Latest news: October 6, 2011

Gulf of Mexico oil spill response can be part of a broader recovery, task force says

By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, La.). October 6, 2011.

“The federal-state Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force released a wide-ranging list of strategies Wednesday for repairing damage done to Gulf of Mexico ecosystems by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill and by other long-term threats. The task force was appointed a year ago by President Barack Obama, who directed it to respond to the dangers posed by both the oil spill and other threats facing the Gulf of Mexico. In meetings across the Gulf Coast, the task force listened to concerns about pollution, overfishing and the loss of critical habitat…”

Gulf Coast lawmakers reach compromise on BP oil-spill fine money

By Deborah Barfield Berry, The Montgomery Advertiser (Montgomery, Al.). October 6, 2011.

“WASHINGTON — After months of negotiations, Gulf Coast lawmakers reached a compromise and introduced a bill in the House Wednesday that would steer most of the fines collected from the BP oil spill to the region for recovery efforts…”

E.P.A. Panel Issues Plan for Gulf Coast Restoration

By Campbell Robertson, The New York Times (New York, Ny.). October 5, 2011.

“A year after its creation, a federal-state working group on Wednesday released a preliminary strategy for addressing long-term environmental problems along the Gulf Coast, including the disappearance of wetlands and a seasonal dead zone caused by runoff from the Mississippi into the Gulf of Mexico…”

Gulf Coast members introduce bill to send 80 percent of BP spill funds to the Gulf Coast

By Bruce Alpert, Times-Picayune (New Orleans, La.). October 5, 2011.

“WASHINGTON — A coalition of Gulf Coast House members said Wednesday that they have agreed to introduce legislation that would direct 80 percent of environmental fines from last year’s BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to the states for coastal restoration…”

Task force targets Gulf cleanup, oil spill dollars

Written by Ramit Plushnick-Masti, Associated Press. October 5, 2011.

“HOUSTON — Five coastal states are determined to clean up the damaged Gulf of Mexico ecosystem after last year’s oil spill highlighted how decades of contamination and deterioration had placed a backbone of the U.S. economy at risk of ruin, according to a federal report released Wednesday…”

Gulf restoration begins with people: Lisa P. Jackson

By EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, La.). October 5, 2011.

“A year ago today, President Barack Obama established the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force to prepare the region for transitioning from response to recovery in the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon blowout. The members of the task force — representatives from the five Gulf states and 11 federal agencies — have joined in unprecedented collaboration and public outreach to set the agenda for long-term restoration of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem…”

Area congressmen sign on to RESTORE Act

By Tom McLaughlin, Florida Freedom Newspapers (Panama City, Fl.). October 5, 2011.

“WASHINGTON — Northwest Florida’s U.S. representatives were among those who announced Wednesday they have signed on as sponsors to a House version of the RESTORE the Gulf Coast Act…”

Keep watch on Gulf killifish: An editorial

By Editorial page staff, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, La.). October 5, 2011.

“The results of an LSU study that found toxins in a small Gulf minnow should prompt additional research to examine whether the problem is related to last year’s BP oil spill. The study, which tracked the small marsh-dweller Gulf killifish, found signs of the hydrocarbon poisoning that preceded the collapse of some fish populations in Alaska after the Exxon Valdez spill…”