In April, Gulf Monitoring Consortium (GMC) welcomed Gulf Restoration Network (GRN) and Louisiana Bucket Brigade (LABB) as the newest members of our integrated pollution monitoring and response alliance. These new partners are well-established environmental organizations who bring new expertise and local resources to help monitor and respond to pollution in and around the Gulf of Mexico. To better reflect the capacities of our growing Consortium and identify the forms of pollution that we address, GMC members have voted to update our membership guidelines and key principles in three main areas:
- Expand our area of focus from the “Gulf of Mexico” to the “Gulf of Mexico and Gulf Coast Region…,” which recognizes land-based pollution issues that directly impact the health of the Gulf of Mexico and that our new partners are specifically qualified to address.
- Clarifies our pollution focus to “fossil fuel and petrochemical” pollution, which incorporates spills from oil and gas drilling offshore, leaks and releases from petrochemical refining and storage onshore, and other fossil fuels such as coal and petcoke transported through and stockpiled in the Gulf Region.
- Identifies our that the ultimate goal of GMC’s monitoring and response efforts is to “reduce pollution” by seeing that reporting is accurate and all of the impacts of these activities are easily understood by all and are accounted for by decision-makers.
For more detail, see our membership guidelines and key principles.
A report issued by the Democrats of the House Committee on Natural Resources concluded that offshore drilling safety lapses continue even three years after the BP Spill in 2010. In a press release, Representative Ed Markey (D-5th District, MA), ranking member on the House Committee on Natural Resources said, “Oil and gas companies with the worst safety records in the Gulf before the BP disaster continue to spill oil, lose control of their wells and rack up safety violations today.” The report was prepared by Markey’s Natural Resources committee staff based on data from the Technical Information Management System (TIMS) database maintained by the Department of the Interior (DOI).
April 22, 2010 – Deepwater Horizon rig fire,
Photo: U.S. Coast Guard.
The report found, “companies with the most serious environmental or safety violations before the BP spill are still racking up the most violations today. BP, which is among the top violators since 2000, actually has been cited for more major offshore violations in the last two years than before the spill.” The British petroleum giant has been subject to increased scrutiny after their damaged well suffered a blow-out and spewed 4.9 million barrels of oil into Gulf in the largest non-wartime oil spill in human history. However, other top polluters such as Shell continue to rack up violations and loss-of-control incidents, and were no more likely to be inspected post-BP than they were before the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history.
The report found a few positive notes, however, such as 50% fewer injuries from off-shore drilling incidents and fewer loss-of-control incidents since the DOI adopted stronger regulations in 2010. Gulf Monitoring Consortium members keep a watchful eye on the chronically polluting fossil fuel industry from space, the sky, and the surface – read more about us at: http://www.gulfmonitor.org/about/current-members/
Read the full post-BP offshore safety and environmental protection report here: