26 Aug '11, 10am

Impact of Gulf Spill's Underwater Dispersants Is Examined

Stephen Lehmann/Coast Guard, via European Pressphoto Agency A Basler BT-67 aircraft releasing dispersant off the shore of Louisiana in May 2010. In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill , BP sought and obtained permission to use dispersants, detergent-like compounds, to break up the 200 million gallons of Louisiana sweet crude, into tiny droplets that would mix throughout the water column, trying to lessen the immediate impact of the oil slick on fragile coastal ecosystems. The dispersants selected, Corexit 9500 and Corexit 9527, were used in large quantities (1.84 million gallons) and also in ways never before used — they were applied directly underwater to the source of the spill. One month after oil first started gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, the federal Environmental Protection Agency gave BP 24 hours to identify, and 72 hours to begin using, a less toxic alte...

Full article: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/26/impact-of-gulf-...

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