US Department of Justice announces $18.7 billion settlement with BP over Gulf spill

The federal government and Gulf Coast states have reached an $18.7 billion settlement agreement with the oil company BP for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The settlement deal, announced by the Department of Justice on Friday, issues penalties for all remaining federal and state claims, such as civil penalties for violations of the Clean Water Act and for damages to natural resources. It is the largest settlement with a single company to date, according to DOJ. The 2010 spill lasted 87 days and dumped approximately 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf. BP and the federal government had previously reached a $4 billion settlement over criminal charges stemming from the accident, which killed 11 workers. The settlement has been reached in principle, DOJ said, but will still need to be approved by federal court.