Groups: EPA has dragged heels on oil dispersant rules | 3/25/2019 | Staff
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Environmental groups and women from Alaska and Louisiana say the Environmental Protection Agency has dragged its heels on issuing rules for oil spill dispersants, and they're ready to sue to demand them.

They say dispersants such as Corexit, used during the Exxon Valdez and BP oil spills, were more toxic to people and the environment than oil alone but, nearly four years after taking public comments about such rules, the agency hasn't acted.

Families - Ocean - Ocean - Environment - Animals

"We depend on feeding our families from the ocean. We need the ocean to be a clean environment for our animals," Rosemary Ahtuangaruak, a plaintiff from Alaska, said in a telephone interview. With the Trump administration considering an oil and gas lease sale in Alaska's Beaufort Sea, she said, people fear both spills and dispersants.

The EPA did not immediately respond to a request for comment on a letter sent Monday to Administrator Andrew Wheeler that says they'll sue unless the agency acts within 60 days.

Letter - Step - Suit - Clean - Water

The letter is a legally required step before filing suit under the Clean Water Act. This lawsuit would be filed in Washington, said Jack Siddoway, a third-year law student in the University of California-Berkeley Environmental Law Clinic.

The clinic is representing Ahtuangaruak (ah-TOON-gah-rook), who lives in the Inupiat village of Nuiqsut (noo-IK-sut); Kindra Arnesen of Buras (BYOO-ruhs), Louisiana; Alaska Community Action on Toxics; Cook Inletkeeper, also from Alaska; and Earth Island Institute's ALERT project, which is based in Berkeley.

Arnesen - BP - Deepwater - Horizon - Louisiana

Arnesen said the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon spill off Louisiana severely damaged her family's commercial fishing business. She also blames it for migraines, lesions, rashes and respiratory problems that she, her husband and their...
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