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NEW ORLEANS — The U.S. Justice Department and five states announced a final $20-billion settlement with BP plc regarding environmental damage claims related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
According to The Associated Press, the deal struck on Oct. 5 still must be approved by a judge and go through a 60-day public comment period.
If the settlement filed in federal court in New Orleans is approved, all civil claims against London-based BP would be settled. Under the $20-billion settlement, the oil company would be required to pay $5.5 billion in Clean Water Act penalties; a total of $5 billion to Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas; and $8.1 billion in natural resource damages.
“BP is receiving the punishment it deserves, while also providing critical compensation for the injuries that it caused to the environment and the economy of the Gulf region,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said during a Justice Department news conference.
BP spokesperson Geoff Morrell responded that the settlement includes amounts already spent or disclosed by the company and “resolves the largest litigation liabilities remaining from the tragic accident.”
The Deepwater Horizon accident was a 134 million-gallon oil spill that affected 1,300 miles of shoreline.