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BP's US Gulf project exempted from enviro analysis

U.S. regulators exempted BP from a detailed environmental review of the exploration project that ultimately resulted in the deadly Gulf of Mexico explosion and subsequent oil spill, documents show. The Minerals Management Service granted BP's project a "categorical exclusion" from full environmental analysis normally required under the National Environmental Policy Act, according to documents made available by the Center for Biological Diversity…BP had argued in a letter to the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)…last month that the use of the exclusion for projects did not mean environmental impacts were being ignored, only that an agency agrees they are deemed to be minimal or nonexistent…The Transocean Deepwater Horizon drilling rig contracted by BP exploded two weeks ago, killing 11 workers…

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