HOUSTON, Tx. -- They were the first ones going out to help. Now they hope help will be there for them when they need it the most. Houston area first responders, during 2010's Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico aren't happy. They gathered outside BP headquarters to protest claiming the oil company is backing out of a settlement agreement to compensate cleanup workers, some now suffering from diseases and conditions caused by the toxic exposure to the chemicals used to contain the spill.
The original agreement made in 2012 was revised in July, when BP won a ruling that can save the energy company tens of millions of dollars, by reducing what cleanup crews can collect for chronic illnesses they developed after the oil giant's mess. If a diagnosis occurred after April 2012, the workers claim BP doesn't want to pay for it. Protesting workers say there shouldn't be a time restriction to get a doctor's diagnosis of a condition caused by the spill.
A new court hearing will be held Wednesday in New Orleans, to determine whether BP is responsible for tens of thousands of workers newly diagnosed with conditions resulting from the spill
BP responded by releasing this statement:
“BP worked closely with OSHA, the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and other US government agencies to take extraordinary measures to safeguard the health and safety of responders. Due to the extensive controls in place, there was little potential for worker or public exposure to dispersants. More than 30,000 air monitoring samples were collected by the Coast Guard, OSHA, NIOSH, and BP as part of a comprehensive air monitoring program to evaluate the potential for human exposure to dispersant and oil compounds. The results showed that response worker and public exposures to dispersants were well below levels that could pose a health or safety concern.”