The Gulf of Mexico Is Still Dying

Pathogenic Micro-organisms Proliferate Due
To Polluted And Poisoned GOM ‘Bioterrain’

by Gulf Oil Spill Remediation Cyber-Conference

There have been several significant developments over the past few decades in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) which now require special and immediate attention.  The multitude of oil spills — both large and small — require extraordinary remediation measures, as well as the application of safe and proven technologies which will not make the existing hydrocarbon pollution worse. There are other major sources of water pollution in the GOM which have also became apparent, particularly since the eye-opening 2010 BP oil spill.

The Gulf of Mexico is Dying: A Special Report On The BP Gulf Oil Spill

The BP Gulf Oil Spill drew the world’s attention to the GOM for a variety of reasons. The sheer volume of oil spilt was unprecedented, as were its profound and lasting effects on a large geographic area.  Because it occurred in such a large body of water, many population centers were adversely impacted as they continue to be up to this very day.  However, it was the incompetent and negligent oil spill response from BP that received the justified scrutiny of the entire world.

Some have since advanced the notion that global oil spill response has been forever changed for the better, because of how profoundly BP mismanaged the spill for all to see. In this regard, they speak of a literal sea change regarding the methodologies and modalities, process and procedure, science and technology that are now accepted by many of the nations of the world.

The entire world watched in horror as millions of gallons of the dispersant Corexit were used to ‘disappear’ the gushing oil in the Macondo Prospect throughout 2010 and beyond.  Disappearing the oil actually meant sinking it, after micronizing it, so that both BP and  the US Federal Government could be ‘applauded’ for a successful response.  However, the known health risks/dangers and environmental damage caused by Corexit became so well publicized that it has now been banned in those countries which have learned from the BP fiasco.  The following article provides more details in this regard.

Dispersant Use Like Corexit Sees Precipitous Decline Worldwide

The single revelation about the ramped up toxicity of Corexit-treated oil served to awaken many stakeholders about the safety of dispersant use in our coastal waters. More importantly, this issue also triggered a variety of concerns about the overall condition of the Gulf of Mexico.  Residents along the GOM coast, business owners, annual vacationers, property owners and the like began to research and discover the true state of the Gulf.

It was through a confluence of many disparate circumstances during the gushing, “ginormous”  oil volcano which brought to light the following critical observations about the overall status of the Gulf of Mexico. These various perceptions and insights, when considered in the aggregate and within a much larger context, have allowed to surface an assessment of the GOM which can no longer be denied or ignored.  Continue reading

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Gulf Fisheries Recklessly Reopened By The Government

Based Decision on Skewed Data and Questionable Testing Methodology

You know how it is with almost anything the US Federal Government touches?
The further one gets away from the scene of the crime – in this case the Macondo Prospect in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) – the more reality comes spilling out. Concerning the BP oil spill, it was only a matter of time that the verified facts would start to seep out from those scientific research institutions whose only purpose was to unravel the truth.

Everyone knew something was very wrong back in 2010 when the “US Department of Commerce – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) began closing fisheries on May 2, 2010.  It began reopening them, with various spatial and other limits, on June 23. The well was capped on July 15.

Gulf Coast fishermen and tour boat operators, restauranteurs and store owners, hoteliers and motel owners all began to ask how such a decision could have been made while the well was still gushing.

Likewise, state government representatives, county officials and city commissioners all asked the very same questions about the safety of the seafood coming from the GOM.

As did Gulf Coast residents and vacationers, boaters and tourists, and curiosity-seekers of every stripe and color. Everyone wanted to know whether fish from the GOM, especially the shellfish from the northern Gulf region, was safe to eat. After all, the health and welfare of an entire culture revolves around seafood and the industry that produces it.   Continue reading

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Government Recklessly Reopened Fisheries in the Gulf

Based Decision on Skewed Data and Questionable Testing Methodology

You know how it is with almost anything the US Federal Government touches?
The further one gets away from the scene of the crime – in this case the Macondo Prospect in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) – the more reality comes spilling out. Concerning the BP oil spill, it was only a matter of time that the verified facts would start to seep out from those scientific research institutions whose only purpose was to unravel the truth.

