Feds Make First Arrest in BP Oil Disaster

Engineer deleted texts about spill's scale

Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Deepwater Horizon oil spill     Photo: lagohsep/Flickr

On Tuesday, federal prosecutors filed criminal charges against a former BP engineer for allegedly deleting hundreds of text messages about the scale of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, the first to arise from the 2010 disaster. Kurt Mix, who was part of a BP team trying to estimate the amount of crude flowing from the well, was arrested and charged with two counts of obstruction of justice for destroying evidence. In court papers, the FBI said it was investigating whether BP knew the oil well was leaking more crude than it admitted publicly. The deleted texts included a report that the well was flowing at a rate three times that of the company's estimate. Under the Clean Water Act, BP's financial liability is partly determined by how much oil was discharged.

Read more at Bloomberg Businessweek

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