Gulf Oil Spill News
By Jennifer Larino – NOLA.com-The Times-Picayune – February 19, 2015
A federal judge in New Orleans has rejected BP's effort to cap its fines from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill at $9.57 billion, nearly one-third lower than the penalty federal prosecutors are seeking. The court has not yet ruled how much the British oil giant will pay for the disaster. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier ruled Thursday (Feb. 19) that BP could pay a maximum civil penalty of up to $4,300 for each barrel of oil spilled. The fines apply under the Clean Water Act, the federal law governing water pollution.The ruling means BP continues to face up to $13.7 billion in civil fines for the oil spill. For full story, click here.
By Geoffrey Mohan – Los Angeles Times – February 19, 2015
Microbes in beach sand apparently gobbled up a lot of oil washed ashore from the 2010 BP oil spill, but that assault altered the microbial population, leaving it less functionally diverse, according to a new study. Among the declines from the oil inundation was the ability to make nutrients such as nitrogen available to other life forms, according to Georgia Tech environmental microbiologist Konstantinidis Konstantinos, co-author of the study published online Tuesday in the ISME Journal.“One of the key groups that we saw disappearing, from the oil, was these nitrogen fixers," Konstantinos said. "That’s a concern because it supports the rest of the system.” For full story, click here.
By Jennifer Larino – NOLA.com The Times-Picayune – September 24, 2014
A federal judge Wednesday (Sept. 24) ruled that BP has no right to recover more than $185 million the company says was overpaid to claimants under its oil spill settlement. BP said it plans to appeal the decision. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier said the settlement BP agreed to makes it clear the British oil giant cannot claw back payments, even if the terms change as a result of future court rulings. BP sought repayment - plus interest - after a May court order approved a change in accounting rules for how oil spill losses were calculated under the settlement. For full story, click here.
By Steven Mufson – The Washington Post – September 4, 2014
A federal judge in New Orleans on Thursday ruled that BP’s “gross negligence” and “willful misconduct” had caused the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 and that the company’s “reckless” behavior made it subject to fines of as much as $4,300 a barrel under the Clean Water Act. A federal judge in New Orleans on Thursday ruled that BP’s “gross negligence” and “willful misconduct” had caused the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 and that the company’s “reckless” behavior made it subject to fines of as much as $4,300 a barrel under the Clean Water Act. For full story, click here.
By Stacey Plaisance – ABC News – August 12, 2014
On this day, Slavich's cage-like net pulls up dozens of empty, lifeless oyster shells. "It's not good," he said, shaking his head as he pushed the shells back into the water. "We've never seen it like this, not out here." Gulf Coast oyster harvests have declined dramatically in the four years since a BP PLC oil well blew wild in the nation's worst offshore oil disaster. Even after a modest rebound last year, thousands of acres of oyster beds where oil from the well washed ashore are producing less than a third of their pre-spill harvest. For full story, click here.
By Mark Schleifstein – Nola The Times-Picayume – June 26, 2014
Traces of a chemical contained in dispersants used to break up oil during the 87-day BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 were found in material deposited on deepwater corals six months after the spill, and in weathered oil patties on Gulf Coast beaches four years later, according to a scientific letter published online this week in Environmental Science & Technology, the peer-reviewed research journal of the American Chemical Society. Researchers found tiny amounts of DOSS, an abbreviation of the chemical compound dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate, in both the oil patties and deepwater sediment. The research conducted by scientists with Haverford College in Pennsylvania and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts raises new questions about the assumptions on how quickly two COREXIT brand dispersants disappeared after being used to break up oil into tiny droplets, said lead author Helen Kirsty White, an assistant professor of chemistry at Haverford. For full story, click here.
By David Hammer – Gannett Shreveport Times – June 24, 2014 – Video
In a shocking move, BP has decided to shut down its internal oil spill claims program, taking away an avenue for more than 10,000 claimants who have opted out of the oil giant’s controversial settlement agreement or others who are not covered by it. BP won’t say how many claimants it served with the BP Claims Program over the last two years, but the amount paid through the end of April was a paltry $12 million. By contrast, over the exact same time frame, the court-supervised settlement program paid $3.8 billion. For full story and to view video, click here.