Monday, May 24, 2010

EPA Administrator Returns to Gulf Region

To Oversee Ongoing Response to the BP Spill

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson is back in the Gulf Coast today to monitor EPA’s on-the-ground response to the BP oil spill and speak with residents about efforts to mitigate the spill's impact on the region. This marks Administrator Jackson’s third visit to the gulf region since the oil spill began.

The Administrator is receiving a briefing at the Unified Command Center in Robert, Lousiana, meeting with BP officials and U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Landry. The visit includes a tour of a Trace Atmospheric Gas Analyzer (TAGA), a self-contained mobile laboratory being used by EPA to sample and analyze outdoor air quality in the gulf. Administrator Jackson is touring oil impacted wetlands by boat, launching from the Cypress Cove Marina in Venice. She is also participating in an Ecosystem Working Group Meeting at the EPA Incident Command Post.

The visit will also include briefings with the press on dispersants. The first briefing included Jackson and U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Mary Landry discussing BP's use of dispersants to address the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. On Thursday, EPA directed BP to analyze available pre-approved dispersants for toxicity and effectiveness and report back within 24 hours. The directive called for a 72-hour window to analyze the options – that window closed on Sunday night. After receiving BP's response (refusal to stop using the Nalco Corexit dispersant) to the directive, EPA and NOAA scientists immediately called a meeting with BP scientists to discuss BP’s response.

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