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.


Cowiche Creek Fish Habitat Project

Partner Peter Dykstra worked together with our client, Trout Unlimited, to successfully complete the Cowiche Creek Fish Habitat Improvement project, which will restore flows for endangered salmon and help keep farmers farming.

Washington Water Law Seminar

Peter H. Dykstra will be speaking about water rights, land conservation, and the future of the Columbia River. The conference will be held June 19 – 20 in Seattle.

Conserving the Teanaway River Valley

Plauché and Carr LLP joined Forterra, The Wilderness Society, and many others to celebrate incredible success in conserving the Teanaway River Valley. Peter Dykstra, Partner, was a leader of the coalition that secured nearly $100 million to protect this 50,272-acre gem. It is the largest single conservation land acquisition in Washington State in the last 45 years.

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