NEW ORLEANS – The central legal case in the aftermath of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident was resolved Monday after a federal judge approved BP’s $20.8-billion settlement with the Justice Department, five Gulf states, and hundreds of local governments.
The settlement, first announced last July, was the US government’s largest environmental settlement ever. US District Judge Carl Barbier approved it in a final judgment on Monday.
The Justice Department had sued BP in 2010, a few months after the runaway Macondo well spilled millions of barrels of crude into the ocean, for $18 billion in environmental fines. A blast on the Deepwater Horizon rig killed 11 workers and plunged the rig in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Justice Department is charging BP $1,720 per each barrel it spilled, about $5.5 billion all told, which is reportedly well below the $13 billion sum than the maximum amount it could have won in court.
BP will pay the Justice Department about $379.3 million each year from 2017 to 2031.
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