BP Cover Up? Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser Says Oil Giant Lies About Oil Spill Cleanup

Federal Government: Dispersant Was Safe and Effective

Over the weekend, BP faced accusations by Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) that it had "carpet-bombed" the Gulf with dispersants, chemicals that some continue to question. But today, the EPA released the results of a second round of testing, suggesting that the use of the dispersant Corexit was safe and smart.

The tests showed that Corexit was no more toxic than the oil itself, and that it helped oil to degrade 50 percent faster. EPA Assistant Administrator Dr. Paul Anastas expressed confidence in the use of the dispersant, calling it a "wise decision" and saying there's no evidence that wildlife has been killed or sickened by the chemical.

To that, Nungesser expressed indignation.

Nungesser: EPA on the Side of BP

"We're still fighting for survival, and now it appears the federal government is on the side of BP, with the EPA jumping ship. And that's a crime. It's an embarrassment for this country," he said.

Nungesser said he wants the federal government to "quit covering up," calling for extensive testing of the dispersants, both below the surface and down on the ocean floor. He also called for long-term plans to test seafood, despite the fact that no contaminated seafood has been found in over 15,000 state tests since the start of the spill.

"We continue to see the wildlife affected where that oil comes shore," Nungesser said.

Static Kill Could Kill the Well for Good

Still, Nungesser did express optimism that BP will soon plug the well for good.

"We see light at the end of the tunnel, and we know that the end is coming near."

BP is preparing a static kill procedure, pumping mud and cement down the busted well to secure it permanently. Crews will conduct testing tonight to determine whether to continue with that plan.

If it works, the static kill could now take the place of the relief wells, though the company would still use them to monitor the success of the plug. The company could also continue with a cement plug through the relief wells.

"I would say the chances of this working are pretty much up around 95 to 99 percent," said Don Van Niewenhuise, director of petroleum geosciences at the University of Houston.

No matter what, "We want to end up with cement in the bottom of the hole," said BP executive Kent Wells in a press conference today.

Plug Could be Complete This Week

Depending on the technique used, the permanent plug could come as soon as this week, and late August at the latest.

But Nungesser said that even then, the crisis will not be over.

"The big question is, how much oil is out there beneath the surface? And how long will we have to fight before all the oil is gone from the Gulf?"

ABC's Jeffrey Kofman, Lisa Chinn and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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