My colleague, Lindsey Williams, is today's guest blogger on Bridge the Gulf. Bridge the Gulf is a citizen journalism project dedicated to saving communities on the Gulf Coast. Today, Lindsey is marking the one-year anniversary of the day the Deepwater Horizon oil well was finally capped. Yet, the rights of environmental whistleblowers have not budged an inch toward encouraging employees to come forward with information that could prevent another environmental disaster. One effort at providing "gold standard" whistleblower protections to health and safety whistleblowers passed the House of Representatives last year, but failed to garner action in the Senate. While we wait, Lindsey's blog entry today points to the federal False Claims Act (FCA) as an attractive remedy for those environmental whistleblowers who have information about their company's fraud against the government.
As Bridge the Gulf explains, "in the past year, thousands of BP clean-up workers have joined the ranks of others in the oil, gas, and chemical industry who see safety and environmental abuses with shocking regularity." Continuing:
BP clean-up workers are barred from speaking to the press, told they would be fired for wearing respirators and other safety gear, and now many are now facing illness and even death from toxic exposure. But many still fear the repercussions of speaking out.
Lindsey Williams is the Advocacy Director of the National Whsitleblowers Center (NWC). The full text of her blog post follows in the continuation of this blog entry.Continue Reading...