Bp Oil Spill

Topics: United States, Clean Water Act, United States Environmental Protection Agency Pages: 5 (1713 words) Published: May 21, 2013
Amanda Ortiz
Period 9
Environmental Issue Essay
Pollution is the mix of contaminants and the natural environment that create damage. It can be chemical substances, noise, heat or light. Pollutants can be either foreign substances that humans created or even contaminants in nature. Environmental issues are damaging parts of human activity on the environment. Environmentalism addresses all of the environmental issues that we face and decide what qualifies as an environmental issue. The BP Oil Spill has been a huge environmental issue; it was the worst oil disaster in US history. The government estimated up to 2.6 million gallons per day with a total of 205.8 million got into the gulf. Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida all had miles on miles of surface oil problems. BP put nearly 2 million gallons of chemical “dispersants” into the ocean, which actually make the oil more toxic to ocean life. It’s considered and environmental issue because of its massive amount of damage and was caused by humans, the oil company. The spill made more than 1,000 miles of shoreline covered in oil. It mainly affects the coasts of the states named above but all in all it ends up affecting our country as a whole. Aside from the economical aspect of it, it’s an ocean we share with the world and affects the species we love and need in the ecosystem. A study showed us that more than 82,000 birds, 6,000 sea turtles; 26,000 marine mammals; and an unknown massive number of fish have been harmed by the spill and its aftermath. The gulf oil disaster happened during a lot of species mating season, which means it could have wiped out a few generations. Even plants such as deep sea corals were affected and being found miles from the horizon. Mammals who swallowed this oil were found to have internal bleeding and birds covered in it couldn’t regulate there body temperatures. This spill didn’t just make a mess it damaged and took many lives; ruined a habitat that is crucial to the ecosystem; it lasted for months after the oil spill even happened and this is the reason why it is such a huge environmental issue.

It affected the residents of that area as well; multiple health concerns have been reported after the incident. The residents where complaining about horrid skin rashes, memory problems, gastro-intestinal problems, bronchitis, asthma, and more. There are also the psychological issues people have had to struggle due to this event. People where having to deal with anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Also lets not forget this took place in area with very low health coverage and poor access to health care.

The spill also strongly affected the economy. The Gulf Coast's economy was things such as offshore drilling, fishing and tourism. BP covered the cost of the spill response, containment, relief well drilling, grants to the Gulf states, claims paid, and federal costs, fines and penalties which ended up at about $37.2 billion. BP had dropped from the second to the fourth largest oil company. The U.S. Travel Association estimated the oil spill would cost the gulf on tourism over a three-year period could exceed approximately $23 billion and $34 billion in travel jobs.

There where many efforts into cleaning and fixing this ecosystem. First they attempted at closing the blowout preventer valves, which was unsuccessful. Then they tried to create a dome to pipe the oil to storage, it also failed. Then they tried putting a tub e into the pipe and diverted the flow into the tube, before it was removed it managed to collect 924,000 gallons of oil. In June 2010 BP the put a cap on but it only stopped half the oil from leaking out. On September 19th the well was declared to no longer be a threat to the gulf.

There were three main strategies for the spill containment, dispersal, and removal. Beams were stretched over 4,200,000 feet where put in to corral the oil and protect the area but where pretty ineffective. There was...
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