What is the RESTORE Act?

Published: Friday, October 19, 2012 at 08:57 AM.


A major reason for Congressman Steve Southerland’s informational meeting last week at Apalachicola City Hall was to explain the basics of the RESTORE Act, which aims to provide a process for the distribution of BP fines that are estimated to be $5-$20 billion.

When those funds will be available is unknown. Southerland said he hoped a federal judge would hand down a ruling in the case, and fine total, sometime in early 2013.

Under the bill, the RESTORE Act established four so-called “buckets” of money, which Southerland provided a handout on and also explained.

Those four pots of funds established under RESTORE are:

* 35 percent would go directly to impacted counties from funds divided in equal shares to the five Gulf Coast States, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida and Texas. The money can be spent on environmental projects, job creation and training, flood protection, tourism promotion and infrastructure such as ports. For Florida: 75 percent will go directly to the eight impacted counties, including Gulf and Franklin counties, with 25 percent to all other Florida Counties.

“Every state had input on where they wanted their funds to go,” Southerland said. “We saw that the majority of those funds should go to impacted counties.

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