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Grant given to finalize some plans for oil spill money

Mississippi has been awarded $1.4 million to finalize part of its Gulf restoration plans after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill.

Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality Director Gary Rickard says it’s the first grant awarded to any state under the federal RESTORE Act. The funding will be used to finish plans for projects using about 30 percent of the $1.5 billion in BP settlement money Mississippi would receive over 17 years.

The money is part of the $18.7 billion settlement BP reached with five states that was approved in April. Added to $659 million in earlier funding, Mississippi would receive a total of about $2.2 billion.

Rickard says the department will seek public input on the plans, which include a wide variety of projects in Mississippi’s three coastal counties.

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