October 15th, 2010
Our group statement is below, and you can check out some of the press coverage from BusinesssWeek, Mother Jones, AP, and Times-Picayune.
How Toxic are Oil Dispersants? Groups Press EPA to Find Out Before Next Spill
Shrimpers, community groups petition agency for info, clear rules before OK’ing future use
Washington, D.C. — Gulf coast shrimpers and affected community groups from Alaska to Louisiana to Florida pressed the federal government today to better regulate dispersants — the chemicals that oil companies routinely use to break up oil slicks on water – before these chemicals are used in future spill cleanups.
The non-profit environmental law firm Earthjustice filed a petition (PDF) on behalf of the Louisiana Shrimp Association, Florida Wildlife Federation, Gulf Restoration Network, the Alaska-based Cook Inletkeeper, Alaska Community Action on Toxics, Waterkeeper and Sierra Club asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to write rules that would set out exactly how and when dispersants could be used in the future.
“Never again should the oil industry be allowed to dump hundreds of thousands of gallons of dispersant into the sea as their preferred method of response to an oil spill,” said Cynthia Sarthou, of the Gulf Restoration Network. “Because so little is currently known by EPA — or anyone else for that matter — about the long-term impact to fish and wildlife, the use of dispersants is a dangerous and potentially devastating experiment.”
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