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BP refuses EPA order to switch to less-toxic oil dispersant

hazlnut

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BP refuses EPA order to switch to less-toxic oil dispersant

Reporting from Los Angeles and Elmer’s BP has rebuffed demands from government officials and environmentalists to use a less-toxic dispersant to break up the oil from its massive offshore spill, saying that the chemical product it is now using continues to be "the best option for subsea application."

On Thursday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gave the London-based company 72 hours to replace the dispersant Corexit 9500 or to describe in detail why other dispersants fail to meet environmental standards.

The agency on Saturday released a 12-page document from BP, representing only a portion of the company's full response. Along with several dispersant manufacturers, BP claimed that releasing its full evaluation of alternatives would violate its legal right to keep confidential business information private.
IMO if BP does not follow the order given by EPA, the federal regulatory agency with the authority to make that order, the U.S. Marshals need to start arresting people.

"While the dispersant BP has been using is on the agency's approved list, BP is using this dispersant in unprecedented volumes and, last week, began using it underwater at the source of the leak — a procedure that has never been tried before," the EPA noted last week, acknowledging that "much is unknown about the underwater use of dispersants."
Ah, the opening scene from a Sci-Fi B-movie. Corrupt, greedy oil company + weak, ineffective government oversight and regulation = giant fish monster.
 

USA_1

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What an arrogant bunch of bastards. They're worried about keeping confidential business information secret while the Gulf of Mexico turns into another Dead Sea.
 
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Orion

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If a person refused the government like this, they would be arrested immediately; so is a corporation supposed to be able to skirt the law?

If the execs. don't comply they should face charges.

It's not going to happen though. Corporations have so much immunity these days.
 

RightinNYC

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If you read the article closely, you'll see that they have violated no order and broken no law.

On Thursday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gave the London-based company 72 hours to replace the dispersant Corexit 9500 or to describe in detail why other dispersants fail to meet environmental standards.

...

In the company's May 20 letter to the EPA and the Coast Guard, responding to the EPA's directive, BP operations chief Doug Suttles wrote that only five products on the EPA's approved list meet the agency's toxicity criteria. And only one, besides Corexit, is available in sufficient quantities in the next 10 to 14 days, it said.

But that alternative product, Sea Brat #4, according to BP, contains a chemical that could degrade into an endocrine disruptor, a substance that creates hormonal changes in living creatures, and could persist in the environment for years.
The EPA ordered them to explain why they had to use this (EPA-approved) product or stop using it altogether. They explained why they had to use this product. Seems pretty straightforward to me. If the EPA actually wants them to stop using it, they should order them to stop. If they then refuse, there might be an actual story.
 

hazlnut

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If a person refused the government like this, they would be arrested immediately; so is a corporation supposed to be able to skirt the law?

If the execs. don't comply they should face charges.

It's not going to happen though. Corporations have so much immunity these days.
The EPA may have to get a court order. I'm just guessing.

In an emergency situation, they shouldn't have to. BP doesn't have a leg to stand on.
 

ptif219

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If the government would quit playing politics they could say something if not get out of the way
 

USA_1

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If the government would quit playing politics they could say something if not get out of the way
Get out of the way of what? BP screwing things up even more?
 

RightinNYC

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The EPA may have to get a court order. I'm just guessing.

In an emergency situation, they shouldn't have to. BP doesn't have a leg to stand on.
Except for the fact that they answered the EPA's question.

Get out of the way of what? BP screwing things up even more?
So what would you prefer they do? Use the other dispersant, which is more toxic, or use none at all, thus increasing the amount of oil which gets loose and harms the area?
 

USA_1

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So what would you prefer they do? Use the other dispersant, which is more toxic, or use none at all, thus increasing the amount of oil which gets loose and harms the area?
You're right. Best leave it up to BP's judgment. They have done up bang up job so far.


"While the dispersant BP has been using is on the agency's approved list, BP is using this dispersant in unprecedented volumes and, last week, began using it underwater at the source of the leak — a procedure that has never been tried before," the EPA noted last week, acknowledging that "much is unknown about the underwater use of dispersants."

Are the dispersants helping or causing more damage?
 

RightinNYC

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You're right. Best leave it up to BP's judgment. They have done up bang up job so far.
Non-responsive.

"While the dispersant BP has been using is on the agency's approved list, BP is using this dispersant in unprecedented volumes and, last week, began using it underwater at the source of the leak — a procedure that has never been tried before," the EPA noted last week, acknowledging that "much is unknown about the underwater use of dispersants."

Are the dispersants helping or causing more damage?
I don't know, as it's not my job to know. It is the EPA's job to know, but they don't seem to know either. That might be why they haven't ordered BP to actually stop using it.

I'll ask again:

"What would you prefer they do? Use the other dispersant, which is more toxic, or use none at all, thus increasing the amount of oil which gets loose and harms the area?"
 

ptif219

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Get out of the way of what? BP screwing things up even more?
What has the government done to help?

