NOAA release a draft damage assessment & restoration plan for damage caused by the Tank Barge DBL 152 oil spill. Public comment invited.
The draft plan describes the steps NOAA has taken to see if natural resources, such as marine habitats, were injured by the nearly two million gallon spill, as well as the extent of those injuries.
The spill began on November 11, 2005 when the Tank Barge DBL 152 struck submerged remains of a pipeline service platform that collapsed during Hurricane Rita approximately 50 miles southeast of Sabine Pass, Texas.
"Sometimes effects of oil spills are immediate and clearly visible, but often the effects are less obvious and require expertise and time to properly evaluate," said Troy Baker, NOAA's Assessment and Restoration Division acting southeast branch chief who has been leading this project, "Developing this draft plan and the comment period for it is the next step in an ongoing process."
The draft plan also describes environmental restoration proposed by NOAA to compensate the public for environmental injuries resulting from the oil spill. To help address this, NOAA has proposed estuarine shoreline protection and a salt marsh creation project at the Texas Chenier Plain National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Galveston Bay. Once the plan is finalized, NOAA would apply to the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund -- which is funded through costs and penalties recovered from polluters as well as taxes on the petroleum industry -- to fund the restoration.
The Restoration Plan may be accessed here.