BP Agrees to Pay $1 Billion for Early Gulf Coast Restoration

Apr 21st, 2011 | By | Category: Green Living

BP has agreed to pay $1 billion towards early restoration projects in the Gulf of Mexico as a step towards compensation for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Natural Resource Trustees for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (NRDA Trustees) announced Thursday. The money will go towards funding projects such as rebuilding coastal marshes, replenishing damaged beaches, conserving sensitive ocean habitat areas for injured wildlife, and restoring barrier islands and wetlands.

G144a Deepwater Horizon oil spill BP Agrees to Pay $1 Billion for Early Gulf Coast Restoration

NASA's Terra Satellites view of Deepwater Horizon oil spill

BP is providing the early restoration funds voluntarily and is not legally required to do so at this stage in the damage assessment process. The agreement does not determine BP or other entities’ ultimate liability for natural resource damages or other liabilities, but provides an opportunity for restoration to begin early prior to final assessment. The damage assessment process will continue until the NRDA Trustees have determined the extent of the damage caused by the oil spill. At the end of the process, the Trustees will take into account any benefits realized from early restoration projects. BP and other responsible parties will remain obligated to compensate the public for all injuries.

The NRDA Trustees will oversee the selection of early restoration projects. The Trustees include the States of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, the Department of the Interior (DOI), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The Department of Justice (DOJ) helped negotiate the agreement.

The $1 billion will be divided as follows:

  • Each state will select and implement $100 million in projects
  • The NOAA and DOI will each select and implement $100 million in projects
  • The remaining $300 million will go towards projects selected by the NOAA and DOI from proposals submitted by the State Trustees
  • All projects must meet other requirements of the Framework Agreement and be approved by a Trustee Council made up of all the natural resource trustees.

    To read the agreement, go to http://www.restorethegulf.gov/sites/default/files/documents/pdf/framework-for-early-restoration-04212011.pdf.

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