RESTORE Act To Deal Out Penalty Funds To Gulf Coast States [INFOGRAPHIC]
Billions of dollars will soon be funneled to restore the economic and ecological health of Gulf Coast states.
On July 6, President Obama signed the RESTORE Act which will dedicate 80 percent of the final settlement from BP and others responsible for the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Texas and Alabama.
BP and others found to be negligent may pay between $5 and $21 billion in Clean Water Act fines. Of that amount, the RESTORE Act says 80 percent must go to Gulf Coast states.
U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise said the RESTORE Act would help coastal states return to a kind of normalcy.
“The signing of the RESTORE Act into law is without a doubt the single most significant action taken to restore our coast in Louisiana’s history,” Scalise said, as reported by The Advocate. “This major milestone is vital as we work to ensure the full recovery of the Gulf Coast states from the Deepwater Horizon disaster.”
Far from a windfall sum, the funds received from the settlement will serve a variety of different uses.
Of the amount received, 35 percent will be evenly distributed between the five states affected by the spill, 30 percent will be distributed based on the amount of impact on their individual coastlines (as determined by a task force), another 30 percent will go to large environmental restoration projects approved by the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council and the remaining 5 percent to long-term fisheries and ecosystem research projects at universities and non-governmental agencies.