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Suit prods EPA to issue oil dispersant rule

7 Aug 2012, 7.28 pm GMT


Washington, 7 August (Argus) – A coalition of environmental, public health and shrimper groups has sued in hopes of forcing the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue a rule governing the chemicals used to disperse oil spills.

The groups asked the US District Court for the District of Columbia yesterday to compel EPA to craft rule detailing where oil dispersants can be used and in what quantities.

EPA's rules now do not fulfill the requirements under the Clean Air Act, the plaintiffs contend.

After BP's April 2010 Macondo oil well spill, responders dispersed more than 1.8mn USG of chemical dispersants, an unprecedented volume in US waters, the Government Accountability Office said in a May report. About 42pc of that dispersant volume was applied at the wellhead, about 5,000ft (1,524m) below the surface.

Earthjustice attorney Hannah Chang said the filing aims to push EPA to “follow through on its promise to get a much-needed rule in place.”

EPA did not immediately comment on the lawsuit.

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