The U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a directive on July 1, 2010 to BP on how the company should manage recovered oil, contaminated materials and liquid and solid wastes recovered in cleanup operations from the BP oil spill.
The U.S. Coast Guard, along with EPA, will hold BP accountable for the implementation of the approved waste management plans and ensure that the directives are followed in the gulf coast states.
While the states of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida are overseeing BP's waste management activities and conducting inspections, this directive is meant to compliment their activities by providing further oversight and imposing more specific requirements.
Under the directive, EPA, in addition to sampling already being done by BP, will begin sampling the waste to help verify that it is being properly managed. Waste sampling to date has been done in compliance with EPA and state regulatory requirements.
The directive will do the following:
-Provide guidelines for community engagement activities and set transparency requirements on information regarding the proper management of liquid and solid wastes.
-Require BP to give EPA and state agencies access to facilities or any location where waste is temporarily or permanently stored. Access includes allowing the agencies to perform any activities necessary, such as assessments, sampling or inspections.
-Require BP to comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations, and to ensure that all facilities where waste is located or placed have obtained all permits and approvals necessary under such laws and regulations.
-Finally, the directive will require BP to submit to EPA and the Coast Guard specific plans, waste reports and tracking systems for liquid and solid waste.
In addition to the directive, the Coast Guard, with the agreement of EPA and in consultation with the states, developed waste management plans outlining how recovered oil and waste generated as a result of the BP oil spill will be managed.
EPA has posted to its website the latest versions of these waste management plans for Alabama, Mississippi, Florida and Louisiana that will be implemented under the directive.
For more Information on these waste management plans, visit http://epa.gov/bpspill/waste.html
To date, BP has spent over $3.1 billion attempting to clean up the oil spill, which occurred when its Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico sank on April 22, 2010, two days after a blast at the rig killed 11 workers.
During that span, the company's share price has collapsed by more than 50 per cent.