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Environmental Compliance and Safety - Research Paper Example

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This essay analyzes that the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is the largest accidental spill in the globe exceeding both Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska and the Ixtoc blowout (Uhlmann, 2011). The oil spill provided a formidable test on the ability of oil corporations…
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Environmental Compliance and Safety
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Download file to see previous pages This was evidenced by lack of coordination between the various agencies and companies involved in oil drilling operations during the disaster. This paper examines corrective mechanisms employed to control the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and agencies involved in the exercise. In addition, the paper explores the compliance regulations violated during the exercise.
The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was triggered by an explosion in the British Petroleum (BP) operated Macondo well on April 20, 2010. The explosion killed eleven crewmembers of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and several others suffered various levels of injuries (Ramseur, 2011). The blowout destroyed the drilling platform and it sunk two days later. Following the explosion, oil leakage was discovered on the sea floor and it continued discharging crude oil until its containment on July 15, 2010 (Uhlmann, 2011). According to Ramseur and Hargety (2011), over 4.9 million barrels were discharged into the water during the period. However, the exact volume of crude oil discharged remains unknown. The oil discharge was so voluminous that it contaminated the beaches of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida (Ramseur, 2011).
The oil spill caused significant environmental and economic damage to the region. Commercial activities in the Gulf of Mexico especially commercial fishing and tourism were disrupted. Consequently, livelihoods of many people depending on these sectors were adversely affected. The impact on aquatic life was equally disastrous, killing numerous animals and plants in addition to polluting their habitats. The exact environmental, economic and social effects of the oil spill remain unknown up to date. However, the adverse environmental effects are expected to continue being felt in the affected region for many years, as demonstrated by the earlier Exxon Valdez oil discharge in 1989 (Uhlmann, 2011). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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