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gulf 88 articles

BP oil spill still destroying Gulf habitats, wildlife

A five-year cycle of contamination and erosion set in motion by BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill has decimated a small island that once held thriving colonies of brown pelicans, gulls, and wading birds in Louisiana’s Barataria Bay. Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition, an environmental watchdog and advocacy group comprised of officials from the Environmental Defense Fund, the National Audubon Society, the National Wildlife Federation, the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, and Restore or Retreat last week sponsored a press trip across Barataria Bay from Port Sulphur to East Grand Terre Island. The Times-Picayune reported ... Read More

Former oil spill cleanup worker on mission against Canadian tar sands fuel

When a tar sands pipeline owned by Enbridge ruptured in July 2010, John Bolenbaugh was one of the workers sent in to clean up the spill, which released more than a million gallons of heavy, highly toxic oil and chemical additives into the Kalamazoo River near Marshall, Mich. What Mr. Bolenbaugh experienced and witnessed compelled him to raise awareness of the dangers of tar sands oil and the Keystone XL Pipeline, a proposed project that would funnel billions of gallons of the tar sands or diluted bitumen “dilbit” through the middle of the U.S. According to the Arkansas Times, Mr. ... Read More

BP puts oil spill cleanup into high gear on Mississippi’s barrier islands

PASCAGOULA, Mississippi—As the tides change and sands shift along Mississippi’s barrier islands, more oil, tar, and debris from BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico resurfaces. Now the company BP hired to lead oil spill cleanup efforts in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama has dispatched about 200 workers to the barrier islands in an effort to ramp up environmental cleanup operations. A BP spokesman told the Mississippi Press that most cleanup work on the islands was suspended in March during bird nesting season, although small crews of five to six workers continued to remove tar and oil-covered debris ... Read More

New offshore drilling safety rules are laughable, environmental groups warn

U.S. regulators have finalized new rules governing the safety of offshore oil drilling operations, but environmental groups say the new regulations don’t go far enough to protect oceans from catastrophes such as BP’s 2010 Gulf oil spill. The revised rules issued on Wednesday deal with certain elements of well design and the testing of well cementing and barriers. The rules also require offshore drillers to use independent, third-party inspectors to test and certify that blowout preventers are capable of killing the flow of oil at the well. The blowout preventer, which is considered the last line of defense against a ... Read More

New oil spill claims admin assures Alabamians of fairer process

The Louisiana lawyer chosen to take over the BP oil spill claims process was in Mobile last week to give Alabamians hurt by the spill an update on the new claims center’s progress. Patrick Juneau became head of the new Deepwater Horizon Claims Center after BP and the Plaintiffs Steering Committee reached an agreement in March ahead of what promised to be a long, drawn out trial. Part of the settlement stipulated a new claims center to replace the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF), along with a new administrator to replace Ken Feinberg. “This is no Feinberg operation,” U.S. Rep. ... Read More

New lawsuit against EPA seeks rules on oil dispersant use

A group of environmental and public health organizations jointly filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Monday in Washington D.C., claiming the agency’s rules governing the use of chemical oil dispersants do not meet Clean Water Act requirements. The lawsuit was prompted by BP’s use of Corexit chemical dispersants to break up the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which gushed out of control for three months. The plaintiffs, which include conservation and wildlife groups, hope the lawsuit will compel the EPA to issue tougher regulations on the use of oil dispersants and specify where the chemicals can be ... Read More

Dispersants used to fight BP oil spill damaged marine food chain, study finds

Alabama researchers studying the impact oil dispersants used to break up oil from BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill have found that the chemicals and the way in which they were used may have devastated the food chain in certain parts of the Gulf of Mexico. The study, published Tuesday in the scientific journal PLoS ONE and praised by peers for its scope and accuracy, simulated the effects of pollutants on phytoplankton and ciliates by pumping water from Mobile Bay into large drums. Researchers then added oil, chemical dispersants, and a combination of both oil and dispersants to the water samples ... Read More

Engineers put new oil spill containment system to the test in the deep Gulf

An experimental capping stack system that could potentially be used to stop stronger, deeper oil spills than BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster is being tested at a secret location in the Gulf of Mexico. Federal regulators from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement were on site to witness the towering device being lowered with wires onto a test wellhead 7,000 feet below the surface. Houston-based Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC) engineered the capping system. The company was established by several large offshore oil drillers in response to tougher government drilling requirements created in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, ... Read More

New study links BP oil spill to dolphin deaths

BP’s 2010 oil spill contributed to conditions that led to the deaths of hundreds of dolphins in the northern Gulf of Mexico, a new study conducted by half a dozen Southern universities and research institutes concluded. The study, published in the journal PLoS One, points to three manmade and environmental stresses that formed a recipe for disaster for dolphins living along the Northwestern Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana coasts: the BP oil spill, which erupted off the Louisiana coast and released more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf; the unusually cold winter of 2010; and an influx ... Read More

U.S. probe finds major safety deficiencies contributed to BP oil spill

A government safety probe into the cause of BP’s oil spill asserts that the oil giant focused too much on small details involving personal safety while losing sight of larger, more systemic dangers that threatened the entire operation. The 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion killed 11 workers and released more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico from the blown-out Macondo well a mile below the surface. BP leased the Deepwater Horizon rig from Transocean, which kept a crew onboard to operate the platform. The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board also said that generally BP ... Read More