BP, Feds Dispute Amount of Oil Spilled in Deepwater Horizon Blowout

GRAND ISLE, LA - APRIL 13: The sun sets beyond the beach as waves wash up from the Gulf of Mexico April 13, 2011 in Grand Isle, Louisiana. Oil from the BP oil spill washed up onto this beach, one of the hardest hit areas, in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion which killed eleven crew members. 206 million gallons of oil eventually spilled into the Gulf of Mexico until the BP well was finally sealed. Residents report that oil still washes up onto the beach after storms. April 20th marks the one-year anniversary of the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. (National Journal)

The next phase in the trial to determine the extent of BP's liability for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion begins Monday. Lawyers for the Justice Department are squaring off against representatives for BP, with the two sides arguing over how much oil was spilled during the accident, the Associated Press reports.

Justice Department attorneys are set to argue that 4.2 million barrels of oil poured into the Gulf of Mexico as a result of the accident, while the defense will say that only 2.45 million barrels were spilled. U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier's determination of the amount spilled will directly impact the size of BP's payout for the spill under the Clean Water Act.