Groups: EPA has dragged heels on oil dispersant rules

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Environmental groups and women from Alaska and Louisiana say the Environmental Protection Agency has dragged its feet on issuing rules for oil spill dispersants, and they’re ready to sue to demand them.

They say dispersants used after the Exxon Valdez and BP oil spills were worse than oil alone. But they say that, nearly four years after taking public comment about dispersants, the agency hasn’t acted.

A letter sent Monday to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler says they’ll sue unless the EPA acts within 60 days. The letter is a legally required step before suing under the Clean Water Act.

The University of California-Berkeley Environmental Law Clinic represents Kindra Arnesen of Buras (BYOO-ruhs), Louisiana; Rosemary Ahtuangaruak (ah-TOON-gah-rook) of Nuiqsut (noo-IK-sut), Alaska, and the environmental groups.

The EPA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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