• All
  • Blog
  • Events
  • Press Release
  • Videos

ALERT petitions EPA to supplement its 2015 proposed rule with current science

  • June 23, 2022|

  June 23, 2020. An ALERT coalition of individuals, environmental justice, and climate justice groups took action to step up pressure on EPA to ensure that the regulatory process considers the new data and information. The coalition petitioned EPA to supplement its 2015 proposed rule with current science before finalizing the rule in May 2023.…

EPA reply to September 2021 letter inspires no confidence

  • May 31, 2022|

  May 16, 2022. Nearly six months after receiving a coalition letter from ALERT, EPA replied, stating that the agency and Dept. of Justice decided not to appeal the federal district court decision and that it “is working through its action development process to ensure a final rule” by the court-ordered deadline of View EPA’s…

EPA’s first status report fails to report on key issue

  • February 2, 2022|

February 2, 2022. EPA’s first status report fails to provide an update on one of the key arguments it used in court to delay the final rule until 2023. Over a year ago on May 20, 2021, EPA told the court that the oil industry had blocked access to the reference oils that EPA needed…

Atypical dispersant use monitoring rules go into effect

  • January 22, 2022|

  January 24, 2022. Despite last-minute efforts by ALERT, neither the executive nor the legislative branch could stop the rollout of EPA’s final rule on environmental monitoring of “atypical dispersant use situations.” This was defined as “[a]ny subsurface use of dispersant in response to an oil discharge, surface use of dispersant in response to oil…

Gulf Coast Community Organizations & Allies for Environmental Justice  Request President to Withdraw Rule on Dispersant Use Before It Goes into Effect

  • January 18, 2022|

For Immediate Release Contacts:  Riki Ott, Founder/Director, ALERT, a project of Earth Island Institute 206-853-2855, riki@alertproject.org   Lesley Pacey, Founder/Director, Eastern Shore Community Health Partners, a Mobile Bay, Alabama, initiative to research chronic disease clusters 251-990-3515, lesleypacey@yahoo.com Berkeley, CA (January 18, 2022) — This week, a group of environmental-justice advocates and allies are calling on…

ALERT, Gulf Coast and other allies for environmental justice request action from U.S. President

  • December 27, 2021|

December 27, 2021.  ALERT, Gulf coast community organizations, and other allies for environmental justice sent a letter to President Biden requesting two immediate actions in relation to ongoing dispersant litigation and the associated EPA rulemaking: 1) Order EPA to withdraw its final rule on monitoring of atypical dispersant use, issued on July 27, 2021, before…

EPA drops appeal & Upcoming Court Dates

  • November 8, 2021|

ALERT, Gulf Coast allies request action from EPA Administrator September 30, 2021.  Gulf coast community organizations and allies for environmental justice sent a letter to EPA Administrator Regan requesting four immediate actions in relation to ongoing dispersant litigation and the associated EPA rulemaking: Let the August 9, 2021, court decision stand – do not appeal…

ALERT, Gulf Coast allies request action from EPA Administrator

  • September 30, 2021|

  September 30, 2021.  Gulf coast community organizations and allies for environmental justice sent a letter to EPA Administrator Regan requesting four immediate actions in relation to ongoing dispersant litigation and the associated EPA rulemaking: Let the August 9, 2021, court decision stand – do not appeal it. Withdraw the final rule on monitoring for…

One step almost forward, two steps definitely backward – EPA pulls a fast one 

  • August 9, 2021|

On July 27, just weeks after the court indicated its inclination to rule in favor of the public interest in ALERT’s lawsuit on rules governing dispersant use, the EPA split its long-delayed final rule in two. The result is a further delay of the rules governing dispersant use while rushing ahead with a rule to monitor…

Court victory!

  • August 9, 2021|

August 9, 2021.   A federal district court ruled in favor of the public interest by ordering the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to update its decades-old regulations on the use of toxic chemical dispersants in oil spill responses. Specifically, the court ruled that EPA now has a mandatory “duty to update the NCP when there…

EPA pulls a fast one – Issues final rule on monitoring of “atypical dispersant use”

  • August 9, 2021|

    A federal district court ruled in favor of the public interest by ordering the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to update its decades-old regulations on the use of toxic chemical dispersants in oil spill responses. Specifically, the court ruled that EPA now has a mandatory “duty to update the NCP when there is…

Judge leans in favor of ALERT at hearing on summary judgment

  • July 20, 2021|

EPA files its opposition to ALERT’s MSJ and its own Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment May 20, 2021.  In this dual-purpose filing, EPA first countered, and then asked the Court to deny, the plaintiffs’ requests for summary judgment on our unreasonable delay claim and our injunctive relief. Then EPA asked the court for summary judgment in…

ALERT files Motion for Summary Judgment

  • April 20, 2021|

April 20, 2021.  ALERT asked the court for summary judgment in our favor on the matter of the EPA’s unreasonable delay over finalizing rules governing dispersant use. We are also asking for injunctive relief – a Court order – to issue a proposed new rule within 90 days of the Court order, with the hope that EPA…

