Today, Governor Bobby Jindal sent a letter to Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis of the U.S. Department of Labor requesting through the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) of 1990 for disaster related workforce training and job placement services and unemployment benefit services for workers displaced as a result of the oil spill.
May 1, 2010
Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis
U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20210
Dear Secretary Solis:
Louisiana is currently contending with a tragic environmental disaster, and we are preparing for a worst case scenario. The controlling law for an oil discharge into or upon the navigable waters and adjoining shorelines is the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) of 1990, 33 U.S.C. § 2701 et seq. OPA allows for the recovery of removal costs and damages, which includes damages for loss of subsistence use of natural resources, for loss of profits and impairment of earning capacity, and for the net costs of providing increased or additional public services.
The declaration that this discharge is a spill of national significance should allow federal authorities, within the parameters of the OPA, to approve programs and resources the state needs to adequately respond to this incident. Louisiana, in responding to previous emergencies and disasters, has used federal programs such as the Workforce Investment Act, Social Security Act, Federal Unemployment Insurance Tax Act and others to provide necessary services to our citizens.
We need your approval to provide the most expeditious and cost efficient means of administering those necessary services for the affected areas and citizens of Louisiana. Therefore, we are requesting for you to approve providing funding through OPA for such disaster related workforce training and job placement services and unemployment benefit services for workers displaced as a result of the oil spill.
We realize that under OPA, the responsible party (RP) is liable to provide for all needs in this instance. In an abundance of caution, we are seeking this preliminary approval should the RP's plans fall short of meeting the needs of our people.
Due to the ever growing impact resulting from the continuing oil discharge, we would ask that you respond to this request by close of business on Monday, May 3, 2010.
Governor Bobby Jindal