US bans BP from federal contracts
WASHINGTON - The EPA announced yesterday a suspension of British Petroleum’s ability to complete new federal contracts, citing its "lack of business integrity" in relation to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
"The BP suspension will temporarily prevent the company and the named affiliates from getting new federal government contracts, grants or other covered transactions until the company can provide sufficient evidence to EPA demonstrating that it meets federal business standards," said the EPA in a statement.
On November 15, 2012, BP agreed to plead guilty to 11 counts of Misconduct or Neglect of Ship Officers, one count of Obstruction of Congress, one misdemeanor count of a violation of the Clean Water Act, and one misdemeanor count of a violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, all arising from its conduct leading to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster that killed 11 people and caused the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history. BP agreed to pay $4.5 billion in penalties, including a record $1.256 billion criminal fine.
An EPA official said government-wide suspensions generally do not exceed 18 months, but can continue longer if there are ongoing legal cases.
For the Deepwater Horizon investigation, EPA was designated as the lead agency for suspension and debarment actions. Federal executive branch agencies take these actions to ensure the integrity of Federal programs by conducting business only with responsible individuals or companies. Suspensions are a standard practice when a responsibility question is raised by action in a criminal case.