Environmental Organizations Drawing Up Subpoenas for BP, Halliburton Over Gulf Oil Spill Evidence



BP’s massive oil spill off the Gulf Coast is a looming disaster for fishermen and conservationists alike. And while BP is paying for the cleanup, the company isn’t exactly being transparent about what’s going on at the Deepwater Horizon spill site. Earlier this week, BP and the United Commercial Fisherman’s Association reached an agreement to cut out accident waivers from contracts given to charter boat captains hired
to perform work related to the spill. And now the
United Commercial Fisherman’s Association and Louisiana Environmental
Action Network (LEAN) are issuing subpoenas to British Petroleum and
Halliburton in an attempt to gather data about the spill size as well as the toxic chemical dispersants being used in the cleanup effort. 

LEAN and the UCFA are demanding full transparency from BP in its subpoena, with document requests including:

  • All documents in the Company’s possession or control regarding any risk assessments that were performed for the Mississippi Canyon Block 252, Macondo Prospect, including any assessments of worst case scenarios regarding operations resulting in oil releases into the Gulf of Mexico and it’s environmental and economic impact.
  • All videos documenting the activities of the remote-operated vehicles (ROVs) utilized in the Gulf of Mexico after the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon.
  • All documents in the company’s possession or control regarding the chemical dispersants being used or intended to be used in response to the oil spill from the Macondo Prospect or any other chemicals intended to be applied to the water, marshes, or beaches in the Company’s clean up efforts, including documents showing the effects or impacts of these chemicals on the environment and the Material Safety Datasheets for the same.
  • All documents in the company’s possession or control that have been produced to any State or Federal government entities regarding the Deepwater Horizon incident.

Halliburton doesn’t need to provide quite as much information–just drilling logs, telemetry data, and documents regarding the status, quality, monitoring, and inspection of the cementing and casing work done at the drilling site between April 15 and April 20. But data provided by both Halliburton and BP could very well prove that the two companies didn’t complete adequate safety measures.

This all hinges, of course, on whether Halliburton and BP comply with the subpoenas, which have been filed with with the District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana. Stay tuned–we’ll update with more information as it comes.

About the author

Ariel Schwartz is a Senior Editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine and more