Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Draft Restoration Plan 1 and Environmental Assessment; Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group, 50681-50682 [2018-21602]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 195 / Tuesday, October 9, 2018 / Notices Wildlife Refuge and Charlotte Harbor; and projects that Provide and Enhance Recreation Opportunities in Perdido River, Carpenter Creek, Gulf Islands National Seashore (FL), Joe’s Bayou, St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge and the following State parks: Topsail Hill, Camp Helen, St. Andrews State Park, and T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula. In compliance with NEPA, an environmental assessment is integrated into the plan. The FL TIG also analyzes eight additional alternatives, as well as no action. One or more alternatives may be selected for implementation by the FL TIG in the Final RP1/EA or in future restoration plans. The proposed alternatives are intended to continue the process of using DWH restoration funding to restore natural resources injured or lost as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Additional restoration planning for the FL Restoration Area will continue. Next Steps As described above, one public open house/meeting and one public webinar are scheduled to facilitate the public review and comment process on the Draft RP1/EA. After the public comment period ends, the FL TIG will consider and address the comments received before issuing the Final RP1/EA. Public Availability of Comments Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your Administrative Record The documents comprising the Administrative Record for the Draft RP1/EA can be viewed electronically at https://www.doi.gov/deepwaterhorizon/ adminrecord. Authority The authority for this action is the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (33 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.) and its implementing Natural Resource Damage Assessment regulations found at 15 CFR part 990, and the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). Kevin D. Reynolds, Assistant Regional Director—Gulf Restoration, FWS; Department of the Interior Natural Resource Trustee Official for the Florida Trustee Implementation Group. [FR Doc. 2018–21601 Filed 10–5–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR [FWS–R4–ES–2018–N110; FVHC98220410150–XXX–FF04G01000] Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Draft Restoration Plan 1 and Environmental Assessment; Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group AGENCY: Notice of availability; request for comments. ACTION: In accordance with the Oil Pollution Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Final Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, and the resulting Consent Decree, we, the Federal natural resource trustee agencies for the Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group, have prepared a Draft Restoration Plan 1 and Environmental Assessment (Draft RP1/ EA). The Draft RP1/EA proposes three preferred alternatives for the Bird and Sturgeon restoration types, and is intended to continue the process of restoring natural resources and services injured or lost as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which occurred on or about April 20, 2010, in the Gulf of Mexico. SUMMARY: Submitting Comments: We will consider public comments received on or before November 9, 2018. Public Webinars: We will conduct two webinars to present and facilitate the public review and comment process for the Draft RP1/EA. Comments will not be taken through the public webinars. Comments will be taken only through submission online or via U.S. mail (see ADDRESSES). The public webinars are scheduled as follows: DATES: Department of the Interior. Date Time Webinar link location October 16, 2018 ............................ October 17, 2018 ............................ 12 p.m. central time ....................... 6 p.m. central time ......................... https://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/restoration-areas/open-ocean. https://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/restoration-areas/open-ocean. Obtaining Documents: You may download the Draft RP1/EA from either of the following websites: • https:// www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov • https://www.doi.gov/ deepwaterhorizon Alternatively, you may request a CD of the Draft RP1/EA (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Submitting Comments: You may submit comments on the Draft RP1/EA by one of the following methods: • Via the Web: https:// www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov. • Via U.S. Mail: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 49567, Atlanta, GA 30345. In order to be considered, mailed comments must be ADDRESSES: amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. 50681 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:13 Oct 05, 2018 Jkt 247001 postmarked on or before the comment deadline given in DATES. For more information, see Public Availability of Comments under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nanciann Regalado, via email at nanciann_regalado@fws.gov, via telephone at 404–679–4161, or via the Federal Relay Service at 800–877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Introduction On or about 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– PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 MC252), experienced a significant explosion, fire, and subsequent sinking 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 offshore oil spill in U.S. history, discharging millions of barrels of oil over a period of 87 days. In addition, well over 1 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 was also released into the environment as a result of the spill. The Trustees conducted the natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill under E:\FR\FM\09OCN1.SGM 09OCN1 amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 50682 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 195 / Tuesday, October 9, 2018 / Notices the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA; 33 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.). Pursuant to the 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. The 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 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 Deepwater Horizon Trustees are: • U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), as represented by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Land Management; • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), on behalf of the U.S. Department of Commerce; • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA); • 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; • 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 • State of Texas: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas General Land Office, and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The Trustees reached and finalized a settlement of their natural resource damage claims with BP in an April 4, 2016, Consent Decree approved by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Pursuant to that Consent Decree, restoration projects in the Open Ocean Restoration Area are now selected and implemented by the Open Ocean TIG. The Open Ocean TIG is composed of four federal Trustees: DOI, NOAA, EPA, and USDA. Background On March 31, 2017, the Open Ocean TIG posted a public notice at https:// www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov, requesting new or revised natural VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:13 Oct 05, 2018 Jkt 247001 resource restoration project ideas by May 15, 2017, for the Open Ocean Restoration Area for the 2017–20 planning years. The notice stated that the Open Ocean TIG was seeking project ideas for the following Restoration Types: (1) Birds; (2) Sturgeon; (3) Sea Turtles; (4) Marine Mammals; (5) Fish and Water Column Invertebrates; and (6) Mesophotic and Deep Benthic Communities. On February 7, 2018, the Open Ocean TIG announced that it had initiated drafting of its first and second post settlement draft restoration plans; and that the first plan would include restoration projects for Birds and Sturgeon, while the second plan would include restoration projects for Sea Turtles, Marine Mammals, Fish and Water Column Invertebrates, and Mesophotic and Deep Benthic Communities. Next Steps As described above, two public webinars are scheduled to facilitate the public review and comment process on the Draft RP1/EA. After the public comment period ends, the Open Ocean TIG will consider and address the comments received before issuing a final RP1/EA. Overview of the Open Ocean TIG Draft RP1/EA Administrative Record The documents comprising the Administrative Record for the Draft RP1/EA can be viewed electronically at https://www.doi.gov/deepwaterhorizon/ administrativerecord. The Draft RP1/EA is being released in accordance with the OPA, NRDA regulations found in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 15 CFR part 990, NEPA, the Consent Decree, and the Final PDARP/PEIS. In the Draft RP1/EA, the Open Ocean TIG proposes three preferred alternatives from the Bird and Sturgeon restoration types, at an estimated total cost of $16,000,000. The preferred alternatives include restoration of common loons in Minnesota through conservation easements or fee title acquisitions of loon nesting habitat, breeding habitat enhancements, and reduction in exposure to lead-based fishing tackle; restoration of black terns in the prairie pothole region of North Dakota and South Dakota through conservation easements of black tern nesting habitat; and characterizing Gulf sturgeon spawning habitat, habitat use, and origins of juvenile sturgeon in the Pearl and Pascagoula River Systems in Louisiana and Mississippi. The Open Ocean TIG also analyzes three additional alternatives, as well as the no-action alternative in the Draft RP1/ EA. One or more alternatives may be selected for implementation by the Open Ocean TIG in the Final RP1/EA or in future restoration plans. The proposed alternatives are intended to continue the process of using Deepwater Horizon restoration funding to restore natural resources injured or lost as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Additional restoration planning for the Open Ocean Restoration Area will continue. PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Public Availability of Comments Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Authority The authority for this action is the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (33 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.), its implementing Natural Resource Damage Assessment regulations found at 15 CFR part 990, and the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). Kevin D. Reynolds, Assistant Regional Director—Gulf Restoration, FWS; Department of the Interior Natural Resource Trustee Official for the Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group. [FR Doc. 2018–21602 Filed 10–5–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of the Secretary [DOI–2018–0008; 18XD4523WS, DS64900000, DWSN00000.000000, DP.64916] Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records Office of the Secretary, Interior. Notice of a modified system of AGENCY: ACTION: records. Pursuant to the provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, the Department of the Interior proposes to modify the Department of the Interior ‘‘DOI–16, DOI LEARN (Departmentwide Learning Management System)’’ system of records notice. This system of SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\09OCN1.SGM 09OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 195 (Tuesday, October 9, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 50681-50682]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-21602]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

