Jul 29, 2014
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BP Oil Spill Settlement: How Much Does Sarasota County Get?

Sarasota County government is due to get a piece of the $4.5 billion payment from BP in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster.

BP Oil Spill Settlement: How Much Does Sarasota County Get?

Now that BP agreed to pay $4.5 billion to the U.S. government for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon, how much will Sarasota County get of that pie?

In August, Sarasota County Commissioners approved staff to develop a strategy to capture as much money as possible through the RESTORE Act, that outlines who gets what money from Cleanwater Act penalities.

According to that formula, Sarasota County would get $1 million for each billion in penalities BP would pay, meaning that Sarasota County could see $5.25 million.

The commission was prepared for BP to see anywhere from $5 million to $20 million, anticipating that BP could pay a $20 billion fine.

Sarasota County has to prove using the federal forumla its projects that it could file claims on, and if Sarasota County receives the funding. Several approvals and levels of goverment are involved before Sarasota County will find out how much money it could collect.

Here's the details of the federal settlement, according to BP:

  • Resolution of all criminal claims with Department of Justice includes $4 billion paid in installments over a period of five years
  • Resolution of all securities claims with Securities and Exchange Commission includes $525 million paid in installments over a period of three years
  • Existing $38.1 billion charge against income to increase by approximately $3.85 billion
  • BP is prepared to vigorously defend itself against remaining civil claims

BP will pay that fine over a period of five years, according to this BP chart:

$525M over 3 yearsCriminal Fine
$1256M over 5 yearsNFWF & NAS payments
$2744M over 5 yearsTotal new cash payments2012  175      175 2013  175  506  420 1101 2014  175  250  345  770 2015    150  380  530 2016    150  590  740 2017    200 1009 1209Total 525125627444525


A state plan for distributing the money will need to be approved by federal officials, Sarasota County Deputy County Administrator Bill Little said at the Aug. 29 special workshop. Clarification is also needed, he said, for what the money can be used for.

Here is how each county and state affected by the Deepwater Horizon spill will get its money, according to Sarasota County Goverment documents:

The RESTORE Act directs 80 percent of the total fines assessed to five pots of funds:   

• 35% of the funds are evenly split among the 5 Gulf States (AL, LA, MS, TX and FL). 

Each state gets 5%.  The Florida funds are going directly to Florida gulf coast counties in  accordance with a formula--the local pot; 

• 30% is deposited in a federal fund to be implemented at the federal level in accordance  with a comprehensive recovery plan established by the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration  Council--the federal pot. The Council, which includes the Governor’s of the five states  as members, will provide for the disbursement of those funds on a competitive basis;  

• 30% is allocated to the five gulf states for use in accordance with the federal comprehensive plan and in accordance with a state plan approved by the federal Gulf  Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council--the state pot;  

• 2.5 % is for tracking and research; and 

• 2.5% goes to the Centers for Excellence.   

Direct Allocation to County:  Fines assessed to entities are anticipated to range from $5 billion  to $20 billion dollars. Of the 5% of the funds allocated to Florida in the direct local pot, 75% is  allocated to 8 disproportionately affected counties in the Panhandle, and 25% is allocated to the  remaining 15 counties that border the Gulf. 

Each gulf coast county must develop an implementation plan for the use of funds in accordance  with the RESTORE Act.  Projects that meet the criteria of the law will be funded through funds  set aside specifically for Sarasota County in accordance with the formula specified in the federal act. Criteria include that projects are selected based on meaningful input from the public.  

BP's settlement also includes pleading guilty to "11 felony counts of misconduct related to the deaths of 11 men in the rig explosion that triggered the oil spill. It also pleaded guilty to a felony count of obstruction of Congress," the Associated Press reported. 

TELL US: Was BP's Deepwater Horizon spill settlement enough? Should they have faced more sanctions? Are you with happy with the amount Sarasota County could receive from the settlement?

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