EPA scientists excluded from agency response to Gulf oil blowout
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: August 9th, 2010
The Obama administration is facing internal dissent from its scientists for approving the use of huge quantities of chemical dispersants to tackle the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Guardian has learned. Jeff Ruch, the exective director of the whistleblower support group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, said he had heard from five [EPA] scientists and two other officials who had expressed concerns to their superiors about the use of dispersants. "There was one toxicologist who was very concerned about the underwater application particularly," he said. "The concern was the agency appeared to be flying blind and not consulting its own specialists and even the literature that was available." Veterans of the Exxon Valdez spill questioned the wisdom of trying to break up the oil in the deep water at the same time as trying to skim it on the surface. Other EPA experts raised alarm about the effect of dispersants on seafood. Ruch said EPA experts were being excluded from decision-making on the spill. "Other than a few people in the united command, there is no involvement from the rest of the agency," he said. EPA scientists would not go public for fear of retaliation, he added.
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