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Draft Restoration Plan for the Cohasset, MN Enbridge Energy Oil Spill
Date Posted: September 14, 2005The public is invited to review and comment on the Draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for the July 4, 2002 Enbridge Energy oil spill near Cohasset, MN (Draft RP/EA). The Draft RP/EA has been prepared by the Natural Resource Trustees (U.S. Department of the Interior acting through its representatives, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Indian Affairs; the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe; the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, as state co-trustees) and Enbridge, the responsible party, to consider and evaluate actions that will restore, rehabilitate, replace, and/or acquire the equivalent of natural resources and services impacted by the discharge of oil and subsequent response actions at the Cohasset Site. Public comments will be accepted through October 24, 2005.
The Draft RP/EA is being made available to the public under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA), its Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDA) regulations and the National Environmental Policy Act regulations. The document includes descriptions of the incident and the injury assessment procedures used; the nature, degree, and spatial and temporal extent of injuries resulting from the incident; goals and objectives of restoration; the range of restoration alternatives considered and how alternatives were developed; the Trustees’ proposed preferred alternative; and how monitoring restoration effectiveness will be addressed through the use of performance criteria to determine the success of restoration or need for interim corrective action.
In accordance with NRDA regulations, the Trustees considered a reasonable range of restoration alternatives before selecting a preferred alternative. Restoration alternatives evaluated in this plan are intended to fully address the adverse impacts to natural resources that resulted from the release of oil by returning injured natural resources and their services to pre-spill baseline, as well as compensating the public and environment for interim losses pending recovery. Alternatives considered are categorized as: No Action/Natural Recovery, Off-Site Replacement to preserve existing conditions at an off-site location, and Off-Site Restoration to improve currently degraded conditions at an off-site location.
The Off-Site Restoration Alternative was proposed as the preferred alternative because it has the greatest potential to restore the same type and quality, and comparable value natural resources and services as those affected by the discharge of oil. This alternative would achieve the Trustees’ restoration goals, has a high probability of success, does not result in significant collateral injury nor adverse health or safety impacts, provides benefit to multiple natural resources, and the estimated costs are reasonable and acceptable.
Comments on the draft plan are welcome and must be submitted in writing to Annette Trowbridge, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4101 E. 80th Street, Bloomington, MN 55425; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments should be received no later than October 24, 2005. All comments will be made publicly available for review during regular business hours. Individual respondents may request, in writing, confidentiality of their name and/or address. Such requests for confidentiality will be honored to the extent allowed by law. Comments from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses will be made available for public review in their entirety. Anonymous comments will not be considered.