BP oil spill may still reach Ireland, though chances unlikely
Tar-balls could reach the Irish coastline
Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency, the EPA, say it's unlikely that the BP Gulf of Meixco oil spill will reach Irish shores, but hasn’t dismissed the possibility altogether.
“Due to the distance between the Gulf of Mexico and Europe, and also the nature and frequency of autumnal storms in the Atlantic Ocean, the likelihood is that the oil will disperse and evaporate in the ocean, possibly leaving “tar balls” which should sink to the bottom before reaching Ireland,” a spokesperson said.
The agency is is charged with protecting the Irish environment and ensuring compliance by Irish companies and private individuals with European Union environmental law.
A Professor at National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) has also said that any tar-balls which would appear in Ireland would not occur in significantly greater concentrations than those already present at this time of year.
Tarballs are semi-solid blobs of oil which float a-top the ocean surface.
The ruptured well has been gushing oil since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and killed 11 people aboard on April 20.
Despite attempts to control and minimize the damage by BP, the US Coast Guard says that as much as 24,000 barrels a day of crude is still escaping into the ocean.
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