There continues to be a BP stranglehold on this river of oil response, and there appears no end in sight to it. Imagine an ecological catastrophe in your state or home town, and the perpetrators are allowed to control the response, the flow of information, and what is or isn't done to protect workers, all apparently, with Federal blessing.
New Orleans, Louisiana (CNN) -- A fisherman who was hospitalized after becoming ill while cleaning up oil in the Gulf of Mexico has filed a temporary restraining order in federal court against oil company BP.
John Wunstell Jr., is asking BP to give the workers masks and not harass workers who publicly voice their health concerns.
Wunstell, a shrimper, said he was paid by BP to use his boat, Ramie's Wish, to clean up oil that has been gushing into the Gulf since an oil rig sank about 40 miles off the Louisiana coast, gushing an estimated 19,000 barrels (798, 000 gallons) of crude a day.
In an affidavit, Wunstell wrote he started experiencing severe headaches and nasal irritation on May 24. Over the next few days, he also developed nosebleeds, an upset stomach, and aches.
Kathleen Sibelus....remember her? Health and Human Services Secretary? It was only since this past Friday, May 28, that she got around to attempting to force some sort of monitoring of the health effects of oil spill clean-up workers:
BP told to aid ill cleanup workers
HHS secretary wants health effects studied
Saturday, May 29, 2010
WASHINGTON -- Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Friday called on BP to provide treatment for fishers and cleanup workers who have complained of health problems that could be related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
She also asked BP America Chairman and President Lamar McKay to "identify any long-term health consequences" from the spill. So far, she said, most of the health problems reported have been relatively minor.
During a conference call with reporters, HHS officials announced that they are dispatching a mobile health unit staffed with medical personnel to Louisiana to deal with health issues related to the spill. The location for the unit will be worked out after consulting with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.
Meantime, back at the ranch, here's how BP, apparently with Sibelus's blessing, is addressing the health concern of workers:
In his affidavit, Wunstell described his experience at the hospital.
"At West Jefferson, there were tents set up outside the hospital, where I was stripped of my clothing, washed with water and several showers, before I was allowed into the hospital," Wunstell said. "When I asked for my clothing, I was told that BP had confiscated all of my clothing and it would not be returned."
The restraining order requests that BP refrain from "altering, testing or destroying clothing or any other evidence or potential evidence" when workers become ill.
Graham MacEwen, a spokesman for BP, said he could not comment on the restraining order, or on allegations that BP confiscated clothing.
Most fishermen, hired by BP, are afraid to speak out. However, there are many more fishermen who weren't hired, and south Louisiana is like a powder keg right now. What spark will set them off, set us off, to begin to take matters into our own hands?
We must defend our waterways, take back our coast from BP and the federal collusionists.
Oil spill forum set Tuesday
Saturday, May 29, 2010
St. Tammany bureau
A town hall meeting to provide information about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill will be held Tuesday night in Slidell.
The 6 p.m. meeting in the Slidell High School cafeteria at 1 Tiger Drive is being put on by the LSU AgCenter and Louisiana Sea Grant College Program. Those scheduled to appear include representatives of BP, the Coast Guard, state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The purpose of the meeting is to provide information to citizens so they will be able to make informed personal and community decisions regarding the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, according to a news release about the event.