Gulf water tests and another lawsuit pending in spill

SAN FRANCISCO

"BP has shown that it lacks the capability to stop this massive leak, and the federal government is waiting and watching" said Miyoko Sakashita, oceans director for the Center for Biological Diversity in San Francisco. "The Clean Water Act provides for citizen enforcement when the polluter and government fail to act, and we intend to seek the maximum penalty possible against BP."

The Clean Water Act permits the government to pursue an enforcement action and to seek fines against BP.

Two days ago, the same environmental group sent a similar letter to the United States Coast Guard, and the Environmental Protection Agency, for authorizing the use of toxic dispersants without ensuring that these chemicals would not harm endangered species and their habitats.

More water samples from the Gulf arrived in Berkeley Thursday morning for testing. The first such samples came in yesterday. Dr. Terry Hazen will be running biodegradation tests on the samples. They were taken from various locations in and near the spill. Hazen will be looking for signs of the oil as well as the chemical dispersant that is being used to break it up. He has expressed concern over the use of dispersants on this scale noting that in the past spill areas treated by dispersants took much longer to recover than those that were not.

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