Feds, Transocean reach $1.4B deal over Gulf spill

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Associated Press

Posted on January 3, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 3 at 7:30 PM

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Justice Department has reached a $1.4 billion settlement with Transocean, the owner of the drilling rig that sank after an explosion killed 11 workers and spawned the massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The proposed settlement resolves the department's civil and criminal probes of Transocean's role in the Deepwater Horizon rig disaster. It requires the Switzerland-based company to pay $1 billion in civil penalties and $400 million in criminal penalties and plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of violating the Clean Water Act, according to a court filing.

The deal, which is subject to a federal judge's approval, also calls for Transocean to implement a series of operational safety and emergency response improvements on its rigs.

Much of the $1.4 billion will fund environmental restoration projects and spill-prevention research and training.

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