Trustees Settle with BP for Natural Resource Injuries to the Gulf of Mexico


Today—nearly six years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill began—the court approved a settlement with BP for natural resource injuries stemming from the spill. This settlement concludes the largest natural resource damage assessment ever undertaken. We will now begin implementing restoration as laid out in the Trustees’ programmatic restoration plan.

Under this settlement, BP will pay the Trustees up to $8.8 billion for restoration to address natural resource injuries. The settlement—the largest recovery of damages ever for injuries to natural resources—includes:

  • $1 billion already committed during early restoration
  • $7.1 billion for restoration over 15-plus years, beginning in April 2017
  • Up to an additional $700 million to respond to natural resource damages unknown at the time of the agreement and/or to provide for adaptive management

This settlement is a momentous step towards restoring the resources of the Gulf of Mexico—bringing an unprecedented amount of funding dedicated to this iconic ecosystem.

We undertook an ecosystem approach to assessing the natural resources negatively impacted by the spill. That assessment shaped the Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, finalized in February 2016. The plan identifies the types of restoration needed to compensate the public for these impacts. We considered more than 6,300 public comments when finalizing the plan.

In March, we made a final decision to select the comprehensive, integrated, ecosystem restoration alternative laid out in the final plan as our approach for restoration implementation. This decision has been approved by the court, and the case is settled. We can now begin implementing restoration as laid out in the final plan. We will continue to solicit input from the public as we begin to develop project-specific restoration plans. Read more about the settlement and view the final Consent Decree.