BP Agrees to $18.7 Billion Deepwater Horizon Settlement

posted: 07/02/15
by: Danny Clemens
Deepwater Horizon burn
Petty Officer 2nd Class Justin Stumberg/United States Navy

The United States Department of Justice announced today that BP has agreed to pay nearly $19 billion to settle claims relating to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The settlement is the largest with a single entity in American history, and the largest Clean Water Act fine ever.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch remarked that the massive settlement would "help repair the damage done to the Gulf economy, fisheries, wetlands and wildlife; and it would bring lasting benefits to the Gulf region for generations to come".

In a press release, BP explains that the settlement will be broken down as follows:

  • $5.5 billion will be paid to the United States federal government over 15 years under the Clean Water Act
  • $7.1 billion will be paid to the federal government and Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas state governments for "natural resource damages"
  • $4.9 billion will be paid to the same five state governments to settle economic claims
  • $1 billion will be paid out to settle more than 400 local government claims

"Five years ago we committed to restore the Gulf economy and environment and we have worked ever since to deliver on that promise," said BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg. "We have made significant progress, and with this agreement we provide a path to closure for BP and the Gulf."

According to one major group, however, closure is far from here. Released in April, a 30-page report from the National Wildlife Federation found that Gulf wildlife is still suffering the long-term effects of massive oil spill.

"The science is clear that this is not over - and sea turtles, dolphins, fish, and birds are still suffering from the fallout. Holding BP fully accountable and using all fines and penalties to restore the Gulf of Mexico must be a national priority," NWF president Collin O'Mara remarked.

Click here to learn more about the NWF report

Learn more about oil spills:

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Oil Spill Tragedy

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