Oil Waste By The Truckload


Here’s your daily blood-boiler: Another clear-cut example of why Gulf residents can’t trust federal government agencies continues with the AP reporting that “50,000 tons” of oily waste from the cleanup has been dumped into community landfills and incinerators. Most reports include some official reassuring us that the facilities are “licensed” or “approved” for the waste, but that’s incredibly deceptive, since that’s only because Big Oil got such material exempted from federal regulation.

Remember, we’re “trusting” the same people and system to dump this debris to test our seafood, environment and monitor our health. Read two stories to get your morning blood boiling, the first is a July story by the New York Times documenting the exemption that includes this: “A 1988 U.S. EPA regulation exempts oil exploration and production waste from hazardous handling standards created by the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, or RCRA. That carve-out ‘was a political decision’ rather than a technical determination, recalled EPA veteran Hugh Kaufman, a senior policy analyst in the agency’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response.”

That full story is here: http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2010/07/20/20greenwire-how-has-bps-oily-waste-escaped-hazardous-label-54942.html

Then see how that situation is being exploited, and note how officials use the “approved” status to deceive. The AP reports that “more than 50,000 tons of boom and oily debris have made their way to landfills or incinerators, federal officials told The Associated Press, representing about 7 percent of the daily volume going to nine area landfills.”

That full story is here: http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20100825/BREAKING/100829855/2055/NEWS?Title=Gulf-waste-heads-to-landfills-some-with-problems

© Smith Stag, LLC 2010 – All Rights Reserved

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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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