Thursday, May 27, 2010
65 miles and counting 100 miles and counting
That was the initial report of the amount of marsh land that has been contaminated with oil so far. BP those bastions of truth beg to differ stating this morning that there was only 38 acres with but a small sheen. But what BP doesn't realize is that there is an army of scientists out there documenting in exact terms the extent of this spill. Just today the good people from the University of South Florida just brought their research boat the Weatherbird II back from the waters of Mobile Bay, Alabama where they finished monitoring an oil plume 3 miles wide by 22 miles long and some 3300 feet deep. Another scientist (sorry didn't catch his name) has been taking samples in the wetlands to determine the extent of the damage and give a record to dispute BPs claims.
Lately BP has been claiming that there is no potential hazard to workers and that levels are well within the EPA guidelines. I find that interesting since the Coast Guard had just ordered all fishermen who had been out there to shore after many of them got sick from exposures. We saw similar illnesses during the European spill some years back. It was 2002 when the single hulled tanker Prestige was carrying 82000 tons of a heavy crude. The ship Liberian registered was inspected in Russia before heading on it's journey. The captain noting that ship was a little less than sea worthy resigned and another captain found. After being turned away from Spain, Portugal and France the ship was headed back south off the coast of Spain when it broke in two spilling a good part of it's load. I remember this because just after it broke apart the oil started washing ashore and a storm was due a day or two after. When the storm hit it blew oily water over the coastal town making most of the residents quite sick.
Now for a question that reporters should be asking but haven't. Exactly what is in the drilling mud they're using to try and stop this leak? From what I've read they're all toxic. Great now in addition to the oil and the toxic dispersants that the EPA told them to stop using, they're adding to the toxic soup with mud that contains barium, glycol and a bunch of other nasty stuff.
What to do? First get the leak stopped then get a couple of supertankers with vacuums as close to shore as possible. As for the marshes they'll have to burn a good part of that and whether they can be rebuild is another story.
The flag graphic is from the Spanish group that cleaned up the Prestige spill, a volunteer group I might add. The translation - Never again.
Keep your drums upright and sealed.