RESTORE Act

For damages caused by the BP oil spill in 2010, Alabama will receive $2.3 billion of a total settlement agreement valued at $18.5 billion. Of that, $1.3 billion of the state's share will be allocated to environmental and economic damages, while the remaining $1 billion will be distributed into the state’s general fund over the next 18 years — an amount equalling $55.5 million per year.

RESTORE Act

$315 million worth of projects greenlighted by RESTORE Act Council

The Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council, tasked with disbursing some $708 million in civil penalties against BP for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, met Wednesday to approve 46 projects to include in a draft multi year implementation plan (MIP, also a state expenditure plan, SEP) worth a total of $315,358,331. The projects are generally economic or environmental in nature and will be funded through the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund once the council finalizes the plan after a public comment period and gains approval from the U.S. Department of Treasury and in some cases, the federal Gulf Coast...

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Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council begins choosing projects to fund

With new leadership in Montgomery, the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council has moved into warp speed in recent months as it moves closer to its first selection from hundreds of environmental and economic projects competing for a finite pot of BP oil spill money. The AGCRC comprises Gov. Kay Ivey, the CEO of the Alabama State Port Authority, the presidents of the Mobile and Baldwin county commissions and the mayors of Bayou La Batre, Dauphin Island, Fairhope, Gulf Shores, Mobile and Orange Beach. The council is tasked with overseeing the distribution of roughly $800 million between now and 2031...

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NFWF approves $33 Million of coastal restoration projects

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) has approved $33.5 million for five projects that will fund the acquisition of vulnerable parcels of coastal land and move forward restoration and conservation projects along Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Separate from the RESTORE Act and Alabama’s own civil settlements with BP, the funds for these projects are derived from the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund that NFWF uses to manage criminal fines BP has paid since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Of the $2.5 billion settlement agreed to in those 2013 criminal pleadings, a total of $356 million is earmarked for projects...

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As Baykeeper’s lawsuit looms, cities around bay struggle with sewage (updated)

By Gabriel Tynes, Dale Liesch and Jason Johnson Mobile Baykeeper’s Sept. 19 notice of intent to sue Daphne Utilities over fraudulent reporting was the latest salvo in an escalating effort to see that local utilities do something about the large releases of untreated sewage that accompany almost any large rainfall. According to Baykeeper, more than 23 million gallons of sewage has already spilled in the Mobile-Baldwin area this year. The environmental group also says even with the millions of gallons of sewage spills reported, they are still fighting efforts by some utilities to intentionally play down the severity of...

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Out here: A new kind of conservationist

Some of Mobile’s most ecologically diverse areas are tucked away beyond the buffers of some of its most urban communities — hidden marshlands, rich with plant and animal life, in areas throughout the Three Mile Creek watershed. In a restoration economy like the one developing locally from a steady trickle of BP oil spill money, wetland areas like these can have a financial value as well. Yet many believe there is a disconnect between that ecosystem and the residents who live only a few feet away. Now, a multifaceted grant program is working to connect young adults from predominantly African-American neighborhoods...

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30 RESTORE Act projects moving forward

After four years of discussing its own rules and policies, the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council (AGCRC) has taken a major step in determining which of the hundreds of proposed projects will be funded with BP monies allocated through the RESTORE Act. Last month, all 10 AGCRC members submitted a list of priority projects, and from more than 200 submissions, 30 received the four votes needed to move on for further evaluation. The projects, valued at a combined $413,775,386, focus on “infrastructure, economic development, tourism or planning assistance” — all areas the council previously agreed to prioritize. The AGCRC...

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AGCRC decisions not ‘a concerted’ effort

On Monday, Mobile County Commission President Merceria Ludgood told her colleagues that while she’s willing to listen to them, she has no intention of setting up a formal input process for them as she begins to make decisions on the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council [AGCRC]. Outlined in the RESTORE Act of 2012, the AGCRC was set up to distribute local recovery funding received in coastal Alabama from civil penalties assessed to BP and Transocean for their role in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The seats on the AGCRC are determined by the cities and counties impacted by the...

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RESTORE council prepares to work with limited funds

Despite millions of dollars allocated to recovery efforts through other channels, projects along coastal Alabama might still be more than a year removed from RESTORE Act funding when the state marks the seventh anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in April. Because expectations were higher before the $20.8 billion settlement with BP was finalized last year, local and state officials on the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council (AGCRC) are now prioritizing projects that will be funded with a pot of money many have called “disappointing.” Passed by Congress in 2012, the RESTORE Act was intended to give states...

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$63 million in oil spill money released for Alabama coast

Six coastal restoration projects totaling $63 million have been approved by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), Gov. Robert Bentley announced Tuesday. Separate from the RESTORE Act and Alabama’s own settlements with BP and Transocean, the funds are being made available through the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund NFWF uses to manage criminal fines brought against both companies in U.S. District Court in 2013. A total of $356 million was awarded to Alabama, and so far, that has manifested itself in funding for 19 coastal restoration projects with a combined value exceeding $115 million. The projects funded in the...

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Judge finalizes $20.8 billion BP settlement

After years of litigation and paperwork, a federal judge on Monday gave the final approval the $20.8 billion agreement from BP marking officially settling the federal government’s case against the petroleum company for its role in 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The preliminary agreement — including Alabama’s $2.3 billion individual settlement — was announced in July, but the finalized consent decree firmly establishes how funding will be received over the 15-year settlement period beginning in 2017. With the exception of 2018, BP will make yearly payments of $379,310,345 through 2031 for a total of $5.5 billion in civil penalties....

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