Government

Restore Act Multiyear Plan Open For 45-Day Public Comment

On April 20, 2010, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig launched the largest offshore oil spill in United States history.

The Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012 (RESTORE Act) established the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund in the U.S. Treasury Department whereby 80% of the civil penalties paid after July 6, 2012, under the Clean Water Act in connection with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill will be deposited into the Trust Fund and invested. The Act directs 35% of the funds deposited into the Trust Fund to Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, 23% to Florida Counties and 20% to Louisiana Parishes, including Jefferson Parish, based on a formula described in the Act. Direct component funds may be used for programs, projects, and activities that restore and protect the environment and economy of the Gulf Coast region.

As a prerequisite for receiving Direct Component funding, each applicant must submit a multiyear plan to cover a period of time during which projects could be undertaken with funds available from the Trust Fund. The multiyear plan must include the Multiyear Implementation Matrix, a map showing the locations where the work will be performed, and the narrative description.

On July 27, 2016, the Jefferson Parish Council authorized advertisement of the Draft Multiyear Plan for public review and comment. The Draft Plan includes engineering, design, permitting, bid package and construction, as funding allows, for Gulfside and Bayside Shoreline Breakwaters at Grand Isle, Louisiana.

Jefferson Parish Government has released for public review and comments its Draft Multiyear Plan describing projects that could potentially be funded with RESTORE Act Direct Component funds. As of March 31, 2016, Direct Component funds available to Jefferson Parish are $2,347,375.04 from the Transocean and Anadarko Penalty and Interest Payment Deposits. This funding is just one of the many sources of funding associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. It is anticipated that an additional $11 million in Direct Component funds will be made available to Jefferson Parish over the next 15 years once Clean Water Act fines are finalized.

The Draft Multiyear Plan is available for review and comment on the Parish website www.jeffparish.net, and is also available from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, at the Department of Environmental Affairs Office, located at 4901 Jefferson Highway, Suite E, Jefferson, LA 70121.

Public notice was published on August 24, 31, and on September 7, 2016, informing the public of the availability to review and comment on the Jefferson Parish Multiyear Plan.

There will be a 45-day public review and comment period before the Plan is sent to the U.S. Treasury Department for acceptance. The Public Comment Period began on August 24, 2016 and will end on October 10, 2016.

Written comments may be submitted on-line to RESTOREAct@jeffparish.net, or to:

Jefferson Parish Department of Environmental Affairs
4901 Jefferson Highway, Suite E
Jefferson, LA 70121

For more information, contact Michael P. Lockwood, Director of the Department of Environmental Affairs, at 731-4612.

About the author

The West Bank Beacon

The West Bank Beacon is a local monthly publication with a mailed circulation of over 15,000 and thousands more distributed at points from Gretna to Grand Isle, the Beacon tells the story of a thriving community. A “good news” newspaper, our mission is to make readers aware of how both individuals and groups are making a positive difference in the neighborhoods where they live. This includes a focus on civic and city initiatives, volunteer efforts, and charity fundraisers, to name just a few examples.

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