How BP’s $18.7-billion oil-spill settlement could help the Gulf of Mexico
(Click to enlarge). Marine scientist Don Boesch on the fight to restore ecosystems damaged by the Deepwater Horizon disaster. (Credit: Cheryl Nemazie/UMD Center for Environmental Science)
Oil company BP agreed on 2 July to pay US$18.7 billion to settle civil lawsuits over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. An estimated 3.19 million barrels of oil poured into the Gulf during the months-long crisis, the largest marine spill in US history.
(From Nature / by Richard Monastersky) — The payment will add to $14 billion that BP said it had already paid in claims, advances and settlements related to the spill.
Donald Boesch, a marine scientist and president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science in Cambridge, spoke to Nature about BP’s settlement and what it will mean for restoration efforts and scientific studies in the Gulf. Boesch served on the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. He was a witness in the US government’s lawsuit against BP for violating provisions of the Clean Water Act, and has advised the National Academy of Science’s US$500-million Gulf Research Program.
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