Mississippi Asking for Public Input on Types of Early Restoration Needed in Gulf


(JACKSON, Miss.) — This Tuesday, July 16, in Long Beach, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) is asking citizens to provide thoughts on the types of early restoration they would like to see implemented as part of the ongoing Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA).


“Making the Gulf whole following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and providing citizens the opportunity to participate in restoration are our primary objectives,” said MDEQ Executive Director Trudy D. Fisher.  “I encourage the public to attend this meeting and provide any information they think the Trustees should consider as the scoping process for early restoration begins.”


The Mississippi meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. in the University of Southern Mississippi FEC Auditorium located at 730 East Beach Boulevard in Long Beach.


All public comments will be taken into consideration as the Deepwater Horizon NRDA Trustees begin preparing a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for early restoration. The PEIS will include an evaluation of the potential effects of early restoration types—and specific projects—proposed as part of future early restoration phases. Cumulative impacts of early restoration will also be considered.


Development of the early restoration PEIS began with a public scoping period, which is from June 4 to August 2, 2013. Meetings, identical to the one in Mississippi, are being held across the Gulf Coast states and in Washington, D.C., to gather input on the scope, content, and any significant issues that should be considered.


Fisher said, “At the meeting, citizens will be provided with a brief overview of early restoration and the PEIS purpose and need. Following this, the most important portion of the meeting will begin – hearing citizens’ concerns and thoughts of how early restoration should move forward.”


The public is invited to make comments in writing or verbally during the meeting. Comments may also be mailed to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,  P. O. Box 2099, Fairhope, AL, 36533, emailed to earlyrestorationcomments@fws.gov or electronically filed by visiting www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov. The deadline for all comments is August 2, 2013.

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