The Department of Justice recently announced the $5.15 billion settlement against Anadarko. This is the largest payment for cleanup of environmental contamination in history. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara told Anadarko, “if you are responsible for 85 years of poisoning the earth, then you are responsible for cleaning it up.”
According to the Complaint, Anadarko’s operations left contamination across the nation. Particularly, it was found that there was radioactive uranium waste across the Navajo nation, Chicago, Nevada and the South. The settlement funds will be used to clean up dozens of operating sites and to compensate more than 7,000 people living with the effects of the contamination.
The settlement will also provide nearly $1 billion to clean up drinking water and address health risks for the Navajo nation. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be reimbursed for $217 million expended in addressing pollution from operations in New Jersey. The settlement is being praised as a victory because it will hold other companies responsible for their actions. It is likely that the settlement will deter other companies from failing to follow environmental rules and regulations.
This is not the first time that Anadarko has been faced with controversy for pollution. Anadarko was involved in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf. The company had a 25 percent stake in BP’s Macando well and was forced to pay $4 billion to resolve its share in lawsuits by private parties for personal injuries, property damage and economic damages.