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Oil industry group tries to block dispersant lawsuit against EPA

Earlier this year, the environmental law group Earthjustice filed a lawsuit to compel the Environmental Protection Agency to force the agency to issue a rule on chemical oil dispersants. The agency’s current rules do not fulfill requirements set by the Clean Water Act and failed to ensure that ensure that dispersants were used safely during the 2010 Gulf oil disaster.

Regulations that determine what dispersants may be used currently do little concern for safety, After the Deepwater Horizon disaster, 2 million gallons of chemical dispersants were dumped into the water with little concern for their environmental affects.

Now the American Petroleum Institute has filed a brief in an attempt to intervene in the suit. All members of the organization must have a dispersant use plan, which names dispersants and agents that they will use in the event of a spill, in order to obtain authorization for drilling, pipeline or platform operations. The API is arguing that the suit could unfairly limit API members.

However, Earthjustice contends that the EPA is responsible for making sure that they comply with the Clean Water Act. This would also set standards that are safe for humans and the environment.

If you or a loved one have developed an illness in the wake of an BP oil spill or other man-made disaster, consider speaking with an attorney experienced in personal injury and environmental law matters. They can help you pursue any appropriate legal claims and pursue compensation for your injuries. No one should have to worry about added financial strain after being unnecessarily exposed to harmful chemicals.

Source: The Greater New Orleans Times-Picayune, “Oil industry seeks to intervene in environmental lawsuit over chemical dispersants,” Bruce Alpert, Nov. 2, 2012

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