WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne today applauded federal approval of Louisiana’s Coastal Impact Assistance Program, calling it a major step forward in providing up to $1 billion over four years to help Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas producing states restore and protect their shoreline environments.
“I welcome this opportunity to fund these vital projects for the State of Louisiana and 19 of its coastal parishes,” Kempthorne said. “Restoring and protecting natural coastal resources is fundamental to the Interior Department’s mission.”
Created by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Coastal Impact Assistance Program disburses $250 million annually for four years, 2007 – 2010, to six eligible Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas producing states – Louisiana, Alabama, Alaska, California, Mississippi and Texas. The funding includes $127.5 million for each of the fiscal years 2007 and 2008, totaling $255 million, to Louisiana and 19 Coastal Political Subdivisions (parishes) for projects outlined in the plan.
Louisiana became the first state to receive approval from Interior’s Minerals Management Service for its Coastal Impact Assistance Program plan when MMS Director Randall Luthi today joined Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco in a signing ceremony at St. James Boat Club along the Blind River in St. James Parish, a project site included in the plan. The approval of Louisiana’s plan allows the state to submit grant proposals for Coastal Impact Assistance Program projects involving conservation, restoration, enhancement and protection of natural coastal resources.
With the plan’s approval, MMS will post Louisiana’s Grant Program Announcement on www.grants.gov today. The announcement provides instructions and guidance on the submittal process for CIAP grant applications. Funding is made available to the state and parishes when the grants are awarded.
Louisiana’s plan, which contains 168 projects covering all four years of the program, is the first plan to be approved. All projects must comply with one of five authorized CIAP uses: the conservation, protection, or restoration of coastal areas, including wetlands; mitigation of damage to fish, wildlife, or natural resources; planning assistance and the administrative costs of complying with CIAP legislation; implementation of a federally-approved marine, coastal, or comprehensive conservation management plan; or mitigation of the impact of offshore oil and gas activities through funding of onshore infrastructure and public service needs.
The remaining five eligible states--Alabama, Alaska, California, Mississippi and Texas-- have until July 1, 2008 to submit their final plans to MMS.
“MMS has looked at these projects and is confident that they meet the requirements of the program to further the efforts of Louisiana to restore, enhance and protect its natural coastal resources,” said Kempthorne.
The allocation of the $127.5 million will be divided with 65 percent of the funding going to the State of Louisiana – $82.9 million and 35 percent being split among the 19 southern parishes -- $44.6 million. See below table for parish distribution.
Louisiana Coastal Political Subdivisions
CIAP Fiscal Year 2007 and Fiscal Year 2008 Allocations
|Coastal Political Subdivisions (CPS)||Percent of Allocation||Total Allocation|
|St. Bernard||5.17%||$ 2,307,278.02|
|St. Charles||3.53%||$ 1,577,519.47|
|St. James||3.08%||$ 1,374,598.90|
|St. John the Baptist||3.32%||$ 1,479,903.09|
|St. Martin||3.60%||$ 1,607,963.60|
|St. Mary||4.21%||$ 1,880,298.83|
|St. Tammany||4.97%||$ 2,217,097.81|