"Gulf Coast States Prepare To Spend Billions in Fine Money"
"It took Gulf Coast lawmakers more than two years of prodding and negotiating to persuade a divided Congress their communities deserve most of the billions of dollars BP will pay in fines for its role in the 2010 oil spill. Now comes another challenge: figuring out how to spend that money."
"Officials in the five states affected — Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas — have some time to weigh which projects and programs will best help the Gulf Coast recover from the nation's worst environmental disaster.
The first payments of the estimated $5 billion to $20 billion in fines imposed by the federal government aren't expected until early next year, after a scheduled civil trial. If a settlement is reached before that, the money could arrive sooner."Source: Gannett, 07/06/2012