Today, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor released the following statement regarding the announced settlement between BP and the Department of Justice on the criminal charges brought against BP:
"The Justice Department's settlement of BP's criminal violations for the Deepwater Horizon blowout is a step towards justice for the families and communities that suffered the tragedy. BP must be held accountable for the loss of life, economic damage and environmental harm caused by the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout.
In addition to the criminal case, BP is liable for additional civil fines and penalties under the Clean Water Act. Such future fines and penalties will provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to improve the environmental health of the Gulf of Mexico and related jobs and industries. Recovery of the entire Gulf Coast region will occur over decades. Taxpayers should not be left on the hook for one dime of damage relating to the BP blowout. Fortunately, the Justice Department has been aggressive in holding BP accountable.
To ensure that the Clean Water Act fines and penalties are directed to Gulf of Mexico, I successfully worked with my colleagues to pass the RESTORE Act a few months ago. The RESTORE Act directs that the bulk of the Clean Water Act fines and penalties be devoted to the Gulf. Otherwise, the monies simply would have been deposited in the general treasury.
I commend the Department of Justice and Attorney General Eric Holder for their actions as the Administration took another step forward in holding BP accountable."