I think I've scooped all of the other environmental economics bloggers on this one (the story is from the ABC TV station in Fresno):
Officials in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana announced an $18.7 billion settlement with BP on Thursday that resolves years of litigation over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The settlement announcement comes as a federal judge was preparing to rule on how much BP owed in federal Clean Water Act penalties after millions of gallons of oil spewed into the Gulf. Individual states also were pursuing litigation. Most of those penalties were to be distributed among the states for environmental and economic restoration projects along the Gulf Coast.
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 Thursday morning.
So, does this mean that it is over?
Update: from the BP website:
The principal payments are as follows:
- BPXP is to pay the United States a civil penalty of $5.5 billion under the Clean Water Act (CWA) – payable over 15 years.
- BPXP will pay $7.1 billion to the United States and the five Gulf states over 15 years for natural resource damages (NRD). This is in addition to the $1 billion already committed for early restoration. BPXP will also set aside an additional amount of $232 million to be added to the NRD interest payment at the end of the payment period to cover any further natural resource damages that are unknown at the time of the agreement.
- A total of $4.9 billion will be paid over 18 years to settle economic and other claims made by the five Gulf Coast states.
- Up to $1 billion will be paid to resolve claims made by more than 400 local government entities.