Monday, April 18, 2011

One Year Anniversary of the Worst Accidental Oil Spill in History

Wednesday, April 20, marks the first anniversary of the explosion at the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil refinery, and the beginning of what is now known as "the world's worst accidental oil spill."

This NASA image from June 19, 2010, shows the Gulf after 60 days of continuous oil spillage.

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill affected such a large area of the Gulf of Mexico and nearby U.S. coastline, that it took some independent and creative efforts to help citizens understand just how vast area affected by the oil spill was, with the Google Maps mash-up, If It Were My Home probably the most often cited.

In a timely commemoration of the event, the Government Information library has received its print copy of the Chief Counsel's Report from the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. The report, "Macondo: The Gulf Oil Disaster," (SuDoc No. PR 44.8:D 36/M 23) is also available from the Commission's Web site online.

Image of an affected sandbar taken from the Commission's online media presentation.

In addition to the printed findings, the Commission released a multimedia series of background information about the accident. The introductory video is available by clicking on the image below.

Before the Chief Counsel's Report -- which details many of the mechanical aspects of attempting to close the broken pipeline -- the Commission released in January of this year its Final Report, "Deep Water: The Gulf Oil Disaster and the Future of Offshore Drilling," (SuDoc No. PR 44.8:D 36/G 95) which attempts to take a more systemic view of the accident and offshore drilling as an industry.

There are numerous treatments of the issue provided by different U.S. federal agencies and branches, with just under 50 documents appearing in the Libraries' catalog. The EPA's Restore the Gulf Task Force recently published a One Year Later Press Pack of information about the spill, and NOAA has an online presentation of the disaster, along with an Image Gallery stunningly devoid of any photographs that seem to capture the damage done to the American landscape and natural wildlife. This is strangely in parallel with the media ban that was placed in coastal areas affected by the oil spill, as detailed in the CNN report below.

The lack of a definite picture on the environmental affect of this disaster seems to have led to media speculation that the oil -- 4.9 million barrels -- has simply, and quietly, disappeared. What is far more likely is that the true damage done to the waters surrounding the United States have yet, literally, to surface.

1 comment:

  1. It was a really one of the worst disaster in the history in that sector the work really tough so many precautions have to be taken while working so past is past now the workers have to take preliminary precautions while they working then these disasters will not occur again and again.