Gulf Coast Waters Closed to Shrimping
"We're continuing to pull up oil in our nets. People who live here know better than to swim in or eat what comes out of our waters."
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources acted this week to close waters along the Gulf Coast to shrimping due to [EDIT: amidst] widespread reports from scientists and fishermen of deformed seafood and drastic fall-offs in populations two years after the BP oil spill. ['Official' reason is now reported to be smaller than average shrimp.]
All waters in the Mississippi Sound and Mobile Bay, and some areas of Bon Secour, Wolf Bay and Little Lagoon were closed to shrimpers. Reports of grossly deformed seafood all along the Gulf from Louisiana to the Florida panhandle have been logged with increasing urgency, but Alabama is the first state to actually close waters to the seafood industry.
And it's not just the shrimp. Commercial fishermen are reporting red snapper and grouper riddled with deep lesions and covered with strange black streaks. Highly underdeveloped blue crabs are being pulled up in traps without eyes and claws…
Commercial fishers Tracy Kuhns and Mike Roberts from Barataria, LA reported to Al Jazeera when showing samples of eyeless shrimp…
"At the height of the last white shrimp season, in September, one of our friends caught 400 pounds of these. Disturbingly, not only do the shrimp lack eyes, they even lack eye sockets."
And there's no question that the leftover mess from BP's disaster can affect human health. The dispersants BP used to 'hide' the extent of their blow-out contain solvents that are notoriously toxic to people and include known mutagens. Pathways of human exposure include inhalation, skin and eye contact as well as ingestion, and exposure causes headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, chest pain, respiratory system damage, skin sensitization, hypertension, CNS depression, neurotoxic effects, cardiac arrhythmia and cardiovascular damage. They also cause fetal deformities and cancer.
The FDA and EPA refused public comment, sending Al Jazeera to NOAA for comment. Which NOAA refused to do because its investigation for a lawsuit against BP concerning the spill is ongoing. BP, however, wasn't so shy as not to deliver a statement on the presence of deformed and polluted seafood…
"Seafood from the Gulf of Mexico is among the most tested in the world, and, according to the FDA and NOAA, it is as safe now as it was before the accident."
So there you have it. State officials in Alabama have taken action, and other states need to take action to keep dangerous seafood from the Gulf off the dinner tables of Americans. While the feds are busy helping British Petroleum cover up the damage they've done, even if it means poisoning innocent American citizens, deforming babies, causing cancers, etc.
Once again our government chooses to lie and do great harm to American citizens in order to protect a foreign gigacorp from the consequences of their criminal business practices. Who is surprised?
Giant cannibal shrimp more than a FOOT long invade waters off Gulf Coast
* Tiger shrimp are native to Asia though there have been more sightings in recent years
* Prawns are known to grow to the size of lobsters and eat smaller shrimp
By Daily Mail Reporter
PUBLISHED: 21:35 EST, 26 April 2012 | UPDATED: 21:48 EST, 26 April 2012
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... z1tLLmwAOM
Published on Wednesday, September 5, 2012 by Common Dreams
BP Showed 'Gross Negligence and Willful Misconduct': US Department of Justice
- Common Dreams staff
The US Justice Department charged oil company BP of "gross negligence and willful misconduct" in new court papers filed Friday, for the company's handling of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The filings were made public this week, revealing the DOJ will be taking a hard line with the company who will be on trial early next year.
Fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the offshore oil rig Deepwater Horizon, off Louisiana, in this April 21, 2010 file handout image. (Photo: Reuters/U.S. Coast Guard)
A new court case will go to trial in New Orleans in January 2013. BP had previously reached a $7.8 billion settlement in March with victims of the spill, but the new DOJ charges would nearly quadruple those civil damages owed by BP, under the Clean Water Act, to $21 billion.
"The behavior, words, and actions of these BP executives would not be tolerated in a middling size company manufacturing dry goods for sale in a suburban mall," government lawyers wrote in the filing on August 31 in federal court in New Orleans.
