AFTER THE DISASTER: WILDLIFE HEALTH THREE YEARS AFTER THE BP OIL SPILL
On April 20, 2010, BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil drilling platform suffered an explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, which led to the deaths of 11 workers. More than 200 million gallons of oil were pumped into the surrounding water for 87 days. The spilled oil damaged approximately 1,770 kilometers (1,100 miles) of shoreline. It has been almost three years since the BP Gulf Oil Disaster, which created widespread environmental consequences that are still occurring today. A new study from the National Wildlife Federation has revealed that organisms that live in the affected area are still suffering from the effects of the spill.
BP and its main contractors, Transocean and Halliburton, are currently on trial as defendants in the civil case regarding the oil spill. There are three main issues at stake during the trial: whether BP and its contractors were negligent in their drilling and maintenance, the actions taken by the companies to stop the flow of oil into the Gulf, and the actual quantity of oil released into the area. The fines at stake from this trial will go to cleaning the affected area, since there is still an environmental disaster unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico. This is evidenced by the National Wildlife Federation study, which makes specific financial recommendations for improving the affected area with fines paid as a result of the trial. According to the study entitled, “Restoring a Degraded Gulf of Mexico: Wildlife and Wetlands Three Years into the Gulf Oil Disaster,” multiple types of species that live in the Gulf of Mexico are suffering negative impacts to this day.
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