22 Apr 2011

BP agrees to $1bn cleanup cost

12:33 pm on 22 April 2011

BP has agreed to provide $US1bn to repair damage to the US Gulf Coast resulting from last year's oil spill.

Eleven people were killed during an explosion in the Deepwater Horizon rig on 20 April 2010 and millions of barrels of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico.

Hundreds of miles of coastal wetlands and beaches were contaminated, one third of the gulf's US waters were closed to fishing, and the economic costs have reached into the tens of billions of dollars.

The US Justice Department, which helped form the agreement, said the funds would go to Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

It will be used to clean up affected areas including beaches.

The Department of the Interior and the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration will also receive money, the BBC reports.

The Justice Department said the release of the money was the largest restoration agreement of its kind ever reached.

The department said the agreement does not affect the ultimate liability of BP or any other company for environmental damages or other liabilities, but lets restoration projects get started sooner.