Deepwater Horizon Trial: Billions Of Dollars At Stake
June 6, 2013

Deepwater Horizon Trial: Billions Of Dollars At Stake

American Chemical Society

How much will BP pay to compensate for damage from the Deepwater Horizon oil-rig disaster? One article in a three-part cover package on the disaster in this week´s edition of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) focuses on what promises to be a long, complicated federal trial – now getting underway in New Orleans – that will provide an answer. C&EN is the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, the world´s largest scientific society.

Jeff Johnson, C&EN senior correspondent, details how Gulf Coast states plan to divvy up the restoration penalties from the devastating 2010 oil spill, which are expected to top $40 billion. Compensation will go toward a range of projects, from the purchase of ferryboats for economic development to an ambitious proposal to heal decades-old damage that storms and human activity have inflicted on the Gulf of Mexico. Multiple laws and court decisions, including the Clean Water Act, a criminal settlement and the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, are the basis for these plans.

The lion´s share of the money will likely go toward restoring the ecology of the Gulf of Mexico. States are lining up their proposals, including one from Louisiana, a decade in the making, to redirect waters of the mighty Mississippi River to rebuild barrier islands, marshes and estuaries. Other smaller projects vying for dollars fall under the economic-development category and include installing artificial reefs for sports fishing and a new research center.

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