Oil spill claims czar: Shrimpers' pain continues

By HARRY R. WEBER | October 27, 2011 | 11:10 AM EDT

The administrator of the $20 billion fund set up to compensate individuals and businesses hurt by last year's Gulf of Mexico oil spill says new rules are being formulated to make payouts more generous for hard-hit shrimpers.

Washington attorney Kenneth Feinberg told a House Committee on Natural Resources hearing on Thursday he hopes to announce the rules within two weeks.

He agrees with concerns from shrimpers that the length and extent of damage they have suffered because of the April 2010 disaster has been more significant than first thought.

Feinberg remains under fire for the slow pace of payments and for denying many claims. Eighteen months after the spill, the fund has paid $5.5 billion to 213,408 claimants. Feinberg agreed in July to a Justice Department audit. It hasn't started.