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
An EPA official said government-wide suspensions generally
do not exceed 18 months, but can continue longer if there are ongoing legal
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.