Why Is Crucial Oil Spill Data Sitting In a Lab in Poland?


Can somebody explain why a Polish lab is the facility testing Gulf waters for the United States government? The BP spill has created its share of “what the hell?!” moments, but this one has to be very close to the top of that infamous heap. The news involves the long-term devastation of our bluefin tuna stock – but, sadly, that’s not the odd part.

Says the AP in a story on Monday: “If one species in the Gulf is likely to wind up like the herring [in Alaska, the species most devastated by the spill], it’s probably the bluefin tuna. And answers about its fate may be sitting in a lab in Poland. Thanks to a 30-year agreement that dates to Cold War politics, that distant lab is analyzing samples of Gulf water collected in the spill area for the U.S. government. The tests are to find out what the oil did to the larvae.”


Then a quote from a NOAA official: “Was it catastrophic for the bluefin? Probably not,” said NOAA’s John Lamkin, who expects data back from Poland near the end of the year. But he added: “Any larvae that came into contact with the oil doesn’t have a chance.”

Cold War politics? Results back “near the end of the year?” What the hell is going on here? This story certainly deserves more attention. But what is clear is there is a complete lack of urgency on the part of the federal government in restoring the Gulf. This is just another example of that fact.

See the story in context here: http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/10/almost_6_months_after_oil_spil.html

© Smith Stag, LLC 2010 – All Rights Reserved

Add comment

Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
Cooper Law Firm

Follow Us

© Stuart H Smith, LLC
Share This