Major oil spill in Australia finally brought to an en

Here’s Chris Dunagan’s account and my response.

November 4th, 2009 by cdunagan

After 74 days, salvage crews finally stopped the flow of crude from a leaking oil well about 150 miles off the coast of Australia.

The spill, which hasn’t gotten much attention in our part of the world, appears to be roughly the size of the Exxon Valdez spill, according to estimates. The good thing is that the oil has not hit land, and Australian officials are doing their best to make sure that it doesn’t. Crews are using chemical dispersants and oil-collection equipment.

A fire that started on the oil rig Sunday also was extinguished.

Even though the oil has not hit shore, environmental officials are concerned about the number of marine mammals and sea birds affected by the oil.

“We still have a toxic cocktail created by the thousands of barrels of oil and condensate that have been pouring into the sea, along with the thousands of litres of dispersant,” said Gilly Llewellyn, conservation director for World Wildlife Fund – Australia. “All of this in one of the world’s most intact tropical marine ecosystems.”

Mike Bossley, the managing director for the Australasian office of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society expressed concern for the longterm and chronic effects on marine life in the area of the spill, where four species of whales and dolphins and 28 species of birds were spotted in recent days.

One Response to “Major oil spill in Australia finally brought to an end”

  1. Fred Felleman Says:
    November 4th, 2009 at 1:02 pm Finally they get their act together! So much for the mantra often repeated about modern environmentally sensitive development practices…. Another example why we fought so hard in the 1980’s to ban oil rigs off our coast. It will be interesting to see how thorough a job is done of evaluating the effectiveness and impacts of the heavy dispersant use.

    Closer to home the recent oil spill in San Francisco Bay during a common bunkering operation spread farther than need be due to the fact that CA does not require pre-booming of transfer operations as Ecology now requires after legislation introduced subsequent to the Point Well’s spill.

    Jay Inslee has attachment a provision to the Coast Guard reauthorization HR 3619 that would address such issues but it is not included the Senate version.

    Unfortunately the public is only made aware of such overdue issues when there’s oil in the water leading regulators to act.

~ by fredfelleman on November 4, 2009.

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