[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 187 (Tuesday, September 27, 2011)]
[Pages 59731-59732]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-24769]

[[Page 59731]]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R8-FHC-2011-N176; 81420-9812-0520-Y4-FY11]

Draft Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Environmental 
Assessment for the M/V Cosco Busan Oil Spill

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments.


SUMMARY: In accordance with the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) and the 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), we, the Federal and State 
trustee agencies (trustees), have written a Draft Damage Assessment and 
Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment (draft DARP/EA) that 
describes proposed alternatives for restoring injured natural resources 
and compensating recreational losses resulting from the Cosco Busan oil 
spill, which occurred in November 2007 in the San Francisco Bay Area. 
The purpose of this notice is to inform the public of the availability 
of the draft DARP/EA and to seek written comments on our proposed 
restoration alternatives in the draft DARP/EA.

DATES: We will consider public comments received on or before October 
31, 2011.

ADDRESSES: You may download the Draft Damage Assessment and Restoration 
Plan/Environmental Assessment (draft DARP/EA) at any of the following 
Web sites:
    Alternatively, you may request paper copies of the draft DARP/EA 
from Janet Whitlock, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2800 Cottage Way, 
Room W-2605, Sacramento, CA 95825-1888. For other methods of obtaining 
the draft DARP/EA, as well as how to view the administrative record for 
this action, please see Obtaining Documents for Comment.
    You may submit comments on the draft DARP/EA by one of the 
following methods:
     E-mail: janet_whitlock@fws.gov.
     U.S. Mail or Hand Delivery: Janet Whitlock, at the above 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Janet Whitlock, at the above address.



    On November 7, 2007, the cargo carrier M/V Cosco Busan struck a 
portion of the fendering system for the San Francisco-Oakland Bay 
Bridge's Delta Tower. This ruptured one or more of the vessel's fuel 
tanks, allowing a portion of the vessel's bunker oil to be discharged 
into the San Francisco Bay. The estimated discharge amounted to 
approximately 53,000 gallons of Intermediate Fuel Oil 380, a heavy fuel 
oil used primarily to propel ships. The oil spread with the tides 
throughout the central San Francisco Bay and outside the Bay as far 
north as Point Reyes and as far south as Half Moon Bay oiling 
shorelines and wildlife. A wide variety of resources were impacted, 
including birds, fish, shoreline habitats, and human recreational 
    We, the Federal and State trustees, have completed the injury 
assessment under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA; 33 U.S.C. 2701 et 
seq.), and have estimated that 6,849 birds were killed, 3,367 acres of 
shoreline habitat were oiled, 14-29 percent of the 2007-08 herring 
spawn was lost, and 1,079,000 human recreational trips were lost.
    The trustees are:
     U.S. Department of the Interior, acting through the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and the Bureau of 
Land Management;
     U.S. Department of Commerce, acting through the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and
     State of California, acting through the California 
Department of Fish and Game and the California State Lands Commission.

Legal Settlement

    The trustees negotiated a settlement in which the responsible 
parties, the owner and the operator of the vessel under OPA, will pay 
damages to compensate the public for the injuries to natural resources 
and lost recreation. The Consent Decree, the legal agreement which 
gives effect to the settlement, has been lodged in the Federal District 
Court and is the subject of a separate Federal Register notice and 
public comment period. Pursuant to the Consent Decree, the trustees 
expect to receive $32.3 million to implement and oversee restoration 
projects to benefit the resources that were injured in the spill and 
the public whose use of the resources was disrupted. The trustees 
anticipate allocating funds among the categories of injured resources 
and public use enhancements as follows: $5 million to benefit birds, $4 
million to benefit shoreline habitats, $2.5 million to benefit eelgrass 
and fish, and $18.8 million for recreational improvements. Additional 
details regarding the proposed use of these funds are included in the 
draft DARP/EA and are summarized below.

Overview of the Draft DARP/EA


    The draft DARP/EA is being released in accordance with the OPA, the 
Natural Resource Damage Assessment regulations found in the Code of 
Federal Regulations (CFR) at 15 CFR part 990, and the National 
Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) It describes the 
trustees' proposal to restore natural resources injured by the M/V 
Cosco Busan spill and evaluates the impacts of the preferred 
restoration actions. The draft DARP/EA also describes the injury 
assessment; uses selection criteria to evaluate various projects to 
benefit birds, fish and eelgrass, and shoreline habitats; and discusses 
the environmental consequences of each preferred project. In addition, 
the draft DARP/EA describes a process for selecting recreational 
improvement projects.

Preferred Restoration Actions

    The preferred restoration actions to benefit birds proposed in the 
draft DARP/EA include: creating roosting and nesting platforms on the 
old Berkeley Pier; nest site improvements on the Farallon Islands; 
water level management for wintering diving birds at the South Bay Salt 
Ponds; Grebe colony enhancement at Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge; 
marbled murrelet nesting habitat protection at Humboldt Redwoods and 
Grizzly Creek State Parks; and projects benefiting surf scoters and 
diving ducks.
Shoreline Habitats
    Preferred restoration actions to benefit shoreline habitats 
include: Dune restoration at Muir Beach in the Golden Gate National 
Recreation Area; restoration at Albany Beach in the East Bay; 
restoration at Aramburu Island; native oyster restoration at multiple 
sites in San Francisco Bay; and rockweed restoration at multiple sites 
in San Francisco Bay.
Fish and Eelgrass
    Preferred restoration actions to benefit fish and eelgrass include 
eelgrass restoration at multiple sites in the San Francisco Bay.
Recreational Improvement Projects
    Preferred restoration actions to benefit recreational uses 
throughout the Bay

[[Page 59732]]

Area and outer coast will be determined through a separate process.

Administrative Record

    Pursuant to the OPA Natural Resource Damage Assessment regulations, 
the trustees have developed an Administrative Record that informs the 
public of information considered by them in restoration planning. 
Additional information and documents, including public comments 
received on this draft DARP/EA, the Final Restoration Plan (when it 
becomes available), and other related restoration planning documents, 
will also become part of the Administrative Record.

Request for Comments

    Interested members of the public are invited to review and comment 
on the draft DARP/EA by the methods listed under ADDRESSES. Note that 
there are separate instructions in the draft DARP/EA document on how to 
submit comments. If you submit written comments according to the 
instructions in the draft DARP/EA, please do not resubmit them using 
another method. Submit only one set of comments by only one of the 
methods listed in this notice or by the method listed in the draft 
    Written comments will be considered and addressed in the final 
DARP/EA at the conclusion of the restoration planning process. Comments 
will become part of the administrative record and available for public 
review as part of the record.

Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.

Obtaining Documents for Comment


    The draft DARP/EA can be viewed in person by contacting Janet 
Whitlock at (916) 414-6599.

Administrative Record

    The documents comprising the Administrative Record can be viewed 
electronically at the following location:
    The administrative record is on file at the following location:
     California Department of Fish and Game, Office of Spill 
Prevention and Response, 1700 K Street, Suite 250, Sacramento, CA 
    Arrangements may be made to view the record at this location by 
contacting Steve Hampton by telephone at (916) 323-4724.


    The primary author of this notice is Janet Whitlock (address 


    The authority for this action is the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (33 
U.S. C. 2701 et seq.) and the implementing Natural Resource Damage 
Assessment regulations found at 15 CFR part 990.

    Dated: September 19, 2011.
Alexandra Pitts,
Acting Regional Director, Pacific Southwest Region.
[FR Doc. 2011-24769 Filed 9-26-11; 8:45 am]