Panhandle Counties Plan to Spend Oil Spill Funds

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) -- Three years after the massive Gulf oil spill fouled Florida Panhandle beaches, millions of dollars in restitution are flowing into the region. New piers are being built, boat ramps are being planned and sand dunes are being restored.

The money is coming into the state under a complicated formula dividing fines paid by BP and the companies that made the drilling equipment that failed in April 2010 off the coast of Louisiana.

Towns all along the Gulf Coast are making plans for projects to improve access to the area's waterways and restore the region's ecosystem.

The final amount of money that comes to Florida and other Gulf Coast states will be determined by a judge in Louisiana. If BP is found grossly negligent, the fine could be $18 billion.

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