When millions of gallons of oil threatened our Mississippi coastline in 2010, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality was appointed to take the lead in recovering from the greatest man-made disaster in our nation’s history. As recovery turned into restoration, our mission and our commitment to the people of Mississippi was clear: We would hold BP accountable. We would Make Mississippi Whole again, and we would do so with the help of the people of Mississippi. What Governor Phil Bryant said in 2012 was true then, and remains just as true today: “The public has been, and will continue to be our biggest ally in the recovery from this disaster.”
The restoration process is certainly one that is complicated, and at times difficult to follow, but it is my intent to give you as much information as possible so you know what is going on, and to assure you that our commitment to transparency remains the same. I made the decision from a transparency standpoint that MDEQ would provide the public the RFQ’s (Requests for Qualifications) and RFP’s (Requests for Proposals). We are also making available the information regarding contracts awarded as well as information on who bid on the contracts. This website fulfills MDEQ’s commitment to provide the public with as much information as possible pertaining to the BP restoration process.
BP Has Been Held Accountable
In 2016, a federal court in New Orleans approved a settlement among the Gulf States, United States, and BP totaling approximately $18.7 billion related to claims arising from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. As a result of the settlement, an additional $1.5 billion will come to Mississippi for natural resource damages and civil penalties under the Clean Water Act. These funds will be distributed to the state over the next 17 years and are in addition to $659 million of early funding already received. In all, Mississippi is receiving a total of nearly $2.174 billion in compensation.
Under the settlement, Mississippi will receive approximately $183 million in additional Natural Resource Damage Assessment payments and approximately $582 million in Clean Water Act penalties to be distributed via the RESTORE Act.
The $1.5 billion consent decree includes:
-Approximately $183 million in Natural Resource Damage Assessment payments, to be paid over 15 years, which will be used for environmental restoration;
-Approximately $582 million in Clean Water Act penalties under the RESTORE Act. These funds will be paid over 15 years and used for environmental and economic restoration.
-$750 million in economic damages paid over 17 years to be paid into the Mississippi Budget Contingency Fund, which will be available for appropriation by the Mississippi Legislature
Breakdown of $659 Million in Early Funding Already Received:
-$112.557 million in Natural Resource Damage Assessment Early Restoration payments;
-$106 million in RESTORE Act payments
-$356 million in National Fish and Wildlife Foundation payments;
-$75 million in response actions/clean-up payments.