Below are statements to NBC News from BP, EPA and Nalco regarding BP’s use of dispersants on oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as a link to a recent statement on the subject from a group of independent scientists:
BP statement to NBC News:
With regard to the use of dispersants,
- We are working closely with EPA and the Coast Guard to monitor the effect of dispersants on the environment. Dispersants have never been used underwater in this way and we have been working with the agencies to gather as much data as possible to understand the current situation and for the future.
- They have been very effective in keeping oil from reaching the shore.
- Scientists say that given the light quality of the oil, the uses of dispersant, and the natural bioremediation effect of 5,000 feet of water, the oil is extremely weathered when it gets to shore, and the toxic components have greatly if not completely been reduced.
- BP has committed to spend $500 million over 10 years to study the impact of the oil spill on the Gulf environment and will be here for the long run.
EPA statement to NBC News:
There have been no "conclusions" reached about any of this — EPA's monitoring and research into dispersant is ongoing specifically because we want more information about this chemical's impact on the environment. No federal agency has said these products cause no harm to aquatic life — what our ongoing sampling tells us, is that — to date — they have not had a significant impact on aquatic life. And the issue is not the dispersant's ingredients or constituents — which Nalco only released after considerable prodding from EPA — but the way those ingredients are mixed together to form dispersants.
Throughout this crisis, EPA scientists have consulted with all groups, including representatives from academia, non-governmental organizations, industry and other federal and state agencies to ensure we have access to the best available science. These independent scientists have been open and very willing to share their research and data, and it is very unfortunate that this scientist is unwilling to share his full report with EPA.
Still, we hope to have an opportunity to review his full study and discuss the results. EPA continues to conduct its own independent testing into dispersants, and the Agency released data from the first round of testing on June 30 to ensure outside scientists and the public have access to the same data EPA has. The next phase of EPA's testing is focused on the acute toxicity of multiple concentrations of Louisiana Sweet Crude Oil alone and combinations of Louisiana Sweet Crude Oil with each of the eight dispersants for two test species.
Nalco statment to NBC News:
1. As the EPA said last week, it's important to remember that oil is enemy number one in this crisis.
2. The EPA has concluded that the use of Nalco's dispersants — to break apart the oil — has been effective and has not significantly affected the marine environment.
3. Federal officials have repeatedly stated, based on continual air and water sampling and other tests:
a. No harm to aquatic life
b. No indication of any impact in the atmosphere
c. No evidence of worker illness due to dispersant use
4. All of the ingredients contained in the Nalco dispersants are found in common household products, such as food, packaging, cosmetics, and household cleaners. It has been compared to dishwashing detergent by Federal officials.
5. Soon after oil began leaking on April 20, the government requested dispersants from the approved NCP list to help minimize the effects of the accident. Not a drop of Corexit dispersant has been used without the express approval of the federal government.
Consensus statment from independent scientists: