Waveland settles with BP; Hancock files suit
By Dwayne Bremer
Apr 23, 2013, 18:31
Emergency workers attempt to burn off gas fumes and contain oil spilled after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster in April 2010.
The city of Waveland has reached a settlement with British Petroleum and other companies involved in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Waveland City Attorney Gary Yarborough said Tuesday that the city has resolved its claims and will receive $265,000 soon.
The funds will be "unrestricted," Yarborough said.
Meanwhile, the Hancock County Board of Supervisors filed a federal lawsuit this week seeking to recover damages from the oil spill.
The suit, Hancock County, versus BP, Moex Offshore 2007, Transocean, and others was filed in U.S. District Court in Gulfport on Monday.
Likewise, the Hancock County Water and Sewer District filed a similar suit on Monday.
Hancock County Attorney Ronnie Artigues said Tuesday that the county wanted to get its suit filed before the three-year statute of limitations expires this week.
In April 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig caught fire and exploded. A massive oil spill began and it would many weeks before the flow of oil could be curtailed.
On May 15, 2010, the first droplets of oil began washing up on Hancock County beaches.
A Waveland resident was the first person to discover oil on Mississippi's mainland beaches.
At first, the oil was limited to small droplets of gooey tar, but soon after, larger amounts began washing ashore.
Soon after, dead animals and even pieces of the Deepwater Horizon began washing ashore.
The oil invasion reached its apex here during the first two weeks of July 2010, when a small storm washed ashore thousands of pounds of oil and tar balls that coated the beaches from Lakeshore to Pass Christian.
For weeks, Hancock County beaches were closed to the public and the oil even infiltrated interior marshes.
Officials said the effects of the oil spill are still unknown.
"We feel like there was a definite economic impact," Artigues said. "We wanted to make sure we protected our claim and that is why we filed the lawsuit."
Hancock County Water and Sewer District attorney J.P. Compretta echoed Artigues remarks, saying his district filed suit because its claim was denied.
"Our adjustors say there was damages," Compretta said.
Although the lawsuits are now on file, the county and water and sewer district may have to wait a while before a resolution.
In the past week, more than a dozen governmental entities in Louisiana and Mississippi have filed similar suits.