Regulate Use of Chemical Dispersants in Oil Spill Cleanup

Target: Environmental Protection Agency

Goal: Regulate the use of chemical dispersants to clean up oil spills

Oil spills are disasters that can cause serious harm to wildlife. However, some methods used to clean up these spills can be just as harmful. Some dispersants are used to break up the oil molecules, but these dispersants are dangerous chemicals in and of themselves. The use of these dispersants is unregulated, despite the proven damage to the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency must regulate the use of chemical dispersants in the aftermath of oil spills.

Since the 2010 devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, chemical dispersants have been used to clear the water of the oil. Oil companies take an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ approach to cleaning the spill. There have been worries about the amount of chemicals released into the ocean, and a recent study from the Dauphin Island Sea Lab has supported these fears. The study shows that with the addition of chemical dispersants in the water, the growth of phytoplankton was ‘significantly reduced’. Phytoplanktons are the bottom of the food chain in the ocean, so reducing their number means reducing the amount of food for all ocean life. Although the oil spill may be immediately cleared, the use of chemical dispersants can cause a lasting and devastating effect to the ocean’s ecosystem.

There is currently no regulation for the use of chemical dispersants. For the spill in the Gulf of Mexico, over two million gallons of dispersants were used. The amount of dispersant may have already caused irreparable damage to the ocean life. Tell the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate the use of chemical dispersants in order to protect the ocean after future disasters.


Dear Environmental Protection Agency:

Many oil companies rely on chemical dispersants to clear oil spills in the ocean. However, the effects of these dispersants are proven to be harmful to the environment. In some laboratory tests, chemical dispersants significantly reduced the number of phytoplankton in the water. As phytoplankton is one of the main sources of food for many animals low on the food chain, the loss of these organisms will cause a devastating effect to the ecosystem.

I ask you to regulate the use of chemical dispersants in the aftermath of oil spills. After the spill in the Gulf of Mexico, over 2 million gallons of dispersants were released into the ocean. This excessive amount may have already caused irreparable damage to ocean life. Regulate the use of chemical dispersants so that this will not happen again.


[Your Name Here]

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  1. Daniela Bress says:

    Stop using and transporting oil at all. There’s no more need for conventional energies.

    We all could reduce the waste and rearrange our energy policy into a exclusively renewable one!

    The only reason why we still have to use energy that takes our grandchildren’s habitat is our idleness, hypocrisy and the greed of powered people!

  2. Absurd to believe that these chemical compounds are a solution to oil spills. They just add to the hazardous waste in our waters and not an excuse to continue to ship more oil.

  3. Peter Kelly says:

    Wasn’t there a safe dispersant manufactured in Norway with inventory in France when the BP Moncondo Horizon Transocean Haliburton accident happened? That safer dispersant was not approved so it wasn’t used. Please examine it to see if it is a good as it probably is.

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