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Campbell Robertson

Gulf of Mexico Has Long Been a Dump Site for Industry

According to data from the Minerals Management Service compiled and analyzed by Toxics Targeting, a firm that documents pollution and contamination, at least 324 spills involving offshore drilling have occurred in the gulf since 1964, releasing more than 550,000 barrels of oil and drilling-related substances. Four of these spills even involved earlier equipment failures and accidents on the Deepwater Horizon rig. Thousands of tons of produced water — a drilling byproduct that includes oil, grease and heavy metals — are dumped into the gulf every year. The discharges are legal and regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency.

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