Notice of Availability of the Mississippi Trustee Implementation Group 2016-2017 Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), 31939-31941 [2017-14505]

Download as PDF mstockstill on DSK30JT082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 131 / Tuesday, July 11, 2017 / Notices www.fs.usda.gov/main/pts/ specialprojects/racs. DATES: The meeting will be held on September 22, 2017, at 9:00 a.m. All RAC meetings are subject to cancellation. For status of meeting prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the Coconino County Health Department, 2625 N. King Street, Flagstaff, Arizona. Written comments may be submitted as described under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at the Coconino National Forest (NF) Supervisor’s Office. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brady Smith, RAC Coordinator, by phone at 928–527–3490 or via email at bradysmith@fs.fed.us. Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877–8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The purpose of the meeting is to: 1. Review the calendar, 2. Review project proposals, 3. Hear project proponent proposals, and 4. Vote on projects. The meeting is open to the public. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should request in writing by September 15, 2017, to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the committee may file written statements with the committee staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and requests for time to make oral comments must be sent to Brady Smith, RAC Coordinator, Coconino NF Supervisor’s Office, 1824 South Thompson Street, Flagstaff, Arizona, 86001; or by email to bradysmith@ fs.fed.us. Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices, or other reasonable accommodation. For access to the facility or proceedings, please contact the person listed in the VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:01 Jul 10, 2017 Jkt 241001 section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis. CONTACT. Leslie Weldon, Deputy Chief, National Forest System. [FR Doc. 2017–14410 Filed 7–10–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411–15–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Southwest Mississippi Resource Advisory Committee Forest Service, USDA. Notice of meeting. AGENCY: ACTION: The Southwest Mississippi Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Meadville, Mississippi. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with the Act. RAC information can be found at the following Web site: https:// www.fs.usda.gov/mississippi/. DATES: The meeting will be held on September 12, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. All RAC meetings are subject to cancellation. For status of meeting prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at Franklin County Public Library, 106 First Street, Meadville, Mississippi. Written comments may be submitted as described under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at Homochitto Ranger District. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bill Meriwether by phone at 601–384–5876 or via email at bdmeriwether@fs.fed.us. Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877–8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The purpose of the meeting is to: SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 31939 1. Call to order and welcome new members, 2. Elect a new chairperson, 3. Updates on RAC, 4. Title II Funds availabile for projects, 5. Discussion project proposals and make recommendations, and 6. Public comments. The meeting is open to the public. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should request in writing by September 7, 2017, to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the committee may file written statements with the committee staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and requests for time to make oral comments must be sent to Bill Meriwether, RAC Coordinator, Homochitto Ranger District, 1200 Highway 184 East, Meadville, Mississippi 39653; by email to bdmeriwether@fs.fed.us, or via facsimile to 601–384–2172. Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices, or other reasonable accommodation. For access to the facility or proceedings, please contact the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis. Leslie Weldon, Deputy Chief, National Forest System. [FR Doc. 2017–14416 Filed 7–10–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411–15–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Natural Resources Conservation Service [Docket No. NRCS–2017–003] Notice of Availability of the Mississippi Trustee Implementation Group 2016– 2017 Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). ACTION: Notice of availability. 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 for the Mississippi Trustee SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\11JYN1.SGM 11JYN1 31940 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 131 / Tuesday, July 11, 2017 / Notices mstockstill on DSK30JT082PROD with NOTICES Implementation Group (MS TIG) have prepared a final Mississippi Trustee Implementation Group 2016–2017 Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment (RP/EA). The RP/EA describes the restoration project alternatives considered by the MS TIG to restore and conserve habitat, replenish and protect living coastal and marine resources, and restore water quality. The MS TIG evaluated these alternatives under criteria set forth in the OPA natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) regulations, and also evaluated the environmental consequences of the restoration alternatives in accordance with NEPA. The Federal Trustees of the MS TIG have determined that implementation of the MS TIG 2016–2017 RP/EA is not a major Federal Action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment within the context of NEPA and, therefore, an Environmental Impact Statement will not be prepared. The MS TIG has selected three restoration projects in the RP/EA for implementation in the Mississippi Restoration Area, which are consistent with the Trustees’ programmatic alternatives in the Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PDARP/PEIS). ADDRESSES: Obtaining Documents: You may download the RP/EA and FONSI at http:// www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov. Alternatively, you may request a CD of the Final RP/EA and FONSI (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). You also may view the document at any of the public facilities listed at http:// www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: ´ • USDA NRCS—Andree DuVarney, Andree.DuVarney@wdc.usda.gov • Mississippi—Tabatha Baum, tbaum@ mdeq.ms.gov SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Introduction On April 20, 2010, the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon, which was being used to drill a well for BP Exploration and Production Inc. (BP), in the Macondo prospect (Mississippi Canyon 252— MC252), exploded, caught fire and subsequently sank in the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in an unprecedented volume of oil and other discharges from the rig and from the wellhead on the seabed. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is the largest maritime oil spill in United States (U.S.) history, discharging millions of barrels of oil over a period VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:01 Jul 10, 2017 Jkt 241001 of 87 days. In addition, well over one million gallons of dispersants were applied to the waters of the spill area in an attempt to disperse the spilled oil. An undetermined amount of natural gas also was released to the environment as a result of the spill. The Deepwater Horizon State and Federal natural resource trustees (DWH Trustees) conducted NRDA for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill 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 and services from those resources from the time of injury until the time of restoration to baseline (the resource quality and conditions that would exist if the spill had not occurred) is complete. The DWH Trustees are: • U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), as represented by the National Park Service (NPS) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), on behalf of the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) • U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) 1 • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) • 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 (MDEQ) • 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 • The State of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas General Land 1 Although a trustee under OPA by virtue of the proximity of its facilities to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, DOD is not a member of the Trustee Council and does not participate in DWH Trustee decision-making. PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Office, and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Upon completion of the NRDA, the DWH Trustees reached and finalized a settlement of their natural resource damage claims with BP in a Consent Decree 2 approved by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Pursuant to that Consent Decree, restoration projects in Mississippi are now chosen and managed by the MS TIG. The MS TIG is composed of the following Trustees: • MDEQ; • DOI, as represented by NPS, USFWS, and BLM; • NOAA, on behalf of DOC; • USDA; and • EPA. This restoration planning activity is proceeding in accordance with the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Final PDARP/PEIS. Information on the Restoration Types: Wetlands, Coastal and Nearshore Habitats, Birds, and Nutrient Reduction (Nonpoint Source), as well as the OPA criteria against which project ideas are being evaluated, can be viewed in the PDARP/PEIS (http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa. gov/restoration-planning/gulf-plan), and in the Overview of the PDARP/PEIS (http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa. gov/restoration-planning/gulf-plan). Background On May 27, 2016, the MS TIG published a notice to invite public input regarding natural resource restoration opportunities in the Mississippi Restoration Area for the 2016–2017 planning years. The notice indicated a focus on the following range of potential restoration types that may have benefits to living coastal and marine resources: Restoration of Wetlands, Coastal and Nearshore Habitats, restoration of water quality through Nutrient Reduction (Nonpoint source); restoration of Birds, and restoration of Oysters. Because there are several ongoing or completed projects benefitting oysters and secondary productivity in the Mississippi Restoration Area, the MS TIG chose not to prioritize the oyster restoration type in this RP/EA. On October 31, 2016, the MS TIG published a Notice of Initiation for Restoration Plan Drafting in Mississippi, indicating its intent to focus on the following Restoration Types: • Wetlands, Coastal and Nearshore Habitats; • Nutrient Reduction (nonpoint source); and • Birds. 2 https://www.justice.gov/enrd/file/838066/ download. E:\FR\FM\11JYN1.SGM 11JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 131 / Tuesday, July 11, 2017 / Notices mstockstill on DSK30JT082PROD with NOTICES A Notice of Availability of the Draft RP/EA was published in the Federal Register on December 27, 2016 (81 FR 95106–95107). The Draft RP/EA provided the MS TIG’s analysis of alternatives that were considered to meet the intended Restoration Types under both OPA and NEPA, and identified three projects that were proposed for implementation. The MS TIG provided the public with a 45-day comment period that ended February 10, 2017, and hosted a Web-based comment submission site to encourage the public to review and comment. The MS TIG also provided a post office box and email address as other means for the public to provide comments. Comments were received from private citizens, State, and local agencies, and non-governmental organizations. The MS TIG considered the public comments received, which informed the MS TIG’s analysis of alternatives in the Final RP/EA. A summary of the public comments received and the MS TIG’s responses to those comments are addressed