Four and a half years. That's how long it's been since Gulf Restoration Network, our partners and the public called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to do a better job overseeing the use of dispersants. The EPA has finally heard our calls, recently releasing a proposal to strengthen the testing of dispersants before they can be used to respond to oil spills. However, the oil and gas industry is stalling for time by asking for a three month extension of the comment period for this proposal. Further delay means a greater risk to the communities and environments of the Gulf and the nation – tell the EPA to not let oil and gas delay on dispersants.
The BP drilling disaster made it tragically clear that federal rules overseeing the use of chemical dispersants are deeply flawed. Almost 2 million gallons of Corexit were sprayed into the Gulf of Mexico during the BP disaster, despite responders having no knowledge of the long-term impacts or effectiveness underwater. Sadly, our communities and environment are still at risk. Click here to call on the EPA to deny the oil and gas industry’s request for a three month extension on comments for the new dispersants rules.
While not perfect, these rules will set new limits on the toxicity of dispersants, require more testing to understand how dispersants impact wildlife and people, and require manufacturers to tell the government and public what kind of chemicals are in their dispersants. We can’t let the oil and gas industry derail these reforms through delay after delay: tell the EPA to move forward on these new dispersant rules. Thanks for all you do!
Cyn Sarthou is GRN's Executive Director.