A federal judge has granted final approval of BP’s settlement over claims related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico for $20.8 billion. The Deepwater Horizon rig explosion killed eleven workers and millions of gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico.

The settlement was reached with the federal government and state authorities in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, and includes $5.5 billion in penalties related to the Clean Water Act, $8.1 billion for natural resource damage and up to $700 million to address any concerns that are yet to be discovered. BP will also pay $4.9 billion to Gulf states and up to $1 billion to several hundred local governmental bodies. The settlement will be paid out over the course of 16 years.

The Department of Justice declared this the largest settlement with a single entity in history and the largest civil penalty in the history of environmental law.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement Monday that the order was one more step toward helping make the region’s economy whole and to correct “the worst environmental disaster in American history.”

Gross Negligence

Judge Carl Barbier granted final approval to the deal, which was first announced in July 2015, after establishing in an earlier ruling that BP had acted with “gross negligence” in the disaster.

“BP’s negligent acts that caused the blowout, explosion and oil spill … were profit-driven decisions,” Barbier declared in a November 2014 ruling. “These instances of negligence, taken together, evidence an extreme deviation from the standard of care and a conscious disregard of known risks.”

Review settlement details here.


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