By Carol McCracken (Post # 628)
All seven Gulf Waterkeepers have joined a lawsuit suing the Environmental Protection Agency for failure to “follow the law” according to a press release from Emerald Coastkeeper, Inc. one of the plaintiffs in the case. The lawsuit stems from the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this year which was capped in August.
It was believed by some that the microbes already found in the Gulf would suck-up all of the oil from the spill. That clearly has not happened. And, nearly 2 million gallons of “Corexit” were used to basically dissolve millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf. This despite the fact that the EPA asked BP to use a less toxic, water based dispersant. BP said no to the request. Now, according to the press release, “PAH” levels (the cancer causing parts of oil) have increased in the Gulf significantly.
There are many unanswered questions this misstep raises. How will this affect our long term recovery from this tragedy? How much of the dissolved oil will enter the Gulf food web? The EPA should be able to answer these questions, but they haven’t so far. Under the Clean Water Act, EPA is required to identify which waterbodies specific dispersants can be used and at what levels.
The press release concludes: “Isn’t this something which should be done before 2 million gallons were added to our gulf?”
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