For Immediate Release, September 13, 2013
||Charlie Tebbutt, (541) 344-3505
Jaclyn Lopez, (727) 490-9190; firstname.lastname@example.org
Court Asked to Speed Up Lawsuit Seeking Public Disclosure of Pollutants From BP's Gulf Spill
NEW ORLEANS— The Center for Biological Diversity today asked a federal court to accelerate consideration of its lawsuit seeking immediate, full disclosure of the names and amounts of toxic chemicals that were spewed into the Gulf of Mexico during the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster in 2010. The Center filed legal paperwork asking that its disclosure lawsuit, filed three years ago, be separated from the hundreds of other cases involving the spill in order to allow it to move forward.
“Coastal communities deserve to know exactly how much and what kinds of toxic pollutants entered the Gulf and the atmosphere,” said Center attorney Jaclyn Lopez. “Unbelievably, three years later, the public is still in the dark.”
The Center’s disclosure claim — filed under the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act — was included as part of the Center’s Clean Water Act citizen suit against BP in June 2010. Although the court found that the Center’s Clean Water Act claim was moot once the spill ceased, the appellate court revived the Right-to-Know Act claim and sent it back to the district court for a ruling. The Center’s case, however, remains unresolved, bogged down in the bureaucracy of being combined with the hundreds of private and government cases that make up the mass of multi-district litigation over the 2010 spill.
“As a matter of basic due process, we’re asking the court to sever our case and hear our claim,” said attorney Charlie Tebbutt, who is working on the case on the Center’s behalf. “BP has demonstrated that it has no intention of disclosing the information as required by statute, and it’s long past time for a court to order the release of this critically important information.”
“We will continue to fight for full accountability from BP and environmental justice for the Gulf,” said Lopez. “BP is responsible for the catastrophic damage to the Gulf and should be held fully responsible for its complete restoration.”
The 2010 spill unleashed at least 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, killing thousands of birds, sea turtles, fish and marine mammals. The long-term effects of the spill are still unclear.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 625,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.