One of the most prominent points of contention surrounding the 2010 BP Gulf coast crisis is the debate over how much oil was actually leaked into the ocean. While Justice Department officials estimate the total spillage at 176 million gallons, BP scientists are pleading their case for a more conservative estimate of 103 million.
Judge Carl Barbier’s use of a lower estimate of leaked oil would decrease the oil giant’s maximum penalty amount from $18 billion to $10.5 billion under the Clean Water Act, which imposes federal penalties on environmental pollution offenses.
Though the debate still continues as the trial moves forward, both parties agree on the total gallons spilled amounting to 34 million.
The Clean Water Act was passed in 1972 as federal restrictions on the amount of toxins allowable in water. The act protects all waters with a “significant nexus” to navigable waters, though this is still left up to judicial interpretation.
Environmental damages can cause serious injury and illness to those who come in contact with the toxins. Contact our Louisiana environmental law firm for free legal advice and help with your claim today.