Trustees release final damage assessment & restoration plan - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Trustees release final damage assessment & restoration plan

PhotoCredit: Ocean Conservancy PhotoCredit: Ocean Conservancy
NEW ORLEANS, LA -

This is a news release from Ocean Conservancy

Today, the BP Natural Resource Damage Trustees released their final plan that details the extent of the environmental damage caused by the 2010 BP oil disaster and how the Trustees, consisting of the Gulf states and four federal agencies, plan to restore the environment over the next 15 years. The draft plan was released in October 2015 along with a consent decree settling all remaining claims against BP. The settlement is expected to be finalized in late spring.

Although the final plan provides a few more details regarding the frequency of public meetings (which will happen annually), the Trustees have unfortunately neglected to respond meaningfully to a number of concerns regarding how they will plan for, administer and ultimately implement the expenditure of over $7 billion in funding for restoration. 

Ocean Conservancy and a number of others expressed grave concern regarding the Trustees' proposed governance structure, which outlines a distributed structure that essentially breaks one Trustee Council into eight different Councils that will operate with nothing but a verbal commitment to coordinate their efforts across the Gulf. 

 "While the underlying vision of comprehensive restoration is laudable, the Trustees' approach to implementation is largely disappointing, especially for those who are concerned with the magnitude of the impacts in the Gulf of Mexico itself," said Bethany Carl Kraft, Director of Ocean Conservancy's Gulf Restoration Program. 

 According to Carl Kraft, "Unfortunately the Trustees have chosen to largely ignore our plea to explicitly designate financial resources for restoration in the open ocean commensurate with the impacts. The disaster occurred in the deep waters of the Gulf, impacts continue to this day, and they are expected to continue for decades into the future. Comprehensive and effective restoration require that adequate resources are directed to the recovery of marine resources that Gulf communities depend on for their livelihoods.”

 In the final plan, the Trustees have made a number of troubling decisions that jeopardize a comprehensive restoration approach. First, they refused to cap administrative expenses for the federal trustees, which will come directly out of the open ocean fund. They also declined to reallocate previously funded lost recreational use projects that have nothing to do with marine resources. Finally, the Trustees have included new language potentially expanding the scope of projects that can be funded from the open ocean fund, jeopardizing full recovery of impacted marine resources.

 "Full recovery requires investments across the spectrum of impacted resources, from the coast to the blue water. The extent of the impacts in the marine environment demand a dedicated source of funding that cannot be raided over the next 15 years,” said Carl Kraft.  "The science behind the Trustees' summary of injuries and their proposed framework of restoration goals and types appear to be sound. We remain concerned that the biggest threat to the Trustees' success in achieving their own vision of a comprehensive, ecosystem-based approach to restoration are the Trustees themselves. Only time will tell if their decision to prioritize expedient decision-making will cost the Gulf dearly."

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • Boil water notice lifted for parts of Laurel

    Boil water notice lifted for parts of Laurel

    Friday, January 19 2018 7:37 PM EST2018-01-20 00:37:08 GMT
    Boil water notice lifted for portions of Laurel; Photo Source: City of Laurel Gov't Facebook PageBoil water notice lifted for portions of Laurel; Photo Source: City of Laurel Gov't Facebook Page

    City officials have lifted a boil water notice for portions of Laurel.  

    More >>

    City officials have lifted a boil water notice for portions of Laurel.  

    More >>
  • Lady Eagles deal 1st-place UAB 1st C-USA loss

    Lady Eagles deal 1st-place UAB 1st C-USA loss

    Friday, January 19 2018 6:53 PM EST2018-01-19 23:53:49 GMT
    USM (9-9, 2-3), which saw a two-game winning streak snapped. (Photo source: USM)USM (9-9, 2-3), which saw a two-game winning streak snapped. (Photo source: USM)

    The University of Southern Mississippi Lady Eagles defeated the University of Alabama-Birmingham 80-63 Thursday night at Bartow Arena. It was USM’s most decisive win over the Lady Blazers in 11 years, and handed first-place UAB its first Conference USA loss of the year.

    More >>

    The University of Southern Mississippi Lady Eagles defeated the University of Alabama-Birmingham 80-63 Thursday night at Bartow Arena. It was USM’s most decisive win over the Lady Blazers in 11 years, and handed first-place UAB its first Conference USA loss of the year.

    More >>
  • State maintains "B" grade for efforts to fight human trafficking

    State maintains "B" grade for efforts to fight human trafficking

    Friday, January 19 2018 6:18 PM EST2018-01-19 23:18:40 GMT
    The group, Advocates for Freedom, has put up billboards like this across Mississippi to bring awareness to the issue of human trafficking. Source: WDAM.The group, Advocates for Freedom, has put up billboards like this across Mississippi to bring awareness to the issue of human trafficking. Source: WDAM.

    For the fifth year in a row, a national organization has given Mississippi a "B" grade for its efforts to fight human trafficking.  Shared Hope International, based in Vancouver, Washington, issues an annual state report card on human trafficking laws. It says Mississippi has effective laws, but should make human trafficking training for law enforcement mandatory, rather than voluntary.  Some people in the Hattiesburg area who work to increase awareness of human...

    More >>

    For the fifth year in a row, a national organization has given Mississippi a "B" grade for its efforts to fight human trafficking.  Shared Hope International, based in Vancouver, Washington, issues an annual state report card on human trafficking laws. It says Mississippi has effective laws, but should make human trafficking training for law enforcement mandatory, rather than voluntary.  Some people in the Hattiesburg area who work to increase awareness of human...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly