EJToday: Top Headlines
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"White House claims that the worst of the BP oil spill was over were undermined [Thursday] when a senior government scientist said three-quarters of the oil was still in the Gulf environment and a research study detected a 22-mile plume of oil in the ocean depths."
"A 22-mile-long invisible mist of oil is meandering far below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, where it will probably loiter for months or more, scientists reported Thursday in the first conclusive evidence of an underwater plume from the BP spill."
"The company that owned the oil rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico is accusing BP of withholding critical evidence needed to investigate the cause of the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, according to a confidential document obtained by The Associated Press. BP called the claims a publicity stunt."
"People and businesses seeking a lump-sum settlement from BP’s $20 billion oil spill compensation fund will most likely have to waive their right to sue not only BP, but also all the other major defendants involved with the spill, according to internal documents from the lawyers handling the fund."
The New Orleans-area citizens' group Louisiana Bucket Brigade has been conducting a survey of the Gulf oil spill's possible health effects that may pave the way for larger and more scientific federal studies yet to be started.
"Lawmakers have criticized BP PLC for attempting to 'muzzle' scientists researching the Gulf of Mexico oil spill with confidentiality agreements and blocking the 'open exchange of scientific data and analysis.' But the government is employing similar tactics itself."
"For 40 days, flares burned 500,000 pounds of toxic chemicals over BP's Texas City refinery. Yet residents didn't know until weeks later that the flare released 17,000 pounds of cancer-causing benzene."
"Researchers describe 'a constellation' of oil droplets mixed with sediment. Phytoplankton, the base of the marine food web, is found to be in poor health nearby."
"The Obama administration said Monday that it would require significantly more environmental review before approving new offshore drilling permits, ending a practice in which government regulators essentially rubber-stamped potentially hazardous deepwater projects like BP’s out-of-control well."
"Researchers at the University of Georgia said Monday that more than three-quarters of the oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon drilling-rig explosion could still be in the Gulf threatening fisheries and marine life, disputing government statements that much of the oil had been safely dispersed."
"Trains carrying deadly chemicals rumble through our backyards every day, but railroad companies hauling them refuse to publicly disclose exactly what those substances are, or how often they travel through the area."
"U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he has never seen anything like the flood disaster in Pakistan, and urged foreign donors to speed up assistance to the 20 million people affected."
"To ensure that oil rigs, tankers and other commercial ships are in safe operating condition, governments around the world, including the U.S. government, often rely on inspections by private firms that are hired and paid by the vessels' owners. But how much confidence should the world have in the maritime watchdogs?"
"Delving into the gritty details of how offshore drilling is regulated, a National Academy of Engineering inquiry into the Deepwater Horizon well blowout found a big hole in oversight during a hearing on Thursday."
"BP has agreed to pay a record $50.6 million fine to the federal government for safety violations found by regulators last year at its troubled refinery in Texas City, Tex., where 15 workers died in a 2005 explosion."