As ground zero of the BP oil spill, the parish was unwilling to take settlement money less than was offered to the Orleans Parish School Board, which suffered no oil damages.

Photo credit: USFWS/Southeast CC BY

Offer was too small to compensate for losses.

BP recently let out an offer to Plaquemines Parish in order to pay for the damages caused during the Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill, according to an article on NOLA.com. However, Plaquemines Parish has declined the settlement offer from BP because the said offer was too small to compensate for the losses.

Private attorney Scott Bickford and Parish Attorney Joel Loeffelholz said Parish President Amos Cormier told the Parish Council about the offer and the decision in an interview. The council was considering an offer to settle claims during a July 9 executive session on the matter.

“As ground zero of the BP oil spill, the parish was unwilling to take settlement money less than was offered to the Orleans Parish School Board, which suffered no oil damages,” Bickford said in the interview.

When it comes down to it, the BP settlement offer for the damages caused during Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill was simply not enough to cover these three categories of financial losses by the parish:

  • Millions of dollars in administrative expenses, including the use of parish personnel and equipment overtime, in responding to the spill
  • Lost tax revenue resulting from the spill, including sales taxes associated with recreational and commercial fishing
  • Damage to thousands of acres of parish-owned property that were either heavily oiled or experienced moderate or light oiling. Some of that land has since eroded, and if it has turned to open water, could result in the loss of parish-owned mineral rights to the state

It has been 5 years since the Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill. Not only were there millions of dollars in expenses lost but unfortunately lives were lost as well. Things haven’t quite yet returned to the way they used to be. Oyster banks are still barren, oil deposits still lay off the coast, and the marshes show signs of elevated erosion wrought by the oil and cleanup workers invading the shorelines.

For over twenty five years, Martzell, Bickford & Centola has successfully represented both governmental entities and individual landowners with mineral interests in their claims against various energy companies for environmental damages caused to their lands. The firm has also represented thousands of holders of royalty and overriding royalty interests for underpayment and/or miscalculation of royalties due to them by various drilling and production companies.

Source: NOLA.com