BP Will Pay Out a Record-Breaking $18.7 Billion Over the Next 18 Years for Deepwater Horizon

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Oil burns and creates plumes of smoke near the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on June 19, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana. The BP oil spill has been called one of the largest environmental disasters in American history.
Photo: Pool/Getty Images

BP finally reached a settlement with the Justice Department over federal, state, and local governments waiting for money after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and it is a record-breaker. The company agreed to pay $18.7 billion to state and local authorities in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and the federal government. That figure includes a $5.5 billion Clean Water Act fine, the largest ever. “If approved by the court,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement today, “this settlement would be the largest settlement with a single entity in American history.”

BP is still unsure how much additional money it will have to pay to businesses and individuals who claim damages related to the devastating accident, which dumped nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico — making it the biggest offshore oil spill in U.S. history.