BP’s $20bn oil spill settlement gets final approval

A federal judge in New Orleans has given final approval to around $20 billion (£13.8bn) settlement over the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Six years ago an explosion […]

By Jacqueline Echevarria

A federal judge in New Orleans has given final approval to around $20 billion (£13.8bn) settlement over the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Six 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 also killed 11 people.

The settlement was first announced in July when the oil giant agreed it with the US Government.

It includes $5.5 billion (£3.7bn) in civil Clean Water Act penalties and billions more to cover environmental damage and other claims by states and local government. It will be paid out over the course of 16 years.

The agreement is believed to be the largest corporate settlement in US history.

US Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said: “The approval of this agreement will open a final, hopeful chapter in the six-year story of the Deepwater Horizon tragedy. Today’s action holds BP accountable with the largest environmental penalty of all time while launching one of the most extensive environmental restoration efforts ever undertaken.

“The Department of Justice will continue to stand with the people of the Gulf as they seek to rebuild and protect the marine life, coastal systems and beautiful beaches that have made the region a treasured natural resource.”

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