BP keeps trying and does not give up while all the government does is point fingers and complain
 

USA_1

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I
I'll ask again:

"What would you prefer they do? Use the other dispersant, which is more toxic, or use none at all, thus increasing the amount of oil which gets loose and harms the area?"
You don't know if its worse or not. You just said that. They may be doing irrepairable damage. They are doing things never tried before.
 

RightinNYC

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You don't know if its worse or not. You just said that. They may be doing irrepairable damage. They are doing things never tried before.
Which is exactly my point. No one appears to know for certain whether this will help or not. BP believes it will, which is why they're doing it. The EPA doesn't appear to know, which is why they didn't order BP to stop.
 

USA_1

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What has the government done to help?

BP keeps trying and does not give up while all the government does is point fingers and complain
The government is not in the oil business and does not have the expertise or the equipment to handle events like this. BP has shown they can't handle it either. So should the government just be quiet and ignore the problem? It's another case of the nanny state government being expected to bail out big business
and clean up the mess.
 

ptif219

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You don't know if its worse or not. You just said that. They may be doing irrepairable damage. They are doing things never tried before.
So BP should be like the government and do nothing?
 

USA_1

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Which is exactly my point. No one appears to know for certain whether this will help or not. BP believes it will, which is why they're doing it. The EPA doesn't appear to know, which is why they didn't order BP to stop.
That's why the government wants BP to use less toxic dispersants.

Makes sense to me.

"demands from government officials and environmentalists to use a less-toxic dispersant to break up the oil"
 

ptif219

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The government asked BP to use a less toxic dispersant at that depth.
Why? No proof of anything just more politics. No law is being broken just the government bowing to the demands of environmental whackos
 

RightinNYC

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The government asked BP to use a less toxic dispersant at that depth.
That's why the government wants BP to use less toxic dispersants.

Makes sense to me.

"demands from government officials and environmentalists to use a less-toxic dispersant to break up the oil"
Again, read the article more closely. They did not demand the use of a different dispersant. The EPA ordered them to explain why they had to use this (EPA-approved) product or stop using it altogether. They explained why they had to use this product.

If the EPA actually ordered them to stop using this product and they refused, then there would be a story.

For further information: UPDATE: BP Defends Dispersant After EPA Orders It Changed - WSJ.com

The EPA on Thursday ordered BP to identify and use a less toxic and more effective dispersant than Corexit, which is manufactured by Nalco Holding Co. (NLC) of Naperville, Ill. The EPA said the alternative needed to be identified within 24 hours and implemented within 72 hours after that. The EPA said that, if BP didn't identify an available alternative, it had to provide the Coast Guard and the EPA with a detailed description of the alternatives that were investigated and the reasons why they aren't suitable.
 

USA_1

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Why? No proof of anything just more politics. No law is being broken just the government bowing to the demands of environmental whackos
Environmental Wackos? My God man, BP is poisoning the Gulf of Mexico. First with the oil and then possibly with the dispersants. You people are something else.:roll:
When the proof gets there it may be too late.
 

Quixote

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Sounds to me as though BP may be thumbing their noses at the EPA in an attempt to force the EPA to issue a directive ceasing the use of Corexit9500/9527A.

What better way to pass the blame for this disaster onto the US government ?

BP could then argue that the ( visible ) damage would have been less if they had been allowed to continue using that product.

Also, in all likelihood, if the EPA did order BP to stop using Corexit there would be some nut-job screaming that Obama was taking over the oil industry.
 

RightinNYC

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Sounds to me as though BP may be thumbing their noses at the EPA in an attempt to force the EPA to issue a directive ceasing the use of Corexit9500/9527A.

What better way to pass the blame for this disaster onto the US government ?

BP could then argue that the ( visible ) damage would have been less if they had been allowed to continue using that product.

Also, in all likelihood, if the EPA did order BP to stop using Corexit there would be some nut-job screaming that Obama was taking over the oil industry.
It's the EPA's job to concern itself with the environment, not political optics. It should do whatever it thinks is best, regardless of what some nut job might say.
 

ptif219

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Environmental Wackos? My God man, BP is poisoning the Gulf of Mexico. First with the oil and then possibly with the dispersants. You people are something else.:roll:
When the proof gets there it may be too late.
Blame BP and not Obama who has done nothing except point fingers and complain. Where are the government scientist and engineers coming up with possible solutions?
 

USA_1

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It's the EPA's job to concern itself with the environment, not political optics. It should do whatever it thinks is best, regardless of what some nut job might say.
Its the oil industries job to protect the environment and it should not be the governments job to baby sit them.
 

RightinNYC

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Its the oil industries job to protect the environment and it should not be the governments job to baby sit them.
So you're in favor of eliminating the EPA?
 
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