Wednesday, June 9, 2010


What bothers me most about a recent New York Times story (link below):

EPA's public naming of the chemical make-up of a product released into the Gulf in an effort to deal with the BP oil spill was so quiet and so slow.

The EPA says their snail's pace had something to do with protecting trade secrets for the manufacturer;  but the Times suggests that the EPA had the authority to name the chemicals all along.  So why not do it in a way that garners public trust?  I'm thinking it's more likely that the chemicals are, in their own way, as toxic as the oil itself, and apparently not that effective. 

Still, EPA allowed the product's use.

Think about it.  It's going to come out anyway.   It's got to come out anyway.  If the agency would have been up-front about its decision-process, people might intelligently differ about whether it was the right move, but we all could at least have had some respect for their transparency. Now EPA will have to waste resources on damage control. And trust has a very slow rebuild rate.  About the same pace, I'd imagine, as the rate it will take to achieve the Gulf restoration.

Here's the opening paragraph of the Times article:

"U.S. EPA has quietly released a full list of ingredients in the two controversial dispersants BP PLC is using to combat the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, following weeks of complaints from members of Congress and public health advocates that the dispersant manufacturer had kept its complete formula a secret from the public..."

Link here:

1 comment:

  1. I watched an interview with Jean-Michel Cousteau on the NewsHour on PBS. His main point was these dispersants are causing the oil to be suspended in the entire water column. Something we haven't really dealt with before. It's like robbing Peter to pay Paul. ridiculous.