Posts Tagged ‘Corexit’
Nalco, the makers of Corexit disperant, are on the line for what could be hundreds of thousands of personal injury claims with the company’s request for immunity being quashed yesterday in a ruling by US District Court Judge Carl Barbier.
The chemical company, whose product British Petroleum execs once called safe as dish soap had requested immunity from any lawsuit because they claimed to be just following orders from President Obama in giving the chemical to BP for use.
Barbier, however, called bullshit on that.
It turns out that whole disagreement between the EPA and British Petroleum on what dispersant to use might have consequences after all.
For those who’ve forgotten:
Judge Barbier writes:
“‘After the disaster, BP began implementing a disaster response plan to prevent oil from escaping the blown out well, to manually contain the oil, and to disperse oil in the water using Nalco’s chemical dispersants….”‘Upon information and belief, immediately after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, on or about April 23, 2010, BP began subsea and aerial application of chemical dispersants manufactured by Defendant Nalco to the resulting oil slicks and sheens on the surface of the Gulf.
“‘On or about May 19, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator directed BP within 24 hours of issuance to identify and to change to chemical dispersants that are less toxic than Nalco’s Corexit® dispersants BP had been using…On May 20, 2010, BP objected to changing dispersants and notified the EPA that it would continue using Nalco’s Corexit. BP and clean-up defendants used and, upon information and belief, continue to use the dispersants Corexit® 9500 and 9527 (more than 1.8 million gallons to date) to disperse the crude oil…”
You see, if the EPA hadn’t objected to BP’s use of Corexit, then Nalco would have automatic immunity, granted to them by legal provisions in both the government contractor defense and the Clean Water Act. But the EPA did object, ordering the company to find a less toxic alternative and British Petroleum, with financial connections to Nalco, said too bad, were using it anyway.
And whereas Nalco might be forgiven for mistaking BP for the government last summer, their role in the spray of their chemicals which, as the plaintiffs allege “may lead to serious problems, disease, and medical conditions’ and plaintiffs are at a ‘significantly increased risk of contracting serious latent disease,” is unforgivable.
And really, if your product is so safe, what the hell do you need immunity for anyway?
Read the article:
Have a nice day.
When Tropical Storm Lee created a storm surge over Labor Day weekend, the surf brought in a new array of tar balls to some Gulf Coast Beaches. The Alabama communities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, still cleaning up this new oil from the Macondo Well, have requested British Petroleum bring in more beach cleaning machinery to ensure the clean-up is done right.
British Petroleum refused.
Instead, BP will increase the hours of the cleanup workers. BP spokesperson, Ray Melick, said crews would get rid of the oil on the beaches.
Which brings us to the metaphor for the entire cleanup process, actually for the entire “making people whole” line of bullshit BP has been spreading for almost a year and a half now.
Philip West, a city coastal resources manager for Orange Beach had this to say about BP’s plan: “A lot of times after storms, you clean the surface of the sand,” West said. “You pick up what you can see, run a beach cleaner through it. But in some areas – and there are various reasons for it – there could be some buried debris, so you have to run plows. You have to be very thorough and we just don’t think a SCAT guy with a shovel probe punching a few holes is that kind of thorough that we would need.”
BP, cleaning the surface of the sand…while leaving what can’t be seen where it is…just like Corexit dispersant sank the oil to the seafloor, out of sight, just like they’re quick to attack the surface of any problem in the Gulf, while leaving the cause buried deep below.
Clean enough, whole enough, cheap enough…but none of it right enough to fix the mess they created by not being safe enough.
Thanks British Petroleum, you’re the virus that keeps on infecting.
Read the article:
Have a nice day.
Feinberg and those damned health claims…
A month ago, I wrote about the Advocates for Environmental Human Rights Report that clearly showed how Feinberg and the GCCF have made it very difficult, if not impossible for Gulf Coast claimants to receive compensation for health claims, especially when compared to previous claims funds he’s administered. When it came to both the 9-11 fund and Agent Orange compensation, all a claimant needed to show was proximity to the event and a medical diagnosis to receive compensation for health claims, but when it comes to the oil spill, proximity and diagnosis is not nearly enough. In the Gulf, a claimant must also show medical proof of causation, and that changes everything, especially when one considers:
“When asked if claimants could medically prove their illness as caused by the oil disaster, Linda Birnbaum, Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), answered emphatically, “No, they can not.” Birnbaum further stressed that to ask residents to provide causality between BP’s oil and chemical dispersants and their illnesses is simply not possible, and emphasized it is not because they are not sick, but because the medical and scientific communities simply do not know enough about the effects of chemical dispersants and crude oil on human health to prove such a claim.”
Regardless, Ken has stated he will be hiring “medical experts” to analyze these claims for validity. Okay, but if medical causality of the claims cannot be proven by known medical science as valid, what validity exactly is he checking on?
The validity of a health claims whitewash?
