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US Government and Caribbean Petroleum Corp.

San Juan, Puerto Rico: (Apr-23-07) San Juan filed a lawsuit against the US government, the Caribbean Petroleum Corp. and two insurers after the Morris J. Berman barge spilled half its load of heating oil when it smashed into a coral reef in 1994. The damage to the sea-life habitat from the 750,000 gallons of heavy oil spilled on the beaches and lagoons was unprecedented and immense leading to a $10 million settlement to restore the capital's reef-fringed coast. Under a 2000 settlement with the US government, the Caribbean Petroleum Corp. and two insurers, the fund would go towards reimbursing federal and local governments for removing the oil from beaches and Caribbean waters, as well as be used to restore sea-life habitats. Cement modules will be installed in a lagoon one mile from the grounding site to create a reef. Marine sediment will also be used to fill dredge holes and boost the recovery of sea grass. About $2.6 million will be used to buy 270 acres of private, shoreline property for use as a nature reserve. The land east of San Juan is home to more than 40 species of rare plants and animals, including endangered Leatherback sea turtles. [MIAMI HERALD: OIL SPILL]

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Published on Apr-25-07


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