Monday, May 24, 2010, 5/24/2010 09:51:00 AM

Trade Secrets of Oil Spill Remediation?

By Todd

Are the particularized explanations a private company provides to a government agency as to why they are using certain remedial measures to fix a problem possibly a trade secret?


There are numerous reports (see, e.g., http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/obama-running-out-of-patience-as-bp-misses-oil-slick-deadlines-1981133.html) alleging BP continues to use a highly toxic dispersant, Corexit 9500, to help break up the oil slick.

On Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency gave the firm 72 hours to stop using the controversial product. BP allegedly refused, and was still using it on Friday. So far, 715,000 gallons have been pumped on to the slick.

BP is now allegedly objecting to the EPA from publishing the reasons it has given for refusing to stop using Corexit, citing commercial confidentiality and trade secret rationales.


One wonders: how successful will the argument be that a regulated company's remediation tools and the particulars of those tools are commercially valuable trade secrets? We'll have to see. We'll keep an eye on this one for you.

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