Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

Real news for working families.  An online newspaper

Florida News

BP Oil Disaster Trial Set for Today

NEW ORLEANS - Billions of dollars and the health of Florida's Gulf Coast are on the line as the civil trial against BP begins today in New Orleans.

Based on provisions in the Oil Pollution Act and the Clean Water Act, the company could be ordered to pay $40 billion in damages.

Brian Moore, legislative director for the National Audubon Society, says it's important to make sure there are enough resources to repair the damage done to the Gulf now and in the future.

National Wildlife Federation: How Does the BP Oil Spill Impact Wildlife and Habitat

"We believe this is a living disaster and we still don't know the full environmental impacts," he says. "And there's a single rule that we all should be reminded of - we've seen it posted in stores, which is 'You broke it, you've bought it,' and this is a broken ecosystem."

The Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010 leaked an estimated 170 million gallons of oil into the Gulf, making it the largest environmental disaster in the country's history.

Attorneys from both sides had hoped to settle the case this week.

John Kostyack, vice president of Wildlife Conservation for the National Wildlife Federation, says he and other conservation groups understand it's important to secure the money from BP to fully begin the restoration process.

"The Department of Justice has a responsibility to set a penalty amount that factors in BP's assets," he says, "and the risk that they will continue business as usual if their bottom-line is not affected by any settlement."

Because of the Restore Act, passed and signed into law last year, 80 percent of the funds collected from BP will go to the restoration and health of the Gulf Coast, but those funds are on hold until the remaining cases are resolved. Federal investigators said efforts by BP to cut down on costs and save time lead to the oil spill.

Links and photos added by the Observer

Image: International Bird Rescue

Comments  (to add a comment go here)

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.