Property Use for Emergency Berm Project for
Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Response
WHEREAS, Pursuant to the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act, R.S. 29:721, et seq., and as a result of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (Oil Spill), a state of emergency (Emergency) was declared through Executive Proclamation No. 20 BJ 2010 and extended through Executive Proclamation No. 37 BJ 2010;
WHEREAS, The Emergency has been declared a Spill of National Significance (SONS) and has impacted, damaged, and continues to impact and damage Louisiana’s natural resources, including land, water, fish, wildlife, fowl and other biota, and likewise has impacted and continues to impact and threaten the livelihoods of Louisiana’s citizens living along the coast, increasing the economic impact of this Emergency;
WHEREAS, Pursuant to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, the United States Coast Guard and British Petroleum America Inc. (BP), the Responsible Party, have established a Unified Area Command to coordinate efforts to control the spill and respond to its effects;
WHEREAS, The Oil Spill has already impacted miles of the Louisiana coastline and marshes, has caused fishery, oyster harvesting area, and beach closures, has resulted in the suspension of additional drilling operations, and has caused the federal government to declare a commercial fisheries failure;
WHEREAS, Many areas of the Louisiana coastline have received heavy oil and sustained catastrophic damage, including Barataria Bay, the Breton Sound, Chandeleur Sound and the barrier islands;
WHEREAS, Louisiana’s coastline is comprised of 3.5 million acres of coastal wetlands, which represent approximately 40 percent of all the coastal wetlands in the Continental United States. Furthermore, billions of dollars in ongoing coastal restoration projects are at risk; and
WHEREAS, In an effort to contain this oil and other hazardous substances in such a manner as to prevent further impacts to the State’s waters and shorelines, and to minimize and mitigate the scope of this damage, the State has proposed and the United States has approved as part of its overall response/removal action for the Emergency a project to construct six (6) sand barriers in the Reaches designated as E-3, E-4, W-8, W-9, W-10 and W-11 in the United States Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District, Emergency Permit NOD-20 dated May 27, 2010, Base File MVN 2010-1066-ETT, in the Gulf of Mexico, east and west of the Mississippi River (Emergency Berm Project).
WHEREAS, U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral James A. Watson, the Federal On-Scene Coordinator, has informed BP in a letter dated June 4, 2010 of his determination that the construction of Emergency Berm Project is, under current circumstances, “a removal action that will achieve the containment and removal of oil;” that the Emergency Berm Project is “an action necessary to minimize or mitigate damage to the public health or welfare in areas affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil discharge;” that “the expense of this project is an appropriate removal cost under the Oil Pollution Act,” and that construction of the Emergency Berm Project should occur on the most expeditious schedule possible.
WHEREAS The State of Louisiana is prepared to undertake the Emergency Berm Project, BP has made funding available for the project consistent with the obligation of responsible parties to receive and pay removal costs, and the State of Louisiana, through the Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration (OCPR), has entered into a contract for construction and completion of the Emergency Berm Project.
WHEREAS, It is necessary to undertake construction of the Emergency Berm Project at Reaches W-8, W-9, W-10, W-11, E-3, and E-4, as soon as reasonably possible in an effort to eliminate the threat to the safety, health, and welfare of the citizens of the state of Louisiana, including the threat to the livelihoods of Louisiana’s citizens living along the coast and increasing economic impact of the Oil Spill, and eliminate and reduce the threat to Louisiana’s natural resources, including land, water, fish, wildlife, fowl and other biota, posed by the Oil Spill;
WHEREAS, It may be necessary to utilize certain property for construction and completion of the Emergency Berm Project; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to R.S. 29:724(D)(4), and subject to applicable requirements for compensation, the Governor may utilize any private property if he finds this necessary to cope with a disaster or emergency;
NOW THEREFORE, I, BOBBY JINDAL , Governor of the State of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and laws of the State of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1 : The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), OCPR, the Louisiana National Guard (LNG), and any other appropriate local, state, or federal governmental entity and their contractors, shall be authorized to access, enter, and utilize public and private lands or other property rights for the Emergency Berm Project, including but not limited to Reaches W-8, W-9, W-10, W-11, E-3, and E-4, as may be necessary to construct and complete the Emergency Berm Project, including but not limited to surveying and staking the project, conducting surveys, soil borings, environmental and cultural resource investigations, accessing the project area, conducting dredging, and depositing and discharging dredge and spoil material, all in accordance with any permits for the Emergency Berm Project or modifications thereto, the designs developed therefore, the authority of CPRA and OCPR as set for in La. R.S. 49:214.1, et seq., and any other similar rule, regulation or law, all with the intent and purpose of completing the Emergency Berm Project as soon as practicable.
SECTION 2: Any entry upon or work performed by government employees or their contractors upon private property shall be in accordance with Louisiana Attorney General Opinion Nos. 05-0360, 05-0360A, and 05-0373, and any compensation for property taken shall be in accordance with the requirements of the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America.
SECTION 3: Any governmental entity seeking reimbursement for work performed as authorized by this Order shall comply with appropriate federal and state statutes and regulations.
SECTION 4: Any work performed pursuant to this Order shall be accompanied by documentation of the actual costs thereof borne by the governmental entity and shall be maintained for possible future reimbursement by any party responsible for the Oil Spill, including but not limited to BP.
SECTION 5: All departments, commissions, boards, offices, entities, agencies, and officers of the state of Louisiana, or any political subdivision thereof, are authorized and directed to cooperate with the OCPR and the CPRA in implementing the provisions of this Order, including the execution of necessary cooperative endeavor agreements.
SECTION 6: This Order is effective upon signature and shall continue in effect until amended, modified, terminated, or rescinded by the Governor, or terminated by operation of law.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the city of Baton Rouge, on this 11th day of June, 2010.
Secretary of State