Looks like there's going to be criminal repercussions from toxic waste dumping in Iraq.
The American military has announced an investigation into its disposal of hazardous material in Iraq and declared its intention to prosecute anyone violating environmental standards.
The announcement comes after The Times disclosed that private contractors employed on US military bases had been dumping large quantities of oils, acids, filters and batteries in Iraqi scrapyards.
Three American generals faced a barrage of questions on environmental damage at a press conference called to explain the closure of US bases during the troop withdrawal that started last January and will end in December 2011.
Brigadier-General Kendall Cox, who is responsible for engineering and infrastructure in Iraq, said: “I share your concern with regards to anything that may or may not be left here in Iraq. As you know we have been here for over seven years. In that period we have accumulated several million pounds of hazardous waste.”
Heat on BP to improve oil spill response
Reuters, June 13, 2010. By Jeffrey Jones and Adrian Croft
BP Plc faced renewed U.S. pressure on Sunday to do more to contain the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, as the United States
and Britain played down diplomatic tensions over the crisis.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said it was up to the British energy giant, under pressure in the United States to suspend its dividend to help pay for the damage, to decide on its payout to shareholders.
He also said that the British government was offering the United States large quantities of chemical dispersant to help clean up the spill.
BP placed a containment cap on its blown-out seabed well this month, but oil continues to gush into the ocean, polluting beaches and wildlife habitats, killing marine life and threatening tourism and fishing.
U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral James Watson told BP in a June 11 letter made public on Saturday that its containment plan did not go far enough or include enough back-up measures in the event of equipment failure or other problems.
He gave the company two days to come up with a fix.
"BP must identify in the next 48 hours additional leak-containment capacity that could be operationalized and expedited," Watson said in the letter.
Millions of gallons of oil have poured into the Gulf since an April 20 offshore rig blast killed 11 workers and blew out the BP well. The partly contained leak is estimated at 40,000 barrels (1.68 million gallons/6.36 million liters) a day.