Maryland Prepares In Case Gulf Oil Reaches Chesapeake | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Maryland Prepares In Case Gulf Oil Reaches Chesapeake

Play associated audio

By Sabri Ben-Achour

Maryalnd Gov. Martin O'Malley held a cabinet meeting to assess what the state could do if oil from the Gulf of Mexico made it to Maryland's shores.

The good news, according to experts advising the governor, is that in order for the oil in the gulf to reach Maryland, it would have to drift south from where it is, then hitch a ride on the loop current to Florida, hop into the gulfstream and up the Atlantic coast, and then a hurricane would have to hit it at just the right time to - maybe - shove it toward Maryland and possibly into the Chesapeake Bay.

O'Malley acknowledged it's a stretch.

"Even though all the forecasting and the modeling says this is not very likely to happen, the accident itself was not very likely to happen," he says.

So the governor asked his top officials how they would prepare. The Department of the Environment reported that Maryland already has 13,000 feet of boom on hand for any of the 400 minor oil spills that occur in the state each year.

The bad news is booms wouldn't really do anything to the oil if it got here.

"At that point the oil will be very different than what's out in the gulf today, the changes in the months that it will take to get here, will be dramatic as the oil weathers; it's broken down by sunlight and bacteria," says Jonathan McKnight, associate director of wildlife for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

It would come in the form of little tarballs, that aren't stopped by booms. They're not particularly toxic, but they are sticky and bad for wildlife. If they did wash ashore, as they have in the past, crews would have to go pick them up.

NPR

Sandwich Monday: The Korean Steak Sandwich

For this week's Sandwich Monday, we try a sandwich with a cult following. It's the Korean steak from Rhea's Market and Deli in San Francisco.
NPR

Sandwich Monday: The Korean Steak Sandwich

For this week's Sandwich Monday, we try a sandwich with a cult following. It's the Korean steak from Rhea's Market and Deli in San Francisco.
WAMU 88.5

Witness List Released In McDonnell Corruption Trial

Among those on the witness list are Maureen McDonnell and the couple's three children, Sean, Rachel and Bobby.
NPR

It's Boom Times For Pop-Up Shops As Mobile Shopping Clicks

One-click online shopping is changing how we shop. Stores with leases as short as a day are proliferating — meaning a storefront can be a designer clothing store one day and a test kitchen the next.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.