Transocean Pleads Guilty to Violating CWA and Will Pay $1.4 Billion

BP Still Expected to Pay Billions

01-03-2013 // Jaclyn McDougal
Roseate Spoonbill

The Department of Justice announced today that Transocean will plead guilty to violating the Clean Water Act and other statutes and pay $1 billion in civil penalties and $400 million in criminal penalties for its role in the 2010 Gulf oil disaster. 

“This is an important step to get money flowing into the Gulf of Mexico,” said John Kostyack, vice president for wildlife conservation at the National Wildlife Federation. “Environmental restoration is critical to the well-being of the communities and ecosystems of the Gulf. In passing the bipartisan RESTORE Act, Congress recognized that a healthy ecosystem supports a healthy economy, both regionally and nationally. These are the first funds that will be directed under that historic statute, potentially beginning the largest ecosystem restoration project in U.S. history.”

In directing the criminal penalties to improving spill safety and response, habitat acquisition and restoration in the affected states, and to restoration of the Mississippi River delta, the Justice Department has built upon the precedent set in the BP criminal settlement, to direct the penalty towards the point of the injury and the prevention of future injury.

While this settles Transocean’s involvement in the Gulf Oil Disaster, BP still faces up to $50 billion in civil fines and penalties. Failing to hold BP fully accountable would leave the Gulf of Mexico more vulnerable to further deterioration from natural and manmade disasters. 

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