The RESTORE Act establishes the Council as an independent entity in the Federal Government. The Council is charged with helping to restore the ecosystem and economy of the Gulf Coast region by developing and overseeing implementation of a Comprehensive Plan and carrying out other responsibilities. The Council is chaired by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce and includes the Governors of the States of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas and the Secretaries of the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Army, Homeland Security and the Interior, and the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The Council has responsibilities with respect to 60 percent of the funds made available from the Gulf Restoration Trust Fund. Thirty percent of the Trust Fund, plus interest, will be administered for ecosystem restoration and protection by the Council, known as the Council-Selected Restoration Component. The other 30 percent of the Trust Fund will be allocated to the Gulf Coast States under a formula described in the RESTORE Act and spent according to individual State Expenditure Plans (Spill Impact Component). The State Expenditure Plans must be consistent with the Goals and Objectives of the Initial Comprehensive Plan and are subject to the Council’s approval.