The RESTORE Act allocates 80% of the amount of any Clean Water Act fines from the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill to the Gulf Coast. Under RESTORE, the fines are divided into several different sources of funding, with different permissible uses and various methods for approving projects. Importantly, 75% of Florida's allocation will come directly to the eight disproportionately impacted panhandle counties which include:
- Bay County
- Escambia County
- Franklin County
- Gulf County
- Okaloosa County
- Santa Rosa County
- Wakulla County
- Walton County
Several parties are involved with the various settlements resulting from the Deepwater Horizon blowout, explosion, oil spill and response. To date, MOEX has settled all of its civil liability while Transocean will pay $1 billion in partial Clean Water Act civil penalties, which will be the first funds to be dispersed through the formula outlined in the RESTORE Act. On July 2, 2015, a settlement was reached between BP and Gulf States including $5.5 billion in Clean Water Act civil penalties which will be paid out over 15 years.
The total funding available for eligible activities under the Direct Component depends on the Trust Fund balance and any adjustment due to sequestration. The U.S. Department of Treasury provides a periodical update of Trust fund allocations available to all affected counties under the RESTORE Act. Over a fifteen-year period, Santa Rosa County’s estimated gross allocation will be approximately $29 million. Approximately $9 million is currently available to Santa Rosa County offered through the RESTORE Act associated with the Transocean Civil Penalty.
Multi-year Implementation Plan (MYIP)
The RESTORE Act and the Treasury final rule directs the state, county, and parish applicants to prepare multiyear implementation plans that prioritize eligible activities for Direct Component funds and to obtain broad-based participation from individuals, businesses, Indian tribes, and non-profit organizations as part of the plans. The state, county, or parish applicants may periodically update their plans by following the same steps, including obtaining public input, prior to submitting their revised plans to Treasury.
At the April 11 commission regular meeting, the Santa Rosa County Board of County Commissioners proposed amendments to the initial multi-year implementation plan (MYIP) that was accepted by the U.S. Treasury in May 2017. The amendments to the plan are based on factors including necessary material modifications per federal requirements, price increases and project viability. Following the approval of these amendments at the May 9 commission regular meeting, a 45-day public review and comment period was initiated. Comments will be presented to the Board and the final amended plan will be sent to the U.S. Treasury Department for review and acceptance.
The MYIP proposed amendment is available for reference (see Quicklinks).