Wicker: Treasury Dept. Releases ‘RESTORE’ Regs

Miss. Senator Says Oil-Spill Funds Are ‘One Step Closer to Being Realized’

August 14, 2014

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today welcomed news that the U.S. Treasury Department has issued an Interim Final Rule related to the “Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States (RESTORE) Act.”

“Today’s announcement is good news for Mississippi and those affected by the Deepwater Horizon disaster,” Wicker said. “These regulations ensure that we are one step closer to unlocking the funds needed to finalize numerous projects up and down the Gulf Coast.”

“Mississippi has yet to receive any ‘RESTORE’ funds,” Wicker added. “In fact, the state has not even been asked to submit proposed projects for funding under the law. I am hopeful that this development will help break the logjam.”

In 2011, Senator Wicker cosponsored the “RESTORE Act,” which dedicated 80 percent of all “Clean Water Act” penalties paid by those responsible for the 2010 disaster to Gulf Coast restoration. The remaining 20 percent of the fines are directed to the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.

Funding available to the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council and the Gulf Coast states through the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund currently stands at $800 million. More than $480 million of these funds are expected to be used by the Council pursuant to the “RESTORE Act.” The remaining funds are then made available to the states.

The legal fight pertaining to civil penalties for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is not expected to resume until next spring.