Mississippi’s RESTORE Act State Expenditure Plan Amendment Approved

From:  News Release  4/19/19   GCN

(JACKSON, Miss.) – Gov. Phil Bryant announced today that Mississippi’s 2018 State Expenditure Plan Amendment (SEP) has been approved by the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (RESTORE Council). EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, as Chair of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, approved the document on April 12, 2019. The plan details restoration activities under the Oil Spill Impact Component, or Bucket 3, of the RESTORE Act and are administered by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).

Approval of the SEP Amendment will provide approximately $18.65 million in Spill Impact Component funding to support coastal restoration activities. The SEP Amendment includes three proposed new activities—the Mississippi Sound Oyster Shell Recycling Program ($650,000), Beneficial Use of Dredge Material for Marsh Creation and Restoration in Mississippi ($12 million), and the extension of the Hancock County Marsh Living Shoreline to Bayou Caddy ($6 million).

“The RESTORE Council’s approval of this amendment is another important step in Mississippi's recovery from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. We continue to focus our restoration efforts on improving water quality and marine ecosystems based on goals established with public input,” said Gov. Phil Bryant.

“We appreciate Administrator Wheeler’s and the RESTORE Council’s approval of our SEP Plan Amendment. We continue to propose and implement projects that meet the RESTORE Act’s criteria and contribute to the overall ecological and economic recovery of the Gulf Coast,” said Gary Rikard, MDEQ Executive Director.

The RESTORE Act makes available 80 percent of the Clean Water Act civil and administrative penalties paid by the responsible parties for the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. The Oil Spill Impact Component, also referred to as Bucket 3, accounts for 30 percent of the funds available in the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund. The State of Mississippi, as determined by the RESTORE Act, will receive 19.07 percent of the 30 percent allocation of the Oil Spill Impact Component. The RESTORE Act required Mississippi, through MDEQ, to prepare a State Expenditure Plan describing each activity, project, or program for which Mississippi seeks funding under Bucket 3. Click here for project details and to view the Mississippi State Expenditure