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US sues BP over Gulf oil spill

The Obama administration filed a lawsuit against BP and four other companies on Wednesday for its violation of environmental laws that led to the worst oil spill in U.S. history, reports Bloomberg.

The lawsuit, which is the first legal measure on behalf of the United States since the Deepwater rig exploded in April, is for damages under the Clean Water Act and Oil Pollution Act. The civil action will aim to consolidate the hundreds of existing civil suits brought on by workers and businesses harmed by the disaster.

U.S. government lawyers said in the statement that the suit "seeks in this action the imposition of Clean Water Act civil penalties for each barrel of oil that the defendants discharged into the Gulf of Mexico," reports the news source.

A government report in August found that at least 4.9 million barrels of oil were released into the Gulf, Bloomberg reports.

According to CoastalCare.org, damages under the Clean Water Act could exceed $20 billion if the court rules there was gross negligence involved.
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