Oil spill mess mostly gone, but damage can last years

August 5th, 2010 by Staff

WASHINGTON — With a startling report that some researchers call more spin than science, the government said Wednesday that the mess made by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is mostly gone.

Out of sight, though, doesn’t mean out of danger, nor is the Gulf now clean. The harmful effects of the summer of the spill can continue for years, even with oil at the microscopic level, a top federal scientist warned.

U.S. officials announced that nearly 70 percent of the spilled oil dissolved naturally, or was burned, skimmed, dispersed or captured, with almost nothing left to see, at least on top of the water.

The declaration came on the same day officials trumpeted success in plugging the leaking well with drilling mud. The government said cement and mud must still be pumped in from the bottom to seal it off for good.

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