EPA Shrugs After HuffPost Investigates Toxic Gulf Chemical Dump

"With only a cursory review, the agency shut the door on studying or cleaning up old toxic waste barrels that litter the seafloor at active drilling sites."

"After a HuffPost investigation last year brought to light a vast, decades-old chemical dumping ground in the Gulf of Mexico, the Environmental Protection Agency has officially declared that the site is nothing to worry about ― without reviewing any recent scientific data or visiting the site.

Last year, HuffPost reported that tens of thousands of 55-gallon drums containing decades-old toxic waste are scattered across a 200-square-mile stretch of ocean floor off the coast of Louisiana, in an area known as Mississippi Canyon. Fossil fuel companies now operate a network of drilling rigs and pipelines within the barrel field — a development that has the potential to disturb drums on the seafloor. The EPA acknowledged at the time it has done little to no oversight since permitting chemical companies to jettison waste there in the 1970s, nor does it know if this offshore dumping has had lingering environmental or human health impacts.

In response to HuffPost’s reporting, the EPA launched a review to determine whether the site qualifies for study or cleanup under the federal Superfund program. The assessment is called a pre-CERCLA screening, under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, better known as Superfund.

The EPA’s review concluded that the site “is not eligible for further investigation” under Superfund because there is no evidence of harm."

Chris D'Angelo reports for HuffPost February 15, 2022.

Source: HuffPost, 02/16/2022