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U.S. to file civil suit against oil companies in Gulf spill

The Department of Justice announced Tuesday that it expected to file a civil suit against the oil companies involved in the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico for violation of federal environmental laws...The action by the Department of Justice could ultimately lead to heavy civil fines against BP or Transocean...Or, if federal laws were deliberately broken, the investigation could result in federal criminal charges against the companies, officials said...Elizabeth Ashford, a spokeswoman for BP, said the company wouldn't comment. But the companies have pledged repeatedly to clean up the spill, restore the environment and pay restitution to business owners and residents hurt by the spill...The Justice officials said their main concern was whether the federal Oil Pollution Act or the Clean Water Act were violated.

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