Louisiana is expecting big money from BP in the form of Clean Water Act fines. Just how much you ask? Try $1,000 per barrel of oil spilled (As per OPA (Oil Pollution Act) §4301) Well, no one (besides the EPA) is entirely sure how much BP will be on the hook for, because there were significant amounts of spilled oil captured, but we can sure that it will be a lot. At the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority meeting on Wednesday, the agency announced that it would be hiring contractors to meet with coastal communities about using the Ca$h for coastal restoration (mitigation) projects. Five projects were listed as “high priority”
- North-shore marsh restoration and creation in the area from Goose Point to La. 11 on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. Estimated cost is $40 million.
- Alligator Bend Marsh Creation and Shoreline Protection, to the south of Pass Rigolets. Estimated cost is $50 million.
- Oyster reef restoration in the Biloxi Marsh west of the Chandeleur Islands. Estimated cost $50 million.
- Chandeleur Islands project would continue to pump sand for beach nourishment to add to sand already placed there by berm construction. Estimated cost $100 million.
- Restoration at Pass a Loutre, on the eastern side of the Mississippi River delta. For years, dredged material from federal projects was deposited in the area and has slowed the amount of water that gets into the area. Because of this lack of water and sediment, the outer delta in the area is starting to erode, Dufrechou[general manager of the Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission] said. The project would dredge the channel and use the material to build marsh in the area, he said. Estimated cost is $250 million.
Is this the best place to spend the money?
I see this starting a huge mud-slinging match between communities within Louisiana, the various state agencies, and the different states affected.