[StBernard] EPA Posts Underwater Dispersant Monitoring Data

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Sun May 23 11:08:21 EDT 2010

EPA Posts Underwater Dispersant Monitoring Data

Under stringent plan, BP must conduct constant monitoring of dispersant use
at leak source and provide data to the government

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last night began
posting results from the ongoing monitoring of BP’s use of underwater
dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico at http://www.epa.gov/bpspill. EPA
received this data from BP last night and posted it within hours.
Dispersants are a chemical used to break up oil into small droplets so that
they are more easily degraded. Dispersants are generally less toxic than the
oils they break down.

This is part of EPA’s continued commitment to make air, water, sediment and
dispersant monitoring data available to the public as quickly as possible
and to ensure the citizens of the gulf region have access to all relevant
public and environmental health information relating to the BP spill. 

On May 15, EPA and the U.S. Coast Guard authorized BP to use dispersants
underwater at the source of the Deepwater Horizon leak. As the dispersant is
used underwater, BP is required to do constant, scientifically rigorous
monitoring so EPA scientists may determine the dispersant’s effectiveness
and impact on the environment, water and air quality, and human health. EPA
is posting the information BP collects during the monitoring to ensure the
public has access to this data.

While EPA has not yet identified any significant effects on aquatic life,
EPA today also directed BP to begin using, within 72 hours, a less toxic and
more effective dispersant. EPA took this step because BP is using this
dispersant in unprecedented volumes and, last week, began using it
underwater at the source of the leak – a procedure that has never been tried
before. Given the unprecedented use, EPA wants to ensure BP is using the
least toxic approved product.
Regardless of which dispersant BP uses, EPA has been and will continue to
closely scrutinize the monitoring results. EPA still reserves the right to
stop BP’s use of dispersants underwater entirely if the science indicates
that this dispersant method has negative impacts on the environment that
outweighs its benefits.

EPA continues to add information to its BP oil spill response Web site to
keep the public informed about the impact of the spill and the EPA’s
response. The public can also see results of EPA’s ongoing air, water and
soil quality monitoring on the Web site.

The dispersant page: http://www.epa.gov/bpspill/dispersants.html

Continue to track EPA’s response to the spill: http://www.epa.gov/bpspill.

Additional information on the broader response from the U.S. Coast Guard and
other responding agencies: http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com

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