Notice of Availability of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group Draft Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment #8: Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats, 15385-15387 [2022-05553]

Download as PDF jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with NOTICES1 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 53 / Friday, March 18, 2022 / Notices 3. Adequacy of the proposed actions to minimize and mitigate the impact of the taking on covered species. 4. Potential effects that the proposed permit actions could have on other aspects of the human environment, including effects on plants and animals; water resources; and aesthetic, historic, cultural, economic, social, environmental justice, climate change, or health. 5. The alternatives, information, and analyses submitted during the public scoping period. 6. The alternatives analysis, including the range of alternatives analyzed and the alternatives considered but not analyzed in detail. 7. Relevant reasonably foreseeable environmental trends and planned actions and their possible impacts on the affected environment, including the covered species, as well as any closely related connected actions. 8. Other information relevant to the HCP and its impacts on the human environment. The Services will each make their permit decisions based on the statutory and regulatory criteria of the ESA. Their decisions will also be informed by the data, analyses, and findings in the EIS and public comments received on the Draft EIS and HCP. The Services will each document their determinations independently in an ESA section 10 findings document, ESA Section 7 biological opinion, and NEPA Record of Decision developed at the conclusion of the ESA and NEPA compliance processes. If the Services find that all requirements for issuance of the ITPs are met, they will issue the requested permits, subject to terms and conditions deemed necessary or appropriate to carry out the purposes of ESA section 10. Additional Information: NMFS, as the lead Federal agency, has chosen to use the NEPA substitution process to fulfill obligations under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended (NHPA). While obligations under NHPA and NEPA are independent, the regulations implementing NHPA allow for the use of NEPA review to substitute for various aspects of the NHPA section 106 (16 U.S.C. 470f) review to improve efficiency, promote transparency and accountability, and support a broadened discussion of potential effects that a project may have on the human environment (36 CFR 800.3 through 800.6). During preparation of the EIS, NMFS will ensure that the NEPA substitution process will meet any NHPA obligations. Authority: Section 10(c) of the ESA and its implementing regulations (50 VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:27 Mar 17, 2022 Jkt 256001 CFR 222.307, 50 CFR 17.22, and 50 CFR 17.32) and NEPA and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 1503.1 and 40 CFR 1506.6). Dated: March 14, 2022. Angela Somma, Chief, Endangered Species Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2022–05714 Filed 3–17–22; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [RTID 0648–XB767] Notice of Availability of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group Draft Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment #8: Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments. AGENCY: In accordance with the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and a Consent Decree with BP Exploration & Production Inc. (BP), the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) Federal natural resource trustee agencies for the Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group (Louisiana TIG) have prepared a Draft Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment #8: Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats (RP/EA #8). The Draft RP/EA #8 describes and proposes restoration project alternatives considered by the Louisiana TIG to partially restore natural resources and ecological services injured or lost as a result of the DWH oil spill. The Louisiana TIG evaluated these alternatives under criteria set forth in the OPA natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) regulations, and evaluated 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 Draft RP/EA #8 and to seek public comments on the document. DATES: The Louisiana TIG will consider public comments received on or before April 18, 2022. Virtual Public Meeting: Due to continuing Covid–19 limitations on gatherings of groups, the Louisiana TIG SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 15385 will conduct a public webinar to facilitate public review and comment on Tuesday, April 5, 2022 at 12:00 p.m. Central. The public may register for the webinar at: https:// attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/ 4964211858097860364. After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the public webinar. The webinar will include a presentation of the Draft RP/EA #8 and opportunity for public comment. The presentation slides will be posted on the web shortly after the public meeting is completed. Comments will also be taken through submission online or through U.S. mail (see Submitting Comments below). ADDRESSES: Obtaining Documents: You may access the Draft RP/EA #8 from the ‘‘News’’ section of the Louisiana TIG website at: http:// www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/ restoration-areas/louisiana. Alternatively, you may request a CD of the Draft RP/EA #8 (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT below). Submitting Comments: You may submit comments on the Draft RP/EA #8 by one of the following methods: • Via the Web: http:// www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/ restoration-areas/louisiana; • Via U.S. Mail: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 29649, Atlanta, GA 30345. Please note that mailed comments must be postmarked on or before the comment deadline given in DATES; or • During the public webinar: Comments may be provided during the webinar. Webinar information is provided above in DATES. 