CASE STUDY THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT AND THE DISPOSITION OF EX-ORISKANY

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2012-11-14

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Abstract

A decommissioned former Navy aircraft carrier, ex-ORISKANY, was successfully scuttled as an artificial reef in Gulf of Mexico off Pensacola, in Northwestern Florida, on May 17, 2006. Extensive environmental planning and analysis was completed by the Navy, State of Florida, and Escambia County, and other stakeholders in the years prior. Key environmental planning and documentation included: • Human Health Risk Assessment • Ecological Assessment • Scoping, Coordination, Consultation, and Public Participation • Permitting • Mitigation • States Application for Navy Donation • Environmental Assessment Document • (Action) Decision and Donation to the State of Florida • Modeling the Environmental Fate of Polychlorinated Biphenyls • Review by an Environmental Protection Agency Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) • Post Action Monitoring The ex-Oriskany artificial reef has provided beneficial and thriving hard bottom habitat populated by diverse populations of fish, encrusting organisms, and many other reef species. The artificial reef has been used for recreational scuba diving and fishing, and it provides a lucrative tourist attraction for beach resorts in proximity. However, results of post action environmental monitoring at the reef site found varying and elevated concentrations of PCBs in fish tissues, resulting in a continued monitoring program. In this paper, I propose to review the environmental planning and monitoring activities completed for this action, provide some overarching program observations, and explore the potential for opportunities to enhance the Artificial Reef Program as part of the Navy’s overall management programs for decommissioned ships, in alignment with the National Environmental Policy Act.

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Mitchell, Ted (2012). CASE STUDY THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT AND THE DISPOSITION OF EX-ORISKANY. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/5990.


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