Judge OKs $20B Settlement From 2010 BP Oil Spill

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -
In this April 21, 2010 photo, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns in the Gulf of Mexico. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
In this April 21, 2010 photo, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns in the Gulf of Mexico. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

A federal judge in New Orleans has granted final approval to an estimated $20 billion settlement, resolving years of litigation over the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier’s final order on the settlement was released Monday.

In this June 3, 2010 photo, a Brown Pelican sits on the beach at East Grand Terre Island on the Louisiana coast after being drenched in oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)
In this June 3, 2010 photo, a Brown Pelican sits on the beach at East Grand Terre Island on the Louisiana coast after being drenched in oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

The settlement, first announced in July, includes $5.5 billion in civil Clean Water Act penalties and billions more to cover environmental damage and other claims by the five Gulf states and local governments. The money is to be paid out over a 16-year period.

Barbier had set the stage for the settlement with an earlier ruling that BP had been “grossly negligent” in the offshore rig explosion that killed 11 workers and caused a 134-million-gallon spill.