National Academy of Sciences to Run Environmental Program from BP Settlement

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Oceanographic researchers from the University of Miami release drifters in the Gulf of Mexico to study surface currents and the dispersal of oil. The studies are funded with money BP gave to the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative after the Deepwater Horizon accident.

(Click to enlarge) Oceanographic researchers from the University of Miami release drifters in the Gulf of Mexico to study surface currents and the dispersal of oil. The studies are funded with money BP gave to the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative after the Deepwater Horizon accident.

On 15 November, the US government and BP Exploration and Production Inc reached a settlement that requires the company to pay $4 billion in penalties for the 20 April 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.

(From PHYSICS TODAY / by Toni Feder) — More than half of that money will go to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for restoration projects in the five states most affected by the oil spill.Another $350 million will be used by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to establish a program on human health and environmental protection in the Gulf of Mexico. As PHYSICS TODAY went to press, the settlement awaited final approval by a federal judge.

The NAS program will fund R&D, education and training, and environmental monitoring for offshore drilling. “It will be a good-sized program, but not the biggest thing here,” says academy spokesman William Skane. The money will be delivered to the NAS over 5 years and disbursed over 30. The settlement directs the NAS to “seek to advance scientific and technical understanding with the objective of enhancing the safety of offshore oil drilling and hydrocarbon production and transportation in the Gulf of Mexico and on the United States’ outer continental shelf.”

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