1. Attorney General Loretta Lynch walking in for press conference
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Loretta Lynch, US Attorney General:
"Today, I am pleased to announce that we have secured a historic resolution of our pending claims against BP, totaling more than 20 billion dollars, making the largest settlement with a single entity in American history. The resolution includes civil claims under the Clean Water Act for which BP has agreed to pay $5.5 billion penalty, the largest civil penalty in the history of environmental law. It includes natural resources damages claims under the Oil Pollution Act, for which BP has agreed to pay $7.1 billion on top of the one billion it had previously committed to pay for early restoration work. And it includes economic damages claims for which BP has agreed to pay $4.9 billion to the five gulf states, and up to one billion to local governments."
3. Cutaway of press conference
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Loretta Lynch, US Attorney General:
"Taken as a whole, this resolution is both strong and fitting. BP is receiving the punishment it deserves, while also providing critical compensation for the injuries that it caused to the environment and the economy of the gulf region. The steep penalty should inspire BP and its peers to take every measure necessary to ensure that nothing like this can ever happen again."
5. Cutaway of press conference
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Loretta Lynch, US Attorney General:
"Well the settlement is not designed to discourage any valid economic activity in the gulf. And certainly, the oil production that takes place there is also a valiant and valued part of the American economy. What it is designed to do however is to not only compensate for the damages and provide for a way forward for the health and safety of the gulf, but let other companies know that they are going to be responsible for the harm that incurs should accidents like this happen in the future."
The Justice Department and five states have finalized a settlement of more than $20 billion arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The deal announced Monday resolves all civil claims against BP and ends five years of legal fighting over the nearly 134 million-gallon spill.
"BP is receiving the punishment it deserves, while also providing critical compensation for the injuries it caused to the environment and the economy of the Gulf region," Attorney General Loretta Lynch said at a Justice Department news conference. "The steep penalty should inspire BP and its peers to take every measure necessary to ensure that nothing like this can ever happen again."
The settlement finalizes an agreement first announced in July.
Among other requirements, BP will be forced to pay $5.5 billion in Clean Water Act penalties and nearly $5 billion to five Gulf states: Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
The spill followed the April 2010 explosion on an offshore rig that killed 11 workers. BP earlier settled with people and businesses harmed by the spill, a deal that's so far resulted in $5.84 billion in payouts.
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