Video released by the Deepwater Horizon Response team from the oil leak site shows the sheer volume of crude spraying into the deep sea 24/7 (visible especially starting at 1:58)
And we got word from the EPA yesterday that it has approved further use of chemical dispersants, both on the surface and underwater, even though EPA notes
“The effects of underwater dispersant use on the environment are still widely unknown, which is why we are testing to determine its effectiveness first and foremost. If it is determined that the use of this dispersant underwater is effective and that BP may continue its use, the Federal government will require regular analysis of its impact on the environment, water and air quality, and human health. We reserve the right to discontinue the use of this dispersant method if any negative impacts on the environment outweigh the benefits.”
Testing on a grand scale and then deciding over time if the negative impacts might outweigh the benefits? Of course, the relatively slow pace of scientific research means the determination of negative impacts will lag far behind any immediate ‘benefits’ of the chemicals breaking up oil slicks.
Countless known and little-known sea creatures in the waters of the Mississippi Canyon and beyond are being inundated with the gushing oil. Adding a brew of mystery chemicals to the mix is irresponsible at best – our government can do much better by us and by our environment than sanction wild and desperate use of untested chemicals.
Among the many creatures in the Gulf’s deep waters? Bioluminescent sea creatures like jellyfish – scientists have been working for years to unlock the secrets of this phenomenon.