Everyone knew something was very wrong back in 2010 when the “US Department of Commerce – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) began closing fisheries on May 2, 2010.  It began reopening them, with various spatial and other limits, on June 23. The well was capped on July 15.

Gulf Coast fishermen and tour boat operators, restauranteurs and store owners, hoteliers and motel owners all began to ask how such a decision could have been made while the well was still gushing.

Likewise, state government representatives, county officials and city commissioners all asked the very same questions about the safety of the seafood coming from the GOM.

As did Gulf Coast residents and vacationers, boaters and tourists, and curiosity-seekers of every stripe and color. Everyone wanted to know whether fish from the GOM, especially the shellfish from the northern Gulf region, was safe to eat. After all, the health and welfare of an entire culture revolves around seafood and the industry that produces it.   Continue reading

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EPA Accused of Violating the Clean Water Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For More Information Contact: Susan Aarde
Susanaarde@gmail.com
Gulf Rescue Alliance

EPA Accused of Violating the Clean Water Act
Costing Billions in Environmental Damage

CEO Discusses Non-Toxic Oil Spill Cleanup Method on Fox Business Network, March 3

March 1, 2013–Dallas Texas– In the wake of the ongoing civil trial with high stakes for BP over the 2010 Gulf oil spill, the OSEI Corporation Chairman puts a new slant on preventable devastation outlining how the oil giant could have saved billions in damages and Clean Water Act fines if the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had not stood in the way of science and spill response advancements.

Airing on Sunday, 3 March on Fox Business Network, the 21st Century Business TV Series will feature OSEI Corporation’s non-toxic oil spill cleanup method, Oil Spill Eater II (OSE II), bringing to light a cost-effective solution for oil companies operating anywhere in the world – from the Gulf’s warm waters to the icy clime of Alaska.

The show interviews OSEI CEO Steven Pedigo, inventor of OSE II, a biological enzyme that detoxifies and then converts oil and toxic waste into a natural food source for the enhanced native bacteria found in the area of a spill. The end result of this process is close to 100% of the oil fully removed from the environment. Pedigo tells about the 23-year history of his company and its successes in removing oil and other toxic spills in every type of environment, including difficult-to-reach, sensitive habitats. Pedigo has aggressively challenged the EPA for “violating the very Clean Water Act it is there to enforce by pre-approving toxic dispersants and tampering with science testing and results to justify inadequate oil spill cleanup protocols used on the BP Oil Spill.

The EPA, along with other federal agencies who direct oil spill contingency plans are responsible for safeguarding U.S. natural resources and public health. Pedigo asserts that in stark contrast to their mandate, they have seemingly favored dangerous “cleanup” methods utilizing dispersants, which independent studies have shown to be more harmful to marine life and human health than the oil. During the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) crisis, Gulf State officials, deeply concerned over the excessive use of Corexit (the toxic chemical dispersant applied in unprecedented doses to Gulf waters to disperse and sink the oil into the water column), specifically requested the use of OSE II as an alternative method for addressing the spill. Despite repeated requests, including from BP itself, the EPA continued to enforce the use of dispersants and justify their destructive “tradeoffs” while blocking non-toxic solutions.

Amongst a large number of industry and independent science groups, an international environmental organization the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization (LAEO) has investigated current oil spill methodologies and advocates for the use of OSE II as a first-response cleanup method. “The 21st Century Business TV Show featuring a product that has been safely used in 30 countries around the world and which has cleaned up over 23,000 oil spills, is a good starting point for raising public and industry awareness that there are better solutions out there which will save the oil and gas industry billions in clean up costs, damage claims and Clean Water Act fines, not to mention protecting human health and the environment. We encourage industry leaders, environmental groups and federal officials in this field to urgently review current methodology for the sake of all living organisms that rely on clean water,” said LAEO International President, Barbara Wiseman.

The LAEO is about to publish a position paper to educate emergency response professionals and industry stakeholders, calling for a ban on the use of dispersants while bringing to light alternative solutions. The paper highlights the specific category of Bioremediation technology that the EPA has approved and listed which has undergone years of field tests and use proving its efficacy at removing close to 100% of an oil spill through non-toxic means and at a fraction of traditional cost. Some of the most recent tests were conducted by, among others, a BP science team, and the Department of Interior, showing superior results.

The former Administrator of NOAA Jane Lubchenco, EPA officials and other senior members of the interagency committee have publically admitted that in the end, only 8% of the spilled oil in the Gulf was actually removed, and seemingly ignore statistical realities by asserting they directed a ‘successful spill response,’ –which is an utter falsehood,” said Pedigo.

According to BP’s recent court filing, 810,000 barrels of ‘cleaned up oil’ never polluted the waters since it was recovered directly from the riser pipe although this amount is added into the cleanup statistics claimed by NOAA and the EPA, misleadingly inflating the actual numbers of spilled oil removed from the environment. Regardless, the disputed spill volume and removal figures raise the question – what happened to the remainder of the estimated 2 million barrels of oil plus dispersant chemicals left in the Gulf of Mexico and how are the continued appearing slicks and unnatural seeps from the fractured seabed floor in the Macondo zone being handled? “The EPA and Coast Guard seem to think that nature will take care of the rest and are taking no action; but independent science proves differently. An honest evaluation would show that the toxicity added by ‘clean up’ chemicals is a violation of Clean Water Act Law because these agents add pollutants to the environment and do not remove the oil, leaving dispersants and oil residing in the water column and the sea floor. The threat of Clean Water Act fines mistakenly encourage clean up systems that hide or make the oil volume rapidly undetectable,” continued Pedigo.

The TV program will explain how the OSE II process works and is environmentally safe using natures own bioremediation processes to effectively eliminate hazardous materials.

Click Link for Airing Schedule: http://21cbtv.com/clearance-report/

For more information visit: www.osei.us

About 21st Century Business
21st Century Business is an award winning television series produced by Multi-Media Productions. The show features companies providing business viewers an in-depth opportunity to find solutions within many industries globally.
21st Century Business airs on CNBC and the Fox Business Network to over 100 million viewers nationwide as well as internationally via DirecTV and Dish Network. The series is also available at more than 27 prestigious college universities, including Carnegie Mellon University, Howard University, Dartmouth College and Georgetown University.

For specific market-by-market air dates and times, please e-mail Moniqueh@mmpusa.com.
For more information, please visit http://www.21cbtv.com.

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The BP Gulf Oil Spill Info Blackout And Data Lockdown

There has been a tremendous amount of discussion for the past two and one half year about what has really gone on here in the Gulf of Mexico in the wake of the BP oil spill.

Here’s the inside story.

The official response to the BP Gulf Oil Spill has been controlled like no other response in American history to an environmental catastrophe. The US Government, to include the EPA, NOAA, Energy, Interior, the White House, has colluded with BP et al. to keep the lid on what has really been taking place in our waters, on our beaches and with our seafood.

The information blackout, and especially the choking off of vital data and research studies have occurred through the following deliberate process:

(1) First the government exerted its total control over all the concerned agencies and departments responsible for any aspect of the oil spill. Therefore, all of the previously mentioned agencies were immediately co-opted to execute a political agenda in which economics and politics always trumped health and environment.

(2) Next the government, in collaboration with BP, sought to control all other public institutions like the OSATF (Oil Spill Academic Task Force in Florida). There are true advocates working in academic bodies like the OSATF; however, once they were included under the BIG UMBRELLA, everyone was expected to fall in line. Almost everyone did, with a few notable and courageous exceptions.
How it works is that if a geology professor were to break ranks, his department chairman might be contacted about a large pending government grant which ‘might’ be put into jeopardy. The ways of controlling those who are expert in the relevant academic disciplines are endless, and unfortunately have profoundly compromised the entire information gathering-process regarding the BP oil spill.   Continue reading

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EPA Grossly Misrepresents The Toxicity Of Corexit Used In Gulf Of Mexico

Quite incredibly, the EPA issued a positive report on May 1, 2012 regarding the safety and toxicity of various dispersants use in the BP Gulf Oil Spill. Included in this assessment was the use of Corexit.

