Emerald Coast ChapterWe are the beach people. The surfers, paddle boarders, kayakers, fishermen, swimmers, beach runners, and walkers. We are activists who want to protect the ocean environment, and our access to it! The ocean and beaches are our playground! More Details
On December 14th, the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Trustees released the Deepwater Horizon Draft Phase I Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment (DERP/EA) for public comment. The plan proposes the initial eight projects – two each in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi – to receive funding from the $1 billion Early Restoration Framework Agreement announced by the Trustees and BP on April 21, 2011. The proposed projects include shoreline marsh creation, coastal dune habitat restoration, nearshore artificial reef creation, oyster cultch restoration and construction of boat ramp facilities. The Trustees will hold 12 public meetings in January and February 2012 throughout Gulf Coast communities and in Washington, D.C. to solicit formal public comment on the DERP/EA.
Florida’s meeting will be held on Jan 11 in Fort Walton Beach and Jan 12 in Pensacola.
Visit www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov to view the DERP/EA, access public meeting details, view additional details of the proposed Early Restoration projects, and submit public comment. The public comment period will end February 14, 2012.
On December 5th, Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) introduced the “Ban Toxic Dispersants Act” (H.R. 3562), which would amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to establish new procedures for the use of chemical dispersants in oil cleanup efforts. The bill would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to carry out a new rulemaking procedure to establish baseline levels of toxicity and effectiveness, taking into account a study of the acute and chronic risks posed by the use of dispersants. The EPA would be required to determine whether it is safe to use these dispersants before granting any approvals. The bill includes a temporary moratorium on the use of dispersants until the rulemaking and study ensuring their safety is complete. The EPA, however, could grant conditional approvals if it determines that there will be no negative impact on human health or the environment. The bill would also require that the ingredients and the location of applied dispersants be made available to the public online.