Alabama to rake in $335 million from BP - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Alabama to rake in $335 million from BP

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Alabama will receive more than a quarter of a billion dollars in funds from the settlement struck between BP and the Department of Justice last week.

BP agreed to pay $4.5 billion overall, more than $1.3 billion in criminal fines alone, which is the most ever.

Three Gulf States, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida will each receive $335 million from the settlement. Texas will receive just less than $200 million and Louisiana will receive the lion's share of more than a billion dollars.

The funds will be distributed by the National Fish and Wildlife a Foundation, a non-profit group authorized by Congress in 1984. According to the organization's website it will, "direct the funds largely to projects . . . for "environmental restoration, preservation, and conservation efforts throughout (the Gulf) region."

The involvement of the NFWF was agreed to in the Justice Department's settlement with BP.

"Well I don't even know what that organization is to tell you the truth," Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said Monday. "And we don't know exactly how it will get to the state."

It is unclear how the money will be directed to Alabama's Gulf Coast. Gov. Bentley said that was one of his biggest frustrations with the stipulation in the settlement.

Gov. Bentley said, "There needs to be some organizational structure on how you apply for this. You cannot have a feeding frenzy over this $335 million."

The governor stopped short of calling for all of the funds to be distributed on the state level, but did say he wished process was clearer.

The criminal settlement with BP was separate from the civil trial against the oil giant that is slated to begin in February. Alabama's Attorney General Luther Strange is the coordinating counsel for the states' case against BP.

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