This report “indicated that all eight dispersants had roughly the same toxicity, and all fell into the “practically non-toxic” or “slightly toxic” category. Scientists found that none of the eight dispersants displayed endocrine-disrupting activity of “biological significance.” The same report went on to say that “dispersant-oil mixtures were generally no more toxic to the aquatic test species than oil alone.”

The first question that jumps out for those who have researched this subject with any degree of thoroughness is how this recent report fails to reconcile with previous studies performed by the EPA. Here is some test data retrieved from the EPA website that was posted previous to the BP Gulf Oil Spill.

“The dispersant (Corexit 9500) and dispersed oil have demonstrated the following levels of toxicity per the EPA website link that follows:
(1) 10.72 parts per million (ppm) of oil alone will kill 50% of the fish test species in a normal aquatic environment within 96 hours.
(2) 25.20 parts per million of dispersant (Corexit 9500) alone will kill 50% of the fish test species in a normal aquatic environment within 96 hours.
(3) 2.61 parts per million of dispersed oil (Corexit-laden) alone will kill 50% of the fish test species in a normal aquatic environment within 96 hours.”

This data diverges from the recent report to such a significant degree that the results which were just posted at the EPA.GOV website under the title of “The BP Oil Spill: Responsive Science Supports Emergency Response” must be seriously scrutinized.

What is the buying public to make of such conflicting data? Those who have medical conditions which require complete avoidance of toxic seafood need to know with certainty what they are eating.
Likewise, the fishermen in the Gulf need to know the true condition of their catch. Swimmers and beachgoers need to know the state of the water, as well as the beaches.
Boaters ought to be informed of the relevant risk factors when out in the areas of recently sprayed waters, whether surface or deep sea.

The most serious questions to emerge from this report revolve around the issue of credibility. Can the EPA ever be trusted again to conduct the necessary research regarding anything having to do with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill caused by BP?
By issuing such blanket statements about the relatively low toxicity associated with this spill, irrespective of location on the beach, in the waters, in the wetlands or estuaries, seems to be quite disingenuous.

Furthermore, the federal government’s declaration that the ‘clean up phase’ of the Deepwater Horizon spill is over begs for review, especially in light of the large quantities of submerged oil unaccounted for residing in the water column, DOJ’s discovery of false flow rate numbers reported by BP and new sightings of oil slicks all over the Gulf. In light of all that, the clean up phase is not over and further use of Corexit dispersant isn’t an effective solution.

Moreover, that the EPA has approved for use a very safe bioremediation agent known as Oil Spill Eater II, but has yet to allow its use in the Gulf raises many additional questions. From our investigation, it has become clear that Corexit has been given preferential treatment over other much safer alternatives. The Gulf Oil Spill Remediation Conference (GOSRC) was quoted as follows in this regard:
“When we heard about Oil Spill Eaters II, and the fact that it is EPA-approved (NCP listed) and has demonstrated its effectiveness at least 14 times for the BP Gulf Oil Spill, we wondered why it wasn’t being used 24/7.”

The GOSRC went on to issue a press release entitled: Coalition Of Enviro, Citizens And Political Groups Demand COREXIT Use Be Stopped which pointed out the deliberate false image which has been created around the use of this toxic dispersant — Corexit 9500.

The Gulf Rescue Alliance (GRA) also made the recent observations in their press release entitled: BP Gulf Oil Spill Revisited
“Many of these studies point out the obvious; that when you mix a tremendous volume of released oil with methane gas and further mix it with a toxic dispersant like Corexit, as they have done throughout this oil spill, a chemical cocktail is created that will have as far-reaching ecological ramifications as it will profound environmental consequences.”

The Earth Orgainization (TEO) has also weighed in on this issue through their release of an excellent documentary entitled: Hidden Crisis in the GULF. Barbara Wiseman, TEO President, has been an ardent advocate for safer oil remediation measures since the very beginning of this oil spill. She has said that,
“At the beginning of the disaster, TEO investigated to find effective, non-toxic technologies currently available in adequate supply to clean up an oil spill of this size. Once we isolated the best solutions, we then investigated to find what the barriers to getting them implemented were. The barriers have all come down to specific people in the EPA. They are, in effect, holding the Gulf hostage and, for some unexplained reason, won’t let it be cleaned up.”

Lastly, perhaps the words of Steven Pedigo reflect the voice of reason more than any other in this ongoing oil spill when he was quoted in A 2nd Anniversary Report on the BP Gulf Oil Spill as follows:
“The toxic dispersants add absolutely nothing to EFFECTIVE RESPONSE. There is no scientific basis for it, and their use violates The Clean Water Act, EPA’s charter and common sense.”
“Corexit’s label clearly states it can cause kidney failure and death and the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) specifically warns, “Do not contaminate surface water” with it. Additionally, toxicity testing in regards to marine species shows little tolerance by all forms of sea life; thus, applying it on spills as a preferred response method increases the toxicity of the spilled oil on which it is used.”

Submitted by: Gulf Rescue Alliance
POC: Susan Aarde
http://www.gulfrescuealliance.webs.com/

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LESSONS NOT LEARNED– INEFFECTIVE OIL SPILL RESPONSE

Two years after– oil spill clean-up ‘technology’ is apparently not about effectiveness but market dominance–Exxon invented/Nalco manufactured Corexit dispersant is the ONLY product with EPA/DOI pre-approval since 1994.  And, pre-approval is a key word in oil spill response-since no companies will stockpile for emergency use  a product in the quantities necessary for a large scale disaster unless pre-approval exists. Many products have been listed on the EPA’s official National Contingency Plan (NCP) for oil spill cleanup list but that doesn’t mean they will be allowed to be used on US navigable waters when there is a spill.  They still have to go through a request process.  

In the past 18 years, no other product but Corexit has ever been approved, despite being inferior in results, more toxic, and more expensive than many of the other products on the list.  This has effectively supported and protected a monopoly owned by big oil companies, by setting the situation up in such a way that no other products can compete. Moreover, the pre-approval hurdle has prevented technologically superior and environmentally safe clean up applications from being used—the EPA’s own bureaucratic web has blind sighted itself off track and in effect forced residents and sea life into enduring exposure to horribly toxic chemical concentrations through the use of these preapproved dispersants in their living environments.

One such company with a 23 year history battling with the EPA to obtain preapproval is the OSEI Corporation.  Despite its product Oil Spill Eater II (OSE II) being listed on the NCP since 1996 with a record of cleaning up more than 18,000 spills, and rigorous scientific testing that proves it to be an effective and completely non-toxic alternative to dispersants – the EPA has refused requests from Gulf state officials and even BP to permit its use on GOM waters.

“The toxic dispersants add absolutely nothing to EFFECTIVE RESPONSE.

There is no scientific basis for it, and their use violates The Clean Water Act, EPA’s charter and common sense.  All stakeholders continue doing the same thing over and over again, with the exact same negative outcome—although the EPA calls the toxins in dispersants’ reasonable tradeoffs’, Corexit and dispersants like it, have a horrible track record”, said Steven Pedigo, CEO OSEI.

Corexit’s label clearly states it can cause kidney failure and death and the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) specifically warns, “Do not contaminate surface water” with it.  Additionally, toxicity testing in regards to marine species shows little tolerance by all forms of sea life; thus, applying it on spills as a preferred response method increases the toxicity of the spilled oil on which it is used,” Pedigo emphasized.

Dispersants are gaining a justifiable reputation for exacerbating an ocean spill’s problems by sinking the oil into the water column where 60% of marine species live, adversely effecting their ability to survive.  Fears now exist that the entire food chain may be threatened by large quantities of Corexit dispersant used on the Gulf spill. One less known fact is that (per US EPA official guidelines) for a dispersant to be deemed effective, it must sink 45% of the oil within 30 minutes.   That’s it… nothing else mentioned in the criteria and no clean up standard is mandated.  In other words, the imagined solution to the problem of oil hitting shores or adhering to wildlife is not a solution at all–it just moves the problem to a secondary area creating further complications.  Toxic chemical dispersant response has proven to just create more natural resource damages, adverse litigation and generally increase spill related costs. (See Study) .

