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New proof the Coast Guard "rubber stamped" BP's wishes in regards to Corexit

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posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 11:38 AM
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Think the Coast Guard wasn't having it's strings pulled by BP alone? A new report from the Washington Post used documents prepared by U.S. Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) shows the Coast Guard rubber stamped everything BP wanted in regards to the dispersant Corexit.

In late May, the EPA issued a restriction on the use of the dispersant Corexit.



BP continued spraying large amounts of a controversial dispersant onto the surface of the Gulf of Mexico even after an EPA order to stop doing so, the Washington Post reports.

According to the Post, BP used a loophole in the EPA's order that allowed the Coast Guard to rubber-stamp "exemptions" to the order.

One Source
......................
The EPA loophole allowed the Coast Guard to make the final decision in "rare" circumstances to use the dispersant Corexit.



Despite the order -- and concerns about the environmental effects of the dispersants -- the Coast Guard granted requests to use them 74 times over 54 days, and to use them on the surface and deep underwater at the well site. The Coast Guard approved every request submitted by BP or local Coast Guard commanders in Houma, La., although in some cases it reduced the amount of the chemicals they could use, according to an analysis of the documents prepared by the office of Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.).

Main Washington Post story

74 times over 54 days. The makers of the dispersant say the usual amount of product needed is two to 10 gallons per acre are used or one gallon for every 10 to 50 gallons of oil. There were days where over 10,000 gallons of it were used.

Whatever the actual use was, it's pretty clear from these articles that the Coast Guard just rubber stamped what BP wanted. There were no applications for the use of Corexit that were not approved.



[edit on 1-8-2010 by webpirate]




posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 12:05 PM
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I have still yet to see anything concrete to confirm that the EPA has any jurisdiction that far out at sea.



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 12:08 PM
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reply to post by justadood
 


I would think if the EPA has no jurisdiction that far out, then the Coast Guard shouldn't either.

I think the jurisdiction comes from the potential effect into US waters and onto US land.



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 12:15 PM
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reply to post by webpirate
 


Well, i started a thread a while back to find out who has jurisdiction. There are conflicting reports, but it seems to be quite the gray area. The Coast Guard has authority because it is still US territorial waters. Thats the Coast Guards territory.

If the EPA doesnt have authority, it is because their jurisdiction ends more or less at the shore.

here's the thread- it fizzled out, perhaps because i didnt use all caps and the word 'doom' in the title. :-) But it has at least a few good links illustrating a couple sides of the argument:

www.abovetopsecret.com...

[edit on 1-8-2010 by justadood]



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 12:33 PM
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reply to post by justadood
 


Well, technically, the way it appears, the US has agreed to the International Law that provides 12 nautical miles out as the official territorial jurisdiction of countries.

However, there is what is called an Exclusive Economic Zone that is a relatively new concept, but it allows a country to control out to 200 miles that was established in order to allow better control over maritime affairs outside of territory waters.
en.wikipedia.org...

So, in this case it would seem that the Coast Guard has the overall jurisdiction.
However, since the oil and dispersant has the potential, and did to affect the fishing in this zone, it does seem to give the EPA jurisdiction to control anything that might affect the environment that would in turn affect the fishing industry.

Exclusive Economic Zone

Fisheries Management

Here is an image of the US EEZ:

Larger Image

[edit on 1-8-2010 by webpirate]



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 03:27 PM
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Originally posted by webpirate
reply to post by justadood
 


However, since the oil and dispersant has the potential, and did to affect the fishing in this zone, it does seem to give the EPA jurisdiction to control anything that might affect the environment that would in turn affect the fishing industry.



Nicely compiled. Thanks.

I'm curious about the part include above, though. Reading through the links, nothing stands out to me to make me come to the same conclusion.

Can you point me to the specific wording?

I know the EPA was in charge of these aspects of the Exxon Valdez cleanup, because it was just off shore.

If the Coast Guard is the only Government agency with jurisdiction at the region where the deepwater horizon was, what authority would they have to ban the spraying of corexxitt?

In addition, what authority, if any would the white house have in the matter? And on what precedent?

I ask because these are answers I still havent found.



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 04:04 PM
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reply to post by justadood
 


I have come across a pdf file that shows the extent of jurisdiction for the coastal area of the US. This may help you out.
For most states it is 0 to 3 nautical miles from the coast and out to 9 nautical miles for the Texas and Fla gulf coasts and Puerto Rico.That is State Seaward Bounderies.
Now ther is a 12 to 24 nautical mile contiguous zone in which the Coast guard has authority to operate.
And then you have from 12 to 200 nautical miles which is called the Exclusive Economic Zone n which the United States has sovereign rights to anything that happens in that zone.

If you want you can go here and read more of this pdf file.It comes from the US commision on Ocean Policy. You may find what you need here.

oceancommission.gov/documents/prepub_report/primer.pdf



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 04:29 PM
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reply to post by justadood
 


The EPA has jurisdiction in the water because of the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 and the Clean Water Act.

That coupled with the Exclusive Economic Zone is what I believe gives it jurisdiction. The White House has jurisdiction, because all of the federal agencies involved in this answer to the President.



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 04:54 PM
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Originally posted by webpirate
reply to post by justadood
 


The EPA has jurisdiction in the water because of the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 and the Clean Water Act.

That coupled with the Exclusive Economic Zone is what I believe gives it jurisdiction. The White House has jurisdiction, because all of the federal agencies involved in this answer to the President.


Interesting. You may be right.

But my reading of the Clean Water act sees a lot of references to states fililing reports. I'm not sure what state would be able to claim the GoM is part of their specific territorial waters.

In addition, although corexitt is toxic at its undiluted state, and at initial points of contact, the manufacturer claims it biodegrades in 28 days. The Clean Water act seems to deal directly with "eliminating releases to water of high amounts of toxic substances".

Definitions like 'high amounts' and 'toxic' could potentially be arbitrary.

As for the TSCA- I see a lot of gray area in there, as well.

from your wiki link:

"it prohibits the manufacture or importation of chemicals that are not on the TSCA Inventory (or subject to one of many exemptions)"

From skimming through the link of the TSCA inventory:

www.epa.gov...

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

My understanding is the EPA has indeed told them to stop, but existing law prevents this from having any teeth. All you have shown me is that there are basic laws making something illegal, like the CWA and the TSCA, but what I am asking is what specific law would give teeth to the EPA's declaration to BP.




On May 20, the EPA and U.S. Coast Guard directed BP to use a dispersant less toxic than the one it was employing, Corexit 9500. When BP did not comply, the government agency ran tests on eight EPA-authorized dispersants, including Corexit – results of which show only slight variation in terms of their safety. New dispersant legislation “would give us critical transparency and openness protections that right now EPA cannot provide by law,” said Lisa Jackson, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator.


Source:
pagingdrgupta.blogs.cnn.com...




As of now, the EPA requires manufacturers to submit data on toxicity and effectiveness in order to get a product listed on the National Contingency Plan Product Schedule (NCPPS), a list of products authorized by the EPA for use in an emergency. In the event of an emergency, the Federal On-Scene Coordinator uses the list to determine which dispersant to use. However, there is no set limit on toxicity for a product to be listed.


So, basically, what I am still seeing is that the EPA told BP to stop, and BP ignored them, knowing they had no capacity to enforce their ruling.

Your thread title refers to the Coast Guard 'rubber stamping' corexit, but I still see nothing that gives the Coast Guard authority either way.

Can you point me to that info, the specific legislation that gives the Coast Guard such authority? The CWA and the NCPPS dont seem to have anything to do with that at all.

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




The White House has jurisdiction, because all of the federal agencies involved in this answer to the President.


Answers to the White house. Sure. But if there is no specific legislation giving any governing body the 'teeth' to enforce a ruling, then even the White House is unable to actually do anything about this, other than levy fines after the fact.

I mean, all these 'acts' do is provide precedent for a fine afterwords. They dont allow the EPA and certainly not the Coast Guard or WH to prevent a company from the act of polluting.

The main point i take from this is that we perhaps need more strict legislation giving these agencies this power. But then, of course, many here would talk about 'Big Brother' having too much control.

[edit on 1-8-2010 by justadood]



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 08:23 PM
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Thad Allen, the retired Coast Guard commandant who is overseeing things, told the Post that there was a definite decline in the use of dispersants after the May 26 order from the Obama administration to limit their use. Environmental protection officials said their use had declined by 72 percent.


sify.com...

I would imagine some of the well-watchers might disagree wit that figure.




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