A US Federal Judge on Monday set a 30-day deadline for BP to make its $1billion in compensation payouts to local governments in the Gulf of Mexico coastal area.
The payments are in relation to damages caused by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf, and the subsequent 87-day untapped gush of oil from the well. It was and remains the worst offshore oil disaster in US history.
Government scientists estimate the spill put about 172 million gallons of oil into the Gulf waters, while BP maintain it was around 100m gallons.
Local governments of communities in the five US states with Gulf shorelines – Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida – had been set a deadline of July 15 by which to accept the BP offer. Most of them have done so.
These payments are part of the total $18.7bn settlement for all parties, which BP agreed to on July 2.
Some of the affected communities have held off accepting because they consider the damage caused by the spill to their local environment and economy is not adequately covered by their proposed share of the $1bn.