BP: Say It, We’re Not Spraying It

The oil giant denies claims that it continues to secretly spray that cancer-causing dispersant on the Gulf slick.


The BP oil disaster media response has softened to a dull roar in recent weeks, thanks largely to a government report claiming that three quarters of all leaked oil has been burned off, gathered, or evaporated. But what if the oil has actually just sunk to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, as some scientists believe? And what if it’s partly because BP and the Coast Guard are still spraying controversial chemical dispersants–known to contain carcinogenic, skin-absorbent ingredients–on the water?

The Destin Log reports:

Okaloosa Island resident Joseph Yerkes, who had been employed by BP
as a VOO operator, wrote in a letter that he distributed at Tuesday
night’s meeting that he had “witnessed and reported” suspicious
activity over the Gulf of Mexico on July 30. Yerkes, who was sitting on the back porch of his third floor condo
about 1:30 p.m., wrote that he witnessed a military C-130 “flying from
the north to the south, dropping to low levels of elevation then
obviously spraying or releasing an unknown substance from the rear of
the plane.” The unknown substance, Yerkes wrote, “was not smoke, for the residue fell to the water, where smoke would have lingered.”

Zero Hedge points  to a similar report from Truthout, which claims that Carolina Skiff boats have been spraying dispersants in the Mississippi sound as part of a deliberate attempt to keep participants in BP’s Vessels of Opportunity program from finding oil.


BP denies the claims. “It’s not true. We’re hearing the same reports in Louisiana. If someone is sprayng dispersants, it’s not part of the spill response,” says BP spokesman John Curry. “The last time the official Deepwater Horizon Unified Command used dispersants
was July 19th, and by that time it was in ever-decreasing use.”

Considering this is a company that fudged the size of the oil spill and even Photoshopped its crisis center to look more active, we’re not inclined to take its word at face value. If anyone has more evidence that BP and the Coast Guard are still spraying dispersants, let us know.



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Ariel Schwartz can be reached on Twitter or by email.


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


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