NOAA released 15-year Gulf of Mexico restoration plans worth $8.8bnStaff writer ▼ | October 5, 2015
NOAA and the other Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Trustees released 15-year ecosystem restoration plans for the Gulf of Mexico in response to the April 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and spill.
Deepwater Horizon The spill lasted 87 days
Implementing the plan will cost up to $8.8 billion. The explosion killed 11 rig workers and the subsequent spill lasted 87 days and impacted both human and natural resources across the Gulf.
The Draft Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Draft Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement allocates Natural Resource Damage Assessment monies that are part of a comprehensive settlement agreement in principle among BP, the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of federal agencies, and the five affected Gulf States announced on July 2, 2015.
The Department of Justice lodged in U.S. District Court a consent decree as part of the more than $20 billion dollar settlement.
Both the consent decree and the draft plan are available for 60 days of public comment. Public comments on the draft plan will be accepted at eight public meetings to be held between October 19 and November 18 in each of the impacted states and in Washington, DC.
The Trustees are proposing to accept this settlement, which includes, among other components, an amount to address natural resource damages of $8.1 billion for restoration and up to $700 million for addressing unknown impacts or for adaptive management.
These amounts include the $1 billion in early restoration funds which BP has already committed. ■