By Erika Bolstad and Renee Schoof | McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON — BP and other companies not only ignored important safety and operating regulations, the Justice Department said in a lawsuit filed Wednesday, but it also failed to take necessary precautions to keep its Gulf of Mexico well under control before the April 20 blowout that killed 11 people.
While the full scope of the disaster isn’t yet known, the Justice Department wrote in its suit, “the consequences include lost lives, destroyed livelihoods, and grave harm to natural resources across several states and related waters.”
The lawsuit, the first phase in punishing the parties responsible for the spill, could wrest billions of dollars in civil penalties from nine companies the Justice Department blames, including BP, for allowing an estimated 4.1 million barrels of oil to gush into the Gulf of Mexico over three months. Because each barrel spilled carries a fine of as much as $4,300, those flow-rate estimates — derived by a government team and already disputed by BP — will be at the heart of the multi-billion dollar case.
Monday 4 October 2010
Dahr Jamail, Truthout: “In August, Truthout conducted soil and water sampling in Pass Christian Harbor, Mississippi; on Grand Isle, Louisiana; and around barrier islands off the coast of Louisiana, in order to test for the presence of oil from BP’s Macondo Well. Laboratory test results from the samples taken in these areas show extremely high concentrations of oil in both the soil and water. These results contradict consistent claims made by the federal government and BP since early August that much of the Gulf of Mexico is now free of oil and safe for fishing and recreational use…. A comprehensive sampling regime across the Gulf, taken regularly over the years ahead, is clearly required in order to implement appropriate cleanup responses and take public safety precautions.”
by: Peter H. Stone, Center for Public Integrity | Report
by: Melvin A. Goodman, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed
From the Huffington Post:
Researchers testing the waters off Louisiana in June found hugely elevated levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, some of which are known carcinogens.
The researchers from Oregon State University say that a device taking samples just off the shore of Louisiana’s Grande Isle registered a 40-fold increase in PAHs between May and June.
From Florida Oil Spill Law:
- “MOST” of the dispersant used by BP in the Gulf is “still below the surface” says plume researcher
- Plume study author: “Oil-gobbling properties of the microbes have been GROSSLY OVERSTATED”
- Ocean Researcher: Sub-surface “Oilberg” plumes will “kill wetlands”; once “in the marshes we’ll never get it out”
- TOXIC RAIN says NSF-funded geochemist: “It may very well be raining hydrocarbons” far inland from coast (VIDEO)
- Only 25% of studies noted dispersants had a positive effect on growth of oil-eating microbes, 60% said it “retarded growth” — Positives are suspect
AUDIO: Oil-eating microbes impacting humans? Corexit dispersant may genetically change bacteria in Gulf
Excerpts The [University of South Florida researchers] discovered plumes of dispersed oil at the bottom of an undersea canyon about 40 miles off the Florida Panhandle. It was found to be toxic to microscopic sea organisms, causing mutations to their DNA. If this plankton at the base of the marine food chain is contaminated, it could affect the whole ecosystem of the Gulf. “I call these canaries in the coal mine as they are the first to feel the effects,” [University of South Florida researcher John Paul who is included in a documentary debuting Tuesday night in the National Geographic Channel] says. … “The problem with mutant DNA is that it can be passed on and we don’t how this will affect fish or other marine life,” he says, adding that the effects could last for decades.