It's been nearly eight months since the Deepwater Horizon tragedy killed 11 workers and spilled millions of gallons of oil in the Gulf of Mexico. Since April, federal agencies have launched a series of separate investigations and this week the U.S. Chemical Safety Board held its first round of public hearings. Host Scott Simon talks with NPR's Jeff Brady about the continuing investigations into the causes of the BP oil spill.
It can be confusing to keep track of all the groups investigating the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
For example, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board is holding a public hearing on the disaster Wednesday, looking at how other countries regulate offshore drilling. And its investigation is one of at least five government inquiries into the Deepwater Horizon explosion and spill.
So you can imagine how Michael Bromwich, the country's chief offshore regulator, feels.
The Hofer family in Bayou La Batre, Ala., is struggling to stay afloat both financially and emotionally. Since the BP oil spill, Aaron, 27, has been largely out of work. Lena, 25, is getting counseling to help her cope and says she has finally convinced her husband, an Iraq war veteran, to get help at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
"To be honest with you, I would say that my husband would hurt himself," Lena says, "because he's never not been able to provide for us. To see my husband cry over not being able to take care of us, it worries me."
These are hard times in the hard-working town of Bayou La Batre, Ala. It's known as the state's seafood capital -- and it struggled to get back in business after Hurricane Karina.
But once again, the processing plants and shrimp boats lining the bayou are mostly idle after the BP oil spill.
So when Feed the Children trucks recently arrived at the community center, the turnout was huge. About a dozen volunteers worked quickly handing out big cartons packed with food and household goods. Residents had to sign up in advance, so some were reluctantly turned away.