Notice of Availability of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group Final Phase II Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #3.3: Large-Scale Barataria Marsh Creation: Upper Barataria Component, 43819-43820 [2020-15586]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 139 / Monday, July 20, 2020 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [RTID 0648–XV183] Notice of Availability of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group Final Phase II Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #3.3: Large-Scale Barataria Marsh Creation: Upper Barataria Component National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce. ACTION: Notice of availability. AGENCY: The Deepwater Horizon Federal natural resource trustee agencies for the Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group (Louisiana TIG) have prepared a Final Phase II Restoration Plan #3.3 and Environmental Assessment (Final RP/ EA #3.3). The Final RP/EA #3.3 describes and, in conjunction with the associated Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), selects the preferred design alternative considered by the Louisiana TIG to restore natural resources and ecological services injured or lost as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Federal Trustees of the Louisiana TIG have determined that the implementation of the Final RP/EA #3.3 is not a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment within the context of the NEPA. They have concluded a FONSI is appropriate, and, therefore, an Environmental Impact Statement will not be prepared. ADDRESSES: Obtaining Documents: You may download the Final RP/EA #3.3 at: http:// www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/ restoration-areas/louisiana. Alternatively, you may request a CD of the Final RP/EA #3.3 (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT below). Also, you may view the document at any of the public facilities listed in Appendix A of the Final RP/EA #3.3. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—Mel Landry, NOAA Restoration Center, 225–425–0583, mel.landry@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Introduction On April 20, 2010, the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon, which was being used to drill VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:30 Jul 17, 2020 Jkt 250001 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 off shore oil spill in 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 was also released into the environment as a result of the spill. The Deepwater Horizon Federal and State natural resource trustees (DWH Trustees) conducted the natural resource damage assessment for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill under OPA (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 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 (CPRA), Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office (LOSCO), Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ), Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), and Department of Natural Resources (LDNR); • State of Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality; • State of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Geological Survey of Alabama; PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 43819 • 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 United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Pursuant to that Consent Decree, restoration projects in the Louisiana Restoration Area are selected and implemented by the Louisiana TIG. The Louisiana TIG is composed of the following Trustees: CPRA, LOSCO, LDEQ, LDWF, LDNR, NOAA, DOI, EPA, and USDA. This restoration planning activity is proceeding in accordance with the Deepwater Horizon Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan/Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PDARP/EIS). Information on the Restoration Type considered in the Final RP/EA #3.3, as well as the OPA criteria against which project ideas are 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.gulfspill restoration.noaa.gov/restorationplanning/gulf-plan). Background On March 20, 2018, the Louisiana TIG completed its Strategic Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #3: Restoration of Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats in the Barataria Basin, Louisiana (SRP/EA #3). In addition to identifying a restoration strategy for the Barataria Basin and confirming its 2018 decision to move forward the Spanish Pass Increment of the Barataria Basin Ridge and Marsh Creation project, the SRP/EA #3 also advanced the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion and Large Scale Marsh Creation: Component E in northern Barataria Basin for further evaluation and planning in a future Phase II restoration plan. After approval of the SRP/EA #3, engineering and design (E&D) was initiated for the Large Scale Marsh Creation: Component E. A portion of that project, now identified as Large Scale Barataria Marsh Creation: Upper Barataria Component, is now at a stage of E&D where NEPA analyses can be conducted on the design alternatives. Therefore, tiering from the SRP/EA #3, the Louisiana TIG proposed in RP/EA #3.3 implementation of the Large-Scale Barataria Marsh Creation: E:\FR\FM\20JYN1.SGM 20JYN1 43820 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 139 / Monday, July 20, 2020 / Notices Upper Barataria Component Restoration project. The RP/EA #3.3 evaluated three design alternatives and the No Action alternative in accordance with the OPA and the NEPA. Prior to finalizing the Draft RP/EA #3.3, public review was solicited. A Notice of Availability was published in the Federal Register at 85 FR 16081 on March 20, 2020. The Louisiana TIG hosted a public webinar on April 2, 2020, and the public comment period for the Draft RP/EA #3.3 closed on April 20, 2020. The Louisiana TIG considered the public comments received on the Draft RP/EA #3.3 which informed the analyses and selection of the preferred design alternative for implementation in the Final RP/EA #3.3. A summary of the public comments received and the Trustees’ responses to those comments are included in Chapter 6 of the Final RP/EA #3.3 and all correspondence received are provided in the DWH Administrative Record. Overview of the Final RP/EA #3.3 The Final RP/EA #3.3 is being released in accordance with the OPA, NRDA implementing regulations, and the NEPA. The analysis focuses on an area (‘‘the Project Area’’) in the upper Barataria Basin, 15 miles (24 km) south of New Orleans, in Jefferson and Plaquemines Parishes, Louisiana, from approximately 5.4 miles (8.7 km) west of the Mississippi River to the Mississippi River between river miles (RM) 64 and 67. In the Final RP/EA #3.3, the Louisiana TIG proposes a preferred design alternative to be funded under the DWH Louisiana Restoration Area Wetlands, Coastal and Nearshore Habitats restoration type allocation. The preferred design alternative would include filling of a combination of marsh creation areas (MCAs) for the creation of approximately 1,207 acres (12.1 km2) of intertidal marsh platform with a design life of 20 years. A total of approximately 10.6 million cubic yards (MCY) of fill (sediment), comprising 8.4 MCY of currently available material to be dredged from the borrow areas and an additional 2.2 MCY expected to accumulate at the borrow areas during the construction time frame. This alternative would require a single construction mobilization and has an estimated time frame of 26 months for an estimated total project cost of approximately $172 million, inclusive of Phase I design, construction, contingency, project management, and monitoring & adaptive management. The Louisiana TIG has examined the injuries assessed by the DWH Trustees and evaluated restoration alternatives to address the injuries. In Final RP/EA #3.3, the Louisiana TIG presents to the public its plan for providing partial compensation to the public for injured natural resources and ecological services in the Louisiana Restoration Area. The proposed alternative is 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 Louisiana Restoration Area will continue. Administrative Record The documents comprising the Administrative Record for the Final RP/ EA #3.3 can be viewed electronically at http://www.doi.gov/deepwaterhorizon/ adminrecord. Authority The authority of this action is the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (33 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.) and its implementing Oil Pollution Act 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.). Dated: July 14, 2020. Carrie Selberg, Director, Office of Habitat Conservation, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2020–15586 Filed 7–17–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [RTID 0648–XA295] Marine Mammals and Endangered Species National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; issuance of permits and permit amendments/modifications. AGENCY: Notice is hereby given that permits and permit amendments/ modifications have been issued to the following entities under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA), as applicable. SUMMARY: The permits and related documents are available for review upon written request via email to NMFS.Pr1Comments@noaa.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sara Young (Permit Nos. 19108–04 and 23283) and Malcolm Mohead (Permit Nos. 19641–02 and 20314–01); at (301) 427–8401. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Notices were published in the Federal Register on the dates listed below that requests for a permit or permit amendment/ modification had been submitted by the below-named applicants. To locate the Federal Register notice that announced our receipt of the application and a complete description of the research, go to www.federalregister.gov and search on the permit number provided in Table 1 below. ADDRESSES: TABLE 1—ISSUED PERMITS, PERMIT AMENDMENTS, AND PERMIT MODIFICATIONS Previous Federal Register Notice Permit No. RTID Applicant 19108–04 ....... 0648–XD953 ..... 19641–02 ....... 0648–XA109 ...... 20314–01 ....... 0648–XA143 ...... Daniel P. Costa, Ph.D., University of California at Santa Cruz, Long Marine Laboratory, 100 Shaffer Road, Santa Cruz, CA 95064. Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, P.O. Box 719, Old Lyme, CT 06371 (Responsible Party: Tom Savoy). U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Virginia Fisheries Field Office, 11110, Kimages Road, Charles City, VA 23030 (Responsible Party: Albert Spells). VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:11 Jul 17, 2020 Jkt 250001 PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Issuance date 84 FR 27767; June 14, 2019. June 15, 2019. 85 FR 21833; April 20, 2020 June 16, 2020. 85 FR 23813; April 29, 2020 June 16, 2020. E:\FR\FM\20JYN1.SGM 20JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 139 (Monday, July 20, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 43819-43820]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-15586]



