The Deepwater Horizon oil spill occurred on April 20, 2010 and caused significant impacts to Florida’s natural resources and economy. The Florida Attorney General’s Office immediately began to play many key roles on behalf of the State of Florida and in the public interest such as:
- Facilitating, where possible, the individual and business claim processes
- Working within state government to prepare the State of Florida's economic loss claims
- Advising the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on the State of Florida’s environmental and natural resource damage claims
- Informing local governments, as requested, about the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and related laws
In April of 2013, on the third anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Attorney General Bondi filed a lawsuit seeking reimbursement for the economic damages suffered by the State of Florida due to the oil spill, including lost tax revenues.
The lawsuit, which was consolidated with the Multidistrict Litigation case in New Orleans, paved the way for the historic multi-billion dollar joint federal-state agreement in principle with BP Exploration and Production, Inc. announced in July of 2015 to resolve the economic loss claims asserted by Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas; the natural resource damage claims of the various state and federal trustees; and the Clean Water Act penalties sought by the federal government.
After five years of extensive negotiations, Florida stands to receive more than $3.25 billion in total which includes $2 billion for its economic loss claims, twice the amount of the next closest state and more than 40% of the total economic loss recovery. Florida would also receive more than $1.25 billion from the natural resource damage claims and through the provisions of the RESTORE Act under the agreement in principle.