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Category Archives: Environmental Impacts

Corexit, the BP Oil Spill and Clean Up Workers

My experience with Corexit

From the very beginning of this project I have felt  most drawn to helping BP Oil Spill Clean Up Workers. I was out on Grand Isle in June 2010 and the smell of Corexit filled the air, within hours I was coughing. In my infinite wisdom I picked up a piece of Corexit in my hand, I had it on the tip of my finger when it broke like an egg, and it suddenly covered my hand, seconds later my hand was burning, and when I tried to wipe it off, I only proceeded to spread it up my arm. A nice lady on the boat had baby wipes that removed it, regular towels were useless. The way the Corexit bonded with Oil and coagulated it created something that resembled the texture of the yolk of an egg. but more firm, until it broke then it was a gooey mess.


Clean up Workers & Corexit

Cleanup workers were ill equipped to handle the oil spill from the very beginning, lacking both basic equipment and the knowledge of just what they were dealing with. Corexit poses health risks at the molecular level. Corexit bio-accumulates in one`s body. The lungs, kidneys and liver are most affected, and it does cause cancer.

This is from Wikipedia: Mind you, this is about Corexit 9527 not 9500, less is known about the after effects of 9500 on Humans.

Corexit 9527, considered by the EPA to be an acute health hazard, is stated by its manufacturer to be potentially harmful to red blood cells, the kidneys and the liver, and may irritate eyes and skin. The chemical 2-butoxyethanol, found in Corexit 9527, was identified as having caused lasting health problems in workers involved in the cleanup of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. According to the Alaska Community Action on Toxics, the use of Corexit during the Exxon Valdez oil spill caused people “respiratory, nervous system, liver, kidney and blood disorders”. Like 9527, 9500 can cause hemolosys (rupture of blood cells) and may also cause internal bleeding.

Clean Up Workers Exposed to Corexit Seek Help

We get phone calls daily from people that are sick from the Corexit and worked on clean up crews. If you are sick, please fill out the form to the right and we will get you in touch with  law firms that specializes in Helping people that are truly ill from the Clean Up of the Gulf Oil Spill. There are programs being put in place, and medical monitoring becoming available. There are certain medical tests you can also have done, that will measure the levels of exposure. If you think you are sick or know someone who is, please let us know.

The table is tilted for the GCCF

GCCF Strategies

The final review process has been set up to favor the GCCF and BP in every imaginable way.” This is a quote I read about a bartender going through the GCCF process recently, this is why I stress the importance of at the very least, of getting an Attorneys opinion. The GCCF was designed to serve the purposes of BP and Mr.Feinberg. This is their structure, not ours, this was not created by the government to help people, but by BP`s Mr Feinberg to administer claims. Think about it who built the GCCF, think about who runs the GCCF, do you really trust the GCCF to be impartial about your claim.

The GCCF is Delaying

In a nutshell this is what has happened and is happening, the GCCF is using a delay, deny, defend strategy. They promised to start interim and final claims after the emergency claims period was over, November 23. Which basically meant if your claim for interim or final was made Nov 23 you could expect it 90 days later. Didn`t happen, what did happen was the GCCF in their infinite wisdom created the Quick Pay system. They waited for people to get desperate while waiting for their claims and as foreclosure loomed, repossessions mounted, they low balled people with 5k offers for individuals, and 25k for business`s. Almost 100,000 people took them.

GCCF & The Future

This period is just coming to an end, now people are beginning to see the interim offers come in. These Interim offers are often accompanied by Final Offers, they want to close this out as fast as possible in order to limit their liability. Nobody and I mean Nobody knows what the future holds. Hurricanes lobbing balls of Corexit and oil at the shore, devastated oyster beds, shrimp and fish populations decimated, If the lessons from the Valdez hold true the fish populations will not show the effects for a few years to come. Will the tourists come back, all what if`s. My thought is to take the GCCF interim claims until the true extent of the damage is known.

BP Oil Spill Clean Up Crews and Vessels of Opportunity

BP Oil Spill Clean up

Good news finally for BP Oil Spill Cleanup Workers:If you became ill by working on the BP Oil Spill Clean up, were a member of the V.O.O. program, you have rights.
If you were promised work, or received your Hazwopper cerification and were subsequently let go, Attorneys want to hear from you. It seems as thought there is good news to report that your cases are going to be taken more seriously. Many Attorneys did not want to take these cases until recently.

BP Oil Spill Breach

People were made promises of work for a year or more by BP and it`s subcontractors, then suddenly let go. Much of the work that was promised was handled by breaking up the plumes with large trawlers out at sea, while on some beaches the Oil just got buried.Hence the force that was once thought to be needed was not, but promises were made, and Attorneys believe this was a breach of contract.

