The Justice Department is creating a unified task force to investigate last year's massive Gulf oil spill so federal investigators from different agencies can coordinate their overlapping work.
The decision was disclosed by the department Monday. For the past several months, the department's criminal division, its environment and natural resources division and the U.S. attorney's office for the eastern district of Louisiana all worked on separate investigations related to the fire and explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and its aftermath.
Justice Department spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle says Deputy Attorney General James Cole wants to avoid duplication of effort. The department's criminal division senior counsel, John Buretta, will lead the task force, and criminal division chief Lanny Breuer will supervise it.