Pruitt to Chair Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council

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Posted: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 8:16 pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- President Donald Trump appointed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt as the new chairperson of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council.

"I am honored to be selected by the states and look forward to working with the governors to continue the excellent work of this Council to further the critical mission of restoring the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

Administrator Pruitt was appointed, following his unanimous selection by the five states on the council, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. The Council is responsible for helping to restore the ecosystems and economies of the Gulf Coast region from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

EPA Administrator Pruitt succeeds the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, who began serving as the Council’s Chair in March 2016. Administrator Pruitt has designated Kenneth Wagner, senior advisor to the administrator for regional and state affairs, to serve as his designee on the Council.

The Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast Act of 2012 established the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council and the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund, and dedicates 80 percent of Clean Water Act penalties resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to the Trust Fund, for restoration projects in the Gulf Coast region.

The Council is responsible for administering 60 percent of the total funding allocated from the Trust Fund: 30 percent under the Council-Selected Restoration Component and 30 percent under the Spill Impact Component. The Council is chaired by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and members include the governors of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, as well as the secretaries of the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Homeland Security, the Army and the Interior.

The Council is responsible for helping to restore the ecosystems and economies of the Gulf Coast region by developing and overseeing implementation of a Comprehensive Plan and carrying out other responsibilities.

SOURCE: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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