On Monday, the Department of Justice announced that the $20.8 billion settlement was finalized, marking an end to the five years of legal battles resulting from the 2010 disastrous oil spill. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said that this is “the largest settlement with a single entity in American history.”
The five states affected most by the spill — Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas — will receive nearly $5 billion, as well as 400 other local government bodies.
The Deepwater Horizon disaster, which released nearly 134 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, is largely considered to be the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Not only did the rig explosion kill 11 people, but it also devastated local marine wildlife and local economies. A portion of this settlement will be used to help revitalize those damaged habitats — an effort that Lynch also called “one of the largest the world has ever seen.”
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