Facing South

BP under fire for contradictory statements on dispersant dangers

Two watchdog groups sent a joint letter to BP America's Ombudsman Program last week after obtaining a resource manual for the Deepwater Horizon disaster that detailed serious health risks from the chemical dispersants used to break up the oil slick -- risks that the company denied publicly.

The Government Accountability Project (GAP) and Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN) are seeking an explanation for the discrepancy. They obtained a copy of the manual -- "Deepwater Horizon MC252, Vessels of Opportunity Near Shore Oil Recovery Groups, Vessel Captains Hazard Communications" -- from an anonymous source.

"The discrepancies pertain to verbal claims that exposure to COREXIT, the dispersant selected by BP and approved by the EPA to treat the oil, was safe, and the health problems actually associated with COREXIT listed in a BP manual," according to a GAP statement.

BP aerially sprayed or otherwise released over 2 million gallons of Corexit, a petroleum-based solvent, during and after the spill, which in turn released about 200 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico's ecosystem. As Facing South documented in our "Poisoned in the Gulf" investigative series, cleanup workers and Gulf residents experienced health problems that they believe are linked to exposure to the dispersant as well as the crude oil.

The letter from GAP and LEAN states:

BP and contractors have reassured cleanup crews that COREXIT is as safe as Dawn dishwasher soap. However, the manufacturer's Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) included in the manual indicate that the dispersants utilized contain hazardous ingredients such as 2 butoxyethanol, petroleum distillates, and sulfonic acids. The specific petroleum distillates and sulfonic acids within COREXIT EC9257A and EC9500A have never been disclosed to the public.

Among the symptoms of Corexit exposure detailed in the manual are chemical pneumonia, upper respiratory problems and damage to the nervous system, kidneys, liver and red blood cells.

The manual says that Corexit is toxic enough that special protective equipment is needed. However, LEAN and GAP have received numerous reports that cleanup workers who sought to use such equipment were threatened with being fired.

"BP public statements and private reassurances are schizophrenic," said GAP Legal Director Tom Devine. "This company needs to come clean with the truth about its cleanup. Did it knowingly abandon public health and occupational safety?"

(Photo of a U.S. Air Force C-130 dropping dispersant into the Gulf of Mexico in May 2010 from the Air Force website.)

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BP Ad Adding Insult to Injury

British Petroleum Ad adding insult to insury
Rally cry for Justice

With overwhelming evidence of British Petroleum criminal cover up, peoples lives lost dying unspeakable deaths of horror by fire and drowning, sea life tragically dying choking on oil,  toxic dispersant added to the gulf water, people who weren't given proper protection for clean up, to name a few, and to add insult to injury, BP now has an ad running on every network that the "Gulf is Back...beaches are back, best fishing ever". Really? When does British Petroleum stop victimizing the victims? 

If you go to facebook Southern Louisiana Shrimp Alliance you will see over 1,000 voices speaking truth. That link, and the link by Cherri Foytlin a photo journalist and resident of Louisiana will lead you to enough substance to negate BP's claims “the gulf is back” that you will join the victim's rally cry for justice. Trisha James of Forida is working with people behind the scenes to stop the corexit spraying and get the gulf remediated and detox clinics for the sick. There are so many stories. The Gulf is “not” back!

Newspapers across the country are supporting them. But, there is support and there is action. Not only action for fair compensation, but a stop to lies by propaganda advertising with untold disposable dollars.

There is no amount of money that anyone can sue British Petroleum to sooth the savagery they inflicted on innocent people, then and now. It is ongoing. It is pervasive. The victims voices is where the truth lies. Across the country there is a growing awareness of discord and disparity of truth because of BP settlement news.

These victims don't have the power to hire high profile attorneys, but their collective voices need to be their power, and the steering committee needs to know that the victims feel anguish for their loved ones, and their livelihoods. Their present and their future.

Those of us throughout the country who have become more aware of the present condition are appalled at the British Petroleum ad running on all the networks. The ad sports a local resident saying "The Gulf is Back and invites us all to come and enjoy the beaches and fishing." 

However, when you talk to the residents...there is a disparity between that ad and their appeals to have the truth be told.

It is an insult to the deceased and the living in the Gulf area to gloss over the truth of suffering then and now.  If they had the revenue, and they could run a "truth" ad, you can bet your bottom dollar, it would be in direct contrast of what BP is purporting to be the truth.

THE RESIDENTS HOLD THE TRUTH.  Their hope is in the steering committee for fairness, and the media to continue to speak their truth. 

In 1774, The Boston Tea Party was a key event in the growth of the American Revolution. Americans stood up to the British...if only this was tea we were dealing with. There is a revolution of sorts and Americans are standing strong with their Gulf Brothers and Sisters and these voices need to prevail justice. I would like to raise a drinking cup up to BP...a cup of oil...and ask them if they would partake in a drink.
Diane Esser, Founder/Director
Butterflies for Kids Planet Kid Program

Stellar article by Sue Sturgis

I wrote a letter in behalf of the victims and sent it to the plantiff steering committee today. It is heartbreaking that so many are so sick, and that the devastation is so pervasive to humans and sealife. A tsunami of voices need to continue to roll in strong and loud and with great force to make sure justice prevails!

I wrote the piece because of the BP ad portraying a pristine and problem free gulf! I would be glad to email it do you.

title: BP Ad Adding Insult to Injury
Diane Esser
I am the founder of a children's environmental non profit teaching children to become an important partner with their planet. Our mantra is "It's the address we all share - Planet Earth - Handle with Care."
BP seems to be so self absorbed and so protective of their corporation, not of the whole, that the people must prevail and justice must be served for the victims.

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