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BP Suspended from New Off-Shore Contracts

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Photo: Deepwater Horizon explosion. Courtesy: NWF
Photo: Deepwater Horizon explosion. Courtesy: NWF
November 29, 2012

WASHINGTON - The federal Environmental Protection Agency is temporarily suspending BP from any new federal contracts, partly as a result of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill.

In its release Wednesday, the EPA said BP's practices showed a "lack of business integrity." The decision will prevent the multi-billion-dollar company from receiving any new federal contracts and grants until the company can prove it meets federal business standards.

John Kostyack, National Wildlife Federation vice president for wildlife conservation, says the company already is feeling the impact.

"We don't know how long it will be in effect. We do know that BP did miss out on some sales of leases in the Gulf already as a result. So, they're starting to feel it, which is going to have that kind of productive effect."

Earlier this month, BP was ordered to pay $4.5 billion for criminal charges related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and spill.

Kostyack says this EPA suspension sets a standard for the practices of all oil companies going forward.

"I think it sends a message to BP and to every other oil company that operates in our land and our water that we expect compliance of environmental laws and that these laws actually mean something. They have teeth."

The suspension does not affect existing agreements BP has with the government. The effects of the 200 million gallons of oil spilled as a result of the explosion still are being felt by residents and businesses of the Gulf as oil continues to wash ashore.

Stephanie Carroll Carson, Public News Service - FL