Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said Tuesday it is "within the realm of possibility" that the state will sue BP PLC over any damage the Gulf oil spill causes.
Crist made the comment after meeting with workers at the Escambia County emergency operations center. He said a decision would come soon. BP announced Tuesday that it was giving the state an initial $25 million to cover costs its incurred preparing for the oil's arrival.
Crist said that while it remains unclear when the spill might reach Florida or what its affect would be, the state needs to be prepared. The state Department of Environmental Protection says no landfall is expected in Florida through Thursday. The department is taking air and water samples and about 20 miles of boom has been laid off the Panhandle coast to protect environmentally sensitive areas.
Crist has declared a state of emergency in 19 counties from Escambia in the Panhandle to Sarasota in southwest Florida.