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Notice

Notice of Availability of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group Draft Supplemental Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for the Cypremort Point State Park Improvements Project Modification

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AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Notice of availability; request for public comments.

SUMMARY:

On July 20, 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a Notice of Availability of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group (Louisiana TIG) Final Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #4: Nutrient Reduction (Nonpoint Source) and Recreational Use (RP/EA #4). The Louisiana TIG is considering modifications to the Cypremort Point State Park Improvements (Cypremort Improvements) project originally described in the RP/EA #4. The modifications being considered include replacing the original proposed breakwater system project feature with construction of a recreational vehicle (RV) campground, associated infrastructure, and amenities at the park. In accordance with the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Federal and State natural resource trustee agencies for the Louisiana TIG prepared a Draft Supplemental Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for the Cypremort Point State Park Improvements Project Modification (Supplemental RP/EA). The Supplemental RP/EA evaluates modifications to the Cypremort Improvements project and alternatives considered by the Louisiana TIG under criteria set forth in the OPA natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) regulations and evaluates the environmental effects in accordance with the NEPA. The modifications under consideration to the Cypremort Improvements project are consistent with the restoration alternatives selected in the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Final Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan/Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PDARP/PEIS). This notice informs the public of the availability of the Supplemental RP/EA and provides an opportunity for the public to submit comments on the document.

DATES:

The Louisiana TIG will consider public comments received on or before May 20, 2020.

Public Webinar: The Louisiana TIG will conduct a public webinar on April 28, 2020, at 12 p.m. Central Daylight Time to facilitate public review and comment on the Supplemental RP/EA. The public webinar will include a presentation on the Supplemental RP/EA. Public comments will be taken during the public webinar. The public may register for the webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/​register/​2110487686130281741. After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the webinar. The presentation will be posted on the web shortly after the webinar is conducted.

ADDRESSES:

Obtaining Documents: You may download the Supplemental RP/EA at any of the following sites:

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

Submitting Comments: You may submit comments on the Supplemental RP/EA by one of the following methods:

Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or withdrawn. The Louisiana TIG may publish any comment received on the document. Do not submit electronically any information you Start Printed Page 21853consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The Louisiana TIG will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). Please be aware that your entire comment, including your personal identifying information, will become part of the public record. Please note that mailed comments must be postmarked on or before the comment deadline of 30 days following publication of this notice to be considered.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

  • Louisiana—Joann Hicks, 225-342-5477
  • EPA—Douglas Jacobson, 214-665-6692
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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 the release of 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. The Trustees conducted the natural resource damage assessment for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (33 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.). Under 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 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 oil spill Trustees are:

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA);
  • 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);
  • 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 Parks and Wildlife Department, General Land Office, and Commission on Environmental Quality.

On April 4, 2016, the Trustees reached and finalized a settlement of their natural resource damage claims with BP in a 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 chosen and managed by the Louisiana TIG. The Louisiana TIG is composed of the following Trustees: CPRA, LOSCO, LDEQ, LDWF, LDNR, EPA, DOI, NOAA, USDA.

Background

The original scope of the Cypremort Improvements project was evaluated in the RP/EA #4, which was published in the Federal Register at 83 FR 34571 on July 20, 2018. As proposed in the RP/EA #4, the project would entail a variety of park enhancements including beach restoration, marsh boardwalk and trail construction, road and jetty repairs, and replacement of the breakwater system that helps protect the park's recreational beach. Following completion of the RP/EA #4, the Louisiana Office of State Parks was successful in securing other non-NRDA funding to construct the breakwater system that was originally proposed as a component of the Cypremort Improvements project. The Louisiana TIG prepared the Supplemental RP/EA to evaluate modifications to the Cypremort Improvements project and consider alternatives, consistent with the purpose and need of the original project. Alternatives considered in the Supplemental RP/EA include replacing the original proposed breakwater system project feature with construction of an RV campground, associated infrastructure, and amenities at the park. The Louisiana TIG prepared the Supplemental RP/EA to inform the public about potential modifications to the Cypremort Improvements project and to seek public comment.

Next Steps

The public is encouraged to review and comment on the Supplemental RP/EA. A public webinar is scheduled to help facilitate the public review and comment process. After the public comment period ends, the Louisiana TIG will consider the comments received before issuing a Final Supplemental RP/EA. 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. Public comments on the Supplemental RP/EA will inform the Louisiana TIG's decision on whether to select the Cypremort Improvements project, as modified, in the Final Supplemental RP/EA.

Administrative Record

The documents comprising the Administrative Record for the Supplemental RP/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.), its implementing NRDA regulations found at 15 CFR part 990, and the NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).

Start Signature

Dated: March 31, 2020.

Benita Best-Wong,

Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Water.

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[FR Doc. 2020-07263 Filed 4-17-20; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6560-50-P