NEW ORLEANS – A plea bargain worked out between BP and the Department of Justice over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill has received final approval from a federal judge.
Under the agreement BP will pay $4 billion in penalties for 14 criminal charges including manslaughter charges related to the death of 11 workers aboard the oil rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico nearly three years ago in April. Other charges include a felony for obstruction of Congress and two misdemeanors.
The Deepwater Horizon explosion began the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history that eventually resulted in an estimate 53,000 barrels of oil per day leaking into the Gulf over an 87-day period.
Under the plea the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Justice will have about two months to help oversee and craft a remedial plan put forth by BP on how they will meet the requirements of the agreement.
According to the agreement BP will make payments for the criminal damages over a six-year period.
Around $2.4 billion of the criminal damages will go towards environmental projects to be overseen by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
The plea settlement brings the total amount slated to be paid out by BP for the spill to $42 billion so far, but it will not be the last settlement for the company.
Analysts have said a pending environmental settlement may cost the company between $3 and 23 billion. In addition, numerous civil claims brought on behalf of individuals who opted out of an earlier $7.8 billion class action are still pending.