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Details of Oil Disaster Settlement in Front of Judge, Public
Remember that settlement BP said they reached with the people of the Gulf? Well, it still hasn't technically taken effect yet. But, just in time for Friday's two-year anniversary of the Big Oozy, the two sides filed papers in court to get the whole thing approved, BP said. The filing simultaneously is the first time the public has been able to get a look at what's in the settlement with its own two eyes.
After finalizing the terms over the past month, BP is still estimating they will pay a new round of claims to fishermen, cleanup workers, seafood workers, business owners, property owners and other people who can claim damages from the oil to the tune of roughly $7.8 billion.
Seafood claims will be roughly $2.3 million of that total. In the filing, BP claims that amount is more than double the annual revenue of the entire Gulf Coast seafood industry.
The major new category that BP is shelling out for is in the health category. According to the Washington Post, cleanup workers can get up to $60,000 for medical bills for any diseases they incurred from oil and dispersant. Residents and workers who experienced "ear, nose, throat, skin and neurological problems" can receive up to $5,400 and $7,700, respectively.
BP will also spend $105 million over five years to set up an outreach program that expands access to health care for everyone in Gulf Coast communities. Another $57 million was set aside to promote tourism to the region.
Despite the settlement wrapped in a nice neat bow for the Gulf Coast just in time for the anniversary, many of the murkier litigation still remains unsettled. If there's no settlement first a future trial would decide whether BP has to pay penalties for violating federal environmental laws, as well as the liability for disaster of the oil giant and its Deepwater Horizon cohorts like rig owner Transocean and cement contractor Halliburton. No date has yet been scheduled for that trial.
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