U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier amended a pre-trial order allowing quicker disposal of environmental samples taken during the Gulf of Mexico oil spill last year.

The order follows through on a U.S. government request to shorten the amount of time that must pass in order to dispose of samples from 60 days to 20 days.

At the latest status conference held in the multidistrict litigation (MDL) surrounding the BP oil spill, U.S. Attorney Sarah Himmelhoch said that reducing the amount of time that needs to pass before samples are destroyed will help keep storage costs down.

The federal government cited a list of close to 100 samples taken by the Environmental Protection Agency in Alabama, Mississippi and Florida on various dates in September 2010.

No plaintiffs or defendants entered oppositions to the U.S. government's motion.

The hearing took place April 29 in the Eastern District of Louisiana in New Orleans.

Federal MDL 2:10-md-2179

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