New Orleans, La. – The EPA says BP has 24 hours to find an alternative dispersant, and 72 hours to start using it. BP has been spraying the surface spill with dispersants since it developed about a month ago. BP executive Doug Suttles says that as underwater robots proved unable to stop the leak, the company reached out for ideas.
"Subsea dispersants was an idea submitted by an email to us, actually quite some time back. It was about day five or six of the event, and we've been obviously using that technique since."
Dispersants had never been applied directly on oil spilling under water - and a mile below the surface. The EPA and Coast Guard had approved the plan, but now want different pre-approved chemicals used, and extensive environmental testing.
For NPR News, I'm Eileen Fleming in New Orleans.