On 15 November, the US government and BP Exploration and Production Inc reached a settlement that requires the company to pay $4 billion in penalties for the 20 April 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. More than half of that money will go to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for restoration projects in the five states most affected by the oil spill. Another $350 million will be used by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to establish a program on human health and environmental protection in the Gulf of Mexico. As Physics Today went to press, the settlement awaited final approval by a federal judge.

The NAS program will fund R&D, education and training, and environmental monitoring for offshore drilling. “It will be a good-sized program, but not the biggest thing here,” says academy spokesman William Skane. The money will be delivered to the NAS over 5 years and disbursed over...

You do not currently have access to this content.