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Fishery Service Data Confidential in BP Trial

NEW ORLEANS (CN) - All National Marine Fisheries Service documents produced for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill litigation are to be kept confidential and will not be used for data, a federal magistrate judge ruled Tuesday.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Sally Shushan's order states that "the PSC [plaintiff steering committee], BP and the United States agree that any documents produced by the National Marine Fisheries Service ('NMFS'), pursuant to the joint request of BP and the PSC, shall be treated as 'confidential.' The parties further agree that BP and the PSC seek only the data requested on March 12, 2012 and the documents need not be processed to be marked 'confidential' nor are the parties interested in production of metadata."

Shushan's order refers to U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier's Nov. 2, 2010 order to protect confidentiality in this litigation. Judge Barbier and Magistrate Judge Shushan are overseeing the consolidated litigation.

Attorneys could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.

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