"That such a simple, yet fundamental and safety-critical test could have been so stunningly, blindingly botched in so many ways, by so many people, demonstrates gross negligence," the filings continue.
The department's latest filing "contains sharper rhetoric and a more indignant tone than the government has used in the past," David Uhlmann, a University of Michigan professor and former environmental crimes prosecutor, told Reuters.
The US government and BP are currently engaged in talks to settle civil and potential criminal liability, but the new filing is likely to dissuade an out of court agreement.
Transocean Turns on BP With Scorching Oil-Spill Document
By SABRINA CANFIELD
NEW ORLEANS (CN) - BP prolonged the Gulf of Mexico oil spill by two months by concealing the rate of oil flowing from the broken Macondo well, Transocean claims in a document filed in the damages trial.
A bench trial to apportion damages is being held before U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier. Penalties for Clean Water Act violations alone could range from $4 billion to $17 billion.
Transocean wrote in a heavily redacted "supplemental answer and affirmative defenses" that "BP's fraud was the proximate, intervening and superseding cause of the well continuing to flow until mid-July 2010. BP's misrepresentation and concealment of material information about the flow rate caused source control decision-makers to approve proceeding with the top kill over the BOP-on-BOP strategy in mid-May 2010. Because of that, a well that could have been capped in early May 2010 emitted tens of thousands of barrels per day for another two months causing significant environmental pollution."
BOP-on-BOP was an alternative strategy that BP rejected, according to Transocean's document, which was filed Friday.
Transocean claims that BP's motive was to keep the true flow rate hidden, to minimize environmental fines, which are assessed by the barrel.
Transocean says in the 49-page document that "on January 29, 2013, U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance accepted BP's plea of guilty to a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1505 (Obstruction of Congress). ... BP's guilty plea confirmed that BP made misrepresentations to the United States Government regarding the flow rate from the Macondo well. BP's admission that it misrepresented the flow rate constitutes not only criminal conduct, but tortious conduct as well. As more fully described below, BP fraudulently misrepresented and concealed flow rate and source control information from those who were working to stop the flow of oil from the Macondo well. Because BP's misconduct with respect to flow rate impeded efforts to contain and cap the Macondo well, BP's tortious acts constitute the superseding and intervening cause of oil flowing from the well for 87 days instead of a much shorter period of time."
Doug Suttles at the time was CEO of BP's Exploration and Production business, BP's lead representative at Unified Command, and the leader of BP's overall response to the oil spill.
Transocean's document states that "on April 28, 2010, Suttles represented to Admiral Landry in a meeting at Unified Command that BP's internal flow rate estimate was between 1,000 and 5,000 barrels of oil per day ('bopd') with 2,500 bopd being the most likely flow rate number."
Transocean claims those numbers "were false and misleading and omitted material information within BP's possession."
(An email conversation between BP officials on the day the rig sank, released last year, shows that BP had estimated that oil could have been flowing at up to 82,000 barrels a day, or well over 3.4 million gallons.)
(The email from Rob Marshall, BP subsea manager of the Gulf, on April 22, 2010, two days after the Deepwater Horizon explosion killed 11 people and set off the worst oil spill in U.S. history, stated: "Alistair Johnston altered his Macondo well model to approximate open hole flowing conditions and calculated a rate of 82,000 barrels per day."
(In reply, Gary Imm, a manager at BP, told Marshall: "A number of people have been looking at this and we already have had difficult discussions with the USCG [U.S. Coast Guard] on the numbers. Please tell Alistair not to communicate to anyone on this."
(Transocean does not cite this email exchange in its supplemental answer.)
But Transocean does cite a lawsuit the SEC filed against BP in November 2012 that alleges BP's initial flow rate estimates were intentionally "false and misleading."
