BP: Cleanup, restoration and data-tampering lawsuits…
When an employee of BP refuses to go along with the corporate narrative that all’s swell with Gulf cleanup, does BP change the narrative to make it more accurate? Does it admit there may be some problems, that they might not have done everything they promised to do?
No, instead they run some feel good commercials enforcing their narrative about Gulf health.
Oh…and that employee?
So says a lawsuit for wrongful termination filed by August Walters, a former employee of BP’s Gulf Coast Restoration Organization (GCRO) as State Planning Lead “for the purpose of developing a descriptive plan to accomplish the cleaning of oil caused by the BP spill.”
From the article:
According to the suit, Walter’s job involved creating plans for the clean-up, known as Shoreline Treatment Recommendations (STR), which were prepared and approved with the oversight of the U.S. Coast Guard Federal On-Scene Coordinator (FOSC) “to be in compliance with federal and state environmental rules and regulations.” BP would then be responsible for implementing the plans. But, Walter claims, in May and June of 2011 he “began to convey his concerns that BP Mississippi operations were intentionally not following the plans for clean up delineated by U.S. Government, the Coast Guard and the Department of the Interior.”
“Cory Brown, BP’s Deputy Operations Branch Director/Response Lead conveyed that he was defying the [recommendations] by insisting that BP was only picking up tar balls and not other smaller oil debris as required by the” Shoreline Treatment Recommendations. In September of last year, Walter told BP that he was required to inform stakeholders that the company was not following his recommendations.
And, what allegedly followed next is what one might expect from British Petroleum…a campaign to discredit Walters within the company, the suggestion that the data should be skewed because to move from cleanup plans to restoration plans would be good for the company stock, and threats that he was being watched, so if he continued to do his job correctly, lawfully, he would be reported to his superiors.
On November 3rd, according to another article, Walters was called into a meeting with BP’s vice president of operations, Carla Fontenot who informed him BP’s primary objective was to gain the confidence of the Coast Guard so that cleanup could move to another phase even though BP was still in violation of the cleanup plan.
By November 8th when Walters still had not complied by skewing data, he was placed on leave.
On November 9th, he was fired.
Oh, and also on November 9th, BP and the Coast Guard announced that 90% of the oil had been cleaned up and BP said it was moving from cleanup to Gulf restoration.
And months later, articles continue to appear in various newspapers, questioning this change from cleanup to restoration when oil continues to wash ashore, hinder wetlands and lie in tar mats on the seafloor, just waiting for the next storm to bring it all up on the beaches again, especially when this change to restoration no longer holds British Petroleum accountable for long-term monitoring or continued cleanup of the beaches.
As Garret Graves, Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Chairman, puts it:
“The whole discussion goes back to legacy response,” Graves said. “You have more oil unaccounted for right now than was spilled during the Exxon Valdez. Tell me what would happen if the Coast Guard in Alaska had said, ‘We’re not going to clean this up. Let it naturally degrade.’ ”
Read the articles:
Have a nice day.