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Breaking: Spill settlement unraveling as Halliburton slams deal; BP stock plunges


BP’s $8.7 billion attempt to put the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill behind it continues to come undone. In the latest unraveling of the oil giant’s proposed settlement with thousands of Gulf residents and businesses harmed by the offshore disaster, key rig contractor Halliburton has filed court papers (here and here) slamming the deal as unfair and lacking transparency, and urging a...

Worst fears about BP oil washing ashore after Isaac are coming true


Last week, I reported on this blog there were early indications that Hurricane Isaac had indeed whipped up some of as much as 1 million gallons of BP’s spill oil that remain in the Gulf, assaulting beaches from Florida to Louisiana with tarballs and other goo most likely linked to the 2010 catastrophe. Tonight, there are growing indications that the Gulf’s beaches are under assault...

Bombshell: Feds slam BP in key court filing, admit pollution from 2010 spill continues to ravage Gulf


In a bombshell federal court filing, U.S. government lawyers are slamming British Petroleum for making false and misleading statements that seek to both dodge blame for 2010’s Deepwater Horizon catastrophe and ignore the ongoing environmental devastation, from diseased dolphins to destroyed wetlands. The papers filed late last week by the U.S. Justice Department’s top environmental...

BP cleanup crews spotted as Isaac stirs up oil, bad memories


For residents of the battered Gulf Coast, Hurricane Isaac didn’t just bring sheets of rain, pummeling winds, and a powerful storm surge. The slow moving, deceptively destructive Category 1 hurricane stirred up tragic memories of Hurricane Katrina, which arrived seven years earlier to the very day, and it stirred up something else.  Oil. As much as a 1 million barrels, the remnants of a man...

Isaac likely to bring grim, oily reminders of 2010 BP spill to Gulf coastline


Tropical Storm Isaac is bearing down on the Louisiana coast and is likely to become a hurricane later today, before making landfall somewhere close to New Orleans. This is not good news for either my hometown or the surrounding areas which have been struggling for seven years — to the very day — to recover from the grim aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  Even though Isaac is not...

Update: Expert says Louisiana officials “in denial” over radium risk at sinkhole


A veteran radiation expert says Louisiana environmental officials are “in denial” over the hazard posed by elevated radium levels discovered in the slurry liquids of the massive sinkhole that has forced out residents of the rural town of Bayou Corne. Stanley Waligora — a New Mexico-based radiation protection consultant and leading authority on the health risks of naturally...

Threat to Bayou Corne grows as tests show elevated levels of radium, butane traces in and near sinkhole


Elevated levels of radium in the water and tests showing airborne indicators of butane — the highly explosive fuel stored in a nearby cavern — are two alarming signs that the environmental catastrophe in the Louisiana town of Bayou Corne is far from over. The disturbing new information comes from both air and water testing at and near the massive and growing sinkhole in the bayou, 70...

A plea for stronger radiation standards in Europe — and at home


I’m involved in a lot of environmental issues these days, but there was one cause that got me started: Fighting back against radiation poisoning. My first big environmental case, more than two decades ago, involved the hidden dangers of radiation exposure in the Gulf Coast oil patch. My clients were small business owners and their workers in Laurel, Miss., who cleaned out the pipes used for...

UPDATE: Sinkhole crisis worsens, 2 workers rescued, town braces for possible butane catastrophe


The nightmare in Bayou Corne — the besieged small town in southeastern Louisiana coping with the effects of a massive sinkhole, compounded by the incompetence of state bureaucrats — keeps getting worse by the day. UPDATE: Breaking news this afternoon: The sinkhole is expanding: NAPOLEONVILLE (AP) — As experts predicted, a sinkhole filled with slurry water and vegetation has been...

“Something has gone wrong”: The mutant butterflies of Fukushima


You may be familiar with the scientific theory known as “the butterfly effect” — a small change in nature today that creates major transformations in the future. The famous scenario speculates that a solitary butterfly flapping its wings far away can trigger a chain of events that could cause a hurricane to strike your home. The “butterfly effect” is a favorite of...

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