OGJ Washington Editor
WASHINGTON, DC, Apr. 25-- BP Exploration and Production Inc. agreed to provide $1 billion to fund early projects to restore Gulf of Mexico resources damaged by crude oil that leaked from the deepwater Macondo well, the spill’s Natural Resource Damage Assessment trustees announced.
The trustees include the US Department of the Interior, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.
Lamar McKay, BP America Inc. chairman and president, said early restoration will help identify improvements to wildlife, habitat, and related recreational uses in the gulf.
The trustees said the money will be used to rebuild coastal marshes, replenish damaged beaches, and to restore barrier islands and wetlands.
The agreement does not affect BP or any other company’s ultimate liability for natural resource damages or other liabilities.
The full NRDA process will continue until the trustees determine the full amount of damages from the spill. At that point, the trustees will take into account any benefits realized from early restoration.
The $1 billion of early restoration projects will be selected first by each state choosing $100 million in projects. DOI and NOAA each will select $100 million in projects. The remaining $300 million will be used for projects selected by DOI and NOAA from proposals submitted by the state trustees, NRDA trustees said.
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BP, NRDA trustees announce $1 billion early funding agreement