The Clean Water Act (CWA) levies civil and criminal penalties on parties that violate its oil discharge prohibitions, and was triggered by the Deepwater Horizon disaster. In response, a legislative proposal called the Resources and Ecosystem Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act (known as the “RESTORE Act”) was developed to direct a portion of the Clean Water Act civil penalties from the Deepwater Horizon incident to Gulf restoration. President Obama signed the RESTORE Act into law on July 6, 2012.
The RESTORE Act creates a Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund. The Fund will receive 80% of any civil penalties paid under the Clean Water Act by the parties responsible for theDeepwater Horizon oil spill. The Fund will support a variety of projects aimed at helping the Gulf recover from environmental and economic injuries experienced as a result of decades of oil and gas development in the region, including the effects of Deepwater Horizon.
January 9, 2013 - Transocean Settlement includes $1 billion for Clean Water Act fines, of which 80 percent would be directed to projects aimed at alleviating effects of the spill under the federal RESTORE Act
January 29, 2013 - The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council releases The Path Forward to Restoring the Gulf Coast as an initial step in developing a more detailed Comprehensive Plan. Ultimately, the Council aims to ensure the long-term environmental health and economic prosperity of the Gulf Coast region.
State Initiatives to Impliment the RESTORE Act:
Created by Executive Order of Governor Phil Bryant, GoCoast 2020 will serve as the official advisory body to the Governor for allocation of monies received by the State of Mississippi under the RESTORE Act.
The Florida Association of Counties is working on behalf of the 23 Gulf Coast Counties on the implementation of the RESTORE Act. You can download the Final Version and Execution Copy of Interlocal Agreement here.
Partner Organizational Resources:
Environmental Law Institute has a user friendly page dedicated to information about the RESTORE Act. Click here to check it out
Restore the Mississippi River Delta Campaign's RESTORE Act information webpage is located here
The Audubon Society has a Citizen's Guide to the RESTORE Act located here
Ocean Conservancy has developed a framework to guide ecosystem restoration efforts in the wake of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster which you can download here
Gulf Future Groups have created a list of projects recommended for funding by the RESTORE Council. You can download it here