A federal court last week approved the federal criminal settlement with BP over the deadly 2010 explosion and massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Also last week, research released by Florida State University demonstrated that smaller spills that get much less attention than the BP disaster actually are much larger that the public or the government itself believe.

Whenever an oil spill occurs, it is supposed to be reported by those responsible to the federal government's National Response Center.

Using commercial satellite imaging, Florida State oceanographers concluded that the average reported spill was about 13 times greater than the estimate given to the National Response Center.

Federal agencies have greater satellite capability than the FSU researchers. They should use it to verify the size of companies' reports, and include under-reporting as a violation.