Markey: Why’s BP Still Getting Away With Heavy Dispersant Use?

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BP has not been meeting the directive from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Coast Guard to slash dispersant use in the Gulf, as David and I reported Wednesday. On Thursday, Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) pressed the EPA and the Coast Guard on why the company is being allowed to violate their orders.

Markey points out that BP has not eliminated surface application of the chemicals. While they’ve cut them, “volumes hover around 10,000 gallons” every day. And on several days, BP has surpassed the 15,000 gallon limit on undersea application at the spill source.

“Million of gallons of chemical dispersant have been added to the Gulf waters, contributing to a toxic stew of chemicals, oil and gas with impacts that are not well understood,” wrote Markey. Markey has also been pressing BP on the issue of undersea plumes of oil, which is likely caused by these dispersants.

Meanwhile, the EPA has not yet concluded its own tests on both Corexit, BP’s dispersant of choice, and alternatives. Markey acknowledged that “this type of scientific evaluation takes time to accomplish,” but argued that the federal government should at least be pushing BP to meet the goal of reducing the use of Corexit as they finalize those tests.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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