New Orleans Court Hands Rare Win To Enviro Group in BP Oil Spill Case

"BP and its partners in the Macondo well that released an estimated 4.9 million gallons of oil over three months beginning in April 2010 should be required to inform state officials -- and the public -- of the toxic materials included in the spill, and the potential health effects of those materials, a three-judge appellate panel ruled in New Orleans on Wednesday."

"In winning the unanimous decision, the Center for Biological Diversity environmental group scored a rare partial victory before the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in its attempts to pry more compliance with federal environmental laws out of BP in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The federal appeals court agreed with U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier that most of the center's efforts to require BP to pay additional fines or otherwise be penalized for violations of the Clean Water Act; Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act; and Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) under provisions of those laws allowing individuals to enforce them became moot when federal officials declared BP's Macondo well to be capped on July 15, 2010, and effectively 'killed' on Sept. 19, 2010, by cementing its wellhole after being intercepted by a relief well.

'It's a very important victory that BP could be finally forced to publicly disclose all the toxic components it spilled into the waters, but we're disappointed by the dismissal of our Clean Water Act claims,' said Miyoko Sakashita,  oceans director for the center. 'Throughout it all, we've insisted that those responsible for one of the worst environmental disasters in America's history should be held fully accountable for the profound damage they caused. The Gulf needs to be fully restored, both for the sake of its wildlife and for the people who depend on it for survival. We're certainly not there yet.'"

Mark Schleifstein reports for the New Orleans Times-Picayune January 9, 2013.


"BP Class-Action Settlement Exceeds $1 Billion In Payments Over Gulf Oil Spill" (AP)


Source: AP, 01/11/2013