in Section 6 of the Final RP/EA. Overview of the RP/EA The RP/EA is being released in accordance with OPA, NRDA regulations found in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 15 CFR part 990, and NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). In the RP/EA, the MS TIG proposes implementation of the following two preferred alternatives and associated projects within the Wetlands, Coastal and Nearshore Habitat and Birds Restoration Types: (1) Graveline Bay Land Acquisition and Management, and (2) Grand Bay Land Acquisition and Habitat Management. The MS TIG also proposes the following preferred alternative and associated project within the Nutrient Reduction (Nonpoint Source) Restoration Type: Upper Pascagoula River Water Quality Enhancement. The RP/EA presents six restoration alternatives, as well as a no action alternative, evaluated in accordance with OPA and NEPA. The alternatives considered in RP/EA are— • Restoration Goals.—Restore and Conserve Habitat; and Replenish and Protect Living Coastal and Marine Resources. Æ Alternative A (Preferred): Graveline Bay Land Acquisition and Management Æ Alternative B: Grand Bay Land Acquisition (up to 8,000 acres) Æ Alternative C: Grand Bay Habitat Management (up to 17,500 acres) Æ Alternative D (Preferred): Grand Bay Land Acquisition (up to 8,000 acres) and Habitat Management (up to VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:01 Jul 10, 2017 Jkt 241001 17,500 acres); Alternatives B and C combined Æ No Action Alternative • Restoration Goal.—Restore Water Quality. Æ Alternative A (Preferred): Upper Pascagoula River Water Quality Enhancement Æ Alternative B: Pascagoula River Basin Riparian Buffer Maintenance Plan Æ No Action Alternative The MS TIG has determined that the selected restoration alternatives and associated projects preferred for implementation are appropriate to partially compensate for the injuries for these restoration types described in PDARP/PEIS. In the RP/EA, the MS TIG presents to the public its plan for providing partial compensation to the public for natural resources and ecological services injured or lost in Mississippi as a result of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. The preferred alternatives and associated projects in the RP/EA are most appropriate for addressing injuries to wetlands, coastal and nearshore habitats, birds, and water quality in Mississippi at this time. Additional restoration planning for Mississippi will continue at a later time. Administrative Record The documents included in the Administrative Record can be viewed electronically at http://www.doi.gov/ deepwaterhorizon/adminrecord. This Administrative Record is actively maintained and available for public review. Authority The authority of this action is the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (33 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.), the implementing NRDA regulations found at 15 CFR part 990, and NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). Signed on July 5, 2017, in Washington, DC James E. Tillman, Sr., Acting Associate Chief for Conservation, Natural Resources Conservation Service. [FR Doc. 2017–14505 Filed 7–10–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–16–P COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the New Hampshire Advisory Committee Commission on Civil Rights. Announcement of meeting. AGENCY: ACTION: Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission), and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), that a meeting of the New Hampshire Advisory Committee to the SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 31941 Commission will convene by conference call at 9:00 a.m. (EDT) on: Friday, July 28, 2017. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss how to update the voting rights project and report. The Committee may also discuss future civil rights projects. DATES: Friday, July 28, 2017, at 9:00 a.m. EDT. ADDRESSES: Public call-in information: Conference call-in number: 1–877–719– 9795 and conference call 5761106. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Evelyn Bohor at ero@usccr.gov or by phone at 202–376–7533. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Interested members of the public may listen to the discussion by calling the following tollfree conference call-in number: 1–877– 719–9795 and conference call 5761106. Please be advised that before placing them into the conference call, the conference call operator will ask callers to provide their names, their organizational affiliations (if any), and email addresses (so that callers may be notified of future meetings). Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over landline connections to the toll-free conference call-in number. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the discussion by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1– 800–977–8339 and providing the operator with the toll-free conference call-in number: 1–877–719–9795 and conference call 5761106. Members of the public are invited to make statements during the open comment period of the meeting or submit written comments. The comments must be received in the regional office approximately 30 days after each scheduled meeting. Written comments may be mailed to the Eastern Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 1150, Washington, DC 20425, faxed to (202) 376–7548, or emailed to Evelyn Bohor at ero@ usccr.gov. Persons who desire additional information may contact the Eastern Regional Office at (202) 376– 7533. Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing as they become available at https://database.faca.gov/committee/ meetings.aspx?cid=262, click the ‘‘Meeting Details’’ and ‘‘Documents’’ links. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Eastern Regional Office, as they become available, both E:\FR\FM\11JYN1.SGM 11JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 131 (Tuesday, July 11, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 31939-31941]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-14505]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Natural Resources Conservation Service

