Washington, Oct 5 (EFE).- BP has agreed to pay a record $20.8 billion to settle civil claims for damages from the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. Department of Justice said Monday.
Speaking at a press conference, Attorney General Loretta Lynch described the deal as "the largest settlement with a single entity in American history."
The accord calls for the British energy giant to pay more than $14 billion to the federal government for claims under the Clean Water Act and the Oil Pollution Act and nearly $5 billion to the five Gulf Coast states - Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas - to settle suits for economic losses.
The "historic resolution" announced Monday, which is subject to approval by a judge, follows five years of litigation spurred by the April 20, 2010, blowout of the Macondo well, which claimed the lives of 11 workers on the Deepwater Horizon platform and allowed some 5 millions barrels of crude oil to flow into the Gulf during the 87 days it took to seal the well.
Oil slicks affected water quality and exposed aquatic plants and wildlife to harmful chemicals, the Justice Department said.
"Oil was deposited onto at least 400 square miles (1.035 sq. kilometers) of the sea floor and washed up onto more than 1,300 miles (2,092 kilometers) of shoreline from Texas to Florida," the department said in a statement. EFE
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