[FWS-R4-ES-2018-N110; FVHC98220410150-XXX-FF04G01000]


Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Draft Restoration Plan 1 and 
Environmental Assessment; Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group

AGENCY: Department of the Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: In accordance with the Oil Pollution Act, the National 
Environmental Policy Act, Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Final 
Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Final 
Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, and the resulting Consent 
Decree, we, the Federal natural resource trustee agencies for the Open 
Ocean Trustee Implementation Group, have prepared a Draft Restoration 
Plan 1 and Environmental Assessment (Draft RP1/EA). The Draft RP1/EA 
proposes three preferred alternatives for the Bird and Sturgeon 
restoration types, and is intended to continue the process of restoring 
natural resources and services injured or lost as a result of the 
Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which occurred on or about April 20, 2010, 
in the Gulf of Mexico.

DATES: Submitting Comments: We will consider public comments received 
on or before November 9, 2018.
    Public Webinars: We will conduct two webinars to present and 
facilitate the public review and comment process for the Draft RP1/EA. 
Comments will not be taken through the public webinars. Comments will 
be taken only through submission online or via U.S. mail (see 
ADDRESSES). The public webinars are scheduled as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Date                      Time        Webinar link location
------------------------------------------------------------------------
October 16, 2018..............  12 p.m. central    https://
                                 time.              www.gulfspillrestora
                                                    tion.noaa.gov/
                                                    restoration-areas/
                                                    open-ocean.
October 17, 2018..............  6 p.m. central     https://
                                 time.              www.gulfspillrestora
                                                    tion.noaa.gov/
                                                    restoration-areas/
                                                    open-ocean.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


