Building on our continuing work to implement the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States (RESTORE) Act
, Treasury announced today a new proposed regulation governing the expenditure of funds to restore the Gulf Coast region in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The proposed regulation, available today from the Federal Register, helps pave the way for the affected states and localities to request grants for economic and environmental restoration projects.
On July 6, 2012, the President signed the RESTORE Act into law, establishing a Trust Fund with 80 percent of the civil penalties to be paid by parties responsible for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. Under the proposed regulation, Treasury will use 35 percent of the trust fund for grants to the five Gulf Coast states, including 23 Florida counties and 20 Louisiana parishes, for projects selected by the states and localities. Treasury will also provide grants using 2.5 percent of the trust fund for research centers of excellence, selected by the Gulf Coast states, which will focus on science, technology, and monitoring.
The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, a federal entity comprised of the five Gulf Coast states and six federal agencies, will use 30 percent of the trust fund for projects selected by the Council, and administer grants to the states using an additional 30 percent. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will use the remaining 2.5 percent of the trust fund for a program focused on advancements in monitoring, observation, and technology.
Under the RESTORE Act, Treasury has additional responsibilities, including investing the Trust Fund and overseeing compliance with several provisions in the RESTORE Act and the regulation.
Treasury developed this regulation in consultation with federal, state, and local officials. Treasury looks forward to receiving comments on the proposed regulation for the next 60 days. To read Treasury¹s proposed regulation and/or submit a comment, please click HERE
Dick Gregg is the Fiscal Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.