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Article posted Jul 07 2010, 5:26 PM Category: Tyranny/Police State Source: Digital Journal Print

New rule makes violating BP oil spill 'safety zone' criminal

By Bill Lindner

Anyone breaching a 20-meter safety zone established by the Coast Guard around all Deepwater Horizon clean-up and response operations may face fines and felony charges

The U.S. Coast Guard, acting under the authority of British Petroleum (BP), recently issued a blurry order requiring everyone - including bloggers, journalists, photographers and reporters -- to reportedly stay 20 meters away from any oil clean-up boom, operation, equipment or vessel in the Gulf of Mexico. Violating the rule can result in arrest, felony prosecution, and a $40,000 fine.

The 20-meter safety zone surrounding all Deepwater Horizon booming operations and oil response efforts taking place in Southeast Louisiana was established by the Coast Guard under the authority of the Ports and Waterways Safety Act (PDF).

A news release from the official site of the Deepwater Horizon Unified Command website prohibits -- under the penalty of law -- vessels from coming within 20 meters of booming operations, boom, or oil spill response operations. If a vessel operator cannot avoid the 20-meter rule, they're required to be cautious of the areas by transiting at a safe speed and distance.

Violators of an oil spill safety zone could be subject to civil penalty fines up to $40,000 and willful violations could result in being prosecuted for committing a class D felony.

Permission from Coast Guard needed to enter established 'safety zone'

According to the news release, the safety zone was established to protect members of the response effort, the installation and maintenance of oil containment boom, the operation of response equipment and protection of the environment by limiting access to and through deployed protective boom.

Anyone wanting to enter the established safety zone must get permission from the Coast Guard Captain of the Port of New Orleans by calling 504-846-5923.

On July 4, the Coast Guard issued a clarification -- also pertaining to rising reports of media being denied access to many of the areas devastated by the oil spill and claims of media censorship -- asserting that the safety zone rule would not prevent photographers from documenting the spill, response to the spill, or effects of the spill on wildlife.

Regarding the 20-meter safety zone, Megan Moloney, spokesperson for BP Deepwater Horizon Response National Incident Commander Adm. Thad Allen, told the Boston Herald "This distance is insignificant when gathering images." Photographic examples of the difference 20 meters makes can be found in the Boston Herald article. Some photographers have said they will use telephoto lenses, but they still won't get the whole picture.

Admiral Allen has stated that the new rule is aimed at protecting clean-up workers, but as noted by the WSWS, he failed to cite a single incident of safety being compromised by 'unauthorized personnel.'

Media kept away from places they need to be

The Times-Picayune reported that because booms are often placed more than 40 feet on the outside of islands or marsh grasses, the 20-meter rule could make it difficult to photograph and document the impacts of oil on land and wildlife, and provided many examples of media being banned and removed from certain areas while being threatened with arrest and harassed.

Critics of the rule claim it intentionally tries to prevent the media from showing the true magnitude of the death and destruction being inflicted in the Gulf of Mexico and violates First Amendment rights. CNN's Anderson Cooper expressed his disdain over the Coast Guard's rule, repeatedly claiming "We are not the enemy here." Cooper said the safety zone law prevents reporters and photographers from getting close to just about any place they need to be, workers won't talk to the press because they're afraid of losing their jobs and private security -- usually local LA police or Sheriff's departments -- are blocking cameras and access to many parts of the oil-soaked Gulf coast.

There are growing concerns that clean-up workers might defy a BP gag order and reveal more of the dangerous conditions in the Gulf Coast, and an unknown number of those workers have become ill from being exposed to toxins in the oil and the chemicals used to disperse the oil. Many of those workers could be facing a lifetime of chronic ailments. There are also growing concerns as to why the Gulf Coast clean-up is moving so slowly.

President Obama's policy has resulted in covering up the devastation in the Gulf Coast when the world's population has the right to know what is happening to the area surrounding the oil spill. BP's claims on the amount of oil they've recovered have been grossly overstated, and it is virtually impossible to assess the total magnitude of the damage or know how to properly respond to it. This cover up has been ongoing for the past two and a half months now and there doesn't appear to be any end in sight.

Meanwhile, as tar balls from the spill wash up on Texas shores -- meaning that all the Gulf Coast states have now been hit by oil from the spill -- it appears that the crude deceptions over the Gulf Coast oil spill will continue as local police and federal officials work with BP to deter journalists, by any means possible, from uncovering the truth about the BP oil spill and the total devastation unleashed on the Gulf Coast and it appears that BP is still running the show.

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Comments 1 - 3 of 3 Add Comment Page 1 of 1

Posted: Jul 08 2010, 2:18 AM

What? The criminals call the scene of their crime a crime if you enter. (quick hide the evidence).

Is that guilty by location when they're guilty of milking their own inside job? What hubris is squeezed out of their putrid pours. What a horrible stench that emanates from Queen Beatrix, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Chase. They are the mentally deranged inbred sociopaths that think they are going to rule us. NOT! PS twenty billion isn't squat to these banksters when they're making 200 hundred billion a week on this criminal maneuver. It's also been confirmed Haliburton and BLM were on that rig just before the explosion with BLM being the last one's there and leaving something behind a witness has said and two hours later kaboom...... this wasn't an accident! (Obama) I mean Barry Soetoro should be tried for fraud and treason. Even if he wanted to help he would be committing an act of fraud since he's not eligible to be president in the first place. Everything he does is fraud besides being Null and Void when it comes to laws he signs and actions he takes. Health care? NULL AND VOID!
One Big Ass Mistake America!

Posted: Jul 08 2010, 2:36 AM

Oh I forgot for those who haven't heard Obamas's financial services Vanguard sold a bunch of shares of BP like the CEO did along with Goldman Sachs weeks before the spill.

Will the grand Jury please someday sooner convene and send US Marshals to round up all the criminal banksters in the White House? There's plenty of credible evidence BUT No because they're bought and paid for in advance also.Never the less, this should be happening in a constitutional republic not this communistic fascist state we have right now with Arnold in the wings ready to rule the masses like a dictator as he has expressed in interviews. Barry is the first president to not salute the flag, he's the first not to use his real legal name, and he the first to be sworn in on the Koran, he's the first to not be a citizen (open door for Arnold), he's using a fake SS# and his birthplace is Kenya where he helped put in place the Muslim dictatorship while being associated with William Aires a know terrorist bomber that has bombed many of our government buildings here and abroad. BARRY'S a fraud top to bottom a JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs creation. Most of Barry's cabinet are Goldman Sachs alumni.

Posted: Jul 08 2010, 5:19 PM

6981 BP has no authority to levy fines and arrest people. The company is not a law enforcement agency. The ONLY way that an arrest can be made or fine levied on a media representative is if THE GOVERNMENT created a crime and a fine to go along with it.

For example, Times-Picayune reporters have been threatened with arrest for taking pictures on a PUBLIC beach - over which BP has no authority. Only the government - and specifically the Obama White House and Justice Department - is able to create such a rule/law/fine.

Don't blame BP alone - this administration is wanting to cover up the realities of this environmental disaster and the horrible impact on the lives of the people of the Gulf because to allow the truth to come out would ruin the charade and the myth.

Interesting that the media that has worked so hard to create a facade around Obama is now finding out that they've played right into his hands...

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