Jindal Releases Plan For Coastal Projects With BP Money

New Orleans, La. – Governor Jindal says the projects include restoring oyster habitats, fisheries and barrier islands. The money will come from $1 billion BP offered in April as part of the Natural Resources Damage Assessment process that will take years to complete. He says Louisiana deserves most of the money.

"Sixty percent or more of the injured, oiled and killed birds, mammals, fish and other wildlife were all found off of our shore. Even today, as you look at the oil that remains on the coast today, even today, our state has 100 percent of the heavy oiling, over 99 percent of the moderate oiling, and nearly 90 percent of the light or very light oiled shoreline in the Gulf of Mexico."

He says of the five Gulf Coast states affected by the spill, Louisiana sustained the toughest blow.

"By any measure, whether you look at miles of shoreline, the amount of oil, you look at the species that are impacted, Louisiana has received the brunt of the impact, the damage caused by this oil spill."

BP has agreed to pay each state $100 million dollars. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Interior Department will get $100 million dollars apiece. An additional $300 million will divided among the projects found most worthy by a trustee council representing the region. The process is determined by the Oil Spill Act of 1990. BP provides money as a legally determined "responsible party."

St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro says he hopes the oil company will act quickly.

"BP has managed to put themselves in a veto position again. Ok. It's their money and unfortunately the way the federal law reads they have the ability now to make this difficult. Or they have the ability to do what they've said they would do, and that is to make it right."

Several environmental groups are supporting the governor's list of projects. Jindal says proposals now being developed for later funding rounds include areas of Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi Sound.
For WWNO, I'm Eileen Fleming.