BP no longer banned from federal contracts

Sean Cockerham | Tribune Media Services

BP will once again be allowed federal contracts, with the Environmental Protection Agency agreeing to drop an order declaring the oil company an unfit business partner for the U.S. government in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The government suspended BP from winning new federal contracts on November 2012, saying the company had shown a "lack of business integrity."

The debarment came after BP agreed to plead guilty and pay a $4.5 billion penalty for criminal charges resulting from the disaster, which killed 11 workers and led to a massive spill in the gulf.

The Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday it’s reached an agreement with BP to allow the company to resume doing business with the federal government.

The five-year agreement imposes requirements on BP for ethics compliance, corporate governance and safety. The company will have to hire an auditor to do an annual review.

"This is a fair agreement that requires BP to improve its practices in order to meet the terms we’ve outlined together," said Craig Hooks, assistant administrator of the EPA.

By Sean Cockerham
McClatchy Washington Bureau