NEW ORLEANS - Environmental groups and officials in the Gulf of Mexico states are weighing in on a federal court's approval of the $20 billion settlement that was announced last year in the 2010 BP oil spill.
The settlement, first announced in July, includes $5.5 billion in civil Clean Water Act penalties and billions more to cover environmental damage and other claims by the five Gulf states and local governments. The money is to be paid out over a 16-year period.
The settlement approved Monday resolves years of litigation over the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
In Louisiana, where delicate coastal marshes were damaged by the oil, Gov. John Bel Edwards decision clears the way for the state to receive critical coastal restoration funding. Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, who acted as a coordinating lawyer for the five Gulf states, also was among those touting the settlement.
Overall response to the settlement has been largely positive although there remain some complaints from environmentalists that some of the costs will be tax-deductible for BP.