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SCB and Allies Urge Government to Apply Wildlife Laws to Restore Damage Done by Deepwater Horizon

April 20, 2012. Today marks the second anniversary of the largest oil spill in US history. As the Deepwater Horizon well spewed oil for weeks into the Gulf of Mexico it created a series of lethal and degrading effects upon federally-protected wildlife and birds, which would normally be violations of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and other federal laws. Yet it appears that the Department of Justice has not filed a civil or criminal complaint seeking fines or other relief for the apparent violations of the ESA and other federal wildlife laws.

SCB, The Wildlife Society (TWS), The Ornithological Council, and The Society for Ecological Restoration (SER), in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, USFWS Director Dan Ashe and NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco, urge one or more complaints be filed and fines levied for each of the documented and scientifically probable takes that resulted from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The signatories emphasize that a strong deterrent is needed to assure that the Deepwater Horizon parties and other oil companies refrain from such conduct in the future. The impacts of the spill on protected birds, mammals and sea life will persist far into the future and could require hundreds of millions of dollars or more in restoration to correct the damage.

Read the letter HERE.