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Keys governments consider BP oil-spill settlements

The cities of Key West and Marathon, the Monroe County School Board and the County Commission are all meeting separately to discuss what are believed to be settlement opportunities with BP and Transocean.

The School Board was scheduled to hold a closed session with its lawyers Friday to discuss the issue. A BP settlement is on the agenda for Tuesday's 5:30 p.m. Marathon City Council meeting at the Marathon Government Center.

A BP settlement is the only item up for consideration at a Key West City Commission special meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Old City Hall on Greene Street. When it meets at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Harvey Government Center in Key West, the County Commission will review a local release agreement with BP over the Deepwater Horizon spill.

The county agreed in 2012 to pay 18 percent of the local settlement to a coalition of private law firms that represented Monroe in BP negotiations. The precise payout remains to be determined.

All the talks stem from the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil-rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. Eleven men died. An estimated 200 million gallons of crude oil spewed into the Gulf.

No oil apparently reached the Keys, but some claim the threat of it deterred tourists from visiting, which hurt resorts, restaurants, fishing and dive guides, and attractions.

It's unclear if each claim is separate or part of the larger Keys pool of BP money. Monroe County stands to get between $5 million and $6 million, according to County Administrator Roman Gastesi.

Attorney General Pam Bondi said last week that Florida will receive at least $3.2 billion from a national $18.7 billion settlement.

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