“HUGE discrepancies”: 1.8 million gallons of dispersant “now in question”, “Either BP was lying to Congress or to the Coast Guard”

Markey Analysis Shows Coast Guard Allowed BP, Spill Response Officials to Excessively Use Dispersants, Chairman Ed Markey, July 31, 2010:

The analysis also found that the amounts of surface dispersants used that were reported by BP to Congress and the amounts reported to have been used that were contained in BP’s requests for approval by the Coast Guard also vary widely, bringing into question whether BP was being truthful about the total amount used, and whether the Coast Guard was conducting rigorous monitoring and oversight over the company’s use of the chemical.

For example, in one approval request, one of BP’s top executives, Doug Suttles, claimed that the maximum daily application of dispersants on the surface in the days preceding June 16, 2010 was 3,360 gallons on June 12. However, an examination of the dispersant totals BP provided to congressional staff in its daily “Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Response Updates” indicates that on June 11, BP said it applied 14,305 gallons of the chemical on the surface; on June 13, 36,000 gallons; and on June 14, 10,706 gallons.

According to publicly disclosed amounts on DeepwaterHorizonResponse.com, more than 1.8 million gallons of toxic dispersants were used to break up the oil as it came out of the well, as well as after it reached the ocean surface. The validity of those numbers are now in question.

Either BP was lying to Congress or to the Coast Guard about how much dispersants they were shooting onto the ocean,” said Rep. Markey. “These huge discrepancies also raise the question of whether the Coast Guard made sufficient efforts to verify the information BP provided in support of its requests, and whether it exercised appropriate oversight surrounding the use of these toxic chemicals.”

*Editor’s Note* For additional information on the possible amount of dispersant used, see:

Chairman Markey’s July 30 letter to the Coast Guard is available here: http://markey.house.gov/docs/07-30-10ejmtocgdispersants.pdf

Chairman Markey’s June 24 letter to the Coast Guard is available here: http://markey.house.gov/docs/06-24-10_ejm_dispersant_coast_guard.pdf 

The Coast Guard’s July 15 letter to Chairman Markey is available here: http://markey.house.gov/docs/07-15-10cgtoejmdispersants.pdf 

Documents related to the analysis, in chronological order:

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