The state of Florida has moved closer to dishing out hundreds of millions in financial assistance to communities hit by the effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, according to the Associated Press.
That follows a unanimous vote by legislators in the State Senate for a bill assuring the distribution of $300m to eight counties. The money has been sitting in limbo for almost a year.
In a settlement with oil giant BP, Florida was awarded $2bn for economic losses to be paid over a 17-year period. The first instalment was paid last year but was held up because of partisan political differences over how it should be spent.
Future instalments will be distributed by a non-profit corporation set up for the purpose.
On 20 April, 2010, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 people and led to a seabed oil gusher that could not be capped for three months and which belched about 200m gallons of crude oil into the Gulf.
The rig, 150 miles offshore Louisiana, was operated by BP.