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article imageBP lacked disaster response plan

By Michael Bearak     Apr 30, 2010 in World
It has slowly come out that British Petrolium lacked a plan to respond in the event of a major disaster like the one that has occured in the Gulf Coast.
British Petroleum is downplaying rumors that they didn't have a disaster or catastrophe response plan in place in the event of a major spill.
Most companies have "disaster preparation plans" in place to combat a disaster. It is becoming apart that BP had no such plan. What they did have was a 52-page exploratory plan and they felt that there is little chance for giant crude oil spill.
Their most recent plan was dated February 2009 and in it BP states, "unlikely that an accidental surface or subsurface oil spill would occur from the proposed activities."
Currently 1.6 million gallons of crude oil have spilled out by the Coast Guard's estimates. Still in the 2009 report BP states, "due to the distance to shore (48 miles) and the response capabilities that would be implemented, no significant adverse impacts are expected."
Now as has been reported by Digital Journal the oil spill has crept closer and closer to the Louisiana shores, all that BP can say is, "Clearly, the sort of occurrence that we've seen on the Deepwater Horizon is clearly unprecedented." That according to a company spokesman, David Nicholas.
Nicholas tries to explain that a blowout like this at this depth is not something that BP has ever experienced before. This line of thinking can lead people to think that BP never imagined that such a disaster could occur, yet Lee Clarke of Rutgers University in his book, "Mission Improbable" implores companies to explore every possible disaster and to prepare for them as if they are reality. From there companies need to practice and test how they will react in the event of a worst case scenario and all of the in-between.
Robert Wiygul, an Ocean Springs, Miss.-based environmental lawyer and board member for the Gulf Restoration Network has reviewed the BP paperwork and in it he declared that he could not see anything that shows preparation for a disaster. In response to that President Obama has ordered a halt to all new off-shore drilling projects.
More about British petroleum, Disaster plan, Oil spill, Lee clarke
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