It has been one year since the devastating Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which has resulted in economic losses to individuals, businesses, and the State of Florida. It also harmed our natural resources and coastal communities. It is my goal to make sure Floridians receive the maximum recovery for their economic losses.
The lessons of 20 years of litigation in the Exxon Valdez matter brought us the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) of 1990. The OPA allows those harmed by the oil spill - state government, local governments, businesses, and individuals - to recover economic losses. To promote compensation without resorting to litigation, the OPA requires potential claimants to first present their damages claim to the responsible party before filing a lawsuit. In anticipation of presenting an OPA claim to BP on behalf of the State of Florida, the Attorney General's Office has coordinated with the Governor's Office, the Legislature, and the Department of Revenue to identify and quantify the state's damages as a result of the spill.
I have kept pressure on Mr. Feinberg to make the claims process faster, more efficient, and more transparent for claimants. While the Attorney General's Office doesn't represent individuals and businesses in the claims process, we do represent the public interest, and I will continue monitor the claims process to make sure Floridians are getting the assistance they deserve.
In closing, it is my objective that all parties that suffered economic loss and environmental harm as a result of the oil spill are compensated as quickly as possible, and my office will continue working tirelessly until this goal is met. For more information regarding the process, please visit: http://www.myfloridalegal.com/newsrel.nsf/newsreleases/EC40E679FD03FAB485257873004B2585.
Federal Legislation Banning Bath Salts
Attorney General Bondi joined Congresswoman Sandy Adams and Seminole County Sheriff Donald Eslinger on Thursday to announce federal legislation placing MDPV and Mephedrone, two unregulated designer drugs referred to as “bath salts,” on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. In January, Attorney General Bondi filed an emergency rule banning the use and sale of so-called “bath salts” in Florida, and she is grateful to Congresswoman Adams for introducing this legislation, which will ban MDPV on the federal level.
Prescription Drug Ring Sweep
On Thursday, Attorney General Bondi joined the Titusville Police Department, Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, and State Attorney Norman Wolfinger to announce the arrest of 20 people in the largest prescription drug trafficking sweep targeting the East Coast of Florida. Last month alone, the drug ring sold more than 3,600 oxycodone pills totaling more than $47,000.
House of Representatives Passes Key Pill Mill Legislation
On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed a bill that will give the law enforcement community and regulators the tools needed to eradicate our state’s pill mill epidemic. Attorney General Bondi is grateful to Speaker Cannon, Representative Schenck, and the House of Representatives for their leadership. President Haridopolos, Senator Fasano, and the Senate are equally committed to ensuring passage of a comprehensive strategy to combat pill mills. Attorney General Bondi looks forward to working with the Legislature to accomplish this task.
Cabinet Meeting in Panama City
On Tuesday, Attorney General Bondi, Governor Scott, Chief Financial Officer Atwater, and Agriculture Commissioner Putnam held their bi-monthly Cabinet meeting in Panama City in honor of the one-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. After the meeting, the Cabinet members set sail on the beautiful Gulf of Mexico for a charity fishing tournament benefiting the Gulf World Marine Institute.