Oil Spill Damage

When a disaster wreaks havoc in a particular state, among the first to respond to help those affected are usually charitable institutions and non-profit organizations. Though both usually work together and share funds, both would be required to dig deep into their pockets and expect that the rebuilding and recovery process costs so much more than what it usually seems.

Such is especially true with regard to the states affected by the biggest oil spill in U.S. history in April of 2010. Louisiana and the other states have actually not fully recovered yet from the destructions left by hurricane Katrina when British Petroleum’s (BP) Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, spilling more than 200 million gallons of oil in the Gulf of Mexico.

The oil spill made a major disastrous impact in the public health, tourism industry, fishing and wildlife of the states along the Gulf of Mexico, slamming the economic growth and privileges of individuals and businesses in those states.

A couple of months after the disaster, BP put up the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF), a claims program that was intended to help small businesses and workers get compensated for their damages and losses. Two years after (in 2012), all claims were consolidated and placed under the care of a court-supervised settlement program.

While it is true that individuals and businesses suffered economic losses, it cannot be denied that nonprofit organizations and churches had been affected too as the amount of contributions and donations these used to receive over the past years suddenly decreased during the months following the spill. As BP realized this loss of nonprofits, these were, therefore, included in the list of those that were supposed to receive settlement payments.

Churches, K-12 schools, pre-schools, private daycare centers, rescue missions, homeless shelters, rehabilitation facilities and religious institutions are among those affected by the spill. Besides these, Williams Kherkher, through an article posted in his website, also mentions the losses suffered by Disease research organizations, Historical societies and Wildlife preservation organizations, making these eligible too to receive compensation from BP. The only worry many legal professionals worry about is the non-action of nonprofits, choosing not to file claims lawsuits despite BP’s offer to settle.

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