BP engineer charged with criminal offenses in Deepwater Horizon investigationIn yet another repercussion of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has blocked BP from entering into any new contracts with the federal government.

The EPA says the temporary suspension, which affects BP Exploration and Production, Inc., BP PLC and named affiliated companies (BP), is due to BP’s “lack of business integrity as demonstrated by the company's conduct with regard to the Deepwater Horizon blowout, explosion, oil spill, and response, as reflected by the filing of a criminal information.”

On November 15, 2012, BP agreed to plead guilty to eleven counts of Misconduct or Neglect of Ship Officers, one count of Obstruction of Congress, one misdemeanor count of a violation of the Clean Water Act, and one misdemeanor count of a violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, all arising from its conduct leading to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster that killed 11 people and caused the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history.

The EPA was designated as the lead agency for suspension and debarment actions for the Deepwater Horizon investigation.

“Federal executive branch agencies take these actions to ensure the integrity of Federal programs by conducting business only with responsible individuals or companies,” according to a statement issued by the EPA. “Suspensions are a standard practice when a responsibility question is raised by action in a criminal case.”

The BP suspension will temporarily prevent the company and the named affiliates from getting new federal government contracts, grants or other covered transactions until the company can provide sufficient evidence to EPA demonstrating that it meets Federal business standards. The suspension does not affect existing agreements BP may have with the government.