Public Comment Sought On BP-Funded Restoration Projects

Gulf of Mexico (May 6, 2010) — Dark clouds of smoke and fire emerge as oil burns during a controlled fire in the Gulf of Mexico. The U.S. Coast Guard working in partnership with BP PLC, local residents, and other federal agencies conducted the "in situ burn" to aid in preventing the spread of oil following the April 20 explosion on Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit Deepwater Horizon.
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Stumberg/Released)
Public comment is invited next month on proposed restoration projects in the gulf. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill natural resource damage assessment trustees have released a draft plan that provides about $18.4 million for restoration projects in Texas.

The state and federal agencies involved in restoring the Gulf after the BP oil spill are seeking comment on $627 million in total early restoration projects across all the Gulf states.

Tom Harvey is with Texas Parks and Wildlife.

"The Natural Resource Damage Assessment requires the state and federal authorities to get with the responsible party — in this case, BP is a primary responsible party — assess the damage that was caused by an oil spill, and figure out how to restore that damage. And ultimately, the responsible party pays for the restoration."

Harvey says this is the largest natural resource damage assessment in history, and will go on for years.

"Right now there is an ongoing legal case between state and federal trustees and BP that is continuing in federal court. But while that's playing out, the trustees and BP agreed early on that BP would pay up to $1 billion dollars for what's called early restoration."

One of the public comment sessions will be at Texas A&M University at Galveston on January 22nd.

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Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...