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Oil Spill
He said there were three golden rules of oil spills:

1. "The first is don't spill it in the first place;

2. "The second is, if you do spill it, try and pick it up as quickly and easily as possible;

3. "And the third is that in the open ocean, the best thing to do is leave well alone. Unfortunately, politically that always looks like a cop-out."

Scientists agreed that the wetlands of Louisiana were the most sensitive areas at risk, but said that here again a light touch might be the safest solution.

"The more delicate an area is -- and many of these areas around the Gulf coast are very delicate -- the more significant is the risk of making things worse by acting," said Preston. "A rather gung-ho attitude to the cleanup could end up doing more damage than if it had simply been left alone." http://green.in.msn.com/greennews/articl...232&page=5

Source: Reuters
In US, Milk spill is also considered hazardous because it contain fat/oil. Check EPA regulation.

In case you spill milk, Fed can fine you.
BP's submersible robots are preparing to remove the current containment cap from the ocean floor. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/us_and_...583902.stm

The new sealing cap has three closing rams and multiple ports for connection. According to BP, the new cap "creates the potential to increase oil and gas containment capacity to greater than 50,000 barrels per day and should improve containment efficiency during hurricane season by allowing shorter disconnect and reconnect times".
With several failed attempts in the past to stop the leakage, President Barack Obama has been cautious about his assessment of the latest development.

“I think it is a positive sign”, he said, “We’re still in the testing phase. I will have more to say about it tomorrow.”

Despite the initial success in tamping down the oil flow, no-one is giving the all clear signal just yet and the testing for oil pressure will continue for two days.

“It’s not the time to celebrate”, Doug Suttles, Chief Operating Officer for BP, said on television. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindall, whose state is among the five gulf states to be hit by the leak, in a statement to the CNN, said that he was “cautiously optimistic” as the test proceeds. http://www.thehindu.com/news/internation...518547.ece
<img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ohmy.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':o' /> [color="#8B0000"][size="5"]Banwari Lal, a scientist at the energy and environment think-tank Teri said Oilzapper could help contain the environmental damage due to the spill. "Other bioremediation measures tackle only one or two contents so you may still be left with the task of, say, stowing tar. In Oilzapper we have succeeded in creating a cocktail of four bacteria that do not fight amongst themselves and each feeds on only one layer of crude content. It is also 40% cheaper than other options," he said. Lal holds the patent for Oilzapper and heads the joint venture between Teri and state-run ONGC that markets the formulation. [/size][/color] http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India...185083.cms
The "static kill" would involve pumping mud into the well to force oil back into the reservoir below, officials from BP said Monday, noting that the option could succeed where other similar attempts have failed because pressure in the well is lower than expected.

BP Senior Vice President Kent Wells told reporters Monday that the idea was still "very much in its infancy," but that a decision could be made in several days. http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/07/20/gulf.oi...er/?hpt=T2

"At the end of the day, relief wells are still the ultimate solution," he said.
They have to dig relief well, no choice.

Environmentalist just have to tolerate this bit.
[url="http://news.yahoo.com/s/ynews_excl/ynews_excl_sc3270"]Mighty oil-eating microbes help clean up the Gulf[/url]
Quote:Where is all the oil? Nearly two weeks after BP finally capped the biggest oil spill in U.S. history, the oil slicks that once spread across thousands of miles of the Gulf of Mexico have largely disappeared. Nor has much oil washed up on the sandy beaches and marshes along the Louisiana coast. And the small cleanup army in the Gulf has only managed to skim up a tiny fraction of the millions of gallons of oil spilled in the 100 days since the Deepwater Horizon rig went up in flames.

So where did the oil go? "Some of the oil evaporates," explains Edward Bouwer, professor of environmental engineering at Johns Hopkins University. That’s especially true for the more toxic components of oil, which tend to be very volatile, he says. Jeffrey W. Short, a scientist with the environmental group Oceana, told the New York Times that as much as 40 percent of the oil might have evaporated when it reached the surface. High winds from two recent storms may have speeded the evaporation process.

Although there were more than 4,000 boats involved in the skimming operations, those cleanup crews may have only picked up a small percentage of the oil so far. That’s not unusual; in previous oil spills, crews could only scoop up a small amount of oil. "It’s very unusual to get more than 1 or 2 percent," says Cornell University ecologist Richard Howarth, who worked on the Exxon Valdez spill. Skimming operations will continue in the Gulf for several weeks.

Some of the oil has sunk into the sediments on the ocean floor. Researchers say that’s where the spill could do the most damage. But according to a report in Wednesday’s New York Times, "federal scientists [have determined] the oil [is] primarily sitting in the water column and not on the sea floor."

Perhaps the most important cause of the oil’s disappearance, some researchers suspect, is that the oil has been devoured by microbes. The lesson from past spills is that the lion’s share of the cleanup work is done by nature in the form of oil-eating bacteria and fungi. The microbes break down the hydrocarbons in oil to use as fuel to grow and reproduce. A bit of oil in the water is like a feeding frenzy, causing microbial populations to grow exponentially.

Typically, there are enough microbes in the ocean to consume half of any oil spilled in a month or two, says Howarth. Such microbes have been found in every ocean of the world sampled, from the Arctic to Antarctica. But there are reasons to think that the process may occur more quickly in the Gulf than in other oceans.

Microbes grow faster in the warmer water of the Gulf than they do in, say, the cool waters off Alaska, where the Exxon Valdez spill occurred. Moreover, the Gulf is hardly pristine. Even before humans started drilling for oil in the Gulf — and spilling lots of it — oil naturally seeped into the water. As a result, the Gulf evolved a rich collection of petroleum-loving microbes, ready to pounce on any new spill. The microbes are clever and tough, observes Samantha Joye, microbial geochemist at the University of Georgia. Joye has shown that oxygen levels in parts of the Gulf contaminated with oil have dropped. Since microbes need oxygen to eat the petroleum, that’s evidence that the microbes are hard at work.

The controversial dispersant used to break up the oil as it gushed from the deep-sea well may have helped the microbes do their work. Microbes can more easily consume small drops of oil than big ones. And there is evidence the microbes like to munch on the dispersant as well.

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