According to Transocean's document, that SEC claimed that '"by April 28, 2010, BP possessed at least four internal pieces of data, estimates, or calculations and one external calculation that showed potential flow rates significantly higher than 5,000 bopd."'
Transocean's document adds: "on April 21, 2010, BP employee Walt Bozeman emailed a group of BP employees, including BP executive David Rainey, that he had 'modeled a flow rate at the sea floor (assuming riser falls) in Prosper [a modeling program] ...' as a result of this modeling the group calculated a 'worst case discharge' (WDC) number of 100,000 barrels of oil per day." (Brackets and parentheses in original)
Transocean claims that "as BP admitted in the plea agreement, BP withheld this information from its May 24, 2010 submission to the United States House of Representatives Committee of Energy and Commerce. BP also withheld these estimates from Admiral Landry, the press, and the public when it estimated that the flow rate was between 1,000 - 5,000 bopd in late April 2010." (Citation to BP plea agreement omitted.)
Transocean's document states that BP's persistently low estimates even stumped some BP personnel. For instance, on May 15, 2010, after reading an article on CNN.com in which BP said the flow rate was somewhere around 5,000 bopd, BP senior engineer Mike Mason wrote an email to CEO of BP's Exploration & Production business, Andy Inglis, according to the Transocean document:
'"I just read an article in CNN (May 14, 2010 1:00pm) stating that a researcher at Purdue believes that the Macondo well is leaking up to 70,000 bopd and that BP stands by a 5,000 bopd figure. With the data and knowledge we currently have available we cannot definitively state the oil rate from this well. We should be very cautious standing behind a 5,000 bopd figure as our modeling shows that this well could be making anything up to ~ 100,000 bopd ..."'
Transocean's document states that there "is no evidence that Mason's email, his concern about 'standing behind a 5,000 bopd figure' or the assumptions that had to be made to support a 5,000 bopd case, or the fact that 'modeling shows that this well could be making anything up to ~ 100,000 bopd' were shared with representatives of the United States Government who were involved in source control decision-making or in attempts to estimate flow rates."
Transocean says in the document that "BP's attempt to minimize the scope of the spill has now backfired on BP in the form of a criminal guilty plea and uncontested findings that BP violated federal securities laws. But the fallout from BP's flow rate misrepresentations directly impeded efforts to stop the flow of oil from the well and are therefore a key part of this case. ...
"Knowing that the top kill effort that ultimately failed at the end of May 2010 could not succeed if the flow rate was above 15,000 bopd, BP nevertheless recommended to the government in mid-May that the top kill should be prioritized above another strategy that could have succeeded in capping the well. Because BP had misled government decision-makers about the flow rate, they did not object to BP's flawed source control strategy. Had the alternative source control approach - known as the BOP-on-BOP - been attempted instead of the doomed top kill effort, the well could have been capped in mid-May, rather than in mid-July. In short, BP's tortious and criminal conduct caused the oil spill to last for two months longer than necessary."
On May 24, BP CEO Tony Hayward publicly stated that the top kill had a 60-70 percent chance of success. "BP knew, however, that the top kill's chances of success were poor or nonexistent," Transocean says in the document.
It claims that "BP's decision to pursue the top kill not only delayed efforts to cap the well, but also increased the flow rate by eroding obstructions to the well. [Three lines blacked out here.]
"BP's pursuit of the top kill needless put the lives, health, and safety of responders at risk. [Four lines blacked out here.]
"On May 28, 2010, the top kill effort ended without success. Weeks had been wasted preparing for a source control technique that BP knew was doomed to fail while tens of thousands of barrels of oil continued to flow into the Gulf of Mexico."
Transocean's document states that after BP's top kill failed, "when BP made misrepresentations and withheld information about the reason for the top kill's failure, it did so with the intent to defraud."
The document was filed by Transocean attorney Kerry J. Miller, with Frilot LLC of New Orleans.
