Federal Judge Approves $20.8 Billion BP Spill Settlement

By , The Texas Tribune, texastribune.org

A federal judge on Monday approved a $20.8 billion settlement negotiated between BP and the federal government, five Gulf Coast states including Texas and hundreds of local governments stemming from the energy giant’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill.

Judge Carl Barbier of the District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana signed off on the deal, resolving all state claims against the company for its role in the disaster, which killed 11 people and spewed millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. It is considered the largest settlement with a single entity in American history and includes the biggest civil penalty in the history of environmental law.

When negotiations were finalized in October, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said it would send some $800 million to Texas in money and restoration projects.

The settlement was last in a series of agreements that had already yielded some $275 million for Texas restoration projects, which includes the largest conservation land purchase in Texas history – some 17,000 acres of undisturbed coastal prairie in Calhoun County.

Disclosure: BP is a corporate sponsor of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

The Texas Tribune is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them – about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.