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Chemicals Continue Flowing Into Gulf, While BP Ignores Safer Alternatives

Chemicals Continue Flowing Into Gulf, While BP Ignores Safer Alternatives

In a reversal of it’s former decision, the EPA announced that BP would have until Sunday, May 23rd to find an alternative to the toxic chemical dispersant Corexit that it has been using to “clean up” the massive oil spill in the Gulf.

Sadly, the deadline has come and gone, and BP has continued to dump large amounts of the dispersant (which some have described as deodorized kerosene) into the coastal waters in a feeble attempt to keep the massive sea floor oil plumes from surfacing and washing ashore.

And the excuse for ignoring the EPA’s directive?

BP claims no such alternatives exist, either because companies cannot produce the volume needed on such short notice or because companies don’t disclose the chemicals in their products – casting their potential environmental benefits into doubt (CSM).

Portions of BP’s response to EPA’s directive, as well as the directive itself, can be found here. It’s an interesting read, especially with all the portions that have been whited-out because they allegedly “contain confidential business information.”

BP’s attemps to decide what’s best for the ocean are both exasperating and suspect, especially when the makers of Dispersit – a water-based surfactant considered to be twice as effective as Corexit while one-third less toxic – have been offering up their product as an alternative since early May. Officials from U.S. Polychemical Corp stated again on Monday that they could meet BP’s demand and that the ingredients of their dispersant are public.

During a press conference call held early Monday, representatives from the EPA and U.S. Coast Guard said they considered BP’s scientific analysis of alternative dispersants to be “insufficient,” saying “we are concerned that BP seemed, in their response, more interested in defending their initial decisions than analyzing possible better options.”

While the EPA prepares its own tests to determine the least toxic, most effective dispersant available for a crisis of this magnitude, its has joined with the directed BP to focus the use of dispersants underwater (even though the consequences of doing so are completely unknown). They hope this could cut overall dispersant use by half and possibly more.

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Find full Care2 Coverage of the Spill here.

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Image: A team of U.S. Air Force aerial spray aircraft maintainers move a chemical pump into position in order to refill a chemical dispersing C-130 aircraft at Stennis International Airport in Kiln, Miss. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Adrian Cadiz) Flickr Creative Commons - DeepwaterHorizonResponse

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90 comments

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11:09PM PDT on Jul 3, 2010

rethink about another oil leake,, WHO FREAKING CARES NOW,, THERE IS A OIL HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR MONTHS. SO WHO CARES ABOUT ANOTHER ONE.

11:07PM PDT on Jul 3, 2010

DOES ANYONE KNOW WHY THEY KEEP SPRAYING THIS STUFF. WHEN IT KILLS . THEY DO NOT KNOW THE LONG TERM EFFECTS OF THIS SPRAY CHEMICAL. THESE CRIMINALS, UNHUMAN. CRIMINALS..

1:34PM PDT on Jun 13, 2010

Who runs this country, the government or BP? I was under the assumption that if the EPA gave a directive (which they did), and BP did not comply (which they did not), that some sort of disciplinary action would be taken. After all of the damage that BP has already done, I am honestly surprised that they are allowed to make any decisions on their own at all when it comes our environment. If Dispersit would be a better alternative, and environmental scientists (who aren't being paid off or influenced) agree, then I am perplexed as to why they even have a choice.

7:18AM PDT on Jun 11, 2010

this is just as awful as when I have excellent ideas but get sidelined

5:56AM PDT on Jun 4, 2010

BP needs to pay for this and ALL of their GREED and UNETHICAL practices......
They are ruining a beautiful part of the world and a part of the eco-system that is VERY VERY important to the world.....
First the hurricanes and now this.....It is very sad....just like before they turn there backs on the people of Louisiana and do
absolutely NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!

BP was kicked out of Canada in the 70's for unethucal practices!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The US needs to KICK BP out of the US.......

Boycott BP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

6:42AM PDT on May 31, 2010

We need to get these people out of our Gulf and County

4:46PM PDT on May 29, 2010

So horrible...

10:17AM PDT on May 29, 2010

I heard on the news today that BP are bombarding the leaks with old golf balls and shredded rubber. There is all this high tech stuff costing billions of $ and all those clever people who don't want anyone's help and this is all they can come up with??

3:15PM PDT on May 28, 2010

Are all politicians stupid or is it just the ones that actually make it to office?

2:35AM PDT on May 28, 2010

If lightening from storms hit the wetlands, will the whole thing blow up? I've heard that hurricanes will just disperse the oil, on the other hand, I've heard the wetlands are a natural hurricane buffer (or..they used to be) ..so, if there is another Katrina..oh man, it just gets worse and worse! Americans will have to adjust to more bike lanes, more public transportation, bye bye SUV's, use of more car pooling, and fewer off road vechicles tearing up the wilderness(like we "need" them anyhow). Get used to wearing winter sweaters more, and hanging outside when the air conditioning quits. It didn't kill our ancesters, it wont kill us either.

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