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Alabama getting $93.8 million for BP oil spill recovery and restoration projects

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Alabama is set to receive $93.8 million in oil spill money for coastal restoration projects in the third and largest installment to come from the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund, which was established to help the U.S. Gulf coast recover from BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees made the announcement on Friday that Alabama and the four other Gulf Coast states would soon be receiving their share of $1 billion in funds BP provided as a down payment in April 2011. Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas will share $627 million in ... Read More

Cleanup workers sickened by BP oil spill face legal limbo with medical claims

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Cleanup workers and coastal residents who were exposed to crude oil and chemical dispersants from BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill may be forced into the same kind of protracted litigation that prevented Exxon Valdez cleanup workers from getting medical assistance and relief from doctor’s bills. Some 20,000 Gulf coast residents and cleanup workers, many of them suffering from chronic health problems that manifested several months after their exposure to the oil and other contaminants, are part of a medical damages settlement class, but find themselves in a legal limbo thanks to, as WWL-TV reported, “a disputed reading of one phase ... Read More

Judge strikes down BP’s efforts to recoup money paid on oil spill claims

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A federal judge in New Orleans overseeing the BP oil spill litigation said that the company will not be permitted to take back hundreds of millions of dollars it paid out to victims harmed by the massive 2010 Gulf oil spill. BP had sought to recoup payments it considered excessive from some oil spill claimants. Those payments were calculated under the accounting methods established by the 2012 settlement agreement, before Judge Carl Barbier ordered the claims administrator’s office last year to implement new accounting procedures BP considered fairer. However, Judge Barbier found in a hearing last week that the payments ... Read More

Halliburton agrees to $1.1-billion resolution of Deepwater Horizon oil spill claims

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Beasley Allen lawyers and other members of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) leading the BP oil spill litigation announced they have reached a $1.1-billion settlement with Halliburton Energy Services over its role in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. The settlement, subject to approval by a New Orleans federal court, is to be paid into a trust in three installments over the next two years until all appeals have been resolved. Halliburton, an oil-field services provider that cemented the doomed well a mile beneath the Deepwater Horizon rig, agreed to plead guilty to a criminal charge last year for destroying evidence ... Read More

New study confirms BP oil spill is destroying deep-sea coral reefs

BP oil spill litigation

BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill had a broader, deeper impact on life in the Gulf of Mexico than researchers previously thought, according to a new study conducted by Pennsylvania State University scientists. The researchers documented their discovery of two partially dead deep-sea coral reefs about 14 miles east of BP’s blown-out Macondo wellhead, ground zero for the largest oil spill ever recorded. Before the researchers discovered these damaged reefs, they only knew of one coral reef that had been devastated by the BP spill, but that reef was little more than 8.5 miles from the Macondo well and in ... Read More

Future looks bleak for oyster production after BP oil spill

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Louisiana oyster beds that have yielded rich harvests for generations now produce little more than dozens of “empty, lifeless oyster shells,” the Associated Press reported, underscoring the death blow dealt by BP’s 2010 oil spill to local fisherman and businesses in some parts of the Gulf Coast. Gulf Coast oyster harvests have declined dramatically in the four years since BP’s Deepwater Horizon explosion released millions of gallons of crude oil into some of the Gulf’s most ecologically sensitive regions. According to the AP, “thousands of acres of oyster beds where oil from the well washed ashore are producing less than ... Read More

New study finds BP oil dispersant chemicals still linger in the Gulf

BP oil spill litigation

Chemical oil dispersants BP used in 2010 to break up its Deepwater Horizon oil spill are still turning up in samples collected from the Gulf’s beaches and deep sea corals, a new scientific study has found. Scientists studying the presence the dispersant chemical DOSS (dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate) in the Gulf of Mexico environment expected to see a slower degradation in the deeper, colder areas of the Gulf, but the lingering presence of the chemical along the shore came as a surprise. The study, conducted by scientists from Haverford College and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and published in the journal Environmental ... Read More

BP asks U.S. Supreme Court to hear its oil spill settlement case

BP oil spill litigation

As if causing the worst environmental disaster in the nation’s history weren’t enough of a blow to the U.S., BP appears determined to waste millions of taxpayer dollars by fighting every court decision until it gets the outcome it demands. On Friday, BP filed a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court, claiming the New Orleans federal court and the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals wrongly approved the multi-billion dollar settlement that the oil giant itself helped draft and then approved in March 2012. BP has been trying to suspend payments on claims to businesses harmed by the 2010 Deepwater ... Read More

Flesh-eating bacteria in Gulf linked to BP oil spill

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Cases of beach-goers contracting the flesh-eating bacteria Vibrio vulnificus continue to occur in the warm water of the Gulf Coast this year, and one Auburn University professor has uncovered a link between the potentially deadly bacteria and tar balls still present in the water after BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Dr. Cova Arias, professor of aquatic microbiology at Auburn University, who has studied the impact of Vibrio on the Gulf’s oyster industry, set out to find if the bacteria could live in the tar still found in the water and along the beaches of the Gulf Coast. According to ... Read More

BP exec can face criminal charge in connection with oil spill, court decides

BP oil spill litigation

A former BP executive can be tried on a criminal charge of lying to Congress during its oil spill investigation, a federal appeals court ruled on Friday, overturning the decision of a lower court that had dismissed the charges in May 2013. Judge Stephen Higginson of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans said that David Rainey, a former BP exploration vice president, can indeed stand trial for obstructing Congress because a lower court judge had misinterpreted the obstruction statute when he threw the charges out. Prosecutors accused Mr. Rainey of downplaying estimates about the quantity of ... Read More