Report: Quick Recovery In Gulf of Mexico

The Gulf of Mexico should recover from the environmental damage caused by last year’s BP oil spill faster than originally estimated, according to reports commissioned by Kenneth Feinberg, the administrator of the $20 billion compensation fund.

The New York Times is reporting that, based on the work of environmental scientists, economists and other experts, the report acknowledges that “prediction is not an exact science” but estimates that the gulf should recover by the end of 2012. The hardest-hit oyster beds could take much longer to come back, it says.

That prediction will be central to Mr. Feinberg’s plan for paying people who claim their livelihoods were devastated by the spill. It is certain to be controversial among those who believe the damage will be longer-lasting and therefore should result in higher payouts for the spill’s victims.

According to the report, two factors reduced the expected harm. First, the oil gushed for a shorter time than did the Ixtoc I spill off Mexico, which began in 1979, and, second, it occurred during months of relatively calm seas. Also, the closing of fisheries during the crisis allowed marine populations not directly affected by oil to prosper.

Complete article via New York Times


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