GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - British Petroleum vowed Tuesday to give $100 million in grants to be divided equally among the governments of four Gulf Coast states. The money will be used to instantly speed the implementation of area contingency plans to address the removal of the oil in cities and counties along the coast.
The City of Gulfport said the announcement came during a conference call with state and local officials,
"This is an enormous step forward from BP," Gulfport Mayor George Schloegel said. "This will be a giant help to local governments along the Coast, many of which are still feeling the financial impact of Katrina and the global recession."
The state Department of Environmental Quality and the state Department of Marine Resources expect to have an application process for local governments developed in the coming days.
One of the major concerns expressed by local governments in recent days was how each would fund preparations. Mayors and county leaders told BP officials that financially it would be difficult to prepare as fully as they would have liked without some assistance up front. Tuesday, the oil company answered those concerns.
The $25 million, per state grant is supplemental to the regular claims process that BP has already established.