This morning Governor Charlie Crist confirmed the announcement by Doug Suttles, CEO of BP, that the State of Florida will receive a $25-million block grant for the initial state and local preparation and response costs for the Deepwater Horizon Response oil spill.
“We will use the block grant from BP to take proactive measures to help prevent the devastating impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill,” Governor Crist said. “We will continue to be vigilant and take every possible action to protect our beaches and the health and well-being of our residents and visitors.”
The guiding principles of the use of these funds will be:
· Consistent with spirit of Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to protect the coastal zone (to include shoreline, near shore, state waters and subsea zones).
· Coordinated and facilitated for an effective response to protect the sensitive marine environments of Florida threatened by the Deepwater Horizon spill.
· In coordination with the efforts of the responsible party, BP, and the Unified Command, the funding will provide local governments the ability to protect areas not included in the Area Contingency Plan that they believe to have local significance.
· To deliver preparation, mitigation, response and recovery efforts to effect the outcomes of this event on the marine environment.
Additional guidance to state and local government entities will be forthcoming in the near future.
For the most up-to-date information on Florida’s Deepwater Horizon response, as well as health and safety tips, visit www.dep.state.fl.us/deepwaterhorizon.