This exemption was given in April of 2009 but then BP lobbying managed to get this exemption extended a mere 11 days before the spill. Better sorry than safe I guess is the motto of the U.S. Minerals Management Service. I wonder if they hear presentations by environmentalists or just lobbyist from the oil industry?
U.S. exempted BP's Gulf of Mexico drilling from environmental impact study
By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
The Interior Department exempted BP's calamitous Gulf of Mexico drilling operation from a detailed environmental impact analysis last year, according to government documents, after three reviews of the area concluded that a massive oil spill was unlikely.
The decision by the department's Minerals Management Service (MMS) to give BP's lease at Deepwater Horizon a "categorical exclusion" from the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) on April 6, 2009 -- and BP's lobbying efforts just 11 days before the explosion to expand those exemptions -- show that neither federal regulators nor the company anticipated an accident of the scale of the one unfolding in the gulf.