Good News: Gulf Restoration Guidelines Released
"The regulations released today are a positive step on the long journey to improve the health of the Gulf."
This morning, the Treasury Department released an Interim Final Rule describing how RESTORE Act funds can be spent.
David White, Director of the National Wildlife Federation’s Gulf of Mexico Restoration Campaign said:
“The headlines from the past few weeks make it eminently clear that the Gulf of Mexico is in dire need of restoration: Oyster production throughout the Gulf remains low, the number of sea turtle nests appear to be dropping, additional damaged corals have been discovered and the dead zone is the size of Connecticut.
“The regulations released today are a positive step on the long journey to improve the health of the Gulf. We particularly appreciate that the Treasury Department appears to have listened to comments from the public. In the end, this interim final rule does exactly what the law specified: it sets aside funds specifically for comprehensive ecosystem restoration.”
The RESTORE Act sends 80% of all Clean Water Act fines resulting from the Deepwater Horizon spill back to the Gulf States. Currently, $800 million from the Transocean settlement is available via the RESTORE Act. Once these regulations are finalized, the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council will be able to access funds from the Transocean settlement. BP and its partners, including Anadarko Petroleum Corp., face as much as $4,300 per barrel in Clean Water Act fines. The ongoing trial is set to resume in January 2015.