As of 2018, BP has paid over $60 billion for damages caused by the spill. The company settled at $20.8 billion with the federal government. Penalties under the Clean Water Act came to $5.5 billion. $28 billion has gone towards cleaning and restoring the ocean and wildlife.
The Clean Water Act was established in 1972. It is a federal law that is used to set regulations on the water quality standards, making it safe for humans and wildlife to swim. The act also requires companies to follow the regulations for pollution control.
4.9 billion barrels of oil were spilled into the ocean following the Deepwater Horizon explosion, which equals 130 million gallons of oil. BP was required to pay $5.5 billion for Clean Water Act penalties. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act was established in 1918, to protect the different species of birds around the world. After the oil spill, BP agreed to pay $100 million to help protect and rehabilitate the birds.
In 2013, the court accepted BP’s guilty plea for 11 counts of felony manslaughter, one count of felony obstruction of Congress and violations of the Clean Water Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Following the guilty plea, BP admitted that the two leading supervisors of Deepwater Horizon knew the drill was not secure and that oil was flowing into the underwater well, but they did not take any precautions to prevent the explosion. The company also admitted that their senior executive lied to Congress about how much oil was being spilled into the ocean every day. They estimated 5,000 barrels per day, but it was actually 60,000 barrels per day.
The sentencing for BP’s guilty plea was 60 months of probation and $4 billion dollars to be paid for their criminal fines.
The Deepwater Horizon exploded due to an unstable drill. There were 11 people killed from the explosion and 17 were injured. After a three-day search by the U.S. Coast Guard, the bodies of the victims were never found. The oil rig burned for 36 hours before it sank to the bottom of the ocean. Oil poured into the ocean for three months before they found a way to seal off the underwater well. There were over 100,000 animals found dead or injured, including birds, dolphins, sea turtles, and other marine life.
On April 20, 2010 a drill rig, called the Deepwater Horizon, exploded, causing 11 deaths and 4.4 million barrels of oil to be spilled into the Gulf of Mexico. This was recorded as the largest environmental disaster in United States history. The economy and the wildlife are still trying to recover from this major disaster, that the company BP Oil was responsible for. The company was criminally liable for knowing the drill was faulty and civilly liable because of the people and wildlife that died.