The unfortunate incident of British Petroleum that took place in the April where on one hand has posed several questions on the future credibility of the giant oil company, on the other hand has played a pivotal role in engineering an environmental catastrophe for the entire world, the ramifications of which are anticipated to last decades. The spill that resulted from an explosion in the Gulf of Mexico has so far led to the discharge of more than 60,000 barrel of oil into the Gulf which has already began discharging distress signals in the form of deteriorating businesses and economic condition of tourism and other allied sectors. (Szabo, 2010)
But a greater issue and a matter of greater gravity that needs to be discussed here is the measures that are being taken for the effective disposal and dumping of the contaminated oil waste that the spill has caused and what methods are being applied to ensure that the disposal work is not being mishandled. (Tran, 2010)
But evidences being disclosed by some prominent wire services show that contrary to expectations the method is being dealt with extreme mismanagement and in a very shoddy way and so far no media coverage is being provided to the seriousness of issues related to the disposal work.
There is credible evidence that it is the black communities of many areas that are enduring the harmful effects of the unmanaged disposal of contaminated waste being released from the oil spill. Many communities are concerned as to the problems that are being chosen as the resting places for the massive amount of BP garbage.
The issue is of grave important because so far it has not received adequate media attention that it deserves and in addition to that such issues where on one hand will impose greater allegations on the already injured reputation of British Petroleum will also malign the management ability of environmental authorities such Environmental Protection Agency. The entire argument being build up is in rebuttal to the already passed statements by the officials of both countries that the dumping of the waste being released from the oil spill will not be handled carelessly.
Past Records of Mismanagement and Present Blunders
The environmental repercussions of the oil spill are expressing themselves from Texas to Florida but it is the areas situated in the south that are experiencing the greatest pinch of the disaster not only in terms of collapsing tourism business but also in the context of waste disposal mismanagement and blunders.
Unfortunately the environmental agencies or their units working in the Southern areas of the country have a legacy of demonstrating environmental disparity, racial discrimination and incompetent decisions that have always aggravated the gravity of the entire issue. More importantly it is worth mentioning here that for a much longer period of time African Americans and Latino communities have faced the pain and toils of authority mishandling and incompetency. The most prominent example of this is the Cancer Alley of Louisiana, the 85-mile stretch that has always been the frontline of contributing toxic waste from Baton Rough to New Orleans. Residents of these communities and state areas are inquiring the authorities as to why be them being made the victim of such massive and toxic oil spill yet again. They have also approached the offices of EPA located in Dallas and Atlanta but no heed is being paid at any level to their looming woes as a result of which resentment for BP as well as local environmental agencies is surging among the local black population.
Furthermore, another irony in the entire situation is that black communities often get the garbage and waste of oil leakages whereas white people extract millions of dollars from the contracts of such multinationals. It is as easy as abc to calculate and assess the heterogeneous allocation and distribution of resources that are still being discriminated at large in the country.
It is also paradoxical that when in 2009 major environmental stakeholders of the country and prominent organizations were inquired about the ways through which the disposal of waste can be made transparent and well-managed, the answer simply said that the elements of race, creed and wealth possession must not intervene in the entire process, but it seems that no practical steps for the fulfillment of these objectives have not been taken. The people of the African American community still see a state of PIBBY being promulgated which in its complete form stands for Place in Black Back Yard.
According to people living in these spills affected areas haphazard managing, improper treatment and lack of concrete framework has actually resulted in this socio-environmental turmoil. It was further revealed that the waste program of British Petroleum which is known as ‘Recovered Oil/Waste Management Plan Houma Incident Command’, was approved in June and over a span of one month over 3,913 tons of garbage and waste has been dumped on the coasts and landfills of Florida, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi and so far no relief funds or compensation for the sustainability of these areas and people residing here has been provided by the government. Another confusing part of the entire issue is that all actions being taken by people are on voluntary basis as there is no human right organization or non-governmental organization that has moved forward to provide these people a bailout from this appalling situation. (Bullard, 2010)
It is once again ironic to see that the firm kick ass stance taken by President Obama in his meeting with CEO Tony Hayward and Chairman Charles Svanberg regarding the hastening of the cleanup process seemed to experience a meltdown in front of the inefficiencies that have been executed by the environmental department of the state itself. Moreover it was shocking to see that after the level of environmental destruction that has taken place at a massive scale in US states and had simultaneously caused the meltdown of various revenue generating sectors why was there a need of apologizing to BP by Texas lawmaker Joe Barton on the president’s behalf. (Voorhess, 2010)
On one end where the Obama administration takes a stance of silence on the entire issue, at the other end the policies related to dumping of waste and garbage tells the very same story and carries the very same troubles and difficulties for African American residents where over 56% of BP oil spill has been dumped at present according to recent statistics revealed. In Lousinsia even though the African American population is about 32%, three of the four landfill sites that is 75% of the landfills created have received oil spill garbage of BP.
It is worth mentioning here that it was the same population of the same state that experienced the greatest damage of life and property when the state was hit and wrecked by the storm Katrina. It is therefore important that the government should realize that the matter requires urgent attention and concentration from government as well as environmental authorities so that this dual discrimination process can come to an end and the legacy of environmental racism is eradicated. (Bullard, 2010)