This is the second phase of the NRDA process. Much of the initial “preassessment” phase has already occurred — and trustees have already received $45 million in payments from responsible parties to conduct important preassessment activities including the collection of time-critical data in the field.
During that phase, trustees collected time-sensitive data, reviewed scientific literature about the oil and its impact on coastal resources, and made initial determinations that resources have been injured and that those injuries can be addressed by appropriate restoration actions. During the injury assessment and restoration planning phase, trustees will assess the nature and amount of injuries and develop a restoration plan.
Consistent with OPA, the trustees’ goals are to recover from responsible parties damages equal to what is necessary to return the environment to the conditions that would have existed if the oil spill had not occurred (known as “baseline conditions”) and to recover compensation on behalf of the public for the diminished value of the injured resources from the time of the injury until restoration is achieved. By regulation, these two phases will be followed by a “restoration” phase, during which the trustees will work with the public to implement, and monitor restoration projects.
The second phase of NRDA began with a Notice of Intent to Conduct Restoration Planning indicates that the trustees, representing three federal Departments and the five affected states, have begun to formally identify and document impacts to the gulf’s natural resources, and the public’s loss of use and enjoyment of these resources, as the first stage under the regulations for developing a restoration strategy. Pre-assessment data collected, analyzed and quality-checked, are available to the public on the NOAA oil spill science missions and data website and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service oil spill response website.
“Our early analysis has documented clear detrimental effects to animals and habitats in the Gulf ecosystem,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “While we will continue collecting and analyzing samples, the trustees also will begin crafting an equally comprehensive restoration strategy. Our goal is to forge a restoration plan that is steeped in science, sharpened by public input and strongly rooted in the public good. The citizens of the Gulf Coast deserve nothing less.”
“The restoration of the Gulf of Mexico is a high priority for the entire Obama administration and we will be diligent and vigilant to ensure that the damages are fully assessed and a full and scientifically sound restoration strategy is both developed and implemented,” said Tom Strickland, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
Under the Natural Resource Damage Assessment process outlined by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, the trustees have authority to identify potential restoration projects and will solicit public comment on these projects before finalizing the restoration plan. The public may also have opportunities to provide hands-on assistance in selected restoration projects.
Federal regulations, under the Oil Pollution Act, require that the responsible parties be invited to participate in the NRDA process. The trustees will seek damages to implement the final restoration plan from the parties identified as being responsible for the spill.
According to the trustees, the full extent of potential injuries is currently unknown and may not be known for some time. However, according to the Notice of Intent, as of August 19, the trustees had documented oil on more than 950 miles of shoreline, including salt marshes, sandy beaches, mudflats and mangroves. As of June 29, the trustees had captured more than 1,900 live oiled birds and 400 live oiled sea turtles. They had also collected more than 1,850 visibly oiled dead birds, 17 visibly oiled dead sea turtles and five visibly oiled dead marine mammals. These numbers represent only a portion of the wildlife that have been impacted by the spill and the restoration planning process will further refine the total impact of this spill on the habitats and animals in the gulf.
The three federal trustees are the Department of the Interior (acting on behalf of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management), NOAA (on behalf of the Department of Commerce) and the Department of Defense. State trustees for Alabama are the Geological Survey of Alabama and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The Florida state trustee is the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Louisiana State trustees are the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources. The State trustee for Mississippi is the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. Lastly, the Texas State trustees are the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and the Texas General Land Office.
Ben Sherman | EurekAlert!
Plant seeds survive machine washing - Dispersal of invasive plants with clothes
11.09.2018 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.
Air pollution leads to cardiovascular diseases
21.08.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
The building blocks of matter in our universe were formed in the first 10 microseconds of its existence, according to the currently accepted scientific picture. After the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, matter consisted mainly of quarks and gluons, two types of elementary particles whose interactions are governed by quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of strong interaction. In the early universe, these particles moved (nearly) freely in a quark-gluon plasma.
This is a joint press release of University Muenster and Heidelberg as well as the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.
Then, in a phase transition, they combined and formed hadrons, among them the building blocks of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons. In the current issue of...
Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.
"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...
A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.
Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...
Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.
An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome, providing the research community with an invaluable resource to decode the response of fish to...
21.09.2018 | Event News
03.09.2018 | Event News
27.08.2018 | Event News
21.09.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
21.09.2018 | Life Sciences
21.09.2018 | Event News