The US Treasury Department has issued new rules to divvy up fines paid to Gulf Coast states by BP and Transocean as the result of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster.
Under the plan released Aug. 13, 80 per cent of the expected billions of dollars in fines will go into a trust fund. Thirty-five per cent of the trust will be split between Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida for economic and ecological restoration.
“With this action, affected states and municipalities can now begin the process of applying for grants from the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund,” David Lebryk, assistant secretary of the Treasury Department, said in a prepared statement.
Another 30 per cent of the trust money will go to ecosystem restoration, and yet another 30 per cent portion will go to states based on the amount of damaged shoreline. The remaining five per cent will go towards federal and state marine research.
The new plan implements the 2012 Resources and Ecosystem Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act, or Restore Act.
The fund currently has $800 million from Transocean’s fines, but BP’s fines are currently being determined in court, and could total as much as $17.5 billion.