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Marine Scientists Take Issue With Administration’s Oil Spill Report

Marine scientists at the University of Georgia are taking issue with a report released last week by the Obama administration that said much of the oil from the Gulf oil spill had been contained or cleaned up.

In fact, according to a report released yesterday in conjunction with the Georgia Sea Grant, “up to 79 percent of the oil released into the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon well has not been recovered and remains a threat to the ecosystem.”

“One major misconception is that oil that has dissolved into water is gone and, therefore, harmless. The oil is still out there, and it will likely take years to completely degrade. We are still far from a complete understanding of what its impacts are,” said Charles Hopkinson, director of Georgia Sea Grant and professor of marine sciences in the University of Georgia Franklin College of Arts and Sciences in a statement.

The scientists analyzed the same National Incident Command Report or “oil budget” that was released last week, but came up with very different results.

According to the statement:

Hopkinson notes that the reports arrive at different conclusions largely because the Sea Grant and UGA scientists estimate that the vast majority of the oil classified as dispersed, dissolved or residual is still present, whereas the NIC report has been interpreted to suggest that only the “residual” form of oil is still present.

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