Trustees want input on proposed oil spill plan

MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST — With the recently released Deepwater Horizon Draft Phase I Early Restoration Plan & Environmental Assessment (DERP/EA), federal and state trustees are asking the public to come make formal comments on the proposed plan for early restoration projects following the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill of 2010.

Consisting of eight projects, two of which are Mississippi specific, the plan is the first step in implementing early restoration prior to the completion of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment, a legally required scientific assessment that was set in motion following the oil spill.

To receive public input on the proposed projects, the Deepwater Horizon trustees are holding a series of meetings across the Gulf, including three to be held in Mississippi’s coastal counties.

The natural resource trustee for the State of Mississippi and executive director of MDEQ, Trudy D. Fisher will be on hand along with numerous subject matter experts and federal partners, to assist citizens and hear comments.

The upcoming meetings, all of which will run 6 p.m.-9 p.m., will be held Jan. 17, at the Gautier Convention Center, Jan. 18, 2012 at the Westside Community Center in Gulfport and Jan. 19, 2012 at the Bay St. Louis Community Hall

The format of the meetings will consist of an open-house session from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in which individuals can get information, ask questions or make comments. There will be a short presentation following the open house after which comments will be received in a group setting.

For additional information about the plan, visit www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov or www.MDEQNRDA.com.

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