Health Risks & the BP Oil Spill

The health risks that many did not understand, because they were not explained or not equipped, were and are many. Corexit the dispersant used, rips through the body attacking liver and kidney functions, along with bronchial and other associated ailments.I am very happy to hear that these cases are being taken seriously.
If you were affected, or know someone who was by the BP Oil Spill please fill out this form.

Proximity, Perception and the Gulf Coast Claims Facility

GCCF Perception

The GCCF often points out that if they can not connect the loss to the spill, they can not pay the claim. The fact of the matter is the GCCF does not often consider the perception that many areas along the Gulf Coast, whether tainted by oil and dispersant or not, were all affected by the BP Oil Spill.

The GCCF & Proximity

Proximity to the spill is one of the key factors the GCCF takes into consideration when paying a claim, perception is something that the GCCF would rather not factor in. Yet if you ask me, and mind you I am not an Attorney, perception needs to be fully figured in when calculating your GCCF Claim. Many destination areas from the Florida Keys to Houston, and across the Gulf Region were devastated as the reports of tar balls and oil hitting the loop current were on the nightly news feeds.

Denied GCCF Claims

To say the least, the perception of a tainted Gulf of Mexico put a damper on anyone visiting Gulf Side Communities. One of the hardest hit areas was the Florida Keys, who can usually count on a steady stream of tourists. Many GCCF claims have been denied because the GCCF is using proximity, as they choose to forget the perception painted by the nightly news, that their Oil Spill caused.

Oil Spill Effects Uncertain

BP has promised $10m for studies to monitor public health in the region, although it says there is no evidence that exposure to pollutants was above recommended minimum levels or that the incidence of sickness among clean-up workers was abnormal.

There is great uncertainty, over the environmental impact of the spill. The US government is conducting a Natural Resource Damage Assessment, to determine its effect on the plants and animals of the gulf region, in order to calculate a bill for BP for environmental costs. It expects to have an initial assessment in October, and there will probably be a final report in about a year’s time.

But although there have been some very visible effects, such as the 8,065 dead and oiled birds reported last year, the consequences for the ecosystem will not be known for many years.

“Science takes a lot of time,” says Lisa Suatoni, senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defence Council, an environmental group.

“Every oil spill has two phases: the acute and the chronic. We still don’t have a full account of the acute phase of this spill, and we are nowhere near an understanding of the chronic phase.”

If you think you have been affected fill out the form to the right.

GCCF starts paying Subsistence claims

The GCCF developed a new method for calculating subsistence claims March 28 and, after negotiations with nonprofit lawyers and community advocates, it was finalized late last week.

Most of the claims have come from Vietnamese fishers and other fishing communities such as Native Americans with a tradition of setting aside large portions of their catch for their families to consume and for gifts and bartering. But large numbers of claims also came from recreational fishers who wanted to be compensated for what they called “loss of enjoyment,” something the GCCF decided not to honor.

Subsistence claims are specifically allowed under the Oil Pollution Act, which governs oil spill damage compensation, but Feinberg’s operation had trouble calculating losses for something that isn’t generally well documented.

Oil Spill Attorneys can help you if you have a claim.

 

Dolphin Deaths Designated An Unusual Mortality Event'

Posted on: Sunday, 10 April 2011, 06:49 CDT

If the Dolphins are dying what or who is next.

Scientists are baffled by the continuing numbers of dead baby bottlenose dolphins washing up on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico.

406 dolphins were found either stranded or dead between February 2010 and April 2011, prompting the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to designate the deaths as an “unusual mortality event” (UME). The agency defines such events as a stranding incident that is unexpected or involves great losses of any marine mammal population.

Blair Mase, the agency’s marine mammal investigations coordinator, told CNN: “This is quite a complex event and requires a lot of analysis.”

Mase said NOAA is working with several agencies to determine not only why the dolphins are turning up dead in such large numbers but also why the mammals are so young. “These were mostly very young dolphins, either pre-term, neonatal or very young and less than 115 centimeters,” Mase said.

A number of factors could be at play including harmful algal blooms, infectious diseases, water temperatures, environmental changes, and human impacts. “The Gulf of Mexico is no stranger to unusual mortality events,” Mase noted.

Much sensitivity surrounding marine life has come about since last year’s BP oil disaster that spewed millions of barrels of crude oil in the Gulf waters.

As recently as two weeks ago, scientists documented a dead dolphin with oil on its remains, said Mase. Since the start of the oil spill on April 20, 2010, a total of 15 bottlenose dolphins have been found with either confirmed or suspected oil on their carcasses. Nine oiled dolphins have been found since the gushing oil well was capped.

