The state of Louisiana may push to negotiate directly with the Justice Department, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other responsible parties in the BP, Deepwater Horizon oil spill incident. Opposed to letting the funds go to the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund for dispersal; Louisiana officials may petition to negotiate settlements for them self.
The Deepwater Horizon disaster that occurred off the Gulf of Mexico last summer devastated several coastal areas, but by large, Louisiana suffered the most. Millions of barrels worth of crude oil spilt into the water, damaging the sea life, marshes and shores along the state. This is in addition to eleven men losing their lives in the initial explosion of the drilling rig.
A year later, the state is still trying to recover. More than 150 miles of marshland area is still contaminated with oil; jeopardizing vegetation, wildlife and the very delicate eco balance. Animal rescue groups still treat dolphins, sea turtles and other sea creatures who turn up soaked in oil.
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The full impact on human health, sea life, and the state’s way of life, may not be seen for months or years to come. This is one reason that officials are looking at negotiating directly with the federal offices and parties responsible. If the settlement goes through congress and ends up in the hands of the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, they could divert as much as 80 percent of the funds to all the coastal states.
Louisiana feels that since 60 to 90 percent of the spill was on them or directly affected their state and coast line, they should be getting the majority or all of that 80 percent of funds. If they did receive the money, it would go into (supplemental) environmental projects to restore the states coast, fisheries and environment.
Local and state officials feel they would have a better chance negotiating directly with those involved on the facts and merit of the occurrence, than to try to negotiate with congress and other coastal, state delegations.