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Gulf Coast Residents Asked for Input on How to Spend Millions Expected from BP Oil Spill Fines

By Rhonda Miller | Published 03 Oct 2012 11:38pm | comments
GoCoast2020 meeting in Long Beach to get suggestions from the public on how to spend millions of dollars BP will pay in fines for damages from the oil spill.

Mississippi Gulf Coast residents are getting a chance to sound off about how they would like to see millions of dollars spent to restore damage from the BP oil spill. MPB’s Rhonda Miller reports the public session in Long Beach last night covered topics from tourism to drainage.

"...to capture your thoughts and ideas about what the Mississippi Gulf Coast can be and use this RESTORE Act money for..."

Deputy Director of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality Alice Perry gave an overview of the RESTORE Act passed by Congress in June. Perry said the RESTORE Act distributes fines BP will pay for oil spill damage to five Gulf Coast states.

"It certainly touches, in a big way, eco-restoration and seafood, but it can also be used for workforce development, small business, infrastructure...it’s a long list."

Howard Page of the non-profit community group, The STEPS Coalition, has a suggestion on where to start spending the money.

"We look at doing some very badly needed things, like stormwater control, like controlling the sewage that runs off into the beaches that causes a lot of the beach closures."

Many of the 85 people at the meeting, like Sandra Taylor of the Center for Environmental and Economic Justice in Biloxi, came to keep up with developments.

"Just to hear the citizens comments and address their concerns of equitable distribution of the monies and fair treatment for all that have been impacted."

Long  Beach resident Harry Weaver says his city needs improvements in the drainage system.

"My concern is, we have two large cities down here, Biloxi and Gulfport. And Long Beach and Pass Christian are smaller communities. And when this money comes down the line, I don't want to see the big cities gobble it all up."

Gov. Phil Bryant appointed a Gulf Coast leadership team, named GoCoast2020, to gather public input and come up recommendations on how to spend the RESTORE Act money. GoCoat2020 will hold another public meeting tonight at six o'clcok in Bay Saint Louis. 

 Rhonda Miller.  MPB News. Biloxi.

 

 

 

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GoCoast2020 meeting in Long Beach to get suggestions from the public on how to spend millions of dollars BP will pay in fines for damages from the oil spill.


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