By TONI ELLINGTON
The U.S. Treasury Department has announced proposed guidelines on how the government will distribute penalties imposed on BP, LLC, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, and Transocean Ltd. for the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010. Under the Treasury’s plan, announced on August 13, 2014, eighty percent of the fines will go into a trust fund. The other twenty percent will go to the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. Of the eighty percent, thirty-five percent of the trust fund will be paid out as a Direct Component by the Treasury Department and will be split between Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida for economic and ecological restoration. Another thirty percent will go to ecosystem restoration, and a thirty percent Spill Impact Component will go to states based on the amount of shoreline impacted by oil from the spill. The remaining five percent will be split between the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (“NOAA”) for monitoring, observation, science, and technology development by NOAA, and to the Centers of Excellence Research Grants Program for federal and state marine resource development.
The proposed plan will be published in the Federal Register on August 15, 2015. Public comments on the related rules are due no later than September 2, 2014.
Transocean has paid $1 billion to settle its civil liability claims under the Clean Water Act for the 2010 spill. The federal district court has found BP and Anadarko to be liable for the spill, which will result in between $4 billion and $17.5 billion in additional fines.
The Treasury Department’s proposed plan was devised under the authority of the Resources and Ecosystem Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012 (commonly called the “RESTORE Act”). The entire text of the Treasury Department’s proposed plan can be accessed at www.treasury.gov/services/restore-act/Pages/default.aspx.
For more information, contact Toni Ellington at (504) 599-8500.