This trial, which is expected to last three months, is to determine the causes and apportion the blame for the oil spill. A second trial, slated to begin in December, will try to determine how much oil spilled.
Clean Water Act fines could range from $1,100 per barrel up to $4,300 per barrel, if BP was grossly negligent.
Cement in BP Macondo well never dried, leading to the blowout, expert witness testifies
By Mark Schleifstein, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
on March 06, 2013 at 9:15 PM, updated March 06, 2013 at 10:38 PM Print
Engineer who did forensic analysis of blowout preventer continues testimony in BP Gulf oil spill trial
Second week of BP oil spill trial focuses on gross negligence
BP oil spill trial: Blowout preventer on Macondo well had dead battery, miswired solenoid, expert testifies
Expert testifies BP should have halted cement job, as Gulf oil spill trial continues
Cement in BP Macondo well never dried, leading to the blowout, expert witness testifies
The cement pumped into the BP Macondo well a day before it blew out on April 20, 2010, was not given enough time to "set," or harden, before a negative pressure test was run that allowed oil and natural gas to travel up the drill pipe to the surface, where it exploded aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, an oil well cementing expert testified Wednesday.
Glen Benge, an independent consultant on oil-field cementing called as an expert witness by the U.S. Justice Department in the civil trial against BP and its partners and contractors to determine liability for the accident, said there were at least nine errors committed during the cementing of BP's Macondo well, which, when combined, led to the fatal blowout.
Benge laid most of the blame for the errors on BP, whose workers designed the cementing job and oversaw the work, and on Halliburton, the cement company that provided the material.
"The BP wells team was well-versed in cementing," Benge said in an expert witness report repeatedly referred to during his testimony. "These BP personnel were the final decision makers and were empowered to accept or reject the advice of both the BP internal cementing expert and Halliburton.
"The BP engineers chose to accept additional risks when designing the cement job with the awareness that remedial cementing work could be done at a later date," the report said. "Those additional risks included using a leftover cement blend not appropriate for foamed cementing, using a foamed cement in a synthetic oil-based mud environment, limiting cement volume and selecting a reduced number of centralizers."
Benge said he has participated in more than 1,000 well cementing jobs, and designed and oversaw the first use of foam cement in a well in Mobile Bay in 1995. He worked for ExxonMobil as senior technical adviser for cementing for nine years and manager of drilling training operations for two years before retiring in 2011.
In the immediate aftermath of the Gulf oil spill, he served as an adviser to Department of Energy Sec. Stephen Chu on the use of cement in sealing the Macondo well.
In his expert report, Benge concluded that cement didn't cut off the flow of hydrocarbons into the well because of inadequate design of the cementing slurry; the slurry failed to perform as expected; and the cement was improperly placed in the well.
View full size
Illustration of the effects of using too few centralizers when cementing a well. The gray area is cement and the brown is drilling mud. Expert witness Glen Benge said Wednesday that oil and gas could push through the mud, causing a blowout.
U.S. Justice Department
Benge also testified that the decision to use only six centralizers, rather than the 21 recommended by Halliburton engineers, means that portions of the drill pipe likely leaned closer to one side of the drillhole. When cement was pumped in to fill the space around the pipe, it was unable to fill in the narrow side, leaving a channel filled by drilling mud that hydrocarbons could use to reach the surface.
But to get into the drill pipe, the hydrocarbons first had to go through the cement that was supposed to be blocking the area immediately beneath and inside a "shoe" at the bottom of the pipe.
"For it to not have provided a seal, the cement was most likely not set because of contamination, temperature effects or both," Benge's report said.
The contamination could have been drilling mud or just sediment from the hole. The temperature problems were the result of those pouring the cement not waiting long enough for the cement to harden before conducting a negative pressure test to determine if the cement was in place, he said.
In his report, he said workers aboard the rig didn't give the mixture time to return to the normal temperature of the formation before estimating how long it would take to cure, or harden. Then, they gave the mixture only 18 hours before conducting a negative pressure test on it, when tests of similar material indicated that more than 24 hours was needed.
