BRAF denies mishandling oil spill claims
The Baton Rouge Area Foundation says it did not mishandle claims made by those who have sought money from a $100 million fund established by BP to offset income losses caused by the federal drilling moratorium put in place following the April 2010 oil spill. Some oil rig workers and others are accusing BRAF of not giving them a fair shake at getting claims paid, as reported by The Times-Picayune in a story you can read here. "I don't think it could have been any more fair," says BRAF spokesman Mukul Verma, of the way claims were handled. After being selected by BP to handle the $100 million fund, BRAF created a nonprofit organization called Gulf Coast Restoration and Protection Foundation to manage the money. BRAF was reportedly paid $6.5 million to administer the fund. Of 1,766 applications received, Verma says, GCRPF paid out 755 grants to applicants totaling $11.4 million. Only 30 applications were denied, Verma says, "mostly because [the applicants] were actually making more money or making about the same amount of money" at jobs obtained after the moratorium was put in place. About 900 applications were deemed incomplete, Verma says, and thus grants were not awarded to the people who submitted them. Read the full story here. —Steve Sanoski
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