SOURCE: National Wildlife Federation

National Wildlife Federation

July 02, 2015 10:52 ET

BP Settlement: "Time for Gulf Restoration to Begin"

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - July 02, 2015) - This morning, BP, the U.S. Justice Department, and the five Gulf states made public the terms of a $18.7 billion settlement agreement regarding the company's role in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. BP will pay $12.6 billion in penalties and damages under the Clean Water Act and the Oil Pollution Act.

Collin O'Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation made the following statement:

"Today's settlement is a victory for the wildlife of the Gulf. This brings to a close the long legal ordeal that had left restoration efforts in limbo and it gives us certainty moving forward. Now it is time for Gulf restoration to begin in earnest.

"The RESTORE Council and the Gulf States must begin the urgent task of returning these waters to a state of health and prosperity, because while the legal wrangling may be over, the disaster continues to impact wildlife. Five years later, dolphins are still dying, sea turtles are failing to nest and millions of gallons of oil remain on the floor of the Gulf.

"While the company could have faced penalties as high as $13.7 billion under the Clean Water Act alone, the $5.5 billion settlement will allow significant ecological restoration to occur in the Gulf. The communities and wildlife of the Gulf have suffered greatly in the wake of the largest oil spill in U.S. history -- and now, with this settlement in hand, it is essential the Gulf states and federal government ensure that every dollar in penalties and damages be used to restore this incomparable ecological treasure and economic powerhouse."

For information on the ongoing impacts of the disaster on wildlife, please read our recent report Five Years and Counting: Gulf Wildlife in the Aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster.

The National Wildlife Federation is America's largest conservation organization inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future.

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