The New Orleans District Judge Carl Barbier has ruled against BP’s appeal to lower the USD 13.7 billion maximum civil fine the company might pay for its involvement in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, according to Reuters.
Back in September, Judge Barbieri found BP guilty of gross negligence and willful misconduct. Under the US Clean Water Act (CWA) if an oil spill has been caused by gross negligence penalties can reach up to USD 4,300.
In January, the court ruled that the amount of oil spilled in the Deepwater Horizon disaster was 3.19 million barrels, one million barrels less than suggested by the federal government. BP claimed that the amount of oil spilled was around 2.45 million barrels.
BP asked for the penalty to be reduced to USD 3,000 per barrel, amounting to a USD 9.57 billion fine overall. The company argued that the US Clean Water Act stipulates a maximum penalty of USD 3,000 dollars for oil spills caused by gross negligence or wilfull misconduct.
However Judge Barbier sided with the federal government and agreed that the US Environmental Protection Agency has the right to increase the penalty limit to include inflation.
World Maritime News Staff