The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this morning announced that it has temporarily suspended BP PLC (NYSE: BP) and its affiliated companies from new contracts with the federal government. The suspension does not cover any existing contracts that the U.S. government may have with BP.
According to the EPA’s press release:
Suspensions are a standard practice when a responsibility question is raised by action in a criminal case. The BP suspension will temporarily prevent the company and the named affiliates from getting new federal government contracts, grants or other covered transactions until the company can provide sufficient evidence to EPA demonstrating that it meets Federal business standards.
BP’s recent plea agreement on criminal charges arising from the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon that killed 11 workers and dumped more than 5 million barrels of crude in the Gulf of Mexico marked the company as one that would need to prove that it is a “responsible” party with which the federal government may do business.
The EPA does not indicate when the suspension may end, nor does it specify whether BP would be eligible to bid on new drilling prospects while the suspension is in effect.