Triumph Bill submitted to Governor Rick Scott for approval

Community News


The Triumph bills, HB 7077 and HB 7079, were sent to Governor Rick Scott’s office Thursday, beginning the 15 day window for him to sign or veto the bills. Once the bills become law, the $300 million will be placed into a trust fund and Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., the corporation tasked with awarding funds for projects in the Panhandle, will be created. The purpose of these projects and programs is to provide regional economic transformation and diversity for the area.

Seventy-five percent of the BP settlement payment (about $300 million) is expected released to the corporation by July 1, 2017 to benefit the eight disproportionately affected counties (Bay, Escambia, Franklin, Gulf, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton and Wakulla Counties). The Board of County Commissioners of each of the eight counties must submit to the corporation a list of projects it or other elected local governing boards recommend in order to receive funding. Monies will be released only for projects approved by the corporation made up of representatives from each of the affected counties.

Under the economic damages settlement, BP will pay Florida $2 billion that resolves the economic damage claims arising from the Deepwater Horizion incident. Florida will receive payments over the course of several years per an agreed schedule. An initial payment of $400 million was received in 2016 and beginning in 2019, Florida will receive annual payments of approximately $106,666,666 through 2033.

This bill of the BP oil spill in 2010. On April 20, 2010, an offshore drilling rig known as the Deepwater Horizion exploded, caught fire, and eventually sank, resulting in a massive release of oil and substances from BP’s Macondo well. Initial efforts to cap the well following the explosion were unsuccessful, and oil and natural gas continuously and uncontrollably spilled into the northern Gulf of Mexico. According to the U.S. District Court’s findings of fact, approximately 3.19 million barrels (124 million gallons) of oil were released into the ocean, resulting in the largest offshore marine oil spill in U.S. history.

Cumulatively, over the course of the spill, oil was detected on over 43,300 square miles on the ocean, an area about the size of Virginia. Currents, winds, and tides carried these surface oil slicks to the Gulf states, fouling more than 1,300 miles of shoreline, including beaches, bays, estuaries, and marshes.