Yesterday, BP, the Justice Department and five Gulf Coast states announced the finalization of a settlement agreement over the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The agreement will resolve a barrage of civil claims tied to the 2010 spill. Attorney General Loretta Lynch called the deal “a strong and fitting response” to the incident, which claimed the lives of eleven workers and sent an estimated 134 million gallons of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico. BP previously announced a settlement agreement in July, at the time valuing it at around $18 billion. The final number the Justice Department announced yesterday reflects some payments BP has already made, including $1 billion the company set aside earlier for natural resource damages and $250 million in assessment costs, as well as interest on some natural resource damage payments. A federal judge in New Orleans will have to approve the consent decree after a 60-day public comment period before BP and the federal government can officially resolve their long-running legal battles regarding spill damage.
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