In April, an explosion and fire started one of our nation's worst environmental disasters, killing 11 workers and sending more than 100 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
Over the last few months BP has tried several ideas to stop the spill saying Monday it has spent $3.12 billion trying to plug the leak, pay claims and reimburse the U.S. and local governments.
Evelyn wrote to us asking "When BP gets fined for the oil spill, who gets the fine money and what is is used for?"
The company says it has spent $147 million settling 47,000 claims, about half of what's been submitted so far.
Last week, BP met its deadline set by the federal government to cover the costs of responding to the oil spill. The Obama administration says the company paid about $71 million in June.
Andrew Ames with the U.S. Department of Justice says that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has begun a criminal and civil investigation into the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Ames says he could not speak about fines related to the investigations but said typically judicial fines go into the judgment fund under the U.S. Treasury Department.
According to the Treasury's website, the judgment fund is used for most court judgments against the federal government and justice department settlements of current or future lawsuits against the government.