Congressman: Coast Guard let BP use too much toxic chemical dispersant in Gulf oil spill
As BP inched closer to permanently sealing the blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico, congressional investigators railed the company and Coast Guard for part of the cleanup effort, saying too much toxic chemical dispersant was used.
The investigators said the U.S. Coast Guard routinely approved BP requests to use thousands of gallons of chemical a day to break up the oil in the Gulf, despite a federal directive to use the dispersant rarely. The Coast Guard approved 74 waivers over a 48-day period after the Environmental Protection Agency order, according to documents reviewed by the investigators. Only in a small number of cases did the government scale back BP’s request.
Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., released a letter Saturday that said instead of complying with the EPA restriction, “BP often carpet bombed the ocean with these chemicals and the Coast Guard allowed them to do it.”
BP did not immediately return a phone call and a spokesman for the Unified Command Center in New Orleans did not have an immediate comment.
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