Rep: BP Doused Gulf With Dispersants

And the Coast Guard gave them the go-ahead
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 1, 2010 7:19 AM CDT
Sunbathers lie near the water at the beach in Gulf Shores, Ala., Saturday, July 31, 2010. Tourism has picked up along the Gulf coast since the Deepwater Horizon wellhead was capped.   (Dave Martin)
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(Newser) – Despite an EPA directive to use oil dispersants sparingly, BP routinely pumped thousands of gallons a day into the Gulf of Mexico—with the Coast Guard's blessing, reports the New York Times. Though little is known about the dispersants' long-term environmental effects, the Coast Guard approved 64 of 74 waivers BP sought over a 48-day period, according to a letter released yesterday by Rep. Edward Markey.

"BP often carpet-bombed the ocean with these chemicals and the Coast Guard allowed them to do it," says Markey's letter, leading to “a toxic stew of chemicals, oil and gas, with impacts that are not well understood.” EPA administrator Lisa Jackson and retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen responded this morning that they have since worked with BP to reduce dispersant usage by nearly 75%.

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