The validity of the GCCF?
No, I know…
Feinberg’s checking on the same validity he had those environmental experts checking when they said the Gulf environment would be okay by 2013. He’s checking on the validity of the unknown. But that seems just another folly, a cover, a way to perhaps throw up his hands in the future exclaiming how he did all he could, when in fact what needs to be checked here is not the validity of an individual claim’s medical causality, but the validity of Feinberg’s demands for proof.
Rather than hiring medical experts, perhaps he should instead hire more Public Relations people to check on the validity of Gulf Coast skepticism.
In any case, I hear the distinct sound of claimants slipping through the GCCF’s cracks, yet again, and this time with thousands of dollars in medical bills…
And the reality of those medical bills?
Have a nice day.
Ed Note: The USCG now taking a fresh look at pictures of the oil they previously denied was there.
Look, I’m not trying to play the role of conspiracy buff here, but if there is one thing any of us who follow the oil spill news knows, it is:
1. Truth takes a second place to narrative.
2. Order of response: deny everything, and if caught denying, then deny it again.
I think back to the arguments about flow rates, the toxicity of Corexit and whether it was still being used, about how much wildlife was being killed, the keeping of photographers and news people out of the spill zone, BP’s purchasing of scientists at universities, all the issues of transparency with the GCCF, the killing of cameras at the well head…etc…
It’s about the control of information, and with this control, the narrative can be manipulated in favor of BP, Feinberg, the government or whoever…whoever is paying the most to control said narrative.
So, keeping all that in mind, we come back to the question that Stuart Smith continues to investigate, what is going on at the Macondo Well? Is it leaking again? Is the sea floor rupturing?
Frankly, I sure as hell hope not, course my hopes are centered on the people and the environment of the region. I would imagine that BP really hopes not too, course…we know what their main concern is… Correct, the safety and welfare of adorable puppies and kittens worldwide, and especially in the Gulf. So, BP denies there is oil coming from the Macondo well site. BP denies they hired any boats to skim for oil. The Coast Guard (about as independent from BP as Feinberg) also denies the same things and so we can go back home now, get some rest, forget about it…
Yet, then we read:
And then, the next day we read:
And one starts to wonder…
Are we fighting another narrative war, all over again?
Because BP and the Coast Guard denying any oil is leaking from the site of the Deepwater Horizon is a familiar one, it’s what they maintained days after the oil rig exploded and sank, days before the oil began to flow, days before their narrative was exposed as a facade.
Hopefully, that won’t be the case…again.
Have a nice day.
A recent film, originally airing April 22nd on Discovery Planet Green, documents the impact of the oil spill on Gulf residents…
“You go out in the water and think everything’s okay, but it’s not. You close your eyes and you don’t hear any seagulls, there’s no fish jumping.”
“I’ve been in the bayou my whole life, and I ain’t ever seen so much dead stuff as I have the past six months.”
“They smiled and they looked at us and said we’re going to take care of you, we’re going to pay all legitimate claims. That was their mantra back in those days…I sent them pages of every cancellation, every date and every name, what each trip was worth and they sent me twelve percent of its value. Don’t tell me you’re going to make me whole and then send me twelve percent.”
“This is serious, they have brought destruction, they have brought pain on all of us.”
“We can’t go somewhere else. We’re stuck, we’re stuck in limbo.”
“It’s not just about industry, I grew up here, all my friends are here, everybody here knows everyone. If we go somewhere else, we’ll know no one. It’s a whole social shock, it’s not just financial. People don’t get that part of it.”
“What bothers me the most is the distinct possibility we will cease to be.”
“Time for everybody to stand up and fight for our land.”
“We can carry this message to the rest of the nation, they have a vested interest in seeing south Louisiana continue to be. It’s morally the right thing to do, politically I think it’s the right thing to do and environmentally, I know it’s the right thing to do.”
Have a nice day.
In a great article about the GCCF, Riki Ott attacks both Feinberg’s recent declaration that he’s received no health related claims, and also how being the scientist he is, hasn’t seen any scientific evidence of the link between BP and Nalco’s chemicals and Gulf Coast sickness:
“Recently Kenneth Feinberg, the lawyer overseeing the $20 billion Gulf Coast Claims Facility to “make it right” for people harmed by the British Petroleum oil blowout disaster, told a Louisiana House and Senate committee that he had not seen any claims, or any scientific evidence, linking BP’s oil and dispersant release to chemical illnesses. Feinberg also stated that chemical illnesses take years to show up — conveniently well after his tenure with the compensation fund.
Instead of tossing the media a juicy bone, Feinberg tossed a red herring. He is wrong at worst, or intentionally misleading at best, on all points.
The GCCF process makes it difficult for people to be compensated for medical claims or even raise illness claims, while making it easy to release claims and rights to future medical care and benefits for chemical illnesses or other medically-proven illness related to the BP blowout and disaster response…”
Have a nice day.