Environmental Defense Fund applauds DOJ for $1.4 billion settlement with Transocean

Transocean and the U.S. Department of Justice announced they have reached a $1.4 billion settlement relating to civil and criminal charges from the 2010 Gulf oil disaster. Transocean has agreed to pay an unprecedented $1 billion in Clean Water Act penalties, of which $800 million will be used for Gulf Coast restoration as directed by the RESTORE Act. Additionally, $150 million will be dedicated to Gulf Coast ecosystem restoration, including Louisiana barrier island restoration and diversion projects along the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers to rebuild the state’s deteriorating coastal wetlands.

Paul Harrison, Senior Director for Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)’s Water Program, released the following statement in response:

“We applaud the Department of Justice for pursuing unprecedented Clean Water Act fines and for allocating a portion of funds to restoration of the Mississippi River Delta and Gulf Coast ecosystems. Thanks to the RESTORE Act, 80 percent – or $800 million – of these fines will be used for restoration and overseen by the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council. In Louisiana, restoration projects are expected to include large-scale river diversions, which have been identified as a key component in federal restoration strategies. We thank the Justice Department for standing up for people and environment of the Gulf, and we look forward to working with the Restoration Council to advance large-scale restoration projects along the Gulf Coast and in the Mississippi River Delta.”

“We will not know the full extent of environmental damages in the Gulf for years to come, but we do know that devastating effects of the oil spill continue to unfold nearly 1,000 days later. Therefore, it is crucial that all of the responsible parties, particularly BP, be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Today’s settlement with Transocean raises our expectations that the Department of Justice will continue to hold BP fully accountable for its civil violations under both the Clean Water Act and the Oil Pollution Act. The Gulf depends on it.”

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