The Department of Justice, five Gulf of Mexico states – including Florida – and the oil company BP announced a major settlement Thursday; BP will pay $18.7 billion to settle fines and penalties for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster.
The settlement includes Clean Water Act civil penalties, funds for projects to restore natural resources damages and money for economic damages claims.
Florida’s share will be about $3.25 billion. Tampa will get $27 million dollars, which is more than any other city in Florida.
Much of the money will go to Triumph Gulf Coast, a trust fund set up by the Legislature, to help the eight counties in the Florida Panhandle that were most affected by the spill.
The funds will be distributed over the next 17 years.
Governor Rick Scott said, “This agreement will help Florida implement key projects and invest in environmental priorities to keep our state beautiful.” While Senator Bill Nelson wrote, “Considering this was the worst environmental disaster in history and it was caused by gross negligence, the amount of penalties specifically for violations of the Clean Water Act could be – and, I think, should be – much larger.”
To find out where Florida’s money might go WMNF interviewed Jordan Macha, a Gulf policy analyst for the Gulf Restoration Network.
information from the Associated Press was used in this report