Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council to Vote on Cleanup Plan
The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council will meet on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. CDT to vote on the Initial Comprehensive Plan: Restoring the Gulf Coast’s Ecosystem and Economy (Plan). The public is invited to attend.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce, and chair of the Council, Penny Pritzker, will preside over the meeting. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal will be in attendance as a Council member and host of the meeting. Council representatives from the other Gulf States and participating federal agencies will be in attendance.
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Commissioner Toby Baker is Governor Rick Perry’s designee to the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, and will represent the state at the meeting.
Meeting materials, including agenda, the Plan, the Response to Public Comments, and a Programmatic Environmental Assessment, will be available beginning Aug. 21, 2013 on the Council’s website.
In addition to voting on the Plan, the Council will hear from some of its key restoration partners including representatives from the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Trustees, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) RESTORE Science Program about their Gulf restoration efforts.
The Draft Plan and the accompanying Draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment were made available for public comment on May 23, 2013, and comments were accepted through July 8, 2013. In June, the Council held public engagement sessions in each of the five impacted Gulf States to ensure the public had an opportunity to submit input on the Draft Plan and the Council’s future restoration planning efforts. In addition, the Council has hosted several Tribal engagement sessions including one on the Draft Plan in June.
The Council received more than 41,000 comments by mail, online and during the engagement meetings. The Plan to be voted on in New Orleans incorporates changes made in response to these comments. The public will have the opportunity to offer comments at the Aug. 28, 2013 meeting on future Council actions.