Plaquemines DA files suit against BPJun 9th, 2010 | By Frank McCormack | Category: news
The suit seeks to recover civil penalties for “the value of each fish, wild bird, wild quadruped and other wildlife and aquatic life unlawfully killed, caught, take, possessed or injured.” The suit is based on Louisiana statutes that penalize any individual or organization that unlawfully kills or damages wildlife.
“It is only fair that this statute and penalty be used against BP and other responsible parties for this catastrophic loss,” Ballay said. “If [the statute] applies to John Doe little fisherman, it certainly should apply to a major corporation that is damaging wildlife on a much larger scale.”
Ballay said other district attorneys from other coastal parishes either have already or are preparing to file similar suits against the oil giant. Ballay said he expects the case to be heard in Plaquemines Parish.
Since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded April 20, an estimated 12,000 to 19,000 barrels of oil have spewed into the Gulf of Mexico each day. Wildlife cleanup stations have been positioned across the Gulf Coast, with one located at Fort Jackson in Plaquemines Parish.
According to a June 3 report from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in Louisiana alone thus far, a total of 66 birds, 4 sea turtles and one reptile have been captured alive but with impacts from oil.
The number of wildlife captured dead since the spill occurred is much higher: 198 birds, 64 sea turtles and 20 mammals.