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Oil Spill Cleanup Will Take Months

Old 12-07-2004, 05:15 PM
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Oil Spill Cleanup and Investigation Will Take Months (12/07/04)

The Delaware River clean-up from the Athos I tanker spill is now expected to continue into at least the spring, as authorities still try to get a handle on exactly what they are dealing with there.
KYW's Tony Hanson was among a group of reporters and federal and state agency officials who toured the river by boat and got a close-up look at the damaged vessel.

More than ten days after the accident, there are still a lot of unanswered questions, including what caused the damage to the ship, how much oil spilled into the river, and how much of the spilled oil has now sunk below the surface.

Ed Levine is with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:

"Right now we just have dots on a map. We are looking to quantify that. Right now we don't know how much or the characteristics of that oil. So we have samples taken to a central laboratory. And also we are trying to find the spatial distribution, how wide and deep those locations are."

And there are reports from divers that the submerged oil is not settling on the riverbed:

"Well, the big problem is if it's a gallon and it's moving, it's not so bad. But if it's tens of thousands of gallons, we have a big problem. Our issue right now is, how big a problem do we have?"

And right now they don't know.
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