UK oil company BP has agreed to pay more than $20 billion (£13bn) to resolve all claims from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010.
The US Department of Justice made the announcement, of what is said to be the largest settlement with a single entity in American history.
Five years ago an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig induced a spill which fouled 1,300 miles of coastline and dumped more than three million barrels of crude oil into the sea.
It killed 11 people and spewed oil for almost three months into waters that bordered the shores of five states.
Loretta E. Lynch, General Attorney said: “Taken as a whole, this resolution is a strong and fitting response. BP is receiving the punishment it deserves, while also providing critical compensation for the injuries it caused to the environment and the economy of the Gulf region.
“The steep penalty should inspire BP and its peers to take every measure necessary to ensure that nothing like this can ever happen again.”