Tuesday, September 7, 2010

BP Continues to Pay for Study of Environmental Impacts of Oil Spill

A seagull rests atop a boom in Grand Isle, La.
(Photo by Nicholas Moroni)

BP Continues to pay into a $500 million research fund it pledged to uphold in May

By Nicholas Moroni

BP stated today that it will hand over $10 million to the National Institutes of Health in order to study the environmental impacts of the three-month-long oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, The Times-Picayune reported today.

The money is part of a broader $500 million pledge that the oil giant made in May. BP will fund research into potentially long-term environmental damage that may occur subsequent to the 5 million barrels of oil, and the 1-2 million gallons of dispersants that were used to dissipate the oil in the wake of the spill. Little is known about the dispersants: the EPA has dubbed them "non-toxic," but the EDF questions that ascertainment.

The NIH (a congressionally-funded organization that conducts research in the name of enhancing human and environmental health) will be governing the distribution of funds to public agencies and Gulf Coast academic institutions that will conduct research.

Last month, The Los Angeles Times reported that the South Florida researchers had discovered the presence of oil in plants that are crucial to the diets of many sea organisms.

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