Images via CNN, the Boston Globe
A massive oil spill occurred in Texas on Sunday when an oil tanker collided with two (!) barges. Since the spill, the cleanup effort has been slow, evidently hampered by safety concerns. Whatever the reason, only some 40,000 gallons of oil have been removed from the water--only 10% of the massive 462,000 gallon leak. The port where the spill occurred, 100 miles east of Houston, has been closed, and will reopen only after cleanup has been completed--but they may be waiting a while.
According to the Epoch Times,
Eleven skimmers are on the scene attempting to reduce the environmental impact. They are conducting local operation and air-monitoring tests in order to ascertain the impact of the spill. The Texas Responder, a 210-foot oil recovery vessel [was] dispatched to the scene along with 500 in additional personnel and the Coast Guard cutter ship Manowar.Even with the response in full swing, an entire day of cleanup efforts only yielded 10% of the job done. On the brighter side, the immediate impact to the environment hasn't been as bad as other oil spills. CNN reports only one case of a wild heron being covered, and it's been reported that the oil hasn't reached the sensitive ecosystem of the nearby wetlands. The skimming vessels have reportedly used some 45,000 feet of boom to contain the oil and to keep it from spreading.
Though there will no doubt be numerous adverse impacts as a result of the spill, it's good to see that the cleanup effort has been well coordinated and thorough. Still, anyone else out there looking forward to the day when we can do without gigantic oil-filled tankers traversing the seas, occasionally spewing their load over marine life?