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Federal Natural Resource Trustees announce next step in BP Deepwater Horizon spill Gulf restoration
Date:2/19/2011

To advance the ongoing natural resource restoration planning process following the BP Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, NOAA and the Department of the Interior (DOI) today announced plans to develop a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) in cooperation with state co-trustees as part of the ongoing Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA). The first step in the PEIS process will be public scoping meetings in each of the affected Gulf Coast states.

In a notice published in the Federal Register, NOAA, DOI, DOD, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas are taking the next step in the ongoing effort to restore the Gulf of Mexico environment to its pre-spill condition. This comes as scientists from those agencies are conducting a comprehensive assessment of the injury to the Gulf Coast region's fish, wildlife and habitats caused by last year's oil spill. The public scoping process will evaluate a range of activities and alternatives that could restore, rehabilitate, or replace injured resources and compensate the public for the loss of human uses of those resources.

"The overall goal of this process is to hold the parties responsible for the spill fully accountable to restore, rehabilitate, replace or acquire the equivalent of natural resources and services injured by the oil spill," said Jane Lubchenco, PhD, under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. "The PEIS will build a framework for future restoration actions, ensuring that the public's voice is incorporated into those designs."

At these PEIS meetings, members of the public will learn about the environmental impacts of the spill, get an early picture of the region's natural resource restoration needs, and may submit comments on the types of programs and projects they would like to see incorporated in future restoration strategie
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Contact: Ben Sherman
ben.sherman@noaa.gov
202-253-5256
NOAA Headquarters
Source:Eurekalert

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