What’s Being Done to Prevent Another Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Six years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, officials are still working to ensure such a tragedy never happens again.

On April 20, 2010, an explosion occurred on the Deepwater Horizon oil platform, killing 11 workers and triggering the worst oil spill in U.S. history. It took 87 days to cap the well. During that time, 3.19 million barrels of crude oil were dumped into the Gulf of Mexico.

Litigation against Transocean, which owned the rig, and BP, which leased the rig, began shortly after the explosion. Most of that litigation has since been settled, with a large portion of the funds paid by the responsible parties allocated to Gulf restoration efforts.

Here’s a quick review of what's being done with the money paid by Transocean and BP, as well as the industry changes and new regulations that have been put in place to prevent something like this from occurring in the future.

In 2012, the Obama administration passed the RESTORE Act (Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act) in response to the Deepwater Horizon tragedy.

It created the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council to ensure stakeholders in the region will work together to manage the area's recovery and the funds provided by BP and Transocean as penalties under the Clean Water Act.

According to the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council’s 2015 Annual Report to Congress, BP’s negotiations are still ongoing, but they are expected to be required to pay $5.5 billion plus interest in civil penalties. Transocean has already completed its payment of $1 billion plus interest.

After five years of research, the council came up with a list of ten key watersheds around the Gulf where it plans to focus its restoration efforts. The council plans to implement those efforts this year.

After an aggressive investigation by the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) have implemented significant changes to their procedures, according to a Deepwater Horizon Fact Sheet created by BSEE and BOEM.

Some of the changes the BSEE instituted include increasing well-design standards, creating a Safety Enforcement Division -- which monitors the execution and effectiveness of the enforcement activity -- and increasing its inspection workforce in the region from 55 in April 2010 to 107, the fact sheet states.

Meanwhile, the BOEM has strengthened its environmental review process, created the Office of Environmental Programs -- which is designed to better integrate science into decision-making at every stage of the oil and gas development process -- and increased the limit of liability of responsible parties for oil spills from $75 million to $134 million, among other reforms, according to the fact sheet.

And, after finalizing standards this month, the BSEE announced the Well Control Rule to “increase equipment reliability and build upon enhanced industry standards,” the fact sheet states. The rule requires operators to demonstrate they have all necessary equipment for subsea well control and containment before operations.

Greg Julian, press secretary at the BSEE, told ABC News that although this creates higher standards for subsea drilling, it is not one-size-fits-all because it allows for changes to the pressure minimums as long as the operator can prove it maintains control.

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Officials break ground on new park honoring the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombing

Officials break ground on new park honoring the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombingSeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- Officials broke ground in Boston Wednesday for a new park dedicated to Martin Richard, the youngest victim of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

Martin was 8 years old when he killed on April 15, 2013, as he watched the marathon from near the finish line with his family. His mother was gravely injured, and his sister, who was 7 at the time,
lost a leg.

Photos from Wednesday's ceremonial groundbreaking show children in hard hats using shovels to dig dirt. Martin's Park, located next to the Boston Children's Museum at the Smith Family Waterfront,
is expected to open in the fall of 2018, according to a press release from the office of Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker.

"This park will bring light & hope to that darkness, honoring his memory & allowing kids to be kids," Baker wrote on Twitter.

#MartinRichard lost his life to terror. This park will bring light & hope to that darkness, honoring his memory & allowing kids to be kids. pic.twitter.com/lYUTMyZNxV

— Charlie Baker (@MassGovernor) August 16, 2017

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh wrote on Twitter that the park will remind its visitors of "hope, compassion & love."

"Martin's spirit will always live on in Boston & in Martin's Park," Walsh wrote.

This park reminds us of hope, compassion & love a young boy taught us all. Martin's spirit will always live on in Boston & in Martin's Park. pic.twitter.com/w6Plokx6D7

— Mayor Marty Walsh (@marty_walsh) August 16, 2017

Both Baker and Walsh spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony, as well as Martin's family.

Martin's sister, Jane Richard, said she knows that her brother is happy that the community is coming together.

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