[Docket No. NRCS-2017-003]


Notice of Availability of the Mississippi Trustee Implementation 
Group 2016-2017 Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment and Finding 
of No Significant Impact (FONSI)

AGENCY: Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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

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 for the Mississippi Trustee

[[Page 31940]]

Implementation Group (MS TIG) have prepared a final Mississippi Trustee 
Implementation Group 2016-2017 Restoration Plan/Environmental 
Assessment (RP/EA). The RP/EA describes the restoration project 
alternatives considered by the MS TIG to restore and conserve habitat, 
replenish and protect living coastal and marine resources, and restore 
water quality. The MS TIG evaluated these alternatives under criteria 
set forth in the OPA natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) 
regulations, and also evaluated the environmental consequences of the 
restoration alternatives in accordance with NEPA. The Federal Trustees 
of the MS TIG have determined that implementation of the MS TIG 2016-
2017 RP/EA is not a major Federal Action significantly affecting the 
quality of the human environment within the context of NEPA and, 
therefore, an Environmental Impact Statement will not be prepared. The 
MS TIG has selected three restoration projects in the RP/EA for 
implementation in the Mississippi Restoration Area, which are 
consistent with the Trustees' programmatic alternatives in the 
Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Final 
Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PDARP/PEIS).

ADDRESSES: Obtaining Documents: You may download the RP/EA and FONSI at 
http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov. Alternatively, you may 
request a CD of the Final RP/EA and FONSI (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT). You also may view the document at any of the public 
facilities listed at http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 
 USDA NRCS--Andr[eacute]e DuVarney, 
Andree.DuVarney@wdc.usda.gov
 Mississippi--Tabatha Baum, tbaum@mdeq.ms.gov

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Introduction

    On April 20, 2010, the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater 
Horizon, which was being used to drill a well for BP Exploration and 
Production Inc. (BP), in the Macondo prospect (Mississippi Canyon 252--
MC252), exploded, caught fire and subsequently sank in the Gulf of 
Mexico, resulting in an unprecedented volume of oil and other 
discharges from the rig and from the wellhead on the seabed. The 
Deepwater Horizon oil spill is the largest maritime oil spill in United 
States (U.S.) history, discharging millions of barrels of oil over a 
period of 87 days. In addition, well over one million gallons of 
dispersants were applied to the waters of the spill area in an attempt 
to disperse the spilled oil. An undetermined amount of natural gas also 
was released to the environment as a result of the spill.
    The Deepwater Horizon State and Federal natural resource trustees 
(DWH Trustees) conducted NRDA for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill 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 and services from those 
resources from the time of injury until the time of restoration to 
baseline (the resource quality and conditions that would exist if the 
spill had not occurred) is complete.
    The DWH Trustees are:

 U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), as represented by the 
National Park Service (NPS) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), 
and Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), on 
behalf of the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC)
 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
 U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) \1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Although a trustee under OPA by virtue of the proximity of 
its facilities to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, DOD is not a 
member of the Trustee Council and does not participate in DWH 
Trustee decision-making.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
 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 
(MDEQ)
 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
 The State of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas 
General Land Office, and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

    Upon completion of the NRDA, the DWH Trustees reached and finalized 
a settlement of their natural resource damage claims with BP in a 
Consent Decree \2\ approved by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern 
District of Louisiana. Pursuant to that Consent Decree, restoration 
projects in Mississippi are now chosen and managed by the MS TIG. The 
MS TIG is composed of the following Trustees:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ https://www.justice.gov/enrd/file/838066/download.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     MDEQ;
     DOI, as represented by NPS, USFWS, and BLM;
     NOAA, on behalf of DOC;
     USDA; and
     EPA.
    This restoration planning activity is proceeding in accordance with 
the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Final PDARP/PEIS. Information on the 
Restoration Types: Wetlands, Coastal and Nearshore Habitats, Birds, and 
Nutrient Reduction (Nonpoint Source), as well as the OPA criteria 
against which project ideas are being evaluated, can be viewed in the 
PDARP/PEIS (http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/restoration-planning/gulf-plan), and in the Overview of the PDARP/PEIS (http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/restoration-planning/gulf-plan).

