Friday, September 17, 2010

The One Percent Solution

NOAA's Goal: Reduce Oil Contamination on Beaches To 1%

So far, NOAA’s directives for Gulf Coast beach cleanup include cosmetically washing surface contamination, collecting tar balls, and removing the top layers of certain areas where oil is concentrated.

John Tarpley, chief scientific support coordinator for NOAA, says the agency’s goal is to clean beaches so they have “1 percent of oil or less.” Highly trafficked public beaches are a priority, he adds. However, environmentalists warn that the departure of cleanup crews will not mean the beaches have a clean bill of health.

“They will never clean it all up,’’ says Doug Inkley, a senior scientist for the National Wildlife Federation. “It is impossible to remove all the oil from the environment. That cannot be done.”

One percent isn't much compared to the whole of anything, so why should this article concern anyone? Because one percent, 10,000ppm as it is called in government documents in an effort to minimize public awareness of the severity of this situation, is still too much oil remaining to be safe. The fact that the government's stated goal is to reduce oil contamination to 1% of the total material on the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico is an outrage. It should be reduced to as close to zero as possible, which should be in the range of tens or hundreds of parts per million.

I don't care how expensive would be -- this is BP and the federal government's problem, not the American people's. Rather it is our problem, but it is their responsibility to clean up the disaster that they either caused on purpose or were too negligent to prevent. Would you want to go on vacation and let your children play around on a beach that is 99% sand and water but still 1% oil? That's not even taking into account that BP's contractors are still secretly spraying Corexit at night. This nightmare simply never ends, and in fact seems to get worse, despite the fact that BP allegedly killed their well. More evidence surfaces every single day that damage to the environment is bad and getting more severe. If President Soetorobama receives a single vote from the five Gulf states in 2012 it will be one too many. His administration in partnership with BP will have destroyed their economies for years, perhaps decades to come, as well as their health.

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