(Washington, DC) — The Environmental Law Institute (ELI) is releasing a concise overview of the November 15 criminal plea agreement between the U.S. Department of Justice and BP, which resolved criminal charges related to the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster. The plea agreement, which includes $4 billion in criminal fines and recoveries, represents the largest resolution of a criminal case in U.S. history. “The Environmental Law Institute is dedicated to informing the public about important environmental events concerning the Gulf of Mexico,” said ELI President John C. Cruden. “This easy-to-read overview covers the plea agreement?s key provisions and contains a chart indicating the applicable criminal provisions, the amount of fines and penalties in each category, and the designated use and timing of the monetary payments.”
ELI’s overview explains how over half of the $4 billion will be used for environmental protection, environmental restoration, and oil spill response, and details the technical conditions of BP?s probation. “In addition to the substantial criminal fines and recoveries, BP has agreed to numerous conditions to increase the safety and transparency of its operations — from retaining process and ethics monitors to collaboratively developing safer deepwater drilling technologies to creating a public website with compliance information,” noted Jordan Diamond, Deputy Director of ELI’s Ocean Program.
This overview is part of ELI’s broader effort to educate Gulf communities and the general public about the restoration and recovery processes that have been initiated following the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster. Through a series of workshops, seminars, and meetings and the production of education materials including fact sheets, guides, and an informational web portal, ELI has worked to equip communities with the information they need to decide whether, when, and how to participate in the ongoing recovery efforts.
ELI’s overview of the criminal plea agreement is available as a free PDF download at http://eli-ocean.org/gulf/files/BP-Criminal-Plea-Agreement.pdf.