EJToday: Top Headlines
EJToday is SEJ's selection of new and outstanding stories on environmental topics in print and on the air, updated every weekday. SEJ also offers a free e-mailed digest of the day's EJToday postings, called SEJ-beat. SEJ members are subscribed automatically, but may opt out here. Non-members may subscribe here. EJToday is also available via RSS feed. Please see Editorial Guidelines for EJToday content.
"As the price tag for what could be the modern world's largest man-made oil spill continues to mount, navigating the complex path towards determining who will foot the bills resulting from the Deepwater Horizon accident could become as difficult as avoiding the oil plume in the Gulf of Mexico."
"BP has rebuffed demands from government officials and environmentalists to use a less-toxic dispersant to break up the oil from its massive offshore spill, saying that the chemical product it is now using continues to be 'the best option for subsea application.'"
"In the days since President Obama announced a moratorium on permits for drilling new offshore oil wells and a halt to a controversial type of environmental waiver that was given to the Deepwater Horizon rig, at least seven new permits for various types of drilling and five environmental waivers have been granted, according to records."
"The gooey oil washing into the maze of marshes along the Gulf Coast could prove impossible to remove, leaving a toxic stew lethal to fish and wildlife, government officials and independent scientists said."
"Although the exact cause of the Deepwater Horizon explosion isn't certain, at least a dozen offshore drilling experts agree that cement, or pipes encased by cement, had to have failed first."
"Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) took steps to increase the transparency of the response to BP's catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The oil company's actions have been criticized for failing to disclose or monitor important information about the spill, including the quantity of oil erupting into the Gulf, the potential health impacts of the oil and the chemicals used to disperse it, and water and air quality information."
A CBS News crew captured on video orders from BP contractors and US Coast Guard officials to stop filming environmental damage from the BP-owned oil fouling Louisiana beaches and coastal wetlands. The Coast Guard denied that it or BP has rules prohibiting coverage.
"The Environmental Protection Agency has directed oil giant BP to use a less toxic form of chemical dispersants to break up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico."
"The coal baron who runs the West Virginia mine that last month saw the deadliest U.S. mine accident in 40 years came unbowed to Capitol Hill today, insisting that his company 'does not place profits over safety.'"
A blanket of thick oil smothered Louisiana's life-giving wetlands as the BP oil spill finally moved ashore.
"A proposal to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean as early as this summer received initial permits from the Minerals Management Service office in Alaska at the same time federal auditors were questioning the office about its environmental review process."
"BP, the company in charge of the rig that exploded last month in the Gulf of Mexico, hasn't publicly divulged the results of tests on the extent of workers' exposure to evaporating oil or from the burning of crude over the gulf, even though researchers say that data is crucial in determining whether the conditions are safe. Moreover, the company isn't monitoring the extent of the spill and only reluctantly released videos of the spill site that could give scientists a clue to the amount of the oil in gulf."
The vast deposits of deepwater methane hydrates may have been a major factor in the Deepwater Horizon blowout and explosion. Methane hydrates expand 164 times in volume when destablilized by heat and reduction in pressure. Such conditions may have existed the night of the explosion, causing a quickly expanding bubble of methane gas to shoot up the drill column before exploding on the platform on the ocean's surface.
"A whistleblower filed a lawsuit [Monday] to force the federal government to halt operations at another massive BP oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, alleging that BP never reviewed critical engineering designs for the operation and is therefore risking another catastrophic accident...."
"Federal authorities on Tuesday expanded the no fishing zone associated with the BP oil spill to encompass 19% of the Gulf of Mexico."