BP Hiding Critical Dispersant Data

BP continues to defy a directive from the Environmental Protection Agency to find a less toxic alternative for the chemicals the company is using to disperse oil in the Gulf. And despite a separate order from EPA and the Department of Homeland Security to make its operations more transparent, BP is still keeping crucial information about its activities in the Gulf under wraps.

BP sent a letter to the EPA Thursday saying that it was unable to find a replacement dispersant. The company redacts a number of critical pieces of data, which it claims are “confidential business information.” An excerpt:

 

The EPA released a statement on Saturday saying that the agency it is working to get more information released:

BP and several of the dispersant manufacturers have claimed some sections of BP’s response contain confidential business information (CBI). By law, CBI cannot be immediately made public except with the company’s permission. EPA challenged these companies to make more information public and, as a result, several portions of the letter can now be made public. EPA is currently evaluating all legal options to ensure that the remaining redacted information is released to the public. EPA continues to strongly urge these companies to voluntarily make this information public so Americans can get a full picture of the potential environmental impact of these alternative dispersants.

I’ve asked EPA just how much the agency can do to force BP’s hand on disclosure and moving to a less toxic dispersant option. I’ll update as more information is available.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.