News Release

Questions to EPA on Gulf and Dispersants, from Expert at EPA


A noted expert at the Environmental Protection Agency, Kaufman today produced a list of questions for EPA Assistant Administrator for Research and Development Paul Anastas, whose testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee is currently on C-SPAN:

1) Do you believe EPA had enough technical and scientific information, in April, to make a correct decision as to whether or not to use dispersants in this situation?

2) Did EPA authorize the use of dispersants by BP when the oil spill began in April of this year? If EPA did not, who did? Please give the name of the person who authorized this action. If you don’t know who did, who does know?

3) In your press conference on Monday, you said that EPA has not found dispersants in the water except at the well head where the oil was escaping. NOAA [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] has documented plumes of dispersed oil throughout thousands of square miles of the Gulf of Mexico. Has EPA — or anybody — tested these plumes of dispersed oil for the ingredients in the dispersants? If so, who and what are the results?

4) At your press conference Monday, you said NOAA and FDA [Food and Drug Administration] found that the food chain in the Gulf was not affected by the oil and/or the dispersants. Have NOAA and the FDA done testing of food chain marine life for the presence of the ingredients of dispersants?

5) Has the air been tested for dispersant ingredients in the areas where workers, including personnel from the Coast Guard, are conducting cleanup of the oil and dispersant mixture on the surface of the water? If so, who tested it, what instruments were used? What were the results?

6) At your press conference Monday, you stated that the temperatures of the water used in doing your toxicity tests on living shrimp were not the same temperatures as those to which the oil/dispersant mixtures are being exposed in the Gulf. Why did you not do this testing at the actual temperatures that the oil/dispersant mixture is in, in the Gulf of Mexico?

7) Congressman Edward Markey provided documentation over the weekend that two to three times the amount of the dispersant Corexit was spread over the floating oil than was reported to have been spread by EPA and the Government. Do you agree or disagree with Congressman Markey’s documented allegation? If you agree, what actions will you take to correct the record?

8 ) At your press conference Monday, you stated that biodegradation of the oil spilled in the Gulf was 50 percent faster when dispersants were used. This assertion is in direct conflict with evidence of a report describing the Amoco Cadiz oil spill in France in 1978, in which dispersed oil is still not biodegraded. What scientific basis do you have for your conflicting assertion?

9) Did EPA do any ambient air pollution testing for the ingredients of the dispersant Corexit in the communities adjacent to the Gulf? If the answer is yes, which ingredients were tested for and what were the results?

10) Did EPA use wet chemistry in analyzing the ambient air pollution in the communities adjacent to the Gulf?

11) Did EPA use gas chromatographs and mass spectrometers in analyzing the ambient air pollution in the communities adjacent to the Gulf?

12) Does anyone at EPA, to your knowledge, disagree with the use of dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster? Who? Do you know why?

Background: Kaufman “led the investigation for the EPA’s Ombudsman that uncovered Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Safety and Health Administration cover-up[s] of the environmental effects of the 9/11 World Trade Center attack at the behest of the Bush White House.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020