Agency votes against using BP restoration funds on bridge
BATON ROUGE - BP settlement funds meant for ecological restoration won't be diverted to finish a $350 million project to elevate a highway to connect the mainland with a key oil and gas port at the edge of the Gulf of Mexico - something environmental groups and even gubernatorial candidates railed against.
On Wednesday, the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, a panel which oversees coastal matters in south Louisiana, voted instead to look at using another source of money for the bridge and leave the BP PLC settlement funds alone.
The compromise entails allowing up to 10 percent of funds Louisiana is due to receive in 2017 from offshore revenues - that now go to the federal government - to be spent on infrastructure projects such as elevating the bridge.
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