"There's a reason Betty Crocker makes you preheat the oven," Benge said. "They know if you put it in a hot oven, it will make a cake in a certain period of time."
The negative pressure test requires fluids to be pumped out of the drillpipe. If the pressure in the pipe stays steady, the bottom is sealed. In the case of the Macondo well, employees on the rig reported two anomalies -- higher than expected pressures -- before the well blew out.
Benge said the decision to use a dry cement blend left over from an earlier BP drilling operation at the Kodiak #2 well resulted in the use of a material that would be too heavy for the Macondo formation without being made lighter by injecting nitrogen bubbles into it. Too heavy, and the cement could fracture the rock formation into which the well was drilled, and the cement would disappear.
Using a proper weight cement without foaming might have helped avoid at least part of the blowout damage, he said.
Benge said BP also approved a plan that used a total of only 60 barrels of cement, not enough to provide an unfoamed portion at the bottom of the well and foamed cement that would move up the annulus, the space between the rock and the outer metal casing of the well.
The 60 barrels were much less than what was used to seal other BP wells in the Gulf, he said: 99.9 barrels at King South, 135.3 barrels at Nakika, and 244.1 barrels at Isabella.
Asked by an attorney for Transocean, owner of the Deepwater Horizon, whether the decision to use old cement made good business sense, Benge replied, "Yes, sir. Any time you can use up inventory, it makes sense."
The use of foamed cement made the small amount of cement even more of a problem, he said. And the mixture used at the Macondo well included a surfactant chemical that would actually break down the foaming action of the nitrogen, and was not recommended for use by BP.
At the Macondo well, the crew also was using a synthetic oil-based mud, which also can destabilize the foamed cement, he said.
Benge returns to the stand Thursday morning for more questioning by attorneys for Halliburton and BP. BP or one of the other companies is expected to eventually put its own cement expert on the stand who may contradict Benge's testimony.
Following Benge on the stand on Thursday will be David G. Calvert, another independent cementing expert, who used to work for BP. Next to be called could be Rory Davis, an expert witness who will testify about blowout preventers, or Tim Probert, Halliburton's president for strategy and corporate development.
Bradley Manning &
The Deepwater Horizon
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
By Greg Palast for Vice Magazine
Three years ago this month, on the 20th of April, 2010, the BP Deepwater Horizondrilling rig blew itself to kingdom come.
Soon thereafter, a message came in to our office's chief of investigations, Ms Badpenny, from a person I dare not name, who was floating somewhere in the Caspian Sea along the coast of Baku, Central Asia.
The source was in mortal fear he'd be identified – and with good reason. Once we agreed on a safe method of communication, he revealed this: 17 months before BP'sDeepwaterHorizonblew out and exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, another BP rig suffered an identical blow-out in the Caspian Sea.
Crucially, both the Gulf and Caspian Sea blow-outs had the same identical cause: the failure of the cement "plug".
To prevent blow-outs, drilled wells must be capped with cement. BP insisted on lacing its cement with nitrogen gas – the same stuff used in laughing gas – because it speeds up drying.
Time is money, and mixing some nitrogen gas into the cement saves a lot of money.
However, because BP's penny-pinching method is so damn dangerous, they are nearly alone in using it in deep, high-pressure offshore wells.
The reason: nitrogen gas can create gaps in the cement, allow methane gas to go up the borehole, fill the drilling platform with explosive gas – and boom, you're dead.
So, when its Caspian Sea rig blew out in 2008, rather than change its ways, BP simply covered it up.
Our investigators discovered that the company hid the information from its own shareholders, from British regulators and from the US Securities Exchange Commission. The Vice-President of BP USA, David Rainey, withheld the information from the US Senate in a testimony he gave six months before the Gulf deaths. (Rainey was later charged with obstruction of justice on a spill-related matter.)
Britain's Channel 4 agreed to send me to the benighted nation of Azerbaijan, whose waters the earlier BP blow-out occurred in, to locate witnesses who would be willing to talk to me without getting "disappeared". (They didn't talk, but they still disappeared.)
And I was arrested. Some rat had tipped off the Security Ministry (the official name of the Department of Torture here in this Islamic Republic of BP). I knew I'd get out quick, because throwing a reporter of Her Majesty's Empire into a dungeon would embarrass both BP and the Azeri oil-o-crats.
The gendarmes demanded our film, but I wasn't overly concerned: Before I left London, Badpenny handed me one of those Austin Powers camera-in-pens, on which I'd loaded all I needed. But I did fear for my witnesses left behind in Azerbaijan – and for my source in a tiger cage in the USA: Pvt Bradley Manning.
Manning could have saved their lives
Only after I dove into deep water in Baku did I discover, trolling through the so-called "WikiLeaks" documents, secret State Department cables released by Manning. The information was stunning: the US State Department knew about the BP blow-out in the Caspian and joined in the cover-up.
Apparently BP refused to tell its own partners, Chevron and Exxon, why the lucrative Caspian oil flow had stopped. Chevron bitched to the office of the US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice. (George Bush's cabinet member should not be confused with the 129,000-tonne oil tanker "Condoleezza Rice", which Chevron named after their former board member.)
The US Ambassador in Baku got Chevron the answer: a blow-out of the nitrogen-laced cement cap on a giant Caspian Sea platform. The information was marked "SECRET". Apparently loose lips about sinking ships would help neither Chevron nor the Azeri President Ilham Aliyev, the beneficiary of millions of dollars in payments of oil company baksheesh.
So what about Bradley Manning?
Manning has been charged with "aiding the enemy" – a crime punishable by death.
But Manning's sole and only purpose was to get out the truth. It wasn't Manning who wrote the cover-up memos, he merely wanted to get them to the victims: us.
And since when did the public become "the enemy"?
Had Manning's memos come out just a few months earlier, the truth about BP's deadly drilling methods would have been revealed, and there's little doubt BP would have had to change its ways. Those eleven men could well have been alive today.
Did Manning know about this particular hush-hush cable about BP's blow-out when he decided he had to become Paul Revere and warn the planet?
That's unlikely, in the thousands of cables he had. But he'd seen enough evidence of murder and mendacity in other cables, so, as Manning, under oath, told a court, he tried to give it all to the New York Times to have knowledgeable reporters review the cables confidentially for life-saving information.
The New York Times immediately seized on this extraordinary opportunity… to ignore Manning. The Times only ran it when the Guardian was going to scoop – and embarrass – the New York hacks.
Though there are limits. While reporter David Leigh put the story of BP's prior blow-out on page one of the Guardian, neither the New York Times or any other major US news outlet ran the story of the blow-out and oil industry cover-up. No surprise there, though – the most "prestigious" US news programme, PBS Newshour, was sponsored by… Chevron Corporation.
Hanging their source while taking his applause
As a working journalist, and one whose head is likely to be in the foggy gun-sights of some jet jockey or a dictator's goon squad, I have more than a little distaste for toffs like New York Times' former executive editor, columnist Bill Keller, who used Manning documents to cash in on a book deal and land star turns on television while simultaneously smearing his source Manning as, "troubled", "emotionally fractured", "vague", "inchoate" and – cover the children's ears – "gay".
Furthermore, while preening about their revelations from the Manning documents, the Times had no problem with imprisoning their source. I do acknowledge that the Times and Keller did editorialise that a sentence of life imprisonment without parole would be "overkill". How white of them.
When it was mentioned that Manning is no different from Daniel Ellsberg, the CIA operative who released the Pentagon Papers, Keller reassured that the Times also told Ellsberg he was "on his own" and did not object to their source being charged as a spy.
