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The Natural Resources Trustees for the M/V Selendang Ayu oil spill have released a draft Assessment Plan for public review. In December of 2004, the M/V Selendang Ayu shipping vessel ran aground and split in half, spilling oil and its soybean cargo on the northern shores of Unalaska Island. The draft Assessment Plan describes the Trustees’ proposed future natural resource damage assessment and restoration activities that will be needed in order to identify appropriate compensatory restoration projects for this spill.
The Plan describes how the Trustees intend to complete the evaluation of the oil spill’s harm done to marine birds, marine mammals, other marine resources, and the human uses of those natural resources. Secondly, the Plan describes the work to be done to develop and evaluate restoration ideas, obtaining input from stakeholder groups. The Plan also describes a rough budget for the evaluation work. Once the Plan is final, the Trustees will submit it along with a funding request to the U.S. Coast Guard’s National Pollution Funds Center.
If adequate funding is awarded by the Coast Guard, the Trustees will work in 2016 and 2017 to complete the assessment and draft a restoration plan. The draft restoration plan would describe the Trustees’ findings with respect to the magnitude of the harm to natural resources and to the human uses of those resources, the proposed compensatory restoration projects that would offset those harms, and the costs of those projects. The draft restoration plan would go through a formal public comment process. The final restoration plan would be the basis of a second request to the U.S. Coast Guard for funding to implement the restoration work.
The Natural Resources Trustees are comprised of federal and state agency representatives, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Alaska Departments of Law, Fish and Game, Environmental Conservation, and Natural Resources. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service representative is the point of contact for the Natural Resources Trustees.
The draft Assessment Plan is available on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s website at http://1.usa.gov/1jXlw6v