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Oil Is No Stranger To Maryland's Shores

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State officials brief Gov. Martin O'Malley on how the state can prepare in the remote chance that oil from the Gulf would reach Maryland.
Sabri Ben-Achour
State officials brief Gov. Martin O'Malley on how the state can prepare in the remote chance that oil from the Gulf would reach Maryland.

By Sabri Ben-Achour

Maryland's Governor Martin O'Malley says his state is preparing for the remote possibility that oil from the Gulf of Mexico could find it's way there. Oil is no stranger to Maryland's shores.

The state of Maryland actually maintains 13,000 feet of boom to protect against oil spills. That's because there are some 400 of them a year in Maryland, mostly from overturned trucks. They are very minor, the department of the environment says, but back in 2000 there was a big one.

More than 111,000 gallons of fuel oil leaked into the Patuxent river and then along 20 miles of shore near Chalk Point Maryland. Jonathan McKnight is Associate Director for Wildlife at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

"The oil spill in Chalk Point was a little over 10 years ago, we're still cleaning up from it," says McKnight.

In 1995, tar balls washed ashore in Ocean City and Assateague Island. It was thought at the time that a commercial ship had discharged it's oil nearby.

The chances of gulf oil reaching Maryland are truly remote, but if it did it would probably come in the form of tar balls.


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