Louisiana to gets lion’s share of $18.7B settlement with BP over oil spill

Louisiana took the brunt of the economic and environmental damage caused by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, and officials announced this morning the state will now receive the largest share of a $18.7 billion settlement with BP among the five states that will benefit from it.

Louisiana is expected to get a $6.8 billion share of the settlement—about 36% of the total. Other states receiving a share of the settlement are Alabama, Mississippi, Florida and Texas.

As The Associated Press reports, the settlement announcement comes as a federal judge was preparing to rule on how much BP owed in federal Clean Water Act penalties stemming from the spill. BP says it would pay the sum over the next 18 years. The deal, which would be the largest settlement the U.S. government has ever made with one entity, will still need a court’s approval before it is finalized.

The settlement money will be used to resolve the Clean Water Act penalties; resolve natural resources damage claims; settle economic claims; and resolve economic damage claims of local governments, according to an outline filed in federal court this morning.

If approved, the settlement would bring to approximately $10 billion Louisiana has received from BP due to the spill. Of the $6.8 billion Louisiana officials expect to receive, $5 billion would go toward restoring natural resource damages; $1 billion would be set aside to pay for economic damage claims; and $787 million would be distributed through the RESTORE Act, Gov. Bobby Jindal and Attorney General Buddy Caldwell say in a prepared statement.

“With a total recovery of $10 billion—which is more than any state has ever recovered for this type of case—we can begin work to restore and repair Louisiana and its coastline,” says Caldwell in the statement. “This agreement lets us focus right away on improving the state without further litigation delays and appeals that could take years.”

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