And the Times' much-lauded exposure of the My Lai massacre? My late good friend, the great investigative reporter Ron Ridenhour, who gave the story to Seymour Hersh, told me that he and Hersh had to effectively blackmail the Times into printing it.
Manning: aid to the enemy?
Times man Keller writes that Manning, by going to "anti-American" WikiLeaks, threatened the release of, "information that might get troops in the field or innocent informants killed".
This is the same Bill Keller who admits that he knew his paper's reports in 2003 that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction were completely false, but that he – as editor – covered up his paper's knowledge their WDM stories were simply bogus. Those stories validated the Bush propaganda and helped tip the political balance to invade Iraq. Four-thousand US soldiers died. I guess the idea is that releasing information that kills troops is criminal, but that dis-information that kills troops is quite acceptable.
Maybe I'm just cranky because I wouldn't have seen my own sources vanish and my film grabbed if the Times had only run the Manning facts about BP and Caspian when they had the chance.
Look, I' m only picking on the New York Times and PBS Newshour because they are the best in America, God help us.
What other lives could have been saved by the Manning revelations? Lots. Watch this space: I promise more aid to the enemies of the state – which is YOU.
TUE APR 09, 2013 AT 08:41 AM PDT
Three years after BP oil spill, new research finds massive die-off of Gulf ecosystem
bybeach babe in flFollowforClimate Change SOS
Tampa Bay Times
Three years after the worst environmental disaster in US history, new research from the University of South Florida (USF) finds that the oil that spewed into the Gulf of Mexico during the Deepwater Horizon disaster three years ago killed off millions of amoeba-like creatures that form the basis of the gulf's aquatic food chain.
Wrecked shell of the Transocean oil rig, the Deepwater Horizon, as it burns and sinks into the ocean
April 22,2010 photo by Arnold Itkin
The oil that spewed into the Gulf of Mexico during the Deepwater Horizon disaster three years ago killed off millions of amoeba-like creatures that form the basis of the gulf's aquatic food chain, according to scientists at the University of South Florida. The die-off of tiny foraminifera stretched through the mile-deep DeSoto Canyon and beyond, following the path of an underwater plume of oil that snaked out from the wellhead, said David Hollander, a chemical oceanographer with USF. "Everywhere the plume went, the die-off went," Hollander said.
The full implications of the die-off are yet to be seen. The foraminifera are consumed by clams and other creatures, who then provide food for the next step in the food chain, including the types of fish found with lesions. Because of the size of the spill, the way it was handled and the lack of baseline science in the gulf, there's little previous research to predict long-term effects.
BP had no clue as to how to clean up the unprecedented spill so they used a product called Corexit. Corexit was the most-used dispersant in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, with Corexit 9527 having been replaced by Corexit 9500 after the former was deemed unacceptably toxic. Oil that would normally rise to the surface of the water is broken up by the dispersant into small globules that can then remain suspended in the water. In 2012, a study found that Corexit used during the Gulf spill had increased the toxicity of the oil by up to 52 times.
BP sprayed Corexit directly at the wellhead spewing oil from the bottom of the gulf, even though no one had ever tried spraying it below the water's surface before. BP also used more of the dispersant than had been used in any previous oil spill, 1.8 million gallons, to try to break up the oil.
Pensacola Beach, Florida, May 2,2010 after BP oil disaster
Tampa Bay Times Editorial in response to new research.
The immediate lesson is that it will take years — if not decades — for a complete picture of how the BP spill damaged the gulf and that the nation cannot quickly walk away from the worst environmental disaster in its history. BP needs to be held accountable for the damage over the long term. And the federal government and the states need to acknowledge that offshore drilling remains highly risky, despite the post-spill safety reforms. This is no time to open more of the gulf to the unknown danger of oil drilling. Developing renewable energies and working harder on the conservation front must be the nation's new priority.
Users browsing this forum: Canadian_watcher, Google [Bot] and 7 guests