[Federal Register: January 7, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 5)]
[Page 1165-1166]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability, Oil Spill Restoration Plan and 
Environmental Assessment

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: The Fish and Wildlife Service, on behalf of the Department of 
the Interior, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
(Administration), the State of Washington, and the Makah Tribe, 
announces the release for public review of a Revised Draft Restoration 
Plan and Environmental Assessment for the Tenyo Maru Oil Spill (Plan/
Assessment). The Plan/Assessment covers the Natural Resource Trustees' 
(Trustees) proposal to restore natural resources injured as a result of 
the 1991 Tenyo Maru fishing vessel oil spill.

DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before February 7, 

ADDRESSES: Requests for copies of the Plan/Assessment may be made to: 
Fish and Wildlife Service, 510 Desmond Drive SE, Suite 102, Lacey, 
Washington 98503, Attn: Cindy M. Chaffee. The Plan/Assessment is also 
available for download at http://www.r1.fws.gov. and http://
www.darcnw.noaa.gov/tenyo.htm. Written comments regarding the Plan/
Assessment should be sent to the same mailing address as requests for 
copies of the Plan/Assessment.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cindy M. Chaffee, Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 510 Desmond Drive SE, Suite 102, Lacey, Washington 98503. 
Interested parties may also call (360) 753-4324.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On July 22, 1991, a Japanese fishing vessel 
(Tenyo Maru) and a Chinese freighter (Tuo Hai) collided about 20 miles 
northwest of Neah Bay, Washington, spilling at least 100,000 gallons of 
oil. Beaches were fouled with oil from Vancouver Island, British 
Columbia to northern Oregon. While impacts were scattered along the 
entire Washington State shoreline and the northern beaches of Oregon, 
the heaviest oiling occurred along the Makah Indian Reservation and the 
Olympic National Park shoreline. Seabirds, and to a lesser extent, kelp 
habitats, were demonstrated to have been injured by the spill. The 
trustees documented that common murres (Uria aalge) and federally 
threatened marbled murrelets (Brachyramphus marmoratus) were killed, as 
well as rhinoceros auklets (Cerorhinca moncerata), tufted puffins 
(Fratercula cirrhata), Cassin's auklets (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) and 
pigeon guillemots (Cepphus columba). Oil was observed in many of the 
giant kelp (Macrocystis) and bull kelp (Nereocystis) dominated kelp 
beds from Cape Alava north to Tatoosh Island and from Tatoosh Island 
east to Waadah Island.
    Claims for natural resource damages were settled by consent decree 
under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (Act), 33 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.. 
Under the consent decree, the defendants agreed to pay approximately 
$5.2 million to the natural resource trustees to compensate the public 
for the injury, destruction, and loss of natural resources resulting 
from the spill.
    On February 10, 1999, the Trustees published a Notice of 
Availability for a draft Plan/Assessment. The Trustees received 
numerous comments on this draft Plan/Assessment. In response to those 
comments, the Trustees have made several changes to the Plan/
Assessment. These changes include: (1) The addition of funding for an 
emergency towing vessel stationed at the entrance to the Strait of Juan 
de Fuca; (2) an option to consider a project involving restoration of 
tufted puffins; and (3) elimination of the Seabird By-Catch Reduction 
in Coastal Net Fisheries Project. In order to help focus public review, 
the revised Plan/Assessment includes the highlighting of additional 
language and strike-out lines where language has been removed from the 
draft Plan/Assessment published last February.
    The Plan/Assessment is presented to the public by the Trustees 
responsible for restoration implementation under the consent decree and 
is consistent with the Natural Resource Damage Assessment Regulations 
found at 15 CFR, Part 990. The Plan/Assessment describes the affected 
environment and illustrates potential restoration alternatives to 
restore, rehabilitate, replace, or acquire the equivalent of natural 
resources injured in the Tenyo Maru oil spill and their environmental 
    The preferred restoration alternative selected by the Trustees is 
an integrative restoration approach that restores populations of 
injured resources, provides quality habitat, and allows natural 
recovery. Proposed restoration efforts will include the combination of 
protection and enhancement activities that have the greatest potential 
to restore the injured natural resources, with particular emphasis on 
seabirds. The Plan/Assessment proposes to restore injured resources by: 
(1) Restoring common murre or potentially, tufted puffin colonies 
within the Copalis National Wildlife Refuge; (2) contributing to an 
oiled wildlife rehabilitation center; (3) educating the public on the 
negative impacts caused by human disturbance of nesting seabird 
colonies; (4) protecting injured natural resources from further impacts 
of oil spills; (5) protecting marbled murrelet habitat; and (6) 
reducing siltation in rivers to aid salmon recovery.

[[Page 1166]]

    Interested members of the public are invited to review and comment 
on the Plan/Assessment. Copies of the plan are available for review at 
the Fish and Wildlife Service's Western Washington Office in Lacey, 
Washington (510 Desmond Drive SE, Suite 102); the Olympic Coast 
National Marine Sanctuary in Port Angeles, Washington (Federal 
Building, 138 West 1st Street, Suite 7) and; the Makah Tribe at Neah 
Bay, Washington (Old Air Force Building #15). Additionally the Plan/
Assessment will be available for review at the Fish and Wildlife 
Service's web site http://www.r1.fws.gov, at Administration's web site 
http://www.darcnw.noaa.gov/tenyo.htm, and at public libraries in 
Clallam, Jefferson, Grays Harbor, and Pacific Counties.
    Written comments will be considered and addressed in the final 
Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment at the conclusion of the 
restoration planning process.

    Dated: January 3, 2000.
Thomas Dwyer,
Acting Regional Director, Region 1, Portland, Oregon.
[FR Doc. 00-334 Filed 1-6-00; 8:45 am]