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. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mel Landry, NOAA Restoration Center, 310– 427–8711, gulfspill.restoration@ noaa.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 E:\FR\FM\18MRN1.SGM 18MRN1 jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with NOTICES1 15386 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 53 / Friday, March 18, 2022 / Notices 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 DWH 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 DWH Federal and State natural resource trustees (DWH Trustees) conducted the natural resource damage assessment for the DWH 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 DWH 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:27 Mar 17, 2022 Jkt 256001 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 now selected and implemented by the Louisiana TIG. The Louisiana TIG is composed of the following Federal Trustees: NOAA; DOI; EPA; and USDA. Background The Draft RP/EA #8 is being released in accordance with OPA NRDA regulations at 15 CFR part 990, NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the Consent Decree, and the Final Programmatic Damage Assessment Restoration Plan/ Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PDARP/PEIS), which provided for an overall goal of ‘‘Restore and Conserve Habitat.’’ This restoration planning activity is proceeding in accordance with the PDARP/PEIS, which provided for various types of restoration, including restoration of wetlands, coastal, and nearshore habitat. Information on the Restoration Type being considered in the Draft RP/EA #8, 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). Overview of the Louisiana TIG Draft RP/EA #8 For the Draft RP/EA #8, the Louisiana TIG assembled a list of 697 project alternatives for the restoration of wetlands, coastal, and nearshore habitat. These alternatives were based on proposals from the public as well as agencies, including projects submitted to the DWH Trustee or Louisiana TIG portals and projects submitted by individual state and Federal Trustees, including projects submitted on behalf of non-Trustee agencies. All alternatives underwent a step-wise screening process based on criteria established by OPA and the Louisiana TIG, whereby projects that did not meet the criteria were eliminated, and duplicative alternatives were combined. This resulted in six action alternatives for wetlands, coastal, and nearshore habitats, each of which are evaluated in the Draft RP/EA #8. Alternatives that PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 meet the criteria but are not carried forward as preferred alternatives may be considered in future restoration plans. Of the six alternatives evaluated, four are proposed as preferred alternatives for the restoration of wetlands, coastal, and nearshore habitats. Three of the alternatives evaluated consider projects for Engineering and Design (E&D), and three of the alternatives evaluated consider projects for full implementation. The alternatives analyzed include the following: • Bayou Pointe-aux-Chenes Ridge Restoration and Marsh Creation (E&D)— Non-preferred, $4,736,900. • New Orleans East Landbridge Restoration (E&D): Preferred, $4,000,000. • Raccoon Island Barrier Island Restoration (E&D): Preferred, $8,200,000. • Bayou Dularge Ridge and Marsh Restoration: Preferred, $41,400,000. • Bayou La Loutre Ridge Restoration and Marsh Creation Project (PO–0178): Preferred, $21,200,000. • Lake Lery Marsh Creation and Rim Restoration, Increment 3: Non-preferred, $19,420,000. The Draft RP/EA #8 also evaluates a No Action Alternative, under which no project would be constructed and no additional costs would be incurred at this time. The Louisiana TIG has examined the injuries assessed by the DWH Trustees and evaluated restoration alternatives to address the injuries. In Draft RP/EA #8, the Louisiana TIG presents to the public its draft plan for providing partial compensation to the public for injured natural resources and ecological services in the Louisiana Restoration Area. The proposed action is intended to continue the process of using DWH restoration funding to restore natural resources injured or lost as a result of the DWH oil spill. Additional restoration planning for the Louisiana Restoration Area will continue. Next Steps The public is encouraged to review and comment on the Draft RP/EA #8. A public webinar to facilitate the public review and comment process is scheduled for Tuesday, April 5 at 12:00 p.m. Central. After the public comment period ends, the Louisiana TIG will consider and address comments received before issuing a Final RP/EA #8. A summary of comments received and the Louisiana TIG’s responses and any revisions to the document, as appropriate, will be included in the final document. E:\FR\FM\18MRN1.SGM 18MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 53 / Friday, March 18, 2022 / Notices Additional Access to Materials You may request a CD of the Draft RP/ EA #8 (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT above). Copies of the Draft RP/ EA #8 are also available during the public comment period at the following locations: Library Address City Zip code St. Tammany Parish Library .................................. New Orleans Public Library, Louisiana Division .... St. Bernard Parish Library ...................................... Plaquemines Parish Library ................................... Jefferson Parish Library, East Bank Regional Library. Jefferson Parish Library, West Bank Regional Library. Terrebonne Parish Library ..................................... Martha Sowell Utley Memorial Library ................... South Lafourche Public Library .............................. East Baton Rouge Parish Library .......................... Alex P. Allain Library .............................................. St. Martin Parish Library ........................................ Iberia Parish Library ............................................... Vermilion Parish Library ......................................... Mark Shirley, LSU AgCenter .................................. Calcasieu Parish Public Library Central Branch .... 310 W. 21st Avenue .............................................. 219 Loyola Avenue ................................................ 1125 E. St. Bernard Highway ................................ 8442 Highway 23 ................................................... 4747 W. Napoleon Avenue .................................... Covington ....................... New Orleans .................. Chalmette ....................... Belle Chasse .................. Metairie .......................... 70433 70112 70043 70037 70001 2751 Manhattan Boulevard .................................... Harvey ............................ 70058 151 Library Drive .................................................... 314 St. Mary Street ................................................ 16241 E. Main Street ............................................. 7711 Goodwood Boulevard ................................... 206 Iberia Street .................................................... 201 Porter Street .................................................... 445 E. Main Street ................................................. 405 E. St. Victor Street .......................................... 1105 West Port Street ........................................... 301 W. Claude Street ............................................ Houma ........................... Thibodaux ...................... Cut Off ........................... Baton Rouge .................. Franklin .......................... St. Martinville ................. New Iberia ...................... Abbeville ........................ Abbeville ........................ Lake Charles .................. 70360 70301 70345 70806 70538 70582 70560 70510 70510 70605 Translation Opportunities DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Vietnamese translated materials including the Executing Summary and project fact sheets are posted in the ‘‘News’’ section of the Louisiana TIG’s website: http:// www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/ restoration-areas/louisiana. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Administrative Record The documents comprising the Administrative Record for the Draft RP/ EA #8 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: March 11, 2022. Carrie Diane Robinson, Director, Office of Habitat Conservation, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2022–05553 Filed 3–17–22; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P [RTID 0648–XB799] Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Ferry Berth Improvements in Tongass Narrows in Ketchikan, Alaska National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; issuance of an incidental harassment authorization. AGENCY: In accordance with the regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) as amended, notification is hereby given that NMFS has issued an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT) to incidentally harass, by Level A harassment and Level B harassment only, marine mammals during construction activities associated with construction of four ferry berth facilities in Tongass Narrows in Ketchikan, Alaska. SUMMARY: This authorization is effective from March 5, 2022 through March 4, 2023. DATES: jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with NOTICES1 15387 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Leah Davis, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427–8401. Electronic copies of the application and supporting documents, as well as a list of the references cited in this document, VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:27 Mar 17, 2022 Jkt 256001 PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 may be obtained online at: https:// www.fisheries.noaa.gov/permit/ incidental-take-authorizations-undermarine-mammal-protection-act. In case of problems accessing these documents, please call the contact listed above. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background The MMPA prohibits the ‘‘take’’ of marine mammals, with certain exceptions. sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) direct the Secretary of Commerce (as delegated to NMFS) to allow, upon request, the incidental, but not intentional, taking of small numbers of marine mammals by U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial fishing) within a specified geographical region if certain findings are made and either regulations are issued or, if the taking is limited to harassment, a notice of a proposed incidental take authorization may be provided to the public for review. Authorization for incidental takings shall be granted if NMFS finds that the taking will have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s) and will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for taking for subsistence uses (where relevant). Further, NMFS must prescribe the permissible methods of taking and other ‘‘means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact’’ on the affected species or stocks and their habitat, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar significance, and on the availability of the species or stocks for taking for certain subsistence uses (referred to in shorthand as E:\FR\FM\18MRN1.SGM 18MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 53 (Friday, March 18, 2022)]
[Notices]
[Pages 15385-15387]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2022-05553]


