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Settlement between Alabama and BP over 2010 gulf oil spill finalized

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange announced Monday the state’s final settlement with BP concerning the damages caused by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, also referred to as the BP oil spill. The agreement is set to bring approximately $2 billion dollars to Alabama in reparation for the economic and environmental damages resulting from the spill.

Earlier this year, BP, the United States, and the five Gulf States announced the global agreement and finally, after five long years litigation, the parties involved and the Federal District Court overseeing the case finalized the settlement and details.

“After five years of litigation, I am pleased to announce that Alabama’s $1 billion settlement with BP for economic damages is now officially approved by all parties,” said Attorney General Strange.  “In addition, the United States has lodged a consent decree that will allow the public to comment on the global settlement of natural resource damages and federal penalties, which if approved, will bring another billion dollars to Alabama’s coastal counties.”

Under the U.S. consent decree, more than $259 million of natural resource damages would be spent restoring any environmental conditions. This includes open ocean properties, beaches, and region-wide projects in Alabama’s coastal counties.

Alabama will also receive $708 million of BP’s payment of $5.5 billion in civil penalties. The 2012 Congressional RESTORE Act enforces that the received money will be spent on restoration, recovery projects, and tourism promotion.

The agreed upon settlement between Alabama and BP will pay $1 billion as follows:

– $950 million Paid by BP to the Alabama General Fund:
-$50 million each of the years 2016-2019
-$53.33 million in each of the years 2019-2033
-$50 million paid by BP in 2016 to the Alabama Gulf State Park Project

While Strange and others celebrated the agreement, Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL1), whose district encompasses Alabama’s gulf coast, Tweeted that he was still “frustrated” by the deal.

Public comments on these terms can be made via the United States Department of Justice website through December 4, 2015. After receiving and considering all comments, it will be determined on whether to seek Court approval of the consent decree.