NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A highly touted $20 billion oil spill settlement involving BP, the federal government and the five Gulf Coast states is moving closer to final approval.

Federal lawyers on Tuesday formally asked a judge in New Orleans to accept the agreement, which was announced last July and is aimed at resolving years of legal fighting over damage from the 2010 Gulf oil spill. A judge had found BP "grossly negligent" in the offshore rig explosion that killed 11 workers and caused the 134 million gallon spill.

The settlement included $5.5 billion in civil penalties and billions more to cover environmental damage and other claims by the states and local governments.

Tuesday's filing includes thousands of pages of exhibits, including statements gathered during a public comment period.

 

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