Coast Guard to burn Gulf oil slick

April 28, 2010 at 9:30 AM Leave a comment

Authorities will start burning some of the thickest oil in a massive slick from a rig explosion off the coast of Louisiana on Wednesday morning, the Coast Guard said.

Fire-resistant containment booms will be used to corral some of the oil on surface, which will then be ignited, Petty Officer 2nd Class Prentice Danner said. It was unclear how large an area will be set on fire or how far from shore the first fire would be set.

Crews have been unable to stop thousands of barrels of oil from fouling Gulf waters since the April 20 explosion sank the Deepwater Horizon, which was drilling 50 miles off the Louisiana coast. Eleven workers are missing and presumed dead, and the cause of the blast has not been determined.

Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry earlier said the controlled burns would be done during the day far from shore. Crews would make sure marine life and people were protected and that work on other oil rigs would not be interrupted.

Ed Overton, a professor emeritus of environmental sciences at Louisiana State University, questioned the method of getting rid of the oil slick.

“It can be effective in calm water, not much wind, in a protected area,” he said. “When you’re out in the middle of the ocean, with wave actions and currents pushing you around, it’s not easy.”

He had another concern: The oil samples from the spill he’s looked at shows it to be a sticky substance similar to roofing tar.

“I’m not super optimistic. This is tarry crude that lies down in the water,” he said. “But it’s something that has got to be tried.”

For full article click HERE

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Entry filed under: Conservation, Green Help, Marine Environment, National News. Tags: , , , , , .

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