It's been twenty years since the Exxon Valdez dumped 40 million litres in Port William Sound (PWS), Alaska. Just now Exxon is finally paying out its fines to the residents of the area.
As long as much of the world in dependent on oil, we wil continue to have oil spills. We've learned a lot about clean-up and long-term effects. We now know about how to use microbes to bio-degrade the crude oil. Here's the website of the trustee council handling the disbursal of money from Exxon and work to monitor and work on continuing clean-up. Exxon, BTW, has spent close to $3 billion in clean-up and reparation payments. Wanna bet who footed the bill for that? Every time you fill 'er up, you're subsidizing the spill costs.
The trustee council has issued a 20-year report, "the area has not fully recovered. In some areas, Exxon Valdez oil still remains and is toxic. Some injured species have yet to recover to pre-spill levels. This long-term damage was not expected at the time of the spill."
NOTHING BAD GOES AWAY QUICKLY
The report continues, "This Exxon Valdez oil is decreasing at a rate of 0-4% per year, with only a 5% chance that the rate is as high as 4%. At this rate, the remaining oil will take decades and possibly centuries to disappear entirely.
"The amount of Exxon Valdez oil remaining substantially exceeds the sum total of all previous oil pollution on beaches in PWS, including oil spilled during the 1964 earthquake..."
"Following the oil and its impacts over the past 20 years has changed our understanding of the long-term damage from an oil spill. Because of the scope and duration of the restoration program, lingering oil and its effects were discovered and tracked. As a result, we know that risk assessment for future spills must consider what the total damages will be over a longer period of time, rather than only the acute damages in the days and weeks following a spill..."