WASHINGTON (AP) - BP is being temporarily suspended from new contracts with the U.S. government, the Environmental Protection Agency says. The news comes on the same day that two BP rig supervisors and a former executive are scheduled to be
arraigned on criminal charges stemming from the deadly Deepwater Horizon
rig explosion and the company's response to its massive 2010 oil spill
in the Gulf of Mexico.
Two weeks ago, BP agreed to plead guilty to charges involving the deaths of 11 workers on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, which exploded and sank in April 2010, setting off the nation's largest offshore oil spill. BP will also plead guilty to lying to Congress about how much oil was spewing from the blown-out Macondo well.
The agency said Wednesday that the suspension is due to BP's "lack of business integrity as demonstrated by the company's conduct with regard to the Deepwater Horizon blowout, explosion, oil spill, and response."
The arraignment for BP well site leaders Robert Kaluza and Donald Vidrine are slated for Wednesday. The two were indicted earlier this month on manslaughter charges in the death of 11 rig workers. The federal indictment accuses them of disregarding abnormal high-pressure readings that should have been glaring indications of trouble just before the blowout of the well.
A separate indictment charges former BP executive David Rainey with concealing information from Congress about the amount of oil that was spewing from the well.
Their attorneys have vowed to fight the charges.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)