Tampa receives largest share of BP settlement

In this April 2010 file photo, oil can be seen in the Gulf of Mexico, more than 50 miles southeast of Venice on Louisiana's tip, as a large plume of smoke rises from fires on BP's Deepwater Horizon. Image AP.

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA)-

Oil Spill
FILE- In this June 4, 2010 file photo, a worker picks up blobs of oil with absorbent snare on Queen Bess Island at the mouth of Barataria Bay near the Gulf of Mexico in Plaquemines Parish, La. BP and five Gulf states announced a record $18.7 billion settlement Thursday, July 2, 2015, that resolves years of legal fighting over the environmental and economic damage done by the energy giant’s oil spill in 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

The BP government settlement is huge. But how much money should local governments get?   Most of the $18.7 billion dollars goes to state governments, but it was up to local government to plead for its piece. Tampa’s $27 million is more than any other city in Florida.  “We also had the good sense to go out and hire somebody who is recognized as one of the best lawyers in America,” Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said.

Research from University of Florida scientists was used to make Tampa’s case. “It’s the fear factor,” said Bill Hogarth, of the Florida Institute of Oceanography. “People saw it on the news and said, “We’re not going to eat seafood, we’re not going to the beach, we’re not going in the water.” He said Tampa’s damages were mostly economic. “It has I guess a triple down affect all through the economy, from a tax revenue,” Hogarth said. The money is good, but Hogarth says it won’t wipe clean the effects of the spill. “I’m a little concerned about what might be on the bottom in case we have a hurricane to stir it up and that type of thing,” he said. “We have to watch. some of this is long term, genetics is long term.”

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