Largest Environmental Settlement in U.S. History reached with BP for Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

On July 2, 2015, the federal government, and the States of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas announced an Agreement in Principle with BP Exploration & Production Inc. for the harm caused by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. The landmark settlement of $18.7 billion will settle all claims arising from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, the largest marine spill in U.S. history. The settlement is considered the largest ever environmental settlement in U.S. history.

The Deepwater Horizon disaster was caused by an explosion that killed 11 workers and spilled approximately 4.9 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Damages to coastal shorelines, marine life, beaches, wetlands and estuaries were devastating. Restoration of the Gulf’s natural resources is far from complete, and this settlement provides opportunity for implementation of projects that will provide essential and sustainable restoration of Gulf coast natural resources and habitat. The agreement will fund over $8 billion for natural resource damages and $5.5 billion for Clean Water Act civil penalties distributed through the RESTORE Act, in addition to over $5.9 billion for economic losses.  The State of Louisiana will receive over $6.7 billion in these settlement funds.

Plauché & Carr LLP has been involved in supporting Louisiana’s Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill restoration efforts since 2010, representing the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority with the natural resource damages assessment and evaluation of restoration options.  Partner Billy Plauché  has served as Chair of the Executive Committee of the Deepwater Horizon NRDA Trustee Council since August of 2014.

“It has been an honor to work with Louisiana’s natural resource trustees to obtain this historic recovery,” Plauché said. “These dedicated men and women have worked tirelessly for the past five years to ensure that the state’s precious natural resources are fully restored, and it is incredibly satisfying to see those efforts succeed.”

Plauché & Carr LLP will continue our work with CPRA and the Trustee Council as the settlement process continues toward finalization of the consent decree which will outline specific information about funds distribution for targeted recovery and restoration efforts.


The National Land Conservation Conference

Partner Peter Dykstra has been invited to present a half-day seminar on water issues in western land conservation at The National Land Conservation Conference in Sacramento, CA on October 8, 2015.  This seminar will highlight good practices when including water rights in conservation easements. Participants will develop an understanding of the legal and practical water issues that should be considered in a conservation easement through participatory problem solving, and will take home some comprehensive tools to use for good practices, including checklists and model conservation easement deed language. For more information, view the brochure here, or the website here.

Conference on Water Law in Washington

Partner, Peter Dykstra will be speaking at the 24th Annual Comprehensive Conference on Water Law in Washington on July 27 and 28, 2015, in Seattle, Washington. Peter will be presenting on “Streamflows in the Columbia River.” He will provide an update on the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and fisheries management issues, a status report on renegotiation of the Columbia River Treaty, and impacts on the use of the river for irrigation, domestic consumption, and other uses.

For more information, agenda, and registration information, please visit: Law Seminars International, Water Law in Washington.

Robert M. Smith Promoted to Partner

Robert M. Smith promoted to Partner with Plauché & Carr LLP’s Seattle office.

Robert has made a significant contribution to Plauché & Carr LLP’s environmental, land use, and real estate practices since joining the firm as a Senior Associate in 2013. He has successfully represented numerous clients in obtaining regulatory approvals in California and Washington; represented clients in real estate negotiations with the State of Washington, local state agencies, and private landowners; and successfully represented several shellfish clients in negotiations with Native American Tribes concerning shellfish rights and harvest agreements.

“Robert has proven himself as both a creative legal thinker and a tireless advocate for our clients’ interests. We are thrilled to welcome Robert into our partnership, and we look forward to our continued growth together.” –Billy Plauché, Co-Founder and Partner

Please join us in congratulating Robert as the newest Partner at Plauché & Carr LLP.

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