Confirms Findings that Dispersant Use Continued Well After “Official” End Date


Congratulations are in order for a couple of my colleagues – environmental researcher Marco Kaltofen and photographer Jerry Moran – for again breaking through the “Mission Accomplished” information barrier to have their findings on dispersant use covered by the mainstream media. – on its investigative blog “Open Channel” – is covering and confirming the findings of Kaltofen and Moran that dispersant use has continued well beyond the “official” end date. The piece, by senior reporter Kari Huus, is entitled, “Is dispersant still being sprayed in the gulf?”

The importance of that question goes directly to the issue of seafood safety, among others. In a recent article from AOL Daily Finance, Peter Hodson, an aquatic toxicologist at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, explains: While dispersants don’t increase the toxicity of petroleum, they can vastly increase the chances that a fish will interact with oil, and that the oil’s toxicity will affect sea life.

The MSNBC website, of course, cites the official line that dispersant use ended July 15, then adds “…but photos and chemical lab results obtained by suggest that the controversial chemicals have been sprayed much more recently than that.”

MSNBC adds: “We were on our way back to Ocean Springs from Horn Island, about a mile or two off the coast… (and) we ran into these hundreds of yards long swaths of that cauliflower stuff,” said Moran. And this: Moran said the foamy substance on the water’s surface looked just like what he encountered while covering the oil spill response when dispersant — a product with the brand name Corexit — was being applied daily to oil slicks. The smell was unmistakable, he said. “I almost passed out from the fumes,” he said. “It smelled like a gas station.”

MSNBC identified Kaltofen as working with me on behalf of spill clients: “Kaltofen is among the scientists retained by New Orleans attorney Stuart Smith to conduct independent environmental testing data from the Gulf on behalf of clients who are seeking damages from BP.”

We are all for full disclosure. Yes, my firm has hired well-respected researchers to gather data for use at trial. And yes, BP and its friends try at every turn to discredit our lab-certified scientific findings. Good luck with that – more and more labs are confirming our findings (like the one MSNBC quotes) and the fact is we are not going to spend money for results we can’t use in court. We are 100 percent confident that our science is right.

The “no more dispersants” story line has always been difficult for me to stomach, because I’m pretty sure I personally witnessed its use off Destin beaches well after the official stop date.

Stay tuned, we’re starting to get traction on issues like dispersant use and seafood safety. BP can run from our findings, but it can’t hide…for long.

Check out the MSNBC report by Kari Huus here:

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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