Oil is nasty stuff. It is full of various toxic chemicals which you really don’t want to have on you, your wild life or your beaches. The question is, what do you do with it when you spill an estimated 5.16 million barrels (based on a 60K barrels per day) into an area where there are lots and lots of beaches for it was up on?
Sadly the main concept for dealing with spilled oil is to let it “weather” which means it breaks down into small droplets, gets eaten by bacteria and is generally sent to the bottom of the sea where we can’t see it so we don’t worry about it. This does nothing in terms of getting the toxic chemicals out of the water, but there is a hell of a lot of water in the oceans and there is toxic crap from other sources, so we don’t sweat it as much as we should.
"Originally posted at Squarestate.net"
But for all the vintage ‘70’s tech that we use to try to keep the oil off the beaches, some of it does reach the shore. It is in the form or tar balls and so-called mousse (an oil sea water emulsion). When that happens you can’t just leave it there, like on the ocean floor, after all there is a tourist industry to consider (as well as wild life refuges, critical habitat and productive fishing grounds close to shore). At this point you have to go and collect that oily waste, then what happens to it?