The Environmental Protection Agency has temporarily disqualified BP Gas from obtaining new government contracts for its role in the Deepwater Horizon oil
spill that devastated marine life along the Gulf Coast in 2010.

Earlier in November, the company was ordered to pay more than $4 billion to the Department of Justice and an additional $525 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission for criminal charges of negligence that led to the spill and subsequent attempts to cover-up the true amount of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico.

“EPA is taking this action due to BP’s lack of business integrity as demonstrated by the company’s conduct with regard to the Deepwater Horizon blowout, explosion, oil spill, and response,” the EPA said in a Nov. 28 statement.

The suspension does not affect contracts the government already has in place with BP, and the company will continue current drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico.

Since the explosion on the rig which killed 11 people and created a spill that took more than 80 days to contain, the government has inked more than 50 contracts with the company, according to a statement released by BP.

“The EPA’s action is pursuant to administrative procedures providing for discretionary suspension until a company can demonstrate ‘present responsibility’ to conduct business with the US government,” the British-based company said in a statement. “BP has been in regular dialogue with the EPA and has already provided both a present responsibility statement of more than 100 pages and supplemental answers to the EPA’s questions based on that submission.”

The company will still have to pay fines which could total millions of dollars for
violating the Clean Water Act. Many other civil, federal, and state claims remain to be answered.

Alexis Taylor

AFRO Staff Writer