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8:02 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Court: BP Must Pay Clean Water Act Fines

Anadarko's holdings in the Gulf of Mexico. The company was a minority partner in the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig disaster.
Anadarko's holdings in the Gulf of Mexico. The company was a minority partner in the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig disaster.
Credit Anadarko Petroleum Corp.

A federal appeals court says BP PLC and a minority partner in the blown-out Macondo well cannot avoid Clean Water Act fines for the 2010 oil spill by blaming another company's failed equipment.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday in an appeal by BP and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. from a 2012 ruling by federal Judge Carl Barbier.

A three-judge panel says the oil came from their well, so they are liable. It said it cannot just blame Transocean's failed blowout preventer.

Loyola University law professor Blaine LeCesne describes the companies' argument as "ridiculous and really desperate."

Transocean Ltd. owned the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and the blowout preventer. It pleaded guilty last year to a misdemeanor Clean Water Act violation and agreed to pay a $1 billion fine.

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