EPA: U.S. Government Temporarily Suspends BP From New Contracts

It seems BP isn’t done being punished for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, even after being hit with a record fine for the incident just recently. The United States government will be withholding new contracts from the British company, along with from its affiliates, because of criminal charges against it.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the news today, saying the temporary contract suspension stems from the charges of criminal misconduct in the disaster, according to Reuters. BP pleaded guilty to those charges and already agreed to pay $4.5 billion in penalties.

“Federal executive branch agencies take these actions to ensure the integrity of federal programs by conducting business only with responsible individuals or companies. Suspensions are a standard practice when a responsibility question is raised by action in a criminal case,” the EPA said in a statement.

BP hasn’t commented, but it apparently was aware this could be a result of it pleading guilty. It said then the company wasn’t sure if the government would go ahead with a ban. The company will have to prove it meets federal business standards in order to lift the ban.

Of course this is just a ban on government contracts — don’t expect BP gas stations to go disappearing from your neighborhood any time soon.

BP suspended from new U.S. government contracts [Reuters]