May 13 2010

SHELBY ANNOUNCES GULF COAST ASSISTANCE

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced $118 million in funding related to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that was included in the fiscal year 2010 Supplemental Appropriations bill.

“Today is the 24th day that oil has poured into the Gulf of Mexico as a result of the explosion on the BP rig,” said Shelby.  “The future of the Gulf Coast is dependent upon the federal government’s oversight to see us through this catastrophe.  We need to continue to adequately fund mitigation, restoration, and cleanup efforts to help our coastal communities get back on their feet with minimal disruption and financial harm.  I will work to make certain that Alabama receives its fair share of this funding.” 

Specifically, the bill includes the funding for the following programs:

Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund
The bill would permit the Coast Guard to obtain one or more advances (up to $100M each) from the Principal Fund within the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to underwrite the federal response activities.

Food Safety - $2 Million
The bill will allow the FDA to monitor and respond to the environmental impact of the oil on seafood fished from the Gulf.

Offshore Oil Exploration Monitoring - $29 Million
Secretary of the Interior for additional inspections, enforcement, studies and other activities related to the oil spill in the Gulf.  It also extends the time allowed for MMS to review/approve oil and gas lessee exploration plans to allow additional time for required review.

Environmental Studies - $9 Million
•$7 million to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
oFunding from NOAA will be used for scientific investigations and sampling as a result of the incidents related to the discharge of oil and the use of dispersants.
•$2 million to the Environmental Protection Agency

Economic Development Administration’s Economic Adjustment Assistance program - $5 Million
This program provides a wide range of technical, planning and infrastructure assistance in regions experiencing adverse economic changes that may occur suddenly or over time including assistance to tourism-related businesses.

Fisheries Disaster - $13 Million
This funding will provide compensation as an effective back-stop authority to guarantee to out-of-work fishermen and the fishery-dependent businesses that they will be compensated for their losses in the event of a declared fisheries disaster.