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USA: BP sued by Indian tribe of Pointe Au Chien over loss of historical, cultural lands & traditional fisheries following Deepwater Horizon rig explosion & oil spill

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18 April 2011

A year on, Gulf still grapples with BP oil spill

Author: Anna Driver, Matthew Bigg, Reuters

When a BP oil rig exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico last April, killing 11 workers, authorities first reported that no crude was leaking into the ocean. They were wrong…One year on, oil from the largest spill in U.S. history clogs wetlands, pollutes the ocean and endangers wildlife, not to mention the toll it has inflicted on the coastal economies of Florida, Mississippi, Alabama and especially Louisiana…[The] environmental damage…seems far less dire than the worst predictions, according to some Gulf residents and experts…"Fishermen are still worried that there's oil on the bottom of the Gulf…” said Errol Voisin, manager of the Lafitte Frozen Foods plant in Louisiana...BP…is upbeat about the Gulf's recovery. "We are absolutely confident that the water is safe…the seafood is safe and delicious and I hear fishing is excellent right now…" Mike Utsler chief operating officer of BP's Gulf Coast Restoration Organization wrote [on] Facebook.

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18 April 2011

BP Sued by Pointe Au Chien Indian Tribe Over Spill Damage, Fishing Losses

Author: Laurel Brubaker Calkins, Allen Johnson Jr, Bloomberg

BP…was sued by the Pointe Au Chien tribe over claims the Indian group’s ancestral lands and fishing grounds in southern Louisiana were devastated by the 2010 oil spill. The tribe “has suffered loss of use of its historical and cultural lands, including tribal cemeteries, Indian mounds, shell middens and traditional fisheries,’’ according to the complaint…The tribe said it has an “an aboriginal land title claim’’ to the damaged areas…Most of the tribe’s members are subsistence or commercial oystermen or fishermen…The tribe seeks compensation for lost tax revenue and income, decline in property values, spill cleanup costs, restoration of its damaged natural resources, and punitive damages. BP spokesman…didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the…lawsuit.

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