Oil has now entered the Gulf Loop current and heavy oil reaches the marshes

The only good news is that BP now says it is collecting 5000 barrels a day of the oil gusher-

Gulf Oil Spill: Oil Has Entered Loop Current, Officials Say. Associated Press. So, some of the oil is now off to Florida and maybe even to the East Coast. So far the main part of the oil remains north of the power Loop current. How long will this hold?

Getting oil out of marshes where it does the most damage is much harder than off the beaches. Unfortunately, the heavy black stuff is now going into the marshes. They will soon yellow and die. Will the Oil Kill the Bayou? By Steven Gray. Time Magazine.

BP says it is capturing 5,000 barrels of oil a day from gulf spill. By Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson. Washington Post Staff Writers

Why was the Deepwater Horizon given a Categorical Exclusion?

The leak started 30 days ago, oil as thick as paint is washing up on the shores of Louisiana and there are plumes of oil deep underwater poisoning the ocean and threatening the Florida Keys and the east coast.  There have been many attempts to stop the leak and it appears that it won’t be capped for a long time to come.  This disaster is killing all kinds of wildlife and will change the whole ecology of the Gulf as well as its economy for many, many years if not longer.  Knowing that the consequences of a spill like this are so disastrous why was the Deepwater Horizon given a categorical exclusion from environmental analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)?

Under NEPA there are basically 3 levels of review a project can undergo.  First, NEPA requires that an agency determine if the project is covered under NEPA, if it is not then the project is given a categorical exclusion.  Second, if the project is covered under NEPA, the agency must determine whether it would have any significant environmental effects, if it doesn’t then the project is issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) and an Environmental Assessment (EA) is prepared.  Finally, if there are significant impacts then an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) must be prepared.

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Mt. St. Helens blew its top 30 years ago

The landscape has been reborn-

However, the rebirth is, as you can see below, a hundred years from maturity.

Aftermath of Mt. Saint Helens in 2008. Copyright Ralph Maughan

Mount St. Helens Eruption (PHOTOS): National Geographic Marks Its 30th Anniversary

How far did the ash travel from the Mount St. Helens eruption? The Big Blog

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