Press Release: Congressman Jeff Miller (R-FL-01), today announced that an agreement was reached to include the provisions of the RESTORE Act in the Transportation Reauthorization bill. The RESTORE Act language would require a significant portion of the fines paid by BP and the other responsible parties for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill be used along the affected shores of the Gulf Coast for economic and environmental restoration.

Specifically, the language would require that 80 percent of civil fines from the 2010 oil spill go to the five coastal states directly impacted by the disaster. Also included in the bill is a guarantee that at least 75% of Florida’s share of the fines would go directly to the eight disproportionately affected counties along Northwest Florida. A vote on final passage of the Transportation bill is expected on Friday.

“More than two years after the accident, the Gulf Coast continues to feel the economic impacts of the Gulf oil spill, and BP and the other responsible parties must be held accountable,” Miller said. “Florida businesses are struggling, the real estate market has yet to recover, and individuals are still looking for work. This language will ensure the fines paid by BP for their mistake be returned to our area and promote the economies of the local communities still recovering from this disaster.”

Today’s announcement is another step in the process to restore the Gulf Coast from the damages we suffered as a result of the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Under the Clean Water Act, BP is expected to pay between $5 billion and $21 billion in fines, based on estimates of the flow of oil from the Macondo well.

“I want to thank our municipal and county leaders in Northwest Florida as well as my colleagues in Congress who represent the Gulf Coast for all their diligent work to help make the RESTORE Act a reality,” Miller added. “With this agreement, we can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and begin to heal both the economy and the environment along the Gulf Coast.”