North Cape Oil Spill

Restoration Plan

SUMMARY OF CHANGES TO THE SEPTEMBER 14, 1998 DRAFT RESTORATION PLAN

JANUARY 19, 1996 NORTH CAPE OIL SPILL

 

STATE OF RHODE ISLAND AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS - DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT;

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE/NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION;

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR/FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE

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Since distribution of the September 14, 1998 Draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for the January 19,1996 North Cape Oil Spill, (Draft RP/EA) the Trustees have received comments from the public as well as additional information from Trustee and Responsible Party (RP) technical experts. In response to this input, the Trustees have made several changes to underlying technical reports and the Draft RP/EA. For this reason, the Trustees are submitting a Revised Draft RP/EA for public comment. Major changes incorporated into the Revised Draft RP/EA are summarized below.

With respect to injury quantification, the Trustees have moderately reduced the estimate of loon and other marine bird injury. Specifically, Trustee estimates of lost loon-years and eider-years decreased from 4,385 to 3,749 and 3,203 to 2,605, respectively. In both cases, the decrease primarily resulted from an adjustment to the estimated number of fledglings that would have been produced by loons and other marine birds killed by the spill. A detailed discussion of the injury quantification analysis can be found in the report "Injury Quantification and Restoration Scaling for Marine Birds Killed as a Result of the North Cape Oil Spill."

All of the preferred restoration projects proposed by the Trustees in the September 14, 1998 Draft RP/EA have been modified to reflect the revised Trustee assumption of project implementation in 2000, rather than 1999. This change results in an increase in associated restoration objectives of 3 percent, absent other changes to restoration scaling analyses. Additional, project-specific changes are outlined below.

For lobster restoration, the Trustees have eliminated male lobsters from the restocking project. Thus, the total lobster restocking requirement has dropped from 1.536 million male and female lobsters to 1.248 million female lobsters. This modification was made in response to concerns that harvesting prohibitions on restocked male lobsters would impose additional costs on lobstermen without providing substantive restoration benefits. Based on available information, the Trustees expect that the existing male lobster population will be sufficient to fertilize restocked females, eliminating the need to restock males. The Trustee estimate of average, ex-vessel lobster prices has also been updated to reflect 1998 data ($3.83 per pound), which reflects a higher price than the 1996 data ($3.45 per pound) used in the Draft RP/EA. Overall, lobster restoration costs in the Revised Draft RP/EA total $9.9 million, compared to $10.9 million in the earlier draft.

For shellfish restoration, the Trustees have replaced the quahog seeding project with an oyster seeding project. Information provided to the Trustees indicated that juvenile quahog survival rates assumed in the RP/EA should be reduced. Appropriate reductions in this survival rate increased the amount of seed needed for the quahog project, raising estimated project costs to the point where oysters became a more cost-effective restoration alternative. Because of project risks associated with oyster disease-related mortality, the Trustees have increased the contingency from 25 percent of project costs to 100 percent. Overall, shellfish restoration costs in the Revised Draft RP/EA total $6.0 million, compared to $3.8 million in the earlier draft.

For loon restoration, the Trustees have provided a more detailed description of the responsibilities of the field biologists, in particular emphasizing their involvement in educational outreach activities. The restoration scaling analysis was revised to ensure consistency with analytic methods and biological parameters used for injury quantification (see "Injury Quantification and Restoration Scaling for Marine Birds Killed as a Result of the North Cape Oil Spill" for more detailed information). Additional discounting was performed to more appropriately reflect timing differences between injury and the implementation of the restoration project. Finally, per-nest costs were updated to reflect recent, project-specific land acquisition developments. The combined impact of these changes and changes to the loon injury quantification resulted in the same nest protection requirement (33 nests) as the Draft RP/EA. However, estimated project costs decreased from $9.4 million to $7.5 million, based on the Trusteesā revised estimates of land acquisition costs.

Similar changes were made to the restoration scaling for marine bird habitat protection. The net effect of these changes was to reduce the nest protection requirement from 414 to 315 eider nests. The approximate cost of this restoration project is now $631,000, compared to $719,000 in the Draft RP/EA.

Other relatively minor changes have been made to the Revised Draft RP/EA. Although too numerous to concisely summarize in this document, the net impact of all changes on proposed restoration projects can be seen in Table 1 below.

Table 1

COMPARISON OF PROPOSED RESTORATION PROJECT COSTS IN SEPTEMBER 14, 1998 DRAFT RP/EA AND MARCH 31, 1999 REVISED DRAFT RP/EA

Estimated Total Project Cost

Restoration Project

3/31/99 Revised Draft RP/EA

9/14/98 Draft RP/EA

Adult Lobster Restocking

$9,915,625

$10,943,220

Shellfish Restoration

$5,954,110

$3,813,700

Piping Plover Habitat Protection

$232,706

$232,706

Loon Habitat Protection

$7,485,170

$9,416,900

Marine Bird Habitat Protection

$631,250

$718,750

Salt Pond Land Acquisition

$1,782,500

$1,600,000

Shore Access/Fish Runs

$281,685

$281,685

Subtotal

$26,283,046

$26,998,776

Project Oversight

$1,314,152

$1,349,939

TOTAL

$27,597,198

$28,348,714

 

The Revised Draft RP/EA and relevant technical documents have been placed in the Administrative Record, which can be viewed at the following two locations:

Office of Waste Management
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade Street
Providence, RI 02908
Contact: Warren Angell, (401) 277-3872, and

 

Pell Marine Science Library
University of Rhode Island
South Ferry Road
Narragansett, RI 02882
Contact: Eleanor Uhlinger, (401) 874-6161

Following a public notice, the Revised Draft RP/EA will be available to the public for a 21-day comment period. Written comments received during the public comment period will be considered by the Trustees before finalizing the document. Public review of the Revised Draft RP/EA is consistent with all state and federal laws and regulations that apply to the natural resource damage assessment process, including Section 1006 of OPA, the regulations for Natural Resource Damage Assessment under OPA (15 CFR Part 990), NEPA (42 USC ' 4371, et seq.) and the regulations implementing NEPA (40 CFR Part 1500, et seq.). Comments on this draft should be sent to Sarah Thompson at Industrial Economics, Incorporated, at the address provided below. Industrial Economics, Incorporated is assisting the Trustees in the preparation of this RP/EA.

Industrial Economics, Incorporated
2067 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02140

There is no need to resubmit comments previously submitted concerning the September 14, 1998 Draft RP/EA. Those comments have been placed in the Administrative Record, have been considered by the Trustees and, where appropriate, have resulted in changes to the Draft RP/EA. The Trustees will respond to comments previously received, as well as with respect to any additional comments concerning the Revised Draft RP/EA, when the Final RP/EA is issued.

Read the September 15, 1998 press release

Download the revised report in Microsoft Word '97 (.doc) format

Cover

Table of Contents

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Appendix A

Appendix B

 

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Cover

Table of Contents

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Appendix A

Appendix B