PI: Liesel Ritchie
Co-PI: Duane Gill
Funding Period: 2013 – 2016
Funder: National Science Foundation Award #1248118

On April 20, 2010 the BP Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded and started burning in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. The rig eventually sank, leaving a breached wellhead that released an estimated 185 to 205 million gallons of crude oil in the months before it was capped and permanently sealed. Under direction from the Federal government, BP set aside $20 billion to pay damage claims. However, the claims process became a bureaucratic and legal quagmire, as well as a source of contention and stress in coastal communities. This RAPID project supported research on how settlement and litigation processes in the aftermath of this technological disaster are influencing social and psychological recovery in the State of Alabama’s coastal communities.