Oil and gas companies have been caught out in the middle of the spill response by the Trump administration.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued an order that required BP to be more proactive in identifying and remedying the damage caused by oil and methane pollution from the Gulf Coast.
The order, which was first reported by the Associated Press, requires the company to provide an assessment of the number of sites that need to be monitored and to report its progress in addressing the problem.
It also requires BP’s subsidiaries to develop a process to monitor spills for signs of oil and related chemicals, and to conduct “detailed analysis” of any spill that appears to have the potential for harming people or the environment.
The president, who has taken an interest in the oil and natural gas industry, has made it a priority to reduce methane emissions and to reduce the environmental impact of fossil fuels.
However, the order does not require BP to improve the way it treats the spill sites, including where it treats oil and oil-contaminated water.
In a statement, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said the order “would have required BP, ExxonMobil, and ConocoPhillips to take more steps to address the environmental damage caused in the spill” if it had been implemented.
The agency said it is working to develop new standards to reduce oil- and gas-related emissions from its facilities.
However the EPA’s executive director, Gina McCarthy, said that the order would not have been effective unless BP took proactive steps to identify and clean up the damage it caused.
“If you’re not going to address this, you’re going to create the problem,” she told Business Insider.
McCarthy also said that, if the order is implemented, it would require companies to develop “a plan to address future spills that could potentially be caused by contaminants in oil or gas.”
The order also requires the agency to publish a report on the “effects of these spill events on the environment.”
It does not specify how many sites the EPA would have to monitor or when it would begin to investigate.
It could take months for the EPA to develop an environmental assessment of any of the sites it is considering.