Screening: “The Cost of Silence” at Half Earth Day Festival (Oct. 25, 2020)

  • October 23, 2020|

Filmmaker Mark Manning met Riki Ott, a marine toxicologist, in Louisiana in the summer of 2010, when the BP Deepwater Horizon was still gushing oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The disaster would become the largest oil spill in the U.S. at 221 million gallons. Over the next decade, Riki the scientist-activist and Mark the…

Petition to Bill and Melinda Gates — as shareholders of Ecolab — to help stop use and manufacture of toxic dispersants for oil spill response

  • September 24, 2020|

    Click here to sign the petition on Change.org Appeal to Bill and Melinda Gates — as shareholders of Ecolab — to help stop use and manufacture of toxic dispersants for oil spill response During a recent “cast” interview for the documentary A Concerned Citizen, now screening through the Global Peace Film Festival until…

Screening: “A Concerned Citizen” at the Global Peace Film Festival (Sept. 21-Oct.4, 2020)

  • September 20, 2020|

“A Concerned Citizen” documents the work of Dr. Riki Ott, a citizen activist who helped communities hit by the Exxon Valdez and BP Deepwater Horizon spills document long-term harm to people and wildlife and advance stronger national and state policies. Taking lessons she learned as an active concerned citizen, she developed the Ultimate Civics curriculum…

Forbes: Would The Use Of Chemical Dispersants In Mauritius Oil Spill Be Considered An Ecocide?

  • September 17, 2020|

  Read the article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/nishandegnarain/2020/09/13/would-the-use-of-chemical-dispersants-in-mauritius-oil-spill-be-considered-an-ecocide/#69a98a035a6d

Court Rejects Reconsideration: Stays the Course

  • September 1, 2020|

  September 1, 2020.  The District Court rejected EPA’s motion to reconsider its motion to dismiss the court’s earlier landmark ruling that required EPA to keep the nation’s oil spill response plans current and effective. In the September ruling, the Judge wrote that “EPA’s arguments amount to an improper repetition of the arguments that it made…

Webinar: Short-and long-term human health impacts of the Wakashio Oil spill (Aug. 25, 2020)

  • August 25, 2020|

  On August 25 at 12:30 PM EDT, Dr. Riki Ott participated in a free webinar panel discussion of short-and long-term human health impacts of the Wakashio oil spill in the Indian Ocean Island of Mauritius. This spill could be a game-changer for use of heavy fuel oil to propel the majority of large ships…

EPA stalls case

  • July 22, 2020|

  EPA filed a motion requesting that Judge Orrick reconsider his reasoned ruling on our Clean Water Act claim. EPA claimed that the Judge did not specifically address various issues it raised in its motion to dismiss our case. However, the Judge’s written opinion and the hearing transcripts both show that these issues were in…

ALERT v. EPA makes law! Ruling a “game-changer”

  • June 2, 2020|

June 2, 2020. U.S. Magistrate Judge William Orrick ruled that the Clean Water Act requires the EPA to keep the nation’s oil spill response plans current and effective. New research has linked chemical dispersants, heavily used during the 2010 BP spill response, with long-term illnesses in humans and wildlife. The EPA has failed to consider…

Surviving the BP Oil Spill // Ep. 4 // Preventing a Disaster

  • April 21, 2020|

In episode four, Dr. Ott hosts guests Lynda Zambrano and Rick Steiner, who discuss civic actions we can take right now to change unsafe, outdated oil spill policies and to build local capacity within communities to minimize harm during oil disasters. Lynda Zambrano of the Tulalip Nation, organized the first Tribal Emergency Response Council on…

Surviving the BP Oil Spill // Ep. 3 // Documenting the Harm

  • April 14, 2020|

For episode 3, Riki Ott hosts those who have dedicated years to documenting the human health impacts of the BP oil spill. This weeks’s guests include: Lesley Pacey, a Mobile Register reporter whose daughter Sarah was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia at age 4 in 2004. Since Sarah’s diagnosis, Pacey founded and directs the Eastern…

Surviving the BP oil spill // Ep. 2 // Women on the front line

  • April 7, 2020|

For the second episode of our series, “10 Years Surviving the BP Oil Spill” Dr. Riki Ott joins residents of coastal communities in Alabama and western Florida:  Captain Lori DeAngelis, who ran dolphin viewing charters before and after the BP oil disaster in western Florida and has experienced physical and mental health trauma as her…

Surviving the BP Oil Spill // Ep. 1 // Louisiana First Responders

  • March 31, 2020|

Throughout the 10th anniversary month of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, we are hosting a series of live interviews to raise awareness about the ongoing suffering and chronic illnesses of those who lived and worked near the disaster. Studies now show that chemicals used by the government to “clean up” the spill form a…

Live Stream Premiere! BP Oil Spill Survivors Tell Their Stories (March 31, 2020)

  • March 27, 2020|

Episode 1, March 31   Dr. Riki Ott will join first responders — Louisiana residents who were part of the initial response to the 2010 BP oil disaster and who are now suffering from life-threatening illnesses — to demonstrate that current practices in the  U.S oil-spill response plan are unsafe and endanger the health of…

Press Conference: Connecting the Dots Between Long-Term Illness and the BP Oil Spill

  • March 26, 2020|

In anticipation of the anniversary date of the 2010 BP oil spill, Marine Toxicoligist and environmental activist riki ott held a press conference on March 25, 2020, to break down the scientific evidence linking oil dispersants (used on oil spills) to long-term illness in communities surrounding oil disasters.

