Friday, August 25, 2006

oil spillWhat's becoming known as Lebanon's worst environment disaster ever is going largely unreported in the American media. During the Israel/Hezbollah conflict Israelis bombed a coastal power plant spilling 110,000 barrels of fuel into the Mediterranean Sea.

"Some of it became denser than sea water and sank to the bottom. It's like a big thick blanket that smothers living organisms," said Professor Rick Steiner who teaches at the University of Alaska.

When compared to the Exxon Valdez catastrophe this in many ways is worse. As the Valdez was three times larger consisting of crude oil this is fuel oil which was ready to be burned by the power plant. With fuel oil the problem takes a new shape, the substance is highly viscous, much more so than crude. Fuel oil adheres to rocks, vegatation, fish and other lifeforms inflicting widespread ecological devastation. Current estimates show that it will take nearly a year and $64 million to clean up the damage. Finland is helping foot the bill with a contribution of $800,000 toward the effort with potential support from other EU countries on the way.

For additional information visit:
Lebanon's Month-Old Oil Slick Sinks
The War's Other Victim: The Environment

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