PEP Comments on Alabama’s Draft Initial State Expenditure Plan

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The Board of Directors and members of Partners for Environmental Progress (PEP) appreciate the time and effort that the members of the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council (AGCRC) have invested in developing the draft State Expenditure Plan (SEP) for the RESTORE Act Spill Impact Component.

During the past few years, PEP has communicated to you our strongly held belief that all projects selected for funding must use the best available science and the best environmental and management practices, and should only have beneficial and positive environmental impacts. We have emphasized that all projects should be consistent with the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program’s Comprehensive Conservation & Management Plan and the numerous individual comprehensive watershed management plans being developed around the area – all of which have included a significant level of community outreach and input.

In light of the initial focus on Economic and Infrastructure projects and related Planning
Assistance, PEP asked the AGCRC to select economic/infrastructure/planning projects that also provide significant and beneficial environmental impacts and community enhancement -the
triple bottom line. Specifically, we advocated for projects addressing waste and stormwater
infrastructure, improved habitat restoration, and the Three Mile Creek Watershed Restoration
and Greenway Initiative. We are pleased that more than half of the funds allocated through the Draft SEP are dedicated to projects that will have a positive triple bottom line impact on our region. Many of the projects we continue to support are included in the Draft SEP.

These projects include but are not limited to:

• Project 5, Sand Resources for Beach Restoration

• Project 12, Perch Creek Area Sanitary Sewer Trunk Line CIPP

• Project 15, Mobile Area Storm Water Mapping and Resiliency Planning

• Project 16, Three Mile Creek Watershed Restoration

• Project 24, Storm Water Management Improvements for Toulmin Spring Branch and Gum Tree Branch

• Project 26, Little Lagoon Restoration