BATON ROUGE - Today the United States and the five Gulf states announced a settlement to resolve civil claims against BP arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. The global settlement is worth more than $20 billion. Louisiana is anticipated to receive a minimum of $6.8 billion for claims related to natural resource damages under the Oil Pollution Act, Clean Water Act civil penalties and the State's various economic claims.
Today's announcement further solidifies the agreement in principle with BP announced in July of this year. All parties have now reached consensus on terms of the settlement. The final steps are to seek public comment and Court approval on the consent decree outlining the details of the settlement.
Concurrent with the settlement announcement, the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees have also released a Draft Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PDARP/PEIS) which, if approved, would establish a framework for utilizing up to $8.8 billion associated with natural resource damages, including a minimum of $5 billion specifically for Louisiana.
Both the consent decree and the Draft PDARP/PEIS are available for public comment for 60 days. Louisiana will be hosting two public meetings to discuss the consent decree and the draft document. The meetings will begin with an interactive open house followed by a formal presentation and opportunity participants to provide comments on both the proposed settlement with BP and the Draft PDARP/PEIS.
|Time (local times)
Mon., Oct. 19, 2015
|5:00 PM Open House|
6:00 PM Public Meeting
Courtyard by Marriott - Houma, 142 Library Boulevard
Houma, LA 70360
Thurs., Oct. 22, 2015
|5:00 PM Open House|
6:00 PM Public Meeting
|Hilton Garden Inn New Orleans Convention Center, Garden Ballroom|
10001 South Peters St
New Orleans, LA 70130
This settlement, combined with prior Deepwater Horizon-related settlements, translates into approximately $8.7 billion for Louisiana coastal restoration. Approval of these documents will allow the state to move forward with identifying and implementing critical restoration and protection projects. Upon finalization of the draft plan and Court approval of the consent decree, project-specific restoration plans will be developed for public review and approval.
Under the terms of a consent decree lodged in federal court in New Orleans this morning, BP must pay the following:
- Up to $8.8 billion for natural resource damages (includes $1 billion in early restoration projects);
- $5.5 billion (plus interest) for Clean Water Act civil penalties (subject to the RESTORE Act); and
- $600 million for other claims.
Additionally, BP has entered into a separate agreement to pay $4.9 billion to the five Gulf states and up to a total of $1 billion to several hundred local governmental bodies to settle claims for economic damages suffered as a result of the spill.
A breakdown of the Louisiana share of these funds is as follows:
- A minimum of $5 billion for natural resource damages (includes $368 million previously allocated for early restoration projects);
- A minimum of approximately $787 million for Clean Water Act civil penalties (subject to the RESTORE Act); and
- $1 billion for state economic damages.
The consent decree, associated documents and instructions for commenting can be found at: http://www.justice.gov/enrd/deepwater-horizon
Draft Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PDARP/PEIS):
The Deepwater Horizon NRDA Trustees released the draft PDARP/PEIS for public review and comment. The draft document includes an ecosystem-level assessment of impacts to the Gulf's natural resources, a proposed programmatic restoration plan and an examination of the environmental impacts of various restoration alternatives.
The draft plan proposes appropriate types of restoration and provides guidance for identifying, evaluating and selecting future restoration projects to be implemented with the approximately $5 billion allocated to Louisiana for natural resource damages.
The Draft PDARP/PEIS, associated documents and instructions for commenting can be found at: www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov.