Beach Access and Park Issues
March 13, 2010


UPDATE….Public comment period
is open on DEIS on ORV management plan

By IRENE NOLAN






The public comment period on the National Park Service’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan (DEIS) opened today and will remain open until May 11.

The Park Service released the DEIS to the public last Friday, but the public comment period did not open until today when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Notice of Availability for DEIS was published in The Federal Register. The EPA notice of availability officially initiates the 60-day public comment period.

Seashore Superintendent Mike Murray said in a media release today that planning for “hearing-style” public meetings is underway. The meetings he said will be in late April, and Murray said in an e-mail that the schedule of meetings may be available as early as next week, as soon as the details are confirmed.

Murray has previously said that the meetings will be scheduled on the Outer Banks, at a location in eastern North Carolina – perhaps the Raleigh area – and in the Tidewater area of Virginia or northern Virginia near Washington, D.C.

The DEIS evaluates the impacts of several alternatives for regulations and procedures that would manage off-road vehicle (ORV) use and access in the national seashore to protect and preserve natural and cultural resources and natural processes, to provide a variety of visitor use experiences while minimizing conflicts among various users, and to promote the safety of all visitors. 

Electronic copies of the DEIS are available for public review on the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) web site for the project at:  http://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkId=358&projectId=10641&documentID=32596.

A limited number of hard copies of the DEIS will be available at the seashore headquarters, 1401 National Park Drive, Manteo, NC  27954, or a copy may be requested, as long as supplies last, from Mike Murray, Superintendent, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, 1401 National Park Drive, Manteo, NC  27954.  Copies have been provided to local libraries in Manteo, Kill Devil Hills, Hatteras village, and Ocracoke.

The NPS will accept comments on the DEIS until midnight (Mountain Daylight Time) May 11. 

Electronic comments may be submitted online at the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) web site by visiting http://parkplanning.nps.gov/caha, clicking on Open for Comment, clicking on the Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan /EIS, and then clicking on Comment on Document.  NPS encourages commenting electronically through PEPC. 

If you wish to submit your written comments in hard copy (e.g. in a letter), you may send  them by U.S. Postal Service or other mail delivery service or hand-deliver them to:  Mike Murray, Superintendent, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, 1401 National Park Drive, Manteo, NC 27954. 

Oral statements and written comments will also be accepted during the hearing-style public meetings. 

Comments will not be accepted by fax, email, or in any other way than those specified above.  Bulk comments in any format (hard copy or electronic) submitted on behalf of others will not be accepted. 

Dates, times, and locations of the hearing-style public meetings will be announced in a press release, e-mail announcements, and http://parkplanning.nps.gov/caha.




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