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Congressman: Too much dispersant used in oil spill

August 1st, 2010 . by TexasFred

Have you ever looked at a story, and known that the people making the most noise were doing so because they were using that 20/20 hindsight we all hear so much about? And have you ever just known, had a feeling? There is NO WAY to win this one? Somehow, I have that feeling now!

Congressman: Too much dispersant used in oil spill

WASHINGTON (AP) — As BP inched closer to permanently sealing the blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico, congressional investigators railed the company and Coast Guard for part of the cleanup effort, saying too much toxic chemical dispersant was used.

The investigators said the U.S. Coast Guard routinely approved BP requests to use thousands of gallons of chemical a day to break up the oil in the Gulf, despite a federal directive to use the dispersant rarely. The Coast Guard approved 74 waivers over a 48-day period after the Environmental Protection Agency order, according to documents reviewed by the investigators. Only in a small number of cases did the government scale back BP’s request.

Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., released a letter Saturday that said instead of complying with the EPA restriction, “BP often carpet bombed the ocean with these chemicals and the Coast Guard allowed them to do it.”

BP did not immediately return a phone call and a spokesman for the Unified Command Center in New Orleans did not have an immediate comment.

While the chemical dispersant was effective at breaking up the oil into small droplets to more easily be consumed by bacteria, the long-term effects to aquatic life are unknown. That environmental uncertainty has led to several spats between BP and the government over the use of dispersants on the water’s surface and deep underwater when oil was spewing out of the well.

Full Story Here:
Congressman: Too much dispersant used in oil spill

This entire ordeal is an unknown. When you are drilling oil wells a mile below the surface of the ocean, a mile down to the wellhead itself, you have already entered a hostile environment that a man can’t live or work in.

Too much dispersant. Not enough dispersant. Just the right amount of dispersant. It starts to sound like the tale of Goldilocks and The Three Bears.

The truth of the matter is this, at the depth this spill occurred there is NO written criteria for an emergency response. There is no prior incident to compare to this disaster. Everyone involved, the Coast Guard, the EPA, BP, Halliburton, everyone, all of them, are shooting in the dark and hoping to come up with a solution.

So, then we get this;

Despite Rule, BP Used Dispersant, Panel Finds

The Coast Guard approved dozens of requests by BP to spread hundreds of thousands of gallons of surface oil dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico despite the Environmental Protection Agency’s directive on May 26 that they should be used only rarely, according to documents and correspondence analyzed by a Congressional subcommittee.

In some cases, the Coast Guard approved BP’s requests even though the company did not set an upper limit on the amount of dispersant it planned to use.

The dispersants contributed to “a toxic stew of chemicals, oil and gas, with impacts that are not well understood,? Representative Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, the Democratic chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, wrote in a letter sent late Friday to Thad W. Allen, the retired Coast Guard admiral who is leading the federal response to the oil spill.

In a conference call on Saturday morning, Admiral Allen and Lisa P. Jackson, the E.P.A. administrator, said they had worked together closely and had come very near to achieving the agency’s goal of reducing dispersant amounts by 75 percent.

Full Story Here:
Despite Rule, BP Used Dispersant, Panel Finds

He said, she said, we said, they said, and still, none of them have ANY real idea regarding what to do simply because none of them have ever faced a situation even similar in the past.

One thing is a certainty, the Gulf of Mexico has taken a HUGE environmental hit. Will it recover? I don’t know, but I have to guess that at some point we will find out. The long term results may show more devastation than we can imagine at this time.

The most important thing right now,for me at least, is the cleanup, and then monitoring the Gulf, and all of it’s inhabitants, land and aquatic, for signs of health dangers. Dangers that we can’t begin to comprehend nor understand at this point in time.

All parties concerned, the oil companies and the government, need to stop the blame game and finger pointing and just get on with the job of cleaning this mess up and working to make sure something similar never happens again.