In a report just published by the Tampa Bay Times on the work of Geologist James Kirby whose research is being overseen by the University of South Florida, harmful quantities of Corexit dispersant and oil are still present and a threat to beachgoers in the Gulf of Mexico.

Tiny globs of it, mingled with the chemical dispersant that was supposed to break it up, have settled into the shallows, mingling with the shells, he said. When Kirby shines his light across the legs of a grad student who’d been in the water and showered, it shows orange blotches where the globs still stick to his skin.  Without the UV light, the skin just looks normal.


[Photos courtesy of James “Rip” Kirby]

“If I had grandkids playing in the surf, I wouldn’t want them to come in contact with that,” said Kirby, “The dispersant accelerates the absorption by the skin.”

In Nov of 2011, the US EPA requested a meeting with CEO OSEI Corporation, Steven Pedigo after receiving 373 pages of scientific documents showing that OSEI’s Oil Spill Eater II would be a non-toxic alternative to dispersants and solution to the problems existing in the Gulf.  This information included citing EPA’s own requested use of OSE II®  on the Osage Indian Reservation in 2003 and a presentation attended by several EPA officials where they were given first hand reports and scientific documentation on results with OSE II  on 100’s of spill clean ups performed by the US Navy in San Diego Bay, California, USA.

Concerned citizens, including State Senator AG Crowe of LA who authored a petition to ban the use of dispersants find it hard to believe that EPA and NOAA scientists continue to claim there isn’t yet enough experience and scientific tracking to understand the effects of the use of dispersants.[i]   However these same dispersants have been used for the past 25 years on oil spills, notably Exxon Valdez, Torre Canyon Spill-Santa Barbara, the Mega Borg Spill, San Francisco South Korea Tanker spill and countless other spills around the world.  A study of the Ixtoc spill showed negative effects lingering 30 years later.  The track record has clearly been dismal and there is ample documentation on sick and dying responders and millions of dead species of the sea, water ways and shores.

 “Now we have the Deepwater Horizon accumulating reports of tens of thousands of sick Gulf residents and responders, dolphins and other life suffering from an overdose of the by-product of these EPA enforced clean up protocols.  What is really sad is that we can’t get approval to apply a proven bioremediation product (OSE II) to truly clean it up.  Corexit plus MC252 DWH Oil is a cancer causing combination of chemical compounds which is quite contrary to the premise and purpose of the Clean Water Act,” said a Gulf Rescue Alliance spokesperson Susan Aarde. 

Defenders of the use of dispersants indicate it “reduces total environmental damage”. Charlie Pajor a spokesman for the manufacturer of Corexit, Nalco, explained:  It’s more toxic to marine life, but less toxic to life along the shore and animals at the surface because the oil is not at the surface,” Pajor said. “It’s generally less environmentally harmful than allowing the oil to migrate to the surface.”

Given that the amount of dispersants applied in the Gulf was unprecedented–1.84 million gallons, both on the surface and injected 5000ft down – the affects are unknown and still being studied.

In a word, two years after, we have – new deepwater drilling permits being issued as part of a campaign to reduce foreign oil dependency, along with Cuba and other US Gulf oil regions stepping up their deep water production—unfortunately the SAME spill countermeasure plans remain in place and advanced technology offering safer and more effective solutions remains under an EPA blockade.

CLEANING UP THE SUNKEN OIL – WHY DOESN’T THAT DESERVE EMERGENCY RESPONSE?

Two years after some of the larger environmental organizations are engaged in conducting much needed studies of the Gulf, maintaining a lobby presence for regulatory legislation and/or bringing the responsible parties to justice.  A most recent study published by Surfrider Foundation, points out with absolute clarity that the BP spill response using dispersants was wholly inadequate.  While the bulk of attention is riveted on the horrible effects and who is at fault, The Earth Organization (TEO), founded by renowned conservationist  Lawrence Anthony  who recently passed away, has been working to get the Gulf’s waters cleaned up as its primary focus.

