EPA's Oil Dispersant Ignorance Again on Display

Back in July, 2010 PRWatch noted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ignorance about the potential for ecological damage from BP dumping millions of gallons of oil dispersants into the Gulf to try to limit damage from the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout. Yesterday, scientists released a report that re-confirmed the EPA's voluntary ignorance.

Pro Publica reports:

Chemical compounds from the oil dispersants applied to the Gulf of Mexico didn't break down as expected, according to a study released this week. Scientists found the compounds lingering for months in the deep waters of the Gulf, long after BP's oil had stopped spewing... The findings contrast with what the Environmental Protection Agency has asserted about the dispersants, which the agency allowed BP to use in unprecedented quantities... 'We do have information about the individual components of the dispersant,' the EPA says on its website. "The available peer-reviewed literature indicates that the components biodegrade fairly rapidly." The information about the components in the dispersant, it's worth noting, was provided to the agency by the dispersant manufacturer. As we've pointed out, the EPA also relied on the manufacturer to provide data on the dispersant's toxicity and approved it for use in the Gulf without doing independent testing."

The full report can be read here and is titled "Fate of Dispersants Associated with the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill."