» Oil pollution of water

Disaster UnfoldsSlowly in the Gulf of Mexico

In the three weeks since the April 20th explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, and the start of the subsequent massive (and ongoing) oil leak, many attempts have been made to contain and control the scale of the environmental disaster. Oil dispersants are being sprayed, containment booms erected, protective barriers built, controlled burns undertaken, and devices are being lowered to the sea floor to try and cap the leaks, with little success to date. While tracking the volume of the continued flow of oil is difficult, an estimated 5,000 barrels of oil (possibly much more) continues to pour into the gulf every day. While visible damage to shorelines has been minimal to date as the oil has spread slowly, the scene remains, in the words of President Obama, a “potentially unprecedented environmental disaster.” (40 photos total) Read More

Gulf Oil Spill: The Story So Far

The effort to contain the Gulf oil spill has had more twists and turns than a mystery novel. This rundown of events so far also shows what is ahead in the struggle to clean up the Gulf of Mexico. Read More

Gulf Oil Spill: Government Argues to Reinstate Drilling Moratorium

The Obama administration will argue its case on deepwater drilling Thursday. The government issued the moratorium in the wake of the Gulf oil spill, but a judge blocked it last month. Read More

BP: Gulf Oil Spill Could be Stopped This Month

The end may be near for the runaway gulf oil well, according to a top BP executive. Read More

Gulf of Mexico Response

Updates, videos, press releases, photographs, and downloads from BP regarding the April 20, 2010 “Deepwater Horizon” incident. Read More

Louisiana Oil Spill 2010 PHOTOS: Gulf Of Mexico Disaster Unfolds

The catastrophic explosion that caused an oil spill from a BP offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico has reached the shoreline. Efforts to manage the spill with controlled burning, dispersal and plugging the leak have so far been unsuccessful. This oil spill has now obtained the dubious distinction of being the worst oil spill in US history, surpassing the damage done by the Exxon Valdez tanker that spilled 11 million gallons of oil into the ecologically sensitive Prince William Sound in 1989. Unlike the Exxon Valdez tragedy, in which a tanker held a finite capacity of oil, BP’s rig is tapped into an underwater oil well and could pump more oil into the ocean indefinitely until the leak is plugged. Here are updated photos of oil hitting coastlines and the damage throughout the ocean, which poses a serious threat to fishermen’s livelihoods, marine habitats, beaches, wildlife and human health. Read More

ECAR Fact Sheet for Iowa Used Oil

Used oil is insoluble, persistent and may contain toxic chemicals and heavy metals. If spilled on the ground, poured down storm drains or disposed of with trash, it can pollute surface water or groundwater. Used oil is not inherently hazardous, but if it contains certain additives, or if it has become contaminated with other solvents, it can fall under the hazardous waste rules. Read More

ECAR Fact Sheet for Illinois Aqueous Cleaning

Various methods are used to clean oil and grease from auto parts before sale. This fact sheet covers the environmental issues associated with aqueous cleaning methods such as enclosed spray washers, hot dip tanks, pressure washers, and steam cleaning. Solvent Cleaning (e.g., Stoddard solution, mineral spirits) is covered under a separate fact sheet. Aqueous cleaners are one of the most popular choices for degreasing parts at automotive recyclers and are a good alternative to petroleum-based and halogenated solvents. Read More

Modeling Subsurface Transport of Petroleum Hydrocarbons

This U.S. EPA website contains information on the modeling of subsurface transport of petroleum hydrocarbons and other contaminants. There are a few course modules on the fate and transport of contaminants. There are also OnSite on-line calculators for site-specific assessment calculations. Read More

ECAR Fact Sheet for Ohio: Floordrains

Floor drains in many industrial facilities have been found to empty into surface waters, or into septic fields. Floor drains, especially those built when designers and contractors were much less environmentally conscious than they are now, can be full of surprises. The discharge of wastewater from the shop floor has been known to cause serious and costly soil and groundwater contamination problems. Read More

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