[[Page 43819]]

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[RTID 0648-XV183]


Notice of Availability of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill 
Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group Final Phase II Restoration Plan 
and Environmental Assessment #3.3: Large-Scale Barataria Marsh 
Creation: Upper Barataria Component

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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

SUMMARY: The Deepwater Horizon Federal natural resource trustee 
agencies for the Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group (Louisiana TIG) 
have prepared a Final Phase II Restoration Plan #3.3 and Environmental 
Assessment (Final RP/EA #3.3). The Final RP/EA #3.3 describes and, in 
conjunction with the associated Finding of No Significant Impact 
(FONSI), selects the preferred design alternative considered by the 
Louisiana TIG to restore natural resources and ecological services 
injured or lost as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The 
Federal Trustees of the Louisiana TIG have determined that the 
implementation of the Final RP/EA #3.3 is not a major Federal action 
significantly affecting the quality of the human environment within the 
context of the NEPA. They have concluded a FONSI is appropriate, and, 
therefore, an Environmental Impact Statement will not be prepared.

ADDRESSES: Obtaining Documents: You may download the Final RP/EA #3.3 
at: http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/restoration-areas/louisiana. Alternatively, you may request a CD of the Final RP/EA #3.3 
(see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT below). Also, you may view the 
document at any of the public facilities listed in Appendix A of the 
Final RP/EA #3.3.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration--Mel Landry, NOAA Restoration Center, 225-425-0583, 
[email protected].

