14 years since the DeepWater Horizon oil spill | wwltv.com – WWLTV.com

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14 years since the DeepWater Horizon oil spill |  wwltv.com – WWLTV.com

Eleven workers died on the platform in what would become the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.

PLAQUEMINE, La. — Fourteen years ago, on April 20, 2010, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico sent flames high into the sky about 40 miles off the coast of Plaquemines Parish , in Louisiana.

Eleven workers died on the platform in what would become the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. Oil flowed from the damaged Macondo well for 87 days, before finally being plugged on July 15, 2010.

A federal court later concluded that 134 million gallons of crude spilled into the Gulf, more than 12 times the amount spilled in the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster. The oil spill covered Texas beaches to Florida with oil and tar balls, killing hundreds of thousands of marine animals and devastating the region’s tourism economy.

The oil spill virtually shut down fishing and coastal activities along the Gulf Coast for months.

The city of New Orleans has accepted a $45 million settlement offer from BP for economic damages caused by the 2015 disaster.

“This disaster has devastated our environment, many families and businesses, and the local economy – from our fisheries to the hospitality industries,” then-Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in announcing the settlement. “We will continue to deal with the long-term impacts of this disaster for years to come.”

Thousands of workers hired by BP to clean up its mess say exposure to oil and chemicals made them sick. About 22,700 of them were paid as part of a class-action settlement in 2012, but the average claimant paid about $2,940.

Shrimp boat George Barisich received compensation for losses from his seafood business in a separate settlement. He filed a claim for chronic illness due to exposure to oil and chemical dispersants used to break up oil particles in the Gulf.

“There’s no justice here for the people who actually worked, who went out there to clean up their mess, and this is what we got in return: not a very good thank you, I don’t think.” , Barisich told WWL Louisiana Investigative Reporter. David Hammer.

According to the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, due to legal agreements with the state, more than $7.29 billion will be awarded to Louisiana for coastal projects through 2031, and an additional $1 billion for damages economic.

The deadly rig explosion led to an unprecedented federal response, including a six-month moratorium on deep-water drilling and record $4.5 billion in criminal penalties against oil company BP.

The BP oil spill has neither disappeared nor forgotten along the Louisiana coast.

According to a long-term study published in the journal Environmental Pollution last year, shoreline erosion doubled after the spill and oil contamination may have accelerated the region’s coastal erosion problems.

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