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.
On July 11, 2019, the Santa Rosa County Board of County Commissioners approved Amendment #1 to the Initial MYIP that was approved by the U.S. Treasury in May 2017. The amendments to the plan were based on factors including necessary material modifications per federal requirements, price increases and project viability. The proposed draft was available for a 45-day public review and comment period prior to Board approval. The proposed Amendment has been submitted to the U.S. Treasury for review and formal acceptance.
The MYIP proposed amendment is available for reference (see Quicklinks).