Background

    On May 27, 2016, the MS TIG published a notice to invite public 
input regarding natural resource restoration opportunities in the 
Mississippi Restoration Area for the 2016-2017 planning years. The 
notice indicated a focus on the following range of potential 
restoration types that may have benefits to living coastal and marine 
resources: Restoration of Wetlands, Coastal and Nearshore Habitats, 
restoration of water quality through Nutrient Reduction (Nonpoint 
source); restoration of Birds, and restoration of Oysters. Because 
there are several ongoing or completed projects benefitting oysters and 
secondary productivity in the Mississippi Restoration Area, the MS TIG 
chose not to prioritize the oyster restoration type in this RP/EA.
    On October 31, 2016, the MS TIG published a Notice of Initiation 
for Restoration Plan Drafting in Mississippi, indicating its intent to 
focus on the following Restoration Types:
     Wetlands, Coastal and Nearshore Habitats;
     Nutrient Reduction (nonpoint source); and
     Birds.

[[Page 31941]]

    A Notice of Availability of the Draft RP/EA was published in the 
Federal Register on December 27, 2016 (81 FR 95106-95107). The Draft 
RP/EA provided the MS TIG's analysis of alternatives that were 
considered to meet the intended Restoration Types under both OPA and 
NEPA, and identified three projects that were proposed for 
implementation. The MS TIG provided the public with a 45-day comment 
period that ended February 10, 2017, and hosted a Web-based comment 
submission site to encourage the public to review and comment. The MS 
TIG also provided a post office box and email address as other means 
for the public to provide comments.
    Comments were received from private citizens, State, and local 
agencies, and non-governmental organizations. The MS TIG considered the 
public comments received, which informed the MS TIG's analysis of 
alternatives in the Final RP/EA. A summary of the public comments 
received and the MS TIG's responses to those comments are addressed in 
Section 6 of the Final RP/EA.

Overview of the RP/EA

    The RP/EA is being released in accordance with OPA, NRDA 
regulations found in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 15 CFR 
part 990, and NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).
    In the RP/EA, the MS TIG proposes implementation of the following 
two preferred alternatives and associated projects within the Wetlands, 
Coastal and Nearshore Habitat and Birds Restoration Types: (1) 
Graveline Bay Land Acquisition and Management, and (2) Grand Bay Land 
Acquisition and Habitat Management. The MS TIG also proposes the 
following preferred alternative and associated project within the 
Nutrient Reduction (Nonpoint Source) Restoration Type: Upper Pascagoula 
River Water Quality Enhancement. The RP/EA presents six restoration 
alternatives, as well as a no action alternative, evaluated in 
accordance with OPA and NEPA. The alternatives considered in RP/EA 
are--
     Restoration Goals.--Restore and Conserve Habitat; and 
Replenish and Protect Living Coastal and Marine Resources.

[cir] Alternative A (Preferred): Graveline Bay Land Acquisition and 
Management
[cir] Alternative B: Grand Bay Land Acquisition (up to 8,000 acres)
[cir] Alternative C: Grand Bay Habitat Management (up to 17,500 acres)
[cir] Alternative D (Preferred): Grand Bay Land Acquisition (up to 
8,000 acres) and Habitat Management (up to 17,500 acres); Alternatives 
B and C combined
[cir] No Action Alternative

     Restoration Goal.--Restore Water Quality.

[cir] Alternative A (Preferred): Upper Pascagoula River Water Quality 
Enhancement
[cir] Alternative B: Pascagoula River Basin Riparian Buffer Maintenance 
Plan
[cir] No Action Alternative

    The MS TIG has determined that the selected restoration 
alternatives and associated projects preferred for implementation are 
appropriate to partially compensate for the injuries for these 
restoration types described in PDARP/PEIS. In the RP/EA, the MS TIG 
presents to the public its plan for providing partial compensation to 
the public for natural resources and ecological services injured or 
lost in Mississippi as a result of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. The 
preferred alternatives and associated projects in the RP/EA are most 
appropriate for addressing injuries to wetlands, coastal and nearshore 
habitats, birds, and water quality in Mississippi at this time. 
Additional restoration planning for Mississippi will continue at a 
later time.

Administrative Record

    The documents included in the Administrative Record can be viewed 
electronically at http://www.doi.gov/deepwaterhorizon/adminrecord. This 
Administrative Record is actively maintained and available for public 
review.

    Authority The authority of this action is the Oil Pollution Act 
of 1990 (33 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.), the implementing NRDA regulations 
found at 15 CFR part 990, and NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).

    Signed on July 5, 2017, in Washington, DC
James E. Tillman, Sr.,
Acting Associate Chief for Conservation, Natural Resources Conservation 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-14505 Filed 7-10-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3410-16-P