A federal judge in New Orleans will accept materials through a deadline next week on whether Nalco, the maker of chemical dispersants used in the BP oil spill, can remain in litigation. Hundreds of signatures have been submitted to keep the chemical maker included.
Grassroots organizers and environmental groups want Judge Carl Barbier to keep Nalco as a defendant. It produced the Corexit dispersant BP used to break up the oil in 2010. Medical bills are included in the multi-billion-dollar settlement BP reached last month. But coastal residents and others exposed to Corexit say it’s too soon to let its manufacturer off the hook. They say not enough is known about what Corexit has done to the environment. Darla Rooks says she was on the front line of the assault on the spill from her fishing operation in Barataria Bay.
“I’m 50 years old, been fishing all my life and I’ve never seen anything to this magnitude ever my life. I have seen seafood deformed with growths on 'em. I’ve seen where a spot of water could put a blister on a child’s face in less than an hour that looked like a large cigar burnt him. This is from riding in a boat. A splash of water hit him on his face.”
Christine Breault of the Emergency Committee to Stop the Oil Disaster says more research is needed into the general effects of chemical dispersants.
“We commend very much the work that’s been done in terms of delivering health care, addressing the issue of health care, addressing how people were injured here from the oil spill — both oil and Corexit. But it’s kind of out position that the work is not done yet.”
Companies object to being left in the litigation while BP is the ultimate responsible party. Judge Barbier will accept documents on the matter through Monday.