BP’s use of chemical dispersants in Gulf criticized by environmentalists, EPA
- Length: 2:23 minutes (2.19 MB)
- Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)
A memorial was held today in Jackson, Mississippi for the 11 workers killed in the explosion on the BP oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. The April 20th explosion is still under investigation and the damaged well continues to spew oil into the gulf.
Bob Deans is the Director of Federal Communications at Natural Resources Defense Council. He just returned back from a tour of the region and described to FSRN the view from above the site of the spill.
"And we saw just rivers of oil, flowing, streaming from the site of the spill itself out into the open ocean. Of course what we couldn't see were these huge plumes oil, some the size of Manhattan, creating dead zones below us in deep water of the ocean. And then of course as we came back, we went out on the bayou on boats with some of the oyster gatherers, the shrimpers, the fisherman, people's whose livelihoods depend upon clean, fresh waters, the habitat there in that Gulf region."
Deans said many of the fisherman and local residents expressed concern about the inadequate response and the heavy use of chemical dispersants deep under the sea. BP has pumped an estimated 500,000 gallons into the coastal waters.
"What these dispersants don't do is that they don't chemically break down the oil, they don't do away with the pollutant itself. Once that oil is out of the well, it is in the water, it is moving to the coastline, it is in the marsh. It is in our air even if it evaporates, and so we can't put it back in the well, there is no satisfactory remedy once you get 10 million gallons of crude oil in the Gulf of Mexico as we now have."
Meanwhile, BP's Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles said in a teleconference that the EPA continues to push the company to search for alternatives to the chemical dispersants.
"They've now asked us to look at all of the options that are on their table that are less toxic than Corexit and we're doing that work now. And as we've stated to them, if we can find an alternative which is less toxic and is effective and is available - because many of these are not available in the quantities required - but if it's available, we will switch to that product."
Suttles also said that the company will employ a method know as "top kill" on Wednesday. That's when they'll inject dense mud into the leak in an effort to stop the flow from the well.