FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                   ENR
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 1995                                    (202) 616-0189
                                                         TDD (202) 514-1888


                      FOR 1990 CALIFORNIA OIL SPILL 

     WASHINGTON, D.C. --  British Petroleum today agreed to pay
nearly $3.9 million in restoration and settlement costs for a
1990 tanker accident that spilled 400,000 gallons of oil into the
southern California's coastal waters, the federal government and
the State of California announced today.  The settlement resolved
all federal natural resources damages claims stemming from the
February, 1990 incident, when the BP tanker American Trader ran
aground and spilled oil over 60 square miles of ocean, fouling
wildlife and beaches between Seal Beach and Laguna Beach,

     Under the settlement, announced today by the Department of
Justice, Department of Interior, and National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration, most of the money will go to wildlife
restoration projects and the remainder will help reimburse state
and local authorities for the costs incurred responding to the
spill.  British Petroleum has also participated in a $35 million
clean-up of the contaminated beaches. 

     "Today's settlement is a victory for the people of
California and the environment they live in," said Lois Schiffer,
Assistant Attorney General for Environment and Natural Resources.
"We will not hesitate to use the force of law to make polluters
pay for the messes they make, and we are pleased that BP stepped
forward to help resolve these claims."

     The Consent Decree requires British Petroleum to pay a total
of $3,894,247, most of which will help improve or protect the
habitat of the birds and fish affected by the spill.  $2,484,567 
of the payment will go to improve or protect the habitat of Brown
Pelicans and other sea birds, $400,000 will pay for California's
white seabass fish hatchery project, and $300,000 will help fund
ocean pollution mitigation projects.  State and federal agencies 
will jointly manage the wildlife projects.   The February 7, 1990
spill, which occurred after the American Trader hit one of its
own anchors, is believed to have killed well over 100 Brown
Pelicans, an endangered species under federal law.  

     "This settlement provides funding to restore Brown Pelicans
and other migratory sea birds injured during the spill," said
Michael Spear, regional director or the Fish and Wildlife
Service's Pacific Region.  "It also demonstrates the value of
cooperative efforts between federal, state, and local governments
as we pursue polluters and ensure they pay for natural resource

     The remainder of the settlement, approximately $700,000,
will reimburse the state and local governments for revenue losses
and costs they  incurred responding to the spill.  A consent
decree containing the BP settlement was lodged today in federal
court and a settlement agreement will be presented to the state
court.  Both courts must approve of the settlement.  

     The U.S. Department of Justice filed suit in 1991 on behalf
of the federal trustees for natural resources -- the United
States Department of Interior and the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration -- to recover for the damage done to
the natural resources.  The State of California filed similar
suits on behalf of the state natural resources trustees.  The
settlement resolves all the federal and state claims against BP
and all the federal and state claims for injuries to wildlife.  

     BP was the first defendant in these suits to reach a
settlement in principle with the federal and state governments. 
Other settlements were negotiated while the BP deal was pending,
including a $2.1 million settlement with the Trans-Alaska
Pipeline Liability Fund to pay the federal government for the
cleanup costs the federal government incurred responding to the

     The state of California and local governments will continue
to pursue state law claims for beach closures and other
liabilities against other defendants, including ATTRANSCO, Inc.
(the tanker owner), Golden West Refining Company (the offshore
terminal operator), the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Liability Fund
(which compensates for damages caused by spills of oil from the
trans-Alaska pipeline), and Brandenburger Marine, Inc. (the
company that supplied the pilot to the tanker).