August 5, 2010
As BP finishes pumping cement into the damaged Deepwater Horizon wellhead Thursday, some scientists are taking issue with a new U.S. government report that says the "vast majority" of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has been taken care of by nature and "robust" cleanup efforts.
In addition, experts warn, much of the toxic oil from the worst spill in U.S. history may be trapped under Gulf beaches—where it could linger for years—or still migrating into the ocean depths, where it's a "3-D catastrophe," one scientist said.
In the cold, dark ocean, this mixture of oil and chemical dispersants may be suspended and preserved, causing long-term problems for deep-sea animals, Texas Tech University ecotoxicologist Ron Kendall said during August 4 testimony before the U.S. Congress.
"We have very limited information on the environmental fate and transport of the mixture of dispersant and oil, particularly in the deep ocean," Kendall said.