But of those nine, one was found with oil that did not match that of samples from the Deepwater Horizon.

Mase said the dolphin deaths could be completely unrelated to the oil spill. “Even though they have oil on them, it may not be the cause of death,” she said. “We want to look at the gamut of all the possibilities.”

Scientists are also concerned over the number of sea turtles that are being stranded. Similar to the dolphin deaths , an abnormally high number of turtles have also been found floating close to shore or washed up along the Gulf coast shores.

“The vast majority of these are dead, with states in moderate to severe decomposition,” Barbara Schroeder, NOAA Fisheries national sea turtle coordinator, told CNN’s Vivian Kuo.

The majority of the turtles found have been Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles, but some have been loggerheads, which along with the Kemp’s are endangered.

“Since January 1st, we’ve had just under 100 strandings,” said Schroeder. “About 87 of those have been documented since the middle of March.”

Necropsies were performed on about a third of the turtles, Schroeder said. Seven of them showed indications that they had been in accidents with watercrafts, while another displayed injuries consistent with being caught on a hook.

The others appeared to have died by drowning near the bottom of the Gulf, either from forced submergence or an acute toxic event.

Tissue samples from both turtles and dolphins are being documented due to the civil and criminal litigation ongoing with BP, according to Dr. Teri Rowles, a coordinator with NOAA Fisheries Stranding Program.

“We are looking at what is the impact of the oil spill and the response activities to the oil spill event, and what impact they had on the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem,” said Rowles. “We did not say that the dolphins have died because of the oil, just that they have come back with oil on them.”

Oil Spill Health Risks

An ear, nose and throat doctor by profession, Dr. Mike Robichaux is working with other concerned Louisianans to cull together data about chemicals found in the blood of oil workers, fishermen and coastal residents.

Those suffering from illnesses possibly related to the BP oil spill will meet at noon Saturday at Robichaux’s home to hear about the doctor’s study, fill out health surveys and talk with others who believe their symptoms are rooted in crude-oil exposure.

The gathering will include a free meal, carnival rides for children and talks from environmental activists and locals who say they have oil-related illnesses. It’s at 4416 La. 1 in Raceland.

The goal is to get people the appropriate help, instead of treating their symptoms as anything other than spill related, organizers said.

“We want something that is a true representation of what is happening on the bayou and the coast,” said Brenda Dardar-Robichaux, Mike’s wife and the former principal chief of the United Houma Nation.

Robichaux, who was not available for comment Thursday, and others say health studies under way are not thorough enough and doctors are not adequately treating people exposed to oil.

“There tends to skepticism in relating these illnesses to the oil spill,” Dardar-Robichaux said.

The local doctor is working with the Louisiana Environmental Action Network to test blood at a lab in Georgia.

Fishermen Frustrated over the GCCF

Frustrated fishermen staged another protest Tuesday morning outside the Gulf Coast Claims Facility.

This marks the fourth time they’ve demonstrated over what they say is “unfair treatment” in the BP claims process.

The fishermen say they’re tired of waiting on oil spill claims checks they say should have been forthcoming long ago. Several say they may be forced to sell their boats just to cover their mortgage.

One longtime fisherman, fed up with red tape and waiting, said he’ll be hiring a lawyer next week.

“We’re getting tired of the lies. We’re getting tired of spending our time out here trying to stand up for what’s right.  They’re lying to us. They’re stalling. We ain’t going for it. Tired of it,” said Mark Stewart.

Several fishermen are convinced the non-payment of their claims is part of a stalling strategy by Ken Feinberg, a deliberate delay aimed at pushing them to the point of desperation.

“To intentionally make our bills pile up.  Make us in fear of losing our homes and our boats. Our financial future is in peril. And he’s doing it just so we take whatever he offers us in the end,” said T.J. Hinton.

 

GULF COAST CLAIMS FACILITY (GCCF) INTERIM CLAIMS ARE NOT GETTING PAID AS QUICKLY AS OTHERS

More than 100,000 quick pay and final offers have been paid by the GCCF. However, for those who aren’t willing to sign final releases, the numbers are much lower. So far, just five percent of interim payments have been paid. The GCCF may start making Interim offers, along with final offers attached. It is in the GCCF`s best interest to settle things out as quickly as possible. The GCCF`s strategy has not yet fully unfolded, stay tuned.

GCCF Quick Pay:  97% have been paid.  (105,271 claims)

GCCF Interim Claims: 7% have been paid something (66,799 claims)

GCCF Final Payment: 6% have been paid ( 97,318 claims)

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