Town hall on oil spill money Tuesday

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By The Staff

A town hall meeting ont he RESTORE Act, which spells out how fines and settlements from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill will be distributed and how to qualify projects for grants under the law will be held on Tuesday, July 23, at 6 p.m. in the Community Room of the College of Central Florid Levy Center at 114 Rodgers Boulevard, Chiefland. 

Members of the Levy County TESTORE Act Advisory Committee will be present for the meeting as will the county's consultants, Amber Davis and Bill Williams.


The RESTORE act divvies up the money that is expected to be paid by BP, operator of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that exploded and gushed crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico in the spring and simmer of 2010, and its partners. How much will be paid depends on the outcome of a federal trial under way in New Orleans charging BP with violating the Clean Water Act. BP has already settled the criminal case with the federal government. It has also paid out claims to individuals, businesses and governments on the Gulf Coast that said they were harmed by the spill. 

The money will be divided into four "pots" and  is to be spent on re-building the five affected states through economic develpoment, tourism and research. 

Florida's share of the bounty will be spread among 23 counties, with the lion’s share going to eight Panhandle counties that were most impacted by the spill. Levy is one of the 15 remaining counties.

To get an idea of what is in store, Williams and Davis, said at a meeting in June that $1 billion settlement that TransOcean, the drilling rig’s owner, has agreed to pay for its role in the spill would produce $546,000 for Levy County.

Estimates of BP's eventual payment have been between $20-40 billion. 

The money will be paid to the federal government and held by the Treasury Department which is writing the rules on its distribution.