They sure do – as per the U.S. Clean Water Act, civil penalties can be incurred for every gallon of oil that spills into the gulf.
Yes, the EPA can actually fine anywhere from $1,100- $4,300 per barrel of oil spilled. I believe that they are attempting to fine BP with the maximum penalty that they can apply.
I am pretty sure that I read the other day that Obama is trying to increase the maximum penalty that the government can issue BP. I am sure this will pass congress, considering the negative public attention this is getting him–might lose him the presidency.
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