Thursday, May 20, 2010


WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a directive requiring BP to identify and use a less toxic and more effective dispersant from the list of EPA authorized dispersants. Dispersants are a chemical used to break up oil into small droplets so that they are more easily degraded.

The directive requires BP to identify a less toxic alternative – to be used both on the surface and under the water at the source of the oil leak – within 24 hours and to begin using the less toxic dispersant within 72 hours of submitting the alternative.

If BP is unable to identify available alternative dispersant products, BP must provide the Coast Guard and EPA with a detailed description of the alternative dispersants investigated, and the reason they believe those products did not meet the required standards.

EPA’s directive to BP can be found here.

While the dispersant BP has been using is on the agency’s approved list, BP is using this dispersant in unprecedented volumes and, last week, began using it underwater at the source of the leak – a procedure that has never been tried before. Because of its use in unprecedented volumes and because much is unknown about the underwater use of dispersants, EPA wants to ensure BP is using the least toxic product authorized for use. We reserve the right to discontinue the use of this dispersant method if any negative impacts on the environment outweigh the benefits.

On May 15, EPA and the U.S. Coast Guard authorized BP to use dispersants underwater at the source of the Deepwater Horizon leak. As the dispersant is used underwater, BP is required to do constant, scientifically rigorous monitoring so EPA scientists may determine the dispersant’s effectiveness and impact on the environment, water and air quality, and human health. EPA is posting the information BP collects during the monitoring to ensure the public has access to this data.

Get involved with the oil clean-up!

From what I understand, there are no more (paying) oil spill cleanup jobs left in Mobile County. As of right now in Baldwin County, however, there is still some call for volunteers. Check out the county's Web site here or contact the Mobile County Career Center at (251) 461-4146.

For those of you still wishing to be involved strictly on a voluntary basis, contact BP's volunteer hotline at 1-866-647-2338.

Green Solutions

A friend of mine has taken on the daunting but honorable task of starting his own recycling pick-up company. Called Green Solutions, it's the brain child of Charles Burton Rabby, a native of Mississippi and Spring Hill College alum. His company picks up, sorts, and recycles various re-usable materials (paper, plastic, aluminum, glass, etc.) for both residential and commercial clients. Standard pricing for each bin is $10 per month. If you want to sign up, let him know at!