Justice Department expects to sue BP

By Allan Chernoff, CNN senior correspondent


NEW YORK (CNN) -- The Justice Department expects to sue BP for damages from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill according to a filing made last night with the U.S. District Court in New Orleans.

"At this juncture, the United States expects that it may file a civil complaint related to the Deepwater Horizon disaster," the court document says.

Justice department attorneys tell the Court they may seek claims under the Oil Pollution Act, which was enacted in 1990 after the Exxon-Valdez oil spill, and the Clean Water Act, which gives the Government the right to seek potentially huge penalties.

"The Clean Water Act authorizes the United States to seek civil penalties from various entities for oil spills like the Deepwater Horizon spill, in amounts potentially up to $1,100 (and in some circumstances up to $4,300) per barrel of oil spilled," the filing states.

Justice attorneys argue the government may seek compensation for the cost of removing oil; economic damage such as the cost of increased public services and loss of tax revenue; and destruction of natural resources and assessment of that damage.

The Justice Department is asking the court to establish a track separate from the many private claims for pretrial proceedings, in part because its claims "may involve complex scientific and economic expert testimony" that may not be needed to quantify claims from private parties.

The Justice Department has been conducting both civil and criminal investigations into the Deepwater Horizon accident.

CNN has requested and is awaiting comment from BP.

BP (BP) has already agreed to set aside $20 billion over several years to pay for claims resulting from the oil spill.

The company has paid the U.S. government $390-million for the cost of cleanup and last week received an additional bill for $128.5-million from the Obama administration. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,408.54 -16.31 -0.10%
Nasdaq 4,095.52 9.29 0.23%
S&P 500 1,864.85 2.54 0.14%
Treasuries 2.72 0.08 3.19%
Data as of 12:17pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.15 0.00 0.00%
Facebook Inc 58.94 0.00 0.00%
General Electric Co 26.56 0.00 0.00%
Cisco Systems Inc 23.21 0.00 0.00%
Micron Technology In... 23.91 0.00 0.00%
Data as of Apr 17
Sponsors

Sections

Spencer has been a supporting member of the "Good Morning America" cast for the past three years. More

Obamacare sign ups hit 8 million, though final enrollment remains to be seen. More

Office for iPad move is a symbolic victory for Nadella's Microsoft, but the company is still weighed down by many of the same old issues. More

Schwinn, Trek and Cannondale are all iconic American bicycle brands. But none of them are made in the United States. More

As Detroit moves closer to reaching a bankruptcy deal, retired civilian workers are poised to be left worse off than firemen and police officers. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.