Attorney General Eric Holder announced today that he is dispatching a team of attorneys from multiple divisions within the Justice Department to New Orleans to meet with the U.S. Attorney and response teams and to monitor the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
"The British Petroleum oil spill has already cost lives and created a major environmental incident," said Attorney General Holder. "The Justice Department stands ready to make available every resource at our disposal to vigorously enforce the laws that protect the people who work and reside near the Gulf, the wildlife, the environment and the American taxpayers."
The team will be led by Ignacia S. Moreno, Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division, and Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division, and will include relevant United States Attorneys. The combined group from the Department plans to make a site visit and meet with representatives from federal agencies working on the response.
A coordinated response continues with a comprehensive oil well intervention and spill-response plan following the April 22, 2010 sinking of the Transocean Deepwater Horizon drilling rig 130 miles southeast of New Orleans. More than 1,000 personnel from federal, state and local agencies are involved in the response effort both on and offshore, with additional resources being mobilized as needed.