May 10, 2010 6:48 PM by Melissa Canone
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Gov. Bobby Jindal said Monday that the
state is concerned about oil giant BP's use of a chemical
dispersant to thin the thousands of gallons of oil gushing into the
Gulf of Mexico following a drilling rig explosion.
"They are doing a 24-hour subsea test application of
dispersants," Jindal said during a news conference at Port
Fourchon. "We've expressed, as a state, our concerns about these
subsea dispersants. We acquiesced in today's test, but I know that
the EPA administrator is meeting with LSU scientists today to
discuss the state's concerns about the potential longterm effects.
Three of Louisiana's cabinet secretaries, in a letter sent to
BP's chief executive over the weekend, also asked the company about
the risks tied to the use of the chemical dispersant.
The state's health secretary, Alan Levine; environmental quality
secretary, Peggy Hatch; and wildlife and fisheries secretary,
Robert Barham, sent the letter, saying they were worried about the
chemical's impact on the environment, fishing industry and public
They asked for details on the short-term and possible long-term
health risks for people and wildlife and on BP's plans to track the
chemical dispersant's effects on people, wildlife and the
environment over time. They also questioned whether BP will pay to
restore the wetlands and fisheries damaged by the dispersants.
"We just want to know what the effects are going to be to our
fisheries," said Jindal. "After the oil's gone from the surface,
what is this going to do the biological life cycle of the
fisheries, the longterm health of our wildlife out there.
"We do want to make sure they've done those studies. We want to
see the data, we want some assurances this won't do more damage in
the long term to some very sensitive fisheries."
U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., who joined Jindal, said Louisiana
was not getting adequate supplies of boom materials to block the
oil and that he was pushing Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen to help