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Does the EPA have jurisdiction to make BP follow their rules?

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posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 09:20 PM
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So, it is my understanding that the EPA has no jurisdiction on a 'spill' from an offshore rig, if the rig is beyond three miles away from the shore. Beyond three miles is the Coast Guard's territory.




Why isn't EPA the lead for this environmental disaster?

Typically for off shore environmental incidents the U.S. Coast Guard is the lead agency for a response. As this oil slick approaches and reaches the shoreline, EPA has been preparing to ramp up its efforts as necessary to respond to a broad range of environmental impacts.


www.epa.gov...

Now, the Clean water Act may give the EPA authority out to 200 miles, but only for specific cases that may or may not apply to this unique instance.



Bilge water Section 311 of the Clean Water Act, as amended by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (33 U.S.C. 2701-2720), applies to ships and prohibits discharge of oil or hazardous substances in harmful quantities into or upon U.S. navigable waters, or into or upon the waters of the contiguous zone, or which may affect natural resources in the U.S. EEZ (extending 200 miles (320 km) offshore). Coast Guard regulations (33 CFR §151.10) prohibit discharge of oil within 12 miles (19 km) from shore, unless passed through a 15-ppm oil water separator, and unless the discharge does not cause a visible sheen. Beyond 12 miles (19 km), oil or oily mixtures can be discharged while a vessel is proceeding en route and if the oil content without dilution is less than 100 ppm. Vessels are required to maintain an Oil Record Book to record disposal of oily residues and discharges overboard or disposal of bilge water.


en.wikipedia.org...


www.fas.org...

Here is an example from the california coast that shows the EPA's jurisdiction seems to end basically at the water.

epamap35.epa.gov...

So, although many are postulating that 'the government' wants to sea the Gulf poisoned by toxic corexitt, it would appear the real problem is, there is no specific national emergnecy response infrastructure for a 'spill' (rupture) of this type.

Can anyone prove otherwise and provide a specific example that shows that the EPA does indeed have the legal precedent for jurisdiction in this instance?




posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 09:53 PM
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Here is a recent document in Congress dated June 18th 2010 and it is entitled: Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Selected Issues for Congress

www.fas.org...

I am not saying this is conclusive proof, however it appears that even U.S. Congress believes that the EPA has jurisdiction over the area of the Deepwater Horizon Gusher.

The USCG and the MMS work in conjunction with the EPA it appears.

Just what I found for now.

Also this pointed write up...

Ex-EPA Officials: Why Isn't BP Under Criminal Investigation?
Friday 28 May 2010

by: Jason Leopold, t r u t h o u t | Report



Why hasn't the government launched a criminal investigation into BP?
That's the question several former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials have been asking in the aftermath of the catastrophic explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig last month that killed 11 employees and ruptured a newly drilled well 5,000 feet below the surface and has spewed tens of millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf if Mexico, which now stands as the largest spill in US history.

Like previous BP-related disasters in Alaska and Texas, evidence has emerged that appears to show BP knowingly cut corners on maintenance and safety on Deepwater Horizon's operations, which, according to blogger bmaz, who writes about legal issues at Emptywheel, could amount to criminal violations of the Clean Water Act. Additionally, because people were killed, BP and company officials could also face prosecution for negligent and reckless homicide.

www.truth-out.org...

Of course, this makes both BP and the EPA look bad.

And they are!



posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 09:59 PM
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reply to post by burntheships
 


Thats a big document you are citing. Can you highlight the part I am supposed to be looking at?

Also, this link seems to have some interesting arguments in your favor:

climateaudit.org...

It implies that the EPA does have jurisdiction as part of their vice-chair of the National Response Team and Regional.

This is where it gets murky, though, because that is no longer solely the EPA, but an amalgamation of several separate agencies.

I still see nothing that contradicts the EPA's stement on their website that i posted in the OP:






Typically for off shore environmental incidents the U.S. Coast Guard is the lead agency for a response. As this oil slick approaches and reaches the shoreline, EPA has been preparing to ramp up its efforts as necessary to respond to a broad range of environmental impacts.



posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 10:00 PM
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[edit on 9-7-2010 by invisibleman11]



posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 10:00 PM
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there is one of two possibilities to that question:

1. yes but they aren't going to enforce it for corrupt reasons

2. no and they wouldn't do much if they did.


sorry to sound so pessimistic but BP will publicly get a slap on the wrist and secretly be asked for more pollitical contributions



posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 10:02 PM
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reply to post by invisibleman11
 


Thanks.

Do you have any sourced material to give your opinion a little more weight?



posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 10:05 PM
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reply to post by burntheships
 


from your link:




Role of U.S. Coast Guard The Coast Guard generally overseas the safety of systems at the platform level of a mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU), as opposed to the sub-platform drilling systems overseen by MMS. Among the areas of Coast Guard oversight are navigation equipment, lifesaving equipment, fire protection equipment and structures, and the safety and health of workers as they perform their routine tasks. Once a MODU is operating, the Coast Guard conducts a full survey of the rig every two years and an interim inspection annually. The Coast Guard’s regulatory framework for MODUs resembles that for ships calling at U.S. ports. The “checklist” the Coast Guard uses when inspecting a MODU depends on its “flag” or country of registration. Like ships engaged in international trade, MODUs on the OCS can be registered in foreign countries. The Deepwater Horizon was registered in the Marshall Islands.

