Several groups, individuals and LEAN address the ongoing health issues from the BP Oil Spill with a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency, Occupational Safety and Health Association and others…
Groups send letter outlining ongoing human health impacts along Gulf Coast
Dear EPA, OSHA, CDC, NIOSH, HHS, NAS,
Three years ago, eleven men were killed when the Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. This tragic human toll was the beginning of a public health disaster that continues to unfold in a diverse population including: clean-up workers, coastal residents and Gulf Coast tourists. After three years, we find these statements remain to be true:
- The Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent Oil Spill led to severe health impacts for a significant number of individuals, thus impacting the resilience of families and communities.
- The response and clean-up of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill was grossly inadequate and insufficient in its protection of human health for first responders, clean-up workers and the general population along coastal areas of the northern Gulf of Mexico.
- There is no sufficient method by which individuals whose health has been impacted by events related to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill can be effectively identified, diagnosed and treated.
- The extensive research and monitoring of impacted populations does not address the immediate medical needs of these individuals and does nothing to alleviate their suffering.
As the highest authorities charged with the protection of the citizens of this country, we ask:
- The full extent of possible health impacts from the hazardous materials, including crude oil and dispersants(Corexit 9500, etc.), related to the Oil Spill be acknowledged and communicated adequately to all clean-up workers, tourists and individuals along the Gulf Coast.
- Sufficient resources and support be made available to the medical community throughout the Gulf Coast to build the knowledge and infrastructure necessary to identify, diagnose, and care for the individuals in this region who have been made ill from their exposure to oil, dispersants and other chemicals related to the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
- Health care that specifically and adequately addresses chemical exposure and health impacts related to the Oil Spill be made available immediately to impacted individuals, at no expense to them.
The innocent people affected by this disaster deserve to be taken care of. As the ongoing settlement works to address the economic damages caused by this disaster, it is unacceptable that individuals experiencing health impacts have been left to fend for themselves. Having already gone unaddressed for three years, it is clear that these victims will go untreated without strong and comprehensive action by you, our government. We look forward to the relief you can bring to those in need of your help and the critical infrastructure you can build that will undoubtedly assist countless other vulnerable populations across the Gulf Coast in the future.
Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN)
LEAN / Subra Co.
Mother, wife of fisherman, coastal resident
United Commercial Fisherman’s Association
The Committee to Ban Corexit – New Orleans, LA
“misplaced Louisianian” SanDiego, CA
Oil Spill clean-up worker
Government Accountability Project
Better Future Project
9/11 Environmental Action, NYC
The Mother’s Project – Gulf Coast Mothers for Sustainability
Southern Mutual Help Association, Inc.
Sharon S. Gauthe
Bayou Interfaith Shared Community Organizing (BISCO)
Gulf Coast Fund for Community Renewal and Ecological health
EcoRigs Nonprofit Organization
San Antonio Bay Waterkeeper
Louisiana Interchurch Conference
Sierra Club Delta Chapter
Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper
First Presbyterian Church, Bayou Blue
EcoRigs Nonprofit Organization
Michael R. Robichaux, M.D.
Brenda Dardar Robichaux
former Principal Chief of United Houma Nation
Louisiana Bucket Brigade
Gulf Restoration Network
Bonny L. Schumaker, Ph D.
On Wings of Care
Grace M. Scire
Boat People – SOS
Social Justice Team of First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans
Calhoun County Resource Watch
If you would like to lend your support for the people of the Gulf Coast by adding your name to this letter please email: contact [at] leanweb [dot] org