Last Modified: Thursday, August 14, 2014 11:29 AM
The Department of Treasury has completed a final rule under legislation that will free funding for environmental restoration.
Presently, $800 million is pledged to the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund established under the Resources and Ecosystem Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies Act. The legislation was enacted to send the BP penalty money back to the Gulf Coast, which took the brunt of the consequences related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident. The incident killed 11 men and spilled about 4.2 million barrels of oil. BP could pay $4 billion to $17 billion under the Clean Water Act by the conclusion of trial.
At a hearing last month, Sens. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and David Vitter, R-La., both pushed for the Department of Treasury to conclude its regulation and guarantee its consistency with the act.
“The state that Sen. Vitter and I represent has been struggling for decades for justice and fairness for our coast,” Landrieu said at a hearing, which discussed progress and challenges of the RESTORE Act.
“It has been my number one issue since being elected to the Senate to advocate on behalf of coastal restoration because without it our state has a very, very limited and dim economic future.”
Landrieu and Vitter both expressed concerns about the implementation of the RESTORE Act, which passed two years ago.
“As you know, no one felt the effects of the Deepwater Horizon disaster more than the citizens of Louisiana,” Vitter said at the hearing. “As a result of the spill our economy of course took a huge hit as well.”