Draft Plan for Restoration in Alabama Available for Public Comment
January 13, 2017
NOAA and other natural resource trustees have prepared a Draft Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan/Programmatic Environmental Assessment for the Ciba Geigy – McIntosh Plant (Ciba) Natural Resource Damage Assessment. The plan outlines our injury assessment, the settlement, and the proposed programmatic restoration approach. It also describes the restoration actions we are proposing.
Manufacturing waste and other hazardous substances were released into unlined pits on the Ciba Giegy site in the mid-1900s. Natural resources believed to have been injured include fish, shellfish, migratory birds, and their associated habitats.
In July 2013 the Trustees reached a settlement with BASF (the current owner of the site). The settlement included $3.2 million to be used for planning and implementation of restoration projects in the Upper Mobile-Tensaw River Delta. As part of the settlement, BASF was also required to pay a total of $500,000 to Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Game and Fish Fund. These funds would support ecosystem restoration in the Mobile Bay watershed through support of the Aquatic Biodiversity Center and $1.3 million for past damage assessment costs.
We have identified two types of potential restoration types in this draft plan:
- Riparian habitat acquisition, enhancement, and restoration: Riparian habitat, consisting of floodplain and bottomland hardwood swamp, in the Upper Mobile-Tensaw River Delta would be acquired and deeded to the State of Alabama. The hydrology on the site would be restored to more natural conditions, and invasive plant species would be removed and replaced with native vegetation.
- Riparian habitat enhancement and restoration on state-owned lands:Property currently owned by the State of Alabama in the Upper Mobile-Tensaw River Delta would be enhanced and or restored.
The draft plan is available for public review and comment until February 27, 2017. We are holding a public meeting to facilitate public input on the proposed restoration alternative types.
Public meeting information:
January 31st, 2017, at 6pm
McIntosh Town Hall
206 Commerce Street
McIntosh, Alabama 36553
Public comments received during the comment period will be considered before finalizing the restoration plan and programmatic environmental assessment. Comments can be submitted via email to email@example.com or via mail to:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Coastal Georgia Ecological Services Office
4980 Wildlife Drive NE
Townsend, GA 31331