Deepwater Horizon

Deepwater Horizon

On April 4, 2016, a federal court in New Orleans entered a consent decree resolving civil claims against BP arising from the April 20, 2010 Macondo well blowout and the massive oil spill that followed in the Gulf of Mexico.  This historic settlement resolves the U.S. government’s civil penalty claims under the Clean Water Act, the governments’ claims for natural resources damage claims under the Oil Pollution Act, and also implements a related settlement of economic damage claims of the Gulf States and local governments. Taken together this resolution of civil claims is worth more than $20 billion and is the largest settlement with a single entity in the history of federal law enforcement.

Under the Consent Decree  BP will pay a Clean Water Act civil penalty of $5.5 billion (plus interest), $8.1 billion in natural resource damages (this includes $1 billion BP already committed to pay for early restoration), up to an additional $700 million (some of which is in the form of accrued interest) for adaptive management or to address injuries to natural resources that are presently unknown but may come to light in the future, and $600 million for other claims, including claims under the False Claims Act, royalties, and reimbursement of natural resource damage assessment costs and other expenses due to this incident. This settlement includes both the largest civil penalty ever paid by any defendant under any environmental statute, and the largest recovery of damages for injuries to natural resources.   

The consent decree, the motion to enter, and other informational documents are attached below

Economic Damages Settlement

Under the economic damages settlement noted above, BP will pay $4.9 billion to the Gulf States in a parallel settlement that resolves their economic damage claims arising from this incident. In other, related agreements, BP also will pay up to another $1 billion to resolve similar claims the company faces from various local governments in the Gulf region.

Final Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan

Consistent with the Consent Decree, on February 19, 2016, a Trustee Council made up of four federal agencies and trustees from all five Gulf States issued a Final Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement detailing a specific proposed plan to fund and implement restoration projects across the Gulf region. On March 22, 2016, the Trustees entered a Record of Decision related to this plan. Now that the Consent Decree has been finalized, the Trustees can continue the important work of restoring spill-injured natural resources and the services they provide. Materials on the restoration plan and impact statement, including the Record of Decision, can be found at

Consent Decree Documents Comment Period
Consent Decree (4 MB) 10/05/15 – 12/04/15
Consent Decree Appendices 1 Through 4 (7 MB)
Consent Decree Appendix 5 Through 11 (7 MB)
Summary of Consent Decree (136.91 KB)
Fact Sheet on Consent Decree (262.76 KB)
Fact Sheet on Consent Decree in Vietnamese (TỜ THÔNG TIN)  (243.54 KB)
The United States Motion for Entry of Consent Decree With BP
Motion By The United States For Entry Of Consent Decree With BP
Memorandum in Support of Motion for Entry of Consent Decree With BP
Exhibit 1- Collection of five Letters from five State Attorney General Offices supporting entry of C.D
Exhibit 2- Department of Justice “Summary” of C.D
Exhibit 3- Department of Justice “Fact Sheet” on C.D
Exhibit 4A- Print out of “Web Portal” showing all comments to DOJ that were submitted using the portal
Exhibit 4B- Letters and e-mails that were sent to DOJ directly
Exhibit 4C- Letters and e-mails that were sent to DOJ directly (cont’d)
Exhibit 4D- Letters and e-mails that were sent to DOJ directly (cont’d)
Exhibit 4E (errata)- Letters and emails that were sent to DOJ directly (cont'd)
Exhibit 5- Department of Justice “Response to Comments”
Exhibit 6- Excerpts from Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan (“DARP”) prepared by State and federal Natural Resource Trustee Agencies
Exhibit 7- NRD Trustees’ “Fact Sheet” on DARP


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