Barbara Wiseman, International President of TEO said, “At the beginning of the disaster, TEO investigated to find effective, non-toxic technologies currently available in adequate supply to clean up an oil spill of this size.  Once we isolated the best solutions, we then investigated to find what the barriers to getting them implemented were.  The barriers have all come down to specific people in the EPA.  They are, in effect, holding the Gulf hostage and, for some unexplained reason, won’t let it be cleaned up.”

The Earth Organization produced a film to promoted non-toxic solutions entitled: The Crisis in the Gulf  released last year. Interviewed in the film are scientists, fishermen, government officials and OSE II’s inventor Steven Pedigo, as an example of one effective solution that the EPA has dedicatedly blocked despite all scientific indications to the contrary.    

With little support from the EPA over their 23 year history, the OSEI Corporation (which has pre-approval for its bioremediation product in India, Greece, Nigeria and South Korea), just sent 12 certified letter submissions to the Department of Interior, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) urging pre-approval of OSE II for cleaning up the Gulf and inclusion in the Spill Countermeasure Plan as well as for use in regard to all the permitting,  approvals and licensing in all BSEE districts.

In June of 2011 the Department of Interior released a test conducted on the effectiveness of dispersants compared to the OSE II product finding its ability to actually clean up a spill (not sink it) was exceptional. [ii] “Since the EPA did not seem interested in finding an alternative for toxic dispersants, we decided to seek pre-approval through the DOI since they themselves preformed the testing showing dispersants to be questionable in truly remediating a spill”, commented Pedigo.

In a conference call on April 16th 2012 between EPA Regional Response Team 6 Officials (Steve Mason, Jim Staves, Ragan Broyles) and OSEI CEO who requested the use of OSE II on the recent Shell Oil Spill in the Gulf, no consensus could be reached.  According to Pedigo, who has been demanding an in-writing response to his formal pre-approval request from RRT 6 for more than a year, one of the conference call participants’ said: “we cannot come up with a reason not to use OSE II”.

[i] http://articles.latimes.com/2010/sep/04/science/la-sci-dispersants-20100905 Mervin Fingas, a retired scientist with the Canadian government, said that of roughly 40 biodegradability studies he surveyed between 1997 and 2008, about 60% said dispersant retarded growth of oil-eating microbes and 15% reported no effect. The remaining 25% noted a positive effect.

But positive findings are open to interpretation. At a 1999 oil spill conference, researchers reported that microbial populations dining on oil treated with the dispersant Corexit 9500 (used by BP in the gulf) grew more than seven times as large as those eating oil dispersed physically, suggesting the bacteria were helping.

Yet a comprehensive 2005 review of dispersants by the National Research Council concluded that the healthy bacterial growth in such studies could easily be due to microbes feeding on dispersant, not oil. “There is no conclusive evidence demonstrating either the enhancement or the inhibition of microbial biodegradation when dispersants are used,” the 12 authors wrote.

Some confusion comes from the diversity of dispersant formulas, Fingas said. Some contain chemicals that bacteria prefer to digest. Others block the ability of some microbes to attach to oil droplets and start feeding on the hydrocarbons.

The primary purpose of dispersants is to move oil away from surface-dwelling marine life. In the case of the BP well blowout, because the application was deep under the sea, much of the oil never rose to the surface — which means it went somewhere else, said Robert Diaz, a marine scientist at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va.

[ii] The US department of Interior, through solicitation number M08PS00094, award number: M09PC002, through their Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and Enforcement (BOEMRE), (previously Mineral Management Service) paid for a study of dielectric oil’s ability to be dispersed, skimmed and bio remediated.

Information specifically related to the product called OSE II begins on page 12.  It states:

“Bioremediation Study

This bioremediation effectiveness testing protocol (CFR, 1999) was designed to determine oil’s ability to naturally biodegrade by quantifying changes in the oil composition resulting from biodegradation.

An EPA National Contingency Plan (NCP) approved product, Oil Spill Eater II (Oil

Spill Eater International, Corp.), was included in the experimental design. Bioremediation testing on Oil Spill Eater II (OSE II) has proven it to be effective at degrading highly-saturated crude oils in the laboratory.”

Submitted by: Gulf Rescue Alliance
POC: Susan Aarde

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