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BP Oil Spill…environmental catastrophe!

by Carolina on June 25, 2010

It has been more than 8 weeks since one of BP’s oil rigs exploded and oil has been spewing out of it. Here is a quick look at the timeline of the events from May 24th – June 29th so far:

May 24 – 27, 2010

May 24th

  • It’s been over a month since the $560-million oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded and sunk and vast quantities of oil are still leaking into the Gulf of Mexico, causing an environmental catastrophe of epic proportions.

  • The “Top Kill” BP’s plan now is delayed.  They try to plug the well with pressured drilling mud long enough to be able to seal it permanently with cement. Unfortunately it has never been tried at this depth, so nobody knows if it’s going to work.

May 27th

  • The “top kill” is finally attempted, and at first it looked like it was working (a U.S. Coast Guard admiral said as much). But after a few days of efforts, the “top kill” is abandoned. BP will have to try something else…

June 15 – 29, 2010

  • Federal officials leading the frontline response to the BP oil spill to prevent oil from reaching the shoreline along the Gulf Coast and to mitigate its impact where it does.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has many monitoring stations surrounding the oil spill. Nearly every report that has come from the EPA shows little to no effect from the oil spill and no air quality degradation from the controlled burns and toxic dispersant released into the water.
  • EPA has observed odor-causing pollutants associated with oil on the shore in the gulf region at low levels. Some of these chemicals may cause short-lived effects like headache, eye, nose and throat irritation, or nausea. Some people may be able to smell several of these chemicals at levels well below those that would cause short-term health problems.
  • Surface water results collected along the Gulf coast on June 15, 18, 20, & 21, 2010 found no compounds exceeding chronic water benchmarks.
  • Sediment samples collected June 20, 2010 along the Gulf coast did not reveal elevated levels for chemicals that are usually found in oil.
  • “Federal government’s aggressive response efforts and oversight of BP will continue until BP stops its leaking well, the damage is cleaned up, and Gulf Coast communities are made whole, and stressed that the federal government is working closely with state and local authorities to ensure that they have the resources they need to meet the evolving threat from this oil spill.”
  • For information about validated environmental air and water sampling results, visit www.epa.gov/bpspill.

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