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WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland issued a statement Tuesday commemorating the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster in April 2011, which killed 11 people and is considered to be the largest marine oil spill in history. Oil spewed from a damaged pipe for 87 days until it was finally capped, discharging an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil, according to the federal government.

The environmental damage and impact on marine life from the spill persists today. 

Read Haaland's statement below:

“Today marks 11 years since the Deepwater Horizon tragedy. It is a time to remember the 11 men who lost their lives, honor those who worked to contain the spill, recognize the devastating impact the incident had on Gulf Coast communities, local economies and wildlife, and recommit ourselves to strengthening safety and environmental protections for offshore energy operations.

“Interior has made progress toward ensuring that operations in the Gulf Coast remain safe and environmentally responsible -- but we also know there is more work to be done.

“Just yesterday, the Government Accountability Office released a report highlighting needed reforms to ensure that offshore pipelines meet adequate federal safety and environmental standards. As we continue to diversify our energy portfolio to combat climate change, Interior must lead in the development of workplace safety and environmental protection strategies. The lives and livelihoods of Gulf Coast workers and communities, the health of our marine wildlife and coastal habitats, and the future of our ocean and waters depend on our action.”

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Author: Native News Online Staff