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), 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 off shore oil 
spill in 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 was 
also released into the environment as a result of the spill.
    The Deepwater Horizon Federal and State natural resource trustees 
(DWH Trustees) conducted the natural resource damage assessment for the 
Deepwater Horizon oil spill under OPA (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 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 (CPRA), Oil Spill Coordinator's Office (LOSCO), Department of 
Environmental Quality (LDEQ), Department of Wildlife and Fisheries 
(LDWF), and Department of Natural Resources (LDNR);
     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 United States District Court for the Eastern District 
of Louisiana. Pursuant to that Consent Decree, restoration projects in 
the Louisiana Restoration Area are selected and implemented by the 
Louisiana TIG. The Louisiana TIG is composed of the following Trustees: 
CPRA, LOSCO, LDEQ, LDWF, LDNR, NOAA, DOI, EPA, and USDA.
    This restoration planning activity is proceeding in accordance with 
the Deepwater Horizon Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration 
Plan/Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PDARP/EIS). 
Information on the Restoration Type considered in the Final RP/EA #3.3, 
as well as the OPA criteria against which project ideas are 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 March 20, 2018, the Louisiana TIG completed its Strategic 
Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #3: Restoration of 
Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats in the Barataria Basin, 
Louisiana (SRP/EA #3). In addition to identifying a restoration 
strategy for the Barataria Basin and confirming its 2018 decision to 
move forward the Spanish Pass Increment of the Barataria Basin Ridge 
and Marsh Creation project, the SRP/EA #3 also advanced the Mid-
Barataria Sediment Diversion and Large Scale Marsh Creation: Component 
E in northern Barataria Basin for further evaluation and planning in a 
future Phase II restoration plan. After approval of the SRP/EA #3, 
engineering and design (E&D) was initiated for the Large Scale Marsh 
Creation: Component E. A portion of that project, now identified as 
Large Scale Barataria Marsh Creation: Upper Barataria Component, is now 
at a stage of E&D where NEPA analyses can be conducted on the design 
alternatives. Therefore, tiering from the SRP/EA #3, the Louisiana TIG 
proposed in RP/EA #3.3 implementation of the Large-Scale Barataria 
Marsh Creation:

[[Page 43820]]

Upper Barataria Component Restoration project.
    The RP/EA #3.3 evaluated three design alternatives and the No 
Action alternative in accordance with the OPA and the NEPA. Prior to 
finalizing the Draft RP/EA #3.3, public review was solicited. A Notice 
of Availability was published in the Federal Register at 85 FR 16081 on 
March 20, 2020. The Louisiana TIG hosted a public webinar on April 2, 
2020, and the public comment period for the Draft RP/EA #3.3 closed on 
April 20, 2020.
    The Louisiana TIG considered the public comments received on the 
Draft RP/EA #3.3 which informed the analyses and selection of the 
preferred design alternative for implementation in the Final RP/EA 
#3.3. A summary of the public comments received and the Trustees' 
responses to those comments are included in Chapter 6 of the Final RP/
EA #3.3 and all correspondence received are provided in the DWH 
Administrative Record.

Overview of the Final RP/EA #3.3

    The Final RP/EA #3.3 is being released in accordance with the OPA, 
NRDA implementing regulations, and the NEPA. The analysis focuses on an 
area (``the Project Area'') in the upper Barataria Basin, 15 miles (24 
km) south of New Orleans, in Jefferson and Plaquemines Parishes, 
Louisiana, from approximately 5.4 miles (8.7 km) west of the 
Mississippi River to the Mississippi River between river miles (RM) 64 
and 67. In the Final RP/EA #3.3, the Louisiana TIG proposes a preferred 
design alternative to be funded under the DWH Louisiana Restoration 
Area Wetlands, Coastal and Nearshore Habitats restoration type 
allocation. The preferred design alternative would include filling of a 
combination of marsh creation areas (MCAs) for the creation of 
approximately 1,207 acres (12.1 km\2\) of intertidal marsh platform 
with a design life of 20 years. A total of approximately 10.6 million 
cubic yards (MCY) of fill (sediment), comprising 8.4 MCY of currently 
available material to be dredged from the borrow areas and an 
additional 2.2 MCY expected to accumulate at the borrow areas during 
the construction time frame. This alternative would require a single 
construction mobilization and has an estimated time frame of 26 months 
for an estimated total project cost of approximately $172 million, 
inclusive of Phase I design, construction, contingency, project 
management, and monitoring & adaptive management.
    The Louisiana TIG has examined the injuries assessed by the DWH 
Trustees and evaluated restoration alternatives to address the 
injuries. In Final RP/EA #3.3, the Louisiana TIG presents to the public 
its plan for providing partial compensation to the public for injured 
natural resources and ecological services in the Louisiana Restoration 
Area. The proposed alternative is 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 Louisiana Restoration Area will continue.

Administrative Record

    The documents comprising the Administrative Record for the Final 
RP/EA #3.3 can be viewed electronically at http://www.doi.gov/deepwaterhorizon/adminrecord.

Authority

    The authority of this action is the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (33 
U.S.C. 2701 et seq.) and its implementing Oil Pollution Act 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.).

    Dated: July 14, 2020.
Carrie Selberg,
Director, Office of Habitat Conservation, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-15586 Filed 7-17-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P