The Houma (La.) Today on BP fine money:

June 10

The Houma (La.) Today on fine money:

Louisiana was the hardest-hit state during the 2010 BP oil spill and its aftermath.

And the planning process for how to spend the fines BP will have to pay — likely in the billions of dollars — should give Louisiana and its people an excellent opportunity to request the projects they would like to see advanced with that money.

A series of public meetings will give you and your neighbors a chance to do just that.

There will be a meeting Wednesday that will discuss the preliminary plan for how to spend money coming to the Gulf Coast through the federal Restore Act, which requires that the lion’s share of the fine money be spent on the coast.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Belle Chasse Auditorium, 8398 La. 23 in Belle Chasse, in Plaquemines Parish just south of Gretna.

If that trip is a bit far afield, don’t worry. ...

That is good to know. However, the opportunity to voice our opinions is only as good as our willingness to accept the challenge. If we don’t take advantage of this opportunity by participating fully in the process, we will have only ourselves to blame if the resulting plan doesn’t fit our preferences.

The meetings this week are a great chance for you to get involved, but they won’t be your last chance.

Another meeting is planned for 6:30 p.m. July 18 at the Courtyard Marriott, 142 Library Drive in Houma. That meeting will focus on collecting public comments on the Natural Resources Damage Assessment process and the plan for spending a $1 billion early payment of BP money.

Every step in the process will be important moving forward. As we make the transition from cleanup to restoration, the public’s input will be a vital tool in keeping the various groups and agencies on task and working for the right outcomes.

The part you can play in this important process is important, but your chance is now. Seize it and have your say on this crucial element in south Louisiana’s future.

Online:

http://www.houmatoday.com

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