Oil Dispersants: Additional Research Needed, Particularly on Subsurface and Arctic Applications

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "According to experts, agency officials, and specialists, much is known about the use of chemical dispersants on the surface of the water, but gaps remain in several research areas. For example, experts generally agreed that there is a basic understanding of the processes that influence where and how oil travels through the water, but that more research was needed to quantify the actual rate at which dispersants biodegrade. In addition, all the experts GAO spoke with said that little is known about the application and effects ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. May 30, 2012.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "According to experts, agency officials, and specialists, much is known about the use of chemical dispersants on the surface of the water, but gaps remain in several research areas. For example, experts generally agreed that there is a basic understanding of the processes that influence where and how oil travels through the water, but that more research was needed to quantify the actual rate at which dispersants biodegrade. In addition, all the experts GAO spoke with said that little is known about the application and effects of dispersants applied subsurface, noting that specific environmental conditions, such as higher pressures, may influence dispersants’ effectiveness. Knowledge about the use and effectiveness of dispersants in the Arctic is also limited, with less research conducted on dispersant use there than in temperate or tropical climates. For example, one expert noted that more research is needed on biodegradation rates for oil in the Arctic because the cold temperature may slow the process down."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • May 30, 2012

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Oil Dispersants: Additional Research Needed, Particularly on Subsurface and Arctic Applications, report, May 30, 2012; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc301778/: accessed November 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.