When tar balls where found last weekend on a Texas beach, the government quelled fears by saying they were probably unrelated to the BP Oil Spill.
Today Deepwater Horizon Response released tests confirming that tar balls and other pollution found on Galveston beaches DID come from the oil spill. But they may have been brought there by boat (via FT Energy Source):
Investigators discovered very small tar balls in the surf, but not on shore, Saturday evening. The tar balls were collected and sent to the lab to be tested where they were determined to be associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The testing found that the oil was lightly weathered, raising doubts that the oil traversed the Gulf from the spill source. Boats carry oil collected during the response to Texas for processing raising the possibility the oil could have been transported on a vessel.
Transported on a vessel? It sounds like the Galveston oil may have spilled from a boat that had collected oil and was en route to a processing plant. Lieutenant Budaio clarified by phone: the tar balls could have been “attached to the netting side of the boat or the propeller, and on the way to Galveston they fell off.”
It’s an unsettling reminder of how environmental damage can spread. Or other unseemly possibilities: the oil poured out as some kind of hoax. Or the government could be hiding the fact that the oil has spread further than they admit.
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