Capps, Welch Demand BP Relieve Troubled Contractor from Public Health Response

Reps. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, and Peter Welch, D-Vt., have written to BP demanding that the company stop employing the private consulting firm, Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health, or CTEH, in its public health response.

Capps and Welch said CTEH has been cited in a long line of controversial cases in which it has flouted accepted data collection methods, resulting in tainted results serving its employer’s corporate interests. Among many infractions, Capps and Welch said, CTEH was found to use inaccurate monitoring procedures by an EPA audit for its work monitoring air quality at a Tennessee Valley Authority coal ash site. It also failed to use accurate sampling techniques to determine soil contamination in a post-Hurricane Katrina refinery spill in Chalmette, La., the lawmakers said.

“By using CTEH, BP is putting its own bottom line ahead of the public’s health,” Capps said. “Obtaining accurate and trustworthy data is critical to launching an effective public health response. BP needs to fire CTEH and hire a firm without such a questionable track record.”

“The men and women of the Gulf Coast who are working hard to clean up the devastating damage of the Deepwater Horizon spill deserve better than substandard health monitoring,” Welch added. “CTEH has a troubling record of failing to put public health first and should not be charged with this critical work.”

Capps and Welch demanded that BP remove CTEH from its current role in public health monitoring, hire an independent toxicology center, and release the methodology used and all data collected by CTEH to the federal government so the government can verify the findings.

Click here for a copy of the Capps-Welch letter.

— Ashley Schapitl is the press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.