Politics & Government

Millions in BP money is headed to South Mississippi. Who’s in charge of it?

A citizens advisory board prepared Wednesday to dig through South Mississippi applications for $57 million in BP economic damage funds the state will receive each year through 2033 because of the 2010 oil spill catastrophe.

Members of the Gulf Coast Restoration Advisory Board questioned how much authority they will really have in selecting projects to fund. Applications will be accepted from the public, nonprofit and private sectors. The Legislature pick projects to be funded based on two layers of advice: what GCRAB recommends to the Mississippi Development Authority, followed by MDA’s recommendations to the Legislature.

MDA Deputy Director Jamie Miller agreed the board will receive applications at the same time they flow into MDA from a web portal. Miller also outlined a tentative time frame for the process:

  • Begin accepting applications June 1.
  • Application review begins Aug. 1.
  • MDA completes scoring applications by Aug. 31.
  • MDA, with input from the committee, finalizes its list of recommended projects by mid-November.
  • MDA submits the list to the Legislature on Dec. 1.