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7 Responses to “Congressman: Too much dispersant used in oil spill”

  1. comment number 1 by: TexasFred

    BP was OK to use dispersants, EPA insists

    NEW ORLEANS — Responding to a congressional report critical of BP’s use of chemical dispersants on the Gulf spill, the Environmental Protection Agency said Sunday that while it didn’t agree with every waiver given to BP it believes that dispersants are appropriate and cited a sharp drop in BP’s use.

    “While EPA may not have concurred with every individual waiver granted by the federal on-scene coordinator, the agency believes dispersant use has been an essential tool in mitigating this spill’s impact, preventing millions of gallons of oil from doing even more damage to sensitive marshes, wetlands and beaches and the economy of the Gulf coast,” the agency said in a statement.

    It added that BP also slashed its use of dispersants by 72 percent through mid-July, when engineers placed a cap on the leaking well.

    Full Story Here:
    BP was OK to use dispersants, EPA insists

  2. comment number 2 by: HoosierArmyMom

    Fred, this just breaks my heart. If one looks at ALL the balls dropped by BP and our government during this disaster, one has too feel deeply for the real victims, the people who had a life along the Gulf Coast.

    Nothing that MaObama and Congress has done makes sense to me. Sending DOJ lawyers in the beginning? Turning down offers from other countries to send in skimmers (which would have reduced the need for the disbursements), refusing to allow Bobby Jindal to create boons (since the government had none) or use the LA National Guard to move coastal sand to create barriers to protect the wetlands (because MaObama needed to study the environmental impact of moving the sand!!!, as if the oil wasn’t the greater and longer lasting impact????) Oh, I am just heartsick that all of this has been used to manipulate and politicize, Allinsky style.

    I heard a woman interviewed, her husband can’t work because of the moratorium imposed by the Fed and MaObama, but the funds that were supposed to go out to help her feed 3 children… not there yet? All she could say is she didn’t want hand outs, she wanted her husband to be able to work! I hope this entire fiasco brings this administration DOWN! What they have done here is criminal and the highest form of treason, IMHO.

  3. comment number 3 by: extex_cop

    The ‘unknown’ factor is just that. No one knows what effect it will or will not have on the Gulf.
    In my opion I think the Gulf will recover faster than we ( they ) thought it would. Even though that was a lot of oil released into the water…I would bet if you took a calculator to it you would find that it is in the PPM ( parts per million ) bracket…if not PPB. Add to that the fresh supply of water flowing into the Gulf from the Mississippi River…then add in the flow from the Gulf Stream…those will freshen up the gulf waters and bring in a new supply of fish. Mother Nature has a way of taking care of itself…way better than man can do.
    I know it seems like a long way off, but I would bet that by next year that no one will talking about the Gulf Disaster…except the Liberal Media…when they celebrate the one year anniversary so they can bash BP….and Bush.

  4. comment number 4 by: NativeSon

    extex_cop,
    I heard last week from a reputable source (I can’t remember ’cause I’m “old”…) that if the new Dallas Cowboys stadium represented the Gulf of Mexico (total gallons of water…) Then the TOTAL AMOUNT OF OIL SPILLED WAS EQUIVALENT TO ONE 12 OUNCE CAN OF THE BEVERAGE OF YOUR CHOICE!!

    It has been a terrible tragedy, but that helps to put it into perspective for my little pea-brain…

    And, adds credibility to your second statement (probably recover faster than we think…)

    Just my 12 oz as it were… :)

  5. comment number 5 by: TexasFred

    What we’re gonna have is *OilyGator*…

  6. comment number 6 by: extex_cop

    Heck Fred…we need to take a few boats down to the Louisana marsh lands and suck up all the oil we can. Open our own business…..GO…for GatorOil.
    Slogan…Help the Gulf …Buy our GatorOil. We just hope it is around long enough to make a profit. Placed there by God…dug up by the British…and spread around by the Obama Admin. Is this what they are referring to by SPREADING the Wealth????

  7. comment number 7 by: TexasFred


    I’m a huntin’ Libbers!