ADDRESSES: Obtaining Documents: You may download the Draft RP1/EA from 
either of the following websites:
     https://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov
     https://www.doi.gov/deepwaterhorizon
    Alternatively, you may request a CD of the Draft RP1/EA (see FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).
    Submitting Comments: You may submit comments on the Draft RP1/EA by 
one of the following methods:
     Via the Web: https://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov.
     Via U.S. Mail: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 
49567, Atlanta, GA 30345. In order to be considered, mailed comments 
must be postmarked on or before the comment deadline given in DATES.
    For more information, see Public Availability of Comments under 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nanciann Regalado, via email at 
[email protected], via telephone at 404-679-4161, or via the 
Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Introduction

    On or about 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), experienced a significant explosion, 
fire, and subsequent sinking 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 offshore oil spill in U.S. history, discharging millions of 
barrels of oil over a period of 87 days. In addition, well over 1 
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 was also released into the environment as a result of 
the spill.
    The Trustees conducted the natural resource damage assessment 
(NRDA) for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill under

[[Page 50682]]

the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA; 33 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.). Pursuant 
to the 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. The 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 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 Deepwater Horizon Trustees are:
     U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), as represented by 
the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau 
of Land Management;
     National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), on 
behalf of the U.S. Department of Commerce;
     U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA);
     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;
     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
     State of Texas: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas 
General Land Office, and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
    The Trustees reached and finalized a settlement of their natural 
resource damage claims with BP in an April 4, 2016, Consent Decree 
approved by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of 
Louisiana. Pursuant to that Consent Decree, restoration projects in the 
Open Ocean Restoration Area are now selected and implemented by the 
Open Ocean TIG. The Open Ocean TIG is composed of four federal 
Trustees: DOI, NOAA, EPA, and USDA.

Background

    On March 31, 2017, the Open Ocean TIG posted a public notice at 
https://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov, requesting new or revised 
natural resource restoration project ideas by May 15, 2017, for the 
Open Ocean Restoration Area for the 2017-20 planning years. The notice 
stated that the Open Ocean TIG was seeking project ideas for the 
following Restoration Types: (1) Birds; (2) Sturgeon; (3) Sea Turtles; 
(4) Marine Mammals; (5) Fish and Water Column Invertebrates; and (6) 
Mesophotic and Deep Benthic Communities.
    On February 7, 2018, the Open Ocean TIG announced that it had 
initiated drafting of its first and second post settlement draft 
restoration plans; and that the first plan would include restoration 
projects for Birds and Sturgeon, while the second plan would include 
restoration projects for Sea Turtles, Marine Mammals, Fish and Water 
Column Invertebrates, and Mesophotic and Deep Benthic Communities.

Overview of the Open Ocean TIG Draft RP1/EA

    The Draft RP1/EA is being released in accordance with the OPA, NRDA 
regulations found in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 15 CFR 
part 990, NEPA, the Consent Decree, and the Final PDARP/PEIS.
    In the Draft RP1/EA, the Open Ocean TIG proposes three preferred 
alternatives from the Bird and Sturgeon restoration types, at an 
estimated total cost of $16,000,000. The preferred alternatives include 
restoration of common loons in Minnesota through conservation easements 
or fee title acquisitions of loon nesting habitat, breeding habitat 
enhancements, and reduction in exposure to lead-based fishing tackle; 
restoration of black terns in the prairie pothole region of North 
Dakota and South Dakota through conservation easements of black tern 
nesting habitat; and characterizing Gulf sturgeon spawning habitat, 
habitat use, and origins of juvenile sturgeon in the Pearl and 
Pascagoula River Systems in Louisiana and Mississippi. The Open Ocean 
TIG also analyzes three additional alternatives, as well as the no-
action alternative in the Draft RP1/EA. One or more alternatives may be 
selected for implementation by the Open Ocean TIG in the Final RP1/EA 
or in future restoration plans.
    The proposed alternatives are intended to continue the process of 
using Deepwater Horizon restoration funding to restore natural 
resources injured or lost as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil 
spill. Additional restoration planning for the Open Ocean Restoration 
Area will continue.

Next Steps

    As described above, two public webinars are scheduled to facilitate 
the public review and comment process on the Draft RP1/EA. After the 
public comment period ends, the Open Ocean TIG will consider and 
address the comments received before issuing a final RP1/EA.

Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.

Administrative Record

    The documents comprising the Administrative Record for the Draft 
RP1/EA can be viewed electronically at https://www.doi.gov/deepwaterhorizon/administrativerecord.

Authority

    The authority for this action is the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (33 
U.S.C. 2701 et seq.), its implementing Natural Resource Damage 
Assessment regulations found at 15 CFR part 990, and the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).

Kevin D. Reynolds,
Assistant Regional Director--Gulf Restoration, FWS; Department of the 
Interior Natural Resource Trustee Official for the Open Ocean Trustee 
Implementation Group.
[FR Doc. 2018-21602 Filed 10-5-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4333-15-P