Memorandum for the Record from Dr. Teresa R. Pohlman Regarding National Environmental Policy Act Requirements, October 1, 2010   [open pdf - 193KB]

From the Background: "The April 20, 2010, explosion and subsequent sinking of the DEEPWATER HORIZON Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit caused a release of oil into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico that was unprecedented in United States history. The release was classified a Spill of National Significance (SONS) [...] by the Commandant of the Coast Guard in a Memorandum issued on 29 April 2010 [...]. Pursuant to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA-90) and the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP), a SONS may be declared for spills that because of severity, size, location, response effort and/or threat to public health and welfare, require extraordinary coordination of federal, tribal, state, local and responsible party resources. [...] During the months of June and July, my staff and I worked with personnel from DHS operational Components [...] on this emergency regulation, its implementation, and to develop workable alternative arrangements to ensure that public participation and full governmental consultation occurs to the extent the emergency situation allows. We coordinated closely with the Council on Environmental Quality to determine relationships to other programs, and equities across the Department and the federal government."

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