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

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[RTID 0648-XB767]


Notice of Availability of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill 
Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group Draft Restoration Plan/
Environmental Assessment #8: Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats

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

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: In accordance with the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA), the 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and a Consent Decree with BP 
Exploration & Production Inc. (BP), the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) Federal 
natural resource trustee agencies for the Louisiana Trustee 
Implementation Group (Louisiana TIG) have prepared a Draft Restoration 
Plan/Environmental Assessment #8: Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore 
Habitats (RP/EA #8). The Draft RP/EA #8 describes and proposes 
restoration project alternatives considered by the Louisiana TIG to 
partially restore natural resources and ecological services injured or 
lost as a result of the DWH oil spill. The Louisiana TIG evaluated 
these alternatives under criteria set forth in the OPA natural resource 
damage assessment (NRDA) regulations, and evaluated 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 Draft RP/EA #8 and to seek public comments on the document.

DATES: The Louisiana TIG will consider public comments received on or 
before April 18, 2022.
    Virtual Public Meeting: Due to continuing Covid-19 limitations on 
gatherings of groups, the Louisiana TIG will conduct a public webinar 
to facilitate public review and comment on Tuesday, April 5, 2022 at 
12:00 p.m. Central. The public may register for the webinar at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4964211858097860364. After 
registering, participants will receive a confirmation email with 
instructions for joining the public webinar. The webinar will include a 
presentation of the Draft RP/EA #8 and opportunity for public comment. 
The presentation slides will be posted on the web shortly after the 
public meeting is completed. Comments will also be taken through 
submission online or through U.S. mail (see Submitting Comments below).

ADDRESSES: 
    Obtaining Documents: You may access the Draft RP/EA #8 from the 
``News'' section of the Louisiana TIG website at: http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/restoration-areas/louisiana. 
Alternatively, you may request a CD of the Draft RP/EA #8 (see FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT below).
    Submitting Comments: You may submit comments on the Draft RP/EA #8 
by one of the following methods:
     Via the Web: http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/restoration-areas/louisiana;
     Via U.S. Mail: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 
29649, Atlanta, GA 30345. Please note that mailed comments must be 
postmarked on or before the comment deadline given in DATES; or
     During the public webinar: Comments may be provided during 
the webinar. Webinar information is provided above in DATES.
    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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mel Landry, NOAA Restoration Center, 
310-427-8711, [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

[[Page 15386]]

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 DWH 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 DWH Federal and State natural resource trustees (DWH Trustees) 
conducted the natural resource damage assessment for the DWH 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 DWH 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 United States District Court for the Eastern District 
of Louisiana. Pursuant to that Consent Decree, restoration projects in 
the Louisiana Restoration Area are now selected and implemented by the 
Louisiana TIG. The Louisiana TIG is composed of the following Federal 
Trustees: NOAA; DOI; EPA; and USDA.

Background

    The Draft RP/EA #8 is being released in accordance with OPA NRDA 
regulations at 15 CFR part 990, NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the 
Consent Decree, and the Final Programmatic Damage Assessment 
Restoration Plan/Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PDARP/
PEIS), which provided for an overall goal of ``Restore and Conserve 
Habitat.'' This restoration planning activity is proceeding in 
accordance with the PDARP/PEIS, which provided for various types of 
restoration, including restoration of wetlands, coastal, and nearshore 
habitat. Information on the Restoration Type being considered in the 
Draft RP/EA #8, 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).

