Image courtesy of Petty Officer 2nd Class Justin Stumberg/U.S. Navy/Wikimedia Commons.

A former BP site manager was found not guilty on Thursday for a Clean Water Act violation charge tied to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill.

According to the Associated Press, former rig supervisor Robert Kaluza was facing a single count of violating the Clean Water Act that carried a penalty of up to a year in prison.

Kaluza, 65, was accused of bungling a critical pressure test that may have indicated the Macando well was not securely plugged with mud and cement, the AP said.

“We’re just pleased and thankful that the jury carefully considered the evidence and came to a just verdict,” Kaluza’s lawyers told Bloomberg.

Kaluza was the final defendant facing charges related to the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident that killed 11 people and caused the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

In December, federal prosecutors filed a motion to drop involuntary manslaughter charges against Kaluza and Donald Vidrine, a fellow site manager, for their roles in the accident.

The two men were facing 11 counts of seaman’s manslaughter, but in accordance with a 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling earlier this year, the charges were dismissed because their duties did not qualify them for a maritime crime.

Vidrine pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor violation of the Clean Water Act in December and will be sentenced in April.

He is facing up to 10 months of probation and financial penalties.


  1. While found not guilty surely the cost to the defendant and the ordeal of the last five plus years have more than chilled the hearts of every other manager, supervisor and technician who works offshore. The federal government knows exactly how to terrorize.

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