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disaster 42 articles

St. Pete Beach sues BP over economic losses tied to Gulf oil spill

Although no oil from BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill reached the shores of St. Pete Beach, Florida, a lot of bad press and cancelled reservations did. Now the city is taking legal action against the oil giant in an attempt to recover lost revenues officials say were the result when millions of gallons of oil flooded the Gulf. The spill generated fear and uncertainty about where the oil slick would go and prompted visitors from all over to vacation somewhere else. Other municipalities in Florida and the other Gulf states have sued BP for lost tourism revenues, but St. ... Read More

Alabama leaders express high hopes for BP oil spill fine money

President Obama signed the RESTORE Act into law Friday, a measure that will channel billions of dollars in BP oil spill fine money away from federal coffers, sending it instead directly to the Gulf Coast states to aid in environmental and economic recovery. Senators Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana) and Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) introduced the RESTORE Act in July 2011 in an effort to ensure most of the fines collected under the Clean Water Act would be invested on the Gulf Coast. Under federal law, such fines collected by the government are normally deposited in a general fund used for the cleanup ... Read More

BP oil spill doubled Louisiana marsh erosion, new study finds

BP’s 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has doubled the rate of erosion along dozens of miles of Louisiana marshlands, a new University of Florida study has found. Some of the delicate marshes that form Louisiana’s southernmost landmass are disappearing at a rate of nearly 10 feet per year thanks to the oil spill, according to the study’s researchers. University of Florida researcher Brian Silliman who led the study, first arrived in Louisiana with his team in July 2010, just weeks after BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig exploded about 45 miles from the coast. The oil “looked like a ... Read More

U.S., BP could be nearing agreement over oil-spill fines

The United States and BP could be in the final phase of settlement discussions that will determine how much in fines and penalties the oil company will pay for its 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Wall Street Journal has reported. Civil and criminal penalties for the oil spill would be assessed on a per-barrel basis of oil spilled, meaning BP could be looking at paying anywhere from $5.4 billion to $21 billion in civil fines under the Clean Water Act. If the U.S. determines criminal activity played a role in the disastrous oil spill, ... Read More

Explosion in BP Colorado natural gas facility kills one, severely injures two

An explosion at a BP gas compression station near Durango, Colorado, Monday morning killed one worker and seriously injured two others. According to the Durango Herald, the compression station extracts natural gas from wells and sends it through a pipeline to storage. The Pinon plant where the explosion occurred processes about 30 million cubic feet of gas daily and is the largest such facility in Colorado’s La Plata County. It is located along U.S. Highway 160 east of Durango on federally owned land between Elmore’s Corner and Bayfield. According to the Durango Herald, the explosion occurred at 8:15 a.m. MST ... Read More

BP, others buy offshore drilling rights in first Gulf auction since 2010 oil spill

BP has obtained more offshore drilling rights in the same region of the Gulf of Mexico where its Deepwater Horizon operations spun out of control in 2010, resulting in the deaths of 11 workers, the destruction of a $365-million rig, and the biggest environmental disaster in U.S. history. In the fourth largest Gulf oil-lease sale since 1983, the U.S. government put 454 tracts in the deep waters of the central Gulf up for bid. BP had the second highest number of winning bids, laying claim to 43 tracts for $239.5 million. Apache Corp. acquired 61 tracts, the highest number of ... Read More

Jury sides with Kevin Costner in BP oil spill cleanup case

Kevin Costner prevailed in a court case brought against him by Stephen Baldwin, who claimed his fellow actor cheated him out of millions of dollars when he sold dozens of water-cleaning centrifuge devices to BP during the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Mr. Baldwin claimed he and his friend Spyridon Contogouris, who was a fellow plaintiff in the case, didn’t know about a $52-million deal when they sold their shares of Ocean Therapy Solutions (OTS) – Mr. Costner’s company that specializes in making devices to separate oil from water using centrifugal force. Mr. Costner bought the company from the ... Read More

New oil spill claims centers receive more than 13,000 claims in first 2 weeks

Just two weeks after opening, Deepwater Horizon Claims Center (DHCC) offices have received more than 13,000 claims from individuals and businesses on the Gulf Coast. A March agreement between BP and the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill led to the creation of the court-supervised DHCC, which replaces the controversial Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) run by Kenneth Feinberg under BP’s oversight. The DHCC opened 18 claims centers in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas earlier in June. Lafayette, Louisiana, lawyer Patrick Juneau was appointed as the DHCC’s administrator, taking over responsibilities from Mr. Feinberg. ... Read More

Judge denies BP access to federal emails in oil-spill litigation

A federal judge refused to give BP access to 21 federal documents the company believes could play an important role in its defense against U.S. claims for oil spill damages under the Clean Water Act. The documents include email communications between the White House and top U.S. officials exchanged during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill that flooded the Gulf of Mexico with more than 200 million gallons of oil.  BP asked the court last month to review the classified documents containing information about U.S. policy deliberations and oil-spill response. The emails BP wanted released were sent between Secretary of ... Read More

Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee holding oil spill claims seminars in June

Members of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) who negotiated a settlement with BP over its 2010 Gulf oil spill are offering a series of one-day seminars this month to explain details of the agreement. The seminars, which kick off Monday, June 18 in New Orleans, will be offered in eight cities throughout the Southeast and are open to lawyers and certified public accountants. According to organizers, the seminars will provide an in-depth analysis of the Settlement Program, guiding attendees through the process and helping them identify a broad range of businesses and individuals, even those far from the coast, who ... Read More