Overview of the Louisiana TIG Draft RP/EA #8

    For the Draft RP/EA #8, the Louisiana TIG assembled a list of 697 
project alternatives for the restoration of wetlands, coastal, and 
nearshore habitat. These alternatives were based on proposals from the 
public as well as agencies, including projects submitted to the DWH 
Trustee or Louisiana TIG portals and projects submitted by individual 
state and Federal Trustees, including projects submitted on behalf of 
non-Trustee agencies. All alternatives underwent a step-wise screening 
process based on criteria established by OPA and the Louisiana TIG, 
whereby projects that did not meet the criteria were eliminated, and 
duplicative alternatives were combined. This resulted in six action 
alternatives for wetlands, coastal, and nearshore habitats, each of 
which are evaluated in the Draft RP/EA #8. Alternatives that meet the 
criteria but are not carried forward as preferred alternatives may be 
considered in future restoration plans.
    Of the six alternatives evaluated, four are proposed as preferred 
alternatives for the restoration of wetlands, coastal, and nearshore 
habitats. Three of the alternatives evaluated consider projects for 
Engineering and Design (E&D), and three of the alternatives evaluated 
consider projects for full implementation. The alternatives analyzed 
include the following:
     Bayou Pointe-aux-Chenes Ridge Restoration and Marsh 
Creation (E&D)--Non-preferred, $4,736,900.
     New Orleans East Landbridge Restoration (E&D): Preferred, 
$4,000,000.
     Raccoon Island Barrier Island Restoration (E&D): 
Preferred, $8,200,000.
     Bayou Dularge Ridge and Marsh Restoration: Preferred, 
$41,400,000.
     Bayou La Loutre Ridge Restoration and Marsh Creation 
Project (PO-0178): Preferred, $21,200,000.
     Lake Lery Marsh Creation and Rim Restoration, Increment 3: 
Non-preferred, $19,420,000.
    The Draft RP/EA #8 also evaluates a No Action Alternative, under 
which no project would be constructed and no additional costs would be 
incurred at this time.
    The Louisiana TIG has examined the injuries assessed by the DWH 
Trustees and evaluated restoration alternatives to address the 
injuries. In Draft RP/EA #8, the Louisiana TIG presents to the public 
its draft plan for providing partial compensation to the public for 
injured natural resources and ecological services in the Louisiana 
Restoration Area. The proposed action is intended to continue the 
process of using DWH restoration funding to restore natural resources 
injured or lost as a result of the DWH oil spill. Additional 
restoration planning for the Louisiana Restoration Area will continue.

Next Steps

    The public is encouraged to review and comment on the Draft RP/EA 
#8. A public webinar to facilitate the public review and comment 
process is scheduled for Tuesday, April 5 at 12:00 p.m. Central. After 
the public comment period ends, the Louisiana TIG will consider and 
address comments received before issuing a Final RP/EA #8. A summary of 
comments received and the Louisiana TIG's responses and any revisions 
to the document, as appropriate, will be included in the final 
document.

[[Page 15387]]

Additional Access to Materials

    You may request a CD of the Draft RP/EA #8 (see FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT above). Copies of the Draft RP/EA #8 are also 
available during the public comment period at the following locations:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Library                              Address                        City              Zip code
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
St. Tammany Parish Library.............  310 W. 21st Avenue............  Covington................        70433
New Orleans Public Library, Louisiana    219 Loyola Avenue.............  New Orleans..............        70112
 Division.
St. Bernard Parish Library.............  1125 E. St. Bernard Highway...  Chalmette................        70043
Plaquemines Parish Library.............  8442 Highway 23...............  Belle Chasse.............        70037
Jefferson Parish Library, East Bank      4747 W. Napoleon Avenue.......  Metairie.................        70001
 Regional Library.
Jefferson Parish Library, West Bank      2751 Manhattan Boulevard......  Harvey...................        70058
 Regional Library.
Terrebonne Parish Library..............  151 Library Drive.............  Houma....................        70360
Martha Sowell Utley Memorial Library...  314 St. Mary Street...........  Thibodaux................        70301
South Lafourche Public Library.........  16241 E. Main Street..........  Cut Off..................        70345
East Baton Rouge Parish Library........  7711 Goodwood Boulevard.......  Baton Rouge..............        70806
Alex P. Allain Library.................  206 Iberia Street.............  Franklin.................        70538
St. Martin Parish Library..............  201 Porter Street.............  St. Martinville..........        70582
Iberia Parish Library..................  445 E. Main Street............  New Iberia...............        70560
Vermilion Parish Library...............  405 E. St. Victor Street......  Abbeville................        70510
Mark Shirley, LSU AgCenter.............  1105 West Port Street.........  Abbeville................        70510
Calcasieu Parish Public Library Central  301 W. Claude Street..........  Lake Charles.............        70605
 Branch.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Translation Opportunities

    Vietnamese translated materials including the Executing Summary and 
project fact sheets are posted in the ``News'' section of the Louisiana 
TIG's website: http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/restoration-areas/louisiana.

Administrative Record

    The documents comprising the Administrative Record for the Draft 
RP/EA #8 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: March 11, 2022.
Carrie Diane Robinson,
Director, Office of Habitat Conservation, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2022-05553 Filed 3-17-22; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P