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US, states announce settlement with BP for $20 billion over gulf oil spill

The settlement, filed in federal court in New Orleans, finalizes an agreement first announced in July

Baku. 6 October. REPORT.AZ/ The Justice Department and five U.S. states on Monday announced a $20 billion final settlement of claims arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Report informs referring to foreign media.

The deal, once approved by a judge, would resolve all civil claims against BP and end five years of legal fighting over a 134-million gallon (500 million liter) spill that affected 1,300 miles (2,000 kilometers) of shoreline. It also would bind the company to a massive cleanup project in the Gulf Coast area aimed at restoring wildlife, habitat and water quality.

"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," 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," Lynch said.

The settlement, filed in federal court in New Orleans, finalizes an agreement first announced in July. The next steps are a 60-day public comment period and court approval.

In a statement, BP spokesman Geoff Morrell said the settlement total announced Monday includes amounts previously spent or disclosed by the company, and "resolves the largest litigation liabilities remaining from the tragic accident."

Among other requirements, BP would have to pay $5.5 billion in Clean Water Act penalties and nearly $5 billion to five Gulf states: Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

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