Gulf Oil Spill – Conservationists Sue for Dispersant Harm

Press
Friday, April 20, 2012

Lawsuits filed by conservation groups against EPA, USCG, for authorizing toxic oil spill dispersants two years after the Deepwater Horizon spill

Conservation groups have sued the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Coast Guard for authorizing toxic oil dispersants without ensuring that these chemicals would not harm endangered species or their habitats. The groups want the EPA to immediately study the effects of dispersants on endangered and threatened species in all U.S. waters, including threatened and endangered whales, sea turtles, salmon and seabirds in the Pacific and polar bears and walruses in the Arctic.

“If chemical dispersants are going to be used after an oil spill, we have to know whether they’ll hurt or kill whales, sea turtles and other wildlife. So far, the EPA has no idea,” said Deirdre McDonnell of the Center for Biological Diversity, which brought suit with Surfrider and Pacific Environment. “Unprecedented amounts of dispersants were dumped into the sea during the Deepwater Horizon disaster, and they’re likely still affecting the Gulf of Mexico, where dead dolphins continue to wash ashore.”

Dispersants are chemicals used to break oil spills into tiny droplets. In theory, this allows the oil to be eaten by microorganisms and become diluted faster than it would if left untreated. However, dispersants and dispersed oil can also allow toxins to accumulate in the marine food web.

Once put on an official EPA list, chemical dispersants can immediately be used in oil-spill responses in any U.S. waters, including the Atlantic, Pacific or Arctic oceans. But the EPA has not taken steps to ensure that the use of these chemicals will not jeopardize endangered wildlife. The EPA should determine the safety of a dispersant before it goes on the list, not afterward as it did in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

More than 2 million gallons were used in the Deepwater Horizon response. Yet the effects of using such large quantities of dispersants and injecting them into very deep water, as BP did in the Gulf of Mexico, have never been studied; scientists believe it may be linked to the spread of underwater plumes of oil.

Maritime Reporter August 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

TOTE Receives $324.6m Title XI Loan Guarantee

New vessels will create jobs, increase amount of cargo moved between Florida and Puerto Rico U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced the approval of a $324.

Maersk CEO Appointed to UN Advisory

Morten Engelstoft, CEO of Services and Other Shipping, said CO2 issues will be on his agenda as a newly appointed member of a UN High-level Advisory Group for Sustainable Transport.

Alaska Class Ferries to Be Built in Ketchikan

Announced by Governor Sean Parnell Saturday, September 20, the State of Alaska and Vigor Industrial have reached a final agreement to construct two Alaska Class Ferries at Vigor Alaska in Ketchikan.

Legal

Australia, New Zealand Navies Intercepts Drugs off Africa

A combined Australian and New Zealand operation 260 km off the coast of Africa has seized more than 5.6 metric tons of cannabis resin worth an estimated $280 million (AUD).

Nigerian Oil Workers Call Off Strike After Talks with Government

Nigerian oil workers' unions have called off a four-day strike after reaching a deal with the government in a dispute over pensions, they said on Saturday. A

Nigerian Minister Pledges $1.3 bln for Power Companies

Nigeria's oil minister announced a 213 billion naira (1.3 billion US dollar) bail-out package for power companies on Saturday, nearly a year after the sector was privatised.

Environmental

Maersk CEO Appointed to UN Advisory

Morten Engelstoft, CEO of Services and Other Shipping, said CO2 issues will be on his agenda as a newly appointed member of a UN High-level Advisory Group for Sustainable Transport.

San Francisco Bay Fuel Spill Under Investigation

The U.S. Coast Guard and California Department of Fish and Wildlife personnel continue to respond to a fuel spill that occurred near Pier 45 at Fishman's Wharf in the San Francisco Bay Saturday.

MHPS's DeNOx System For Power Plant in Poland

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) has received an order from ENEA Wytwarzanie S.A., a power producer in Poland, for two sets of selective catalytic reduction

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1505 sec (7 req/sec)