BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell said five years after the historic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, an agreement was reached between Gulf Coast states affected and BP, which means billions of dollars in damages over the next decade for Louisiana.
According to Caldwell, the state expects to receive more than $6.8 billion for claims related to the BP oil spill from 2010. He added Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida reached an $18.7 billion settlement with BP over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. It is the largest environmental settlement in history.
Caldwell said it is an agreement in principle and details will be worked out for the consent decree in the next 60 days or so. Officials added when finalized, the agreement will mean Louisiana collected about $10 billion in total recovery from the oil disaster. The $6.8 billion for Louisiana is broken down as follows:
- $5 billion for natural resource damages (including $368 million in previously allocated early restoration)
- A minimum of about $787 million for Clean Water Act civil penalties distributed through the RESTORE Act (Louisiana’s portion of the RESTORE Council distributed funds has yet to be determined)
- $1 billion for state economic damages
"This agreement is the result of five years of hard-fought litigation and intense scientific research, and it provides Louisiana the coastal restoration and compensation it needs following the Deepwater Horizon disaster," Caldwell said. "With a total recovery of more than $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. This agreement lets us focus right away on improving the state without further litigation delays and appeals that could take years. I am extremely pleased by the work done by the Court and all the parties in this matter to reach an agreement that will bring great and historic benefits to Louisiana and the Gulf."
"Five years ago my administration committed to holding BP accountable for the Deepwater Horizon disaster," Jindal said. "Today, through extensive coordination with the Attorney General's office and the State's coastal authorities, we've made good on that promise. This Agreement will not only restore the damage inflicted on our coastal resources by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, it will also allow Louisiana to continue aggressively fighting coastal erosion. These funds will allow us to build on the momentum gained through the State's increased investment in coastal protection and restoration since 2008. We appreciate the hard work of everyone who worked to construct this historic settlement, including General Caldwell, our Louisiana legal team and trustees, the governors and attorneys general of the other Gulf states, the federal trustees, and the representatives of the court who worked tirelessly to assure the fair and orderly administration of justice under such extreme circumstances."
The total $18.732 billion agreement includes the following:
- $8.1 billion for natural resource damages (includes $1 billion in early restoration projects)
- $232 million to address any unknown natural resource damages
- $5.5 billion for Clean Water Act civil penalties (subject to the RESTORE Act)
- $4.9 billion for state economic losses
Look for additional coverage throughout the day, including public reaction to the announcement.