Florida Senate Panel Discusses BP Deepwater Horizon Settlement

Posted at 11:58 PM, Oct 21, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-21 23:58:00-04

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) - With billions of dollars coming to Florida, in compensation for the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, a senate panel this week is trying to get a better feel for how the money will be spent.

The 2010 spill in the Gulf of Mexico directly damaged the state's tourism and fishing industries, as well as its environment.

That's partly why senators on the agriculture committee were interested in $364 million, which Florida counties will divide under what is known as The Federal Restore Act.

75% of the money goes to the eight hardest-hit counties, which include Franklin and Wakulla.

Committee chairman Bill Montford says with such a large settlement, it is important to follow how the money is handed out: "We have got to make sure that we continue to have a well defined path, because if not, with that much money spent over that period of time, we can get off path very easily."

Florida will collect$ 680 million from the National Resource Damage Assessment and $356 million from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for restoration projects. It will also net at least 676.5 From the restore act.

Much of the money will be paid over a 15-year period.

Additionally, the state will receive two billion dollars for economic damages, which will flow through the attorney general's office.