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How to Clean up an Oil Spill

Oil Spill Cleanup Methods  

The devastating oil spill in the Gulf started way back on April 20th of 2010, after the DeepWater Horizon Oil rig exploded killing 11 workers. Since then, crude oil has been pouring in to the Gulf of Mexico with estimates somewhere between 1 to 2 million gallons being spilled per day. As I write this we are approaching the third month of spillage, which would mean that anywhere from 80 to 180 million gallons have spilled in to our oceans. Every 4 days is equivallent to the Exxon Valdez, which spilled 11 million gallons back in 1989 and was the worst oil spill in history.

and the War wages on...

As I am writing this, efforts are being made to both stop the leak and begin the daunting task of cleanup. Cleanup will undoubtedly be a difficult and dangerous task. However, as with many previous American disasters, American inginuity has prevailed. BP has received over 100,000 viable suggestions from people all over the country and World. Only roughly 7 made the cut and we're deemed feasible after their battery of tests. One of the contraptions now being put in to use was made by famous Actor Kevin Costner. The largest oil cleanup boat in the World called, "the Whale" is now being used in the Gulf Waters. It is estimated that "The Whale" can ingest up to 20 million gallons of oil per day. Some of the other methods include Organic agents that soak up the oil. These organic components include Hair, Hay, and Mushrooms, all of which have been found to soak up the oil.
other Oil Spill Cleanup methods include:
In The Water...

Boom~Boom comes in many sizes, shapes, and types and is used primarily to deflect and/or collect oil.

Burning~Fresh oil contains gases which are very volatile. By igniting these gases whole oil slicks can be reduced to tarry residue.

Dispersants~Dispersants are used to do just that, disperse. They are chemicals that break-up oil into smaller and smaller concentrations. Potentially into individual molecules.
Skimming is a mechanical system for removing oil from the surface. This process was created based on the reality that oil is lighter than water.
On The Beach...

The application of certain fertilizers to beaches stimulates the growth of "oil-eating" microbes. This fertilizing process is known as Bioremediation.

Chemical Cleaning~
In an attempt to avoid Hot Water & High Pressure treatment, chemical cleaners were tested which removed oil from the beach for collection.

Hot Water & High Pressure~
By using hot water at high pressure, cleanup crews blast oil off beaches into the water where it can be skimmed off.

Manual Treatment~Manual treatment incorporates the use of shovels, rakes, absorbent materials and human hands.

Mechanical Treatment~
Tractors, backhoes, front-end loaders, and other machines were used to move beach and scoop up asphalt collections.

New Update: Finally BP has been able to announce some good news with regard to the massive leak that has been polluting the Gulf of Mexico since April 20. They have managed to place a new cap over the damaged part of the pipeline.
They are now running tests to make sure that no other leaks are appearing due to a build up of pressure caused by capping of the gushing well, these tests are expected to take up to 48 hours.

More info:
For response-related inquiries, please phone the Joint Information Center (JIC) at 985.902.5231 or 985.902.5240.
To report oil on land, or for general community information, please phone 866.448.5816.
To report oiled or injured wildlife, please phone 866.557.1401.
To learn about volunteer opportunities in all areas and what training is required, please phone 866.448.5816.
To discuss spill related damage claims, please phone 800.440.0858.


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