specific restoration projects for 
implementation that are consistent with the restoration framework laid 
out by the Final PDARP/PEIS.
    The Trustees considered this programmatic restoration planning 
decision in light of the proposed settlement among BP, the United 
States, and the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and 
Texas to resolve BP's liability for natural resource damages associated 
with the Deepwater Horizon incident. Under this proposed settlement, BP 
would pay a total of $8.1 billion for restoration to address natural 
resource injuries (this includes $1 billion already committed for early 
restoration), plus up to an additional $700 million to respond to 
natural resource damages unknown at the time of the settlement and/or 
to provide for adaptive management. The proposed Consent Decree for the 
proposed settlement was the subject of a separate public notice and 
comment process; the Notice of Lodging of the proposed Consent Decree 
under the Clean Water Act and Oil Pollution Act was published in the 
Federal Register on October 5, 2015 (80 FR 60180).

Next Steps

    In accordance with NEPA, a Federal agency must prepare a concise 
public Record of Decision (ROD) at the time the agency makes a decision 
in cases involving an EIS (40 CFR 1505.2). The Trustees will issue a 
ROD pursuant to NEPA regulations at 40 CFR 1505.2 and OPA regulations 
at 15 CFR 990.23. Accordingly, the ROD for the Final PDARP/PEIS will 
provide and explain the Trustees' decisions regarding the selection of 
a preferred alternative. The Trustees will issue the ROD no earlier 
than 30 days after the Environmental Protection Agency publishes a 
notice in the Federal Register announcing the availability of the Final 
PDARP/PEIS (40 CFR 1506.10).

Administrative Record

    The documents included in the Administrative Record can be viewed 
electronically at the following location: http://www.doi.gov/deepwaterhorizon/adminrecord.
    The Trustees opened a publicly available Administrative Record for 
the NRDA for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, including restoration 
planning activities, concurrently with publication of the 2011 Notice 
of Intent (NOI) to Begin Restoration Scoping and Prepare a Gulf Spill 
Restoration Planning PEIS (pursuant to 15 CFR 990.45). The 
Administrative Record includes the February 17, 2011, NOI for a 90-day 
formal scoping (76 FR 9327) and public comment period for this Final 
PDARP/PEIS. The Trustees conducted the scoping in accordance with OPA 
(15 CFR 990.14(d)), NEPA (40 CFR 1501.7), and State authorities. As 
part of the scoping process, the Trustees hosted public meetings across 
all the Gulf States during spring 2011.

Authority

    The authority of this action is the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (33 
U.S.C. 2701 et seq.) and the implementing NRDA regulations found at 15 
CFR part 990.

    Dated: February 11, 2016.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-03299 Filed 2-18-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P