The RESTORE Act allocates 80 percent of the amount of any Clean Water Act fines from the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill to the Gulf Coast. Under RESTORE, the fines are divided into several different sources of funding, with different permissible uses and various methods for approving projects. Importantly, 75 percent of Florida’s allocation will come directly to the eight disproportionately impacted panhandle counties which include: Bay, Escambia, Franklin, Gulf, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Wakulla, and Walton.

Splitting Funds

Several parties were involved with the various settlements resulting from the Deepwater Horizon blowout, explosion, oil spill and response. To date, MOEX has settled all of its civil liability while Transocean will pay $1 billion in partial Clean Water Act civil penalties, which were the first funds dispersed through the formula outlined in the RESTORE Act. On July 2, 2015, a settlement was reached between BP and gulf states including $5.5 billion in Clean Water Act civil penalties which will be paid out over 15 years.

The total funding available for eligible activities under the direct component depends on the trust fund balance and any adjustment due to sequestration. The U.S. Department of Treasury provides a periodic update of trust fund allocations available to all affected counties under the RESTORE Act. Over a 15 year period, Santa Rosa County’s estimated gross allocation will be approximately $29 million. Projects identified for this fund are listed in the Santa Rosa County Multi Year Implementation Plan.

Multi Year Implementation Plan

The Santa Rosa County Board of County Commissioners has commenced the process to amend the multi-year implementation plan (MYIP), that was initially accepted by the U.S. Treasury in May 2017, for a second time. This second amendment is planned to include new projects.  Two public meetings were held on November 12 and on December 3 to provide an update and gather public feedback.  Click here for more information.  The Local RESTORE Council comprised of 11 Board appointed members serve to review potential projects and expenditures under the MYIP and solicit feedback regarding such projects.  The next Local RESTORE Council meeting will be held on May 19, 2020 at 2:30 p.m. Click here for meeting details.