County stands to gain millions depending on BP settlement, fines

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By Lou Elliott Jones, Editor

When BP's oil started gushing into the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010 from the wellhead of the Deepwater Horizon rig, folks in five states held their breath as it headed towards the shore. 

Now, folks are waiting with bated breath to see how much responsibility — monetarily — will be assessed to BP for the damage the explosion and spill did to Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. 

Although the oil stayed away from Levy County's shoreline, its effects were felt. 

"The brand of the State of Florida was impacted," Bill Williams, a consultant hired by Levy County, said in a town hall meeting in Bronson on June 18. The meeting was held to explain how the county will benefit from the terms of the RESTORE Act passed by Congress. 

"There was harm done to our Gulf, and the federal government has a way to restore that opportunity," Williams said. 

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