May 24, 2010: Markey Statement on EPA Dispersant Announcement

WASHINGTON (May 24, 2010) – Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said that BP’s analysis on the effects from using oil dispersants was flawed, directed the company to reduce the use of Corexit dispersants for surface applications because it has been shown to be ineffective, and ordered BP to continue to search for less toxic substances in consultation with EPA scientists. Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), chair of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee in the Energy and Commerce Committee, who first raised these concerns last week, released the following statement:


“Just like many aspects of their spill response, BP gets an ‘F’ on its analysis of dispersants, and EPA has rightly told it to redo its assignment and this time, show all its work.

“Despite the assertions made by BP that dispersants can be safely used, we know almost nothing about the potential harm from the long-term use of any of these chemicals on the marine environment in the Gulf of Mexico, and even less about their potential to enter the food chain and ultimately harm humans.

“Last Friday, I held a briefing with scientists who said that there were more unknown than known effects from these chemicals. I share their unease. However, BP 's failure to assure the safety of its drilling operations has left the government with no silver bullets and almost no good choices.  I will continue to work with a dedicated EPA to study these chemicals and ensure that we are not causing another crisis while trying to mitigate the effects of this catastrophic leak.”

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