- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
However, if you dig down just a few inches, the smelly remains of oil are still quite evident. It took too long for the remedy to be approved and applied to halt the penetration of crude and the bacterial could not follow as living conditions for that strain were not adequate under the rocks.
Since then, bacteria have successfully been employed to accomplish nearly miraculous cleanups of petroleum contaminated sites all across the world.
I recall one case where an underground diesel fuel storage tank was accidentally ruptured during construction and the fuel poured into the ground. Studies after the event found up to 18 inches of the material floating on a contained, perched aquifer. A couple of years later, it was noted that there was only a few inches still floating on the groundwater. Additional studies confirmed that the aquifer was indeed contained and not moving.
So, where did the product go? Did it somehow evaporate? Additional testing discovered natural bacteria had been established and was slowly consuming the fuel. A grid of holes was punched into the soil and a mixture of peroxide and fertilizer was poured into each one. Those little bugs were so happy they obliterated the diesel fuel in less than six months. There was not a trace left.
Kari Huus is a reporter for MSNBC. She reported on June 29, 2010 that a group of biologists have grown 30,000 gallons of an oil-eating bacterial strain on Grand Isle, La. They have been ready to deploy the little critters for some time now. The buggy stew consists of three well-known strains of bacteria happily existing in the nutrients in the tanks and they are ready to do what they naturally do. However, they remain in those tanks because the scientists cannot get permission to deploy. Keep in mind this is not a new technology. Keep in mind we know that delaying will slow if not halt their effectiveness. But they wait. They cannot grow more creatures as there is no more room. They wait some more.
According to Huus, Ralph Portier, an environmental biologist at Louisiana State University said, "The bureaucracy is killing us. We're waiting for people in Washington to agree with people in Robert, La., that it's okay to talk to a guy in Houma (La.) to tell people in Baton Rouge that's it's okay to do something down on Dauphin Island – or wherever."
This is not a new technology. It has a successful track record of accomplishing the task. I would bet that conspiracy theorists will spread rumors that the government just wants to make the situation bad enough to help them pass their energy agenda. I think that 17 government agencies, along with a corporation that is acting like Lucile Ball in one of her sitcoms where she just busted the kitchen faucet and does not want anybody to know, are just falling all over each other and just cannot get out of the way long enough to get something done.
Hopefully, by the time this piece is read, the wait will be over and progress established.