The decision by BP and federal officials to use the chemical dispersant Corexit to break up oil spewing in the Gulf of Mexico is drawing fire from congress who say there are more powerful, less toxic dispersants that could be used to combat the crude.
Environmentalists have raised warnings about the risk that dispersants can be stored indefinitely in the organs and tissues of marine animals.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has acknowledged the threat in describing the use of dispersants as a trade- off between the harm of allowing oil to accumulate and the possible damage to marine life from the detergent-like substance.
Because there is uncertainty about “the long-term effects on aquatic life,” Jackson said, “we must make sure that the dispersants … are as nontoxic as possible.”
The lawmakers suggested that corporate ties between BP and the manufacturer drove the choice. JENNIFER A. DLOUHY, Houston Chronicle 05/20/2010
Read Article: Houston Chronicle