Judge Barbier has dismissed all claims against the manufacturer of the chemical dispersant that was used to break up crude oil gushing from BP’s blown-out well. Judge Barbier ruled that federal laws shield Illinois-based Nalco Co. from liability over the government’s use of Corexit after the 2010 spill. He noted that Nalco didn’t decide whether, when, where, how or in what quantities Corexit would be used in response to the spill. And Judge Barbier said it would not be proper for the court to second guess the federal on-scene coordinator’s decision to use the dispersant.
Lawyers for cleanup workers and coastal residents exposed to the dispersant argued that Nalco isn’t immune from claims it supplied a defective product that wasn’t safe for use in the Gulf. But Judge Barbier said the claims would create an “obstacle to federal law” if he allowed them to proceed. More than 1.8 million gallons of dispersant were used in responding to the spill. It was last used four days after BP capped the well in June 2010.
A 2010 study by the Environmental Protection Agency found that Corexit, when mixed with oil, is no more toxic to aquatic life than oil alone. But Congressional investigators have claimed the U.S. Coast Guard defied a federal directive to use the chemical sparingly and routinely approved BP requests to use thousands of gallons of Corexit per day.
Source: Montgomery Advertiser
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