Florida: Escambia and Santa Rosa leaders say 'transformational' funding from BP spill coming soon
Although it has been more than nine years since oil from BP's Deepwater Horizon drilling rig hit area beaches, Escambia and Santa Rosa counties are just now starting to see tens of millions of dollars in restitution from the oil giant.
Restitution payments for the region include:
- approximately $70 million from the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund designated for Escambia County and $30 million designated for Santa Rosa County,
- a portion of $36 million in annual payments through 2031 in Natural Resource Damage Assessment money earmarked for projects in Florida,
- a share of $1.5 billion in economic development grants to eight Panhandle counties from Triumph Gulf Coast,
- and portions of several other pots of money designated for restoration of the Panhandle economy and ecosystem after the spill.
Grover Robinson, now Pensacola's mayor, represented Pensacola Beach on the Escambia County Commission back in 2010 when the oil came ashore. He also led the 23-county Gulf Consortium created after the spill to guide Florida's spending of Clean Water Act penalties paid by BP, Transocean and Anadarko Oil.
"From our environment to our economy, this is truly a transformational amount of funding," he said.