New documents released by a congressional subcommittee indicate that Coast Guard officials allowed BP to use excessive amounts of chemical dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico.
BP used the chemicals to break up oil after the April 20 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion sent millions of gallons of crude gushing into the Gulf.
Despite a federal directive restricting their use, the Coast Guard routinely granted exemptions, said Rep. Edward J. Markey, chairman of the House Energy and Environment Subcommittee.
"BP carpet bombed the ocean with these chemicals, and the Coast Guard allowed them to do it," Markey said in a statement Saturday. "After we discovered how toxic these chemicals really are, they had no business being spread across the Gulf in this manner."