Registering a rig or ship in the Marshall Islands or another “flag of convenience” country (Panama, Liberia, and the Bahamas are other common ones) provides tax and other economic advantages. For this reason, the world shipping fleet is predominantly flagged in these countries. Foreign-flagged rigs either must meet the design, equipment, and operating standards of the flag state, provided the Coast Guard determines they are equivalent to or more stringent than U.S. standards (promulgated at 46 C.F.R. parts 108 and 109), or they must meet the design and equipment standards contained in the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Code for the Construction and Equipment of MODUs (2009 MODU Code, adopted by Resolution A.1023(26)).58 The Deepwater Horizon was inspected and found to be in compliance with the MODU code.


www.fas.org...



posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 10:11 PM
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reply to post by justadood
 


what has EPA done to fix BP's disaster? what major oil company has the EPA really made pay for creating enviromental disasters? watch gasland...it will show you how the EPA fixes wrongs by big oil and how much their "jurisdiction" matters.

[edit on 9-7-2010 by invisibleman11]

[edit on 9-7-2010 by invisibleman11]



posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 10:18 PM
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and for the political contributions comment. look at how much BP has given to Obama alone for campaings in context to other pollitical entities



posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 10:19 PM
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reply to post by invisibleman11
 


Interesting.

How does that relate to gaining clarity on whether or not the EPA or USCG has jurisdiction in this case?

----------------------------------------------

burntheships:





(1) Generally, SSCs (Scientific Support Coordinators) are provided by NOAA in the coastal zones, and by EPA in the inland zone. OSC/RPM requests for SSC support can be made directly to the SSC assigned to the area or to


edocket.access.gpo.gov...


here's a big ol PDF that could give some clarity for someone able to read government-ease.

www.epa.gov...


So, some say the government has too much authority, and others say they dont have enough.

hmmm...



posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 10:20 PM
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Originally posted by invisibleman11
reply to post by justadood
 


what has EPA done to fix BP's disaster? what major oil company has the EPA really made pay for creating enviromental disasters? watch gasland...it will show you how the EPA fixes wrongs by big oil and how much their "jurisdiction" matters.

[edit on 9-7-2010 by invisibleman11]

[edit on 9-7-2010 by invisibleman11]


I see you have gone back and completely changed your comment, so i will quote you this time and respond:

I'm sorry, you comments dont really seem to be related to the OP whatsoever.

perhaps you are lost?

[edit on 9-7-2010 by justadood]



posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 10:25 PM
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my point is that it doesnt mater. the EPA and USGS along with the government as a whole wont do a whole lot to fix the problem. they may stage a lot of PR events but when it comes to jurisdictional matters it doesnt matter. in a year or so everyone will see that BP will have been publicly shamed and may have been minutley financially punished (to BP's standards), but nothing will really change. the governments in the pocket of big corporations. we've seen this play out so many times its scary.



posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 10:34 PM
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Originally posted by invisibleman11
my point is that it doesnt mater. the EPA and USGS along with the government as a whole wont do a whole lot to fix the problem. they may stage a lot of PR events but when it comes to jurisdictional matters it doesnt matter. in a year or so everyone will see that BP will have been publicly shamed and may have been minutley financially punished (to BP's standards), but nothing will really change. the governments in the pocket of big corporations. we've seen this play out so many times its scary.


That part in bold is why i started this thread. That is certainly an opinion, but if you look closer at how the specific laws actually work, you will discover that 1). You can't lump wildly differentiated agencies into one group called 'the government' and be very accurate. 2)once you look deeper into what legal precedent exists, you will see that it is FARRRRRR more complicated than your own opinion that 'they' just want it to happen.

It's funny. When the Government acts outside of it's legal boundaries, people like you like to freak out and say it is dictatorial, but when the government finds itself constrained by the law, the VERY SAME people are the ones to call them incompetent.

So, which is it? Are they all-powerful or incompetent? Dont contradict yourself!


Quoted for posterity.



posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 10:46 PM
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Originally posted by justadood

That part in bold is why i started this thread. That is certainly an opinion, but if you look closer at how the specific laws actually work, you will discover that 1). You can't lump wildly differentiated agencies into one group called 'the government' and be very accurate. 2)once you look deeper into what legal precedent exists, you will see that it is FARRRRRR more complicated than your own opinion that 'they' just want it to happen.

It's funny. When the Government acts outside of it's legal boundaries, people like you like to freak out and say it is dictatorial, but when the government finds itself constrained by the law, the VERY SAME people are the ones to call them incompetent.

So, which is it? Are they all-powerful or incompetent? Dont contradict yourself!


