Padre Island National Seashore Superintendent Joe Escoto and Donna Shaver, the National Seashore’s Chief of Sea Turtle Science and Recovery Division, release 94 Kemp’s ridley sea turtle hatchlings, a federally-endangered species, on June 28, 2012, along the Texas coast. A sea turtle restoration project is one of two natural resource restoration projects proposed in the Draft Phase II Restoration Plan. Photo credit: NPS.
On November 6, 2012, the federal and state natural resource trustees opened a 30-day public comment period on “Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Draft Phase II Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Review.”
The natural resource trustees in this case include:
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill began on April 20, 2010, when the floating, mobile drilling unit Deepwater Horizon, which was drilling an exploratory oil well 50 miles off the Louisiana coast in the Gulf of Mexico for BP Exploration and Production, Inc., exploded, caught fire and sank. Over the next three months, an estimated 210 million gallons of crude oil was released into the Gulf. Additionally, some 771,000 gallons of dispersants were applied to the oil both on the surface and one mile down at the wellhead as a response action.
One year after the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon, BP and the trustees entered into an agreement that called for BP to set aside $1 billion for publicly-reviewed, early restoration projects mutually agreed upon by BP and the trustees. A publicly-reviewed Phase I Early Restoration Plan, detailing eight natural resource restoration projects worth $60 million, was released by the trustees in April 2012.
This Draft Phase II Early Restoration Plan proposes two additional, early restoration projects worth about $9 million:
Written comments on the Draft Phase II Early Restoration Plan must be received by the trustees -- via e-mail, via the web or via regular mail -- by Monday, December 10, 2012.