Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

Real news for working families.  An online newspaper

Florida News

 $4.5 Billion BP Settlement Called a “Down Payment” for Florida

TAMPA, FL - BP is set to pay $4.5 billion for criminal charges related to the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

The U.S. Justice Department announced the settlement on Thursday. It covers guilty pleas of manslaughter for the 11 lives lost, as well as charges under the Federal Migratory Bird Act, and obstruction of Congress.

Some of the money will be distributed to Florida, with portions to be used for habitat restoration. John Kostyak, vice president of wildlife conservation at the National Wildlife Federation, calls it a "down payment." More fines are expected under the Clean Water Act.

"It all may sound like a lot of money, but this is a very big company and part of these penalties is to deter future recklessness that puts our environment at risk."

The criminal settlement will have to be cleared by federal court.

Kostyak says keep in mind that the oil spilled -more than 200 million gallons - is still churning its way towards U.S. shores, and the full extent of damage won't be known for years.

"So there's plenty of oil still out there in the system, a lot of it is deep down in the Gulf and it will take a big storm to stir it up, but that's very possible. There's also - we don't know the impact not just of the toxic oil, but all the toxic dispersant that was put in to break up the oil."

BP's chief executive issued a statement: "All of us at BP deeply regret the tragic loss of life caused by the Deepwater Horizon accident as well as the impact of the spill on the Gulf Coast region." He added that the company accepts responsibility for its actions. 

Links and Graphic added by the Observer

Comments  (to add a comment go here)

This work by the Columbia County Observer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

Meeting Calendar
No need to be confused - Find links to agendas and where your participation is welcome.
Make a comment • click here •
All comments are displayed at the end of the article and are moderated.