After Reviewing More Than 1,000 Public Comments, the Gulf Coast Claims Facility Makes Few Changes to “Final Payment” Plan


There were more than a thousand comments submitted to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) process, but the “final payment” program remains pretty much what it was before anyone offered any advice, says the Associate Press and other coverage of the plan.

Kenneth Feinberg issued a press release that he will now begin making payments under the new plan, saying Friday, that he took into consideration hundreds of comments, including numerous complaints that he wasn’t distributing money quickly enough.

“However,” said he AP, “the plan announced Friday was largely the same as the proposal Feinberg made earlier this month, before more than 1,400 claimants, public officials and others weighed in on the matter.”

Under Mr. Feinberg’s plan, claimants would receive twice their documented 2010 losses except for oyster harvesters, who would be offered four times their losses. One change Mr. Feinberg did make is for oyster processors to collect the same payment that he’s allowing oyster harvesters to claim.

The claims chief told reporters after a Mississippi College School of Law speech that he thinks “…the process is working well. I do think I’ve heard enough about lack of transparency and lack of consistency that we have to do something about that.” He did not offer any specifics.

Oddly, Mr. Feinberg said one reason his process “must be doing something right” is that of the 254 claims sent to the U.S. Coast Guard for review, the Guard sided with the Claims Facility every time. Some of his local advisers would do well to point out that many Gulf residents consider the Coast Guard a virtual BP subsidiary, especially since it rubber-stamped the use of dispersant even after the EPA warned everyone that it should be used as sparingly as possible.

Read the AP report via Yahoo here:;_ylt=Ai2eMsbibdHmHNZHUeOBE2n3SpZ4

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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