Quoted for posterity.



the government i.e "USCG, EPA" will do what is the most benificial polliticaly. albeit nothing to gain corporate monies or something to set a president thus expanding power. sorry if it seemed as if i was attacking you but i wasn't. corporations and governments do what are monetarily and polliticaly the most benificial thats why the country is so screwed up right now.

"Quoted for posterity."

(good phrase bud!)



posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 11:39 PM
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Originally posted by invisibleman11

Originally posted by justadood

That part in bold is why i started this thread. That is certainly an opinion, but if you look closer at how the specific laws actually work, you will discover that 1). You can't lump wildly differentiated agencies into one group called 'the government' and be very accurate. 2)once you look deeper into what legal precedent exists, you will see that it is FARRRRRR more complicated than your own opinion that 'they' just want it to happen.

It's funny. When the Government acts outside of it's legal boundaries, people like you like to freak out and say it is dictatorial, but when the government finds itself constrained by the law, the VERY SAME people are the ones to call them incompetent.

So, which is it? Are they all-powerful or incompetent? Dont contradict yourself!


Quoted for posterity.



the government i.e "USCG, EPA" will do what is the most benificial polliticaly. albeit nothing to gain corporate monies or something to set a president thus expanding power. sorry if it seemed as if i was attacking you but i wasn't. corporations and governments do what are monetarily and polliticaly the most benificial thats why the country is so screwed up right now.

"Quoted for posterity."

(good phrase bud!)


I didnt perceive you to be attacking me. I was taking exception with the vague 'government bad' notions in your post.

I'm trying to figure out what the actual law is regarding Coast Guard vs EPA jurisdiction this far offshore with a leak from an oil rig. Merely stating that 'the government' is on the control of the corporate oligarchy is too vague for me, given the specifics of the OP.

It's easy to think 'the government' have unchecked power (heck, weve been conditioned to believe that) but in my experience, the reality is 'the government' is beholden to the same laws as everyone else, especially when a population is informed.

A lot of folks are 'blaming' the EPA, and implying 'they' arent stopping the application of corexitt because it suits some dubious government plot (pass cap and trade, nwo ele, homosexual martians with an oil fetish, etc) but i think that is merely because of this conditioning, which leads them to think that if the 'government' isnt stopping this, that it must be because they dont want to. But perhaps its because they cant. And the law appears to imply so.



Thanks!

[edit on 9-7-2010 by justadood]



posted on Jul, 10 2010 @ 12:27 AM
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You need to look at E & P Exempt. Anything that comes from a welll head is exempt basicly.

www.epa.gov...


Exempt E&P Wastes
Produced water
Drilling fluids
Drill cuttings
Rigwash
Drilling fluids and cuttings from offshore operations disposed
of onshore
Geothermal production fluids
Hydrogen sulfide abatement wastes from geothermal energy
production
Well completion, treatment, and stimulation fluids
Basic sediment, water, and other tank bottoms from storage
facilities that hold product and exempt waste
Accumulated materials such as hydrocarbons, solids, sands, and emulsion from production separators, fluid treating vessels, and production
impoundments
Pit sludges and contaminated bottoms from storage or disposal
of exempt wastes
Gas plant dehydration wastes, including glycol-based compounds,
glycol filters, and filter media, backwash, and molecular sieves
Workover wastes
Cooling tower blowdown
Gas plant sweetening wastes for sulfur removal, including
amines, amine filters, amine filter media, backwash, precipitated
amine sludge, iron sponge, and hydrogen sulfide scrubber liquid and sludge
Spent filters, filter media, and backwash (assuming the filter itself is not hazardous and the residue in it is from an exempt waste stream)
Pipe scale, hydrocarbon solids, hydrates, and other deposits removed from piping and equipment prior to transportation
Produced sand
Packing fluids
Hydrocarbon-bearing soil
Pigging wastes from gathering lines
Wastes from subsurface gas storage and retrieval, except
for the non-exempt wastes listed on page 11
Constituents removed from produced water before it is
injected or otherwise disposed of
Liquid hydrocarbons removed from the production stream
but not from oil refining
Gases from the production stream, such as hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide, and volatilized hydrocarbons
Materials ejected from a producing well during blowdown
Waste crude oil from primary field operations
Light organics volatilized from exempt wastes in reserve pits, impoundments, or production equipment



[edit on 10-7-2010 by JBA2848]



posted on Jul, 10 2010 @ 12:38 AM
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Misunderstanding: All wastes located at E&P sites are
exempt.
Fact: All wastes located at E&P sites are not necessarily
exempt. To be considered an exempt waste, the waste must
have been generated from a material or process uniquely
associated with the exploration, development, and production
of crude oil and natural gas. For example, a solvent used
to clean surface equipment or machinery is not exempt
because it is not uniquely associated with exploration, development,
or production operations. Conversely, if the same
solvent were used in a well, it would be exempt because it
was generated through a procedure that is uniquely associated
with production operations.


This is from the above link.



posted on Aug, 18 2010 @ 10:31 PM
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Originally posted by JBA2848
You need to look at E & P Exempt. Anything that comes from a welll head is exempt basicly.



Can anyone explain that out for me a bit more?

Anything coming from a wellhead is exempt from EPA oversight?



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