The shores of the state of Louisiana are still recovering after the nation’s worst environmental disaster. As part of the settlement agreement to the areas affected, British Petroleum will finance 39 restoration projects throughout the gulf coast. The payments can never bring back the 11 workers that lost their lives in the offshore accident, but it will help to restore resources lost by the oil spill.
BP has agreed to pay over $300 million in various restoration projects. The money is part of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment provision of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. Because the amount of money that is to be paid has been set, BP must now work with the states affected by the oil spill and various federal agencies to determine which projects will actually get funded.
At this point, it is unclear how much of this money will be allocated to the state of Louisiana. However, Louisiana can expect to receive a large percentage of the money due to the civil violations of the federal Clean Water Act and the NRDA process.
After the gulf oil spill, Congress passed the federal RESTORE Act that attempts to hold accountable those responsible for environmental disasters. Under the Act, 80 percent of the fines collected can go to the states and the federal government to help rebuild their ecosystems.
Workers in offshore jobs accept the inherent danger of their positions. However, companies such as BP have a responsibility to operate within the proper safety standards. When workers are injured, it is their responsibility to provide medical care and basic living expenses. An attorney can help injured workers get the compensation that they deserve from their employer.
Source: The Times-Picayune, “Louisiaa lists 39 restoration projects that would be financed with BP oil spill fine money,” Mark Schleifstein, May 15, 2013