Tribal Emergency Response Training (June 14, 2020) CANCELED

  • March 25, 2020|

Canceled due to COVID-19  After presenting at The National Tribal Emergency Management Council (NTEMC) annual conference in Wisconsin in 2019, Dr. Riki Ott was invited to conduct a workshop on Oil Spill Preparation and Response for Response Workers and Leaders of Tribal Communities in the Pacific Northwest at the Northwest Tribal Emergency Management Council Regional Conference,…

ALERT to interview Gulf residents for British Petroleum (BP) oil disaster memorial during April

  • March 19, 2020|

Our series of live streams “Gulf voices & why we need to listen,” is part of our project to expose long-term illnesses and deaths following the BP oil disaster and highlight the urgent need for national policy reform. Ten years since British Petroleum’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill, hundreds of thousands of people may be suffering from long-term illnesses. Thousands…

ALERT featured in ‘The Cost of Silence’ — Official Selection of the Sundance Film Festival

  • March 10, 2020|

“The Cost of Silence,” Mark Manning’s new film documenting widespread and still ongoing human illnesses in the aftermath of the 2010 BP oil spill, and featuring ALERT’s work, premiered as an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 27, 2020 in Park City, Utah.  National Resource Defense Council, in partnership with Entertainment Weekly featured ALERT…

ALERT announces lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency

  • February 13, 2020|

  After eight years of preparation and waiting, The ALERT Project has officially sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its outdated National Contingency Plan, the nation’s emergency response plan for oil spills.  The Plan was last updated in 1994 – 26 years ago.  Oil companies are supposed to have viable plans to respond…

Cancer causing Oil-Chemical Pollutants for making rubber and plastic release into the air during explosion in Texas

  • December 12, 2019|

On November 27, 2019, residents in southeast Texas experienced a devastating public health threat when a 218-acre TPC petrochemical plant blew up in Port Noches, Texas. (Photo credit: NBCNews.com) The plant produces flammable toxic chemicals: raffinate, a petroleum gas, and butadiene, which is used in the production of plastics and synthetic rubber for tires. For…

ALERT takes new legal action with the EPA

  • April 7, 2019|

It’s said that maritime law is written in blood or oil—after disasters rather than before them. The same can be said of our nation’s emergency oil and chemical disaster response plan, the National Contingency Plan (NCP or the Plan).Our campaign to ban toxic dispersants from use during oil spill response started after the Exxon Valdez disaster…

Heiltsuk First Nation lawsuit

Riki Ott commemorates the 30th anniversary of Exxon Valdez oil spill in solidarity with Heiltsuk First Nation lawsuit

  • March 28, 2019|

Thirty years ago on March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez grounded on Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil into the ocean. This set off a chain of events that still informs decisions and actions today by government, courts, the oil industry-and by people who don’t want the…

BP Deepwater Horizon Medical Victims Deserve Justice

  • April 20, 2018|

On the eighth memorial of the BP disaster, let’s support the individuals and communities sickened by the BP disaster and by multiple system response failures. In this ongoing nightmare, we can work toward justice for BP victims and their families and toward system-wide accountability to avert similar tragedies in the future. Hundreds of thousands of…

Standing in Solidarity Against the DAPL

  • October 5, 2016|

ALERT received requests for basic information about the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) from allies who are standing with the Standing Rock Sioux Nation to support their 1868 treaty rights to protect their land and water. The Fort Laramie Treaty – like every other treaty with Native American Tribes – has been broken by the United…

Groundhog Day: EPA Postpones Decision on Dispersants & What You Can Do About It NOW

  • October 5, 2016|

Ever feel like you’ve heard the exact same thing before? In April of 2015, EPA promised to make a decision on rules regarding dispersant use in oil spill response in the fall of 2016. Now EPA has decided to postpone the final rules until August 2018 at the earliest.  Sounds like the same old, same…

Introducing Toxic Trespass – A new teaching tool

  • April 20, 2016|

Mobile, Alabama. For the past three months, an alliance of oil-spill survivors, academics, trained first responders, fence-line and frontline community residents, and community organizers in Houston, Mobile, and Coden, Alabama, have worked with ALERT, myself and Emily L. Harris, to develop a concept and a course. Toxic Trespass is the first in a series of…