A day after the one-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, which killed 11 offshore rig workers, released millions of barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, and earned BP the title of Worst Company In America, the Golden Poo winners announced that it has reached an agreement to pony up another $1 billion toward Gulf restoration efforts.
The Justice Department confirms that this money is above and beyond any financial liability BP might have with regard to the spill, and that the cash is intended to kick-start restoration projects that are currently on hold while Natural Resource Damage Assessment research continues.
“This milestone agreement will allow us to jump-start restoration projects that will bring Gulf Coast marshes, wetlands, and wildlife habitat back to health after the damage they suffered as a result of the Deepwater Horizon spill,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “This agreement accelerates our work on Gulf Coast restoration and in no way limits the ability of all the Natural Resource Trustees from seeking full damages from those who are responsible as the NRDA process moves forward.”
According to the DOJ statement on the agreement, the money will be divided as follows:
* The 5 affected states — Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas — will each select and implement $100 million in projects.
* The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Dept. of Interior will each select and implement $100 million in projects.
* The remaining $300 million will be used for projects selected by NOAA and DOI from proposals submitted by the State Trustees.